Last Night's Fantasy

03/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Civic Opera House was transformed Friday evening into a splendid party place - and there was a pretty good turn out for a grand evening of food, wine, dancing and the general noise that one gets at such affairs. This was all in aid of the Lyric Opera and no doubt they raised a lot of money. There was an impressive list of sponsors and as always the corporate attendance was prominent.

But as so often at these affairs there was not a lot of opera! In the entertainment, amusingly compered by Andrew Davis, opera was clearly strictly off limits. I guess that was necessary playing to this particular crowd. But there were some splendid opera singers on tap including Deborah Voigt, Erin Wall and Joseph Kaiser.

Meanwhile since my post of yesterday the democratic process has now also sidelined the arts with Senator Coburn's amendment to the stimulus bill winning the vote.

It was worded as follows:

"None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project."

Unfortunately, the amendment passed by a wide vote margin of 73-24, and surprisingly included support from many high profile Senators including Chuck Schumer of New York, Dianne Feinstein of California, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, and several other Democrats and Republicans.

There is some irony here. Senator Coburn's daughter is a fine opera singer and although she is perhaps unlikely to suffer since she has an excellent international career, many of her friends and colleagues will as opera companies cut back. There will be less jobs - yes, that is JOBS! There will be more unemployment - yes, UNEMPLOYMENT.