Updates on Today's Obama Health-Care Summit, morning session
10:00. It's started, and The Professor is lecturing. His audience certainly isn't the people in that room. He's promising not to make a long speech--hahaha. Another standup comedian wannabe.
10:20. Obama passed to Mitch McConnell who turned it over to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Alexander is a former governor of Tennessee and he's on the Budget Committee. He's telling Obama he "respectfully" wants to change Obama's direction, since the people have been telling Washington every way they know how that they don't like his direction. He has a friendly, approachable demeanor. Alexander's view is that he'd like to start over: "we don't do comprehensive well." The republicans want a step-by-step plan, which he says has been mentioned 175 times on the Senate floor in the past year.
He's enumerating a 6-step plan. "This gets us in the right direction."
He's saying that reconciliation is not appropriate to use for this bill. We have to renounce jamming this bill through; if we don't, then everything we do here today will be irrelevant.
This is fascinating--I've never witnessed Obama sitting and listening to anyone, ever. I think his enormous head is going to explode.
10:35. Back to Obama. "I'm not one to be a hypocrite"--he said that both he and Lamar went beyond their time. [Nixon: "I am not a crook."]
10:35. Ugh. Nancy Pelosi. "I will try to stick to my time because we have much to get here today." She has the most sickening demeanor of any adult woman in politics, maybe of any adult woman in public life. I honestly don't know how people at that table can stand to sit there and listen to her. These stinking "personal" stories are a waste of time--she's presenting a tear jerking story that "made a grown man cry." Boo-hoo, people have to pay their deductible by subtracting it from their food budget. This is typical Leftist "I care more than you" crap.
One commenter is doing a "Nancy cliche count" on HotAir:
grown man crying
end of the line
too proud to say he needed help
can’t hold out much longer
health care a right, not a priviledge
extend a hand of bipartisanship
the urgency that the American people have about this issue
This woman is incomprehensible. Her teeth don't seem to be fitting well today. I'd comment on what she's saying, but it's completely non-substantive.
10:43. Now Harry Reid is speaking. Here's another Leftist sob story--that's the first thing out of his mouth.
Reid: "I say to my friend Lamar: You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own set of facts. Let's be sure we talk today about facts." And that's why Harry started his time telling a tear-jerking story about a father with a baby with a cleft palate.
Good Lord--Reid just said NO ONE HAS TALKED ABOUT RECONCILIATION. Holy crap. I simply can't believe these lying sacks of shit. I honestly don't think I can stand to listen to this crap. It's seriously frightening how incoherent this man is, trying to speak "on his feet." He's incoherent and repetitive.
Reid: "If you have a better plan for making health insurance more affordable, let's hear it."
Harry ended his remarks by saying he "so admires" Pelosi's "legislative brilliance." Hahahahaha. Actually, I'm sure that's true.
10:50. Professor Moderator Obama retakes the floor. He's freaked out that everyone is going beyond their time. He says he's going to set the example for being "more disciplined." Hahahahaha.
10:55. "As I mentioned earlier"--President Discipline is repeating himself, making a campaign speech. He's talking about how much this plan will lower costs. He's contradicting Larmar Alexander, calling him "Lamar."
Alexander: "Mr. President, if you're going to contradict me, I should have an opportunity to speak."
Obama: "No, no, no"--and cut him off. He again tells "Lamar" he's wrong, and then continues blabbing on.
This is going to be hilarious, since Obama is so in love with the sound of his own voice. But he'll set the example for discipline.
Alexander is about to explode. He keeps trying to speak, and Obama keeps talking over him. Now Obama's telling Alexander that he should say what's good about the bill, not what's bad.
11:01. Alexander finally speaking: "rather than argue in public with you--why not let other members of Congress get a chance to talk."
11:02. Mitch McConnell. It is not irrelevant that the American people are opposed to this bill and opposed to reconciliation.
11:03. Dr. Tom Coburn (Senator, R-OK). We need to incentivize prevention. By doing that we could save 30%--pay people who do a good job with prevention. He says we create more diabetes with the Food Stamp program and the school lunch program than anything. We can fix medical malpractice. We can find ways to eliminate fraud in Medicaid and Medicare. We haven't gone where the money is--let's do that first. We don't need a bunch of new government programs. One out of three dollars isn't helping.
A review of who has spoken so far:
Alexander (5 seconds)
11:11. President Discipline is speaking again, lecturing Coburn on why his ideas are either covered in the bill or are foolish. Obama is a dismissive jerk. His enormous ego is out of bounds.
11:12. Steny Hoyer, House Democrat Majority Leader (D-MD). Good Lord--another Leftist starts out with a heartbreaking personal story. This is EVERY Democrat, including Obama, dragging out a personal sob story.
One problem that I see for the Dems is that we've all heard, ad nauseam, these Democrats speak about ObamaCare. So everything they say is repetitive crap. The Republicans actually sound like they have some ideas. I think they're doing a good job of presenting some ideas, even with Obama chiming in and contradicting every one of them after they speak.
11:20. Obama is back again. Says he'd be interested in hearing Republican objections for small businesses being able to buy into a large group, so that they have more negotiating power with insurance companies, which would drive down costs.
