The US and European Union say they are “reviewing” aid to Egypt in the wake of the latest killings and with decades-long dictator Hosni Mubarak today cleared of all charges and set for release.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … JOBS: HOW DOES THE FIRST STEVE JOBS BIOPIC PLAY COMPARED TO THE REAL THING?
** QUICK HITS. The hits keep coming in Egypt. Over the weekend, the military reportedly massacred 37 Muslim Brotherhood prisoners. Then 25 police officers were killed in an ambush. … Today prosecutors announced that all remaining charges against ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak have been dropped. Having previously triumphed in courts dominated by his appointees, Mubarak looks set to go free this week. But today the army arrested the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. For trying to overthrow the state. Note that the Brotherhood’s party actually won every free election Egypt has ever had, including that of President Mohamed Morsi, ousted in a military coup. … What has the US said about all this? Not much, other than to question the deaths of the Muslim Brotherhood prisoners, calling them “suspicious,” and to say it is reviewing aid to the regime. … Of course, once the coup it won’t call a coup took place, the Obama Administration has had diminished leverage. If it pulls financial support, the Saudis will probably just make up the difference. … In California politics, outgoing Texas Governor Rick Perry, still interested in running for president, will be the keynote speaker at the fall California Republican Party convention. That’s in October next to Disneyland.
** NEW SURVEY: OBAMA’S NOT SO HAPPY SUMMERS. Turns out there may be a reason why President Barack Obama, just back from Martha’s Vineyard, takes such elaborate summer vacations. He’s trying to recover from trying times just past.
A new Gallup Poll survey indicates that Obama’s job approval dips every summer of his presidency.
President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has shown a pattern of decline over the course of the summer months during his presidency. From June through August, his approval rating shows a noticeable dip each month, resulting in an average approval rating below 46% in August, the worst he has averaged in any month of the year. …
Obama’s higher January-April averages are aided by more positive ratings during the honeymoon period of his presidency in early 2009. And his higher average May ratings are influenced by surges in approval in May 2011 after Osama bin Laden’s capture. However, there is no single reading in any June, July, or August during the last five years that significantly lowers the average approval rating for Obama in those months. Rather, his summer ratings are mostly characterized by consistent decline.
His job approval rating has yet to increase from the prior month in any of the 15 Junes, Julys, or Augusts during his presidency — showing a decline in 13 of those 15 months, and no change in the other two. …
Thus, the decline in his approval rating from 49% in May of this year to 45% in August to date may reflect this seasonal pattern in how Americans view the president as much as anything he is or is not doing at the moment.
It is not obvious why this apparent pattern occurs. One possibility is the president is a bit less active in the summer months with Congress out of session for most of August and around the summer holidays. And presidents typically go on vacation themselves during the summer. Also, Americans may pay less attention to the news and what the president is doing during the summer and may be somewhat more reluctant to say they approve without that information. …
After a surge in approval following his re-election, Obama has seen his approval rating decline, with much of that decline occurring in the last three months. That has become a familiar pattern for Obama: to see his approval rating dip from June through August. Obama is not the first president to see his support dip during the summer, but it is not necessarily a truism in presidential politics, because it has not happened for all presidents, or even a majority of them, though it appears to be more common among recent presidents. …
Egypt’s then Vice President Omar Suleiman, a longtime spy master, announced the Egypt’s decades-long dictator, President Hosni Mubarak, was resigning in the face of a massive popular uprising on February 11th, 2011. Now, in the post-military coup era, Mubarak has been cleared of all charges.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … JOBS: HOW DOES THE FIRST STEVE JOBS BIOPIC PLAY COMPARED TO THE REAL THING?
** OBAMA MONDAY. President Barack Obama is back in Washington after his summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.
Obama received the intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
He then met with senior advisors in the Oval Office.
At 11:30 AM Pacific, Obama meets with independent financial regulators in the Roosevelt Room.
While Egypt’s military-backed government talks about outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood — which has merely won every free election Egypt has ever held — and continues holding the nation’s only democratically elected president, USC PhD Mohamed Morsi, at an undisclosed location, Egyptian prosecutors say they are dropping all remaining corruption charges against decades-long dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in the popular revolution that helped galvanize the Arab Spring in 2011.
