10
Jul
13

National Medal Of Arts And Humanities Awards

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with 2012 National Medal of Arts recipient Allen Toussaint for his contributions as a composer, producer, and performer, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House

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Broadway World: Earlier today, President Barack Obama presented the National Medal of Arts in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals. The medals were presented by the President during an East Room ceremony at the White House. The National Medal of Arts is a White House initiative managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. Each year, the NEA organizes and oversees the National Medal of Arts nomination process and notifies the artists of their selection to receive a medal, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.

More here

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First Lady Michelle Obama applauds award recipients after President Barack Obama awarded the 2012 National Medals of Art and National Humanities Medals

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President Barack Obama hugs screenwriter Tony Kushner before awarding him the 2012 National Medal of Arts

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President Barack Obama awards the 2012 National Medal of Arts to author Ernest Gaines

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to American actress, playwright, and professor, Anna Deavere Smith

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CBS News: President Barack Obama says 24 recipients of national medals for contributions in the fields of the arts and humanities are being recognized for their talent and creating works that will last for American life. At a ceremony Wednesday in the East Room of the White House, Obama awarded the medals to 23 singers, dancers, poets, producers, playwrights, scholars and others, and one organization.

“We celebrate people like our honorees here today,” the president said in his remarks, “not just because of their talent, but they create something new. They create a new space, and that becomes a lasting contribution to American life and that’s true for all of these honorees. Together, the men and women with us today have helped us appreciate individual talent…they’ve also helped us to bridge our differences, to recognize all the things we share as Americans — whether it’s arts, humanities or sports.”

More here

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President Barack Obama (R) presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to political scientist and professor Robert Putnam

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to novelist Marilynne Robinson

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to author Joan Didion

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Chloe Sommers: What does President Barack Obama think George Lucas, Marilynne Robinson and Joan Didion all have in common? Aside from the fact they’re among this year’s recipients of the National Medal of Arts and Humanities, the president proclaimed Wednesday, “They are all teachers.” Obama and 24 ‘teachers’, also known as some of America’s most influential artists and writers, gathered in Washington for the 2012 National Medal of Arts and the National Medal of Humanities Awards.

As Obama looked across the East Room of the White House, he described what he saw: “At first glance this is a pretty diverse group, we’ve got incredible singers and dancers, we have poets and producers, musicians, playwrights, scholars, they come from all across the country, all around the world and yet for all their differences today’s honorees have one thing in common and that is they are teachers; whether they realize it or not. They have taught us about ourselves and our world.” Among the honorees, even the president seemed at times to be star struck. “Frankly, this is just fun for me because I feel like I know you all because I’ve enjoyed your performances; your writings have fundamentally changed me. I think for the better,” he said.

More here

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to National Humanities Medal to writer Frank Deford

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Medal of Arts to Joan Myers Brown for her contributions as a dancer, choreographer, and artistic director of the Philadelphia Dance Company

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President Barack Obama chats with George Lucas before awarding him the 2012 National Medal of Arts for his contributions to American cinema

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Medal of Arts to Elaine May for her contributions to American comedy

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Medal of Arts to Laurie Olin for his contributions as a preeminent landscape architect

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Medal of Arts to Ellsworth Kelly for his contributions as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to Australian-American author Jill Ker Conway

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to University of Richmond President Edward L. Ayers

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to Canadian and American historian Natalie Zemon Davis

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to Camilo Jose Vergara

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to former Poet Laureate of the United States Kay Ryan

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Medal of Arts to the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) President and CEO Jenny Bilfield during a ceremony

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal for President Emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation William G. Bowen

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Humanities Medal to Robert B. Silvers

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Medal of Arts to Renee Fleming for her contributions to American music

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Medal of Arts to Herb Alpert for his varied contributions to music and the fine arts

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President Barack Obama presents a 2012 National Medal of Arts to Lin Arison for her contributions as a philanthropist and arts education advocate

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama leave the East Room of the White House following a ceremony to present the 2012 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals

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126 Responses to “National Medal Of Arts And Humanities Awards”


  1. 1 Judith Fardig
    July 10, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    These events are so special!

