McNaughton’s Group

Special thanks to the eagle eyes at Wonkette, who’ve spotted a big one.

Extraordinarily cheezeball artist Jon McNaughton has brought forth a gathering of greats, as the ghosts of presidents past hover around sullen, stand-offish looking Barack Obama, variously annoyed or aghast at his literal TRAMPLING ON THE CONSTITUTION!

McNaughton is the kind of crank who rambles along in incoherent Founderspeak for numbered paragraphs, passive aggressively concluding:

“The information is historical. If it is not familiar to you – Google it.

Cramming all these figures into the frame seems to have skewed McNaughton’s perspective.  Small but perfectly formed James Madison is so upset at Obama’s boot-heel to our liberties that he’s bent over pleading, but appears to be almost Obama’s height.   The Forgotten Man is a giant seated on a toy town bench. Such is the occasion that Franklin Roosevelt walks.

McNaughton’s painting doesn’t leave much to chance, featuring ominous clouds, flags at half staff, and an accompanying video lush with  piano chords of doom.

Bedford Falls: World War Two Done Right?

Quit Your Stalin

Americans like to think of D-Day as a splendid battle which, while tough, prefigured our inevitable sweep to victory over Germany. How it came to be  that most of the German army was elsewhere, or where the slave laborers who built the Germans’ “Atlantic Wall” came from are petty distractions.

So it comes as no surprise that Joseph Stalin is becoming unwelcome at a Virginia war memorial, reminding us that we didn’t beat Hitler all by our lonesome.

   Bedford Virginia’s National D-Day Memorial is a vast crop circle of memorials,

with hideous arches,

and landing beach recreations.

And statues.  There is an Eisenhower statue in its own “Tuscon folly” , but somehow it’s not controversial that the father of Reyonlds Wrap gets to slap his name on the garden.

Among busts of famed war leaders Stalin makes the cut, and the planners have mumbled something about the Russians fighting over yonder contributing to the D-Day victory.

To the world’s outrage.

Skunk At The Picnic 

The creators are making an effort, possibly unique in American public recollection of the war, at remembering the Soviet people’s epic sacrifice in defeating fascism.  No doubt Stalin was guilty of many crimes, but he’s hardly the only problem with the proposed memorial if we are going to get fussy.

Perhaps the trouble stems from the monument’s defference to “great man” history  Why is Harry Truman there?  He wasn’t even Vice President at the time of the landing

A New Deal For Dead Presidents: Everything’s Better After All

No Middle Ground

Having already  incorporated Truman and Kennedy into the conservative pantheon, reactionaries are now critiquing Barack Obama for being just not FDR-ish enough

Portly torture enthusiast,  former Bush speech writer and stain on the Washington Post op/ed page Mark Theeson is out with an exciting new line of pretend argument: that unless Obama mans up and fully enjoys fighting both depression and war  he’ll end up a spent husk like Lyndon Johnson.

For purposes of lamenting Obama’s failure to use his oratorical powers in service of hustling the East, Thiessen assumes the guise of someone excited about expansive federal government, saddened by the stunting of LBJ’s Great Society.

A stance not often seen in the folds of the American Enterprise Institute, where the creator of wistful love notes to safely dead Democrats lies.

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

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