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tv   Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony  CSPAN  December 25, 2014 6:04pm-6:52pm EST

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teens. thei was involved in political left in california. for about four, five years, i jane fonda, tom hayden. oh, you don't like that? well, maybe you coloradoans will like that i gave jane fonda a in the back of the gay community center. [laughter] in hollywood, because she said keep it int let her the house during the campaign, feministi said, fine you are. so maybe that's what makes me a little more -- i know these used to, people or i you know. i don't hang around with jane fonda anymore, giving out joints joints. know that there are many good people, and they may not the point on why obamacare is -- not only isn't
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functioning yet, it's probably as well as it's going to function right now, because it hasn't really completely been unrolled. but to help them understand a just basicabout economics and why, if you just a grocery store without any prices on anything, all the first,at would be taken and there would be nothing left. in other words, there would be no way to coordinate the thing. problem with not only obamacare but with the health care system in this country as a whole. are other people who are present here, who know much more about that. question of a differentis question than the question of argumentation. the facts are, the facts and we need to present those reasonably. winsomeness is saying it in a gentle way that bespeaks respect for the other person. and that can be very disarming.
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then it really gets to kind of core values where you can have, i think, a more fruitful conversation and maybe even a more profound disagreement that need not be disagreeable, but sometimes they become disagreeable. i mean, i've gotten an edge to me, right? edge.yn is that so, you know, but i think we least try and do that. >> okay. the question -- >> one question. >> oh. >> we'll go to this side, and then we'll come to you. >> okay. thank you. there are many in the conservative movement, perhaps many in this room, who believe that conservatives need to call a truce on the social issues, that the conservative, you know, conservative religious right, i should say, have hampered our ability to win elections. knowingnterested in why, i imagine, you disagree with that, and i'd like to know why you think it's important to talk about the social issues and
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youalking about them, can role model how we should do it, andng perhaps abortion traditional marriage as examples? >> well, first of all, the acta respects the division of labor. don't dealtute, we with a lot of those questions. i mean, on occasion i will sign something or i will speak to something in my capacity as a soest, but i feel there are suchgroups that are doing good work. it should come as no surprise to you where i stand on same-sex abortion.r deal withwork, we this thing we see, an economic among religious leadership, broadly understood.
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i am not convinced -- i think thesame thing applies to social conservative groups as it does to the economic conservative movement, in terms of the need for winsomeness and other people. so that we need to speak with onat love, especially questions like abortion, because arduousnd themselves in situations very often. not the majority of women are lotng abortions, because a of those women are having abortions, their third and werth abortion, but i think need to speak with -- you know, it's really different as a get up and preach on abortion in my parish, which contraception, which i confessions heard or on homosexual, which i do, and i've heard confessions, and people who are struggling with these issues. and i always have that in front
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of my mind when i'm speaking about it. i think what with eneed to do is what we need to do is exactly what jesus did. and now i'm speaking with a theological view, and i'm going owneceipt yo let you put it inr bailiwick. but jesus, when he engages the woman who objectively has committed adultery, and under the mosaic law, the penalty was stoning, he doesn't say, don't stone her. engages the woman. not directly at first. sense that hee loves her and he deals with her accusers. establishes himself on finally, and then he says to her in the end, go and sin no more, which makes the whole story. that's the hard thing. up justice and still permeate it with love, because justice without love
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cruelty. and i think that's what we need to do. how would you translate that into political wongery? job to do that. think, as a point of fact, that abortion is a losing proposition, because all the polls indicate that more and and more people are becoming at least to some extent werepro-life than they before. i think we're on a different to homosexualard quote, unquote, marriage. a differente on curb there. but i would apply the same thing that. to engage people and to love people, first and foremost, and then try and lower the passions discuss these things reasonably. so that's how i -- time.are out of >> but i just promised this one. >> you did promise. okay. answer too long, no matter what he says. >> okay. don't provoke me!
