New White House press secretary Jay Carney, a former journalist, did his first media briefing today, carried live here on New West Notes. He did well, though he’s no C.J. Cregg. Obama White House events will be carried live here on NWN from now on. If you don’t want to hear the audio, simply click on the pause button.
** QUICK HITS. The Egyptian government is apparently not investigating the sexual assault and beating of CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan last Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. She was rescued from a gang of men by 20 Egyptian soldiers. Blatant harassment of women is commonplace in Egypt. … The California Supreme Court agreed today to take up the question of whether or not the proponents of the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 have legal standing to defend the law in federal court. A federal judge threw out the initiative, passed in November 2008, and Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown have refused to defend it. The earliest hearing would be in the fall. … Governor Jerry Brown today asked the California State Auditor and the watchdog Little Hoover Commission to each come up with 10 ways to reduce government waste. … California state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, anticipating a supposedly impending Republican demand in negotiation over a solution to the chronic budget crisis, unveiled legislation to consolidate regulations and shorten their time period. Republican legislators have not yet made a substantive reply, or presented their own program. How real is the bill? I haven’t read it. … A coalition of groups launched a TV ad campaign against Brown’s proposed cuts to in-home health care services for senior citizens.
** NEW POLL: MOST AMERICANS THINK OBAMA IS RESPECTED GLOBALLY. A new Gallup Poll in the wake of the Egypt revolt, and in the midst of a wave of protest around the Arab world, shows that most Americans think that President Barack Obama is respected on a global basis.
But Obama’s numbers on this score, after a somewhat erratic performance by his administration on Egypt, are down from what they were in past soundings.
Nevertheless, he is rated higher than Presidents Bush and Clinton were at this point in their presidencies.
Not surprisingly, the decline in Obama’s rating is due almost entirely to drops in Republican assessments of him. His support on this question by Democrats and independents remains steady.
Although a majority of Americans (52%) continue to say foreign leaders respect President Barack Obama, this is down from 2010 and 2009. However, Obama’s current position on this measure is more positive than was the case during most of the terms of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. …
In February 2009, shortly after Obama’s presidential inauguration, a soaring 67% of Americans perceived that the world’s leaders respected him. That dropped to 56% last February, and is slightly lower (52%) in this year’s Feb. 2-5 Gallup World Affairs survey.
Still, Obama’s readings on this measure remain historically high.
A few months after 9/11, Bush received 75% and 63% readings on this respect question — but all other readings during the Bush administration were below 50%. That includes the low point in February 2007, when 21% of Americans said world leaders respected Bush. Americans’ views of world leaders’ respect for Obama are also higher than two Gallup measures for Clinton, in 1994 (41%) and 2000 (44%).
Republicans Less Positive Than in 2009 About World Leaders’ Respect for Obama
Predictably, Democrats (76%) are far more likely than Republicans (24%) to say world leaders respect Obama. The decline in Obama’s overall ratings on this measure in the last three years is mainly the result of Republicans’ changing views, which are about half as positive now as they were in 2009. …
Half of Americans Say the World Views the U.S. Favorably
Americans remain slightly more positive than negative when asked their views of the image of the U.S. in the eyes of the world, with 50% holding the belief that the U.S. is seen favorably and 49% unfavorably. This is similar to last year, but more positive than in 2005-2009, when less than half of Americans thought the U.S. was seen favorably.
Prior to 2005, Americans were more positive. Almost three-quarters said the world viewed the U.S. favorably in 2000, and 79% said the same in February 2002. Positive views of the United States’ image drifted downward from that point. Much of the decline in Americans’ views of the U.S. image around the world coincided with international controversy over the Iraq war. …
>>>>>>LIVE VIDEO FEED
New White House press secretary Jay Carney delivers his first media briefing at 9:30 AM Pacific and President Barack Obama unveils his America’s Great Outdoors Initiative at 1:45 PM Pacific. You can watch both live here on New West Notes. If you wish to mute the audio, click on the pause button.
** LIVE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.
With massive geopolitical events swirling and the 2012 presidential race unfolding, the White House is increasingly a pivot point for the day’s events.
Live streaming of key presidential events is now available as a matter of course here on New West Notes.
You can mute the audio by clicking on the pause button.
NWN will continue to present other live webcasts in full streaming mode, as it did with the Ronald Reagan Centennial events from the Reagan Library, as they emerge and are technically available and as significance dictates.
A wave of anti-regime turmoil is sweeping the Arab world, and hitting Iran again as well, with Libya today joining the procession of protest.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have received the daily intelligence and economic briefings and met with senior advisors in the Oval Office.
At 9:30 AM Pacific, new White House press secretary Jay Carney delivers his first briefing in the James S. Brady Briefing Room. Carney, who has just replaced Robert Gibbs, now a private political advisor to President Obama, was Biden’s communications director and before that a correspondent for Time magazine.
This event will stream live here on NWN. You can mute the sound by pressing the pause button.
At 10:45 AM Pacific, Obama meets with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.
It’s important that the president and the secretary of state be on the same page, and know what that page is, as an historic wave of protest against entrenched regimes sweeps across the Muslim world.
At 11:20 AM Pacific, Obama and Biden meet with the Senate Democratic Leadership in the Oval Office.
