A U.S. official says that the second in command of Al Qaeda, Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in an American drone strike on a home in Pakistan, the latest in a series of commanders killed in the aerial campaign following Osama bin Laden’s death.
** NEW COLUMNS COMING UP … JERRY BROWN FOR PRESIDENT + 20, MAD MEN: THE ANVIL HAS LANDED and MIDWAY FROM MIDWAY: THE UNSUNG 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF ONE OF HISTORY’S MOST IMPORTANT BATTLES COMES AS OBAMA TRIES TO EXECUTE “THE PACIFIC PIVOT.”
** QUICK HITS. >Exit poll data from the hard-fought race to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gives President Barack Obama a significant edge, 51-45, over Mitt Romney in the Badger State, a key swing state in the November election. … Only 17% of Wisconsin voters say that their personal financial situations have improved over the past two years, with 44% saying it’s the same and 38% saying it’s worse. But they don’t seem to blame Obama, giving him a clear edge over Romney on the economy, 45-37. … Obama also has a big edge on the question of who would most help the middle class, 48-35 over Romney.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
Obama then met with senior advisors in the Oval Office.
Obama has no scheduled public events on this election day in a number of states around the country.
On Wednesday, Obama will travel to San Francisco and Los Angeles to attend fundraisers. Obama will spend the night in Los Angeles.
I’ll have a lot more on that.
On Thursday, Obama will travel to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas for an official event on the economy. Obama will return to Washington, DC in the evening.
On Friday, Obama will welcome President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines to the White House for a bilateral meeting. The Philippines is a long-standing key ally of the US, and with Obama’s geostrategic shift to the Asia-Pacific region, close coordination with the island republic is very important.
Also on Friday, Obama will welcome the Super Bowl XLVI Champion New York Giants to the White House to honor the team for its Super Bowl victory.
Over the weekend, at the annual Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore on security policy in the Pacific Basin, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta laid out more on the new US doctrine which Obama first articulated during his trip to the Asia Pacific region late last year, and which Panetta himself addressed last week during his commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Panetta said that the US Navy will shift most of its ships to the region in coming years, and that six of the fleet’s 10 aircraft carriers and their supporting strike groups will be based and on patrol in the Pacific.
He stressed that the US seeks cooperation with China and not confrontation. But having more USN firepower in the region will backstop Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines, all of which on the South China Sea but which are having serious problems with China, which attempts to claim nearly all of it.
Panetta went on to the Philippines, and to Vietnam — an historic visit for a US defense secretary — where he visited the massive US-built base at Cam Ranh Bay and requested its use by the Navy.
Then he went to India for two days of talks today and on Wednesday.
The Obama Administration is trying to make India a much closer ally, which would help tremendously in providing a counter-weight to China.
But India has a very long history of non-alignment.
Panetta is also trying to get more Indian help in Afghanistan, where its efforts to date have focused on economic development and humanitarian aid.
But Panetta’s push for help from India may make the bad situation with Pakistan even worse.
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.
Voter turnout in California will likely set a record low 35 percent for a presidential primary, according to a new Field Poll released Tuesday. The state’s decision to push back its election has made the primary an academic exercise for voters.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Northern California.
He has no scheduled public events as of this morning.
A very quiet California primary finishes up today, with a once or twice too often to the well tobacco tax initiative trying to hang on in the face of a tobacco industry onslaught and a moderate revision of term limits probably heading for victory.
The tobacco tax proposal is so attenuated from the state’s chronic budget crisis that I simply haven’t followed it closely.
The term limits revision could restore greater functionality to the legislature by ending the crazy musical chairs.
The new open primary law championed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and supported by Brown, shows off more of its dynamics today, with a few hot local races on tap.
One result already is fewer Republican candidates signing the no-tax pledge.
We’ll also see how Republican rising star-turned-independent Nathan Fletcher does in the San Diego mayor’s race.
He’s fighting to get into the run-off.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal denied a motion by the proponents of the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban to have a majority of the court determine whether to uphold the decision by a 9th Circuit panel of judges to uphold the federal district court ruling throwing out the 2008 initiative.
Brown opposed Prop 8, and as attorney general, he and then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger decided not to have the state intervene to protect it in court, as is usually done with initiatives.
** FIAT LUX, WILLARD! … From my June 1st column.
** MAD MEN: CONTROVERSY AS JOAN LOWERS HERSELF TO RISE, PEGGY EXITS ANTICLIMACTICALLY (AND SCDP GETS ITS HALO CLIENT). … From my latest essay.
** THE NEW SPACE ERA TAKES BIG STEPS FORWARD. … From my May 30th essay.
** MAD MEN: A GREAT LEAPER FORWARD? JOAN, JAG, DON’S RETURN TO ADVERTISING (AND OTHER, ER, TREKS). … From my May 23rd review.
** 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.
** 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.
Over the weekend, The Avengers, starring Jerry Brown friend Robert Downey, Jr. and some other folks, became the third biggest movie of all-time at the domestic and global box offices, passing The Dark Knight for the former honor and the final Harry Potter film for the latter. Director James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic are still first and second. The Avengers will not catch either of those films at either the domestic or global box offices.
** 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 $84 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $50 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 $30 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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