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[laughter] >> very quickly. let's see if we can be a good team. going to deal today with the progressives who are teaching in our universities? >> we are going to uncover what they're doing, because a lot of people don't know what that means. who he you just need to uncover it. and i think we need to respond politely, because that's of that entirentithesis tactic. it's vulgar, impolite, destructive. it's why you have all of these incidents around the country more people are more and vulgar with one another. respond with real civility. >> thank you very much. the hall, signing books. thank you, father! [applause] >> our q&a program is ten years
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old now. and to mark a decade of compelling conversations, we're one interview from each year over this holiday season. today, the president of the houston, renu khator, on u.s. competitiveness economy and the role of colleges in preparing youth for the work place. that today starting at 7:30 p.m. on c-span. bush ander that, jeb supreme court justice alito as they discuss the bill of rights founding fathers. you can see those comments tonight, starting at 8:00 eastern, also on c-span. on the next "washington journal," terry jeffrey like to seeat he'd accomplished from the incoming 114th congress. then clarence paige talks about his book, the 30th anniversary
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collection of his columns on race, politics and social change. "washington journal" is live 7:00 and you can join the conversation when we take your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. coming up next, president obama awards the presidential medal of to 18 individuals, including tom brokaw, dingell, ethaln kennedy, stevie wonder and meryl streep. this award is the u.s.'s highest civilian honor. it's 45 minutes. >> thank you, everybody. thank you. nice to see you, everybody. so much. everybody have a seat. welcome to the white house. this is one of my favorite events. year, we set aside this event to celebrate people who have made america stronger and
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wiser and more humane and more beautiful, with our highest civilian honor, the presidential freedom. this year, we honor 18. unfortunately, stephen sondheim could not be with us today. i'm going to be presenting him with this award at our 2015 ceremony. we give thanks to public servants who have devoted their fellow citizens. when edward roybal told speaker he was starting a congressional hispanic caucus, there were so few hispanics in that tip joked they could fit the whole caucus in a phone book. saw beyond the times. as a congressman, he fought for education and bilingual proceedings in our judicial system. and to make sure the hispanic counted. literally. thanks to him, the census was
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more accurately count latinos. although his roots in america years, hehundreds of championed the cause of immigrants and spoke up for communities. and he was one of the few in the early 1980's calling for more research. he left us nearly a decade ago, andedward roybal was remains a hero to so many, not americans.s, but all every girl in little league, every woman playing college sports and every parent, including michelle and myself, daughter on aeir field or in the classroom is the laterateful to patsy takemoto mink. particularly grateful, because she was my congresswoman for a long time. denied admission to medical school because she was a woman, on to law school and title ix, banning
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gender discrimination in our schools. was the first woman of color in congress. to those of us in hawaii, she the very best of public service and the aloha spirit. she dedicated hadder life to making sure that she would not be the first. from championing civil rights to gender -- fighting against gender discrimination, passionate advocate for opportunity and equality and realizing the full promise of dream.rican when john dingell's father, a new deal democrat, passed away in 1955, john stepped up. of six decades, a congressional career longer history, john built a peerless record of his own. in the vote for medicare. helped lead the fight for the civil rights act. for more than half a century, in
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congress, john introduced a bill for comprehensive health care. is, until he didn't have to do it anymore. [applause] i could not have been prouder to by my side when i signed the affordable care act into law. john will retire at the end of but at 88, he's still going strong. and his life reminds us that change takes time. it takes courage and persistence. hard enough and long enough, change is possible. as a university of chicago student, abner mikva stopped by the local democrat headquarters and asked to volunteer. i love this story. he asked, who sent you? and ab said, nobody. the committee man said, we don't want nobody that nobody
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sent. [laughter] that's chicago for you. despite that abrupt dismissal, ab went on to devote his life to service, reformed the illinois criminal code, defended and consumer rights. in 1993, struck down the pentagon's ban on gays in the military. he was overturned on that one, but history proved him right. inspired the next generation, including me. graduated from law school. he offered me the chance to be his law clerk. but wased extraordinarily grateful and he forgave me, for which i was also grateful. ab had a hand in shaping some of history.of we have some extraordinary
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public servants on this stage. also give thanks for innovators who changed our world. mildred dresselhaus's high containedrbook commentary from her classmates. mathematicala tribute. mildred equals brains plus fun. science, she's second to none. growing up in new york during depression, this daughter of polish immigrants had three clear paths open to her. teaching, nursing and secretarial school. somehow she had something else mind. and she became an electrical engineer and a physicist and m.i.t.'s ranks, performed groundbreaking experiments on carbon, became one of the world's most celebrated scientists. and her influence is all around cars we drive, the energy we generate, the
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electronic devices that power our lives. when she arrived at m.i.t. in 4% of students were women. today, almost half are. a new generation walking the path that millie blazed. robert solow's father was a businessman. when robert became an economist, joked, we do the same thing. deliver papers. bob's influence extends far beyond the page. livingan just about any economist, he has shaped economic policy and with it, the lives of people everywhere. his insights in the technological progress drives growth, transformed our thinking build prosperity, leading to more investments in research and education. more investments in people. when he won the nobel prize, a economistsrote, faces all over the world. and this isn't an exuberant
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group. usually get real fired up. but bob isn't just admired by his peers. is adored. he continues to be a leading voice on the economic challenges when itimes, especially comes to reversing income inequality and growing the economy for everybody. pushing our nation to do better for everybody. for all. so we give thanks to public servants. we give thanks to innovators. we give thanks to performers who have captivated our hearts and our minds. ha. ththere was once this headline, court rules meryl streep unable to be tried by jury as she has peers. [laughter] [applause] the think this is like third or fourth award meryl has gotten since i've been in office. and i've said it publicly. i love meryl streep. i love her.
