George W. Bush: Scene Of The Last Roundup?

        Grave Importance   

Fancy color sketches and models of the George W. Bush Presidential Library have been loosed upon an anxious world, and must be mined for clues.

Like, where will they bury him?

Assuming Bush follows the pharaoh-ic path of FDR, Truman, Ike, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and his father’s plan at College Station, he’ll have to be buried on site. If the “Texas Rose Garden” above is a little too outdoorsy, there is the Freedom Tractor Beam inside.


The careful viewer will note a presidential quote on the wall behind the generic assembled white folks.

It’s a line from Bush’s 2004 Republican Convention acceptance speech, in which he claimed we are summoned by a “calling from beyond the stars.”  Here on Earth Bush had begun the year attempting a call to greatness with a vague drumbeat for Mars exploration, then buried the exciting initiative by the time of his State of The Union address.

The convention speech itself was delivered with a spaceport motif.

A model of the George W. Bush Presidential Center is displayed Wednesday in Dallas. This view shows the north facade along SMU Boulevard.   SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM/DAVID WOO   The Library grounds are touted as a Bush gift to the nation, or at least SMU, providing “numerous spaces for events and gatherings,” but don’t plan your protest rally just yet.

… unlike the formal, tree-lined landscape of the main campus, this garden contains hills and draws and winding paths that conceal surveillance cameras and other security equipment.

       View from southeast of the Bush presidential library

Equatorial Guinea, Following The Path Of Greatness

To Equatorial Guinea, where the Dark Continent meets the Deep Blue Sea, and oil floats the ruling family to a higher realm.

A spectacularly corrupt kleptocracy has evolved this West African island and some coast into a tropical gangster parody.

Think Of It As A Name Tag  

obiang President-Till-The-Cows-Come-Home Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has presided for three decades since killing his uncle, the previous dictator, and now the New York Times reports that a swanky bit of Malibu may be forever E.G. Teodoro Obiang's House

Strongman scion and heir apparent Teodoro Nguema Obiang spends much of his time in a multimillion dollar mansion in this suburb of the stars, despite US laws that nominally bar corrupt foreigners from our shores.Baywatch - Panic At Malibu Pier [VHS] [1989] 

Equatorial Guinea has been in an expansive mood lately.   The regime recently sprang a mercenary jailed in a murky coup attempt, freeing an unhappy Simon Mann to pursue his claim that Son Of The Iron Lady Mark Thatcher helped the plot.

President Obiang, shown here gathering strength from the martyred Che Guevara, Guinea Ecuatorial conmemora los 30 años del golpe de Estado que dio el poder a Obiang   has friends throughout the world.  Obiang y  Rice, encantados de conocerse

The regime’s website practices a level of delicious shamelessness, posting headlines like  “DEMOCRACY AT ITS PEAK IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA” and leaving them up despite mockery.

1.JPG  A vast presidential mansion is being built, and even better,  a presidential library!  Photo detail

Where did this big idea come from?

Equatorial Guinea has had a storied relationship with one American who has promiscuously spread himself over our nation’s Presidential Library universe.

World Beater

Joe L. Allbritton is a cartoonish exaggeration of Washington incestuousness, serving on boards for the Kennedy Center, the Lyndon Johnson, Reagan and George H.W. Bush Presidential Libraries, and a failed effort to bring George W. Bush’s to Baylor University.

Alblbritton financed his service to former greats’ memories through his ownership of Washington’s Riggs Bank, a daisy chain of power ensnaring Russian spies,  Saudi princes, a Bush uncle, General Pinochet and the Obiang family.

For hiding Obiang and Pinochet millions Allbritton lost the bankRiggs paid $39 million in US civil and criminal penalties, $8 million in Spain.  Allbritton and his son personally paid one million dollars to Pinochet torture victims.

A Franklin Roosevelt Legacy: Enriching [Some Of] Future Generations

Grace Tully: Note To Self

New York state’s gift to the nation, Chuck Schumer has a deal for us:

We allow the corporate descendants of Franklin Roosevelt secretary Grace Tully to profit from her absconding with FDR ephemera, and they will graciously donate the material to the Roosevelt Presidential Library for a tax deduction.

The recently bankrupt Sun-Times Media Group holds papers Tully gathered working for FDR, and wants to unload them on the Library for the losses.

But that pesky National Archives says it already own some of the stuff.

However did the Chicago Sun-Times holding company come to own this trove of FDR scraps?  Its former owner, FDR biographer and torch-bearer for Richard Nixon Conrad Black, is currently a guest of the federal government, convicted of expropriating company funds for himself.

Black wrote his generally well received Roosevelt book before moving on to criminal genius Nixon, so the papers might stem from the Corporation doing its part for Roosevelt research.

Unexamined in the Associated Press piece and unremarked upon by the ever-flexible Chuck Schumer is the money value of the Media Group’s tax deduction.

Conrad Black: FDR Fan, Fop  conrad_black.jpg

Rougueing Reagan

The Shadow Knows


As a curious world awaits Sarah Palin’s looming Oprah encounter, tiny shards  of her upcoming polemic are emerging.

For all her roguishness, the Governor follows a predicable political path, lying about Ronald Reagan.

The Associated Press prepared a catalog of her detachments from reality, and her Reagan claims are true to the spirit of the man, in that she confidently proffers demonstrably falsehoods with a smile.

Palin: Says Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession than the one that appears to be ending now, and ”showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all.”

THE FACTS: The estate tax,which some call the death tax, was not repealed under Reagan and capital gains taxes are lower now than when Reagan was president.

Economists overwhelmingly say the current recession is far worse. The recession Reagan faced lasted for 16 months; this one is in its 23rd month. The recession of the early 1980s did not have a financial meltdown. Unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent, worse than the October 2009 high of 10.2 percent, but the jobless rate is still expected to climb.


Poker In The Service Of Freedom

Chips Ahoy!    truman-poker.jpg

The Wall Street Journal dips into the bottomless well of presidential pastimes to discuss poker and its role in the defense of the West.  Harry Truman’s lifelong devotion to gambling is approvingly reviewed, with side discussion of Winston Churchill’s legendary alcohol consumption and failings at cards.

  Poker was played on the eve of Churchill’s storied Iron Curtain speech, allowing writer James McManus to wrap himself in ominous clouds of doom.

The Cold War was just weeks away. The ability to read who was bluffing and who wasn’t would be more important than ever.