  2. 7 amk for obama
    July 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Did previous presidents do this kind of recognition for arts and humanities?

  3. 13 Judith Fardig
    July 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Tony Kushner looks totally blissed out as he hugs the President!

    • 14 vitaminlover
      July 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      I was noticing that same thing!

    • 15 lisalovesobama
      July 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Just commented that it was the best pic because he’s doing something I would definitely do if I ever met him. ;)

    • 16 CEB
      July 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Tony Kushner loves, admires and “gets” PBO from a political standpoint. Check out PBS for the interview that he did with Charlie Rose when he was out promoting Lincoln or the interview that was featured on Democracy Now, 5/10/2012 when Kushner was asked about his reaction to the president’s statement of support for marriage equality. I do not know how to provide a link, so I do not need anyone to chastise me; Goggle is my friend.

  4. 17 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    July 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    UT, thanks for posting. Saw the honorees enter then my wireless went out :-(

    • 18 utaustinliberal
      July 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      You’re welcome. So sorry that happened. I posted the video of the event so you can catch up now. :D

      • 19 Alycee (@jazziz2)
        July 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm

        Thanks, will view when I return fr mtg.

      • 20 nathkatun7
        July 11, 2013 at 1:57 am

        Thank you so much UT for posting the video for some of us who miss these events. The entire ceremony was exquisite! It’s events like this, where the President’s warmth and genuine love for people, that most Americans never get to see because of the mainstream media filters. That’s why media pundits think that they can get away by manufacturing a false meme that President Obama is an aloof arrogant man who does not relate well with people. Tell that to those medal recipients who seemed very much at ease and appreciative of the President’s warm embraces.

  5. 21 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    July 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm
    • 22 0388jojothecat
      July 10, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Really? Where was the GOP during the Bush/Cheney Administrations? I guess you can’t trust shrub and darth vader either…..

  6. 23 vitaminlover
    July 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Herb Alpert looks well.

  7. 24 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    July 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Off to council mtg. BTW, WP tells me I’m posting to fast…

  8. 25 Jovie
    July 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    House turns away proposals to cut nuclear maintenance
    By Pete Kasperowicz
    The House on Wednesday rejected a series of proposals to cut funding for maintaining the nuclear stockpile in the 2014 energy and water spending bill.

    The House debated these amendments late Tuesday night, but was finally able to vote on them Wednesday afternoon just before breaking so Republicans can meet to discuss immigration.

    -/
    Everything this President wants done, they say no to.

  9. July 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Gorgeous photos UT, missed the event today so thank you sooooooooooo much, legend!!

    • 27 utaustinliberal
      July 10, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      You’re welcome. Anytime Chiparoo! :D

      • July 10, 2013 at 7:33 pm

        Yes, muchas gracias, ut! I couldn’t watch this in real time and it’s one of my favorite events of the year, so thanks for following up with the vid.

    • 29 Layla
      July 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Awwww! You two are soooo nice, reminds me of this quote: “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
      ― Henry James

  10. 30 vitaminlover
    July 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Just sayin’ but George Zimmerman had better not get away with this……

    • 31 Luna
      July 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      he is wearing the guilt he refuses to feel all over his body

    • July 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      It’s been a very rocky trial to say the least. Closing arguments tomorrow and the jury will probably go into deliberation on Friday. They’re sequestered so they may deliberate through the weekend.

    • July 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      I can’t even watch any of the trial footage anymore. What they’re doing to the memory of this 17 year old is nauseating. A bunch of racists and gun-happy idiots who don’t value life at all. This child won’t be able to even graduate from high school – and yet, we’re supposed to feel he somehow deserved to die because he got in the path of a racist, violent, wannabe-cop while coming home from a jaunt to the store for snacks? I guess he was just supposed to lie there and die and not fight back, even while we’re hearing of child abductions on a daily basis?

