Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Live Blogging the Live Bloggers -
President Obama's health care speech to Congress

Welcome to the latest in the continuing series of "Live Blogging the Live Bloggers". As announced earlier today, this edition the first live attempt to cover bloggers covering a non-presidential debate. A series first inspired by the question DWSUWF asked covering a Republican debate over two years ago:
"There are plenty of bloggers covering the event live tonight, but is anyone covering the live bloggers? DWSUWF rushes in where other, more sensible bloggers, fear to tread. "
Our intent is to select a variety of bloggers from across the political spectrum, and live blog their live blog efforts. I don't know who we will include, but will start with some bloggers we have used before, in the hopes they will be live blogging again tonight.



Vodkapundit - Stephen Green: "But of course I’ll liveblog the President’s Big Address tonight... The first martini goes in the shaker around 45 minutes before the show starts, refilled as often as necessary. This will be the fifth or sixth one of these since Obama was sworn in, and I’m getting the gray hairs (and raggedy liver) to prove it.”

DailyKos - McJoan:"It seems pretty clear that the public option won't be taken off the table, which will piss off the White House's new BFF Olympia Snowe, who despite all of her negotiating with the White House has apparently has decided that triggers just aren't enough and the public option has got to go. On the other hand, he apparently isn't going to make the majority of Dems in Congress--who have passed four bills out of committee with the public option included--too happy, either."

Donklephant - Justin Gardner: - "...what we’ll hear tonight is Obama trying to reset what a “public option” means so that his White House can go with a localized version (aka co-ops) that only happens if universal coverage doesn’t happen in a state."

Stinque:"If we read the colonic bag correctly, the “public option” is dead. Even if it passes the House, it won’t survive the conference committee. Instead, some future public plan will be “triggered” if certain standards aren’t met after a suitably long period of time... All of which is to announce that Barry’s going to say something tonight that won’t make a damn bit of difference, and we’ll be revving up our Open Thread/Hemlock Tasting Party at 7:45 p.m. ET. À votre santé!"

Andrew Sullivan: "Mark Blumenthal isn't a big fan of instant polls, like the ones we are likely to see tonight after Obama's speech tonight. The polls are skewed because those who watch such speeches are likely to be supporters of the president, and historically these sort of speeches don't tend to move approval ratings."

Reason - Suderman: "Philip Klein and my former colleague Greg Conko have a new paper out making the case against the current batch of health-care reform proposals - they fully recognize that the current health-care system is a disaster, and that the reforms they propose wouldn't necessarily ensure that those with chronic preexisting conditions have access to health insurance. But, they say, the current patchwork of ill-thought-out government regulations of the health care market is so problematic—and, in fact, exacerbates our health care problems so much—that it must be fixed before addressing the few remaining problem cases."

DWSUWF - Allright, I've got this thing cued up and some live bloggers identified. But not sure if any of the usual libertarian suspects will be live blogging. Real-time adjustments may be necessary...


"I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last."

Vodkapundit - Stephen Green: "And here comes the President, running on Clinton Standard Time. Bush’s speeches were almost uniformly dreadful, but he was at least punctual. Judging by his reception, President Obama remains very popular with people who have no intention of voting for his proposals.”

DailyKos - McJoan:" Meaningful, comprehensive healthcare reform is one of the key reasons Dems have got a huge majority in the House, a supposedly workable majority in the Senate and the White House. There's a good argument that continuing to hold those majorities after 2010 is going to depend on how well Obama and Congress deliver on this one issue. Not that there's any pressure on him, or anything. It's just the future of the nation and the prospects for his party riding on it."

Donklephant - Nick B: - "Obama’s not actually planning on covering everyone. The plan is that 3% would still refuse to buy insurance, even with an individual mandate. By “cost-cutting” Obama means mostly that health costs will not continue to grow at double-digit rates a year. The projections are that they will continue to grow that quickly, and these projections are already factored into the budget. There are some actual cost-cutting measures in the bill (such as dumping Medicare Advantage) as well."

Stinque: - Chicago Bureau: "Uh-oh — he’s got TELEPROMPTERS. Look out, America!"

Andrew Sullivan: "The way he said "determined" suggested to me he meant it. He's all-in. A note on the recession just to show he has not forgotten the economy in favor of healthcare. And a nice reminder of the dreadful economy he inherited."

CatoInstitute twitter: "Obama determined to be the last pres to take up health care? R U kidding? We'll need to reform it every year if the gov't is in charge. - MC"

DWSUWF - Switching to CATO, computer is slow, too many sites using live feeds, doesn't everyone have television?


