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Passions in Poetry

While We Suffer

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Denise
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0 posted 06-07-2010 08:46 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
While much of the country is struggling to pay their bills, the President and First Lady are partying like rock royalty. The collection of talent that has made the pilgrimage to the White House to entertain Obama and friends is nothing less than amazing: Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennet, Paul Simon, Marc Anthony, Herbie Hancock, Martina McBride, Queen Latifah, The Foo Fighters, Faith Hill, and recently foot-in-mouth Paul McCartney to name a few.

This has the makings to be the greatest ongoing concert series ever to be seen on this Earth just to entertain one man … all paid for by the American taxpayer.

Let Them Eat Cake

How much does this world-class entertainment cost? Assuming the artists themselves forgo appearance fees, I highly doubt Paul Simon would perform with just a karaoke machine as backup.
Professional equipment needs to be brought in - sound engineers, stages, lights, etc… Even small scale performances by these artists can be very expensive.

Add booze, food, security, invitations, social secretaries, wait staff, and hangers on to the tab and the price for one of these events could easily top $75K. With over 27 concerts hosted thus far, the total cost to taxpayers is in the millions of dollars.

The executive branch does not provide detailed information regarding entertainment expenses, however, it has been estimated the Obamas spent at least $10 million on “drunken White House parties” in 2009 alone.


http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/23988

Balladeer
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1 posted 06-07-2010 09:31 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

McCartney probably got paid extra for the Bush bash..
Mysteria
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2 posted 06-07-2010 09:51 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

My opinion as a Canadian is that I absolutely hate that paper, and I am sure I could find you lots more that would agree with me.

The Library of Congress has only made two other such awards, that being Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder in this category.  The entertainers are not paid, as this is considered a freebie, by A.C.T.R.A., and most of the cost of the venue is also covered by PBS, as they re-broadcast these as fund-raisers, usually the last week of July, at least up here.

I would think it cheaper to bring them all to the White House where they already have the venue space, most of the equipment needed, and a lot of other things needed to pull off such a ceremony, instead of paying for it all to take place somewhere else, as in Graceland as was with Paul Simon.  I think this is saving money for an annual event instead of over spending.  Perhaps eliminate the award?  Surly there is a form for that too?

I just wish I had been invited.

I think there will always be those who have less than others in America.  This is the land of free enterprise.

I found a link - you can watch it on PBS - July 28th, seeing we can't afford a ticket.   FOX NEWS

I will just disagree and run out of here.   Just my opinion.
Balladeer
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3 posted 06-07-2010 10:01 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

"I think there will always be those who have less than others in America.  This is the land of free enterprise."

True enough....for now.
N|D|N|C|Lost-Poet
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4 posted 06-08-2010 12:05 AM       View Profile for N|D|N|C|Lost-Poet   Email N|D|N|C|Lost-Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for N|D|N|C|Lost-Poet

Doesn't matter where you live, someone will always have more then you.


Its only up to you whether you decide that's better or worse.
Denise
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5 posted 06-08-2010 05:41 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

They can party like rock stars all they want, just don't do it on the taxpayer's dime. In financial times like this they should use the funds from their private stash of cash to party hardy. 27 concerrts in 17 months? That's a bit much by anyone's standards I would think.
Bob K
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6 posted 06-08-2010 08:04 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     You make the assumption "that it's all on the taxpayer's dime."  You may even be right about the assumption.  But it is an assumption based on an assumption voiced in the paper you quoted.  I don't see any research to back this assumption up, merely a naked accusation and a smear without supporting facts.

     What information do you have that substantiates that taxpayers at large pay for these concerts?  What is the source of the facts you have to offer?  Some GAO audit?  A budget item that says that this is the case?  There is a yearly Prayer Breakfast to which the President is invited and for which the taxpayers do not pay — not all activities the President attends are funded by the President, you know, yet in this case, as in many other cases you assumption is that he has not only funded the event, but that he has managed to do so at public expense.

     Possibly true, possibly not, but it seems to me to assert that it is true without proof from a reliable source that it is true leaves a great deal to be desired by way of filling the burden of proof.  Should you feel that you have any burden of proof to meet at all.

