2010 California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman, now the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is cutting nearly 30,000 jobs from the iconic firm once known for its humane “HP Way.” Whitman is a national finance co-chair for her longtime mentor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. She became HP CEO last September.
** QUICK HITS. I’m told that all Obama fundraisers in the San Francisco Bay Area tonight and tomorrow are sold out. Another very big Golden State take for the prez is in the offing. … Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation today to expedite a big solar project in Southern California.
** NEW COLUMNS COMING UP … THE NEW SPACE ERA TAKES A BIG STEP FORWARD (TAKE 2), and MAD MEN: A GREAT LEAPER FORWARD? JOAN, JAG, DON’S RETURN TO ADVERTISING (AND OTHER, ER, TREKS).
** NEW POLL: A VERY POLARIZED VIEW OF JOE BIDEN. A new Gallup Poll has some less than welcome news for the Obama Administration.
Vice President Joe Biden, whose numbers haven’t been very good for the past few years, has reached a new low.
Or high, depending on how you look at it.
Unfortunately for the Veep, the high he has reached is his highest unfavorable rating.
Democrats are sharply favorable, while Republicans are sharply unfavorable. Independents tilt against him by 10 points.
Americans are about equally likely to have a favorable (42%) as an unfavorable (45%) view of Joe Biden, which has been the case for most of his tenure as U.S. vice president. Americans were much more positive than negative toward Biden from the time he was chosen as Barack Obama’s running mate through the first several months of the Obama administration. …
The May 10-13 USA Today/Gallup poll marks the first time opinions of Biden have tilted negative since he became Obama’s vice presidential pick, but they are not materially different from the closely divided but still net positive ratings of Biden from October 2009-March 2011. The current poll was conducted after Biden’s comments in favor of same-sex marriage on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, May 6 — comments that led to President Obama’s announcement that he too supported legalized same-sex marriage. The poll suggests those comments did not have a dramatic effect on how Americans view Biden.
Biden’s favorable rating peaked at 59% immediately after the 2008 election. His current 45% unfavorable rating is his highest so far, though his unfavorable ratings have been at least 40% since October 2009.
Fourteen percent of Americans do not have an opinion of the vice president, similar to the levels Gallup has measured since October 2008.
Predictably, Democrats are overwhelmingly positive toward the Democratic vice president, and Republicans overwhelmingly negative. By 47% to 37%, independents are more negative than positive. …
President Barack Obama declared Wednesday morning that the world has “a new feeling about America” and more respect for its leadership, weaving re-election themes into a commencement speech to jubilant graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
** NEW COLUMNS COMING UP … THE NEW SPACE ERA TAKES A BIG STEP FORWARD (TAKE 2), and MAD MEN: A GREAT LEAPER FORWARD? JOAN, JAG, DON’S RETURN TO ADVERTISING (AND SOME OTHER STUFF).
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington, Colorado, and California.
Obama received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
He then flew on Air Force One to Colorado Springs, Colorado, home of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
There he met with Air Force Academy personnel and their families, following which he delivered the commencement address.
Following that, he mingled and met with the Falcons and their families.
At 12:30 PM Pacific, Obama departs Colorado Springs on Air Force One en route Denver, Colorado.
At 1 PM Pacific, Obama arrives in Denver.
At 2:35 PM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks at a fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Denver.
At 3:35 PM Pacific, Obama departs Denver on Air Force One en route Mountain View, California.
At 6:10 PM Pacific, Obama arrives in Mountain View, California, landing at Moffett Federal Airfield, the former Navy air station.
At 7:20 PM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks at a private residence in Atherton.
At 9:10 PM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks at a fundraiser at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City.
Obama RONs in San Jose.
His latest California trip continues tomorrow.
I understand that Obama will raise another $4 million-plus from Silicon Valley.
The latest round of negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program began today in Baghdad between Iran and the permanent five UN Security Council members (US,UK, France, Russia, China) and Germany.
The international powers are pushing for Iran to limit its nuclear enrichment program, especially pulling back from the 20% level from which further enrichment to weapons grade is far easier. Iran claims it needs all that enrichment for a medical reactor.
Iran has countered with an entirely new proposal, details of which are not available.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s presidential election began today.
The election continues tomorrow.
There have been no major disturbances thusfar.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran could soon sign a deal on the UN agency investigating suspected weapons activities connected to the country’s nuclear program. Yukiya Amano, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, said on Tuesday that he reached an agreement with Iran’s government after talks in Tehran, but failed to seal the deal because of “remaining, unspecified differences.”
I’ll write a lot more about this, along with the just concluded NATO summit in Chicago, when the massive round of geopolitical summitry, all of it connected, is concluded.
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.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Sacramento.
He has no scheduled public events as of this morning.
California’s governmental efficiency commission, the so-called Little Hoover Commission (explanation for the odd name too lengthy for this space), voted unanimously yesterday afternoon to approve Brown’s plan to reorganize and streamline state government.
Brown’s plan will cut the number of state agencies from 12 to 10, ending many duplicative operations. Unless it is rejected by a majority vote of either house of the state legislature by July 3rd, the plan will go into effect.
Brown has scheduled another national media interview, on the heels of last Friday’s outing on CBS News’s new morning program, to air later this week on National Public Radio’s Marketplace program.
** A BUCKET OF WOE: JERRY BROWN’S UNSURPRISINGLY UNHAPPY BUDGET. … From my May 16th essay.
** MAD MEN: DANGER! SLIPPERY WHEN SOAPY (ESPECIALLY IN DARK SHADOWS). … From my May 15th review.
** NUCLEAR’S ONCE BRIGHT AND SHINY FUTURE BLINKS OUT. …From my May 12th essay.
** MAD MEN: REJECTING ADVERTISING, OR, DON DRAPER MEETS ACID ROCK, POP BUDDHISM, AND AN INDEPENDENT WIFE. … From my May 8th essay.
** THE CURIOUS CHEN CRISIS SPOTLIGHTS OUR BIG CHINA CONUNDRUM. … 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.
** 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 is trading around $90 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $56 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 $24 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.