** Looking for a way to stir up a dispirited national Republican base, President George W. Bush today personally seized on remarks by 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry yesterday at a rally for trailing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides at Pasadena City College. Kerry urged students to study hard or else end up stuck in Iraq. The Bush team has seized on the remarks to say that Kerry, a highly decorated Vietnam War vet, was disrespecting American troops in Iraq. Kerry says he was referring to Bush himself. Note that Angelides is not mentioned in the linked story.
** Former U.S. Navy Secretary James Webb has taken a slight lead in Virginia over Republican Senator George Allen. In a new CNN poll, Webb leads Allen, 50% to 46%. This explains Allen’s desperate attack late last week on Webb’s novels.
However, in the other key Senate battlegrounds of Tennessee and Missouri, Democratic candidates either trail or are tied. Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. has fallen behind Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker in Tennessee among likely voters by eight points. State Auditor Claire McCaskill is tied in Missouri with Senator Jim Talent.
** In the wake of a very alarming British government report on the advent of climate change due to global warming, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has appointed former U.S. Vice President Al Gore as HM government’s point person on developing and promoting a new international fight against global warming.
** The Field Poll is about to be released. Numbers for the California governor’s race will be published tomorrow. Ballot propositions on Thursday. Down ballot statewide offices on Friday.
** The audit of the Reiner Commission, the California Children and Families Commission formerly headed by controversial movie director Rob Reiner, has just come out this morning. It criticizes the agency for questionable and improper practices and violations for state law. However, it appears to clear it for its controversial advertising campaign pushing the same agenda as Reiner’s political committee, universal preschool for all.
Two points. One, I clearly have no time to study this report in the height of campaign season. Two, I have been sitting on a story about Reiner and the advertising campaign for months.
** Track global and national energy prices in near real time via Bloomberg. Crude oil prices are sliding down around the $57 per barrel level on slackening demand.