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her husband knows i love her. michelle knows i love her. either of them can do about it. [laughter] but she's done it all for her craft. she sung abba, which, you know, that's something. [laughter] she learned violin. habit.none's faced down a charging lion. theered every accent under sun. she inhabits her characters so fully and compassionately, saying it's the greatest gift of human beings that we have this power of empathy. an off the screen, as advocate for women and girls, she uses that gift to help write the life stories of their choosing and to encourage greater empathy in the rest of us. truly one of america's leading ladies. stevie. there's don't get michelle talking about
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stevie wonder now. [laughter] early copies of stevie wonder's book," album, "talking had a simple message written in braille. music. my it is all i have to tell you how i feel. myw that your love keeps love strong. way, the first album i ever bought with my own money. i was ten years old. 11.e with my own cash. i didn't have a lot of it. [laughter] to that thing. that thing got so worn out, had scratches. people, you don't remember this, but you'd have albums, and they'd get scratched. years, steviean 50 has channeled his "innervisions" into messages of hope and becoming one of the most influential musicians in history.
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a musical prodigy. and jazz andr&b funk and blues and soul and whatever else you've got. justicef love and loss, and equality, war and peace. but what really definds stevie's music is the warmth and humanity that resonates in every note. f to his songs -- of his songs helped us to fall in love. others mended our hearts. some motivated us on the campaign trail. thanks to stevie, all of us have moved to higher ground. alvin ailey was born during the texas.ion, in small town by the time he was 27, he had founded a dance company of his own in new york city. place where art itselfs of all races had a -- home.s of all races had a the dances he choreographed were a blend of ballet, modern and jazz, and they used the blues and spirituals as well. through him, african-american wasory was told as it never
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before, with passion, that transfixed audiences worldwide. alvin said that dance came from the people and that it should theys be delivered back to people. alvin ailey delivered both through his life and through the that will forever bear his name. when isabel allende learned that grandfather in chile was dying, she started writing him a letter. night after night she returned to it until she realized she was actually writing her first novel. she never really stopped. her novels and memoirs tell of families, magic, romance, violence,, redemption, all the big stuff. hands, the big became graspable and familiar and human. from chile by a military junta, she made the u.s. her home. createde foundation she to honor her late daughter helps families worldwide. she begins all her books on january 8, the day she began
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her grandfather ago. write to register history, she says. write what should not be forgotten. the night that the berlin wall fell, only one american network anchor was there reporting live. a reporter, ben ben, standing in the -- ben bradlee, watching tom brokaw at the brandenburg gate and wondering, how do we beat that? brokaw has got this. at pivotal moments, tom got it. on watergate. snuck a camera into tiananmen square. sat down for the first one-on-one with mikhail gorbachev by an american t.v. reporter. presidential election since 1968. into our home at dinnertime, sunday mornings. whatusted him to tell us we needed to know and to ask questions that needed asking.
