Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt, who earlier this week became only the second man, after American Carl Lewis, to defend his Olympic 100 meter dash championship, today in London became the first to defend his 200 meter dash championship. Bolt, who led a Jamaican sweep of all three medals in the 200, thus also became the first to defend a 100-200 Olympic sprint double, a feat only a few have ever accomplished even once. Only Bolt has ever run either sprint faster than he did in these Olympic victories.
** QUICK HITS. Governor Jerry Brown, in LA this afternoon for the roll-out of Frito-Lay’s new electric delivery fleet, dismissed Mitt Romney’s attempt yesterday to liken California to troubled European nations as “just silly.” California, unlike a nation-state, has to produce a budget that is at least somewhat balanced every year, and has only a tiny fraction of the debt load carried by the countries Romney cites. It also has a bigger economy. … Opponents to Brown’s November revenue initiative have produced a web-only ad and raised some money, mostly in the form of $100,000 from an out-of-state conservative Republican. … In other massively developing politics, the remnants of the Occupy movement is attempting to sit in outside Brown’s loft in downtown Sacramento. Their argument? That he should use his emergency powers to stop all foreclosures in California. Two problems emerge. 1. He has no such powers. 2. Occupy has no troops.
** SHOCK FOX POLL HAS OBAMA OPENING BIG LEAD OVER ROMNEY. But for the fact that America is decidedly not well, and President Barack Obama has proved to be a most imperfect messenger in an utterly unforgiving and whipsawing time, there is no particularly good reason why he can’t beat conservative Republican rival Mitt Romney handily.
Note that those are not exactly insubstantial caveats.
Now a new Fox News poll, issued on the supposed eve of Romney’s announcement of his running mate — be still my heart and meanwhile don’t get in the way of my view of the the London Olympic finals in track, basketball, football, etc. — pours decidedly cold water on the notion of any Romney resurgence.
Maybe US voters do care more about Romney’s geopolitical gaffes than a media culture which denigrates the idea of any serious coverage of a globalized world would have one believe.
And maybe Obama’s ruthless game of bumper cars against Romney’s vulnerabilities is taking serious hold.
After all, who would ever have guessed that a corporate takeover artist would find heavy going in a race for president?
Mitt Romney has had a tough couple of weeks on the campaign trail — and it shows in the latest Fox News poll. After a barrage of campaign ads, negative news coverage of his overseas trip and ongoing talk about his tax returns, Romney’s favorable rating and standing in the trial ballot have declined. As a result, President Obama has opened his biggest lead since Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee.
The president would take 49 percent of the vote compared to Romney’s 40 percent in a head-to-head matchup if the election were held today, the poll found. Last month, Obama had a four percentage-point edge of 45 percent to 41 percent. This marks the second time this year the president has had a lead outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.
Obama’s advantage comes largely from increased support among independents, who now pick him over Romney by 11 percentage points. Some 30 percent of independents are undecided. Last month, Obama had a four-point edge among independents, while Romney had the advantage from April through early June.
There was also an uptick in support for Obama among women, blacks and Democrats.
Four voters in 10 say they are “extremely” interested in the race. Among just those voters, the candidates are tied at 48 percent each.
The Obama campaign has spent heavily on advertising attacking Romney’s time at Bain Capital and his tax returns. And it appears to be working. Romney’s favorable rating dropped six percentage points since last month and now sits at 46 percent, down from 52 percent in mid-July. At the same time his unfavorable rating went up five points. Romney’s favorable rating has held steady among his party faithful, but it’s down eight percentage points among independents and seven points among Democrats.
Overall 54 percent of voters have a positive view of Obama, matching his highest favorable rating in more than a year. Last month, it was 52 percent. Obama’s current rating is nearly as high as four years ago, when 59 percent viewed him positively. …
** NEW SURVEY: OVERWHELMING MAJORITY WANTS LIVE OLYMPIC COVERAGE. Yes, I am very focused on the Olympics, so much that I won’t write about the Games until after they are over.
I also wrenched my back early yesterday while deadlifting, probably because my legs were tired from doing 12 miles on Sunday, so writing focus is suffering a bit since my back locks up quickly. Which is not all that fun at the moment for an old track guy watching amazing feats while barely able to walk.
So, the new Gallup Poll survey shows that the most involved Olympic viewers want live coverage of the Games, and are dissatisfied with NBC’s determinedly old-fashioned sofa spud-style coverage.
NBC is simply behind the curve in a globalized world, showing a mindset that again convinces me that the dominant media mavens are locked into a dumbed down perspective on presenting information.
People increasingly have the tools and the awareness to absorb far more than what is presented to them by executives who seem bent on promoting the narrowest bandwidth approach.
