Hoping to avoid crushing across-the-board spending cuts in under a month, President Barack Obama is proposing to cobble together a short-term fix that involves targeted cuts and some higher taxes. This movie is a remake of the one we just saw at the end of 2012.
** QUICK HITS. President Barack Obama is heading to the ME, probably late next month. He will be in the Middle East for visits to Israel — first of his presidency, a second term visit as promised — Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Should be quite fascinating. … Appearing at the roll-out of the big UPS electric vehicle fleet today, Governor Jerry Brown, in answer to a press question, described Texas Governor Rick Perry’s rather paltry little radio ad soliciting California businesses to move to Texas as “not a burp. It’s barely a fart.” Perry, who is in big political trouble in Texas, makes a very good foil for Brown. Texas trails the nation in high school graduates and health coverage, and Perry is not an adept debater. … Brown appears in the Central Valley tomorrow morning, speaking at the Colusa Farm Show Breakfast at 8 AM. … California Attorney General Kamala Harris is joining a group of state attorneys general in suing Standard & Poor’s rating service for over-rating mortgage securities which helped trigger the global financial meltdown. This follows the Obama Administration’s lead, announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, as seen in the video below. … Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger opened the world Alpine ski championships yesterday in Austria, appearing with former World and Olympic champ Hermann Maier, the Hermanator. The championships are in the province in which Schwarzenegger grew up. Unfortunately, America’s reigning Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn crashed today and will require major knee surgery.
** NEW SURVEY: WIDESPREAD BACKING FOR NEW IMMIGRATION PROPOSALS. A new Gallup Poll survey has good news for President Barack Obama and for a bipartisan group of U.S. senators pushing proposals on immigration.
There is big support for a set of five proposals dealing with illegal immigration issues and illegal immigrants, including a pathway to citizenship for those who are here.
At least two-thirds of Americans favor each of five specific measures designed to address immigration issues — ranging from 68% who would vote for increased government spending on security measures and enforcement at U.S. borders, to 85% who would vote for a requirement that employers verify the immigration status of all new hires. More than seven in 10 would vote for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants now living in this country. …
Slightly more than seven in 10 favor a law that would track the departures of foreigners who have come into the country and one that would increase the number of visas for immigrants with science and technology skills.
The debate over passage of new immigration reform legislation is heating up ahead of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address next week, in which he is expected to push for a number of changes in the ways the U.S. deals with immigration. Obama is meeting with leaders in the White House on Tuesday to discuss legislation. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is presenting his ideas on immigration on Tuesday in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, and both Senate and House leaders are working on immigration reform measures. Democrats and Republicans appear to be in general agreement on doing something about immigration, but — as is usually the case in Washington — the two sides differ on some of the specifics. …
The U.S. government this morning accused Standard & Poor’s of inflating ratings on mortgage investments to boost its bottom line, taking aim at a key player in the run-up to the global financial meltdown. Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington.
Obama received the intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
He then met with progressive and labor leaders in the Roosevelt Room.
At 10:15 AM Pacific, Obama delivers a statement in the Brady Press Briefing Room.
Obama will propose avoiding sequestration on March 1st with a temporary package of cuts and revenues. The theory being that a long-term proposal is simply too much for Congress to handle.
I’ll be frank. As the follow-on to the fiscal cliff nonsense, I find this very irritating to write about.
At 12:20 PM Pacific, Obama meets with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room.
At 1:30 PM Pacific, Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in the Oval Office.
Senator John McCain, who clashed memorably with former Senator Chuck Hagel last Thursday during Hagel’s confirmation hearing as secretary of defense, said that he opposes any filibuster against Hagel’s nomination.
He said he has not yet decided whether to vote for or against his old compadre, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.
This is a definite boost for Hagel, for it makes it harder for any less substantial Republican to try to block Hagel’s confirmation via the filibuster gambit, which would require 60 votes to break.
Obama is monitoring several geopolitical crises involving Mali and Algeria, the Arab Awakening, Iran and Israel, Syria, Iraq, AfPak, and the South China Sea.
Military Crisis Zone Times: Mali is eight hours ahead of Pacific time, 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.
At 11 AM, Brown will join leaders from United Parcel Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Electric Vehicles International (EVI) at a UPS Distribution Center in West Sacramento to mark the deployment of the company’s zero-emission, all-electric delivery vehicle fleet.
This is California’s largest such fleet of new vehicles.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, in the midst of trying to revive his public persona after having it shredded during his dreadful presidential race, yesterday unveiled a radio ad he says will lure California businesses to the Lone Star State. (A radio ad, really?)
For his part, Brown replied to a press question on that exactly as you might suppose, following an event in Los Angeles with international business investors pursuing their dreams in the Golden State. He scoffed at the notion. But what he said for the record was polite, sort of, something about anyone “with half a brain” being interested in poaching California’s innovation. Perry, of course, was noted in his presidential campaign for being less than highly knowledgeable.
** COME HAGEL OR HIGH WATER: IN THE SHADE OF IRAQ. … From my February 1st essay.
** THE STATE OF JERRY BROWN’S STATUS: AFTER THE STATE OF THE STATE. … From my January 30th essay.
** OBAMA’S CLEAR YET MUTED TRUMPET: HOPE’S AUDACITY MEETS LOWERED EXPECTATIONS. … From my January 23rd essay.
** HOW NOT TO STAGE MANAGE THE WORLD. … From my January 18th column.
** POWELL POSITIONS THE DEBATE OVER CHUCK HAGEL. … From my January 14th essay.
** JERRY BROWN’S NEW BUDGET FOR POST-CRISIS CALIFORNIA: DISCIPLINE BEGETS OPPORTUNITY. … From my January 11th essay.
** WHY THE HAGEL BATTLE MADE MORE SENSE FOR OBAMA THAN THE RICE BATTLE. … From my January 9th essay.
** CALIFORNIA’S FUTURIST AGENDA: A TALE OF THREE GOVERNORS. … From my January 4th essay.
Britain’s latest Antarctic research station is being unveiled 100 years after Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic expeditions. Teams worked in freezing conditions to create ‘Halley VI,’ located 10,000 miles from the United Kingdom. This is a year of anniversaries around Britain’s Age of Exploration, including the 60th anniversary of the climbing of Mount Everest.
** 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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