As the President and first family arrive for their vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, the White House was on the back foot after Sen Chuck Schumer used the cover of the Republican debate to announce that he would vote against the Iran nuclear deal.
The Washington Post writes:
Although Schumer indicated that he would not actively encourage others to vote against the Iran deal, the White House moved to marginalize his position, citing his support for the Iraq war in 2003 as part of a long-standing tendency to disagree with Obama on foreign policy and the use of American power.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest dismissed Schumer’s stance, saying it is “not particularly surprising to anybody here at the White House, even if it was disappointing.”
But as the backlash grew, Mike DeBonis at the Washington Post writes that the decision by the presumptive Democratic leader in the Senate might not be as bad for the President as some analysts predict.
The decision generated immediate venom from liberal activists and from former aides to President Obama. MoveOn.org called it “outrageous and unacceptable that the Democrat who wants to be the party’s leader in the Senate is siding with the Republican partisans and neoconservative ideologues.” Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau tweeted, “This is our next Senate leader?” — to which former Obama aide Tommy Vietor added, “He just made that a lot less likely.”
But for a variety of reasons, Schumer’s decision is not that big of a deal. It’s not going to kill the Iran deal. It’s not going to swing many, if any, Senate votes. And it’s not going to keep Schumer from succeeding Reid as the Senate’s top Democrat.
Meanwhile, a group of 58 congress members from both parties are in Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on a trip paid for by the charitable arm of lobbyist AIPAC.
The deal did pick up one significant backer on Friday.
Donald Trump was “disinvited” or even “blackballed” from the Red State gathering in Atlanta this weekend following his comments during Thursday night’s Republican debate.
Red State organizer Erick Erickson – later described by Trump as a “total loser” – explained the decision thus: “It is not political correctness. It’s common decency.”
Trump later pushed back and tried to clarify his remarks, but really, who cares?
In the real world, this weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The migrant crisis in Greece is worsening, as more people arrived in the EU via its shores in July than in the whole of 2014.
As the search intensified for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the New York Times reports that a political and financial scandal involving the Malaysian Prime Minister has “shaken popular confidence in the government.”
Colorado theater shooter James Holmes will not face the death penalty for the murders of 12 people in 2012. The jury’s decision angered some of the victims’ families.
North Korea created its own time zone. it’s called 1971.
A solid US jobs report raised expectations that the Fed could hike interest rates soon.
But there are warning signs.
Saturday night is Wall Street’s “midnight madness” scavenger hunt to raise money for children’ charities. The event was first held in 2002 and this year there are 22 teams participating. The most recent one, in 2013, was organized by Goldman Sachs and raised nearly $3m.
Blackhat and DefCon are happening in Las Vegas.
There’s a new Dr Dre album, coinciding with the new movie Straight Outta Compton. The groundbreaking NWA album was released 27 years ago this weekend.
This is the opening weekend of the Premier League.