Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Clinton Presidential Library

Well I walked the "sidewalk to the 21st Century" today by walking about four blocks from my Little Rock, Arkansas hotel to the President Bill Clinton Presidential Library ( which is located on a large parcel of land along the Arkansas River.

The library building itself is dominated by a very modern look and LARGE picture windows offering wonderful views of Little Rock -- perhaps symbolic of the transparency that was lacking in his wife's health care task force since she kept all debates secret from public scrutiny until my friends at the National Legal and Policy Center ( filed successful Freedom of Information Act requests to pry the meeting minutes/notes from her cold, dead hands :)

I admit I am biased since I never wanted to see him in the White House but the library seemed completely dominated by campaign buttons, gifts from foreign governments, and souvenirs of all kinds -- it left me with no great sense that it was designed to be a resource for academics and students of presidential history but I am happy to be proven incorrect.

One display that I read through was what I call the "before and after Clinton statistics board" which showed what the USA was like in terms of employment, computer penetration rates, crime rates, etc. in 1992 (when Clinton first ran for president) and in 2000 as he was leaving office. Funny enough -- the "percentage of people with either private or government provided health care insurance" SURGED from 84% to 86% under Bill and Hillary's eight year reign!!

Given that the current US population is nearly 300 million people today the 14% without insurance in 2000 would under 45 million people. Then coupled with the fact that the Clinton Presidential Library construction costs totaled -- $165 million --
(Source: I can't help but wonder why the Clintons did not raise this money to donate it to America's uninsured citizens instead of building this Temple of Clinton since the clearly felt our pain? The amount they raised for the library might have better used to house a health insurance company created by the Clinton Foundation designed to provide low cost health care insurance.

Mis-guided priorities?


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