At least five people dressed in military attire chained themselves to a White House fence in protest of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy on gays and lesbians. All of them were taken into police custody. A few protesters also interrupted one of President Barack Obama’s fundraisers for Senator Barbara Boxer last night in Los Angeles.
** QUICK HITS. The national polls look rather rugged, but all the Democratic campaign committees have raised more money than their Republican counterparts. That’s especially so with regard to the House of Representatives, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s operation has a whopping $26 million to $10 million advantage over its GOP opposite. … Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is pleased that the California Assembly will finally again take up the confirmation of his appointee, state Senator Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, to be lieutenant governor this week. As I’ve written before, taking it up this late allows the run-off in any special election for his seat to be held with the general election, allowing the Democratic candidate a decent shot at winning the seat. … Schwarzenegger was also pleased that legislation to increase transparency in political fundraising, a bill by state Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) was voted out of the Senate elections committee, transparency being a growing issue.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … BROWN, BOXER, AND (UN)CONVENTION(AL) POLITICS.
** WORDS HAVE POWER, PART 49: WHY IT’S “WALL STREET.” A new Gallup Poll reveals that backing for reform of the financial sector shifts heavily depending on what it’s called.
Americans are about evenly divided on the merits of giving the federal government new powers to regulate large banks and major financial institutions; however, they offer greater support when the issue is more specifically framed as regulating “Wall Street banks.”
When Wall Street is not mentioned, net public support (percentage in favor minus percentage opposed) for banking reform legislation is +3 points, but when it is mentioned, net support is +14.
Gallup measured support for enhanced federal regulation of banking using both wordings in its April 17-18 Daily tracking. A random half-sample of respondents was asked the “Wall Street” wording; the other half was asked about banks and major financial institutions, generally.
On both questions, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to support banking reform. Seven in 10 Democrats favor the proposed new federal regulatory powers, regardless of the wording. By contrast, Republicans show greater support for reform when “Wall Street” is invoked than when it is not (35% vs. 22%).
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd is crafting a major financial regulatory reform bill that seeks to prevent another financial meltdown; the bill is expected to come to the Senate floor within the next week. Dodd is reportedly angry that his bill has yet to earn any Republican support — Republicans say the bill does not close all the loopholes needed to prevent further financial bailouts — suggesting it could be headed for an acrimonious party-line vote.
Gallup’s new polling suggests the Democrats may hold a slight advantage in the looming public relations battle over Senate Bill 3217, given that, by 42% to 34%, Americans favor congressional Democrats over congressional Republicans to handle “this type of financial regulation.” The Democrats’ advantage stems mainly from the slight preference political independents have for that party (34% vs. 25%). However, the largest segment of independents — 41% — has no party preference on the issue.
** “SATISFACTION” GROWS OVER PAST 30 DAYS. A new Gallup Poll reveals that American voters are more satisfied than they had been.
However, it is very based on partisan identification.
Americans have grown more satisfied with the way things are going in the United States over the past month, fueled by a jump in satisfaction among Democrats and a smaller increase among independents. Republicans remain largely dissatisfied. …
The upward shift in satisfaction among Democrats (and, to a lesser degree, among independents) was enough to increase the nation’s overall satisfaction reading to 27% in April, up from 23% in late March and 19% in early March. …
The substantial uptick in satisfaction among Democrats follows the House’s passage of the new healthcare bill on March 21 and President Obama’s signing the bill into law on March 23 (Obama signed the revised healthcare bill on March 30). Democrats’ satisfaction had dropped from readings in the mid-40% range last fall to 29% in early March. By the time of Gallup’s March 26-28 survey this year, Democrats’ satisfaction had begun to move back up; it has recovered to the current 49% in Gallup’s April 8-11 survey.
There has been less variation in satisfaction among independents and Republicans over this same time period. Independents’ satisfaction inched up in April compared to March.
Republicans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. is unchanged over the period that includes the passage of the new healthcare bill, with essentially identical readings of 10% to 11% in March and April.
Limited flights began today over Europe after days of air traffic being grounded by Iceland’s volcanic ash. But officials warn it will take time to clear the backlog, and more ash could cause future problems.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in California and Washington today.
At 8:40 AM Pacific, Obama departs Los Angeles on Air Force One en route to Andrews Air Force Base.
At 1:15 PM Pacific, Obama lands at Andrews Air Force Base, where he boards Marine One.
At 1:20 PM Pacific, Obama lands on the South Lawn of the White House.
Back in Washington, Vice President Joe Biden delivers the keynote address at Brookings’ “From Recession to Recovery to Renewal” forum.
And Biden will make an announcement about Title IX at George Washington University
Obama is receiving his daily intelligence and economic briefings on Air Force One.
He appeared yesterday at three Los Angeles fundraisers for Senator Barbara Boxer and the DNC.
The events raised in excess of $3.5 million.
While in Los Angeles, Obama conferred privately with former Governor-turned-Attorney General Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor of California, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and other leading figures.
Obama is monitoring geopolitical crises in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq.
In Iraq, the government following national elections six weeks ago is still not settled.
In Iran, after a show of force over the weekend, the Tehran regime again says it has a new compromise on the nuclear enrichment issue, likely yet another bid to forestall new sanctions.
Dorothy Height, who as the longtime president of the National Council of Negro Women was the leading female voice of the 1960s civil rights movement, died Tuesday. She was 98.
** FROM THE ARNOLD FILE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in Los Angeles today.
At 10:15 AM, Schwarzenegger will announce the introduction of SB 955 state by Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar). This legislation is intended to provide local school districts with additional flexibility on school choice.
Schwarzenegger will also announce his support for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)/Public Counsel lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District’s teacher layoff practices that are are believed to be disproportionally hurting low-income and minority schools.
** JERRY BROWN’S LONG AND WINDING ROAD. … From my April 15th column.
** OBAMA’S NUCLEAR STRATEGY AND THE RUSSIAN RESURGENCE. … From my April 12th column.
** OBAMA’S BIG NEW AFPAK PROBLEMS. … From my April 7th column.
** 10 KEY THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE HIGH-STAKES CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR’S RACE: WHAT IT MEANS FOR BROWN, WHITMAN, POIZNER, ROMNEY, AND OBAMA. … From my April 1st column.
** 24: DOWN FOR THE COUNT? … From my March 30th column.
** NANCY PELOSI’S TRIUMPH: A LONG TIME COMING. … From my March 25th column.
** THE GHOST(S): OF TONY BLAIR, ROMAN POLANSKI, AND A WAR ON TERROR. … From my March 22nd essay.
** THE MITT & MEG SHOW: “TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS” … From my March 17th column.
** THE CALIFORNIA AS FIRST “FAILED STATE” DEBATE: SCHWARZENEGGER, DAVIS, WHITMAN, AND JERRY BROWN. … From my March 2nd column.
** HOW JERRY BROWN CLEARED THE DEMOCRATIC FIELD FOR GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA. … From my December 9th, 2009 column.
** OBAMA: RIDING WITH HISTORY. (NOTE: As Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States, this column was the featured column on the top of the front page of the Huffington Post.) … From my January 19th, 2009 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 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, 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.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM AL JAZEERA. With the US entangled in two wars in the region, it’s valuable to keep up with news and perspectives from the leading Middle Eastern-based TV news network. Based in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, Al Jazeera is very influential and more than a bit controversial. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer. The NWN live link to AJ does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND NATIONAL ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Having crashed over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, 2008, crude oil is trading around $83 per barrel.
This is up about $49 from the low of $34 per barrel prior to enactment of the Obama economic recovery program, reflecting a low point in global economic activity.
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