Barack Obama’s new TV ad attacks John McCain for a trip to Bermuda, and Bermuda off-shore tax shelters.
** BUFFETT HELPS GOLDMAN SACHS AFTER MITSUBISHI PITCHES IN WITH MORGAN STANLEY. A day after Japan’s Mitsubishi Bank bought nearly a quarter of Morgan Stanley, one of only two remaining Big 5 independent investment banks starting out the year on Wall Street, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will invest $5 billion in the other, Goldman Sachs, to help shore up its position. Goldman Sachs has a major presence in California, via managing director Kathleen Brown, the former state treasurer. And Buffett is a great friend of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Who’s going to shore up Las Vegas, to refer to a major item earlier today?
** COLORADO POLL: OBAMA BY 7. The new Public Policy Polling survey of battleground Colorado, newer than the numbers below, has Barack Obama leading John McCain, 51% to 44%. Two weeks ago, Obama had only a one-point edge. The difference? Independents shifting to Obama in the wake of the Sarah Palin selection.
** NORTH CAROLINA POLL: DEAD EVEN. The new Civitas poll of battleground North Carolina, long a red state, shows Barack Obama and John McCain each with 45%. McCain had held a slight lead. The difference? Moderates and independents shifting to Obama in the wake of the Sarah Palin selection.
** FLORIDA POLL: OBAMA BY 2. The new Mason-Dixon poll for NBC of battleground Florida has Barack Obama barely ahead of John McCain, 47% to 45%. There’s a reason he’s doing debate prep in Tampa.
** VIVA LAS VEGAS? The Western icon of endless growth, global icon of glitzy materialist aspiration, Las Vegas, is having a major downturn. More than expected. Casions are laying off thousands. Tourists are still coming to Sin City, but they’re bargain hunting and spending less. And Nevada, along with Florida, is the hardest hit in the country by the housing and mortgage crisis. At least half of Vegas tourists arrive by car or bus, so high gasoline prices are impacting things as well. It’s no surprise that the Silver State is looking like prime territory for a red-to-blue pick-up by Barack Obama. Ironically, it’s John McCain who has much the stronger ties to Nevada. McCain loves to gamble, and his son was on the board of a Nevada bank. Which recently went under.
The old Vegas advertising slogan? “What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas.” The new Vegas slogan? “Crazy Times Call For Crazy Fun.” I’m not sure Don Draper would have come up with that one …
** FINANCIAL CRISIS POLL: SELLING THE FRAME. While the US Senate Banking Committee chews through the massive Wall Street bailout proposed by the Bush/Cheney Administration, here is something interesting to consider. The Hotline national tracking poll, which has Barack Obama leading John McCain, 47% to 43%, also asked respondents about their view of the origins of this epic financial crisis.
Respondents were read statements by each of the candidates spelling out what they see as the cause of the crisis. Neither candidate was identified as the source of either statement of responsiblity. Then respondents were asked which they most agreed with.
46% of likely voters agreed with this statement: “The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store. [Eight] Years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.”
31% agreed with this statement: “The financial crisis we’re living through today started with the corruption and manipulation of our home mortgage system. At the center of the problem were the lobbyists, politicians, and bureaucrats who succeeded in persuading Congress and the administration to ignore the festering problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”
The first statement, which 46% agreed with, is by Obama. The second statement, agreed with by 31%, is by McCain. This indicates that Obama’s framing of the issue is much stronger than McCain’s, despite the notable populist tropes in how the Arizonan apportions blame. If Obama drives home his message, and the contrast with McCain’s, he will increase his lead.
** QUINNIPIAC BATTLEGROUND POLLS: OBAMA LEADS IN COLORADO, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, AND WISCONSIN. The new Quinnipiac poll of four battleground states for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post finds Barack Obama running ahead based on his big edge — from 20 to 24 points in each state — over John McCain as the “candidate of change.”
Obama leads in Colorado, 49-45. Obama leads in Michigan, 48-44. Obama leads in Minnesota, 47-45. Obama leads in Wisconsin, 49-42. Obama leads amongst women voters by double digits in every state except Minnesota.
President Bush’s approval ratings in the four states range between 24% and 26%.
** DISTRACT AND DETRACT: TEAM MCCAIN FOLLOWS FORM IN CRISIS. On Monday in the midst of the biggest financial crisis since the 1930s, John McCain’s campaign wanted to talk about the Chicago political machine, the New York Times, Bill Ayers (who?), and Hugo Chavez. … From my new Huffington Post column.
John McCain’s new TV ad says he has “tough new rules for Wall Street” while Barack Obama is “mum,” aside from wanting more taxes for Americans.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Tampa, Florida for debate prep. He appeared this morning on The Today Show.
Joe Biden is in Woodbridge, Virginia and Washington, DC.
John McCain is in Strongsville and Middleburg, Ohio and Freeland, Michigan.
Sarah Palin is in New York City, for the United Nations. Today is the first day in which she will have met a foreign head of government.
** FROM THE ARNOLD FILE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs the California budget this morning after a record impasse, sans ceremony, then appears on the East Steps of the Capitol with leaders of Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, the California Chamber of Commerce, and AARP to promote his redistricting reform initiative, Proposition 11 on the November ballot.
Schwarzeneger then spends the remainder of the day in private meetings and discussions and study of the nearly one thousand legislative bills awaiting his decision, along with a half-billion in line item budget vetoes.
A Russian naval squadron is en route to the Caribbean for the first time since the Cold War to conduct maneuvers.
** 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.
** SCHWARZENEGGER’S CALIFORNIA. Here is my series of five columns for the Los Angeles Times in debate with Pulitzer Prize-winning former Times reporter/editor Bill Boyarsky, author of biographies of Ronald Reagan and Jesse Unruh.
Among them is what I’m sure is the first piece examining Schwarzenegger’s legacy as governor of California. Since he will actually be governor of California until 2011. No technology known to be disruptive to the space/time continuum was used in its preparation.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND U.S. ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. After crashing over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, crude oil is trading around $109 per barrel. That’s over $4 more than the Friday close, but over $7 under yesterday’s close. The global oil market is reacting to the proposed massive American move to stabilize Wall Street.
The drop of over $38 per barrel since the record high two months ago comes on acknowledgement that the weak US economy will cut future demand and the easing of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. The Russian war with Georgia, confounding much speculation and reporting to the contrary, actually decreased the geopolitical risk premium in the oil market.
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