Foreigners Out?

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Beyond giving work to Congressional and Homeland Security investigators, the Bush Library pay to play scandal has generated renewed attention to just who pays for these hulking mausoleum/fun-zones. Past and future Librarians rush to assure us that none of that foreign cash shall corrupt our American values, at least not while we have a job.

The Bush policy is clear-ish:

“Faced Monday with a report that a rogue lobbyist urged an exiled Central Asian leader to support the Bush library to curry favor in Washington, library officials promised that no foreign money will be accepted until President Bush leaves office. On Tuesday, it became clear the public will have to take them at their word…The foundation isn’t promising to identify all donors, or the dates and sums of their gifts.”


While the Clinton camp took a bold stance on the past, before retreating into mist:

“President Bill Clinton didn’t accept donations from foreign governments for his presidential library while he was in office, Skip Rutherford, who was president of the Clinton Foundation in 2000, told us. Rutherford couldn’t remember if the policy meant donations from foreign citizens also were prohibited.”

And we were reminded yet again why we have no Presidential Library disclosure law on the books:

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Lincoln & Loathing

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Thanks to civilwarmemory for pointing to a recent post by John David Hoptak, a writer and Park Ranger at the Antietam National Battlefield.
Hoptak’s Antietam presentations on the battle and the contemporaneous drafting of the Emancipation Proclamation have stirred a vicious reaction from many Park visitors, unwilling to hear a discussion of Lincoln, slavery, or any of the real stakes in the Civil War.



“If we should not celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation, if Lincoln should be criticized for not freeing all the slaves with this revolutionary document, then why should we celebrate and laud the Declaration of Independence? the Constitution? the Founders?…There was a sizable portion of the population that wasn’t declared free to pursue their lives, their liberty, and happiness. Such criticism is almost always met with outrage. . . some of those most outraged by such criticism of the Founders are among those that declare Lincoln to be “the greatest murderer” in U.S. history and that the Emancipation Proclamation should not be celebrated.”

Civilwarmemory comments:

“What I find so disturbing is the apparent number of Civil War enthusiasts who are unable to view emancipation from the perspective of the thousands of slaves who helped force the issue on the Union high command and eventually Lincoln himself by running away from their owners and aiding the efforts of the U.S. army in myriad ways. It’s as if emancipation began and ended with Lincoln…I’ve interviewed a number of Park Service personnel on this issue. For some it is simply enough to assume a perspective that has soldiers on both sides falling from the sky to butcher one another with little or no attention as to why. All that is left to do is explain how they did it. Even a cursory glance at our national memory of the war reveals a continued concentration on values that white Americans initially latched onto at the turn of the twentieth century as part of a movement towards reunion and reconciliation.”

A New Republic blog post on efforts to glide past the South’s stakes in the war sums up:

The way of life they fought to preserve was not a set of morally neutral hillbilly customs, like playing the banjo and making apple butter; it was a way of life that specifically did include black slavery.

Bush: Library Without A Home?

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All eyes turn to Dallas, where a regional United Methodist Church body may vote to kill the proposed George W. Bush Library at Southern Methodist University. The South Central Jurisdictional Conference meeting starts Wednesday.

This comes after a national Church body in May voted overwhelmingly to refer the question to the region. A felicitously timed scandal over Bush Library fundraising may get investigated, helping opponents, although they looked weak in May.



The history and adventures of Bush Fallen Among the Methodists are detailed here. The weaknesses of the Library opponents as of May are discussed here. On the Conference’ site authors unknown attempt to summarize the sides here, and lay out the likely schedule with the Petitions and Resolutions Committee meeting Wednesday afternoon, and general Conference action if any likely to occur Thursday.

Petitioners opposing the Bush Institute cluster here, opponents here highlight this article by SMU Professor Valerie Karras laying out her case for the South Central Conference taking up the issue. SMU’s agreement with Bush is here.

For the truly obsessed, sign up for the Conference proceedings RSS feed!

Payne Avoidance

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The Dallas Morning News has covered the would-be rise of the George W. Bush Library at SMU in lavish detail, but has so far found itself unable to pass on to local readers allegations about Houston fixer Steve Payne and his offer to clean up a Central Asian ex-tyrant’s image via Bush Library donations, in secret if “he wants to be anonymous for some reason

The Washington Post and Chicago Tribune stirred themselves to follow up on London Sunday Times and. Even Fox News and Moonie owned UPI reported the allegations.

New Fun From Founding Fathers

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Time to dust off those crumpled copies of the Constitution every old coot pol seems to carry in their pocket for all occasions, and read up.

Specifically, Article II and the 14th Amendment, the portions demanding that presidents be a “natural born citizen” and the mid 19th Century amendment, which may or may not have clarified this.

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A law prof has a new analysis on what this all means to Panama Canal Zone born John McCain. Gabriel J. Chin says Congress’s many attempts to change the status of Zonians since the 1930s can’t overcome the plain language of the Constitution.

“It’s preposterous that a technicality like this can make a difference in an advanced democracy …But this is the constitutional text that we have.”

This would leave McCain out of luck if anyone bothered to pay attention to The Founders except as it benefits grits.

Another reason to ignore the 14th Amendment: It’s a Commie Plot anyway. 14th-the-redamendment.jpg