President John F. Kennedy lays out the beginnings of a plan to end the Cold War in his June 1963 commencement address at the American University in Washington, D.C. President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
** OBAMA TODAY — SUNDAY. President-elect Barack Obama continues to hold private meetings and discussions in Chicago. He spoke yesterday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and pledged more military and economic aid to quell the resurgent Taliban.
Obama, as reported Friday, will hold a press conference on Monday to announce key members of his economic management team and take questions about his developing two-year plan to revive the American economy, first outlined in the weekend video address below. He will name New York Federal Reserve Bank chief Timothy Geithner as secretary of the treasury and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as secretary of commerce. He will also name former Secretary of the Treasury and Harvard University president Larry Summers as head of the National Economic Council in the White House. Summers thus becomes Obama’s chief economic advisor.
Speaking this morning on ABC’s This Week, Obama chief political strategist David Axelrod — who was then California state Controller (and future Governor) Gray Davis’s media consultant for a time in the 1990s — said that the Obama Administration will bail-out the US auto industry. But only after Detroit automakers come up with a thoroughgoing plan to reform the industry and its product.
Axelrod, as previously reported, will serve as senior advisor in the White House. Another of Obama’s closest advisors, Robert Gibbs, as I’ve already reported, was announced yesterday as the new White House press secretary. Gibbs, who served as communications director and senior strategist during the campaign just past, has been a constant presence at Obama’s side since 2004. EMILY’s List director Ellen Moran will be director of communications and campaign spokesman Dan Pfeiffer will be deputy director of communications.
** 24 RETURNS. The official show of NWN, 24, returns Sunday night for the first time in over a year in a two-hour movie on Fox. After a spectacular season in 2006, winning Emmy and Golden Globe awards as the best series on television, the show slumped badly in 2007. The show’s growing practice of solving all problems by having hero Jack Bauer torture information out of terrorist suspects hit the wall. (Torture is, at best, so to speak, a very inconsistent means of gaining credible information. And within the real-time context of the show, it would be easy to thwart Bauer by simply lying to him.) Co-creator Joel Surnow, whose politics are very conservative, consistently pushed the Jack-magically-gains-intel-through-immediate-torture angle. But he was forced to step away from the show — which actually has many center and left-of-center scenarios — after signaling his hard right politics in the remarkably unfunny comedy he created for Fox News.
The show was to have come back in January of this year, but the writers’ strike interfered, as did network concerns that the producers’ plans were unworkable. So tonight we get a two-hour movie bridge to the new season beginning in January called 24: Redemption. You could say the title has more than one meaning. Jack Bauer is doing humanitarian work in Africa when, not surprisingly, a situation arises.
I believe that a new president is introduced in this TV movie, played by Cherry Jones (Matt Damon’s pseudo-FBI agent/con woman mother in Ocean’s 12). Were the producers betting on Hillary over Obama? Not really. 24 has already had not one but two black presidents, in the form of the Palmer brothers. In fact, the first season of 24 hinged on Bauer’s efforts to protect the first very serious black presidential candidate, Senator David Palmer — played by Dennis Haysbert — from assassination. Later on, out of office, Palmer, my favorite TV president even over West Wing‘s Jed Bartlett, was assassinated.
24 fans have probably noticed that the Democratic presidents in the show are generally quite heroic, whereas the Republican presidents …
I also believe that Jon Voight, the father of an actress by the name of Angelina Jolie, will be introduced tonight as the new season’s big bad. Voight, as a lefty actor in the Vietnam War era, won an Oscar opposite Jane Fonda in Coming Home. More recently, he’s become quite a conservative activist.
President-elect John F. Kennedy declares victory at the Hyannis Armory on November 9, 1960, the day after his closely-fought election over Richard Nixon. President Kennedy was assassinated 45 years ago in Dallas.
** A 45TH ANNIVERSARY. Saturday is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He was 43 when elected — you see him in the footage above declaring victory the day after his narrow election — and only 46 when he died. America again has a vigorous young president-elect, Barack Obama, who is already 47.
