Sequestermania: White House calligraphers making $277,000 as WH public tours are suspended

posted at 4:21 pm on March 6, 2013 by Allahpundit

O’s staff had to realize that suspending the tours would lead to endless embarrassing scrutiny of this sort, right? It’s an engraved invitation to point out the myriad ways in which the feds are wasting money. Even as a cheap “Fireman First” ploy to make the public fret about budget cuts, it’s so much more trouble than it’s worth.

Second look at spending a few grand on a calligraphy machine instead?

With the White House closing its doors to public tour groups in order to save money for the sequester, it’s worth remembering some of the other costs the White House incurs annually.

Like the “Chief Calligrapher,” Patricia A. Blair, who has an annual salary of $96,725, and her two deputies, Debra S. Brown, who gets paid $85,953 per year, and Richard T. Muffler, who gets paid $94,372 every year.

In all, the White House appears to employ 3 calligraphers for a yearly total of $277,050.

Tom Coburn has a few ideas too on where to find the money for those White House tours. Or better yet, for food inspectors who’ve been furloughed:

In a letter earlier this week, Coburn asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to put the kibosh on attendance at a pair of West Coast conferences that include wine and food tastings.

“While these conferences may be fun, interesting and even educational getaways for department employees, food inspecting rather than food tasting should be USDA’s priority at this time,” Coburn wrote in that letter.

According to his calculations, if the Agriculture Department simply stopped hiring new employees for a little while, they’d save enough to end the furloughs for 52 current employees per each postponed hire.

Coburn, incidentally, is one of Obama’s guests tonight at the big White House dinner for select Republican senators in which O will try to convince GOP backbenchers to do … something. It’s not clear what yet; probably he just wants the news to trickle out in order to show voters that he’s working hard in a bipartisan way to end the sequester. (Presumably for the same reason, McConnell invited him to address the Senate GOP caucus next week.) Whether he would have done that anyway or whether he’s doing it now because his polls are starting to slip is an interesting question. The White House plan on the sequester was for O to hold a few campaign-ish events blaming the GOP, trust that the party’s already poor approval ratings would start to collapse, and then wait for Boehner and McConnell to cave. Hasn’t happened that way. Obama’s approval ratings are down too and CBS finds just a five-point spread between the GOP and Obama on which side the public blames most for the sequester. Even his friends in the media can’t help noticing the outright lies and embarrassing exaggerations being told about the effects of the cuts. The One miscalculated and now he’s going to try to undo some damage over dinner, either as a PR ploy to show the public that he’s serious about resolving this or as a bona fide gesture to Republicans to try to get a deal done here before it does him any more damage. Can’t wait to hear John McCain’s and Lindsey Graham’s report on the festivities tomorrow.

Via Politico, I’ll leave it to Boehner to pose your exit question.


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it really has backfired, any dime he spends or party he goes to automatically gets compared to sequester mania!

rob verdi on March 6, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Ok, honest question: why does the WH need calligraphers? Actually, a better question is why does the WH *say* it needs calligraphers?

JohnTant on March 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

In a letter earlier this week, Coburn asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to put the kibosh on attendance at a pair of West Coast conferences that include wine and food tastings.

Seriously? What good is being a member of the nobility if you can’t enjoy all the perks?

rbj on March 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Obama doesn’t want the common folk to come to his palace..we are simple people who don’t deserve grace his presence

sadsushi on March 6, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Keep track of (a) his golf outings and (b) Michelle’s and the kids’ travel and extravagences.

FiveG on March 6, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Keep HAMMERING away!!

GOP: hold NEWS CONFERENCES by the tour entry gate once it is closed, and HIGHLIGHT SPENDING ITEMS like the calligraphers…

Over and over and over… every day another news conference, every day another bonehead spending move by Obama and his Administration…

Over and over and over…

Khun Joe on March 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Ok, honest question: why does the WH need calligraphers? Actually, a better question is why does the WH *say* it needs calligraphers?

JohnTant on March 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Invitations, place cards, plaques, etc. I’m sure they are quite busy.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Um, there are computer fonts for that. Though… I have nice handwriting, maybe I could get a cush job in the WH? No, look away! I passed the test.

Fallon on March 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Actually – anything which keeps fawning crowds out of the WH is a great thing – eliminate his opportunities to brainwash. Actually quite stupid of the One.

Zomcon JEM on March 6, 2013 at 4:40 PM

MOST TRANSPARENT WHITE HOUSE…

wait for it…

EVAAAHHHH!!!

