With potential US venues rejecting the trial, five men accused of masterminding the September 11, 2001, attacks will be formally charged in front of a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. The defendants are expected to disrupt the proceedings.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … MAD MEN: “Lady Lazarus.”
** OBAMA THIS WEEKEND AND THE WEEK AHEAD. President Barack Obama is in Washington, Ohio, and Virginia.
On Saturday, Obama hits the campaign trail for official — as distinguished from the “unofficial” campaign events we’ve already seen — rallies in the battleground states of Ohio and Virginia.
On Sunday, he has no scheduled public events.
Obama received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
He and First Lady Michelle Obama then flew on Marine One to Joint Base Andrews, where they boarded Air Force One, and proceeded to Columbus, Ohio.
At 9 AM Pacific, the Obamas arrived in Columbus, Ohio.
At 10:20 AM Pacific, the president and first lady deliver remarks at a campaign event at Value City Arena-Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio.
At 11:55 AM Pacific, the Obamas depart Columbus, Ohio on Air Force One en route Richmond, Virginia.
At 1 PM Pacific, the Obamas arrive in Richmond, Virginia.
At 1:55 PM Pacific, the president and first lady deliver remarks at a campaign event at Verizon Wireless Arena-Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia.
At 2:55 PM Pacific, the Obamas depart Richmond, Virginia on Air Force One en route Joint Base Andrews.
At 3:35 PM Pacific, the Obamas land at Joint Base Andrews, where they board Marine One.
At 3:50 PM Pacific, the Obamas land on the South Lawn of the White House.
If you’re wondering about the extensive use of public presidential resources on an official campaign trip, it’s standard practice for many years.
The campaign reimburses the treasury for the trip.
What’s the new Obama campaign theme, you ask? “Forward.”
As in, not backward. Like, say, “We can’t afford to go back.”
Where have I heard that?
And whatever could it imply about Mitt Romney?
Let me think.
In his weekend video/radio address, President Barack Obama says that the US is in “a new chapter in Afghanistan.” (Which, unfortunately, and not surprisingly, has much the same storyline.) He calls on Congress to take the money we are no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America.
Obama has an interesting week ahead. Much of his public schedule, as usual, does not reflect the various crises he is attempting to manage. And there is significant time built in for needed adjustments.
On Monday, Obama will attend meetings at the White House and also hold a conference call with elected officials and student government leaders from across the country to discuss the need to prevent rates from doubling on July 1.
On Tuesday, Obama will travel to Albany, New York for an official event on the economy. In the evening, Obama will return to Washington to deliver the keynote address at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies 18th Annual Gala Dinner at the Ritz Carlton.
On Wednesday, Obama will attend meetings at the White House. In the evening, as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host a concert in the East Room honoring songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, who will be awarded the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In 2011, Obama presented the award to Paul McCartney. In 2009, the recipient was Steve Wonder. Among those performing will be Sheryl Crow, Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Lyle Lovett, Mike Myers, Rumer, Arturo Sandoval, and Sheléa and Stevie Wonder.
On Thursday, Obama will travel to Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles, California for campaign events. Obama will RON in LA.
On Friday, Obama will travel to Reno, Nevada for an official event on the economy. In the afternoon, he returns to Washington.
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.
The first trailer to The Expendables 2, sequel to the 2010 action movie hit The Expendables, has just been released. That, as you may notice, is Governor Jerry Brown’s predecessor, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in there, playing a bigger role than his cameo in the first film. Bruce Willis has a bigger role, too, alongside Sylvester Stallone and his cast of mostly retro action stars.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown has no scheduled public events.
Brown spoke on Thursday, as I’ve mentioned before, at the annual Bay Area Council Outlook Conference in San Jose.
Also there was his 1992 presidential campaign opponent, former President Bill Clinton.
The campaign between the two, in which Brown finished as the distant runner-up for Democratic presidential nomination, was frequently bitter.
