Under the reworked security deal reached with Japan, the US will redeploy nearly 10,000 Marines from the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to other locations in the Asia Pacific region. In part, it is resolution of longstanding Japanese complaint against a too large US presence, and in part a play to the new US geostrategic focus on the region.
** NEW COLUMNS COMING UP … JERRY BROWN BACK ON THE NATIONAL STAGE and NEWTONIAN MOTION: BODIES AT REST and MAD MEN: “AT THE CODFISH BALL.”
** QUICK HITS. More signs of a rift at the top of Israel’s military and intelligence hierarchy with regard to the Iran crisis. On Wednesday, as discussed here, the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces said he thinks that Iranian leaders are “rational” and will not choose to make nuclear weapons. Today the most recent former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s counter-intelligence and security service, Yuval Diskin, said that he has no confidence in Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, calling their decisions “based on messianic feelings.” … Iran, incidentally, says again it is willing to “compromise” on its nuclear program, which is putting it closer and closer to becoming nuclear weapons capable, which is not the same as yet producing a nuclear weapon. But there are no specifics. … Meanwhile, the US is quietly putting together a major armada of land-based fighter aircraft in the Middle East to complement the build-up of Navy aircraft carrier forces. The build-up of F-22 stealth fighters and conventional but high-performance F-15 air superiority fighters, based in Gulf Arab states, is only necessary as a counter to an adversary with jet fighter capability. Such planes were not needed during the Iraq War because Saddam Hussein had no air force to speak of. Iran does. … With the first anniversary of the Navy SEAL take-down of Osama bin Laden coming up on May 2nd, Pakistan today deported his family to Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden’s three wives and 14 children and grand-children, all of whom somehow escaped detection for years, have been flow to the Red Sea Saudi city of Jeddah.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington and Georgia.
Obama received the daily intelligence and economic briefings and met with senior advisors in the Oval Office.
He and First Lady Michelle Obama then departed the White House en route Joint Base Andrews, where they boarded Air Force One and flew to Fort Stewart, outside Hinesville, Georgia.
Obama then delivered remarks to troops, veterans and military families, following introductory remarks by the first lady, outside the headquarters of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.
At 11:05 AM Pacific, Obama departs Georgia on Air Force en route Washington, DC.
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.
At 1:55 PM Pacific, Obama attends a fundraiser at the Washington Convention Center.
At 3:10 PM Pacific, Obama attends a fundraiser at a private residence.
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 ten hours ahead of Pacific time, and Afghanistan is eleven and a half hours ahead of Pacific time.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck went first in Thursday evening’s first round of the NFL draft. He’s the fourth Stanford quarterback to be the first pick in the first round. Luck, a two-time runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, goes to the now Peyton Manning-free Indianapolis Colts. Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, the gun-slinging world class track star, went second, to the Washington Redskins, where I expect him to become the toast of the nation’s capital.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Washington, DC.
He is holding private meetings.
On Saturday, he and First Lady/Special Counsel Anne Gust Brown will attend the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton.
On Sunday, he will appear on the CBS News program Face the Nation for a one-on-one interview with host Bob Schieffer.
** MAD MEN: WIBBLY-WOBBLY, TIMEY-WIMEY, TRIPPY-WIPPY (AND PEGGY OLSON IS NO DANA SCULLY). On what is actually my favorite show, as in most greatly enjoyed, Doctor Who, there is a hand-waving phrase to cover the shifty plot twists inherent in the saga of the antically enigmatic traveler through time and space known as the Doctor. “Wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey.” As in, the flux capacitor went thataway and moving right along.
To that phrase, for the latest episode of Mad Men, add trippy-wippy. … From my April 24th essay.
** HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT? ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GAUNTLET. It might just be President Hillary Clinton, after all. But what would that mean? Could she move the country forward after a tumultuous period of transition under Barack Obama?
Pulling back from the usual back-and-forth of the moment reveals the potential for historic opportunities. But it’s a rugged gauntlet getting there.
Because it’s never too early to think about the presidential race after the one going on now. Public Policy Polling came up with numbers last week for potential candidates in both parties for their respective 2016 presidential nominations. On the Democratic side, it’s Hillary Clinton in an absolute runaway over Joe Biden. On the Republican side, Chris Christie has a slight edge over Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush, assuming Mitt Romney isn’t on the ballot. … From my April 24th essay.
** THE PERSISTENCE OF TUNNEL VISION: ANOTHER PROBLEM FOR JERRY BROWN. … From my April 19th essay.
** MAD MEN: ROUNDING SOME HAIRPIN PLOT CURVES. … From my April 17th essay.
** FIRST WEEK: A RAGGED START, OBAMA’S BIGGER PROBLEMS. … From my April 14th essay.
** MAD MEN‘s MASTER CLASS IN AMERICAN STUDIES ROLLS ON TO SOME MYSTERY DATES. … From my April 10th essay.
** JERRY BROWN HITS 74. … From my April 7th essay.
** IS ROMNEY “INEVITABLE,” AGAIN? … From my April 5th column.
** MAD MEN: WHOSE SIDE IS TIME ON, ANYWAY? … From my April 3rd essay.
** CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS IN CRISIS: ANOTHER BIG SHOE DROPS. … From my March 29th 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.
A UFO (Unusual Flying Object) has been sighted all around New York City’s airspace today. It’s the Space Shuttle Enterprise, riding on top of a modified jumbo jet. The shuttle prototype was brought from Washington to New York, heading to a museum there.
** 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 is trading around $105 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $71 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 $9 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
Your posts are welcome in the Forum. You can send me a private tip by clicking on the “Contact” button in the upper right.