     In terms of "While we Suffer," by the way, do you think that BP stockholders should be paid any dividends at all until the losses to the folks in the Gulf states are made whole by  BP?  It seems the suffering there is much less hypothetical and much more directly connected than the link that you are trying to establish in this case.  
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7 posted 06-08-2010 08:16 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The part that really bothered me was still the McCartney comment. Yes, I'm sure some of you will claim simply that it's because it was against Bush but I view it as deeper than that. You would have to look very hard to find a more ardent admirer than I of the Beatles and even Wings. His comments, though, leave me with no feeling for him whatsoever. To come to the US as an invited guest, stand on an American stage, speak to an American audience and use that to belittle a past American president, in front of another American president, is in poor taste, in my opinion. One might even hope that Obama would take the knight of the British Empire aside and softly tell him that his insulting an American president on a public stage was out of line. Instead, Obama laughed along with him, which shows the lack of class in both of them.

There are those who say (especially in Obama's case) that, if you can't respect the man, respect the office. McCartney did neither. Being Americans, we have more leeway just as McCartney would if he were bashing the Queen or Prime Minister of England while there. It would not be appropriate for us to be invited to a televised event in England and use it to berate any past or present leader of the country in a derrogatory manner.

Brits have always been know for their civility and manners. McCartney has damaged that, in my eyes. As far as Obama is concerned, he degraded both himself and the office by condoning it.

Ron
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8 posted 06-08-2010 11:14 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

You're still trying to find reasons to silence people, Mike?
Balladeer
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9 posted 06-08-2010 11:34 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, Ron, it's a matter of taste, respect and common decency.

For McCartney to do it showed bad taste. To have the Democrats applaud it shows the same lack of class they displayed while giving the president of Mexico a standing ovation for bad-mouthing Arizona.

Apparently, national pride is becoming an endangered species under this administration. It's obviously easier to simply keep apologizing to the world for what we are.
Denise
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10 posted 06-08-2010 12:57 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Well, Bob, the article states that the White House won't even release the exact costs of the functions, let alone if any of the costs are paid for by the Obamas' personally out of their own pockets. For us to be able to know definitively, that most transparent administration since the beginning of time will have to cooperate and release the information. If I were a betting person I'd bet that won't happen and also that the taxpayers are footing the entire bill.
Denise
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11 posted 06-08-2010 01:05 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I agree, Michael, that McCartney disgraced himself by his comments considering the setting he was in when he made them.

I was glad that Seinfeld showed some class and didn't laugh when McCartney made them because then I'd have to boycott both of them!
JenniferMaxwell
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12 posted 06-08-2010 02:01 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Geez, give Paul a break. He’s an entertainer not a career diplomat or head of state. The library thing was a joke, not a diplomatic faux pas like groping Chancellor Merkel or winking at the Queen.

Essorant
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13 posted 06-08-2010 05:44 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I agree as well that it was unbecoming and rude.  If he had made such a joke at an event that he were holding or in some book he wrote, or at some interview, etc, it wouldn't be as difficult to overlook.  But at a special event right at the White House and in front of the president himself?   I don't see how anyone may think that was appropriate.
 
Balladeer
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14 posted 06-08-2010 07:46 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, Ess. I agree.
JenniferMaxwell
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15 posted 06-08-2010 09:14 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

United fans, right?

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16 posted 06-08-2010 10:30 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Three Americans and three scousers are traveling by train. At the station, the three Americans each buy tickets and watch as the three scousers buy only a single ticket. "How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asked an American. "Watch" answers a scouser.

They all board the train. The Americans take their respective seats but all three scousers cram into the toilet and close the door behind them.

Shortly after the train departs, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the toilet door and says, "Ticket, please." The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The Americans saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So, on the return trip, the Americans decide to copy the scousers on the return trip and save some money. When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the scousers don't buy a ticket at all. "How are you going to travel without a ticket," asks one perplexed American. "Watch" says a scouser.

When they board the train the three Americans cram into a toilet and the three scousers cram into another one nearby. The train departs. Shortly afterward, one of the scousers leaves his toilet and walks over to the toilet where the Americans are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please".

serenity blaze
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17 posted 06-08-2010 11:35 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Denise, I am so sorry. I had no clue that things were so bad. Please trust I don't mean that facetiously, either.

Your post happened to touch on something I have been wondering about for a long time, though. I've wondered long before an oil spill, long before Katrina, long before the word "bling" was introduced to our updated Merriam-Webster dictionary, what exactly is the role of "potlatch" ostentation in politics, in religion, in just "keeping up with the Joneses"...

It's just a thought, just a query into philosophy, but I have to ask, where is the middle line drawn for political correctness? Do we really want the President to serve chex mix and beanie weenies to our guests? Should we impose a fiscal budget on state dinners and such, or would that be an admission that we are failing economically as a nation if we served up chickes (<--chicken wings--edited for clarity) and hot sauce?

