Senator Hillary Clinton discusses the situation in Iraq.
** CONGRESS CONDEMNS MOVEON.ORG. The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly condemned MoveOn.org’s scathing New York Times newspaper ad attacking General David Petraeus today. Only 79 Democrats voted no. Half the House Democrats from California voted yes.
This was an add-on move to a defense appropriations bill made by Southern California Republican Jerry Lewis. Who is embroiled in a corruption scandal. But MoveOn provided the opening for him to change the subject.
Petraeus is a fine officer, but he’s a political officer, and hardly above criticism. As NWN has pointed out, he has a history of making false claims about how well things are going in Iraq. But yaposphere invective is not the way to prosecute an argument against a four-star general, not in big-time politics. The public is tired of that stuff. But the Republicans have pushed this disingenuous strategy of theirs about as far as they can. They have their own irritating yaposphere ethos. And Petraeus is part of the Bush team, making him part of the political process.
** GARAMENDI ENDORSES WATER CONVEYANCE IN THE SACRAMENTO RIVER DELTA. In his address today to the Capitol press corps, Lieutenant Govenor John Garamendi made a couple of things. He fully intends to run for governor of California in 2010. And he supports a Peripheral Canal or some other means of conveying water through the Delta where the Sacramento River meets San Francisco Bay, both to maintain a needed flow of water and protect the riverine territory from the rising tides of the future wrought by climate change.
I’m traveling today and have just emerged from a few hours of tech upgrade hell, so this report is skeletal. For now.
** THE TERMINATOR RETURNS … SORT OF. There’s another burst of talk around a renewal of the Terminator movie franchise. Supposedly the fourth film in the series — which will not, obviously, star Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger — is going into pre-production next month. For release in 2009. This comes after a flurry of stories, just denied, that Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener and The Mummy, the Oscar wasn’t for the second title) was vying for a role in the film.
The rights were purchased by new producers from the battling old producers. But there was a hang-up, in that in the years-ago break-up of the late, lamented Orion Pictures, certain future rights seemed to belong to it. And then to the studio which bought the remains of the company. But this is supposedly worked out now. We’ll see. There’ve been tales that Terminator 4 was about to go into production on and off for the past two years. And in Hollywood, pre-production, the state the project is supposed to enter next month, is a term that can mean a number of things. (My favorite term is “flashing green light,” but that’s another story.)
Meanwhile, the Terminator project that is a shining green light is the TV series on Fox, which I’ve reported on before. Entitled The Sarah Connor Chronicles, it also does not star Arnold Schwarzenegger. It does star Lena Headey, who played the very formidable Queen of Sparta in this spring’s action movie smash 300, as Sarah Connor, the intrepid mother of the human revolution against the machines of the future. That starts showing weekly on Fox in January.
** TOP CALIFORNIAN OUT OF GIULIANI CAMPAIGN. Rudy Giuliani’s national finance director, brought onboard with no little fanfare several months ago, is out of the campaign. Ann Dunsmore is well-known for having been former California Governor Pete Wilson’s chief fundraiser. But, despite Giuliani having the best haul of the Republican candidates in the second quarter of the year, Dunsmore is out just before the third quarter ends.
There’s a lot of turbulence in presidential politics, as you may have noticed. This is why the Clintons reportedly used hardball tactics to kill a story in GQ about campaign infighting.
The timing of this move is ironic, not to mention problematic, in that Dunsmore’s old boss, Governor Wilson, is set to endorse Giuliani tomorrow. This guarantees that it will be a topic of the press conference with the two men at the Miramar in Santa Monica.
** ANOTHER NEW HAMPSHIRE DEBATE TONIGHT. At 6 PM tonight, on MSNBC, the Democrats have their latest presidential debate, again from New Hampshire.
But keep your salt shaker handy, because the sample is only 300 voters. And 55% of them say they haven’t made a final choice on their candidate.
Meanwhile, the spinning is spun up again on presidential fundraising in the third quarter, coming to a close in less than a week. The numbers have dropped off for the leading campaigns, since many contributors are tapped out for the primaries. I’d guess Obama continues his edge over Clinton — who, after all, is having to return nearly a million dollars raised for her by disgraced financier Norman Hsu — but probably not by as large a margin as before. But I hear reports, or, I should say, “reports,” every which way.
** WILSON FOR GIULIANI. Former Governor Pete Wilson, who served as U.S. senator from California before that and as mayor of San Diego before that, will endorse Rudy Giuliani for president tomorrow at the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.
Wilson, a moderately conservative Republican, is the only Republican other than Arnold Schwarzenegger — for whom he served as a campaign co-chair during the 2003 recall election — to win one of the top statewide races in California for many years. Wilson is now in the merchant banking business and the public affairs consulting field, and serves on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the Defense Policy Board. He’s the only Republican to defeat Jerry Brown or Dianne Feinstein.
** GARAMENDI TO ADDRESS CAPITOL PRESS CORPS. Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, a Democratic gubernatorial hopeful for 2010, addresses the Capitol press corps today at the monthly luncheon of the Sacramento Press Club. Garamendi is a former two-term California insurance commissioner, deputy secretary of the interior in the Clinton Administration, and a former state Senate majority leader who has run a couple of times for governor, losing Democratic primaries to Kathleen Brown and Tom Bradley.
** SCHWARZENEGGER LIVE WEBCAST THIS MORNING ON CORRECTIONS. This morning in Stockton, at 10 AM, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs a bill by state Senator Mike Machado which creates the first secure community re-entry facility in California for prison inmates. It converts the slated Northern California Women’s Facility, a medium security prison, for the purpose. The event will be webcast live.
** AL QAEDA’S AMERICAN PRISONERS STILL NOT LOCATED. American troops are now in the midst of a 133rd day of searching for the remaining two US soldiers captured by Al Qaeda in an ambush south of Baghdad. They have had no luck so far. A video put out by Al Qaeda forces in Iraq claims that all three men were executed after being captured. But, with the exception of the Californian found floating in the Euphrates River, that claim can’t be confirmed. The US high command in Baghdad has revealed that ID cards for the other two American prisoners were found in an Al Qaeda safehouse on June 9th.
** Track global and national energy prices in near real time via Bloomberg. Most crude oil prices are in the $79 to $81 per barrel range, with prices continuing to decline somewhat on word of unexpectedly high US inventories. How inventories of this utterly central commodity can be unexpectedly high is a good question.
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