Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and steered this country through the Civil War. His face graces Mount Rushmore along with Washington, Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt. The Lincoln Memorial was built in his memory.

150 years ago Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November a day of Thanksgiving. Text provided here and below the break.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013



Over the summer I made a stop at the LBJ Presidential Library & Museum in Austin on my way back from the Young Democrats of America Conference that was held in San Antonio. I last visited the museum when I was a kid with my grandparents and the thing I remember about the exhibits was the replica of the Oval Office.

This time the trip was a little more in depth. I noticed documents and exhibits that resonate to this day. There was the poll tax receipt, campaign paraphernalia, a copy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, items associated with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the first Medicaid card which was issued to former President Harry S. Truman.

One of the documents that caught my eye was President Johnson's meeting with the cabinet after the assassination.

The stable transition of our government was important. George Washington could have ran for a third term in 1796, but felt that two terms was enough thus establishing a precedent that was followed until Franklin Roosevelt. The peaceful transition from one political party to another was established when John Adams abided by the election results of 1800 and ceded control to Thomas Jefferson whom he often clashed with.

After William Henry Harrison died in 30 days, John Tyler became president thus establishing the precedent of when the president dies the vice-president takes over. This was faced with its own controversy (scroll down, it's there)  as people addressed Tyler as "His Accidency" or "The Acting President" or even by his previous office, "Mr. Vice-President."

The practice was repeated after the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley, and the deaths of Harding in 1923 and Franklin Roosevelt in 1945. The deaths of Lincoln and Roosevelt happened during periods of uncertainty. Lincoln's assassination occurred days after the South surrendered in the Civil War and Roosevelt's death happened in the waning days of World War II.

Kennedy's assassination occurred when the Cold War was still fairly warm. The Cuban Missile crisis happened a year earlier and there were still many more storylines yet to be written in this time period. It was important that the functions of our government continued. Yes, it was OK to be sad and mourn as President Johnson released funeral plans, issued a proclamation, and Executive Order 11128 announcing the following Monday as a day of remembrance to their slain leader to allow the country to grieve and express their sorrow. But the meeting with the cabinet and that document was equally as important to show our resolve that the work of the government will continue.

On 27 November 1963, President Lyndon Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress along with a still grieving nation regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and how the nation will move forward.

President Johnson began his address with these words:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the House, Members of the Senate, my fellow Americans:

All I have I would have given gladly not to be standing here today.

The greatest leader of our time has been struck down by the foulest deed of our time. Today John Fitzgerald Kennedy lives on in the immortal words and works that he left behind. He lives on in the mind and memories of mankind. He lives on in the hearts of his countrymen.

No words are sad enough to express our sense of loss. No words are strong enough to express our determination to continue the forward thrust of America that he began.

Video is provided after the break and text provided from The American Presidency Project.

Friday, November 8, 2013



In this interview, Civil Rights icon and Representative John Lewis (D, GA-5) flanked by graphic novel artists Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell about the project chronicling the Congressman's involvement in the Civil Rights Era.

I own a couple of graphic novels that revolve around historical events. On my bookshelf is The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation and 08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail. This is a different way of presenting historical events that have taken place.

This is the first of three books and is definitely on my must buy list.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. He was elected with over 50% of the popular vote in 2008 and 2012 becoming the first Democrat to do so since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. President Obama started his political career as an Illinois State Senator being elected to that position in 1996. In 2004 he gave a keynote address to the Democratic National Convention that skyrocketed him to national prominence which was followed by his election to the US Senate that November.

Prior to entering politics, he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated with a bachelor of arts from Columbia University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law.

He was born in Honolulu, HI on 4 August 1961 to a woman from Kansas and man from Kenya. His wife, Chicago lawyer Michelle Robinson, and him were married in October 1992. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. President Obama and his family currently reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, DC which where they will reside there until 20 January 2017.

President Obama's record on LGBT issues speaks for itself as he has stood for the people that I hold near and dear to my heart. In 2009 the White House held its first ever LGBT Pride event recognizing the events that took place at the Stonewall Inn in June 1969. He signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include attacks based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. President Obama directed the Department of Health and Human Services to allow visitation rights for LGBT patients. Beginning next year, insurance companies cannot deny LGBT Americans health care coverage.

In an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts last year, President Obama stated his support for marriage equality becoming the first sitting president to do so. Recently, President Obama reaffirmed this nation's commitment to LGBT rights on a global scale when he stated this in an interview with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show:

And he signed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal Act of 2010 that allowed gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons to serve openly in the military.

President Obama in this op-ed is urging Congress to take up the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). This legislation would ensure LGBT Americans, especially the ones who are T like my fellow football prognosticator, Ms. Monica Roberts, are ensured workplace protections. I know many transgender persons through my connections in politics, and I know a couple of transgender veterans.

In April 2013, I attended the Texas Stonewall Democrats conference in Austin. While there a gentleman who works for a well known Democratic legislator in The Lege stated that after he transitioned he lost his rights.

Simply put: folks should not lose job security because they happen to be who they are.


Sunday, October 20, 2013


On The Daily Show earlier this month, John Stewart interviewed Malala Yousafzai.

Born in Pakistan, Malala is a women's education advocate in her country. Last year, the Taliban issued a death threat against her for her willingness to speak out and advocate her position. That same group acted upon that threat and shot her in the face. Malala survived the attacked and authored a book titled I Am Malala. Recently she was recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize becoming the youngest person ever to receive that nomination.

I highly suggest watching this interview.


Marc Veasey was elected to represent the newly created 33rd Congressional District of Texas in 2012. His district stretches across Tarrant and Dallas Counties.

Before being elected to Congress, Congressman Veasey was a member of the Texas Lege representing HD-95. That seat is currently occupied is Nicole Collier. Congressman Veasey sits on the Armed Services Committee and Science, Space, and Technology Committee. He is member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the LGBT Equality Caucus.

The interview covers the following topics: the Republican-led government shutdown, how elements of the Republican Party has been taken over by the Tea Party and hindered legislation, the proposed American-United Airlines merger, and 2014 Congressional Elections.


In a press conference on Thursday, President Obama explains about why the government needed to be reopened and why the debt ceiling needed to be raised.

Not only that, but he also pivoted towards pressing matters: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, being one of them.

Text via KUNC FM 91.5 and The White House.


Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote this letter about why she is not celebrating the end of this shutdown.

Senator Warren was elected to the US Senate in November 2012. Then-candidate Warren was a keynoter at the 2012 Democratic National Committee in Charlotte. During her campaign for US Senate last year, a video of a speech she gave at a home in 2011 surfaced and went viral.

She was the chair of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was established with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Senator Warren earned her bachelor's from the University of Houston in 1970. She later received her Juris Doctor from Rutgers and taught law at various universities before teaching at Harvard Law School in 1992.

Senator Warren along with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, authored the 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke.

Letter is via Huffington Post.