11:22. Rep. John Kline (R-MN). Presenting a Republican idea for letting small businesses cut their costs.
11:25. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT). "We are actually quite close. There's not a lot of difference." Is this man on crack? "We are on the verge and the cusp to bridge a lot of gaps here." Seriously, Baucus sounds like there's something wrong with him--is he ill? He's literally stumbling over his words. At least he didn't have a Leftist sob story. I'm trying to listen, but he's literally just rambling on. What is wrong with these Democrats? Are they terrified of Obama? What's going on?
Democrat talking point of the day: we basically agree. There's not much difference here. These Dems are coming off as buffoons.
11:31. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI). Cost containment. He says he has a concern of an unelected board that will be created (found on page 947--heh). Obama smirked at that comment. And evidently that pissed him off, because about a sentence later he interrupted "Dave."
11:35. Obama. "Dave, I don't mean to interrupt, but. . ." and now Obama's telling him what to say and what he doesn't want to hear. This is bullshit. Camp is a brave guy--he's not backing down. He's well-spoken and he's not going to be shot down, even by Obama. Good job, Michigan.
11:36. Obama throws the floor to Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ)--"Feel free to respond to anything Dave said or anything else." So the Dems can speak without interruption while the Republicans are told what they can and can't say and also are interrupted.
Andrews: "I think we agree on a lot of this." Democrat talking point of the day. They certainly all got their marching orders. This is sickening.
Mitch McConnell: Points out that so far the Republicans have had 24 minutes, Democrats 52 minutes. "Let's try to keep the time fair." [Obama later made a snarky crack about "Mitch" keeping him on the clock.]
Obama: "I think we're just trying to go back and forth, Mitch. I don't think that's right, but that's OK. I'm just trying to go back and forth here." I think it's offensive that Barry refers to him as "Mitch" when obviously the Senator can't do the same.
11:42. It's starting to get real--an exchange between--oops, I missed it, but it was between two of the younger legislators who actually are well-spoken and are mixing it up intelligently.
11:44. Obama took over--stopped that exchange dead. Now he's bloviating.
10:47. Obama throws it to Sen. Chuck Schummer (D-NY). Again, the Democrat talking point--I think we agree on most of this. Of course Obama wouldn't think of interrupting Chuck.
10:51. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). There are fundamental differences between us that we can't paper over.We don't agree on the fundamental question of who should be in charge. Good, he's pushing back about the crap that "well, we all pretty much agree here" of the Dems. Kyl is charged up,speaking with energy and emotion. The Democrats are mostly coming across as flat and bored--they've talked this thing to death.
10:55. Obama again says he wants to hear about "agreement"--not where they disagree. How do you discuss agreement when you have basic philosophical disagreements? So here he goes again, blah, blah, blah, telling the Republicans what he wants to hear from them.. He isn't moderating; instead, he's taking a turn speaking after each Republican speaker, which is why the time is so lopsided. Someone tried to break in--"No, no, let me finish." This guy uses the bully pulpit quite literally--he's a bully. I would like to see the Republicans refuse to come back after the break. He speaks in terms of "you guys," referring to Republicans; he speaks in terms of "us," referring to Democrats. I thought he was supposed to be the president of all the people.
11:01. He finally threw the discussion to "Jim" Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC). House Majority Whip. You can bet your life that Obama won't interrupt him. Oh my, Clyburn is rambling on about people who can't navigate the system. Well, ObamaCare will sure help them. Obama is trying to look fascinated. Oh here comes the sob story--a gentleman getting ready to have transplant surgery. Now Obama is flipping through a notebook. "This man was very emotional today. What we are doing here fixes that." Oh God.
11:07. Obama. "I think this has actually been a very useful conversation." Now he's "clarifying" what Jon Kyl said. Oh good, Kyl is coming back at him--a fundamental disagreement, does Washington know best? Obama chimed in on that one--"a good talking point, but it doesn't answer the underlying question." Really? Obama's saying again, "I just want to go through areas where we agree." Now he's listing what he thinks they agree on--"we basically agree on that concept."
The Republicans are being punked today. What a surprise. Obama is a world-class bullshitter, and he gets to talk as much as he wants and he gets to interrupt when he wants and gets to define the conversation--after all, "I Won."
11:11. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA). He's a cardiovascular surgeon. "We all agree we need insurance reform. The question is how we do it. The American people want us to take a step back, and go step by step with a commonsense plan." Obama's body language is incredibly revealing--he's like an 8th grader listening to a teacher explain how a bill becomes a law. I wish this guy sounded less like he was reading from the page. He's talking about "what we all agree"--playing Obama's game. People have turned him off. Now he's talking about his own preexisting medical condition. Snore. This guy is doing a bad job. People are talking over him around the table, including Obama. Oof.
11:18. Obama. "We're gonna have to be more disciplined in our time." Well, then, Obama--shut up.
Boehner: "We haven't been told what the time limits are." Holy cow.
Obama: I'm trying to be flexible.
