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The fight over White House secrecy has taken a new twist, with Senate officials confirming Wednesday that a Republican senator is secretly blocking a bill that would reverse President Bush's 2001 executive order allowing ex-presidents to seal their records indefinitely.
It's Friday, and time for another Presidential history lesson from C-SPAN. Tonight's/tomorrow's program comes from the Truman Library in Independence, MO. Here's a view of the C-SPAN bus/broadcasting unit and a story on the show from the Kansas City Star.
Truman Library Director Michael Devine said a highlight of the program will be outtakes from a television series in which Truman discussed his presidential decisions. They include his assessment of Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, his decision to use the atomic bomb and the firing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
"That series was very good, but the outtakes are even better," Devine said. "They're much more revealing, much more candid. You get a sense of his real down-to-earth views, and it's a marvelous look at his sense of humor."
Oops, we missed the first one, but there are eleven more to go...C-SPAN is broadcasting live from one presidential library each week, (it started last Friday with the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa).
Presidential historian Richard Norton Smith will be hosting, and he predict that the broadcasts will be "a kind of history that people don't get out of their textbooks." Story from The Houston Chronicle; details from C-SPAN. Watch on C-SPAN-TV, listen on C-SPAN Radio.
When: Every Friday through Nov. 30. Check your local listings (as they say).
Sept. 14: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Sept. 21: Harry S. Truman
Sept. 28: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Oct. 5: John F. Kennedy
Oct. 12: Lyndon Baines Johnson
Oct. 19: Richard Nixon
Oct. 26: Gerald R. Ford
Nov. 2: Jimmy Carter
Nov. 9: Ronald Reagan
Nov. 16: George Bush
Nov. 30: William J. Clinton
After the Bush Library reportedly backed out of a portrait they had commissioned from British artist Jonathan Yeo, the 36-year-old artist went forward with one anyway, a collage created from fragments of 100 porn magazines.
This Sun story has a small version of the portrait which you are invited to enlarge. Artist Yeo has even more graphic details of the portrait on his website.
The work was unveiled yesterday at London's Lazarides Gallery in Soho.
Here's One on our lovely presidential libraries. A few common themes course through the 12 U.S. presidential libraries: election memorabilia, famous speeches, gifts from dignitaries and gowns worn by the first ladies.
Yet, the 12 libraries also have their own styles.
Only at Ronald Reagan's library can visitors tour the inside of a real Air Force One, the plane used for presidential travel. Some presidential library sites include the president's final resting place.
The SMU Paper reports President R. Gerald Turner said legal issues are delaying a final announcement between SMU and the Bush Library Selection Committee. He made the comments last week in front of a gathering of the SMU Student Affairs staff.
Details of the contract between the university and the selection committee are taking longer than expected, causing Turner to say that he has given up trying to predict when an announcement will occur.
Meanwhile, The Houston Chronicle Reports Southern Methodist University, the leading contender for George W. Bush's presidential library, started using its political, financial and social connections soon after his election to try to land the project, documents show.
Thousands of pages of testimony â€” obtained by The Dallas Morning News from a lawsuit involving land that may be used for the library â€” reveal an early, elaborate and secretive courtship for the project.
Hillary Clinton White House Records Off-Limits to Opponents: Opposition researchers would love to get their hands on the nearly 2 million pages of off-limit documents generated by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's office during her eight years as first lady, but it's not going to happen.
The Presidential Records Act allows federal archivists to censor the materials now at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, The Los Angeles Times reports, because they contain confidential advice that is permitted to be kept secret at least until after the 2008 presidential election.
That's good news for Clinton, whose stormy years trying to remake the nation's health care system and other activities would be a target for dirt-diggers.
SMU Hits Another Snag In Bid For Bush Library: Although Baylor University hasn't withdrawn its bid, Southern Methodist University is the presumptive winner of the sweepstakes for the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
But SMU doesn't have enough space that meets standards for temporary storage of the president's records and other materials, the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.
The Morning News reports that the National Archives
There's no official word yet that Southern Methodist University will be the site of President Bush's library, but federal officials are shopping in Dallas for space to store his papers and collectibles; enough to fill a large supermarket.
In a letter to developers, the National Archives and Records Administration said it needs to rent a secure 60,000-square-foot space from Oct. 1, 2008, to Sept. 30, 2014, to hold "general textual, general non-textual, national security classified and museum collections."