Marcola on March 6, 2013 at 4:40 PM

I thought the head Calligrapher’s name was Otto Penn.

vinceautmorire on March 6, 2013 at 4:41 PM

If he’ll just cancel all those parties, he can live without the calligraphers.
Wait, cancel parties?? Never mind. We know that’s the only thing he actually does. Sorry, I got crazy there for a second.
Much better choice to cut soldier’s pay./

americanmama on March 6, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Every gov. office employs full time calligraphers – cities, counties, state, feds.

And no, it can’t be done by computer.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:42 PM

We can nitpick all we like about Obama’s imperial extravagances, but the MSM will ignore them. After all, if Lincoln had any one of them, Obama deserves all of his.

~spits~

Liam on March 6, 2013 at 4:43 PM

“My staff tells me not to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway,” said Reid in his remarks. “In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it’s true.”

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2008/12/03/harry-reids-smelly-tourists-comment-no-republican-or-conservative-would-#ixzz2MnZ4yP4e

Marcola on March 6, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Ok, honest question: why does the WH need calligraphers? Actually, a better question is why does the WH *say* it needs calligraphers?

JohnTant on March 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Invitations, place cards, plaques, etc. I’m sure they are quite busy.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Yeah, right. So busy that three are needed to do the job.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Every gov. office employs full time calligraphers – cities, counties, state, feds.

And no, it can’t be done by computer.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Every government office? I doubt that.

Proof, please.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Yeah, right. So busy that three are needed to do the job.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Absolutely. I’m surprised it’s only three. I believe LA County use to employ 5 and that is without any or few state dinners.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Ok, honest question: why does the WH need calligraphers? Actually, a better question is why does the WH *say* it needs calligraphers?
JohnTant on March 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM
Invitations, place cards, plaques, etc. I’m sure they are quite busy.
Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:36 PM

They got Word?

http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=601

Done.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 6, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Every government office? I doubt that.

Proof, please.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Google it yourself. I had a neighbor who was a calligrapher for the county a few years ago. I have worked for the city and the county and have seen all the plagues they hand out like candy. Who do you think does them, doofus? I’m sorry that you fell off a turnup truck, but grow the eff up.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

plagues = plaques

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Absolutely. I’m surprised it’s only three. I believe LA County use to employ 5 and that is without any or few state dinners.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:47 PM

IF you are telling the truth, heres a news flash, NO GOVERNMENT “NEEDS” a Calligrapher.

JFKY on March 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Sounds like the USS Sea Quester may be headed for some rough seas.

fourdeucer on March 6, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Every gov. office employs full time calligraphers – cities, counties, state, feds.

And no, it can’t be done by computer.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Every government office? I doubt that.

Proof, please.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Google it yourself. I had a neighbor who was a calligrapher for the county a few years ago. I have worked for the city and the county and have seen all the plagues they hand out like candy. Who do you think does them, doofus? I’m sorry that you fell off a turnup truck, but grow the eff up.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Not just “plagues”, but also every government-issued professional license certificate has to be done by hand.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Google it yourself. I had a neighbor who was a calligrapher for the county a few years ago. I have worked for the city and the county and have seen all the plagues they hand out like candy. Who do you think does them, doofus? I’m sorry that you fell off a turnup truck, but grow the eff up.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

And you have just discredited your argument by resorting to insults and name calling.

I think you’re the one who needs to grow up. Bless your heart.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Ok, honest question: why does the WH need calligraphers? Actually, a better question is why does the WH *say* it needs calligraphers?

JohnTant on March 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Administration – “Calligraphers are a long standing tradition that we can not eliminate…now the 2nd Amendment on the other hand…”

nextgen_repub on March 6, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Not just “plagues”, but also every government-issued professional license certificate has to be done by hand.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Ridiculous. It doesn’t have to be done by hand.

Small wonder we’re in this financial mess.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:56 PM

IF you are telling the truth, heres a news flash, NO GOVERNMENT “NEEDS” a Calligrapher.

JFKY on March 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Newsflash: I never said need. Now go join sagebrushidiot.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:56 PM

And you have just discredited your argument by resorting to insults and name calling.

I think you’re the one who needs to grow up. Bless your heart.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:54 PM

No, I just responded appropriately to your ahole comment. Bottomline, the DC calligraphers are quite busy.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Newsflash: I never said need. Now go join sagebrushidiot.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:56 PM

You’re diatribe has become tiresome.

