Wanna Pay For Bush's SMU Library? S'OK, He Won't Tell No One.

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The president yesterday spoke for the first time about just how he'll pay for the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus -- like, ya know, maybe with some foreign money or somethin', if anyone outside of the U.S. and A. wants to give him some. Also: If you want to give to the building fund, and the library alone is expected to cost about $200 million, well, he can probably arrange to keep your name a secret as well. Which is nothing new: As The New York Times points out this morning, "Former President Bill Clinton has accepted foreign donations and has declined to release a list" of his donors. And it's turning into a campaign issue for Hillary, all of the sudden.

Incidentally, if you missed it earlier this week, Benjamin Hufbauer, who wrote the book Presidential Temples: How Memorials and Libraries Shape Public Memory, is more than a little worried about the Presidential Center's institute -- the so-called think tank over which the university will have absolutely no oversight. “[It] has a partisan agenda -- that’s very significant,” he told Inside Higher Ed. “Academics everywhere should be concerned about this. Clearly this goes against the idea of dispassionate inquiry, of looking at things on the basis of fact and merit. If it’s ideological, that’s opposed to the mission of a university.” Like Karl Rove, who's advising on the complex, didn't already know that. --Robert Wilonsky


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