On the day before we find out the employment numbers for March, President Obama did something that people struggling to find a job in today’s harsh economy may see as a step in the right direction. He signed into law the bipartisan Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act — or JOBS Act for short. The JOBS Act essentially makes it easier for new businesses to get funding and eliminates some of the regulations that prevent some companies from getting off the ground.
But in the White House briefing room, reporters worried if reduced regulations might expose investors to scams. White House Spokesman Jay Carney allayed concerns saying, "It leaves untouched core conflict of interest protections. The president will make sure this is done in a way that maintains investor protections."
Women played a prominent role in discussions around the White House. As the Masters Tournament approaches, we now know where the president stands on the Augusta National Golf Club’s no-women-allowed policy. Carney said, "The president answered quite clearly to me that he believes Augusta should admit women. We're long past the time women should be excluded from anything."
These comments come just as the White House is preparing for tomorrow’s Forum on Women and the Economy. The event is billed as a way to highlight ways the administration has helped create economic security for women. But with the Black unemployment rate in the double digits, there were questions about why women were being singled out while other groups continue to suffer. "The focus of this particular conference is on women," said Carney. "There will be a number of conferences aimed at sectors of the economy or sectors of the population. The broad focus of all of these efforts is economic development for everyone in this country."
There were also concerns that, in holding the forum, the president is using the White House as a tool of his campaign to court women, an increasingly important voting block. “We’re focusing on women because there are a lot of issues that are very distinct and important.” Carney said.
The president and first family will end the evening by commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1962 classic movie To Kill a Mockingbird with a special screening. Stars from the film will join a group of D.C. Public School students to watch the movie, which is about one man’s quest for justice in a racially divided town in Alabama. "It’s a classic movie that elucidates the need to do the right thing even when it’s hard," Carney said.
It is a message that continues to resonate to this day.
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(Photo: JASON REED/Reuters /Landov)