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been on theuse i've receiving end f to some f to -- end of some of those questions. know him as the chronicler of the greatest generations. celebrate him as one of our favorite journalists. and we give thanks to trailblazers who bent the arc of our nation towards justice. 1950's, golfer charlie sifford won the negro national by the time he became the first african-american to earn a pga tour card, most of his best was him.d he was sometimes banned from clubhouse restaurants. kicked his ball into the rough. charlie is laughing about that. rough. is always in the [laughter]
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and because golf can be a charlie didn't carl have teammates to lean on. but he did have his lovely wife, roast. and he had guts. he won on the tour twice, both 45.r the age of but it was never just about the wins. as charlie says, i wasn't just trying to do it for me. do it for theo world. speaking of trailblazers, to alwaysarlo thomas will be "that girl," who followed her kinds to new york city and of was running around in having fun, on her own terms. is the creative mind behind "free to be... you and me," who taught a generation they were strong and beautiful just the way they were. of theunder "ms. foundation," marlo helped and women's hopes
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aspirations into economic progress. she's helped build the hospital founded, st. jude's, into one of the premiere pediatric hospitals in the world. she recalls her dad saying there in the types of people world. the givers and the takers. the takers sometimes eat better, the givers always sleep better. i love that saying. marlo thomas sleeps very well, because she's given so much. on an oklahoma reservation by a cheyenne and a muskogee father, suzan shown harjo grew up to be one of the most effective advocates for native american rights. she has helped preserve a acres of indian land, helped develop laws preserving sovereignty. she's repatriated sacred cultural items to tribe while
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expanding museums that celebrate native life. harjo, of suzan shown more are growing up with faith in their future. she's thought all of us that values make america on june 21, 1964, three young men -- to white and one black -- set out to learn more about the burning of a church in mississippi. james earl cheney, 21 years old. andrew witty, 20 years old. arner.l henry schwan or these three americans refused to sit on the sidelines. ir brutal murder shook the conscience of our nation. it took 41 years to bring the lead perpetrator to justice.
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oftenile they are remember for how they died, we honor them today for how they lived. through idealism and the courage of youth. james, andrew, and michael could not have known the impact they would have on the civil rights movement or future generations. sacrifice,d by their we fight for the ideas of equality and justice for which they gave their lives. we are honored to be joined by , his sonaughter angela david, and his wife, rita. love for here family is matched by her devotion to her nation. ethel kennedy is known as a white mother and grandma. ways, through these roles she has made her mark on history. after his death, celebrating
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acts in journalism around the world about threats to human lives. on urgent human rights issues from our time from juvenile justice to environmental destruction. she has been a force for change , on flashy, unstoppable way. as her family will tell you, they basically occupy this half of the room -- [laughter] you don't mess with ethel. she is gone to extraordinary lengths to build a port to causes close to her heart including raising money to als research and pouring a bucket of ice water over her head. as you may know, she nominated me to do it as well and i chose to write a check instead. [laughter] i grew up in hawaii, i don't like pouring ice water on top of my head.
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that is probably the only time i've ever said no to fo. she is the patriarch of a patriotic family. of enduringblem faith and enduring hope even in the face of unimaginable loss and unmatchable grief. this award, which her brother-in-law, president kennedy, reestablished more than 50 years ago. gentlemen, these are the recipients of the 2014 medal of freedom. but give them a big round of applause. [applause]
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you don't just get applause, you actually get a medal. let's read the citations. >> robert battle. aceiving on behalf of -- choreographer and dancer, he transformed american answer the groundbreaking
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exploration of the african-american experience, leaving traditional songs and stories to create something entirely new. and served as artistic director of the dance theater, renowned worldwide for its soulful virtuoso performances including the beloved american masterpiece, "revelations." the pioneering legacy remind us of our limitless potential for creative self-expression. [applause] a beloved daughter of chile and the united states, isabel has transfixed readers worldwide with her extraordinary
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storytelling. of herhe overthrow cousin, she spent years abroad filling her books with stories of home. she is one of the most widely read. she writes and speaks forcefully about the rights of women and children. she continues to delight the world. thomas j brokaw. [applause]
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one of our nation's most admired has helped, he americans better understand the world and each other. from today to nbc nightly news to meet the press. americans have relied on his authoritative reporting and keen analysis for decades. moments of great consequence from the fall of the berlin wall to the terrorist attack of 9/11, he was the eyes and ears of the scene. from the greatest generation to the latest generation of service members and their families. his insights continue to enrich public discourse. [applause]
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angela lewis. receiving on behalf of her father, james earl cheney. david goodman, receiving on behalf of his brother andrew goodman. shorn or vendor, have her husband, michael henry's warner. [applause] in 1964, 3 young men sought to write one of the many wrongs of the jim crow era by joining hundreds of others to register
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black voters in mississippi during freedom summer. the work was fraught with danger, but their commitment to justice was so strong that they were willing to risk their lives for it. their death shocked the nation and their courage was never forgotten. james rowe chaney, andrew goodman, and michael henry w schwarner still inspire us. from landmark civil rights legislation to our continued pursuit of our perfect union. [applause]
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the honorable john d dingell junior. john d dingell junior's tenure surpasses that of any member of congress in american history. a child of the house, he became esteemed and his legacy is evident all around us. and greater respect for the civil rights of all americans. he summoned grit and determination for legislative battles. his efforts, millions more families across our nation now have the peace of mind that comes with access to quality, affordable care. honors johnation
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dingell for his lifetime of service from world war ii to nearly six decades in congress. [applause] mildred s stressful house.
