On Thursday, the White House announced the list of people who will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Media colossus Oprah Winfrey is among them. We’d like to imagine that she found this out by looking under her seat.
The White House credits Oprah as having “long been active in philanthropic causes and expanding opportunities for young women.” But she isn’t quite the most high-profile person to get the honor. Arguably, at least, that would be former President Clinton.
Joining that particularly famous duo will be former Chicago Cubs star Ernie Banks, former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee, former U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii (posthumously), pyschologist and author of Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman, musician Loretta Lynn, scientist Mario Molina, first female astronaut in space Sally Ride (posthumously), civil-rights activist Bayard Rustin (posthumously), musician Arturo Sandoval, former University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, women’s-rights activist Gloria Steinem, civil-rights organizer Cordy Tindell Vivian, and Judge Patricia Wald.
One other interesting name on the list from the political world: former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind. Lugar served in the Senate until the current Congress, losing in a 2012 Republican primary to tea-party favorite Richard Mourdock. Mourdock went on to lose the general election to Democrat Joe Donnelly.
Oprah has long been a big supporter of President Obama. That was true even before Obama was officially running for president, like in 2006 when an appearance on Oprah’s show helped rocket sales for Obama’s The Audacity of Hope on Amazon. More recently, Oprah donated thousands to the Obama Victory Fund 2012.
The White House will host an awards ceremony later this year for the 50th anniversary of the Presidential Medal of Freedom’s establishment by President Kennedy.
What We're Following See More »
"Jon Stewart could arrive on HBO in time for the November presidential election. In a Paley Media Council interview Thursday with CNN’s Brian Stelter, HBO CEO Richard Plepler was asked whether viewers could expect to see Stewart, former host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” on HBO before the general election. 'Yeah, I’m hopeful,' Plepler said."
Beginning next month, Metro will begin a series of "about 15 separate large-scale work projects," each of which will close down stations and/or sections of track for up to weeks at a time. The entire initiative is expected to take about a year. The Washington Post has a list of the schedule of closures, and which lines and stations they'll affect.
A day after saying he could not yet support Donald Trump's presidential bid, House Speaker Paul Ryan has invited the billionaire to a meeting in Washington next week with House leadership. Ryan and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will also meet separately with Trump.
"President Obama used the White House podium on Friday to dismiss Donald Trump as an unserious candidate to succeed him, and said leading the country isn't a job that's suited to reality show antics." At a briefing with reporters, the president said, "I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States. And what that means is that every candidate, every nominee needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny."
In the The White House on Thursday night unveiled a series of executive actions to combat money laundering—"among the most comprehensive response yet to the Panama Papers revelations." The president's orders will tighten transparency rules, close loopholes that allow "foreigners to hide financial activity behind anonymous entities in the U.S., and demand stricter “customer due diligence” rules for banks.