12:00 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Jacksonville, Florida
3:10 PM: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Petr Necas of the Czech Republic
3:30 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Tampa, Florida
5:05 PM: The President greets city and municipal leaders from across the country
6:45 PM: The President has dinner with winners of a campaign contest
7:00 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Andrew Sabl: I’ve been reading a lot about Occupy Wall Street. Last Saturday, I visited Zuccotti Park and took a look for myself. I think it’s time we recognized a clear but complex set of truths.
The demands of Occupy Wall Street are both valid and popular; Democrats and Progressives of all tendencies should endorse them. The people actually occupying Wall Street are total flakes….
…. There is no other way to put it. They are ….. fanatics: sincere (in fact, prone to worship, cloyingly and off-puttingly, a cult of sincerity) and often eloquent, but opposed in principle to anything that might give them any power: alliances, membership lists, the authority to endorse….
Here the contrast with the civil rights movement could not be starker. SCLC, CORE, and SNCC marches, freedom rides, and sit-ins always had a clear target: the Jim Crow laws and practices that the protestors were decrying …. With a view to actually getting what they wanted, they gathered as many allies as humanly possible …. In contrast, OWS proudly calls itself a “post-political movement representing something far greater than failed party politics”.
…. Well, they might not need politicians, but the people whose interests they claim to represent sure do. I’m all for construing politics broadly, to include union campaigns and grassroots organizing as well as the corridors of power. But OWS doesn’t like union or grassroots politics any more than the legislative kind. There’s a fine line between participatory democracy and collective narcissism. OWS has not only crossed it but made it a rampart, and they’re standing on the wrong side.
Full post here
Robert Parry: A curious feature of the American Left is its resistance to recognize its own successes. So, even as President Barack Obama is bringing the eight-year U.S. occupation of Iraq to an end, some on the Left refuse to celebrate.
…. It appears that some don’t want to accept that the anti-war movement has won a hard-fought victory and that Obama’s election was a factor. It’s almost as if the fact that something has been achieved through the deeply flawed U.S. political system threatens a preferred political analysis, which holds that nothing good can happen.
… one only has to think about what the U.S. approach toward Iraq would have been under a President John McCain or even a President Hillary Clinton.
…. Obama’s election marked a significant turning point in the difficult struggle to bring this ill-begotten war to a close. It shows how anti-war dissent and electoral politics can combine – however imperfectly – to get results. Achieving an outcome may take time and surely is frustrating, but victories can be won.
… By refusing to recognize the value of Obama’s election as, in part, an expression of the nation’s anti-war sentiments, the Left could veer off into a rejection of electoral politics altogether – arguing there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Obama and, say, Mitt Romney or Rick Perry, either of whom would restore the neocons to their place of preeminence in U.S. foreign policy.
…. some on the American Left operate under what might be called “the vanity of perfectionism,” the notion that what’s most important is to have the “perfect” analysis even if its consequences are destructive to mankind.
… what might reverse the course of history would be Obama’s electoral defeat in 2012. Republican front-runners, including Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, have made clear that they would again pursue a muscular neocon agenda with higher military spending and insistence on U.S. global dominance.
… So, the question now is whether the American Left will learn from these past experiences and recognize that – as difficult and as imperfect as it was – the movement to get the United States out of Iraq succeeded.
Full article here
Woot! Love how Matthews mashes the GOPolitico guy:
TampaBay.com: On May 18, 1956, Mario and Oriales Rubio walked into the American Consulate in Havana and applied for immigrant visas. The form asked how long they intended to stay in the United States.
“Permanently,” Mr. Rubio answered.
Nine days later, the couple boarded a National Airlines flight to Miami, where a relative awaited.
So began a journey that seems as ordinary as any immigrant story, but decades later served as the foundation of an extraordinary and moving narrative told repeatedly by their third child as he became one of the most powerful politicians in Florida and then a national figure.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has come under fire for incorrectly linking his parents to the Cubans who fled Fidel Castro beginning in 1959. He insists they are exiles nonetheless and angrily denounced the suggestion he misled for political gain.
…. But the visa documents cast clearer divisions between his parents, who came for economic reasons, and the Cubans who scrambled to leave their homeland but thought they could soon return. And the documents come to light amid new discrepancies since Rubio’s time line came under scrutiny last week.
Full article here
CBS: …. President Obama on Wednesday announced a series of new measures aimed at easing the burden of debt on students struggling to repay their federal college loans.
….Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., lauded Mr. Obama for his plan and said the president was “right to give these students a way to pay these loans off quicker”. “These loans can be phenomenally expensive,” he said, and argued that borrowers who get buried in debt “never get their foot out of the bucket. That’s not a fair way to get started”.
Robert Shireman, former Deputy Undersecretary at the Department of Education and a chief consultant at the education-oriented California Competes program, said the administration’s plan would increase confidence among students about their post-graduate prospects.
“It means people can go to college and use federal loans and have confidence that it’s not going to drive them to bad personal situations,” he said.
The Obama administration has said that 1.6 million Americans will benefit from the lower monthly payments, and upwards of 6 million can take advantage of the loan consolidations, which will lower interest rates by up to 0.5 percent. Most of those affected will be current students or recent borrowers whose income is sufficiently low upon entering the workforce that monthly payments are a significant financial burden.
Full article here
See you tomorrow