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.

Hoover & Elvis: If Every Day Was Like Christmas

Herbert Hoover As You’ve Never Seen Him   hoover-color.JPG

Times are tough in America’s Heartlandtrademark1.gif, but plucky Midwesterners are buckling down.

Iowa’s Herbert Hoover National Historic Site has so few visitors that early this year it dropped it’s admission charge to save the money spent trying to collect it.

Hoover is a punching bag for all seasons. Distant relative Lynn Forester de Rothschild,  the “Joe the Plumber” of the multiple homes set and deranged ex-Hillary supporter, used her faint connection to bolster the Obama-is-Hoover argument of the sinking McCain campaign.

Now the Hoover Museum on the Historic Site has turned to a beloved folk figure to try and drag in some bodies.


Elvis-themed Christmas trees are somehow to draw the otherwise Hoover-averse to the Hoover Museum within the Historic Site.

Mr. Reagan, Give Them Back Their Wall!

Communism Point & Click berlin-digital-wall.jpg

So little is left of the Berlin Wall that Reuters reports authorities have resorted to handing tourists a GPS powered device if they want to recreate that closed in feeling.

We know where the Wall went: vast chunks carried off to America for victory displays. Prime offenders are Presidential Libraries, which are cluttered with the stuff.

Let’s review:

George H.W. Bush has a cheesy salute to Berlin bush-berlin-wall-horses.jpg and all things Texan outside his museum, and indoors bush-sr-berlin-wall-indoors.JPG Wall as well. And Bush Secretary of State James Baker got a berlin-wall-rice-university.jpg chunk for his Rice University Institute.

Ford has a piece, ford-berlin-wall-piece.JPG although the Wall rested undisturbed throughout his presidency.

nixon-berlin-wall-2.jpg Nixon too.

Kennedy saw it built on his watch. kennedy-berlin-wall.jpg

The Hoover Library has a Wall piece, hoover-library-berlin-wall.jpgalthough he barely lived long enough to see it built, three decades after his presidency.

Truman hosted Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech at Westminister College in Fulton Missouri, and the campus now hosts both a plain chunk berlin-wall-westminister-colleg-fulton.jpg and a Wall “sculpture” – a piece with holes punched in it by Churchill’s granddaughter. berlin-sculpturebreakthrough.jpg She also sold one of these horrors to the Roosevelt library.

The greater glory of Ronald Reagan requires the most concrete, with Wall samples at his Dixon Illinois reagan-berlin-wall-dixon.jpg birthplace, alma mater reagan-eureka-berlin-wall-at-the-reagan-center.jpg Eureka College, at the federal Reagan reagan-berlin-wall-reagan-building.jpg office building in Washington, aboard reagan-berlin-wall-uss-reagan-bronze-on-berlin-wall.JPG the USS Ronald Reagan, reagan-berlin-wall-reagan-ranch-office.jpg at the Reagan Ranch Center, and at the Reagan Library indoors reagan-berlin-wall-indoors.jpg & out. reagan-berlin-wall-outdoors.jpg

And they used to sell bags of chips.

How They Hate [Some] Of Us

Honor Roll belgium-for-belgium-and-honor.jpg

Brussels journall takes the time to go where the streets have no name, or at least not ones it approves of. Thanks to the ceaseless proliferation of web-based tools they offer what can only be hoped is the definitive survey of

Belgian Streets Named after US Presidents

Road-map to the Stars

Why-ever they might feel this way is unaddressed, although Donald Rumsfeld‘s thoughtful intervention overturning Belgium’s war crimes law recently can’t have helped.

Nobody Here But Us Populists!

reagan-neshoba-county-fair.gif It’s Cultural!

politico-header.gif A Politico “Senior Political Writer” has read the entrails of the Krugman Reagan=Racist debate, rejects the thesis, and wanders even further back in the Huffington Post to find the Republicans pretty much blameless going back to the Twenties.

While claiming Reagan’s appeal wasn’t racist, David Paul Kuhn [author of The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma] makes the bizarre argument that if Northern white males voted Republican it somehow absolved pols and white Southerners of racism.

And he tries to make the case that Republican Southern gains were due to a host of factors:

“Twenty years earlier, when both parties mostly ignored the plight of blacks, Republicans won half the South. The 1928 Democratic nominee Al Smith was a Catholic running in the Protestant South. But it was more than that. Smith was against Prohibition. The GOP successfully painted him as a big city politician who had little culturally in common with the Southern everyman…In short, the first significant Republican success in the South was based on an entirely non-racial culturally populist appeal.”

“Populist” is a broad church, but to draw sharp distinctions between racism and attacks on the big cities, their swarthy ethnic inhabitants and their libidinous ways is an interesting defense.

Kuhn has a following. The ludicrous Joe Klein breathlessly asked Time‘s readers recently, “Does Merle Haggard Speak for America?”

Klein recalled his working class youth singing along to “Okie From Muskogee” and melding the aging country icon with Kuhn’s musings about living right and bein’ free.

Haggard haggard.jpg

We don’t let our hair grow long and shaggy, Like the hippies out in San Francisco do.”