A $500 Million Dollar George W. Bush Library

A $500 Million Dollar George W. Bush Library

The New York Daily News has reported that there is a drive to raise $500 Million for a Presidential Library to house George W. Bush presidential materials.

The presidential library system is administered by the Office of Presidential Libraries, which is part Library of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It was formed in 1939 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt donated his presidential materials. While the libraries are run and funded by the NARA, the building costs must be funded by private donations. The Presidential Libraries Act of 1986 required private endowments to also offset some of the maintenance costs for the library.

This amount would set a record fo the cost of presidential libraries. President Clinton’s library cost $165 Million. The news reports say that "mega donors" are being sought for $10 and $20 Million dollar donations. It’s reported that wealthy Arab nations and big business have been contacted for donations already.

The comedians are already making jokes about the idea with jokes about filling it with the children’s book "My Pet Goat" and other comments. One wonders what will be featured regarding the Iraq war. President Lynden Johnson’s library originally ignored Vietnam in its displays when it opened. What will this president present about Iraq? Will Haliburton build the library? And will it feature displays of waterboarding, wiretapping, spying on Americans and the other violations of civil and human rights this administration stands for?

By the way, it’s also been reported that there are plans to spend another $8 Million on former president Bush’s library at Texas A & M University. The whole issue of presidential libraries does Egypt_ruins raise issues in my mind. I am reminded of the poem Ozymadius by Percy Shelley:

"I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear — "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away."

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