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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Unanswered questions from the NEA

The White House and NEA continue to stonewall about scandal

by the Editors

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman and the White House finally responded to a controversial effort by political appointees of both the White House and the NEA to "leverage" government funding of the arts into cultural support for the administration's legislative agenda.

This is the short version of the Obama administration's position: Nothing bad happened. The rogue employee who didn't do anything bad has been relieved of his duties (and has now resigned). In an effort to make sure that the same "nothing bad" never happens again, the administration has distributed a memo and provided some new training on how not to do "nothing bad."

The facts are simple and public. During the transition, President Obama's top arts adviser made it clear that his ambition was for the arts to become an integral part of the West Wing. After the inauguration, meetings of artists and political activists at the White House explicitly discussed how to keep the arts community in campaign mode to back Mr. Obama's legislative agenda. An NEA grants official, Mario Garcia Durham, was at one such meeting for which the attendee list is public...

Read the whole article.

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.