Clinton praised Brown’s approach as governor, endorsing his November revenue initiative in the process, and said that California, though it is having tough times, “will come roaring back.”
“We have a younger workforce than Japan and Europe. We’ll have a younger workforce than China in 20 years,” Clinton said. “It’s easier to start a business here. And we’re still the center of innovation in the world.”
Asked about the 2012 presidential election, Clinton predicted that the race will be close much of the way, but that Barack Obama will win by five or six points over Mitt Romney.
Brown, incidentally, has paid no money to consultants for his November revenue initiative. Signature gathering is complete for the measure.
In contrast, heiress Molly Munger is spending over $100,000 a month on consultants for her zombie income tax hike for nearly all initiative. Some pretty big names, too. Who I am absolutely sure know better.
But if they tell her she doesn’t know what she’s doing, they ain’t getting those big bucks.
Hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, an effective co-chair with Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Shultz of the successful campaign to defeat the 2010 initiative to stop California’s landmark climate change program, had his organization pushing a November initiative to eliminate a billion dollar corporate tax break in favor of help for green energy and the state budget deficit go ahead and turn in nearly a million signatures today. The complex tax break, which benefits out-of-state companies which do not create jobs in California, was adopted as part of the 2009 budget deal which enacted temporary tax hikes.
Brown is said to prefer that Steyer not go ahead with the initiative, for which former Secretary of State Shultz again serves as co-chairman, fearing ballot clutter on fiscal measures. I don’t know if that is so or not, but if that is Brown’s opinion, I don’t agree with it.
Some of the usual state Republican operatives are working with a coalition to oppose ending the corporate tax break, which consists of Chrysler, General Motors, International Paper, Kimberly-Clark, and Procter & Gamble. I’m told that tobacco companies will also pitch in, after they get through fighting the latest initiative next month to try to raise cigarette taxes.
** THE CURIOUS CHEN CRISIS SPOTLIGHTS OUR BIG CHINA CONUNDRUM. As if he didn’t have enough geopolitical crises already.
President Barack Obama got a complicated new crisis to manage this week, this one in China, where blind dissident icon Chen Guancheng — who, somehow, escaped house arrest in his village and made his way hundreds of miles to the U.S. embassy, where he received temporary sanctuary — “voluntarily” left the embassy and returned to Chinese soil.
With supposed new safeguards for his freedom, it was hailed as a diplomatic success by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Then Chen said that he had been coerced to leave the U.S. embassy by Chinese government threats to incarcerate his wife. Or even kill her.
Then the activist reached out to Republicans in Congress, seeking to come to the U.S. on Hillary’s plane when it leaves China. Clinton was there to work on bilateral relations with the Middle Kingdom, which already theatened a turn for the worse. Later, a resolution of sorts seems to have been achieved, in which Chen, joined by his family, will come to America “temporarily” as a new fellow of New York University.
The whole thing is very odd. How did Chen, who is blind, escape through layers of custody and get to and gain entrance to the U.S. embassy in the first place? Was he allowed to do so to create a crisis in the midst of high-level U.S./China negotiations? If so, why? If not, well, perhaps it’s just an odd confluence of events.
It all highlights what a conundrum that leaders from Washington to California face in dealing with the challenges and opportunities presented by a clearly ascending and not very well understood China. … From my May 4th essay.
** MAD MEN: TO THE MOON! (AND CRASHING BACK AGAIN). … From my May 1st essay.
** SEALED UP, BUT NOT SEALED OVER: THE OSAMA BIN LADEN RAID AT 1. … From my May 1st essay.
** BACK ON THE NATIONAL STAGE? JERRY BROWN BRINGS AN INCOMPLETE STORY. … From my April 28th essay.
** MAD MEN: WIBBLY-WOBBLY, TIMEY-WIMEY, TRIPPY-WIPPY (AND PEGGY OLSON IS NO DANA SCULLY). … From my April 24th essay.
** HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT? ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GAUNTLET. … 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.
** 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 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 $98.49 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $64 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 $16 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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