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News & Politics News & Politics

First Couple hosts celeb-filled concert amid sequestration cuts

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Patrick Howley

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will host a star-studded roster of music legends April 9 for another glitzy installment in the “In Performance at the White House” concert series, according to a White House press released issued Tuesday.

The concert comes as the White House is emphasizing cuts caused by sequestration and criticizing reporters for not paying enough attention to the hardship caused by the mandatory slowdown in the rate of spending increases. Though the White House notably canceled all visitor tours in March, ostensibly due to sequestration, the First Couple’s series of White House concerts — billed as “the nation’s highest honor for popular song” —  manages to survive.

Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Justin Timberlake and Booker T. Jones are among the performers confirmed for the event.

“‘In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul’ will be broadcast Tuesday, April 16 at 8 PM ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings),” according to the press release. Although the PBS website indicates past concerts have drawn corporate and philanthropic support, the event also receives major funding from PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which gets $445.2 million in public funding. It is not clear how much the White House will pay in security and other costs.

“In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul” will be the tenth “In Performance at the White House” program hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama.  Starting in February 2009, these events have honored the musical genius of Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David; celebrated Hispanic musical heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month; marked Black History Month with events featuring music from the Civil Rights Movement, Motown and the Blues; spotlighted Broadway and the unique spirit of the American musical; and explored the rich roots and resiliency of Country Music,” according to the White House press release.

by on Apr. 6, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Replies (11-11):
gludwig2000
by Gina on Apr. 6, 2013 at 6:58 PM
I've known for years that I am one of those Americans that the government is least concerned with, becaue I work so I'm not a statistic on welfare, but I don't make enough money to hire lobbyist, or to buy their $10,000.00 a plate dinners. But if they did actually listen to Americans, I'm sure that we could come up with lots of ideas on how to save some money and bring in some more income, but it won't happen. They don't believe in the common sense approach.
Quoting SallyMJ:

Those are great ideas. I think you should go there "as a volunteer" to help them put their thinking caps on and brainstorm. None of this is advanced physics. Maybe that's what it takes - American citizens coming up with the ideas. That's sad sine they know the budgets.


Quoting gludwig2000:

Oh, there is so much that they could do to end waste, fraud and bring in more revenue, but they don't want to do it, any of them. Mrs. Obama doesn't really need the 15 personal assistants. Mr. Obama can cut back on his vacations. Others in office can rent regular offices instead of spending $50,000.00 a month to rent the fancy ones. They can stop commissioning portraits for those who are working in the WH, they can legalize and tax marijuana and prostitution. They can reword their budgets so that a government agency who has/had $50,000.oo for new office equipment can divert that money towards something else, instead of having to replace new or almost new office equipment to prevent their losing next years budget money. Honestly, if all of them were to sit down, like a regular family does and look at their expenses, they could do so much. And like I said, it adds up, little by little, and we could fix so much without having to yank benefits and social security monies from those in our country who really need it. But common sense left Washington a long time ago, so what did we expect? Remember when Gore was talking about Washington spending $200 plus for a hammer?
Quoting SallyMJ:

I understand there are tens of programs doing the same thing that overlap each other. Why not one?? Novel concept.

And fraud and waste - don't even get me started. I truly believe it is not in anyone's interest but the researchers to spend taxpayer money on those crazy studies - Don't really care abut duck ...packages, and about criminals petting horses.

hat this means is that no one has any priorities, so we buy everything.

I would love for all our federal officials to voluntarily give up 20% of their pay - since WE are paying their salaries and work for us. Instead of Obama giving 5%, cut back on th tips and `vacations. That would make a much greater amount. Most people go on vacation between 0-2 times a year.


Quoting gludwig2000:

If he and the rest of Washington were truly interested in bringing down our debt, there are a lot of things that would be cut out, and yes, this is one of them. But it isn't just him and the Mrs., so what can you do? I know that this is standard for our Potus, and he is entitled to entertainment, but again, there is much that can be done and even those small amounts that are considered just a drop in the bucket, would add up and eventually fill the bucket. But ALL of them, Dem and Repub need to decide to give up a few luxuries.





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