"...everyone does their part."

Vodkapundit - Stephen Green: “…unless everybody does their part…” My part consists of… the people under my roof. Now you go do your goddamn party. Mmmkay - “Misinformation.” Well, that’s a step up. Pelosi called protestors Nazis. The President thinks of you as mere liars."

DailyKos - McJoan: - ""Improving our healthcare system only works if everyone does their part." That has to include the insurance industry, too."

Wonkette: "Politicians tend to get hyperbolic to achieve short-term goals. CUT THIS OUT YOU GUYS...The Plan is all about security, providing health care for people who don’t have it, and health care will cost less for people who do. See? Problem solved. Everyone turn on Dancing With the Stars."

Andrew Sullivan: "This is the campaign Obama, appealing to the center against the old politics. Classic Obama pivot: describe the right and the left and then say he is in the middle. And the Burkean twist: "I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn’t, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch."

CatoInstitute twitter: "Obama won't put bureaucrats btwn U & your doctor except for the bureaucrats he proposed to put between U & your doctor"

DWSUWF - Ok - the live part of this "live blog" is not working out that well. The pizza just arrived. I need a beer. Lets just call this a pseudo-live blog and I'll dribble out a few more updates over the next couple of hours.

Whited Sepulchre - "BTW, the goal of live-blogging these things is to have them posted the minute the speech is over, just to prove you can think and type that quickly. In geek circles, you get extra points for being able to do this. "

DWSUWF - Yeah ok, thanks for that Allen. I understand you like the designated hitter rule. Nuff said.

"public option"

Vodkapundit - Stephen Green
: "Eff me. The president is LECTURING people he needs to win over. How’s that gonna go over, you think? He’s trying to sell the Government Option as a “choice” still. But of course. The over/under on the Government Option crowding out everything else is about five years.”

DailyKos - McJoan: - "Not so good: weak defense of public option. Did a good job of defining it as the center by calling single payer the "left," but by arguing that it wouldn't really do that much, "Let me be clear, only an option for those who do not have insurance, less than 5% of Americans will sign up," isn't much of a strong defense of the public option."

Wonkette: "I want a public option to keep the health insurers “honest.” BUT BUT BUT trust me, it will be like… the shittiest plan… no one will even be able to sign up… STOP YELLING AT ME, LONE WINGNUT."

Stinque - Nojo: "Rahm’s been pushing the public option off the gangplank all along. He doesn’t care about results — he wants a deal... My Progressive friends, talk to Rahm’s hand."

Andrew Sullivan: "His description of the public option - that it can provide more efficient treatment because it doesn't need to make large profits and because it will have less overhead - is the best framing I've heard. He's framing the public option in the conservative language of competition and consumer choice."

CatoInstitute twitter
: "Gov't doesn't compete with private producers. It drives them out of business--with an inferior product!"

Whited Sepulchre - "Now he gets to "the public option". He says consumers do better when there is "choice" and "competition"... you can't compete with an organization that can print its own money. Totally false use of the word on Obama's part. The post office, Amtrak, etc etc etc woulda gone under years ago if it weren't for government subsidies. And that's what yer gonna see with Obamacare....The public option would only be for those who don't have insurance. He thinks less than 5% of Americans would sign up. And the public option would have to pay for itself with money printed on the spot. Somehow. I know it blows your mind to think the money would just appear, but it will happen."

DWSUWF -This is what I heard the president say - "The public option will not be in the legislation. You know it. I know it. Barack Obama knows it. Rahm Emmanuel knows it. Bob Dole knows it. The right knows it. The left knows it but need to kid themselves for a while. We are letting them down gently. It's ok. They love me anyway."


" we pay for this plan"

Vodkapundit - Stephen Green: "Obama promises not to “add a dime” to the deficit. I’m not supposed to drop the f-bomb here, but your about to get f*cked on your taxes. I apologize. Obama, however, won’t apologize. Sorry if tonight’s drunkblog is crankier than usual. But I drank too much last night, and woke up in an ice-filled bathtub minus my tonsils and my feet.

DailyKos - McJoan: - "What's good so far: called out "lies" in the debate. Reminding everybody that the Bush tax cuts and wars created huge deficits."

Wonkette: “I will pay for shit, unlike you people, who did not pay for various wars and corporate giveaways, ever.” Republicans make some weird sound in response. MEHHHGNNGNNGNG."

Stinque - Chicago Bureau: “More than material things.” TAX INCREASES FOR EVERYBODY! Suck it, GOP."

