Excuse me reblogging Twin, I know you hate us rebloggers, but this is too good not to reblog.

The Kennedy Center Honors At The White House

By Jueseppi B.



Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Paul Johns, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Page, Natalia Makarova, Robert Plant, Dustin Hoffman David Letterman.


2012 Kennedy Center Honoree Natalia Makarova, front row, second right, reacts to all the photos being taken during a group photo after the State Department Dinner for the Kennedy Center Honors gala Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 at the State Department in Washington. From left are former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Paul Johns, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Page, Makarova, Robert Plant, Dustin Hoffman and David Letterman. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf) (AP2012)








The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual honor given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture. The Honors have been presented annually since 1978 in Washington, D.C., during gala weekend-long events which culminate in a performance honoring the Honorees at the Kennedy Center Opera House.


The Honors were created by George Stevens, Jr. and the late Nick Vanoff. As of 2010, Stevens remains involved as producer and co-writer for the Honors Gala. From 1978 until 2002, the ceremony was hosted by Walter Cronkite; since 2003, it has been hosted by Caroline Kennedy. It is also one of two holiday specials from Stevens’ production company (the other being Christmas in Washington).



Letterman, Led Zeppelin Hoffman, Guy & Makarove receive Kennedy Center Honors


David Letterman’s “stupid human tricks” and Top 10 lists are being vaulted into the ranks of cultural acclaim as the late-night comedian receives this year’s Kennedy Center Honors with rock band Led Zeppelin and three other artists.


Stars from New York, Hollywood and the music world gathered Sunday in Washington to salute the comedian and the band, along with Dustin Hoffman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova.


The honors are the nation’s highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts. President Barack Obama will host the honorees at the White House before they are saluted by fellow performers in a show to be broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS.


Meryl Streep introduced the honorees Saturday during a dinner at the U.S. State Department and noted Letterman had surpassed his mentor, Johnny Carson, in sustaining the longest late-night television career for more than 30 years.


Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel joined in celebrating his influence on many other comedians.


“I knew Johnny, and I loved Johnny. Johnny was beyond reproach,” Colbert said in a toast to Letterman. “Dave was stupid. Dave was ours. Dave was like us.


“We wanted to throw things off of buildings. … We would love to stick our heads out the window of 30 Rock and yell at passers-by, `I’m not wearing any pants!”‘


Colbert marveled at Letterman receiving such an award after he “corrupted the minds of a generation.”


Paul Shaffer, Letterman’s longtime band leader, said he knew his boss was uncomfortable hearing such accolades, but that he was also enjoying every second of it.


Big names from the rock world dressed in black tie for the occasion to honor their heroes in Led Zeppelin as a string ensemble played “Kashmir” and other tunes at the State Department.


Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl said he never took any music lessons when he was starting out because “my teachers were Led Zeppelin. … They were the most powerful thing in my life.”

Lenny Kravitz said their music was special and became a lasting part of the culture of rock and roll.


“It’s very difficult,” he said. “You get four guys that come together and make something so much more powerful than they all are.”


Zeppelin front man Robert Plant said he was flattered and overwhelmed in receiving the American culture prize. He said he was glad to see his former band mates, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, using good table manners.


The trio is scheduled to appear Monday on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.” They are often asked if they’ll reunite.


Plant told The Associated Press he plans to continue traveling the world and wants to make new music along the way.


“If anybody wants to write some new songs, I’m game to write songs,” he said.


Hoffman was honored for charting his own path after taking a junior college class in acting that “nobody ever flunks.” Streep said it became a pilgrimage with Hoffman waiting tables and typing for the yellow pages.


“He’d do anything if it meant at night he could find himself on the stage,” she said.


Glenn Close toasted him for defining the character actor as leading man and as an artist who insisted on setting the highest standards for himself


President Bill Clinton saluted Guy, the Chicago bluesman who was born into a family of sharecroppers with no electricity or running water in Louisiana. He went on to pioneer the use of distortion and feedback with his electric guitar.


“Buddy Guy’s life is a miracle,” Clinton said. “Just imagine you want to be a guitar player and you get your first strings by tearing off the screen door. … He came from that to this.”


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the ballerina Makarova “risked everything to have the freedom to dance the way she wanted to dance” when she defected from the Soviet Union in 1970.


Makarova quickly made her debut with the American Ballet Theatre and later was the first exiled artist to return to the Soviet Union before its fall to dance with the Kirov Ballet.


Clinton also took special note of Letterman, saying he must be wondering what he’s doing in a crowd of talented artists and musicians.


“Dave and I have a history,” she said. “I have been a guest on his show several times, and if you include references to my pant suits, I’m on at least once a week.”


The crowd of artists and entertainers gave Clinton a standing ovation as she hosted her final salute to the nation’s artists as secretary of State.


Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein gave her a subtle nudge to run for president in 2016, saying there’s another room at the State Department to name after a secretary who later becomes president.


Read more At Fox News:













The Late Show with Dav… : David Letterman – Steve Martin Reacts to Dave’s Honor


Published on Sep 25, 2012

Steve has video of his reaction to the news that Dave is receiving the Kennedy Center Honor.










































Ms. Stefanie Cutter & The Middle Class Tax Cuts: What’s $2000 Mean To You?

By Jueseppi B.  







I’m writing with a quick update on the “fiscal cliff” and how you can get involved.


Right now, President Obama is asking you to think about what $2,000 a year means to you and your family — because Congress needs to hear it.

The Senate has passed a bill that stops taxes from going up for 98 percent of American families, and asks those who can afford it to pay a little more. If the House follows suit, President Obama is ready to sign it as soon as it hits his desk.


