Famed anti-establishment comedian and provocateur George Carlin died yesterday in LA at 71 of a heart attack. His role was pushing the boundaries. If you’re easily offended, don’t watch him discuss religion.
** SCHWARZENEGGER TO BE FIRST GUEST ON THE POST-RUSSERT MEET THE PRESS. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the first guest of new Meet The Press host Tom Brokaw for this coming Sunday’s show. He will be recording the interview shortly. California First Lady Maria Shriver, a former NBC correspondent and anchor, was a close friend of the late Tim Russert, and as reported appeared on the memorial edition of Meet The Press the Sunday before last and spoke at his Russert’s Kennedy Center memorial service last Wednesday. Schwarzenegger first appeared on the show in 2004. But he nearly appeared before that, a story for another time.
** SCHWARZENEGGER AND THE LEGISLATURE. In another sign that things are simply not as copacetic as they once were between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature, the former action superstar criticized state Senate Democrats when he spoke this morning at the Catholic health care conference in San Diego. After it passed the state Assembly, they killed his omnibus package late last year, he said, because they favored single-payer health care. Which, as he noted, actually costs more. Schwarzenegger and termed-out Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata have found ample ground for disagreement over the past half-year or so, much of it around water. Perata has been loathe to find compromise between environmentalists, who eschew dams, and conservatives, who eschew conservation. … Also, no progress on the chronic state budget crisis. Naturally.
** JOHN MCCAIN, NATURALLY, HAS DISAVOWED CHARLIE BLACK’S QUOTE ABOUT A TERRORIST ATTACK ON AMERICAN SOIL BENEFITING HIM POLITICALLY. Perhaps he knows that it would not.
** ANOTHER CURIOUS QUOTE FROM THE BELTWAY. Speaking this morning to Republican insiders at breakfast the Capitol Hill Club, former Bush consigliere Karl Rove, who allowed as how he was going to stroll over to the White House after breakfast to chat with the president, let loose with this little jewel of resentment. “Even if you never met him,” said Rove of Barack Obama, “you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”
Hmm. Well, I don’t know much about country club life, or what a fellow like Obama would be doing there (unlike, say, John Kerry), but I know a lot about political consultants. And this one sounds to me like a guy who is frustrated and is hoping to re-run his greatest hits from 2004.
** ACTUALLY, I DOUBT IT. From Fortune’s new profile of John McCain, entitled “The Evolution of John McCain”: We saw how that might play out early in the campaign, when one good scare, one timely reminder of the chaos lurking in the world, probably saved McCain in New Hampshire, a state he had to win to save his candidacy – this according to McCain’s chief strategist, Charlie Black. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an “unfortunate event,” says Black. “But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who’s ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us.” As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him,” says Black.
Why would another terrorist attack on US soil be bad for the Republicans? Because it would mean they had failed in the one area in which they still have great credibility. I think that’s rather obvious.
** SCHWARZENEGGER LIVE WEBCAST THIS MORNING ON FIRES. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will give a briefing on California’s burgeoning fire situation just before noon at the Wild Fire Base Camp outside the Northern California town of Fairfield, which is between Sacramento and San Francisco. He has National Guard helicopters and aircraft involved in the firefighting effort. The event will be webcast live at 11:40 AM at www.gov.ca.gov.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Albuquerque, New Mexico to tour a business and meet with working women.
John McCain is in Fresno, California, for a speech on energy promising huge federal incentives to inventors and car companies, and a fundraiser. He also has a fundraiser tonight in Santa Barbara. Prior to tomorrow’s environmental event, at the site of the one of the most famous oil spills in history.
** SCHWARZENEGGER LIVE WEBCAST THIS MORNING ON HEALTH CARE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gives the keynote address at the 2008 Catholic Health Care Assembly in San Diego. Schwarzenegger is slowly resurrecting elements of his omnibus health care plan from last year, largely through executive action. (No, not that kind of executive action.) The speech is at 9:30 AM and can be seen on www.gov.ca.gov.
Barack Obama speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Saturday in Miami.
** MY LATEST PODCAST. The road ahead.
** OBAMA V. MCCAIN: THE AD WARS ARE ON. What Obama and McCain are doing in their first rounds of general election TV advertising. Along with the where and the why. From my other blog.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer, bringing you English-language, jargon-free, fast-paced coverage of global and Russian news from the new Russia Today channel. You probably already know about CNN International, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Russia Today, which also features culture, entertainment, and sports, is based in Moscow and is owned and operated by the TV Novosti division of Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti.
While it’s quite foolish to expect to see, say, criticism of Vladimir Putin on Russia Today, which I know as a former DemRussia advisor, the channel is very interesting nonetheless. With U.S. cable news chattering away as it does, this sort of respite can be informative. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND U.S. ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Crude oil hit a record of nearly $140 per barrel last Monday before dropping. Crude oil is trading up today, in the $136 to $137 per barrel range, in the wake of the unprecedented oil producers and consumers summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on June 22nd.
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