President Obama visits Nancy’s seafood restaurant in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, August 21
MVT: POTUS emerged from Nancy’s at 8:24 pm, holding FLOTUS’s hand.
Then ducked into SUV and motorcade made quick one-minute trip to home near waterfront in Oak Bluffs where Valerie Jarrett is staying and where the first family is expected to stay for dinner. WH says they are dining with friends.
CBS News Senior Business Correspondent Anthony Mason sat down with President Barack Obama in his home state of Illinois for an interview that is scheduled to broadcast on “CBS Sunday Morning” this Sunday, August 21 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Here you go. I’m just copying my tweets here. You can either just RT (I’m @metaquest) or just copy the links for your own tweet:
USAToday: Amid preparations to unveil a national memorial in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., a majority of Americans say King’s dream of racial equality has been realized in the USA, although a gulf between blacks and whites persists over how much remains to be done.
Just over half of Americans polled say Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of racial equality has been fulfilled, and another one in four of those surveyed say major progress has been made toward it.
A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds both pride and division on race relations. Nearly everyone – 90% of whites and 85% of blacks – says civil rights for blacks have improved in the USA during their lifetime, although whites are more likely to see the progress as far-reaching.
…. Dawn Scott, 50, a caregiver for seniors from Bloomfield, Conn., who is black, says racism continues but cites the election of the nation’s first African-American president as evidence of King’s legacy.
“If he was alive, seeing what Barack (Obama) did, he’d be the proudest man on Earth,” she says of the civil rights leader….
Obama is scheduled to speak at the Aug. 28 dedication of the King memorial, a 30-foot-8-inch granite sculpture set amid cherry trees on the northwest shore of the Tidal Basin.
VK News: On Sunday, August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the “March on Washington” and Dr. King’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech, thousands will gather in Washington, D.C. to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a special dedication of the MLK Memorial, The “Stone of Hope” which is 30-foot statue of Dr. King located on the National Mall.
Robert Shrum: … Obama’s staying power in the face of adversity, which sustained his candidacy and then his presidency ….. But over time, the sheen of hope has been worn away. And nowhere is this more obvious than with his own base. Aggrieved by the loss of a public option in the health care bill, and the lack of a second major stimulus bill, activists were vocally disappointed when Obama agreed to a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts — no matter what the president extracted from the GOP in return. The Left’s premise is that if he had stood his ground more resolutely, or stomped his foot harder, somehow events would have moved ’round to him.
…. The progressive choir does have a point that is substantive, persuasive, economically right – and beside the point … Paul Krugman argues that what’s needed in the near-term is more spending, not more cuts, with a long-term deficit reduction plan tied to the pace of recovery. Those that press this idea – or who believe the president could have achieved a public option, an extension of tax cuts for the middle class but not the wealthy, or a debt ceiling bargain that raised taxes – have yet to describe a practical path that could have gotten him there.
…. the notion of ignoring Congress on the debt ceiling and invoking the 14th Amendment could have served as a useful pressure point or as a last resort in extremis. Actually doing it would have set off a constitutional and probably a financial crisis. It might have offered psychic satisfaction, but exactly how would it have advanced progressive purposes?
…. It is fantasy politics to assume the president could have overcome generations of fantasy economics – and it’s all but certain that no matter what he said, there never would have been enough votes for a second stimulus package in a filibustering Senate where an all-powerful Republican minority was and is dead set against any Obama plan to revive growth and jobs…
…. Democrats in general, as distinct from disappointed activists, may not know all the details, but they seem to sense this. Obama’s approval among liberals is high – and among Democrats it stands at 77 percent – even at the most fraught passage of his presidency. So much for the chimera of a primary challenge. From whom? Dennis Kucinich – who no longer has a congressional district in Ohio?
Just because the Tea Party is crazy doesn’t mean progressives should let them make us crazy …. Time and again, most recently during the manufactured debt crisis, the president has already proved that he’s the reasonable person in the room. Now he has to prove that he’s the passionate person in the room … He has to put an edge on his message, as FDR and Harry Truman did…
… The criticism of Barack Obama in the last campaign was that he was all speech and no substance. As president, he’s been mostly substance, much of it historic, and rarely the speechmaker of 2008. But in the fierce urgency of this now, it is time for speech again, for a clarion call. Let’s hope we begin to hear it in the sounds of August.
NYT: President Obama ordered his advisers last August to produce a secret report on unrest in the Arab world, which concluded that without sweeping political changes, countries from Bahrain to Yemen were ripe for popular revolt, administration officials said Wednesday.
Mr. Obama’s order, known as a Presidential Study Directive, identified likely flashpoints, most notably Egypt, and solicited proposals for how the administration could push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers who are also valuable allies of the United States, these officials said.
The 18-page classified report, they said, grapples with a problem that has bedeviled the White House’s approach toward Egypt and other countries in recent days: how to balance American strategic interests and the desire to avert broader instability against the democratic demands of the protesters.
…Officials said Mr. Obama’s support for the crowds in Tahrir Square in Cairo, even if it followed some mixed signals by his administration, reflected his belief that there was a greater risk in not pushing for changes because Arab leaders would have to resort to ever more brutal methods to keep the lid on dissent.
“There’s no question Egypt was very much on the mind of the president,” said a senior official who helped draft the report …. “You had all the unknowns created by Egypt’s succession picture — and Egypt is the anchor of the region.”
Let’s just look again at an extract from Niall Ferguson’s article in Newsweek:
“I can think of no more damning indictment of the administration’s strategic thinking than this: It never once considered a scenario in which Mubarak faced a popular revolt. Yet the very essence of rigorous strategic thinking is to devise such a scenario and to think through the best responses to them, preferably two or three moves ahead of actual or potential adversaries. It is only by doing these things—ranking priorities and gaming scenarios—that a coherent foreign policy can be made. The Israelis have been hard at work doing this. All the president and his NSC team seem to have done is to draft touchy-feely speeches like the one he delivered in Cairo early in his presidency.”