Goldman Sachs execs ran into a wall of bipartisan wrath today before a Senate panel investigating their role in the financial crisis and the Securities and Exchange Commission fraud suit against it. Billionaire Meg Whitman, a very free-spending GOP candidate for governor of California who was forced to resign from the Goldman Sachs board after her inside trading surfaced, is desperately trying to spin her close affiliation.
** QUICK HITS. Democrats again fell a few votes short of cutting off a Republican filibuster against the Senate bill to regulate Wall Street. Which plays into Democratic hands. The GOP will have to accede in the end. … Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger swore in his appointee as California’s lieutenant governor, now ex-state Senator Abel Maldonado, in a warm, family–filled noontime event today. Schwarzenegger vexed Democrats by refusing to schedule the run-off replacement election with the general election, which will cost counties money and interfere with Democratic turn-out plans. Of course, earlier Democratic delays also cost money. Maldonado is the first Latino Republican to hold statewide office in California for over 130 years. … Schwarzenegger is also moving cautiously in response to state Senate President Darrell Steinberg’s call to sever relations with the State of Arizona in the wake of the state’s adoption of a draconian racial profiling law in response to illegal immigration.
** CALIFORNIA 2010: WHITMAN SAYS SHE’S “NOT A GOOD NEGOTIATOR.” The one thing we know that the next governor of California is going to have to be is a good negotiator. He or she will have to deal with the generally intractable reality of the state Capitol’s anti-government and ultra-government factions, along with a great deal else.
Billionaire Meg Whitman says her corporate credentials are what make her the best bet. Considering the very big mistakes she made as a CEO, I’ve always had my doubt about that. Now Whitman herself offers disqualifying evidence.
Nick Velasquez at the Democratic Governors Association’s California Accountability Project found footage of Whitman speaking at the Stanford Business School in 2006. And there she said this: “So I will tell you, I don’t think I’m a very good negotiator. And so, I actually, for the first five or six years at eBay, I didn’t do it. You know, I would be in the background and sort of advice and counsel. But I had some excellent negotiators…”
When Whitman did get involved directly in the negotiating, as with Skype, China, and some other matters, things got screwed up.
Her pays and perks went up dramatically as things went downhill for eBay.
Whitman, incidentally, left the board of Goldman Sachs after being forced to disgorge millions she made from inside information.
** CALIFORNIA 2010: POIZNER’S NEW ANTI-ARNOLD AD. Erstwhile Schwarzenegger ally Steve Poizner, now closing a big gap in his race for the GOP nod for governor of California (first revealed here on NWN) against billionaire Meg Whitman, has a new anti-Arnold ad, this one for the radio.
Narrator: Congressman Tom McClintock warned us about Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was right. Now, he’s warning us again about Meg Whitman.
Rep. Tom McClintock: Hi, this is Tom McClintock. Meg Whitman is spending her eBay millions trying to buy the Republican nomination for governor by smearing Steve Poizner.
Well I’ve had enough. California can’t afford Arnold Schwarzenegger’s third term, and that’s all that Meg Whitman offers. More borrowing, more environmental extremism, and more spending at our expense.
When we conservatives were fighting Barbara Boxer, and Van Jones, and the bailout of Goldman Sachs, Meg Whitman was on the other side.
This isn’t a close call. There’s only one conservative in this race, it’s Steve Poizner.
I’ve watched Steve fight for our conservative principles of individual freedom and limited government, and I trust him.
Our party and its principles shouldn’t be sold off on eBay.
We don’t need to rebrand our principles, we need to return to them. We need Steve Poizner.
McClintock finished a distant third in the 2003 recall election in his race against Schwarzenegger.
** AVERAGE RETIREMENT AGE GOES UP. According to a new Gallup poll, the average age for planned retirees keeps increasing.
This is happening as very lucrative retirement packages for public employees, which some experts say are not well funded, are coming under increasingly sharp scrutiny.
There is a very real prospect of a tremendous resentment factor emerging.
Americans’ projected retirement age has gradually increased over the past 15 years, with more than a third of non-retirees today saying they will retire after age 65, compared with 12% in 1995. This marks the first time Gallup has recorded more nonretirees saying they will retire after age 65 than before that age.
Gallup first asked non-retired Americans “At what age do you expect to retire?” in 1995, and has asked the question every year since 2002.
There has been a clear shift in retirement intentions over this period. In two 1995 polls, non-retirees were more likely to say they would retire before age 65 rather than either at 65 or after that milestone. Only 12% to 15% said they would extend their work life beyond age 65.
Now, 15 years later, Americans’ retirement intentions are more dispersed. Thirty-four percent say they will retire after 65, while the percentage saying they will retire before that age has shrunk to 29%. Twenty-seven percent say they will retire at 65.
President Barack Obama is kicking off the work of the federal deficit commission, saying public officials must move urgently to attack high spending and avoid inflicting a ‘mountain of debt’ on the next generation.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington, Illinois, and Iowa today.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
Obama then greeted members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform at the White House, and delivered remarks on recommendations to improve fiscal health. As it were.
Obama then departed Andrews Air Force Base on Air Force One en route to Quincy, Illinois.
At 9:30 AM Pacific, after landing in Illinois and driving to the site, Obama tours the Siemens Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing Plant in Fort Madison, Iowa.
At 11:10 AM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks on how to grow the economy and put Americans back to work
At 12 noon Pacific, Obama tours a local business in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
At 2:35 PM Pacific, Obama holds a town hall meeting at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.
Obama will spend the night in Des Moines, a city I know well.
Iowa, of course, is where the president made his national breakthrough in the first-in-the-nation contest of 2008. His ability to win in a nearly all-white state was key to his ultimate victory in the race for president.
Iowa remains a national bellwhether, as well as a critical touchstone for Obama.
Prospects are looking up for Obama’s Wall Street reform legislation following his address on Thursday at the Cooper Union in New York City. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled a procedural vote for late yesterday, which fell short on a 57 to 41 vote in favor.
That, however, is fine with the president, who is pleased to see the opposition on the wrong side of the bill. Which will change in the not distant future.
In other action …
Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner chair a Middle Class Task Force meeting on the economic recovery plan hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee’s Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business.
And in Iraq, where the withdrawal of American combat troops is only a few months away, the government following national elections seven weeks ago is still not settled. The secular Sunni party headed by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi surprisingly finished first ahead of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite-based party. But no one has been able to form a government and the shape of a national coalition government remains elusive.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a pact yesterday to save the Hollywood sign from urban sprawl.
** FROM THE ARNOLD FILE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in Los Angeles and Sacramento today.
This is the 50th Anniversary of the Master Plan for Higher Education, created by the late Governor Pat Brown, who I knew rather well a bit later. At the age of, er, 2.
At 11 AM, Schwarzenegger will hold a meeting with higher education leaders to discuss the importance of investing in California’s students in the Governor’s Council Room in the Capitol.
At 12:30 PM, Schwarzenegger will hold a press conference to swear in his appointee, state Senator Abel Maldonado, as Lieutenant Governor of California.
That will also take place in the Governor’s Council Room in the Capitol.
… THE CALIFORNIA AS FIRST “FAILED STATE” DEBATE: SCHWARZENEGGER, DAVIS, WHITMAN, AND JERRY BROWN. … From my March 2nd column.
Here is my series of five columns on the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Los Angeles Times in debate in fall 2008, prior to the global economic meltdown, 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. You can listen to my video webchat last spring with Schwarzenegger here.
** 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. … From my April 21st essay.
** 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.
** 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 $84 per barrel.
This is up about $50 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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