President Barack Obama says news that private employers created just 96,000 jobs last month is “not good enough” and the economy needs to turn out jobs faster.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … THE UNMENTIONED ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM AT THE CONVENTIONS and CONSIDERING THE SEMI-BONDIAN DARK KNIGHT RISES (RISEN TO $1 BILLION).
** SCHWARZENEGGER’S LAST MINUTE COMMUTATION UPHELD. Then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s controversial commutation (actually a lessening of the sentence) of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez’s son’s manslaughter conviction was upheld today in Sacramento Superior Court.
Family members of the victim in a San Diego altercation (who was not stabbed by the younger Nunez) and San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis (who sought to advance what turned out to be a last place mayor candidacy) sued to overturn Schwarzenegger’s move. They cited a law which they claimed superseded the gubernatorial power of commutation by requiring advance notice of the decision.
State Attorney General Kamala Harris’s office argued differently, that the newer law did no such thing.
Judge Lloyd Connelly, a very liberal state legislator before being appointed to the bench, who undoubtedly opposed Schwarzenegger personally, ruled that the governor’s powers were clear and his action lawful, though he added his editorial comment that the commutation was “repugnant.” Lost in the controversy is the fact that the young man is not beyond salvage, but choosing not to cut his 16-year sentence in half might have left him just that.
** CLINT EXPLAINS IT ALL. The Romney for President camp, after the initial flush of major embarrassment, and some attempts at support, has been mighty quiet about Clint Eastwood’s appearance last week on the closing night of the Republican National Convention.
The superstar actor and director had had no comment, either, nor had his manager. Eastwood doesn’t have a publicist.
But today an exclusive interview with Eastwood on the matter was published in the Carmel Pine Cone. That would be the weekly newspaper of Eastwood’s home town Carmel.
In it, Eastwood takes all responsibility on himself, while insisting it’s only “the left” which didn’t like his presentation.
He says that he defied any vetting from the Romney campaign, telling them that he would be going with no particular prepared text and wouldn’t decide what he was going to say until not long before he said it. In passing, he seemed to complain that his own friends and advisors weren’t much help.
And the rather infamous empty chair?
Well, he says that occurred to him about a quarter of an hour before he appeared on stage, after a stage manager showed it to him and asked him if he’d like to sit down.
Why go without a script? Eastwood, after all, is a meticulous film director who is not a stage actor nor an improv person. By his own admission, he has little experience giving speeches.
“It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen,” Eastwood said. “I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there.”
So, still not knowing what he was going to say when he flew to Florida, or even when he arrived, he took a nap in his hotel room. Then he roughed out an outline of some remarks, before arriving at the convention site 15 or 20 minutes before he was scheduled to take the stage.
It was only after he arrived, as Eastwood recounts it, that the empty chair occurred to him. Whereupon he went with it.
** NEW POLL: BOUNCY? GALLUP SHOWS INCREASE IN OBAMA JOB APPROVAL OVER COURSE OF DEM CONVENTION. Mitt Romney didn’t get a bounce of any sort from his convention. It appears that Barack Obama is getting a bit of a bounce from his.
A new Gallup Poll shows Obama’s job approval up to 52%, the highest it’s been since the Osama bin Laden raid in May 2011.
The current data are quite preliminary and for the most part don’t reflect the influence of Obama’s late Thursday night speech, if any.
Key focus points now will be the ultimate magnitude and duration of the apparent Democratic bounce going forward. By the middle of next week we will have a good feel for both of these dimensions. It is possible that these upticks are short-lived and that the race will devolve back to a parity by next week. On the other hand, if Obama builds on and sustains his higher job approval rating and lead over Romney, it could signal a possible resetting of the presidential race as it enters the remaining three-and-a-half weeks before the first debate on Oct. 3.
Speaking on the tarmac this morning after a very strong Democratic National Convention and a not so strong jobs report, conservative Republican challenger Mitt Romney derided President Barack Obama’s economic policy, leading with his own oil industry-inspired energy plans. Obama’s full address from Thursday night is below.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … THE UNMENTIONED ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM AT THE CONVENTIONS and CONSIDERING THE SEMI-BONDIAN DARK KNIGHT RISES (WHICH HAS RISEN TO $1 BILLION).