Now, ve vill danz.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:57 PM

The company I worked with for many years actually received a Certificate of Appreciation from the White House back in the late 1980s, after we let the WH Communications Agency (or whatever they call themselves) use some office space for their communications equipment during a motorcade that went right by our building.

It was quite impressive a document. Obviously PR, of course.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 4:57 PM

OK…this would be AWESOME, and only the bosses at Hot Air can make it happen.

The GOP or some related group should call for PUBLIC DONATIONS to fund the WH tours as a service to the American people. The story would be that we can’t sit by and let the “People’s House” be shut down by a press hungry despot, so the PRIVATE SECTOR will come to the rescue of failed Big Government.

I think Obama’s over stepped with this one. The symbolism is creating the opposite effect to what he anticipated, and it’s time to jump on it. Those who understand how badly the Conservative movement markets itself should take the initiative NOW, and fight fire with fire.

Just imagine groups of fresh faced Young Republicans standing on Pennsylvania Avenue passing out tickets that say, “The Whte House, Brought to you by the GOP!”

Kenz on March 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Newsflash: I never said need. Now go join sagebrushidiot.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 4:56 PM

THEN we could let them go, and save some ready green….

JFKY on March 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM

THEN we could let them go, and save some ready green….

JFKY on March 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Let the calligraphers go? NOOOOOOOOOOO!

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Stupid question. How can you entrust faking hand-written birth certificates and college records to non-professionals? And their salary better be good, or tongues will wag.

Archivarix on March 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM

The Lilliputian dictator’s legacy must be preserved, beautifully.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

The company I worked with for many years actually received a Certificate of Appreciation from the White House back in the late 1980s, after we let the WH Communications Agency (or whatever they call themselves) use some office space for their communications equipment during a motorcade that went right by our building.

It was quite impressive a document. Obviously PR, of course.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 4:57 PM

They are quite impressive. It’s not just lettering but artwork.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Say what you will about Boehner but two points in his favor here:
-he says “We welcome the American people to come to their capitol.”
-he referred to it as “the President’s sequester.

hopeful on March 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Seriously, this stuff is made to order for the late-night comics. I hope they tee off on Obama.

BuckeyeSam on March 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Ridiculous. It doesn’t have to be done by hand.

Small wonder we’re in this financial mess.

SagebrushPuppet on March 6, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Computer-assisted calligraphy is still in its relative infancy.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

i’m sure ending the WH tours was Moochelles request

burserker on March 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM

America is doomed. As long as people are going to not care about what our tax dollars are spent on, the problems will continue and get worse.

I dont care how long we’ve had these positions. The fact is, we dont need them. PERIOD. And the fact is, we need to make major, major cuts to our government spending.

We need to go line by line, position by position, agency by agency, program by program. And cut, fire, get rid of what is NOT A NECESSITY to this country. BUDGET!!!!

I dont see why that logic is so wrong. The government wastes so much damn money, creates so many useless programs. It has to friggin stop.

But until the major majority of the country stands up and says something about it, it will continue. Until the media gets on board, it will continue. And America will continue to spiral downwards.

bucsox79 on March 6, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Computer-assisted calligraphy is still in its relative infancy.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

They can go to Staple or some where then. There is no damn need to spend nearly $300k a year in salary, and Lord knows how much in supplies for this. Its complete bs and just signifies that our government is a monumental waste dump.

This is OUR money that is taken from us. Every single person in this country should be fed up with what the government uses our money on and how there is no budget, no responsible over sight in anything.

bucsox79 on March 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Computer-assisted calligraphy is still in its relative infancy.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

There’s no comparison to the real deal.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Computer-assisted calligraphy is still in its relative infancy.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Am I missing something here (serious question, I’m not ragging on you). My computer has dozens of fonts with fancy letters. Are there really things the government does that needs to be done by hand?

hopeful on March 6, 2013 at 5:08 PM

…ridiculous!

KOOLAID2 on March 6, 2013 at 5:11 PM

This is evidence to me that there isn’t a single government position anywhere in the federal government that can’t be painted as essential. Seriously, THREE calligraphers for the White House? What, does each and every State dinner invitation have to be done by hand, like the hand-made Bibles that scribes had to hand-draw before Gutenberg came along? Will diplomats from France and Germany start badmouthing the U.S. if any kind of automation is introduced in creating pretty documents for the diplomats to look at?

Aitch748 on March 6, 2013 at 5:25 PM

I expect that the REB has an award planned for the first TV network to showcase a bus full of crying Grade Three children on a field trip from somewhere like West Virginia, upset because they can’t tour the White House because of the Republicans. Bonus points if they are mostly black.