      My faith in some parts of humanity has been severely shaken by this trial. Surely, good has to overcome evil. What kind of message is this going to give to young people of color all over this country if this confessed killer gets away with murder? I’m sick just thinking of it. My heart goes out to his poor parents – not only have they had to bury a child, but they’ve had to listen to racists malign that child’s character every single day.

      • July 10, 2013 at 8:35 pm

        Yes this is awful, but I think America has been here before. Remember the Rodney King trial? Unfortunately, i have no doubt that Zimmerman will walk. Hope that people don’t riot in response to the verdict. Just stay cool and pray for his parents, who must be hurting so badly at how their son has been demonized.

        • 36 0388jojothecat
          July 10, 2013 at 9:13 pm

          Yep….I was in Los Angeles, CA and I remember how it was another all white jury that believed the cops over the video. Rodney King threw himself at those battons and kept falling down…..that’s how he got those bruises. If he just stopped instead of making the police chase him he caused his own beating like Trayvon caused his own death by not submitting to some creepy guy wannabe cop following him.

  11. 37 yardarm756
    July 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    In honor of Herb Alpert. Ah, memories.

  12. July 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    One of my fav’rite Herb Alpert albums is a rare gem in which he teamed up with African trumpeter Hugh Masekela. :) :)

    • 44 0388jojothecat
      July 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      This is my favorite but the song was written by Stevie Wonder…..can you tell…..?

    • 45 nathkatun7
      July 11, 2013 at 2:16 am

      That’s a real fun and vibrant Album, hopefruit! Now I know why I love you so much: First your incredible writing and fearlessness in standing up for what you believe in, and now you exquisite taste in music.

  13. 46 amk for obama
    July 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm
  14. 47 dotster3
    July 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Noticed a lot of Obama/Bush coziness lately…..

    • July 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Bush 41 has always been on friendly terms with PBO. This is not new. He has visited the WH several times since PBO took office. There have even been pics of him and PBO chatting during one or more of his visits.

      • 49 dotster3
        July 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        And W and PBO seem to be on good terms, and I heard Michelle say she just loved Laura Bush. (at their joint appearance in Africa)

        • 50 lisalovesobama
          July 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm

          Heard that too. Well, it’s a small club they’re in. they learn to get along and find genuine enjoyment in each other’s company. Not many people have lived through the trials they have had to live through. Good for them I say.

          • 51 anniebella
            July 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm

            FLOTUS was being nice, respectful., that’s it.

            • 52 lisalovesobama
              July 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm

              Either way, it’s a small club. It would be nice to think that the presidency has allowed these few men and women to transcend politics and just appreciate each other as the last of the few who have survived trial by fire.

            • 53 anniebella
              July 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm

              Oh course I’m just giving my opinion. They (POTUS and FLOTUS tries to be respectful of everyone).

            • 54 0388jojothecat
              July 10, 2013 at 8:55 pm

              Plus Laura and the Bush girls were very nice to them during the transition. The kind words of advice the Bush girls gave the Obama girls was very touching about not getting upset about the mean things they’ll hear about their dad because he is the dad they know.

  15. July 10, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Ok, I’m doing a night owl chat, and you can all guess what it will be about.

  16. 71 dotster3
    July 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    This is horrific, once again—-9 yr. old shot in head as he sat in an SUV at 3:30 a.m.——–but what is a 9 yr. old doing in a SUV at 3:30a.m.???

    http://www.abc17news.com/missouri-news/9-year-old-critically-hurt-in-St-Louis-shooting/-/18421156/20915472/-/3qkhfv/-/index.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  17. 72 lisalovesobama
    July 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Favorite picture is with PBO and Tony Kushner. Best thing I’ve seen all day. It’s exactly what I would do if I were to ever meet him. Hold on to him like I’d never let go.

  18. 73 Jovie
    July 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I’ll believe it when I see it!

