All of us at The Weekly Standard were shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible news last week of the death in a cycling accident of our friend Jake Brewer, at age 34. The husband of contributing editor Mary Katharine Ham, Jake was not only a person of great achievement and remarkable promise, but a thoroughly decent and admirable man. He was full of life and lived life to the full, joyously and generously. May his memory be a blessing for his wife and family and all who knew him.
When an admirer once asked Harry Jaffa, the political philosopher who died earlier this month at the age of 96, what led to his interest in Abraham Lincoln, he answered without a moment’s hesitation, in a ferocious bark: “Plato!”
After the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts approved a revised design for the Eisenhower memorial last month, a New York Times reporter asked Anne Eisenhower, Ike’s granddaughter, whether the controversial design could now, at long last, get built, despite the objections of her own family and countless other appalled critics.
“There would be one more hurdle,” she said, “and that’s funds—unless [the commissioners] are going to build it themselves.”
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:
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.