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First lady Laura Bush, who served as a public school teacher and librarian in the Houston, Dallas and Austin school systems, is scheduled to speak to the American Library Association's (ALA) annual conference in New Orleans on Monday.

Mrs. Bush isn't planning to speak about anything political. The noncontroversial topic of her panel: "School Libraries Work: Rebuilding for Learning" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Nevertheless, her mere scheduled presence has moonbat activists within the ALA steaming.

On a library e-mail list publicized on the SHUSH blog (www.SHUSH.ws) last week, ALA councilor-at-large Mark Rosenzweig's rant must be quoted at length to be believed:

"I must, with the weariness and frustration that accompanies the anticipated yet still painful, hereby protest that this event turns our conference into a grand political photo-op for the administration of President George W. Bush, whose administration bears such a heavy responsibility for, among other things of which I will remind you, the debacle of the response to Hurricane Katrina and for its on-going aftermath.

"Mrs. Bush is anachronistically called the 'First Lady,' with the fake gentility which is the hallmark of our provincial cult of the Presidency, but what she is, in (political) fact, regardless of her surfeit of -- to me -- rather cloying charm and her much publicized attachment to libraries as the no-political-downside way of demonstrating Bush Administration largesse, is the First Supporter of President Bush and one his most valuable public relations assets. ...

"(S)he supports virtually every policy of her husband's administration -- tax cuts for the rich, the destruction of Social Security and Medicare, the privatization of public lands, the hand- outs to corporations, the support for the plundering by Big Oil, the covering for the abuses of the (pharmaceutical) industry, the invasion and occupation of Iraq (and the lies that were told to enable it), the blockade of Cuba and the threats to Latin America, the nuclear sabre-rattling, the USA Patriot Act, covert domestic surveillance, the attacks on the Bill of Rights and the entire Constitution, the flaunting of international law, and, let's not forget, 'Gitmo' and Abu Ghraib and Haditha. …