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stresslehaus has helped uncover the mysteries of our world. into theiments conductivity of semi-metals transformed our understanding of these materials leading to breakthroughs in modern electronics. her research has had implications across the economy from electronics to energy storage to automate if parts. mentor, she has inspired countless women to pursue opportunities. she is a testament to what we can achieve when we summon the courage to follow our curiosity and our dreams. [applause]
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harjow is a poet, writer, curator, and advocate dedicated to the dignity of all people. a citizen of the cheyenne and arapahoe tribes, she has spent her life working on the rights of native people. president of the morningstar institute and a founding trustee of the american indian, her tireless efforts have returned native lands and improved native lives. with bold resolve, suzanne pushes us to always seek justice in our time. [applause]
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ethel kennedy. [applause] ethel kennedy's life is a story of perseverance. a tireless advocate for the cause that she holds dear. she advances her husband's vision and challenges as managing the world like it should be. control, environmental protection, or public health, she tackles difficult issues with a relentless drive.
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find the strength, resilience, and passion that are at the heart of the american spirit. [applause] the honorable abner except -- micksa. of his time,eatest he built his career in reverence to the law, commitment to public
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service, and love for chicago. as a congressman, federal judge, and counsel to president clinton, he helped shake the national debate on one of the most challenging issues of the government live up to its responsibility. shaping legal minds as a law professor to challenging young people to give back to their communities through public service. our laws and our nation are more fair and equal. [applause] wendy mink, receiving on behalf of her mother, patsy to okamoto -- takomoto mink.
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patsy was ahead of her time. the first woman of color elected to congress, she entered office to do all she could to ensure equal treatment or every american, regardless of race or sex. she co-authored title ix of the education amendments of 1992, guaranteeing equal educational opportunities for women. she was a forceful advocate for civil rights and was an end to the vietnam war. she serves hawaii with integrity and grace all of her life. an american trailblazer, she helped build a nation that lives up to its promise and her example challenges us to make progress in our time. [applause]
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the honorable lucille allard receiving on behalf of the edward [indiscernible] edward lived to serve. he served in the civilian conservation corps and in the army during world war ii and on the los angeles city council. in 1962, he came the first hispanic american elected to congress in almost a century and serve there for 30 years. he stood up for people that needed a champion including veterans, the mentally ill, and people living with hiv aids. he founded the congressional hispanic caucus to ensure the voices of hispanic americans could always be heard. he believed our nation is strongest we harness the talents of all of our people. that belief and his legacy will always live on.
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[applause] charles zifford. charlie just wanted to play golf. at a time when the pga adhered to a caucasians only rule, he risked everything to affect change. in the face of death threats and insults, he challenge the discrimination that plagued his beloved sport while demonstrating his extraordinary ilk on the court. he went on to reach pga events. he leveled the fairway for generations of athletes of all races and inspired a community
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beyond the sport he loved. [applause] robert m solow. and importance of technological advancement to long-term growth. the importance of investing in education and scientific
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research, millions of americans have benefited from the economic progress that he helped to spark. his contributions have molded public opinion and policy and he continues to engage with the most pressing economic questions of the. some great economic mobility. meryl streep. [applause] an unmatched ability to bring a character to life.


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