Live Irish Coffee Blogging the First Hour or So of the Greatest Summit in the History of Anything Vaguely Health Care-Related:
You know, you'd think these fuckers were meeting over something more than a few marginal improvements in the savage health care system of America. But Irish coffee, bigoted a name though it may be, is a hell of a drink in the snowy a.m. Let's CSPAN-3 this motherfucker, yo.
9:57: McCain and Boehner standing next to a big ass stack of paper. And it's clipped in sections. Will there be handouts? Will they still be copier warm?
9:58: Aw, shit, there comes Obama down the street. Someone cue the Reservoir Dogs music.
10:04: Obama enters. Mitch McConnell looks like he's gonna cry from the President's touch.
10:05: He's shaking everyone's hand. My god, let's hope someone brought the Purell for after he touches some of these skeevy fuckers.
10:08: Where's the teleprompter? For the love of God, where is the teleprompter? Has he had it implanted in his eyes? Or how else is he speaking like he knows what he's saying?
10:11: "Almost all the long-term deficits we face is due to Medicare and Medicaid" costs.
10:13: Getting personal about the illness in his life, putting the smackdown on insurance companies with regards to his grandmother.
10:14: McCain is gonna pop because Obama is using Republican statements against them.
10:16: Obama says they agree on significant issues. Republicans trying to figure out how to filibuster themselves.
10:18: Obama explains just how little the bills actually offer, mostly because Republicans (and some Democrats) have built a wall of the bodies of the dead.
10:20: Obama wants it to not just be "political theatre." Somewhere, a CNN executive wept.
10:21: Obama said, "Tit." (Sure, yeah, it was followed by "for tat," but it was still sexy.)
10:22: Lamar Alexander laconically says that the "American people" don't want the bill. He says he wants to "start over."
10:23: Oh, fuck, now Alexander's telling a story about how he was too much of a pussy as governor to stand by his beliefs as a lesson for Obama.
10:24: Alexander's talkin' about Obama's grandma. Shit's gonna get serious now.
10:25: Man, Lamar's one talking point talkin' motherfucker.
10:27: He's beating to death an analogy of Detroit putting out a new car model. It has, to put it his context, driven off a cliff.
10:28: Alexander: "There are good ideas, and they are all Republican. Suck on my bipartisanship."
10:30: Alexander's suggestion for making it a bipartisan session: Give up reconciliation. Or "Cut off your arm and then we'll fight."
10:31: Alexander talks about "tyranny of the majority" in regards to reconciliation. Of course, that doesn't apply to gay rights.
10:36: Nancy Pelosi says that the House of Representatives is not the Senate's younger sibling.
10:37: Teddy Kennedy evocation number 2.
10:38: Pelosi has seen grown men cry. Word. By the way, the Rude Pundit likes Pelosi probably more than most in out here in the hinterlands of Left Blogsylvania, and he's glad to see her in a public setting that demonstrates that she knows how to kick ass.
10:40: Finally, Pelosi says what the Rude Pundit's been saying, that businesses can't get started because of fears of losing or providing health care.
10:43: Teddy Kennedy evocation number 3. And Pelosi points out just how fucking long they've been working on the bill, for over a year.
10:44: Jesus Gutierrez and his cleft-palette baby make their first appearance. Wait...who?
10:45: Harry Reid makes the first factual smackdown on polls about health care reform, calling Lamar Alexander a liar.
10:47: What Obama has done here is fascinating. He's making a public demonstration of the competence and bipartisanship of the Democrats. If Republicans were smart, they'd walk out. They're about to get their asses handed to them. A walk-out would change the story. But, you know, they're Republicans. They're gonna try to bully their way out of this.
10:49: And Reid is kicking all kinds of ass right now.
10:52: Obama's wearing a flag pin. Lamar Alexander isn't. Who loves America more now, motherfuckers?
10:53: Obama on process to Alexander, "Dude, get over the reconciliation thing. You ain't gonna get what you want."
10:55: Obama gets crazy with the facts. Adultery abettor Tom Coburn must be aching to point out that he's a doctor.
10:56: John McCain? Not wearing a flag pin.
10:57: Need more coffee. Need more whiskey. This might be a good moment to go for it.
10:58: Smackdown over cost of policies and CBO numbers. Lamar Alexander is from Tennessee. When a black man gets upset with him, he must want to cross the street.
11:02: Alexander just blinked. He has no answer on costs. Image of the summit so far: Obama confidently talking about facts while Alexander shuffled through papers confusedly.
11:03: Boo-yah. Tom Coburn, the love doctor, makin' a house call.
11:04: Oh, yeah, he's makin' the medical metaphors. Symptoms, disease. That shit's comedy gold at AMA conventions.
11:06: Coburn talks about percentage of government-run health care costs that is fraud. How much fraud is there in private-run insurance costs?
11:07: Coburn wants to ration care by limiting testing. Actually, he's talking competently and reasonably about prevention and nutrition. If he could lift Mitch McConnell's balls and get out from under his taint, Coburn might actually have something to say.
11:11: Ooh, Coburn proposes undercover patients as a solution to fraud. Secret spy shit. It works so well in stopping drug dealing.
11:13: Steny Hoyer. He's already boring. He hopes families are sitting around and watching this. The Rude Pundit hopes they have jobs or are at school.
11:14: Fuck, okay, we know. People get cancer. Insurance companies are fuckers to them.
11:15: Oh, shit, McCain just gave Hoyer that "I'm gonna stab a guard with this bamboo shiv" look.
11:16: Hoyer to Coburn: "We're doing shit you want to do. What the fuck, man?"
11:19: C'mon, this is talking point-palooza. Shit needs to get real. It's just speech after speech.
11:22: Obama may be trying to make this into a conversation. Will it happen? Or will it continue to just be like a session of Congress, only with seated speakers.
11:23: Minnesota Kline, Republican, is the next to speechify. Hey, did you know that small businesses are the backbone of the backbone of the economy?
11:26: Max Baucus is nervous. He needs a drink. Blink, man, blink. It's fuckin' creepy.
11:27: Baucus: "All that shit you Republicans are talking about? We do it. We just wanna do more. What the fuck else do you want?" Coburn wants to point out again that he's a doctor.
11:29: Just did a staring contest with Max Baucus. He won.
11:30: Well, fuck, Baucus, if you point out that Coburn's a doctor, how can he do it? New metaphor: health care exchanges are like Orbitz or Expedia. It's like if Aetna had a garden gnome to check your prostate.
More tomorrow, maybe later.