Libyan rebel forces continue to gather around Sirte, the home town of deposed dictator Moammar Gaddafi. They have set a deadline of Saturday for Gaddafi loyalist forces to surrender or be attacked.
** QUICK HITS. Gaddafi regime loyalists holed up in the deposed dictator’s home town of Sirte have not answered Libyan rebels’ demand for a declaration of intent to surrender by Saturday. Gaddafi himself has not been heard from since making some defiant remarks several days ago on a Tripoli radio station. … Conservative Republicans opposed to the new California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s new districts today filed a referendum against the new congressional districts, companion to the referendum previously filed against state Senate districts. The plans were approved by a majority of Republicans on the commission. …
** JERRY-RIGGING: IN VEGAS, BROWN REITERATES FOCUS ON RENEWABLES AND CLIMATE CHANGE AND TALKS ABOUT A NEW SOLUTION ON THE FARM WORKER QUESTION. Governor Jerry Brown, once a globe-trotter and now something of a homebody, ventured to the not entirely ascetic confines of Las Vegas today for his first trip out of state since beginning his third term as governor. Brown was lured from his lairs by the invitation of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to his annual National Clean Energy Summit.
Accompanied by a few state Capitol reporters, Brown, traveling as usual on Southwest Airlines, found time to meet privately with Reid and with Vice President Joe Biden. He also made it clear, once again, that he will chart an aggressive course for California on developing renewable energy sources and on dealing with the greenhouse effect, cause of global climate change.
“Climate change has become more obvious, and we see great opportunity in investing in wind, solar and energy efficiency, or ‘negawatts,’” Brown said. “This is like the computer industry when it first started. It starts small and it keeps growing. We’re not going to ever not need energy.”
Brown pioneered the renewable energy path in the 1970s and 1980s. He joined his predecessor, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has addressed this gathering in past years, in committing California to requiring that 33% of its electric power be generated by renewable energy sources.
The state looks like it’s on track to meet that mandate.
“Last year,” noted Brown, who was inaugurated in January, “we permitted 5,000 megawatts of wind and solar, and we have applications for 70,000 megawatts. The 33% goal has stimulated real investment. The entrepreneurs that made the computer revolution are the same people investing in renewable energy. Google is investing. These companies will grow.”
Brown also told the San Jose Mercury News that he’s going to talk up climate change, very much a linked issue. He spoke of the spate of extreme weather events and linked greenhouse deniers with those who once claimed that tobacco wasn’t harmful.
“Climate change will create floods, droughts, forest fires of greater intensity and regularity, and with far greater devastation, he said. “Climate denial propaganda is very powerful, but California is standing against it. Part of my job is to advance the truth of science.”
Brown also told his persistent shadow, the Sacramento Bee’s clever young reporter David Siders, that he is coming up with an alternative to the United Farm Workers’ card check legislation, which he vetoed at the end of June.
The UFW is staging a march up the Central Valley, and plans a weekend rally at the Capitol to pressure Brown to sign future legislation. A decades-long close ally of Brown, the union is issuing various statements along the way invoking the history of it all. This the UFW noted some Brown family history; namely that Brown argued with his father, then Governor Pat Brown, on behalf of the union cause when the UFW first marched on the Capitol in 1966, with the younger Brown urging his father to join the farm workers as they presented their grievances.
“This is not a time for fundamental changes in a law that has only been changed once since I signed it in 1975,” Brown, governor before from 1975 to 1983, told The Bee before speaking at a green energy conference in Las Vegas.
Brown said he has proposed to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg changes to existing law to reduce the time by which growers can delay bargaining and to allow for the immediate reinstatement of employees unfairly fired during organizing drives, among other measures.
The Democratic governor said his proposal “does speed things up, and it does provide a remedy.”
The “card-check” legislation would provide unionizing farmworkers an alternative to the secret ballot, letting unions organize them instead through signed petition cards. Brown said such a bill is “not something I’m going to do in the last week of the session.”
He said, “If people want more far reaching changes, those should be the subject of more deliberation that involves workers, growers … academics, and other interested parties.”
** NEW POLL: RICK PERRY OPENS UP A BIG LEAD IN THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE. Texas Governor Rick Perry has opened up a big lead over former frontrunner Mitt Romney the rest of the field in the Republican presidential race.
In a new CNN poll, the far right fave (a particular darling of California conservatives, who see the second coming of a harder-edged Reagan), Perry leads Romney, 32% to 18%.
Michele Bachmann is third at 12%, a hanging in there Newt Gingrich is at 7%, and Ron Paul is at 6%. The rest are in the low single digits.
The results are little altered when CNN tossed Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani into the mix.
Under that unlikely scenario, Perry leads Romney 27-14, with Palin at 10% and Bachmann and Giuliani tied at 9%.
The poll also indicates that there isn’t much support for a primary challenger to President Barack Obama, and that sentiment for it — a constant trope among some ultra-liberal bloggers, columnists, and other would-be experts — has already topped out.
According to the survey, Perry supporters tend to be older and have higher incomes, but the longtime Texas governor also tops the list, albeit by smaller margins, among lower-income Republicans and those under 50 years old. …
Meanwhile, the survey indicates that number of Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic party who would like the party to nominate someone else besides President Barack Obama has topped out after months of steady growth. Seventy-two percent of Democrats want to see Obama re-nominated, with 27 percent wanting a different candidate. That’s virtually unchanged since early August, although it is higher than in June.
