Barack Obama is the “Dr. No of energy security” in this John McCain web ad. Dr. No was the villain in the 1962 James Bond picture.
** END OF DAY. Oil hit a new record of $140 per barrel today, driving the stock market down to its lowest level of the year. John McCain’s oil policy was dissed by one of his biggest backers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a marquee speech in battleground state Florida. Back in California, the Schwarzenegger-dominated Air Resources Board released its conceptual plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions. As expected, it relies mainly on regulation — to cut industrial, commercial, and vehicle emissions, largely through the state’s tailpipe emissions law, accelerated requirement for utilities to use renewable power, and new building standards — with only 20% of the savings coming from the carbon market. The plan drew praise from an author of the underlying legislation, Speaker Emeritus Fabian Nunez. Meanwhile, with the energy and equity markets in crisis — and President Bush doing a deal with the dictatorship of North Korea — the McCain campaign sought to engage in a sporadic firefight throughout the day with the Obama campaign over the Supreme Court’s decision affirming the right to bear arms. The issue? Was he or was he not a backer of the DC gun ban? Answer. He played it coy, while saying throughout that he’s for gun ownership.
** FROM THE ARNOLD FILE. From Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech today in Miami at the Florida Global Climate Change Summit: “Politicians have been throwing around all kinds of ideas in response to the skyrocketing energy prices, from the rethinking of nuclear power to pushing biofuels and more renewables and ending the ban on offshore drilling, it goes on and on the list. But, anyone who tells you this will lower our gas prices anytime soon is blowing smoke. America is so addicted to oil that it will take years to ween ourselves from it. To look for new ways to feed our addiction is not the answer.”
This is part of a larger speech calling for a comprehensive new energy policy. I’ll be writing a column on what Schwarzenegger is up to.
** OFF THE TABLE? Did today’s Supreme Court decision clearly affirming the right of the individual to own handguns take the issue off the table? As a gun owner, it occurs to me that liberals now couldn’t take away people’s guns even if they wanted to. And the Court, while explicitly affirming the individual’s right to bear arms, also affirmed most gun control laws. Did today’s White House announcement of new policy toward North Korea take the issue of dealing with dictators off the table? Stanford’s Condi Rice has pushed for seven years for a deal with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program, first as national security advisor, then as secretary of state (receiving a big assist last year from New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson). North Korea is part of the “Axis of Evil,” and the Hermit State issues continually belicose statements a half-century after the uneasy end of the Korean War. Yet President Bush and John McCain have supported the negotiation, much of which centered around North Korean demands for funding.
** OBAMA UP IN BATTLEGROUND STATES OF COLORADO, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, AND WISCONSIN. In the new Quinnipiac polls for the Wall Street Journal, Barack Obama leads John McCain in key swing states. In Colorado, it’s 49-44, Michigan 48-42, Minnesota (home of possible McCain running mate Governor Tim Pawlenty 54-37, and Wisconsin 52-39.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he wraps up his economic tour leading a roundtable discussion of top business and labor leaders from around the country. And in Washington, DC, where he has a private meeting with Hillary Clinton and many of her top financial backers.
John McCain is in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he’ll speak out about the US Supreme Court’s overturning of the DC handgun ban.
** SCHWARZENEGGER LIVE WEBCAST THIS MORNING FROM MIAMI ON CLIMATE CHANGE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at the Florida Summit on Global Climate Change, along with Governor Charlie Crist. His speech will be webcast live at 9:30 AM on www.gov.ca.gov.
** 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 has shot back up and is trading in the $138 to $139 per barrel range.
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