    • 74 amk for obama
      July 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      Nope. I’ll believe it when the boneless dems actually do something with it.

      • July 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

        No shit. Not believing it until I see it and also not expecting it.

      • July 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm

        I delete email messages from Harry Reid because he is really “F” ing up this President’s agenda playing footsie with McConnell who’s a liar and can’t be trusted. Turtle lips has been blocking everything this president wants since day one and Harry is too afraid to stand up to him.

    • 80 nathkatun7
      July 11, 2013 at 3:23 am

      Why do you hate Sen. Reid so much? Isn’t he your fellow Democrat who helped President Obama win those incredible legislative successes in his first two years? I am sorry, but I really get tired of the way Sen. Reid is treated here. I bet you, if Republicans take over the Senate you will be glad that Democrats can still filibuster to stop obnoxious legislations. Now, I know there are people here who are absolutely certain that as soon as Republicans take over the Senate they will get rid of the filibuster. You all may be right, but I am not persuaded. Even if Republicans gain the majority in the Senate, there is no guarantee that they will always be a majority. They too will know that once the filibuster is gone, the minority party in the Senate will be forever marginalized. I share the frustration about how the GOP has abused the filibuster. But I hope we all realize that (following the metaphor of the nuclear option) once you drop a nuclear bomb on your enemies chances are the contamination, from radiation, would probably end up severely affecting you people.

      I am probably a lone voice here who is still very uncomfortable about doing away with the filibuster. I of course understand how beneficial it would be for my beloved President’s remaining 31/2 years in office. But I am uncomfortable because I am absolutely certain that the Democrats will not always be in a majority in the Senate. Instead of fixating on ending the filibuster, I would rather focus on doing everything possible so that Democrats can win 60+ senate seats and totally marginalize the GOP.

      Finally, I think Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid, is a man of integrity. He is also a good Democrat who has consistently backed President Obama. It’s very easy for many of us, sitting behind our computers or whatever other devices we use, to derisively question his integrity, his courage and his leadership skills; sometimes using terms Republicans use against him. But when all is said and done, the fact is his colleagues in the Senate chose him as their leader. At the same time, many of his colleagues are quite full of themselves, and come from different regions of the country, that they are not that easy to mold into one team to work in total uniformity. Until you are able to walk in Majority leader’s shoes, (i.e.you are the majority leader and you can show me how you can do his job better than he can), I just won’t take your bashing of Leader seriously. My plea is that people here at TOD would stop ridiculing and denigrating the Senate Majority Leader.

      If you think long-term, as Sen Reid must as Majority leader, as well as some of his colleagues who knew exactly how it felt when they were in a minority, then being very reluctant and careful about doing away with the filibuster entirely is not totally without merit.

  19. 81 amk for obama
    July 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm
  20. July 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2013/07/a-coordinated-democratic-strategy-to.html#more

    “So what is going to happen in 2014? Will the angry white southern vote be mobilized to vote for the Republicans? Of course they will. But will the broad demographic coalition that put the country’s first black president into office twice also be mobilized? Democrats sure are trying to make sure that they are. They are trying to systematically, on one issue after another, showing us who’s trying to make progress (Democrats), who’s standing in the way of progress (Republicans), who’s trying to expand rights (Democrats) and who’s trying to take your rights away (Republicans).”

  21. 84 CindyH
    July 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    anyone else trying to get on the policy briefing call? I keep getting buffering – music cuts in then dies

  22. 85 lisalovesobama
    July 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    POTUS looking real good for a man of 35! :mrgreen:

    Ps- no autocorrect. PBO looks young and yummie! :lol: gray hair only makes him sexier. Post -presidency? Model for Men’s Vogue and GQ Magazine! ;)

    • 86 itgurl_29
      July 10, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      He does look really good. If I saw him on the street, I wouldn’t guess he was 51 at all. Not that 51 is old, it’s not. It’s just that he looks more like someone in his early 40s.

