With a major new report on climate change coming this week, here is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signing California’s landmark legislation last fall on Treasure Island in
San Francisco Bay in this NWN video.
** Incidentally, welcome to the Hotel California.
** HILLARY’S STEPFATHER-IN-LAW DIES. The Democratic presidential frontrunner had earlier today postponed her scheduled weekend trip to New Hampshire on account of the serious illness of her husband’s stepfather, Richard Kelley. He has, sadly, just passed away. Richard Kelley married the former president’s late mother, Virginia Kelley, and by the various accounts brought a modicum of happiness to her somewhat challenging life. Bill Clinton was close to his stepfather, who remained an integral part of the Clintons’ lives after his mother passed away during his first term in the White House. He was 91. Richard Kelley was a Little Rock food broker who met Bill Clinton’s mom at a racetrack and married her while “the youngest ex-governor in American history,” as Clinton self-deprecatingly styled himself in those days, ran to regain the Arkansas governorship in 1982.
** OIL HITS A FOUR-WEEK HIGH. Crude oil prices have further moved up to around $58 per barrel. The theory that Saudi Arabia is keeping prices substantially lower as part of an overarching strategy to pressure Iran now looks very flawed. The Saudis have actually cut their oil production. And there are signs they want to work with Iran to stabilize the region.
** SILICON VALLEY COMEBACK. Silicon Valley is coming back strong, according to the report for 2007 of Joint Venture Silicon Valley. The region south of San Francisco added over 30,000 jobs last year, by far the best performance since dot-com crash of 2001. Part of the turnaround is due to Web 2.0. But much of it is due to the emergence of greentech. Venture capital investment in new energy and environmental technologies is up nearly 1000% over the past two years.
** HILLARY NEW HAMPSHIRE TRIP POSTPONED. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who just had a very successful trip to Iowa last weekend, has posponed this coming weekend’s trip to New Hampshire. Her stepfather-in-law is reportedly very ill. She reportedly hasn’t been to the Granite State for years. Clinton leads there in a new private poll for the Democratic presidential primary.
** PATAKI HOLDS BACK. Former New York Governor George Pataki, a potential Republican presidential candidate, told backers in New Hampshire that he will hang back a few months to see how the presidential field takes shape before making a decision about a candidacy. While you never want to say never, with the acceleration of the race, that is probably tantamount to a demurral.
** TERROR WAR SLANG. Noted military blogger and Gulf War vet Austin Bay has compiled contemporary military slang. It’s some amusing and clever stuff.
** SCHWARZENEGGER WEBCAST AT 11:30 AM. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds a press conference today to discuss his comprehensive health care proposal, viewable via this link.
** MCCAIN HOUSE WHIPS. Senator John McCain announced a team of a half-dozen Republican members of Congress to serve as his whips to build congressional support. They are Michigan’s Fred Upton, Alabama’s Spencer Bachus, Arizona’s John Shadegg, Illinois’ John Shimkus and Mark Kirk, and California’s Dan Lungren.
Lungren is a long-time favorite of conservative Republicans in California. The amiable former state attorney general of California was the 1998 Republican nominee for governor of California. He ran a staunchly conservative race and lost to Democrat Gray Davis.
** GIULIANI IN CALIFORNIA. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is in California today raising money in the southland. He’ll be back in state next month for a keynote address to the California Republican Convention and a few days of campaigning.
** ONE WAY FOR BIDEN TO BREAK THROUGH THE CLUTTER. With eye-raising, provocative commentary on his leading opponents, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards.
** FAST TRACKING THE EARLY CALIFORNIA PRIMARY. State Senator Ron Calderon’s aide Rocky Rushing says the senator’s bill for an early California presidential primary is moving on to a fast track with action in the Senate Rules Committee this week. It could move to the state Assembly by next week. Democratic and Republican leaders there say they back the bill.
** GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT LATER THIS YEAR? With a major new report on climate change coming at the end of the week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, support is growing for new United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon of South Korea to call a special summit later this year to break the impasse on the issue. The report from top scientists around the world will show a a 90% probability that climate change is due to manmade greenhouse gases.
** BIDEN ANNOUNCES FOR PRESIDENT. U.S. Senator Joe Biden of Delaware announced this morning that he is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. The knowledgeable chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was first elected to the Senate in 1972. He enters the race as a decided underdog, albeit one with plenty of seasoning. An earlier run for the 1988 nomination ended in disarray, with the revelation that he was using lines from then British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock without attribution.
Biden rejects both the Bush policy for Iraq and a rapid withdrawal, instead saying that Iraq should be “federalized” with Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis given “breathing space in their own territories” and a sharing of oil revenues. He would have a phased withdrawal of US combat troops and major reconstruction aid. Biden would convene a regional security conference which would include Iran and insist that all parties concur in the power-sharing arrangement and respect Iraq’s sovereignty. “Iraq,” he says, “risks becoming what it was not before the war: a haven for radical fundamentalists.”
** Monitor computer memory prices on a daily basis. Prices are stable.
** Track global and national energy prices in near real time via Bloomberg. Crude oil prices are around $55 to $56 per barrel.