For $500,000 I hear you can have Jackass give you a personal guided tour.

slickwillie2001 on March 6, 2013 at 5:26 PM

This is evidence to me that there isn’t a single government position anywhere in the federal government that can’t be painted as essential. Seriously, THREE calligraphers for the White House? What, does each and every State dinner invitation have to be done by hand, like the hand-made Bibles that scribes had to hand-draw before Gutenberg came along? Will diplomats from France and Germany start badmouthing the U.S. if any kind of automation is introduced in creating pretty documents for the diplomats to look at?

Aitch748 on March 6, 2013 at 5:25 PM

On the other hand they are okay with condolence letters to dead soldiers’ families being signed by some machine.

slickwillie2001 on March 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

I think we need to re-audit Mooche’s “need” for 26 servants at the People’s House.

I’d like a full accounting of these salaries as well as a documented business need for her harem. Do it.

Key West Reader on March 6, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Am I missing something here (serious question, I’m not ragging on you). My computer has dozens of fonts with fancy letters. Are there really things the government does that needs to be done by hand?

hopeful on March 6, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Yeah, you are. It’s not just the letter but the white spaces between the letters and inside the letters that have to be considered for each letter, word, sentence. Again, what they do is more akin to art.

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/282869-1

On the other hand they are okay with condolence letters to dead soldiers’ families being signed by some machine.

slickwillie2001 on March 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Unfortunately, I believe you are correct. I found a certificate for Medal of Honor award and it looked way to simplistic for my taste.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

On the other hand they are okay with condolence letters to dead soldiers’ families being signed by some machine.

slickwillie2001 on March 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

There it is. ^

And, the remember the reason to keep the WH calligraphers is the above stated Fireman First Principle. Keep the fluff, cut to the bone for the pain.

Fallon on March 6, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Geez, guys – the caligraphy banter is *sarcasm*, ffs. It’s so dripping with it, I’m starting to smell it through the internet, lol.

No, the fed/state/local governments are not swarming with SWAT Caligraphy teams, geared up with assault quills and high-capacity inkazines, publishing a veritable blizzard of hand-written government documents on a daily basis!

Or… are they… ?

Midas on March 6, 2013 at 5:39 PM

The GOP or some related group should call for PUBLIC DONATIONS to fund the WH tours as a service to the American people. The story would be that we can’t sit by and let the “People’s House” be shut down by a press hungry despot, so the PRIVATE SECTOR will come to the rescue of failed Big Government.

Just imagine groups of fresh faced Young Republicans standing on Pennsylvania Avenue passing out tickets that say, “The Whte House, Brought to you by the GOP!”

Kenz on March 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM

What an excellent idea.

A grass roots movement to keep our White House open to the public.

Closing the White House to score political points is one of the most petulant, childish stunts I have ever seen from an American President. Not really surprised, though.

MichaelGabriel on March 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Yeah, you are. It’s not just the letter but the white spaces between the letters and inside the letters that have to be considered for each letter, word, sentence. Again, what they do is more akin to art.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I’m an artist, I’ve really have used hand written calligraphy for awards and I’ve done graphic design using various fonts. Kerning is a technique used in designing, formatting and typesetting a piece of text. By adjusting the kerning of letters, a designer is able to increase or adjust the amount of text in a line.

Each invitation does not need to be a work of art. While it might be beautiful, it is unnecessary to do so many documents by hand. The document can be mass produced and the personalization can be dropped in as needed by computer.

Fallon on March 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

I just can’t write, lol.

“I really have created hand-written calligraphy…”

Fallon on March 6, 2013 at 5:47 PM

I’m an artist, I’ve really have used hand written calligraphy for awards and I’ve done graphic design using various fonts. Kerning is a technique used in designing, formatting and typesetting a piece of text. By adjusting the kerning of letters, a designer is able to increase or adjust the amount of text in a line.

Invitations need to be designed. Kerning doesn’t account for the inside spacing of letters which can’t be done by computer.

Each invitation does not need to be a work of art. While it might be beautiful, it is unnecessary to do so many documents by hand. The document can be mass produced and the personalization can be dropped in as needed by computer.

Fallon on March 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Each invitation is not a work of art. Most are hand lettered, sent to an engraver, and the name is hand lettered in. They hand letter the place settings and often add some art work to them. But some of the certificates are extremely ornate and are done by hand.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM

He will be the fool like Carter putting on a sweater and turning down the heat in the White House to save money…next thing you know, Obama will be attacked by a maniacal rabbit…

right2bright on March 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Michelle Obama’s Staffing Needs

Interesting that my posts keep getting deleted. Ahh well. Maybe this one will stick.

