Vacation Interrupted

Aug 12, 2014 8:59am

By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)

NOTABLES

  • OBAMA APPLAUDS NAMING OF NEW PRIME MINISTER DESIGNATE IN IRAQ: The president yesterday lauded Iraqi President Fouad Massoum for naming Haider al-Ibadi as Iraq’s new prime minister-designate, calling it an “important step” on the path towards a more inclusive government that would “unite Iraq’s different communities,” ABC’s ERIN DOOLEY reports. Mobilizing international support to combat terrorism in the region would be “easier” once a new government was put into place, said Obama, noting that both he and Vice President Joe Biden had pushed al-Ibadi to appoint a new cabinet “as quickly as possible.” http://abcn.ws/1nJyBuz
  • ‘WORK PEACEFULLY THROUGH THE POLITICAL PROCESS’: “I urge all Iraqi political leaders to work peacefully through the political process in the days ahead,” Obama said in a brief statement while vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard. “This new Iraqi leadership has a difficult task. It has to regain the confidence of its citizens by governing inclusively and by taking steps to demonstrate its resolve,” he added. “The United States stands ready to support a government that addresses the needs and grievances of all Iraqi people.” The president also reiterated his commitment to provide “to partner with Iraq in its fight against … terrorist forces” in the region. http://abcn.ws/1nJyBuz
  • OBAMAS AND CLINTONS TO PARTY TOGETHER ON THE VINEYARD: The president and first lady and Bill and Hillary Clinton are all expected to attend a party at the Farm Neck Golf Club on Wednesday, ABC’s JONATHAN KARL notes. The 80th birthday party for Ann Jordan is being hosted by Mrs. Jordan’s husband, long-time Clinton confidante Vernon Jordan. It’s the same day Hillary Clinton is scheduled to do a book signing at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Vineyard Haven. “The President and First Lady have accepted an offer to attend a social gathering at the home of Vernon Jordan on Wednesday evening,” a White House official confirmed to ABC News. “The President and First Lady are very much looking forward to the occasion and seeing Former Secretary Clinton.” So — on Wednesday we are likely to see a rare occurrence: An event attended by both the Clintons and the Obamas. The timing is interesting too: It comes right after Hillary Clinton, in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, offered her first real criticism of President Obama.

 

BUZZ

with ABC’s SCOTT WILSON

THE PRIMARY PRIMER: CONNECTICUT, MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN VOTE. Voters cast ballots today in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. We will find out who will take on Sen. Al Franken, as well as the candidate who could go on to succeed Rep. Michele Bachmann. There’s even a challenger running against Rep. Paul Ryan…with the same last name, and two gubernatorial GOP showdowns in Connecticut and Minnesota, and much more. Here’s seven races to watch today from ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE and CALEB JACKSON: http://abcn.ws/1q6giRW

A PRESIDENTIAL TRIBUTE TO ROBIN WILLIAMS: The White House released the following statement yesterday: “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between.  But he was one of a kind.  He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.  He made us laugh.  He made us cry.  He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.  The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.” – from chief White House speech writer Cody Keenan, approved by the president himself, according to ABC’s JEFF ZELENY.

–CHUCK HAGEL: “The entire of Department of Defense community mourns the loss of Robin Williams. Robin was a gifted actor and comedian, but he was also a true friend and supporter of our troops. From entertaining thousands of service men and women in war zones, to his philanthropy that helped veterans struggling with hidden wounds of war, he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform. He will be dearly missed by the men and women of DoD — so many of whom were personally touched by his humor and generosity.”

–NANCY PELOSI: “The world has lost a great genius and San Francisco has lost a loyal friend. The news of Robin Williams’ passing brought deep sadness to a universe that he had filled with laughter. Robin Williams was a brilliant comedian – one of the funniest of them all because he was one of the most brilliant of them all. The spontaneity of his humor always took us by surprise; the seriousness of his acting did not. I hope it is a comfort to his family that the world mourns their loss and are praying for them at this time.”

WHY SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER THINKS FITBIT IS A ‘PRIVACY NIGHTMARE’. Maybe he was having a hard time getting to 10,000 steps. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. is warning against fitness trackers such as FitBit, citing privacy concerns. Schumer has called on the Federal Trade Commission to regulate the massive quantity of data tracked by wearable fitness devices, according to ABC’s BETSY KLEIN. “Personal fitness bracelets and the data they collect on your health, sleep, and location, should be just that — personal,” Schumer said in a statement on Sunday. “The fact that private health data — rich enough to identify the user’s gait — is being gathered by applications like FitBit and can then be sold to third-parties without the user’s consent is a true privacy nightmare,” Schumer said. FitBit stores data on users’ walking, exercise and sleep habits, encouraging users to reach activity benchmarks, such as 10,000 steps per day. The San Francisco-based company claims its users “take 43% more steps with FitBit.” A representative for FitBit told Business Insider the company is “committed to our users’ privacy and [welcomes] the opportunity to work with Senator Schumer on this important issue.” http://abcn.ws/1kwp8vH

 

WHO’S TWEETING?

@bensherwood: “The truth is, if anything, I’m probably addicted to laughter.” — Rest in peace, @RobinWilliams

@nationaljournal: 2016 GOP contenders start organizing teams in Iowa http://bit.ly/1rm7ysD 

@Timodc: The Nunn memo gets the @MarkLeibovich treatment http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/magazine/memo-to-self-do-not-run-for-office.html?_r=0 …

@joshgerstein: Obama expects chance to fill Supreme Court vacancies before he leaves office http://politi.co/1swa1Fh 

@JoshSchwerin: Would you vote for this guy? New @DCCC ad against Michael Grimm #NY11 http://bit.ly/1orJWp2 

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