11:19. Rep. George Miller (D-CA). Uh-oh. He's talking about disagreement. Professor Obama isn't going to like that. Preexisting conditions--a trap for families. He's making some good points. So do something about this issue--do it honestly. But that doesn't mean you need to scrap entire health care system.
11:25. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Oh--he's gonna talk about process. Well, this might be interesting. "Unfortunately this product was produced behind closed doors, with unsavory (I say that with respect) deal-making." He's talking about the special "carveouts" given to some states over other. "We promised them change in Washington, and what we got was a process that both you and I said would change in Washington." Another example--Pharma's deal, the $2 million-dollar lobbyist who was at the White House--he's listing all the hypocrisies. Obama tried to interrupt--McCain didn't let him--"May I just finish" and talked right over Obama. McCain wants to go back to the beginning "and do what's best for all Americans." Obama is clearly pissed.
11:30. Obama--"Look, let me just make this point. The elections's over."
McCain: (laughs) "You remind me of that every day." Ouch. What a small and petty thing for Obama to say to John McCain in such a public forum. He should be gracious in victory; instead, he's petty.
Obama is visibly agitated, speaking again, telling Republicans again what he wants to hear from them. This is such bullshit.
McCain and Obama getting into it about process. Good for McCain. That was the best exchange yet. Obama ALWAYS has the last word. Narcissist-in-Chief. Obama clearly think "the people" either aren't interested or are too stupid to understand the process--like reconciliation. Well, bring it, Barry, and find out just exactly how much we care and understand.
11:32. Obama turns to "Kathleen." That's Sebelius, Sec of Health and Human Services. And he tells her what to say. She's trying to be the good Girl Scout and talk about agreement. She's not doing too well. More rambling. She's sitting next to Obama, so he has to pretend that he wants to listen to her since he's on camera, but he's doing a bad job. What a twitchy little guy he is. Does he have ADD? Would that be a preexisting condition?
11:38. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). Obama to Cantor: "Let me just guess, that's the 2400-page health care bill, is that right?" (referring to the huge pile of paper in front of Cantor). What a petty little man. Cantor shot him down--actually this is what we're here for. "We don't care for this bill, I think you know that. The American people don't care for this bill. There is a reason we voted no. It does have to do with a philosophical difference." This guy is excellent--calm, measured, and prepared. I've been looking forward to hearing him speak. The Republicans brought their A Team today--they're informed and engaged.
Obama wants to kill this guy. Obama doesn't know how to control his facial expressions. Now he's talking to an aid. God, someone take a picture of him--he looks diabolical.
Cantor: "Most people have insurance and the overwhelming majority like their coverage. It's just too expensive." Now he's talking about the 8 or 9 million people who may lose their insurance because of the bill.
11:43. Obama--since you asked me a question, let me respond. Point number one, let's be clear about that. Point number two--Obama is pissed that Cantor has the 2400 page bill in front of him. "These are the kind of political things we do that prevent us from actually having a conversation." Now he's trying to refute Cantor with a ridiculous analogy about reducing the cost of meat by doing away with meat inspectors. So now he again has the floor, has shut the Republican up, and is controlling the discussion. Again, I call bullshit. This guy won't listen to anyone--period.
Obama keeps referring to "you guys." Obviously that's how he sees the world--those who agree with him and "you guys" who don't.
11:46. Obama--let me close with this. He's still talking. These people need to break for lunch. Obama is rambling on about their "theoretical" (his word) agreement of preexisting conditions. Now he's Professor Obama.
1149. Obama still talking. "Let's not pretend"--
Cantor now responding. When you start to mandate that everyone in this country have insurance, there are consequences to that. In a perfect world, everyone would have everything they want. We can't afford that. We're asking that you set aside this mandated form of health legislation."
Biden interrupting. We don't have a philosophic disagreement. You're either in or you're out.
Cantor and Obama again. Obama only wants to shout him down.
Obama. We're already over time. I've burned some of it. I apologize. Five speakers and I don't have a lot of time.
11:53. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY). She points out that 8 states have declared domestic violence as a preexisting condition. She's the best-spoken Democrat yet, passionate and coherent. She's upset because of the disparity between men and women and health insurance. Oh crap, the personal story--a woman who wore her dead sister's teeth. Go to Appalachia, lady, you'll see a whole lot worse than that.
11:57. Obama--he's back. Four remaining speakers. They have to break for a House vote. Great planning.
That wraps up the morning session. Obama does a decent job of running a meeting, except for the fact that he won't let people talk who disagree with him. That plus evidently the ground rules were known only to him. The man doesn't listen, he knows best. Obama is incredibly dismissive of everyone around him, exemplified by the way he uses everyone's first names. For this guy to have so much power is a very scary deal.
Mainly all they did all morning was talk past each other, with the Dems saying we all agree on most everything. No they don't. Democrats want the federal government to control health insurance. Republicans think individuals should decide what they need in their own lives. The Republicans came across as prepared and engaged.
Here's a comment from Rush Limbaugh on his show today: "Once again, folks, we are seeing that without a teleprompter, we have a president who . . . well, it's said very well by a friend of mine: 'Doesn't have a clever or supple enough mind to come at the issues from a different angle than he's done 347 times in the past.'" Heh.