Tempers ran high in the Senate today as Republicans blocked a $30 billion Democratic plan to help community banks boost lending to small businesses. Democrats are fast running out of time to show they are doing something to cut unemployment ahead of November’s elections, but this is just the latest bill to founder on objections from Republicans and some centrist Democrats, who argue extra spending should be covered by cuts elsewhere in the budget.
This time Republicans complained they were shut out of the amendment process and that a billion dollars of agriculture spending had been attached to the legislation. Mindful that voters think his administration is not doing enough to create jobs, Obama had been calling for the Senate to pass this bill, and he will likely be dismayed by this latest setback.
If that was the thorn in Obama’s day, the rose was probably his appearance on ABC’s ”The View”, sitting on a couch peppered with questions by five women, including Barbara Walters and Joy Behar. Referring to how his family discuss the highs and lows of their lives, he talked about the “roses” and “thorns” of his life as president, revealed he hadn’t been invited to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and said his i-Pod included Jay-Z and Frank Sinatra but thankfully nothing by teen sensation Justin Bieber.
Finally, he said only about 10 people had his BlackBerry personal e-mail address. “I’ve got to admit it’s no fun because they think it’s going to be subject to the Presidential Records Act so nobody sends me the juicy stuff,” he ruefully added.
While we all ponder who those 10 might be (Michelle and the girls, Axelrod, Emanuel, Gibbs, Jarrett and ….) we would like to respectfully invite the president to add an eleventh. Mr. President, just send your name, position and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.