What Roosevelt Wrought

Memories Are Made Of This    roosevelt-library-dedication.JPG

First in peace, first in war, and first to build a gigundous museum for himself.  Franklyn Roosevelt’s great initiative to make history the way he liked it spawned our  glorious  presidential library industry, but what about the poor slobs before him?

Herbert Hoover built the first post-FDR prequel library, and we’ve recently had the Lincoln. But other Great Guys have been left to the mercies of families, local historical societies, and rich eccentrics.

But now, new hope for history’s remainders!

Congress is moving to correct the nation’s sad neglect of past presidents, offering the Pre-Hoovers matching funds if their mom and pop museums can claim to have raised new money.  The bill began as a straight subsidy of Staunton, Virginia’s exciting new Woodrow Wilson Library and Museum, which commemorates Wilson’s vital first [and only] year spent in the tiny burg.  Sponsors  then somehow morphed the bill into a past president catch-all,  introduced on September 11th to ensure that the terrorists don’t retrospectively win the War To End All Wars, or something.

Results may very in your area, but Staunton’s vital Wilson documents being “preserved” at  are largely copies of documents elsewhere, proudly boasting that:


“The archives microfilm collection includes the Wilson holdings at the Library of Congress and the National Archives.”

Making the entire enterprise somewhat beside the point except as “economic development.”

Reagan Repeat: Coffee Talk With Sarah Palin

Reagan: Better Read  reagan_coffee-2.jpg

Our gal chose to close last night quoting the sainted Ronald Reagan [after earlier misattributing “city on a hill” to Reagan, rather than John Winthrop, whom he quoted.]
And magnificent words they were.  The empty vessel that is Sarah Palin, already caught channeling FDR assassination fans on the glories of small town life,  was pumped up with yet another oddity from the Republican party’s controversiall past.

As was widely noted, Palin’s closer was lifted from Reagan’s “Operation Coffee-cup” crusade against Medicare, back when it was the opening wedge of socialism.

Sarah Palin’s Truman Show: The Trouble With Harry

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The McCain campaign practice of repeating lies even in the face of their refutation  has spread to their apologists.

Even after National Treasure Thomas Frank blew up Sarah Palin’s Truman-homage-via-quoting-a-nut-who-wanted-FDR-dead, The Weekly Standard claims that “”So far no one has picked up on the significance of Palin’s invocation of Harry Truman in her convention speech.”

It’s all about the rise of natural aristocrats.  Steven F. Hayward deploys a little Founder-Rama genuflection to Adams and Jefferson,  then honers Truman [and Palin, in this alternative universe]  by wheeling out one of the mustiest of nineties cliches:

Gettin’ It.

“Her reference was more than just a bridge to a heartland-versus-Beltway theme. Truman, recall, was the only president of the 20th century who was not a college graduate…In retrospect it is clear that Truman “got it.” He didn’t need any more “experience” to master the job.

Pass the corn.

That ’70s Show

The Next Voice You Hear reagan-who-promo.jpg

Miss Grandpa’s voice on the radio?

Fret no more, Ronald Reagan is coming back to AM! It’s the very best of radio at it’s most analog, lovingly resurrected to win another generation to the cause.

It’s the hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s and today, without the clutter of those last three.

reagan-commentary-ad.jpg As Reagan re-animation efforts continue to reach new heights, the musty scripts are being presented as timeless words from yesteryear, “over 1,000 radio addresses that clarified his vision for America.”

And of course, “Non-political in nature.”

roosevelt-radio-mikes.jpg FDR gave his fireside chats while he actually held power, facing epic troubles larger than the looming abandonment of the Panama Canal Zone. But the idea of replaying his tapes during the 60s wouldn’t have passed the laugh test.

Nixon Family Benefactor Dead?

Beginning of the End vesco-cuba-arrest.JPG

A fugitive from American fraud and bribery charges since the 1970s, Robert Vesco may have died in Cuba, which jailed him for a more than a decade.

The Associated Press reports that a Robert Vesco died and was buried last year in Havana, but quotes an American writer who interviewed Vesco as having doubts.

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A $200,000 bribe to Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President over a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation was among the charges that led Vesco to flee the US.

Before the fall Vesco collected the bad seeds of several First Families.

nixons-donald-nixon.JPG Vesco knew failed restaurateur and Nixon brother Donald Nixon, who testified at the bribe trial, and employed Donald Nixon Jr. One of Franklin Roosevelt’s sons was also charged by the SEC.

Vesco ended up in Cuba after hiding out in several Caribbean nations. Among other dubious schemes he worked with Donald Junior on aids cures before the Cubans jailed him for 13 years. Nixon got off with a month’s house arrest.