Key West Reader on March 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM

There’s no comparison to the real deal.

Blake on March 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM

And the “Real Deal” is a placard near a plate that is thrown away after it is read…an invitation that gets sold on eBay…type it, print it, fold it…one person at about $36,000 a year can do it all.

right2bright on March 6, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Invitations need to be designed. Kerning doesn’t account for the inside spacing of letters which can’t be done by computer.

Seriously. Graphic designers can quickly design the document and reuse the layout over and over again. Letters can be manipulated in a drawing program. Most people cannot discern the slight manipulations anyway.

Apparently, you are a huge fan of Calligraphy. It is a beautiful artform but again, unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. The documents do not need to be so ornate, it is simply unnecessary. If someone feels slighted because their document is not handwritten (in the busines world even signatures are usually dropped in electronically on documents), let them know about the auto-pen signings on condolence letters to soldiers’ families. That should put things in perspective.

We are obviously at an impasse. You will continue to say that calligraphers are necessary and I will say, they are not.
*shake hands, disagree and have a cup of coffee?*

Speaking of which…

OT~I hope someone is getting Rand some nutrition and caffeine.

Fallon on March 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Michelle Obama’s Staffing Needs

Interesting that my posts keep getting deleted. Ahh well. Maybe this one will stick.

Key West Reader on March 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM

They are all women…doesn’t she believe in equality in the workplace??

right2bright on March 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM

I’m an artist, I’ve really have used hand written calligraphy for awards and I’ve done graphic design using various fonts.

Being a southpaw, my handwriting is crap.

That probably means I qualify for a $96,000 government job under the Americans With Disabilities Act. :)

MichaelGabriel on March 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM

I would like to make the point that these are self-guided East Wing tours, through ceremonial rooms.

These rooms have two functions. Tours and appearances. The White House has basically said screw the people, they would rather have access to these rooms where they give Bob Dylan medals and engage in functions that could done in other rooms and parts of the White House.

The expenses are in security and in turning the rooms over from public view to serve their ceremonial needs. I understand the need for security staff, but I don’t think they need to transition the rooms daily for ceremonial needs. In fact they could take advantage of this opening to allow for more tours and pump more money into the DC economy.

Instead Obama decided he values pomp over the American people.

amazingmets on March 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

SAVE EVEN MORE MONEY – BROWNBAG THE DINNER!

GarandFan on March 6, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Newsflash: I never said need. Now go join sagebrushidiot.

Blake

Every one of your responses has implied that they are needed, starting with your answer to JohnTant’s question asking why calligraphers are needed.

xblade on March 6, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Being a southpaw, my handwriting is crap.

That probably means I qualify for a $96,000 government job under the Americans With Disabilities Act. :)

MichaelGabriel on March 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM

My oldest son is a lefty. Tried to make him a major leaque pitcher but he didn’t like beaning kids. Maybe, you could put in a good word for him at that goverment job? He could teach the Bamster to throw a ball, too.

Fallon on March 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

I’m sorry,… “Calligraphers”?

These idiots can’t find a fancy-ass font in a word processor program?

Alberta_Patriot on March 6, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Not just “plagues”, but also every government-issued professional license certificate has to be done by hand.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

No. Just checked my PA and DE physician licenses. All machine generated.

talkingpoints on March 6, 2013 at 9:12 PM

penmanship is costly

… the better to lie and dissuade, my dears

just words won’t do as the lies need gold leaf…

mickytx on March 6, 2013 at 10:18 PM

It’s painfully obvious why we’re spending too much.

$94K for a Dick Muffler???

LooseCannon on March 6, 2013 at 10:52 PM

In our mysterious land we have these amazing magical wands called PCs and inkjets.

ironked on March 7, 2013 at 8:58 AM

I am soooooo sorry for not appreciating the vital national necessity for Jugears to have three full-time calligraphers on staff. Clearly, this country would crater without them.

I hang my head in shame./

SagebrushPuppet on March 7, 2013 at 9:20 AM

The whole point of calligraphy is to impress. Hand made and ornate invitations and letters are good P.R. both within the United States and internationally, and worth every penny. It is very easy to tell the difference between a computer-generated one and a handwritten one.

No one seemed to complain when these calligraphers were working for Reagan, Bush, Clinton, W., etc for just as much money.

AngusMc on March 7, 2013 at 11:52 AM