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Bush center well on its way to reaching goal of 500,000 visitors

Posted Saturday, Sep. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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More than 200,000 people have visited the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum since it opened May 1.

Just one month ago, the library hit the 170,000 mark — and around 30,000 more people have flooded through the doors of the presidential center at the edge of the Southern Methodist University campus since then.

Officials have long set a goal of 500,000 visitors in the first year for the center at 2943 SMU Blvd. in University Park, a 226,560-square-foot, $250 million three-story red-brick-and-limestone building featuring signature architecture including Freedom Hall, which has a 360-degree high-definition video wall and a 67-foot tower with a lantern that glows at night.

Defending the USA

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who’s been getting standing ovations from Tea Party crowds, was not feeling the love from Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger last week for some free-wheeling comments the Texan had made about a U.S. strike into Syria.

“I have heard people say, and it has really bothered me — they say that if we go in and we strike Assad, and make him pay for the use of chemical weapons, more than any benefit he gains, that we are acting as, quote, ‘al Qaeda’s air force,’” Kinzinger said at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Syria. “And, I believe that is a cheap line by some people to garner headlines and not a serious discussion about what is going on in Syria.”

Kinzinger, who supports a limited strike in Syria, is a member of the Air National Guard. According to The Hill newspaper, he did not name Cruz but the Texas senator’s remarks had been widely disseminated after he appeared on Blaze.TV, the Texas-based Glenn Beck conservative news outlet. Cruz said, “We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as al Qaeda’s air force.”

A speaker from Texas?

Oh, those trouble-makers at Roll Call, the cheeky news organization that covers Capitol Hill, and Huffington Post, the online rag that likes to tweak those in power.

In a recent piece speculating about a successor to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Roll Call listed the top 10 who would be in the mix whenever the speaker decides to step down (not to be confused with speculation about those who might want to push him out).

On Wednesday, Huff Post added fuel to the fire in an article titled “Former Boehner Aides, GOP Sources Expect House Speaker Will Step Down After 2014 Elections.”

A quick look to Roll Call’s Top 10 has a Texan in the mix. Right there in the No. 5 spot is U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, currently the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Here’s how Roll Call handicaps Hensarling: “The Financial Services chairman would have a big natural advantage in a speaker’s race: Jeb Hensarling comes from Texas — and Texas currently has 24 votes in the conference. Hensarling’s impeccable conservative pedigree includes vigorously opposing the Wall Street bailout — which Cantor and Ryan helped pass.”

But, of course, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is in the No. 1 spot and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the GOP vice presidential standard bearer in 2012, is ranked No. 2.

Should make for some fun GOP leadership meetings.

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