President Barack Obama said conservative rival Mitt Romney hasn’t “gotten around a lot” if he believes that 47% of Americans consider themselves “victims” and entitled to being supported by the government.
** QUICK HITS. In another sign that, as I’ve suggested, Prop 32, the latest bid to hamstring California’s public employee union spending on campaigns, is going down to defeat, the California Teachers Association today gave $3.5 million to Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 revenue initiative. … In what may be his last trip to California before the election, President Barack Obama, who has a huge lead here, will attend fundraisers in LA and the SF Bay Area on October 7th and 8th. … With increasing criticism around the murder of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today launched a task force to investigate the deadly 9/11 anniversary attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
** NEW COLUMNS COMING UP … JERRY BROWN GEARS UP FOR A BIG ELECTION and PAST POST-PARTISANSHIP?
** JERRY-RIGGING: GETTING READY TO ROLL? It’s been a fairly quiet campaign season so far in California, with the exception of Proposition 32, the effort to rein in campaign spending by public employee unions by taking away their ability to have automatic paycheck deductions from union members. That effort, of course, is not led by workers upset about the deductions, but by union critics upset about union clout.
It’s a big spending campaign, mostly on the No side, and will likely result in another defeat for the initiative proponents.
Governor Jerry Brown is still going through the raft of legislation produced this year. He has rolled out the Proposition 30 revenue initiative, which raise income taxes on high-income folks and sales taxes on all on a temporary basis, on several occasions now. Yet the campaign has never been especially sustained, either on the yes or no side.
Now, with less than seven weeks to go, the rubber must meet the road at last.
As I mentioned this morning, in the daily “From the Jerry Files” item below, there’s a new Field Poll showing Prop 30 holding a 15-point lead, 51-36. That’s down a few points, which is within the margin of error of the poll, which was taken over an inordinately long period of time, nearly two weeks. Which means the undecided has gone up slightly.
The result comes after a spate of bad publicity for the initiative highlighting the state parks controversy and the controversial high-speed rail program. Which, as readers know, has its sources of funding separate from the state budget, not that that gets properly reported or anything.
Intriguingly, the initiative, which is backed by more independents than oppose it is more favored, is more favored by relatively well-off voters than by lower income voters. That’s because it has an achilles heel, in the form of the slight rise in the sales tax.
Absent the sales tax hike, Prop 30 would sail through.
So Brown is going to have to convince people that a little bit of shared sacrifice is necessary to avert a bad result for all.
Will he get out of stealth mode to do that?
I’ll have more, coming up soon.
** NEW SURVEY: DEMOCRATIC VOTER ENTHUSIASM INCREASING, NOW SURPASSING THAT OF REPUBLICANS. For much of the past two years, one of the dominant media themes has been that Democrats are demoralized and Republicans are energized. A new Gallup Poll survey reveals increasing Democratic voter enthusiasm, especially in swing state battlegrounds.
In fact, Democratic voters are now more enthusiastic than Republican voters.
So much for the media conventional wisdom.
Voters in the 12 states USA Today and Gallup consider the key swing states that could decide the 2012 presidential election are now significantly more enthusiastic about voting this fall than they were in June. Six in 10 (59%) are either “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic, up from 46%. …
Voter enthusiasm in these states has grown among members of both political parties; however, Democrats’ level has increased more. Thus, whereas equal percentages of Democrats and Republicans were enthusiastic in June, Democrats are now significantly more enthusiastic than Republicans, 73% vs. 64%.
Independents’ enthusiasm also jumped substantially over this period — up 18 points, similar to the 20-point gain among Democrats; however, independents’ enthusiasm still lags behind that of both partisan groups. …
Gallup finds a similar pattern among voters nationwide. Overall, 55% of U.S. registered voters in the latest poll are either extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in this fall’s election, up from 43% in June. This includes a 19-percentage-point increase among Democrats and roughly 10-point increases among independents and Republicans. …
The rise in Democratic enthusiasm among swing-state voters is notable from the perspective that the party’s supporters are more energized after that party’s convention than before it, and that Democratic enthusiasm for voting now exceeds that of Republicans. …
There were several vehement anti-American protests today in Pakistan and Afghanistan, our putative allies, seizing on the infamous Innocence of Muslims video.
