Tales from the Trail

Presidents keep to-do lists too, check Obama’s pocket

Even presidents don’t escape to-do lists. Granted they include more weighty items than mundane reminders to pick up groceries after work.

President Barack Obama, it turns out, keeps one in his pocket. RUSSIA/

“I keep in my pocket a checklist of the promises I made during the campaign, and here I am, halfway through my first term, and we’ve probably accomplished 70 percent of the things that we said we were going to do,” Obama says in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine (yes, the same publication that did a profile of General Stanley McChrystal which led  to his firing).

“I’ve got two years left to finish the rest of the list, at minimum. So I think that it is very important for Democrats to take pride in what we’ve accomplished,” Obama says.

The president is in campaign mode. It’s just a month before the November election and he’s trying to drum up enthusiasm for Democratic candidates who are worried about losing their majority in Congress. And being on the cover of Rolling Stone helps the president get an audience with younger voters.

Obama talked about problem-solving and how the easy ones get handled before reaching him. “The issues that cross my desk are hard and complicated, and oftentimes involve the clash not of right and wrong, but of two rights. And you’re having to balance and reconcile against competing values that are equally legitimate.”

Dylan at the White House: how much have the times changed?

The announcement that music icon Bob Dylan was coming to the White House next month for “A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” sent us scrambling to listen to his famous song “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

The lyrics from 45 years ago, eerily echo today.

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt,  will be he who has stalled
The battle outside is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows, and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

JAZZ FESTIt was a year ago that President Barack Obama entered the White House on a platform of  change – “Yes, we can.”