At 1:45 PM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks on the America’s Great Outdoors initiative in the East Room.
This event will stream live here on NWN. You can mute the sound by pressing the pause button.
On his own today, Biden meets with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of Macedonia in the Roosevelt Room during the afternoon, then in the evening he and Dr. Jill Biden host a dinner for new senators at the Naval Observatory.
The Obama Administration is struggling to understand and keep up with a pace of change in North Africa and the Middle East that threatens to overturn many arrangements beneficial to American interests.
While the wave of protest today hit Libya, which has not exactly been a friend of the U.S., it also continued to intensify in Yemen and Bahrain.
Yemen is a critical flashpoint in the struggle against jihadists who increasingly use the most impoverished nation in the Arab world as a base of operations. That’s not new, as the port of Aden was where the USS Cole was bombed by Al Qaeda in 2000. But it has intensified with the grave pressure against jihadists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Yemen’s poverty is heightened by the fact that it may run out of oil in a decade and already is running out of water.
In Bahrain, headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, King Ahmad promised reforms in an unusual televised address after two protesters were killed by security police. But protesters in the Persian Gulf island nation occupy, Cairo-style, the central Pearl Square in the capital city of Manama not far from the Navy base, and say they aren’t going anywhere.
In the midst of all this, the Obama Administration is working to improve its erratic performance of the past few weeks around Egypt. That includes a rehabilitation of the most consistently erratic top official, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton, who made notably off-base comments throughout the phase of the Egyptian crisis that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, delivered what her office billed as a major address yesterday at George Washington University.
In it, she sought to get ahead of the curve of change in the Arab and Muslim world by touting information technology as a tool of liberation. Her theme? “The freedom to connect.”
I’m sure the Wikileaks folks were thrilled.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke yesterday at George Washington University on the need for global Internet freedom as protests spread across the Muslim world.
Obama is also monitoring geopolitical crises in Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq, as well as the still unfolding Wikileaks crisis.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Sacramento today.
He has no scheduled public events as of this morning.
He’s working on California’s chronic budget crisis and his nascent administration.
Legislative hearings are taking place on various elements of Brown’s budget proposal, with pushback anticipated from Democrats as well as Republicans.
Republicans may come up with responses beyond the usual blanket “No” and insistence that specifics aren’t their responsibility by presenting things they want in exchange for some support.
And Democrats may decide they want other cuts than those proposed by Brown.
Or they may not.
Brown got some good news late last night when his preferred candidate, former Assemblyman Ted Lieu, easily won a multi-candidate special election for a vacant LA area state Senate seat.
Brown campaigned with him last week and allowed his endorsement to be used for weeks prior in advertising. With 57% of the vote, Lieu easily avoided a run-off election two months from now, and provided the Democrats with a greatly needed vote now.
Former Assemblywoman Sharon Runner also easily won the special election to replace husband George in a staunchly Republican state Senate seat in the high country north of and above LA.
In other action, Special Counsel to the Governor Anne Gust Brown — also known as the first lady of California, or, as I like to think of it, FLOC — yesterday officially designated one Sutter Brown as the First Dog.
Sutter is the little Welsh Corgi that the governor’s sister, former state Treasurer Kathleen Brown, had to leave behind in his, er, care when she moved to ultra-frigid Chicago.
Sutter takes the central role in the civic life of California that the late Dharma Brown, a truly great hound, would have had had death not come far too soon.
Of course, what California really needs is not a First Dog but a First Cat. And not just because I like cats.
Why? Because dogs come when you call them. Whereas cats do not. And the job of governor of California is much like herding cats.
** IS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION STILL WAY BEHIND THE CURVE ON EGYPT? President Barack Obama’s comeback since the November elections has been very impressive professionally, if not always politically. What has not been at all impressive is how far behind the curve his administration has been on Egypt, a distressing development over the past few weeks that reached a nadir of sorts on Thursday with an epic level of confusion.
There are clear limits to American power. The failure of neoconservative adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan make that obvious. But there should not be many limits to American knowledge. Especially given the limits to American power. …
The real power games have only just begun. And, this administration — stunningly, given Obama’s choice of Cairo for his great address to the Muslim world in 2009 — has been behind the curve repeatedly throughout the crisis thus far. … From my February 11th essay.
** JERRY BROWN 2.0: HOW’S IT GOING? So how’s Jerry Brown 2.0 going? The new/renewed governor of California won a landslide victory over billionaire Meg Whitman 90 days ago, took over from Arnold Schwarzenegger four weeks ago, and has worked on laying out an austerity-with-revenues budget plan and slowly building his administration ever since.
It’s going, well, well enough. Well enough to begin to straighten out the state’s chronic budget crisis in the first half of this year? We’ll see. … From my January 31st feature.
** OBAMA AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE JFK INAUGURAL 50 YEARS ON. … From my January 22nd essay.
** THE JERRY BROWN ERA UNFOLDS (AGAIN). … From my January 11th feature.
** FROM GOVERNATOR TO MOONBEAM. … From my January 3rd feature.
** 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 $85 per barrel.
This is up about $51 from the low of $34 per barrel prior to enactment of the Obama economic recovery program, reflecting a low point in global economic activity.
Your posts are welcome in the Forum. You can send me a private tip by clicking on the “Contact” button in the upper right.