I can’t begin to do justice to this anniversary. So much has been said before.
I would, however, draw your attention to the footage of JFK’s victory event. Relatively low-key, far more accessible than any such event today, yet no less magnificent for that. So much has been lost in the wake of assassination and tumult.
** A WEEKEND BAILOUT? A top investment banking source on Friday night told NWN to look for a weekend take-over and/or bail-out of reeling Citigroup. Along the lines of what happened with Merrill Lynch or American Insurance Group. More to follow …
President-elect Barack Obama’s weekly video address for Saturday, in which he says that he has directed his transition team to assemble a 2-year economic recovery plan for America.
** OBAMA TODAY — SATURDAY. President-elect Barack Obama continues to hold private meetings and discussions in Chicago. He has no public events scheduled.
The appointment of Hillary Clinton as US secretary of state now seems slated for the week after Thanksgiving, presuming that vetting, primarily of former President Bill Clinton, proceeds as anticipated. Other members of the Obama national security leadership are also apt to be named at that time.
On Monday, the president-elect will hold a press conference to announce some of the leaders of his economic management team, and answer questions about his emerging plan to revitalize the US economy, which he discusses in the weekly video address above. As reported yesterday, New York Federal Reserve Bank chief Timothy Geithner is slated to be secretary of the treasure, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is slated to be secretary of commerce, and former Treasury Secretary and Harvard University president Larry Summers is slated for a senior advisory and troubleshooting role.
** FROM THE ARNOLD FILE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has no public events scheduled this weekend. As a member of the Kennedy family, it’s customary for him to follow the family practice of relative seclusion on the anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Schwarzenegger will push for a state budget vote on Tuesday, probably the last day for such action in the special session of the lameduck Legislature he called to deal with the deepening nature of California’s chronic budget crisis.
** SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: MASTERSTROKE, MOUSETRAP, OR BOTH? Potential Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Masterstroke or mousetrap? Or both? And for whom?
The political world has been all aflutter for the better part of a week at the prospect — initially portrayed as a done deal — that Hillary Clinton will be Barack Obama’s secretary of state. On the Republican side of the aisle, Henry Kissinger calls her “highly qualified” and Arnold Schwarzenegger dubs it “a great move.” The Clintons’ opponents in the Democratic Party have been restrained in their response. The media loves it, running with endless references to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s very fine book on the Lincoln Cabinet, an Obama favorite, “Team of Rivals.” … From my Wednesday column.
** MIAMI BLUES: PALIN AND NATIONAL REPUBLICANS LOOK LIKE THE SAD CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN PARTY. … From my November 14th column.
** THE AMERICA THAT CAN BE/THE AMERICA THAT HAS BEEN. It was the America That Can Be vs. the America That Has Been. The future won. Yet there is much in the past that is of enduring value.
I must say that this campaign, for all its excitement, its twists and turns, and its thrilling outcome, was something of a disappointment. In Barack Obama and John McCain, we had the two most compelling figures in the two parties, representatives of an emerging set of values and an enduring tradition. … From my November 7th Huffington Post column.
** GLOBAL OBAMA: BIG OPPORTUNITIES, BIGGER CHALLENGES. If he wins, Obama will have the global popularity that no American president has had in a great many years. But what sort of challenges will counter the global opportunity that an Obama presidency might afford America? … From my October 24th Huffington Post column.
** 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 on the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Los Angeles Times in debate with Pulitzer Prize-winning former Times reporter/editor Bill Boyarsky, whose columns are also included.
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 NATIONAL ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. After crashing over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, crude oil closed Friday at $49.59 per barrel. Energy markets are closed on the weekend.
OPEC forecasts a 0.6% decline in global oil consumption in 2009. But sees a 2.5% growth in oil consumption in developing nations.
The drop of $98 per barrel since the record high over the summer comes on acknowledgment that the weak US economy will cut future demand and on the easing of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. It is clear that that, contrary to much chatter, neither the US nor Israel is about to launch a strike against Iran. And 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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