      • 87 lisalovesobama
        July 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm

        Okay?! Plus, I think he’s like Sean Connery: he gets sexier and better looking with age. :oops:

    • 88 anniebella
      July 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      POTUS is 35, :) turn that 35 around to 53 and subtract 1. POTUS will be 52 in August, but I am sorry to say I don’t remember the date.

      • 89 anniebella
        July 10, 2013 at 8:56 pm

        But hell no 50 isn’t old, neither is 51, 52, 53, 54, 55. Specially if you’ve taken care of yourself.

  23. 90 lisalovesobama
    July 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    This is about arts and humanities?! You mean them intellectual types?! Shouldn’t they be hissing and booing at that ‘Dicta-ter Obama because “civil liberties and such?!”

  24. July 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Ok blog tyrants, my night owl post is ready to go. I’ll wait until this one gets a little busier.

  25. 92 amk for obama
    July 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm
  26. July 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Finally catching up with So You Think You Can Dance! I already have a favorite couple. I wonder if they made it to week 3 (I’m on week 1) Anyone else watching the new season?

  27. 104 amk for obama
    July 10, 2013 at 8:35 pm
  28. 110 amk for obama
    July 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm
  29. 111 amk for obama
    July 10, 2013 at 8:41 pm
  30. 112 Dudette
    July 10, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Good evening Friends. I always get excited when the the President and First Lady pays tribute to the Arts & Humanities. I’m familiar with most of the honorees, but there’s this one guy “George Lucas” who’s got me stumped. What’s his deal? Anybody know who he is? ;-D

    • July 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      I was kind of surprised to see that Ellsworth Kelly is still alive!

    • 114 anniebella
      July 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Star Trek, I believe. :)

      • 115 Dudette
        July 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        Ha ha!

        Girl, you gotta watch that mixing of your Star Trek & Star Wars references.
        I will forgive that type of fauxpas — other more “militant” ones out there would have a fit! :-D :-D :-D

    • July 10, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      Dudette, I have a close friend who is a sound mixer on major films and he sometimes works at Skywalker Ranch. He gave me a pass to go up there once to have lunch with him and it’s crazy AWESOME. But you would not believe the security involved. Cameras on you at all times and staff have to meet you at every juncture to give you clearance. TOP SECRET, LOLz!!

      • 117 Dudette
        July 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        I can’t blame ‘em though. Aside from the overzealous fans, they probably have to deal with so people trying to steal their stuff figuratively & literally.

        • July 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm

          No cameras allowed!!

          Yeah, I had the distinct feeling it was all about intellectual property. But still, it was really something!!

      • 119 Dudette
        July 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm

        That being said… did you get any pictures? ;-)

  31. 120 amk for obama
    July 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm
  32. 121 anniebella
    July 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Did Edward Snowden decide where his new home will be?

    • July 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      No, he has his pals at MSNBC working feverishly on his behalf, trying to rehabilitate his image to pressure PBO or the DOJ into accepting him back in the US with dropped charges….

  33. 124 MightyPamela
    July 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Oh dear, (as in damn it) – had a snail mail letter in my mailbox today from none other than friggin’ Boner.. Asking me to fill out his “State of the Nation” survey. As much as I would like to fill it in with all the GOP FAIL, I will return it to sender as Unsolicited Junk Mail. I guess they have my mailing address, which is not a good thing. Please surround me with Light ~ for a number of reasons!
    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

    • 125 Judith Fardig
      July 10, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Mighty Pamela – this is how bad the Repubs are at microtargeting. When I get one of those, I always take my name off but fill out their despicable surveys and mail it back if it’s postage paid. Anything to cost them $ and waste their time!

  34. 126 arapaho415
    July 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Did the west coasters (especially the Bay area) see this from yesterday)?

    California, the most populous state with the most thriving tech industry on the planet cannot afford a reporter at the state capital.

    We need ideas for the right way to fund the daily-grind type of reporting that is so important to democracy (corporate dollars get spent on the horserace speculation that is now considered “news.”)


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