Americans who say they are watching the Olympics “a lot” are most likely to want the most popular events televised both live during the day as they happen and on tape delay in the evening. Seven in 10 (71%) of these Americans want the most popular events televised live and on tape delay, as do a majority (57%) of those who are watching a little of the games and 43% of those who aren’t watching at all. …
The results are from a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Aug. 4-5, 2012, in the midst of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and significant media coverage and online chatter about NBC Universal’s coverage of the games. The Twitter hashtag #NBCFail has been alight with the tweets of those criticizing NBC’s decision to televise the most popular events solely in the evening, many hours after they have been broadcast live worldwide and the results widely reported. Some have defended NBC’s decision, arguing that NBC is pleasing its advertisers with record-high ratings in prime time and that the comments on Twitter do not represent the entire nation’s views.
The poll finds that the majority of Americans nationwide (59%) do want both live and taped television coverage of the most popular events — with relatively few Americans saying they would prefer coverage that is solely live (17%) or solely tape delay (12%). The last figure suggests there is widespread dissatisfaction with NBC’s decision to televise the most popular events solely on tape delay in the evening. It should be noted, however, that the question asked only about television broadcasts and thus does not include Americans’ views about the live streaming options NBC offers online. …
Power in post-Gaddafi Libya has been handed over to an elected assembly that will now appoint a new president and government. Unlike in Egypt and Tunisia, two other Arab Awakening countries whose revolutions were decidedly more peaceful, secular figures, and not Islamists, have dominated the recent Libyan elections. Quite to the contrary of forecasts from opponents of the NATO intervention that made the defeat of Moammar Gaddafi’s regime possible.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … RECALLING TOTAL RECALL.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Colorado and Washington, DC.
After spending the night in Pueblo, Colorado, Obama delivered remarks early this morning at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo.
At 11:50 AM Pacific, Obama departs Pueblo, Colorado on Air Force One en route to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
At 12:20 PM Pacific, Obama arrives in Colorado Springs.
At 1:25 PM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.
At 3:25 PM Pacific, Obama departs Colorado Springs on Air Force One en route to Joint Base Andrews.
At 6:30 PM Pacific, Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews, where he boards Marine One.
At 6:45 PM Pacific, Obama lands on the South Lawn of the White House.
Campaigning early this morning at the Colorado State Fair in swing state Colorado, President Barack Obama highlighted his support for tax credits for wind energy manufacturers in the Mountain West and elsewhere. Obama says 37,000 jobs are at risk if the credit is allowed to expire at the end of the year.
New Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the USC Ph.D. who won as candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, yesterday fired several top security officials — including the head of the Egyptian intelligence service — in the wake of jihadists killing 16 Egyptian soldiers breaking religious fast and proceeding on to attack Israel. Er, fight on!
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 Los Angeles and Northern California.
At 12 noon, Brown will deliver remarks at the Frito-Lay Torrance Distribution Center to highlight the company’s roll-out of one of the largest all-electric delivery truck fleets in the country and to discuss the success of California’s businesses in going green.
The event takes place in Torrance, near the center of the LA metropolitan area.
In California legislative action yesterday, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee not surprisingly unanimously directed state Auditor Elaine Howle to investigate how the state Parks & Recreation Department came to hoard some $54 million for years, and how some employees arranged to be paid for their vacation time. The investigation will be completed by January.
In other action, the California Fish & Game Commission ousted real estate developer Dan Richards from his position as its president in the wake of his bragging about having shot and killed a mountain lion in Idaho, showing off a picture of him holding the slain cougar. It’s legal in Idaho, but not in California. Richards will remain on the commission until his expires in January 2013, when he will not be reappointed by Brown.
** GORE VIDAL: REMEMBERING A BRILLIANT, CONTROVERSIAL LEGEND OF THE SORT WE DON’T FOSTER ANY MORE. … From my August 3rd essay.
** ROMNEY’S DANGEROUS BUFFOONERY. … From my August 1st essay.
** SUNRISE IN CALIFORNIA? … From my July 26th feature.
** CHINA MOVES SWIFTLY ON NEW “CITY” ENCOMPASSING SOUTH CHINA SEA, GULF CRISIS SIMMERS. … From my July 24th feature.
** THE DARK KNIGHT SHOOTINGS: “ALL IT TAKES IS A LITTLE PUSH.” … From my July 21st column.
** MITT WHITMAN = MEG ROMNEY. … From my July 19th column.
** CRISES CHAOTIC AND BUBBLING: THE GULF AND THE SOUTH CHINA SEA. … From my July 17th essay.
** 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.
** 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 $93 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $59 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 $21 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.