The dispatch of small drone submarines to deal with a threatened Iranian blockage of the Strait of Hormuz, crucial to global oil supply, is part of a US naval build-up in the Gulf.
** NEW COLUMNS COMING UP … MITT WHITMAN = MEG ROMNEY and CRISES CHAOTIC AND SIMMERING: FROM THE GULF TO THE SOUTH CHINA SEA.
** OBAMA THIS WEEKEND. President Barack Obama is in Washington and Virginia.
For Saturday, Obama received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
He then went to Joint Base Andrews, where he boarded Air Force One and flew to Richmond, Virginia.
At 10 AM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at Walkerton Tavern & Gardens in Glen Allen, Virginia.
At 11:45 AM Pacific, Obama departs Richmond, Virginia on Air Force en route Sterling, Virginia.
At 12:25 PM Pacific, Obama arrives in Sterling, Virginia, landing at Dulles International Airport.
At 1:15 PM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at Centreville High School in Clifton, Virginia.
At 2:40 PM Pacific, Obama lands on the South Lawn of the White House.
For Sunday, Obama has no scheduled public events.
Conservative Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tried a full-court press Friday night with five TV news interviews to push-back on the Obama campaign’s charge that he misled people about his relationship with Bain Capital.
Romney’s problem? Plenty of documents for the three years after he says he left Bain with him as the company’s CEO and action officer on deals.
Did it work for Romney? That would be, no.
Obama is in pretty good shape in this race.
Better shape than the state of peace in the Persian/Arabian Gulf, where Iran talks tough as sanctions bite and talks flounder. Or perhaps even the South China Sea. A Chinese Navy frigate ran aground Thursday on a shoal off an island near the Philippines that the PRC claims as its own.
China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, through which one-third of the world’s shipping passes, to the dismay of its neighbors. (China’s ally Cambodia, hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit attended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, blocked the summit’s closing communique — first time in 45 years that has happened — because it called for multilateral talks on the South China Sea.) There are also vast oil, natural gas, and mineral deposits beneath the South China Sea, though how vast is a matter of some dispute. And seafood, a staple of regional diets, is ample in the South China Sea.
Meanwhile, the Chinese frigate is still stuck there. Wouldn’t want to be the skipper of that ship when he gets back to China.
What will the US do now that China has spurned requests that it negotiate with its neighbors as a group, rather than individually?
It looks like the US is back in the Asia Pacific business, in a big way, as I’ve been writing right along.
Here’s what Obama’s week ahead looks like. It has lots of farflung campaign travel, with plenty of flexibility built in for crisis management and response to events.
On Monday, Obama will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for a campaign event.
On Tuesday, Obama will travel to San Antonio and Austin, Texas for campaign events.
On Wednesday, Obama will attend meetings at the White House.
In his weekend video/radio address, President Barack Obama urges Congress to pass the middle-class tax cut extension.
On Thursday, Obama will travel to Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Florida for campaign events. He will remain overnight in Manalapan, Florida.
On Friday, Obama will travel to Fort Myers and Orlando, Florida for campaign events. He will return to the White House in the evening.
Obama is monitoring several geopolitical crises involving the Arab Awakening, Iran and Israel, Syria, Iraq, AfPak, and the South China Sea.
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 time in Manila, on the South China Sea, is fifteen hours ahead of Pacific time.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Northern California.
He has no scheduled public events as of this morning.
** WHY THE CLINTONS NEED OBAMA TO WIN: UNCERTAINTY AS HILLARY PUSHES THE BIG GEOPOLITICAL PIVOT. … From my July 13th essay.
** A TICKET TO RIDE: HIGH-SPEED RAIL MOVES FORWARD ON A HISTORIC (AND BUMPY) TRACK IN CALIFORNIA. … From my July 11th feature.
** DARK KNIGHTS, AVENGERS, BONDING RETRO ACTION HEROES: HOW LONG WILL THE SUPERHERO PHENOMENON LAST? … From my July 7th essay.
** FOUNDED IN ENLIGHTENMENT, AMERICA FACES IGNORANCE AND CONFUSION AS THE CHALLENGES GROW EVER MORE COMPLEX. … From my July 2nd essay.
** THE “MOMENTARY MEDIA” STRIKES: EPIC FAILS BY CNN AND FOX NEWS HIGHLIGHT DYSFUNCTIONALITY. … From my June 28th column.
** THE “SLOW BORING OF HARD BOARDS” IN AN ERA OF LIMITS. … From my June 27th essay.
** A RUGGED TIME FOR OBAMA’S BIG GEOPOLITICAL PIVOT. … From my June 22nd essay.
** THE “FAIR SHOT” VS. THE “TO DO LIST” — A BIG REVEALING BLAH IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE. … From my June 20th column.
** THE ENLIGHTENMENT DIVIDES AMERICAN POLITICS. … From my June 16th essay.
** LOOKING FORWARD FROM MAD MEN‘S MEANDERING SEASON 5: YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (ONE CAN ONLY HOPE) … From my June 13th 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.
The Dark Knight Rises, end to the Christopher Nolan trilogy of Batman films and sequel to The Dark Knight, one of the most popular films of all time, launches on July 20th. This 13-minute documentary discusses the finale. You’ll notice how prevalent the British influence is.
** 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 $87.10 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $53 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 $27 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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