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Florida.
Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden departed Charlotte, North Carolina this morning on Air Force One en route to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
At 9:20 AM Pacific, Obama and Biden delivered remarks at a campaign event at Strawbery Banke Field in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
At 11:30 AM Pacific, the Obamas and Bidens depart Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Air Force One en route Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
At 2:45 PM Pacific, the Obamas and Biden arrive in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
At 3:30 PM Pacific, Obama and Biden deliver remarks at a rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Biden then heads for Columbus, Ohio. I’m not sure about Michelle Obama’s and Jill Biden’s schedules at this point.
At 5:35 PM Pacific, Obama departs Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Air Force One en route St. Petersburg, Florida.
At 7:55 PM Pacific, Obama arrives in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Obama delivered a well-done acceptance speech last night to close the Democratic National Convention. It played very well on the floor with the delegates. But it didn’t feel like a home run to me.
Not that there is much of a floor there in the now vacated Time Warner Cable Center, mind you, as most of the delegations are in what might be described as theater-style seating, keeping the floor mostly clear of the usual gridlock.
It was clearly not the best of the convention; that honor goes to Bill Clinton. Nor was it the best speech from the Obama family; that honor goes to Michelle Obama.
Obama seems mindful of the need not to be too messianic at a rather downbeat time when that approach simply won’t deliver.
His people did promise a specific plan for the next four years. And there was talk of a renewed New Deal for a different time, with major references to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
But it was not, in the end, a State of the Union-style address, and — while the speech was more specific than Romney’s last week, rather a matter of damning with faint praise, I suppose — Obama did return repeatedly to beating up on Romney.
Obama wants to make this a choice election, and has cast that choice in very stark terms, the sharpest distinctions, he says, in a generation.
Certainly Romney is running as the candidate of the most right-wing version of the Republican Party we have seen since the 1960s, before the election of Richard Nixon. Who would be a rather liberal Republican these days.
Romney and running mate Paul Ryan are today matching Obama and Biden’s focus on New Hampshire and Iowa. Before today, Romney had been cramming for the presidential debates, which begin on October 3rd in Denver, Colorado.
Romney and Ryan are also trying to focus attention on the latest jobs report, and away from the contrast between their relatively poor convention and the Democrats’ much more successful convention.
Obama was not helped by today’s jobs report.
President Barack Obama, introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama, accepted his second Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is the full address.
It showed only 96,000 new jobs in August. It also showed that unemployment dipped to 8.1%. But only because fewer people are looking for work.
The economy continued to shed public sector jobs, which has kept a consistent downdraft effect on the overall picture. But the private sector growth was less than some had expected.
In a normal economic recovery, the public sector helps drive job growth. But the reverse is happening in this economy.
But the public sector has cut over 600,000 jobs.
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 Persian/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.
Brown is working on the many bills sent on to him by the legislature, which ended its session for the year last Friday night.
He’s also working on his November revenue initiative.
Brown is doing lengthy newspaper editorial board interviews this week.
China is set for one of its secretive, once-every-decade leadership changes, and in the country’s art world, paintings and sculptures can be just as cloaked, this time in censorship.
** WHILE ONE CLINTON WOWS AT THE OBAMARAMA, ANOTHER PIVOTS TO THE LONG GAME. … From my September 6th essay.
** SO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED WITH CLINT EASTWOOD? (AND THE PERILS OF ARGUING WITH IMAGINARY OBAMAS). … From my September 4th essay.
** AFTER THE ROMNEYRAMA, AND MORE SERIOUS MATTERS. … From my August 30th essay.
** SPACE, JERRY BROWN’S PLACE, AND A RACE. … From my August 27th essay.
** AN INSULAR ROMNEY STRUGGLES WITH HIS SURPRISINGLY HEARTFELT VEEP PICK AFTER STRIKING OUT INTERNATIONALLY. … From my August 23rd essay.
** RECALLING TOTAL RECALL: INTRIGUE, ULTRA-VIOLENCE, HUMOR AND WHAT ELSE THAT IS MISSING FROM THE SCHWARZENEGGER REMAKES. … From my August 17th essay.
** LONDON’S GRAND OLYMPICS, ON AND OFF THE TRACK. … From my August 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.
** 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 $97 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $63 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 $17 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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