In his Easter Weekend video/radio address, President Barack Obama reflects on the ties that bind humanity together.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … MAD MEN: “MYSTERY DATE.”
** OBAMA THIS WEEKEND. President Barack Obama is in Washington.
Obama has received the intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
He has no scheduled public events.
On Monday, the Obamas host the massive annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
Obama is monitoring several geopolitical crises involving the Arab Awakening, Iran and Israel, Iraq, AfPak, and North Korea.
Military Crisis Zone Times: The Arabian Gulf is eleven hours ahead of Pacific time, and Afghanistan is twelve and a half hours ahead of Pacific time.
** JERRY BROWN HITS 74. California’s youngest governor since it was barely a state back in the 19th century turned 74 on Saturday. Jerry Brown, back for a third term after his fascinating two terms as governor in the 1970s and ’80s is now California’s oldest governor, with little sign of slowing down.
It’s not a surprise. Brown’s father, the legendary Governor Pat Brown, lived into his 90s and his idea of exercise, in contrast to his very fit son, was splashing around in his pool. Brown’s mother, the ever sharp Bernice Brown, also lived into her 90s. And one of the most amusing moments at Brown’s third inaugural last year — in addition to his pointedly intoning that he was of “sound mind” in taking the oath of office to run the chronically troubled Golden State — was when he made a point of introducing his 99-year old aunt. Some ambitious faces in the front rows fell at that.
Typically, he doesn’t have a big party scheduled. Brown has never been one to commemorate his birthday. But it’s certainly a time for some contemplation, which in any event is deeply ingrained in the former Jesuit seminarian and Zen expert.
Before he made the final decision to be governor again, Brown, who had won a landslide election as California attorney general in 2006 after serving two terms as mayor of gritty Oakland, considered what it would mean for his life. He could continue in an office he enjoyed, to which he could win an easy re-election, going on leisurely weekend hikes in the Sierra Nevada mountains with his very bright and lively wife, Anne Gust Brown. Or he could jump back into an office and a process, never easy, which had only gotten crazier since his not especially sedate first governorship.
He chose the latter, of course, and after crushing billionaire Meg Whitman and the biggest spending non-presidential campaign in American history, found that the process was more dysfunctional than he had hoped. But, though his plan to quickly solve the state’s chronic budget crisis with big budget cuts and tax extensions came up short going on a year ago — with Brown and Democrats delivering the big cuts but Republicans refusing to even allow a public vote on the revenues — he’s making progress with his revamped plans. …
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Northern California.
He has no scheduled public events.
** IS ROMNEY “INEVITABLE,” AGAIN? Is Mitt Romney “inevitable,” again? For the Republican presidential nomination, that is, as I don’t believe he can beat Barack Obama. Or is he merely back in command of the race? … From my April 5th column.
** MAD MEN: WHOSE SIDE IS TIME ON, ANYWAY? The roar of generational change got ever louder in this week’s Mad Men, so much so that Roger Sterling plaintively wondered when things will go back to normal. That would be “Never,” Roger. At least for you. As always, there be spoilers ahead.
Meanwhile … She’s baaack. It’s around the 4th of July, 1966, and the character so many love to hate, and whom many thought had slipped away from the storyline, Betty Draper Francis, has returned to the show in a big way. Literally. Well, not that big. But the svelte Grace Kelly lookalike has put on a lot of weight. (This is how creator Matthew Weiner deals with star January Jones’s real-life pregnancy, which arrived not long after she wrapped her co-starring role as wintry telepath Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class.) …
Now she’s married to a doting older man, Henry Francis, a top advisor to the liberal New York Republicans who once played so large a role in American politics. (And if that doesn’t date this show, nothing will.) … From my April 3rd essay.
** CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS IN CRISIS: ANOTHER BIG SHOE DROPS. … From my March 29th essay.
** MAD MEN (FINALLY) RETURNS: WORTH THE WAIT? … From my March 27th essay.
** THE REAL GAME CHANGE: PALINISM’S RISE AND MODERATE REPUBLICANISM’S ECLIPSE. … From my March 23rd essay.
** CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS HAVE ONLY THEMSELVES TO BLAME. … From my March 22nd essay.
** JERRY BROWN DEALS AWAY TROUBLE ON THE LEFT. … From my March 16th column.
** MAKING SENSE OF KALEIDOSCOPIC PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS. … From my March 7th essay.
** IMPOSSIBLE MISSIONS AND 50 YEARS OF BOND. … From my March 6th 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.
Artist Thomas Kinkade once said that he had something in common with Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell: He wanted to make people happy. The self-described “Painter of Light,” one of the most popular artists in the country, though not among my favorites, died Friday at age 54 at his home in Los Gatos, outside San Francisco, of apparent natural causes.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM AL JAZEERA. With the US entangled in major military operations 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. 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 from the Russia Today channel. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the state-run 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 closed on Friday at $103.31 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $69 from the low of $34 per barrel prior to enactment of the Obama economic recovery program, reflecting a low point in global economic activity, and down about $11 from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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