Inside the Beltway: Firing up the ‘W’ legacy

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It has to do with wise civility, perhaps, and some fabulous strategery. Former President George W. Bush, deemed either a “frat boy” or war monger by an unfriendly press for years, has re-emerged on the public radar, earning a growing number of positive reviews and rising approval ratings on par or even besting President Obama’s numbers. “George W. Bush returns as a uniter” declared The Washington Post in the wake of Mr. Bush’s well-received visit to Africa, and a particularly compelling interview with ABC News in the aftermath. “The expanding legacy of George Bush,” heralded a recent McClatchy editorial.

Following four years of gracious silence after he left office, Mr. Bush has adopted an appealing, straightforward mien that appears both authentic and sincere. He dismisses any talk of legacy, telling ABC that “history will see to that.” Asked why he doesn’t chat more with Mr. Obama, he replied, “Because he’s busy and I’m retired.”

Well, not quite. Phase one of the Bush legacy fires up Wednesday at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. Mr. Bush hosts a daylong event titled “What Immigrants Contribute,” meant to “honor America’s immigrant heritage,” and opening with an official naturalization ceremony. “President Bush will deliver keynote remarks before America’s newest citizens take the oath of allegiance to the United States,” organizers say.

Timely? Yes. The immigration reform bill currently is mesmerizing all of Capitol Hill.

Multiple forums and panels abound at the Bush event, meanwhile, offering evidence that immigrants and naturalization help the economy. Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore and U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president Javier Palomarez are among the speakers. The big doings will be broadcast live on C-SPAN and streamed online (Bushcenter.org/live) beginning at 9 a.m. EST.

There’s still baggage out there, though. A Gallup poll released Tuesday finds that 69 percent of Americans still blame Mr. Bush for the flagging U.S. economy while 53 percent blame Mr. Obama.

AND IN SUMMATION

“With Spitzer & Anthony Weiner running for office, New York is pervert central! Pathetic.”

— Donald Trump reflecting on the state of Big Apple politics, in a tweet.

COFFEE PLEASE, BUT NO GUNS

A Sig Sauer with that non-fat vanilla latte? Uh, no, says the Indiana-based grass-roots group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which has launched a campaign to demand that the almighty Starbucks franchise ban guns from its stores nationwide. The company currently allows patrons to bring loaded firearms into their stores in states where public carrying is permitted, the group says.

A petition and letter-writing campaign are underway; the ladies are contacting local newspapers and rattling their social media chain.

“Many moms are unaware that if they take their children to a Starbucks, their children may be standing next to a customer who has a loaded weapon,” says Shannon Watts, founder of the group. “Starbucks needs to understand that they must take the safety of our children and families as seriously as mothers do.”

THE MONSTER OF MEDIA BIAS

The partisan slant in the media has been pondered and parsed since word got out in the 1990s that, uh, most journalists were liberal and brought their ideology into the newsroom. Media bias has become a dangerous behemoth rather than a nuisance, growing bold and reckless in the shrill era of 24/7 coverage and desperate competition between news organizations for audience.

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