I'm a very sad Karen these days, and I promise you I don't ask the question as a political dig--just looking for honest answers on how much we should gild our lilies for the sake of propriety.

Like you, I wonder how much is too much--do we still have a reputation to preserve as one of the richest, if not THE richest (and most powerful nation) on the planet?

I ask in all sincerity, what is the political etiquette?
serenity blaze
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18 posted 06-08-2010 11:36 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I apologize for the typos. I'm still waiting for my pc ship to come in...sigh.
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19 posted 06-08-2010 11:59 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

In Performance at the White House

"In Performance at the White House" has been produced by WETA since 1978 and spans every administration since President Carter's. The series began with an East Room recital by the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz. Since then, "In Performance at the White House" has embraced virtually every genre of American performance: pop, country, gospel, jazz, blues, theatre and dance among them. The series was created to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation's most famous home. Past programs have showcased such talent as cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, dancer/choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov, country music singer Merle Haggard, the United States Marine Band, soul singer Aretha Franklin, leading Broadway performers, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.”

“Corporate funding for the program is provided by U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; Pepsi-Cola; and EastOne Group. Foundation support is provided by The Annenberg Foundation and Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation. Individual support is from Cari and Michael J. Sacks. Major funding is also provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Air travel is generously provided by American Airlines.”
Bob K
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20 posted 06-09-2010 01:45 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



      There you go, Denise, and you so tireless in pursuit of research on other topics; why would you let a little dead end bother you on something like this?  And of course your inability to discover facts in support of your position is the President's fault.  Getting your facts from well respected sources the way you have here there must be confirmations lying strewn about the landscape that you have simply forgone despite the fact that your position has been that the accusor must supply the facts.

     Why not simply supply the facts from a decent source or say that you haven't been able to do so without trying to suggest that you haven't  been able to come up with a real confirmation and without trying to blame that on uing a source that didn't offer enough data for you to confim in the first place.  The data they offer is suspect.  Many people consider it an honor to play at the White House.  Depending on the President, you might, too.  The President is voted a yearly budget for entertainment and various other necessities by Congress.  White House entertaining is part of the business of the country in the same way that it's part of the business of business.

     During your Administration, we may do things differently.  Maybe the opposition in the Senate and Copngress will come to your pot luck dinners and do it yourself talent shows in droves, happy to listen to each other sing or stop singing.  

     You might consider the cost of the President having the NRA over for dinner at the White House to discuss a little of this and that, or of having the Russians and the Chinese over for lunch and dinner for a week to talk about arms deals.

     We're actually talking about running a country here.

     If you want to save money, why not stop giving it away to billionaires?
serenity blaze
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21 posted 06-09-2010 02:05 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thank you both for the info.

I am still comp-limited (and still intellectually lazy) but I did find this post confusng, as I'd recently watched Former First Lady Bush proclaim with some pride on Oprah that--gasp--the 'fact' that the first Family pays for their own foods.

(seriously)

I wondered at the time if that included State Dinners and such (call me Karenoid, but I was suspicious)

I dunno. I'm weary. I'm stressed.

And I'm sicker of me than ya'll are...but thanks.
Denise
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22 posted 06-09-2010 05:51 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I really don't know where the line would be drawn Karen. But I've never been one to 'keep up with the Joneses'. And I realize that some functions are necessary for the hosing of dignitaries. I just think some restraint should be shown out of respect for all the suffering people during these hard economic times.

I'm almost positive that Laura Bush meant they paid for the food for their own private meals and not State Dinners.
serenity blaze
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23 posted 06-09-2010 06:08 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thank you Denise...

You are genuinely helpful. I'm wondering though. Is there a public record of such things? I'm blatantly ignorant of our elected officials salaries, expenses, etc. and I would really like to keep a better eye on Louisiana's own, so if you, or someone else knows of an online record of such stuff, I'd certainly appreciate a helpful directive.

Don't you think that would help to keep everybody on their toes? I mean, I KNOW if everybody knew how much I spent at the corner store, I'd probably spend a lot less.

JenniferMaxwell
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24 posted 06-09-2010 06:15 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I’m poorer than a church mouse, dealing with medical problems, battling depression, etc., etc, as many others are, so if Pepsi and the other sponsors are willing to foot the bill for a gala (as they did and will) featuring world class entertainers that lifts my spirits, cheers up the suffering folk when viewing it (for free!), then why not let it be?

 
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