If they fail to do so, a typical middle-class family of four will see their taxes go up by $2,000 in just a few short weeks.


President Obama is asking Congress to do the right thing and act before the New Year, but he needs our help. We’ve got a good track record here: When we make our voices heard and urge Congress to take action — whether it’s about health care, student loans, Wall Street reform, or “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — they listen.


Watch this new video about the President’s tax plan, and take a moment to share your story: What does $2,000 a year mean to you and your family?



Share Your 2k Story

For more than 19 months, President Obama campaigned on the idea that if we’re going to be successful, every American has to do their part and pay their fair share.


A centerpiece of his platform, and the campaign you built, was that income taxes should not go up on the middle class — that the responsible way to pay down the deficit, while investing in education, job training, research, and science, is to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more.


None of this is a surprise to anyone in Washington. They heard the same arguments we did — they paid attention to the campaign, and then they saw a clear majority of voters deliver a verdict on November 6th.


If and when the House passes this bill, 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small businesses will not see a tax increase.


Your story matters and Congress needs to hear it.


Think about what $2,000 a year can do for you, or your family, or someone you know, and submit it here:



Thanks for speaking out. More soon,


Stephanie Cutter
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America


P.S. — We’ve got to make our voices heard in this debate. Share what $2,000 means to you, and then ask your friends and family to do the same.



World Aids Day At The White House

By Jueseppi B.




A giant red AIDS ribbon is put on display in honor of World AIDS Day on the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)



World AIDS Day 2012


By   Valerie Jarrett  Valerie Jarrett  December 01, 2012 The White House Blog


This week, as we gathered in the White House with key scientists, policymakers, and community stakeholders to commemorate World AIDS Day, I was so proud to help highlight the progress we’ve made in the fight against HIV/AIDS.



Last year marked the anniversary of the third decade of the HIV epidemic, and new HIV infections are decreasing worldwide. People diagnosed with HIV can now expect to live a normal lifespan with the help of highly effective medications– a dramatic shift from the early days of the epidemic.



2012 has been another busy and inspirational year in our collective efforts to prevent and treat HIV. This was best exemplified by the International AIDS Conference, which was held in the United States in July for the first time in over 20 years, right here in Washington, DC, thanks to bipartisan action by Presidents Obama and George W. Bush and the Congress to lift the ban on people living with HIV entering the United States



During the conference, President Obama hosted a White Housereception for people living with HIV, scientists, policy makers and advocates.  In addition, many senior-level administration officials spoke at the conference, including Secretaries Clinton and Sebelius, Ambassador Eric Goosby, Dr. Grant Colfax  of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, and Dr. Tony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health.



We learned at the conference that the number of overall deaths and number of infants born with HIV in PEPFAR countries are rapidly decreasing.



PEPFAR, which enjoys bipartisan support and support from the previous and the current Administration, stands as an exemplar of what can be achieved by U.S leadership.



Today, in recognition of World AIDS Day, we have reached another milestone with the release of PEPFAR’s Blueprint:Creating an AIDS-Free Generation, which provides a roadmap for how the U.S. Government will work to help achieve a generation free of AIDS.



As part of ongoing implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, we have also witnessed several milestones in domestic HIV prevention and care in the past year. For the first time in the history of the epidemic, Americans are now able to test for HIV and receive their test results in the privacy of their own home.



This is particularly welcome news given data released by CDC this week showing that young Americans comprised an astonishing one quarter of new HIV infections in 2010.  Despite their risk for HIV infection, CDC also found that less than a third of young Americans had ever been tested for HIV.  Moreover, among those youth who tested HIV-positive, 60% did not know that they had HIV.



Beyond the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the Affordable Care Act will benefit Americans living with HIV.   Not only will the Affordable Care Act prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to people living with HIV, but it also will provide coverage for tens of thousands of Americans living with HIV.



In continuing this work, this week, Secretary Sebelius announced that HHS will be formally establishing HIV/AIDS as one of the chronic health conditions for which states can implement Medicaid Health Homes, or networks to care for patients, and receive extra federal funding to support high-quality comprehensive, coordinated care.



Clearly, there is much work to be done—and changing people’s lives for the better is often an incremental process.  But sometimes, meaningful change happens in a relatively short period of time. This past year has been marked by significant advances. Our collective narrative has changed from how to manage HIV to how to end the epidemic.



Today, as the red ribbon hangs from the White House in commemoration of World AIDS Day, we realize that we are even closer to the reality of an AIDS-free generation, and we will continue to work to achieve it.



To read yesterday’s World AIDS Day Twitter Q+A with myself and Gayle Smith, Senior Director for Development and Democracy, click here.



For more information on our AIDS efforts, please visit aids.gov.


Jueseppi B.:

This is vitally important. Suicide is a growing epidemic in America as well as across the globe. Thank you Sparks In Shadow for this post and for giving Ms. Ré the talent to write this.

Originally posted on Sparks In Shadow:

I wrote this story in 1979. Before this one, my stories were stuck in a genteel loop of trying to find my voice in the ‘longing for love’ and ‘love lost’ stories that rolled off my pen, stories that incorporated the tearjerker side of the underlying otherness and pain I felt every day into the kind of stories I’d been exposed to that I thought were special because they’d been published in popular magazines.

I was the oldest ‘kid’ in my household and I didn’t have friends — definitely none to help me expand my oeuvre. I had an acquaintance who I thought was a friend at the time, who didn’t really understand me, but she wasn’t drawn to art the way I was. We didn’t explore galleries or offbeat places together and I didn’t explore those places much on my own. But I listened to a lot of radio…

View original 2,294 more words


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