presidential homes


In 1962 John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy designed their own estate; Wexford, in Virginia. In late 1963 it was completed. The family only spent a few weekends together in the house before the president’s assassination in November of that year.

From Louise Penny’s FB page: “Spent the weekend with the Clintons, and HRC’s best friend Betsey, in Chappaqua, New York. They could not have been warmer or more welcoming. Yesterday we had a tour of Hyde Park, FDR and Eleanor’s home-Presidential library, with new exhibition on internment of Japanese Americans in WW2. Chilling. It was a ‘pinch me’ weekend.” - March 5, 2017.
Why Bernie Sanders' movement is much larger than this election | Tony Karon
A political revolution can’t be built in a single election cycle. What matters is that the movement continues after the election – whether or not he wins
By Tony Karon

The US media and political establishment insist on reading Bernie Sanders’ presidential run as a Don Quixote story – an underdog’s doomed, if poetically heroic, challenge to an immutable status quo that offers little hope to the poor.

But Sanders’ performance and prospects can’t be assessed by the metrics of traditional electoral politics, because he has always set the goals of his campaign on terms that defy the yardsticks of campaigning as we know it.

Despite the “Bernie” thing, Sanders presents his persona as no more than the sum of the ideas and principles he puts before the electorate in pursuit of a “political revolution” against a political system in thrall to corporate cash. It’s a project he hopes will outlive his candidacy, and even his person. Like Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, he is inviting any citizen running in local, state or nationwide elections – or waging local-level citizen campaigns – to be Bernie Sanders.

That’s not a win-or-go-home presidential bid.

“A campaign has got to be much more than just getting votes and getting elected,” he told an interviewer soon after launching his run. “It has to be helping to educate people, organize people. If we can do that, we can change the dynamic of politics for years and years to come.”

So I voted today...

Let me tell you, the New York political scene is so fucking suspicious and shady. I woke myself up at the asscrack of dawn to go back to my neighborhood in Queens to vote at the same school building that people in my neighborhood have gone to vote at for years. But apparently, when I go there and ask the security guards where the polls are, they’re like “oh, the location was moved.”

There were no signs indicating this, no one decided to canvas the neighborhood and let people know, and I had to hastily get on my phone to find the new address and walk an extra ten blocks to get there. 

I live in a working class neighborhood full of people that only have minutes to vote before they have to go to work, many of them elderly and disabled and therefore don’t have the resources to go check online to see the new location. They’ll probably assume that if the polls aren’t at the old location, there’s no need to vote. 

To make it worse, when I did get to the right polling place,  I had to find my address in the registration book because the woman couldn’t find it, I had to tell one of the poll workers that my photo ID wasn’t necessary, and it took five different people to decide how I should scan the ballot. 

This is the most inaccessible voting season I’ve seen, and I swear to God it’s like some sick, underhanded method of disenfranchising poor communities from voting. 


United Nations Day: The Roosevelts and the United Nations

Both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were instrumental in the early formation of the United Nations.  FDR first discussed a “family of nations” with Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Atlantic Charter conference in August 1941, ultimately proposing the name “United Nations” following a meeting of 26 nations in 1942, and later began preliminary discussions with the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and China about the structure of a world political organization. 

At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, FDR, Churchill and Premier Stalin of the Soviet Union agreed that the “Big Five” nations (United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, France and China) would be permanent members of a United Nations Security Council, a special committee with powers to keep the peace. The leaders also agreed to call a conference in San Francisco, California on April 25, 1945 to prepare a Charter for the new organization. FDR planned to attend the opening of the San Francisco Conference, but he died in Warm Springs, Georgia, on April 12, 1945. 

Eleanor herself was appointed as a member of the first U.S. delegation to the United Nations in 1945 by President Harry Truman and she served as chairman of the UN’s Human Rights commission.

The FDR Library will present “The Roosevelts’ United Nations: Then & Now,” a free public forum at 3:00 p.m. in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home on October 24, 2015. This forum will explore the creation and history of the United Nations, its successes and failures, and ways in which it may best face the challenges of tomorrow. 

Can’t attend? Watch a live webcast of the forum.

via the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum ( @fdrlibrary )

A Message to ANYONE voting tomorrow in the 2016 US Presidential Election (especially my home state of North Carolina).

In the name of reason, civility, progress, egalitarianism, and decency, make it blue!


“My heart is made of flowers, not cement”

Hundreds of Kaqchikel women from San Juan Sacatepéquez demonstrated today against the “state of prevention” halting basic civil rights for citizens since September 22, after the murder of 8 people two days before. The women, members of the 12 communities in this county, marched from the Obelisk to the Presidential Home and demand that President Pérez Molina halt this measure, which they say violates their rights. The “state of prevention” was declared amidst community protests over a cement plant in the community.