4:48PM I'm watching Fox News tonight, instead of the usual CNN. Why? Because DirecTV makes it easy to remember FNC (Channel 360, get it?), but CNN (Channel 2...something) not so much. We're 12 minutes out, and I'm in desperate need of a second martini. Back momentarily.
4:48PM Oh, and all times Pacific, it seems.
4:49PM Also liveblogging, Dr. Melissa Clouthier. She tells me she might be drinking. Or wishes she was. Or something.
4:53PM Yes, you can already read the bulk of the President's remarks online. But that's cheating, and I won't do it. But I will go pour that second martini now.
4:58PM Juan Williams says President Obama won't "focus on the nitty gritty." In other news, I won't be focusing on club soda with a twist of lemon.
5:01PM OK, here's one tiny little early preview for you: "It's all
Bush's the Republicans' Blue Dog Democrats' Oops, can't say that the Republicans' fault."
5:02PM The President is on.
5:03PM "We've saved jobs! We can't count them, but trust us!"
5:04PM The US isn't prepared to compete in the 21st Century? How many more industries do we need to nationalize before we're ready to compete in the 19th?
5:05PM I still don't get where this guy has the nerve to say that he's going to save money on anything, and reduce the deficit by one thin dime. Has he not seen his own waste, fraud, and red ink?
5:05PM "How does my family benefit?" We're working on it. Now sit down and shut up.
5:06PM Now as I understand it, the "public option" will dictate what the private options must offer, and how much they must charge. So how do I keep my existing coverage again?
5:06PM "Primarily for the richest Americans." The word "primarily" is new, yes?
5:07PM Oh, so I benefit because I'll get a crappy plan, but my neighbor up the hill in the better neighborhood will pay for it.
5:08PM Eliminate Medicare waste! That's fine. So why not start there?
5:08PM When you hear a politician bemoaning the horse race aspect of politics, it's because he's losing the argument.
5:09PM "I have great coverage." Fine, Mr. President. Then either YOU take OUR public option, or give US your coverage. Mmmkay?
5:10PM "We will pass reform that does four contradictory things." Or at least that's what I heard him say.
5:10PM Now, the press gets its turn.
5:11PM First question boiled down to: Where's the leadership?
And then there was talk about premiums.
5:11PM Other advanced countries don't eat quite so many Chee-Tohs, Mr. President.
5:12PM First impression: He's talking details and numbers. This is lousy salesmanship. Health care ain't double-pane windows, Mr. President.
5:14PM And, he's still selling this as a tax-the-rich scheme. But the numbers don't add up, even according to the CBO.
5:15PM "Waste in the system?" Dude, in government programs, that's a feature, not a bug.
5:16PM "If we don't change, we can't expect a different result." OK, fine. Since government has been driving up prices, let's have less of that instead of more. Just sayin'.
5:17PM More bad salesmanship: Telling folks they won't get "five different tests." Most people want the damn tests.
5:18PM From Reuters: "Why the rush?... Will support collapse?"
5:18PM He's rushed because he gets letters. Is anyone buying this?
5:19PM "The default position is inertia." It's Newtonian politics! Only without the math!
5:20PM "I'm not going to sign a bill that adds to the deficit." Well, that would be a really nice change from the last six months.
5:22PM He keeps talking about "health care inflation." But inflation is when the same dollars buy you less, or more dollars buy you the same stuff. Isn't health care improving every year? If we dial back prices, won't we be dialing back care?