Obama agenda: OFA up on the air – again

“A group backing President Barack Obama’s agenda will air a national television ad bolstering Obama’s economic vision just as the president strives for an edge in looming fiscal fights this fall,” the AP writes. “Organizing for Action, a group formed out of Obama’s re-election campaign, is launching the ad on Friday and says it will air on cable TV stations for about two weeks.” More: “Although the group is officially independent of the White House, Obama is the sole speaker in the ad, which uses clips from his economic speech Wednesday in Galesburg, Ill.”

AP: “Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that the Justice Department is opening a new front in the battle for voter protections, a response to the Supreme Court ruling that he said dealt a major setback to the Voting Rights Act. In a speech to the National Urban League in Philadelphia, Holder said that as its first move, the department is asking a federal court in San Antonio to require the state of Texas to obtain advance approval before putting future political redistricting changes in place.” 

More: “The move in Texas is the Justice Department's first action to further safeguard voting rights following the Supreme Court decision on June 25, said Holder, ‘but it will not be our last.’ ‘Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the court's ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law's remaining sections to ensure that the voting rights of all American citizens are protected,’ Holder said.”

The Austin American Statesman: “U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder infuriated Texas Republican leaders when he directed the Justice Department to step into a San Antonio federal court case in which groups representing African-Americans and Latinos are suing the state. The organizations — including the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and the NAACP — claimed the Legislature’s 2011 redistricting maps would have discriminated against minorities and hindered their right to vote.”

Politico: “They might as well put a ‘Mess with Texas’ bumper sticker on the presidential limo.”

Ron Brownstein: “Like a lightning flash in a stormy sky, the Trayvon Martin case has illuminated the depth of the impasse between white and nonwhite America. But a similar dynamic looms less visibly behind Washington's standoff between a Democratic coalition that relies on overwhelming support from minorities and a Republican coalition still almost entirely dependent on the votes of whites, especially older ones. Both developments tell the same challenging story: Even as America experiences its most profound demographic change in more than a century, our society is increasingly fracturing along overlapping racial, generational, and partisan lines. The diversity remaking America could be a source of rejuvenation and innovation, but today it is reinforcing our ferocious partisan polarization.” 

And for fresh evidence of that… Pew: “The Supreme Court’s favorability rating has edged below 50% for the first time in nearly three decades of Pew Research Center polling. Currently, 48% have a favorable opinion of the court while 38% have an unfavorable opinion.” Race is a major factor: “In March, 61% of blacks viewed the court favorably while 24% had an unfavorable opinion. Today, their opinions are divided (44% favorable vs. 41% unfavorable). This is among the lowest favorable ratings for the Supreme Court among blacks in polling dating to 1985.”

Obama meets with his full cabinet at Camp David today. 

The Asbury Park Press: “FEMA denies aid to religious groups hard hit by Sandy.”