Was she kidding or not? Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann drew lots of fire when she seemed to say that God visited Hurricane Irene on America because federal spending is too high. She says she was joking, but could be said to have actually repeated the sentiment in the course of her clarification.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington and Minnesota.
He has received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
Obama then flew to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he addressed the annual conference of the American Legion, the veterans organization for those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces during time of war.
At 10:15 AM Pacific, Obama departs Minneapolis, Minnesota on Air Force One en route Joint Base Andrews.
At 12:30 PM Pacific, Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews, where he boards Marine One.
At 12:45 PM Pacific, Obama lands on the South Lawn of the White House.
Obama and his team are still working on his big economic speech for shortly after Labor Day. Its shape and scope remain somewhat unclear.
Meanwhile, of course, the tromp of impending economic doom has been stilled, the media’s hysterical fixations having moved on to the hurricane, which is now over.
In the end, Hurricane Irene killed some 40 people. The scope of the damage is still being determined, but millions are still without power.
With word of more polling showing Texas Governor Rick Perry opening up a sizable lead over former frontrunner Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race, Romney — who has been running a Rose Garden-style campaign — is readying an attack on Perry.
He’ll hit Romney for being too conservative to win, a threat to seniors for his apparent views on Social Security, a hypocrite who rails against government but has been on the public payroll all his adult life. (Perry was an Air Force officer prior to getting into politics.)
But is Romney someone who can deliver attacks about hypocrisy?
Libyan rebels are closing their perimeter around deposed dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte, readying an assault and negotiating with officials inside the city. It’s not clear if Gaddafi himself is in there.
Gaddafi’s wife and three of his grown children fled to Algeria yesterday, where they were granted a safe haven. His daughter Aisha reportedly gave birth today.
National Transitional Council officials have given Gaddafi regime loyalists in Sirte and other pockets of resistance until Saturday to signal their intention to give up.
Libyan rebels have established a perimeter around deposed dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte, as seen with this skirmish at a checkpoint outside the remaining stronghold.
Russian space officials still haven’t determined the cause for the destruction of last week’s cargo ship shortly after its launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station. The debris rained down upon remote Siberian forests.
The accident has already caused a delay in the next crew rotation for the ISS. If it lasts into October, the space station may have to be evacuated.
Obama is monitoring a variety of other geopolitical crises, mostly related to the Arab awakening, AfPak, and Iraq.
War Zone Times: Libya is nine hours ahead of Pacific time, Iraq is ten hours ahead of Pacific time, and Afghanistan is eleven and a half hours ahead of Pacific time.
** JERRY BROWN MOVES BEHIND THE SCENES, BREAKS COVER ON THE ECONOMY, BUT NEEDS TO BREAK BIGGER.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in California and Nevada.
Brown flew from Sacramento to Las Vegas at 6:30 AM.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is hosting Brown at the annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas.
At 2 PM, Brown will join Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire for a panel discussion on how the West’s leadership in clean energy can impact technological innovation and national and international policy-making.
Former White House chief of staff John Podesta of the Center for American Progress will moderate the event, which takes place at Aria Resort and Casino at CityCenter in Las Vegas.
The National Clean Energy Summit 4.0 is co-sponsored by Reid, the Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Brown’s predecessor, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has previously taken part in the summit.
Other noteworthy speakers this year include Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
Brown took part in a media conference call last month discussing the summit with Reid and Mabus.
** OBAMA’S BIG DISCONNECT. There’s no question that President Barack Obama is an outstanding orator, able to articulate important messages. But he has a big disconnect going on the biggest issue for most Americans. Even on some things that he has actually focused on of great importance, like energy prices.
Through all of 2010, as I wrote in my November 2010 election “pre-mortem”, “Obama’s Big Mistake,” here on the Huffington Post, Obama was just about to “pivot” to the economy. But it never quite happened. … From my August 22nd column.
** OF “A THEORY THAT’S OUT THERE,” GOP STRAW POLLS, MARTHA’S VINEYARD VACATIONS, AND OTHER FOLLIES. Who says that August is the silly season?
* “A THEORY THAT’S OUT THERE.” I love Rick Perry. I really do. With Michele Bachmann, even though she’s listening to her smart advisors and doing things Sarah Palin can’t, like speak in sentences and even paragraphs, you know you’ve got a fringe character no matter how many supporters she’s attracting. That’s supporters in a party in which half the members believed that the president of the United States is really an illegal alien, and maybe even the Manchurian Candidate.
But Perry is a different kind of deal. He’s the governor of a big state, the second biggest, in fact. He has to be a serious figure. Right? I mean, he’s got that whole Texas Mirage, er, Miracle thing going and all. … From my August 18th essay.
** HARRY POTTER: A CONFESSION, AND AN APPRECIATION. … From my August 11th essay.
** LESS THAN MEETS THE EYE: THE BIG BUDGET DEAL AND OBAMA’S REAL PROBLEM. … From my August 8th essay.
** JERRY BROWN MAKES SOME MOVES. … From my August 1st essay.
** OVER AND OUT, ABOVE AND BEYOND: IS THE SPACE AGE OVER OR JUST BEGINNING? … From my July 28th essay.
** FROM GOVERNATOR TO MOONBEAM. … From my January 3rd, 2011 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 AL JAZEERA. With the US entangled in three wars in the region, and the Arab awakening underway, 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.
** 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.
** 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 $87 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $53 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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