The democratically-elected Morsi imprisoned; the veteran dictator Mubarak freed.
Hmm. I wonder how this will play in Egypt and around the world.
What does the Obama Administration, which has been at sea on Egypt ever since the military coup which they won’t call a military coup, have to say about this wild development?
Meanwhile, David Miranda, the domestic partner of the Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald who has played such a central role in the Snowden revelations, was detained at the airport in London for nine hours yesterday under the UK’s terrorism act.
He was charged with nothing, not surprisingly, and sent on his way at the last moment allowed for under the law. Otherwise, he would have to have been formally arrested on some sort of charge.
While he was freed, Miranda’s laptop computer, mobile phone, and other electronic gear was confiscated.
Miranda is a Brazilian citizen, and the Brazilian government is protesting the incident, saying it was perfectly obvious that Miranda is no terrorist.
Greenwald, of course, saying that all the questions were about the Snowden revelations, is screaming bloody murder. He says the UK was simply playing the puppet for the US, especially given the line of questioning.
Miranda was passing through London and returning to Brazil, where he and Greenwald live, after visiting documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, another central journalistic figure in the Snowden affair, in Berlin.
A MacArthur Foundation Fellow who says she has been repeatedly harassed by US security agents coming and going from the US, Poitras is working in Berlin to avoid interference.
Meanwhile, in one area of US geopolitics which does follow a good chain of logic, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is about to travel to the Asia-Pacific again for another round of talks.
Hagel takes off next week on a week-plus trip to Hawaii, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines.
Obama is monitoring several geopolitical crises involving the global terror alert, the Egyptian military coup, the Snowden NSA revelations, the Syrian civil war, the Arab Awakening, Iran and Israel, 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 time on the Korean Peninsula is sixteen hours ahead of Pacific time.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES – MONDAY. Governor Jerry Brown is in Northern California and Nevada.
Brown heads over to Lake Tahoe today for the Lake Tahoe Summit.
There he will former Vice President Al Gore, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, and other notables for the annual Lake Tahoe Summit.
The big blue lake in the sky is a symbol of the need for inter-governmental and public/private cooperation to maintain environmental standards and sustain of the world’s great scenic resources in a commercial environment.
This means ongoing efforts to control run-off, fend off invasive species, and cut air pollution.
It has also become a symbol of the effects of climate change, hence Gore’s participation again.
** PINBALL WIZARD: OBAMA’S MURKY GLOBAL TERROR ALERT, CANCELED RUSSIAN SUMMIT AND EGYPTIAN MESS. … From my August 16th essay.
** NATIONAL CLEAN ENERGY SUMMIT WITH REID AND SCHWARZENEGGER. … From my August 14th column.
** CALIFORNIA’S PIVOTAL DAY: THINGS COULD HAVE GONE VERY DIFFERENTLY FOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, JERRY BROWN, GRAY DAVIS, AND MANY MORE. … From my August 7th column.
** CALIFORNIA STORY: JERRY BROWN’S FORTUNES, OR, STOP ME IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE. … From my August 5th column.
** A CASE OF CONVICTION: MANY TROUBLING ASPECTS OF THE MANNING VERDICT AND SNOWDEN SAGA. … From my August 1st column.
** A FAR-FLUNG STRATEGY UNFOLDS: FROM WASHINGTON TO MUMBAI TO TOKYO TO THE SOUTH CHINA SEA. … From my July 28th essay.
** DESPITE MULTIPLE CRISES, OBAMA’S ASIA-PACIFIC MOVES ROLL ON. … From my July 22nd essay.
Legendary sprint star Usain Bolt closed out the World Athletics Championships Sunday in Moscow by powering Jamaica to a convincing come-from-behind victory in the closing 400-meter relay event with a blistering anchor leg to overtake the US team. It was his third gold medal of the World Championships, giving him the career lead in medals at the Worlds. On a team basis, the US won the most medals and scored the most points adding up the performances of all World finalists. Host Russia won the most gold medals, with the US and Jamaica tied for second.
** 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.
** 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 $107 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $73 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 $7 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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