Andrew Sullivan: Now that's the truth: "Part of the reason I faced a trillion dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for – from the Iraq War to tax breaks for the wealthy. " [ DWSUWF adds -Not to mention a $900B Stimulus bill and a 9,000 earmark budget I signed - thereby taking the the trillion dollar deficit I inherited and doubling it in two months!!!]

Cato Institute twitter: "Mr. President-if you can find $600 billion worth of waste in existing gov't programs, why do you want to create another?"

Whited Sepulchre - "You know, that might be possible. Let people go to nurses and other practitioners for care. Get the damn lawyers out of it. Go here for details. It'll never happen. Now he's talking about how much waste and care there are in Medicare and Medicaid. They're going to eliminate that waste. Woulda done it sooner, but they wanted to save the waste so it could be eliminated now. During this crisis. I think that's what he said. I'm on beer #5. This is hurting more than I thought it would."

DWSUWF - Of all the arguments I hear from Obama and Democrats, I think the very dumbest, is when they try to explain away Obama's quadrupling the deficit, by pointing at Bush's doubling the deficit. What exactly are they saying? Bush was bad, so we can be worse? Bush committed a venal sin, so we can commit a mortal sin? What is it? Simple fact - If you accept that the Bush administration was bad on spending and deficits -AND THEY WERE - Then you must accept that the Obama administration is far far worse in a much shorter period of time. Is that really what they are trying to say?

Hmmm. Apparently my caps lock key is sticking.

"We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it."

Vodkapundit - Stephen Green: "For the record, I’m disgusted. And I need another drink. If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll post a little Oh I’m So Wise summary later tonight at Or possibly not. But here’s the short version: Obama will see a brief spike in the polls, but not enough. He delivered a divisive speech to a divided nation — and that’s no way to spur a divided Congress into action.

DailyKos - DemFromCT: - "That's a powerful cap to an important speech which will help Obama's positioning as a bipartisan figure and as a grown-up discussing serious things. By itself, The Speech won't do a thing. But he's better off now than a few hours ago."

Wonkette: Well that wasn’t so bad. How would we even know? We were just typing the whole time. The end of the speech seemed rather good, though. Secret death letters from Ted Kennedy! Of course all of the news will just be about the obnoxious wingnut shouting. He will have a goddamned show on Fox News by Saturday."

Stinque - Chicago Bureau: FINAL VERDICT — he did the best he could under the circumstances. He took back the momentum. But, yes: if the future mimics the past, it will not work out. But this gives him the higher ground. Best outcome possible. Let’s see what the Sunday douchebags (St. Bob of Schieffer excepted from that douchebag remark) have with this."

Andrew Sullivan: "A masterful speech, somehow a blend of governance and also campaigning. He has Clinton's mastery of policy detail with Bush's under-rated ability to give a great speech. But above all, it is a reprise of the core reason for his candidacy and presidency: to get past the abstractions of ideology and the easy scorn of the cable circus and the cynicism that has thereby infected this country's ability to tackle pressing problems. This was why he was elected, and we should not be swayed by the old Washington and the old ideologies and the old politics. He stands at the center urging a small shift to more government because the times demand it."

Cato Institute twitter: "There are too many Americans counting on us to succeed." Yes. Drug industry lobbyists. Health insurance lobbyists, etc... -M. Cannon"

Whited Sepulchre - "He's doing a great closing here. It's emotional B.S., but very well-written. Going faster than I can type. Oh, BTW, most of this won't kick in until after the next Presidential election. Did you know that? And that Congress and most federal employees will be exempt? If you remember those things when listening to this rhetoric, you hear it in a whole new light. I'm just sayin'. "

DWSUWF - Done. NYT coverage and transcript is on the tubes. I'll just sip this 15 year old Laphroiag, sleep on it and update with any great thoughts that may or may not emerge between now and then.

Divided and Balanced.™
Now that is fair.


nojo said...

Hey! Where you been! My presumptions have gone unchallenged, and I'm getting lazy.

mw said...

Yeah, I noticed. Well - not you being lazy, but everyone else. After reading through the comments I was thinking - Does no one understand tht Nojo is completely against the plan Obama is describing? Or are they just giving him a pass?

I may have to stop by just to point that out.

SanFranLefty said...

Yes, we need our libertarian tool around Stinque. We're getting soft. But rest assured we are not Obamaniacs like you might fear.

Besides, we're having too much fun with Assemblymember Duvall and Rep. Addison Graves Wilson

mw said...

Well, yes you are. But I like you anyway.

Anonymous said...

I hope that these bloggers don't post anything biased or false about the president and the speech. i wonder what they are going to be discussing in their blogs.