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2018年4月24日 星期二

RCP Morning Note, 04/24/2018: Senate Fundraising; McCabe Report; Tax Migration; Jefferson Turns a Page


04/24/2018
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Carl Cannon's Morning Note

Senate Fundraising; McCabe Report; Tax Migration; Jefferson Turns a Page

By Carl M. Cannon on Apr 24, 2018 08:31 am

Good morning, it's Tuesday, April 24, 2018. On this date in 1800, President John Adams signed a bill authorizing the relocation of the nation's capital from Philadelphia to Washington. Tucked into that legislation was a modest $5,000 appropriation for a reference library in the new Capitol for "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress and for putting up a suitable apartment for containing them therein."

From this language -- and the fires set by invading British troops 14 years later -- would emerge the Library of Congress. I first wrote about the origins of this great library, and the intercession of a famous benefactor, five years ago. This morning I'll reprise that chapter in U.S. history. First, I'd first point you to RealClearPolitics' front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion columns spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following:

* * *

Senate Dems Still Lead GOP in Fundraising. James Arkin breaks down the first-quarter totals.

Hidden Bombshell in McCabe Report. Charles Lipson spotlights testimony indicating that a high-ranking Obama Justice Department official tried to kill the FBI's investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

On Pompeo, Hypocrisy Reigns. Ryan Clancy complains that Democrats have forgotten the words of Joe Biden when it comes to confirming Cabinet picks.

The Great Tax Migration. Rob Arnott and John Tamny explain how the loss of most state and local tax deductions could produce the greatest population shift since the aftermath of World War II.

Thrown for Losses, Investors Can Only Boo the Refs. In RealClearInvestigations, John D. Wasik reports that defrauded investors often find themselves blocked by the brokerage industry's self-regulator.

Paul Ryan's Departure and Future of the House. In RealClearPolicy, the bipartisan group No Labels considers the context and potential consequences of the speaker's departure.

Medical Marijuana: A Clear-Cut Federalist Issue. Also in RCPolicy, Demetrios Karoutsos urges Republicans to embrace the state-led trend both on principle and for political reasons.

Turning Schools Into Centers for Civic Engagement. In RealClearEducation, Reuben Jacobson contends that public schools are key to reviving communities.

Deadliest Shipwreck Was in America, Not Great Britain. In RealClearHistory, Brandon Christensen shares the story of the steamboat Sultana, which in April 1865 exploded and sank on the Mississippi River, taking 1,547 lives.

* * *

Initially, the Library of Congress was housed inside the U.S. Capitol. To stock its shelves, orders went out to London. The first volumes began arriving in 1801 when Thomas Jefferson became president of the new country. By April 1802, a catalogue of the library's inventory listed 964 books and nine maps.

Jefferson and James Madison were all about expanding this collection, meaning that by August 1814, when invading British troops torched the Capitol -- and the books housed inside -- the library held some 3,000 volumes. On his mountaintop outside Charlottesville, Jefferson grieved their loss. Not only had he taken pride in the Library of Congress' growth, but Jefferson knew first-hand what it was like to lose valuable books. He'd been distraught when a 1770 fire destroyed Shadwell, his family home, along with his personal library.

Jefferson had spent the next four-and-a-half decades acquiring books, so by the time the Capitol was destroyed, he owned the largest collection in America. Strapped, as always, for cash -- and wanting to restore the library he and Adams had helped create -- Jefferson offered to sell his own books to the government.

Although the offer was not without controversy, ultimately lawmakers did the sensible thing. For the price of $23,950, Congress more than doubled the previous size of the Library of Congress, receiving nearly 6,500 volumes from Jefferson.

The third U.S. president is credited for a saying -- "I cannot live without books" -- that adorns book bags and the walls of independent booksellers even today. He really did make that observation, but it is a partial quote, and it came in the context of him rationalizing his feelings upon relinquishing his beloved collection.

"I cannot live without books," Jefferson wrote to John Adams on June 10, 1815, "but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object."

One could say that the Sage of Monticello coined the adage "I cannot live without books" in the same sentence that he created the intellectual antecedent for the "small is beautiful" movement. Or perhaps the truth is less prosaic. At age 72, Thomas Jefferson may have realized that the time had come, as it must to everyone blessed with a long life, to begin the process of downsizing.

Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)
ccannon@realclearpolitics.com

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