Appearing in Norfolk, Virginia, in front of a decommissioned Navy battleship, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduced Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate, turning to the architect of a deeply conservative and intensely controversial long-term budget plan. The intro music you hear at the start of the clip is the late Jerry Goldsmith’s theme to Air Force One, which was also a great favorite of President Bill Clinton and his staff.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … RECALLING TOTAL RECALL.
** OBAMA THIS WEEKEND. President Barack Obama is in Chicago and Washington.
Obama is mostly in Chicago this weekend, for a somewhat belated celebration of his 51st birthday, which actually occurred on August 4th.
Obama will have several re-election fundraisers while in the Windy City, including one at his home on Sunday.
I think that Team O is feeling pretty good about conservative Republican rival Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick.
Late last night, word emerged that Romney would announce Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate.
And this morning, he did just that at Hampton Roads, the longtime name of Naval Station Norfolk.
In the shadow of the decommissioned battleship USS Wisconsin, the Romney-Ryan ticket was unveiled.
The would-be dynamic duo is embarking on a four-day, five-state bus tour of swing states Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio. And Wisconsin, which has not been a swing state, but Romney and Ryan will try to spin it up as such.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have the edge in most polls I’ve seen of those states.
Incidentally, Ryan never served in the US Armed Forces, making his connection with an old Navy battleship all the more attenuated. And Romney, as I may have mentioned on one or two occasions, not only never wore the uniform but toughed out the Vietnam War — which he vociferously espoused — as a Mormon missionary in France.
(France still has virtually no Mormon church members, some 40 years after Romney’s missionary work there. Not at all surprisingly, as it’s hard to think of a country less amenable to the teachings of one of the most conservative religions around.)
In any event, it’s now the official fashion to skip straight ahead to super-hawkishness without even a semblance of military service.
But that’s not the main reason, or even one of the main ones, why the Obama team has to like the Ryan pick.
Ryan made himself the economic and fiscal apostle of the new House Republican majority, advocating big tax cuts for the rich, more cuts in the social safety net and education, and privatization of Medicare.
This presents what might be described as a “target-rich environment.”
In his weekend video/radio address, President Barack Obama discusses the federal response to a national drought that is becoming the worst since the Dust Bowl days of the Great Depression. Corn and other key crops are being deeply affected.
Ryan, not incidentally, will run simultaneously for re-election to his House seat in Wisconsin’s 1st district, as allowed by state law.
I wondered if he would give up his House seat for what may be a quixotic venture on the Romney/Ryan ticket when I heard the news last night. And the answer is no.
Chalk one up for Ryan’s common sense.
Obama is monitoring several geopolitical crises involving the Arab Awakening, Iran and Israel, Syria, Iraq, AfPak, and the South China Sea.
In particular, Obama is coming under increasing pressure from various points across the ideological spectrum to establish a no-fly zone over Syria.
Considering that would draw Iran, certainly, and Russia, possibly, into the fray, this is a highly problematic notion.
Though not one that I’m not sympathetic to.
Real geopolitical decision making involves getting outside knee jerk categories to figure out all the angles and consequences. Not exactly blog material, or even columnizing, these days.
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 this weekend.
While former Governor Arnold Schwarznegger has been visiting Europe, with a CBS News crew in tow as he visited his home village in Austria, then on to Geneva for meetings at his UN-affiliated global climate change group and then to Paris for a premiere of The Expendables 2, his successor, joins Senator Dianne Feinstein and their Nevada counterparts on Monday in the High Sierras for the annual Lake Tahoe Summit.
More labor money is flowing into the campaign to defeat California’s Proposition 32, which would prohibit direct corporate contributions to campaigns but whose central purpose is to block automatic deduction of union member funds for labor campaign committees. So far, the proponents look to be seriously out-raised, though I don’t have cumulative figures and see nothing among the reporters whose beat this is.
** 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 closed on Friday at $92.87 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.
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