** NEW COLUMNS COMING UP … JERRY BROWN GEARS UP FOR A BIG ELECTION and PAST POST-PARTISANSHIP?
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington and Florida.
Obama received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
He then flew on Air Force One to Miami, Florida.
At 11:20 AM Pacific, Obama participates in a town hall hosted by Univision at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
At 2:25 PM Pacific, Obama departs Miami on Air Force One en route Tampa, Florida.
At 3:20 PM Pacific, Obama arrives Tampa, Florida.
At 3:50 PM Pacific, Obama delivers remarks at a private fundraiser in Tampa.
At 6:05 PM Pacific, Obama departs Tampa on Air Force One en route to Washington.
At 8:10 PM Pacific, Obama lands at Joint Base Andrews, where he boards Marine One.
At 8:25 PM Pacific, Obama lands on the South Lawn of the White House.
The Arctic Sea ice kept melting after my post-convention piece on the unmentioned elephant in the room of political/media culture. On Sunday it hit a low of only 24% coverage of the Arctic Sea, 20% less than the previous low reached in 2007.
More rumblings today and yesterday about Al Qaeda involvement in the attack on 9/11 anniversary attack on the US consulate. It centers especially on a Guantanom detainee released by the Bush/Cheney Administration in 2007 into the custody of the Gaddafi regime. Which released him on his honor.
Lucky for Obama that Mitt Romney, following his wildly off-base attack last week, is the boy who cried wolf.
But Congressional Republicans can make some hay out of obvious security lapses around the 9/11 anniversary.
A major US Navy exercise in the Persian/Arabian Gulf, aimed at practicing keeping the Strait of Hormuz and other strategic waters clear of mines, got underway this morning.
There were also relatively small but virulent anti-American demonstrations today in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with more expected tomorrow.
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.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour took off atop a modified transport plane from a Houston airport Thursday, beginning its journey to retirement in California, where it will be put on permanent display in a museum. It lands at the historic Edwards Air Force Base flight test center in the California high desert this afternoon and will do flybys across the Golden State on Friday, with Bay Area and Capitol flybys in the vicinity of 8:30 AM in the morning, before landing in Los Angeles where it will make its home in a few weeks at the California Science Center.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Northern California.
He has no scheduled public events as of this morning.
Brown is continuing to go through bills from the recently concluded legislative session.
And he is working on his Prop 30 revenue initiative.
A Field Poll yesterday had Obama moving from an 18-point lead in California to 24 points, 58-34 over Mitt Romney. Obama had a 24-point margin in the Golden State over John McCain in 2008, 61-37.
And a Field Poll today has Brown’s Prop 30 still well ahead, 51-36. That’s down a few points since the last sounding in, I believe, July, with those points moving to undecided.
As usual, the Field Poll was taken over nearly a two-week period of time, which is something I think makes the poll somewhat problematic.
Brown had some serious bad press to deal with around the state parks controversy and the controversy over the high-speed rail program, but that has largely been weathered.
Brown’s job approval rating, intriguingly, actually went up during this period, with Brown’s job approval among California voters now at 47% and disapproval at 38%.
More to follow.
** HOW ROMNEY SHOULD HAVE ATTACKED OBAMA: ANATOMY OF A GEOPOLITICAL CRISIS. … From my September 19th essay.
** CONSIDERING THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY. … From my September 15th essay.
** WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED SINCE 9/11? … From my September 11th essay.
** PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE ELEPHANT: THE CONVENTIONS AND THE CLIMATE. … From my September 8th essay.
** 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.
** 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 $92 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $58 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 $22 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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