The effort to design, fund, and build a monument to Dwight Eisenhower has been underway for 15 years now. So, unsurprisingly, while money has been spent and headquarters have been staffed, ground has not yet been broken. For that matter, the proposed design of the monument has, as Hannah Hess at Roll Call reports:
… inspired public criticism from the Eisenhower family, scathing commentaries in the national media and some backlash from the federal bodies required to give final approval to the plan.
Meanwhile, Congress is applying pressure with its usual delicacy and in the 2014 omnibus funding bill:
The project received only $1 million of its $51 million request, meaning the Eisenhower Memorial Commission will have to stretch to cover operating costs for the professional staff at its K Street office suite. Appropriators have in the past set aside $2 million for that function.
Hard to imagine the commission’s staff slogging on without a K Street headquarters. And, by the way, what is the other $49 million for?
Eisenhower, himself, would have found a way to cut through all this and get the thing done efficiently. But since he is not with us and, alas, his type seems to have been lost to this age, the best way to clean this thing up is to follow Andrew Ferguson’s advice (always a good idea) and
By all means let us honor Ike. As John Eisenhower suggests, we can even keep the four-acre square on Maryland Avenue if his admirers will accept nothing less—indeed, the resulting traffic gridlock could be seen as a reminder of the Interstate Highway System that President Eisenhower did so much to advance. Ring the new square with shade trees and raise in the middle an expressive statue on a handsome plinth. Place a placard here and there with enough information to satisfy the pedagogues.
In a letter sent yesterday to Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service, 94 members of Congress question the federal government's decision to close open-air memorials during the federal government shutdown.
All signatories are Republicans. The letter was sent to 23 Democratic offices in the House, but all refused to sign on.
The members of Congress have 6 basic question for Jarvis:
Another open-air memorial in the Washington area is closed and barricaded off: the Iwo Jima Memorial, just across the bridge from D.C. in Rosslyn, Virginia. A source sends along this picture of the barricade set-up at the memorial, which is also called the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial:
John McCormack reports on Twitter that a World War I Memorial is closed due to the federal government shutdown. However, a sign posted by the National Park Service says that despite the memorial's closure, there is an exception "for 1st Amendment activities."
Barack Obama is attending a memorial service for the victims of a massive fertilizer plant in West, Texas. But the president didn't visit the damage from the ground; instead, he opted only for a flyover.
Vice President Joe Biden made a joke today at the memorial service for slain MIT police officer Sean Collier:
"One of my favorite poets is Seamus Heaney," said Biden, who is of Irish descent. "I know the congressman thinks I always quote Irish poets because I'm Irish. That's not the reason I do it. I quote Irish poets because they're the best poets and that's the reason why," Biden deadpanned. "And the Collier family knows that, right?"
Americans have long had to fight City Hall, but now they have to fight an almost endless list of government bureaucracies at both the state and federal levels. Occasionally, however, the little guy still wins.
For three years, a private citizen named Steve LeBard has led the effort to build a privately funded memorial in Orcutt, California—a tranquil small town located on the Golden State’s gorgeous Central Coast—to honor military veterans. And for the better part of those three years, he has run into a toxic blend of political correctness, anti-Americanism, and bureaucratic senselessness. Today, the memorial, which was to be built with private funds on a small piece of public land, remains unbuilt.
The controversial proposal for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial now has a new component: a smartphone app, which, according to the memorial’s designers, visitors will be able to use on-site to “contextualize Eisenhower’s impact” and view historical and biographical content.
Earlier this morning at the Pentagon, President Barack Obama delivered the following remarks in rememberance of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001:
"Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey, members of our Armed Forces, and most importantly, to the families --survivors and loved ones -- of those we lost, Michelle and I are humbled to join you again on this solemn anniversary.