The Blog

Summer Round-Up

President Obama, Michelle, Malia and Sasha and are already at their vacation spot on Martha's Vineyard, MA until August 18.


President Obama, Michelle, Malia and Sasha and are already at their vacation spot on Martha's Vineyard, MA until August 18.

The First Family are staying in Chilmark during one of the areas busiest times - the annual Agricultural Fair and the Oak Bluffs Fireworks and Campground Illumination Night.

The Boston Globe has reported that Harry Belafonte will perform at an invitation only event at the Dreamland Theatre in Oak Bluffs on Aug 12 - which is being organized by Harvard Professor and Obama close friend, Charles Ogletree.

Normally on an August vacation a president has to worry about hurricanes and avoiding a "Katrina" experience!

As President Obama tries to "recharge" for the return of Congress and the battles ahead on Sept 9, he can't take his eye off the ball and needs to be on top of the following:

- The Terrorist Threat (that had closed 22 US Embassies, resulted in travel alerts etc.),

- Edward Snowden and his continuing leaks,

- The Middle East - in general Egypt, Syria and Middle East peace talks, *(see below)

- The Political Battles ahead with Congress when he returns on:

funding the government, implementing Obamacare, immigration reform, raising the debt ceiling...and the beat goes on!

Congress Goes Home to Face the Music

Back home in their states and congressional districts Senators and Members of Congress will be forced to give up some of their own leisure time to attend Town Hall Meetings, media conferences, etc. and listen as their constituents demand some real answers to the question: What have you done for us lately?

With the Mid-Terms beginning in just a month after their return they will be hard pressed to come up with some real answers before they are "thrown out on their ears"

This Congress, rated lowest in US history, will have "some real explaining to do"

When Congress returns from Summer Recess on September 9 they currently will have 9 working days scheduled to settle their differences and figure out a way to fund a budget to keep the Federal Government running.

At that point, all Members of Congress will already be operating in their partisan political mode in preparation for the 2014 Mid-Terms.

The control of both houses of Congress hangs in the balance and could change as a result of these Mid-Terms.

Republican Summer Meeting

The Republican National Committee will hold its summer meeting in Boston Aug. 14-17

RNC Chair Reince Priebus has announced that RNC will vote on a boycott of CNN and NBC with respect to Republican Primary Coverage and Republican Debates for the 2016 Presidential Election Cycle if they do not abandon their plans to air their respective "miniseries" about Hillary Clinton.

Middle East Peace Talks

The first substantive peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians are scheduled to begin on August 14 in Jerusalem and will be followed by a meeting in Jericho.

On Sunday Israel sent mixed messages in advance of the talks - the Israeli Government approved the building of approximately 1,000 homes on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

At the same time, Israel also announced on Sunday that it intends to free 26 additional Palestinian prisoner over the next few days.

Secretary of State John Kerry, US Envoys Martin Indyck and Frank Lowenstein clearly have their work cut out for them in keeping these talks on track.

Indyck and Lowenstein are heading to the region to assist with talks.

50th Anniversary of The March On Washington

This is the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the inspirational "I Have A Dream Speech" delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This would have been a momentous event on its own.

However, in light of the recent US Supreme Court decision eliminating some of the voting rights protections for minorities and the recent verdict in the Trayvon Martin Case, this anniversary could possibly be seen as a rallying cry for a re-energized civil rights movement to continue Dr King's work.

There will be a week long celebration here in Washington starting on Aug 21.

There are many special events including a speech by President Obama at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28 and two commemorative marches - one on Saturday August 24 and the other on Wednesday August 28.

Until next time, enjoy the rest of your summer!

Jon-Christopher Bua's blogposts for Sky News appear here