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Today in Washington – June 8, 2010

Last month, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) called President Obama “thin skinned,” because of the President’s intolerance of criticism.  Trait came out in an interview with the Today Show interview posted on Real Clear Politics yesterday:

I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf.  A month ago I was meeting with fishermen down there, standing in the rain, talking about what a potential crisis this may be and I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.

While the President complains about the media, the Senate Judiciary Committee will have a hearing the “Risky Business of Big Oil.”  The Senate will debate amendments to H.R. 4213, the so called “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010.”  The House will consider five measures on the suspension calendar.

Issues to watch today in Washington are the following:

  • Hurricane Obama – Washington will be watching President Obama to see if his Louisiana fact finding missions have helped him to identify ”whose ass to kick.”  The President has bristled under intense scrutiny.  He is mad at the many “talking heads” who have dared to criticize his low profile response to the BP oil spill.  Take James Carville who stated (HT to Huff Post) on May 26th “Man, you got to get down here and take control of this! Put somebody in charge of this thing and get this moving! We’re about to die down here!” No matter how hard the Obama apologists over at the Center for American Progress try to shift blame to the Bush Administration, at least one poll, a CBS poll, indicates that the Obama Administration should stop wasting time passing the buck backwards to the Bush Administration and focus resources on doing more to respond to the crisis. ”63% of those surveyed said the Obama administration should be doing more in response to the spill, while 28 percent believe the government is doing all it can.”
  • Tax Extenders and Unemployment Insurance – The Senate will work through amendments to the extenders package today on legislation that was, as of late as last night, still secretly being negotiated by Democrats.  The Hill reported yesterday that “finance staffers said the bill would be likely ready by 7:30 this evening, but its introduction could be delayed until tomorrow to give senators time to digest its contents, as it is expected to have changed since it came over from the House right before the Memorial Day recess.”  This bill is coming over as a “message between chambers” negating the opportunity for a Senator to slow consideration of the bill so Senators can actually read it before they start debate.  Expect amendments to expand the cost of this bill as early as today.  In addition to an expansion of payments to doctors who treat medicare patients (Doc Fix), an extension of unemployment benefits and extending some tax breaks, CQ reports (subscription required) that “the bill also includes a number of unrelated provisions, including $4.6 billion for settlements of class action lawsuits against the government, $1 billion for a summer jobs program and an extension of the Build America Bonds program that benefits state and local government construction projects.”  Congress just can’t find wasteful programs to cut to pay for the billions of your tax dollars in new spending, yet they prepare new spending on summer jobs and a bailout for some trial lawyers.
  • Financial Services Reform – The conference between the House and Senate is expected to start this Thursday on financial services reform.  It is expected to be transparent for a short period of time while opening statements are made by Senators, then the Democrat Senators will retire in secret to negotiate a final deal on this bill.  Who knows what this legislation will look like when Democrat conferees get done with secret negotiations on the bill to be presented to the conference for a final vote expected in the next few weeks.

Washington eagerly awaits the identity of President Obama’s ire.  Obama is mad enough to complain about “talking heads” and threaten a political beating to the individuals responsible for the oil spill, yet he refuses to talk in specifics about his plan respond to one of the biggest ecological disasters in our nation’s history.

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