Speaking today in New York City as he called for Wall Street reform, President Barack Obama said the economy is recovering quickly but the progress needs to be felt more deeply and broadly around the country.
** QUICK HITS. I was on with tech support for 90 minutes this afternoon, which cut into output. … Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled the first procedural vote on the Wall Street reform bill for next Monday afternoon. More confirmation of the trend first reported here on NWN on Friday morning that billionaire Meg Whitman’s huge lead in the Republican primary is narrowing. A new Survey USA poll for California TV stations shows her lead suddenly down from 50 to 22 points. It’s Whitman 49%, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner 27%. … California conservative icon Congressman Tom McClintock ripped Whitman as a fake Republican this morning on a Poizner conference call and predicted a surging come-from-behind victory for the super-rich former Silicon Valley entrepreneur. … As expected, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pick for lieutenant governor, moderate Republican state Senator Abel Maldonado, was easily confirmed this morning by the state Assembly, which failed to do so earlier in the year. The vote was 54 to 20. The appointment now goes back to the state Senate, which approved Maldonado 26 to 7 the first time around. When Maldonado is finally confirmed, his seat will go up for special election, with the run-off to be coincident with the general election, giving Democrats a good chance to pick it up.
** CALIFORNIA STORY: BROWN, BOXER, AND (UN)CONVENTION(AL) POLITICS. Big developments in the past few days make it clear why California has the biggest races in the country this year, with President Barack Obama helping Barbara Boxer defend her Senate seat and Jerry Brown, trying for a record third term as governor, taking on the biggest spending statewide campaign in American history.
At its weekend convention in Los Angeles, the California Democratic Party endorsed Attorney General Jerry Brown as its candidate for an unprecedented third term as governor, in the process embracing him as the party’s “patriarch,” as one newspaper put it, albeit of the decidedly maverick variety. Brown, the two-time Democratic presidential runner-up who I shadowed on and off, reset the governor’s race against billionaire Meg Whitman or super-rich State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner with a debate challenge and a focus on the excesses of Wall Street.
Senator Barbara Boxer, whose situation is both more straightforward and more problematic than Brown’s, rallied the party at the LA Convention Center, then appeared with President Barack Obama on Monday night for three fundraisers. He’ll be back next month to help Boxer with fundraisers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Boxer and Brown are alike in that both are strong fighters who have won many statewide races. But they are not alike in other respects. …
President Barack Obama takes on Wall Street’s business practices in a speech today in New York City.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington and New York today.
Obama received his daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
He then flew from Washington to New York City on Air Force One.
At 8:55 AM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks on Wall Street reform at the historic Cooper Union.
At 10:05 AM Pacific, Obama departs New York City on Air Force One en route to Andrews Air Force Base.
At 11 AM Pacific, Obama arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, where he boards Marine One.
At 11:15 AM Pacific, Obama lands on the South Lawn of the White House.
At 12:30 PM Pacific, Obama meets with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner in the Oval Office.
At 2:30 PM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks at Earth Day reception in the Rose Garden.
Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
In other action … Vice President Biden appears on The View and meets with Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell at the U.S. Capitol to go over the Wall Street legislation.
Prospects now appear good.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is off to Finland, with the Icelandic volcanic ash beginning to settle, for talks with top officials from NATO nations on the future of the alliance.
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 said it has a new compromise on the nuclear enrichment issue, likely yet another bid to forestall new sanctions.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard today began large-scale war games in the Persian Gulf and the very strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world’s oil supply passes, state television reported.
Today Iran began another show of force, this time in the the very strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world’s oil supply passes.
All this is designed to dissuade Western nations and Israel from strong sanctions or military action.
ARNOLD UPDATE: At a news conference today at 1 PM in Salinas, Attorney General Jerry Brown and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will discuss “Operation Knockout,” in which agents from Brown’s Gang Suppression Enforcement Program (GSEP) of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement arrested gang members after an eight-month investigation and sweep targeting the most powerful gang leaders in the Salinas area.
** FROM THE ARNOLD FILE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento today.
At 11:30 AM, Schwarzenegger will be in Milpitas, where he joins SunPower Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner to hold a press conference to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and to announce that SunPower will locate its first U.S. solar manufacturing facility in California.
As reported earlier, his appointee as lieutenant governor gets a vote today in the state Assembly.
Prospects for state Senator Abel Maldonado, first revealed as Schwarzenegger’s appointee on NWN, appear to be good.
** 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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