Campaigning in Ohio, which no Republican president has lost and where he trails President Barack Obama, conservative Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is attacking the Obama Administration for delaying a decision about whether China is manipulating its currency to gain a trading edge.
** OBAMA THIS WEEKEND. President Barack Obama is in Washington and Virginia.
On 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 Williamsburg, Virginia.
On Sunday …
Obama is in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Obama is spending the bulk of Saturday, all of Sunday, and all of Monday at debate prep camp in Williamsburg.
The O Team is hoping that the Williamsburg prep goes better, and has a more focused president, than the prep outside Las Vegas did before the first debate.
Here’s what Obama’s week ahead looks like.
On Monday, as I mentioned, Obama is in debate prep in Williamsburg, Virginia.
On Tuesday, Obama will travel to Hempstead, New York where he will participate in the second Presidential Debate at Hofstra University. First Lady Michelle Obama will also attend. Obama will return to the White House that evening.
On Wednesday, Obama will travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Athens, Ohio for campaign events. He will return to the White House in the evening.
On Thursday, Obama will travel to Manchester, New Hampshire for a campaign event. Also on Thursday, he will deliver remarks at the 67th Annual Alfred. E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City. Obama returns to the White House in the evening.
On Friday, Obama will travel to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland where he will remain overnight.
Conservative Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is campaigning Saturday in swing state Ohio, where Obama still has a significant lead.
Romney then goes back into debate prep himself.
In his weekend video/radio address, President Barack Obama touts his administration’s successful rescue of the US auto industry, saying that more than one million jobs were saved. Romney opposed Obama’s rescue plan for the auto industry.
The Obama campaign has halted a slide that began with his poor debate performance in Denver.
But Romney and his free-spending super PAC allies are about to open up a significant gap in advertising spending.
Obama is also monitoring and managing various crises.
Obama is pleased by Vice President Joe Biden’s performance in his Thursday night debate in Kentucky with Congressman Paul Ryan, where he clearly bested the conservative favorite in polls of undecided voters and gave a jolt of needed spirit to the Democratic base.
Ryan was so-so, and came off factually challenged on his and Romney’s budget plans, economic plans, and geopolitical plans.
Biden, naturally, was far from perfect. While he hit the marks on most issue areas, he distracted from his performance with too many personal tics: Laughter, grinning, grimacing, too frequent interruption.
Though he correctly brushed back Ryan’s attack on the Benghazi tragedy by pointing out that the Ryan Plan for the budget advocated huge cuts in the diplomatic security budget, and that Ryan also voted for big cuts, he also made it sound like the administration hadn’t been informed that there was a looming problem there.
This forced the White House to “clarify” that Biden and Obama had not been informed, and reiterate what has already been established in congressional hearings, that the State Department was certainly informed.
Presumably the CIA, which had a large contingent in Benghazi, which is now either blown or mostly departed, was informed as well.
As I pointed out at the time last month, there clearly wasn’t anywhere near enough security. And it diminished even while Libya was clearly something of a Wild West territory.
The late Ambassador Chris Stevens, as I expected, had requested more security little more than a month before he was murdered by jihadists.
Both parties have problems on this issue — and Romney has a special problem in that he attacked foolishly on the wrong issue in the aftermath of Benghazi — but Obama needs to tread carefully on this Tuesday night.
Some acknowledgement of error is due.
Meanwhile, Turkey and Syria drift closer to war, with Russia involved. Border shellings have given rise to Turkey combat air patrols right along the border.
And tensions ratcheted higher still with the interception by Turkish fighter jets a few days ago of a Syrian airline flight from Moscow to Damascus, which was forced to land in Ankara, Turkey.
Tensions continue for Turkish officials say they found, in addition to a majority of Russian passengers, sophisticated Russian radar gear that is highly useful in anti-aircraft systems. Russia, asserting innocence, has filed a formal protest.
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 on the weekend.
Brown is working on the Prop 30 revenue initiative, now under multi-million dollar assault by a few super-rich individuals. Individuals mainly named Munger.
Brown is now in the midst of what has to be his worst case scenario for the initiative.
On the one hand, attacked by super-rich individuals hiding behind the label of a “Small Business” Action Committee which is not, including one who has already put up $22 million for the defeat of Prop 30 and passage of the anti-public employee union Prop 32, who are against more taxes on the rich.
And attacked by one super-rich individual, who has already put up $34 million, who is insisting that her tax-raising initiative is the superior way to help public education.
Molly Munger, incidentally, is now saying that her brother Charlie Jr. told her that he would not spend against Prop 30. She says that he told her he was only spending to pass Prop 32, the anti-public employee union measure.
But that’s simply wrong.
Brown, telling me that he has confidence that things will work out, says he is ratcheting up his campaign effort — after spending a lot of time raising big money for it — on Tuesday with personal campaigning in Los Angeles. Most likely including an appearance at UCLA, which will be negatively impacted again if the initiative does not pass.
In a sign of the times, the Service Employees International Union, which represents many thousands of workers, just put $2 million into the Prop 30 revenue initiative. And heiress Molly Munger, who represents her personal opinion, just put another $2 million into her campaign against it. Brother Charlie Munger, Jr. is spending more than that, as I already wrote.
The John Scully who just gave $500,000 to the No on 30 campaign — passed through the misnamed Small Business Action Committee to avoid revealing funders on advertising as required — is not, as was reported in a few California media outlets, the John Sculley (notice the different spelling) who was president of Apple Computer in the 1980s.
I did a little bit of ghosting for that John Sculley, but have not talked with him in many years.
** GEOPOLITICS: OBAMA FACES BIG CHALLENGES DESPITE DEBATE WINNER ROMNEY’S LATEST POLICY WHIFF. … From my October 9th essay.
** JERRY BROWN GETS AN OCTOBER SURPRISE. … From my October 8th feature.
** RECALLING TOTAL RECALL: SCHWARZENEGGER’S COMEBACK PROCEEDS WITH A BIG (NATURALLY) BOOK. … From my October 5th essay.
** BOND AT 50: DR. NO IS A TIME CAPSULE FROM THE EARLY MAD MEN ERA. … From my October 4th essay.
** OBAMA PASSES THROUGH THE MINEFIELD OF U.N. WEEK (BUT SETS UP A POTENTIAL EXPLOSION NEXT YEAR). … From my September 28th essay.
** IS POST-PARTISANSHIP PASSE? SCHWARZENEGGER AND COMPANY (AND BILL CLINTON) SAY NO. … From my September 26th column.
** DETHRONED: MAD MEN‘S DOWN SEASON OPENED THE DOOR FOR A SUPERLATIVE HOMELAND. … From my September 24th column.
** JERRY BROWN: GEARING UP A CAMPAIGN AT LAST? … From my September 22nd feature.
** 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.
The German trailer for Skyfall, the Bond franchise’s 50th anniversary film. Skyfall doesn’t open across North America until November 9th, but it has its royal premiere in London on October 23rd. And reviews are already appearing all across the British press, all quite positive, with a few already out in the Hollywood trade publications, also very positive.
** 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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