The Lunacy Lives On

December 13, 2008

President George W. Bush’s legacy lunacy will live on in cyberspace — now that the GeorgeWBushLibrary.com domain name has been retrieved for $35,000 from an alert cyber-squatter who bought the domain name for less than $10 when its registration expired.

President George Bush, Accompanied by First Lady Laura Bush, Prepares to Light the National Christmas Tree for the Last Time

George Huger, lead developer of the Illuminati Karate web development company in Raleigh, North Carolina, was trolling a list of soon-to-expire domain names when he spotted the Bush domain name. Huger was quoted in The Dallas Morning News as saying: “It worked out very well.” Not surprisingly, Tallahassee-based Yuma Solutions, web developers of the presidential library, had no comment about their expensive oversight. You can see what the $35,000 has bought them so far here. The “placeholder” website — repurchased by Yuma seven months ago — has no Google or Alexa page rank. Translate, it is completely unremarkable in the eyes of search engines. Not so with the George W. Bush Presidential Library dotorg website. The savvy buyer enjoys a Google page rank of 6.

The Library Foundation bought the Bush domain name for $3,000 in March 2007 from a private citizen, through Yuma. But this time, it was Yuma itself — and not the Library — which had to fork over the $35,000 to Huger. Having learned its lesson, Yuma has now renewed the domain for five years, so that it won’t expire until 2013. Yuma also hosted websites for President Bush’s 2000 campaign and for the 1998 and 2002 campaigns of Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the George W. Bush Presidential Center — including a library, museum and public policy institute — are set for November 2010 on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. Texas, with a projected completion date of Summer 2013. The cost is expected to be about $300 million. Daddy’s presidential library is in Lubbock, TX.

The Reverend Andrew Weaver, an SMU Graduate Opposing Construction of the Bush Library on the Campus

The library has been controversial. As various Texas colleges and universities competed for the complex, Texas Monthly magazine published a 2006 letter from faculty and staff of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology which read, in part: “We count ourselves among those who would regret to see SMU enshrine attitudes and actions widely deemed as ethically egregious.” Last year, 10 Methodist bishops and professors created the Protect SMU petition protesting construction of the Bush library and museum at SMU. The petition says that “As United Methodists, we believe that the linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate.” The petition, signed by 29 bishops and 16 professors, called on SMU’s Board of Trustees to reject the library proposal. The Reverend Andrew Weaver of Brooklyn, NY, a Perkins graduate who supported the petition, said that “there are a lot of Methodists out there who don’t wish to give [Bush] the gift of our good name because he doesn’t deserve it…Bush has not been willing to speak with Methodist bishops about the war, but he will meet with Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. Why now is he choosing a Methodist school for his library and think tank?”

SMU emerged victorious in its quest for the Bush Center location in February 2008; the Center will be on the east side of the main SMU campus, adjacent to North Central Expressway and SMU Boulevard. Residents of the upscale University Park neighborhood adjacent to SMU are less than thrilled with the idea of thousands of tourists and tour buses traveling through their neighborhood to reach the library. The Bush Library construction plans call for a 400-vehicle parking lot.

Karl Rove

While rumors abound that former White House senior adviser Karl Rove is busy working on a Bush “legacy project,” Library Foundation president Mark Langdale told the Morning News that Rove won’t preside over the policy institute. Langdale added: “We talk; he’s a smart guy. I appreciate his advice.” Langdale indicated that, rather than present Bush’s story in a chronological manner, the museum will address the former president’s life in a series of four “core governing ideals” which have shaped the president’s decisions. Museum officials are considering “presenting key moments in the Bush presidency as case studies that relate to topics of freedom [think habeas corpus], opportunity [think recession], individual responsibility [think bank bailout] and compassion [think Hurricane Katrina]…That’s really the theme of what we’re going to talk about with the museum,” Langdale said. “He can explain why he decided the way he did.” Sounds like Bush will have a lot of ’splaining to do.

Take a stroll down memory lane with firefighters in New Orleans, who have their own interesting memories of President Bush.

Photo credit: Mitch Dumke / Reuters

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