Thursday, February 25, 2010

The HealthCare Summit Live Blog/Open Discussion.

I'm sure many of ya'll have better things to do like, uhhmm, actual work today, so most of you can't tune into this epic HC Summit doing on today here in DC. I'm obviously working myself, but thanks to the miracle of modern technology (aka: AM radio), I have the proceedings going on in the background while I slave away writing code. I'll chime in at various points with a semi-live blog when/if I hear anything of interest. If you're also taking score at home, feel free to leave your own observations below.

Just if case you need moving pictures, C-Span has a live streaming video feed going. Tune in and get familiar.

The live-ish blog reads in reverse chronological order, which means newest comments first, for those of us who went to Everest College. I'm not spellchecking, and I will probably take several lengthy breaks during the day (cause duh, I am working!), but if you want a true recap, rather than watching some news organization trim 6 hours of discussion down to a 30 second soundbyte, keep it locked here.


Epilogue (4:25pm) - It's pretty clear this whole exercise was a waste of time, because neither side showed up willing to work with the other. Having listened to this for a good portion of the day, I can only conclude that the GOP really wants to scrap this plan (period) and not do anything. The Dems could be more accomodating, but reality is, they've already included much of the GOP's plans anyway. Reconciliation is the only way to go here, and I hope that's how this ends.

4:02pm - Obama completely obliterates some fool who suggests he's okay with only having "catastrophic insurance" by asking this guy if he'd feel the same if he made $40k/year. BAM! {crickets}

4:01pm - Not only can't Congress start anything on time, they also can't end on time.

3:59pm - The official 1 millionth mention of the term "The American People". My head explodes again. I need a drink.

3:48pm - Dick Durbin goes for the jugular and tells any Republican so angry about the concept of "public healthcare corrupting American values" to drop their Congressional healthcare coverage right now. {crickets}

2:37am - I've been asked to do "real work" by my employer. The nerve of some people. Abandoning ship for awhile.

1:59pm - Uh, so much for that 45 minute break. In a scene indicative of just how inefficiently things get done in this city, half the participants are still at Olde Ebbitt Grille, and Obama is finishing off his final Kool in the side-alley.

1:01pm - Obama is seen leaving the building, and walking around to the side alley, and pulling a package of menthol cigarettes is from his coat pocket. The camera suddenly shuts off.

1:00pm - The meeting takes a 45 minute break for "lunch", as well as a quick vote over on the Hill. Some douchebag (I think he's a Democrat) walks up and asks Obama for his autograph. What do these people think this is, halftime of a Redkins game?

12:45am - The Dems and Cons are sitting on opposite sides (Left and Right respectively) of the President. How freakin' predictable.

12:40pm - Eric Cantor uses the 2,400 page bill as a prop. Obama ridicules him for such pettiness. Cantor states that "The American People don't care for the bill" for the 9,231st time. My head officially explodes.

12:28pm - I wonder how SNL is going to play this one. Oh, that's right. SNL is on Olympics break. And lame.

12:18pm - If I hear the freakin' term "The American People" one more time... As if these guys have talked to everyone in America. "The American People" is actually a nice way of saying "the Conservative think-tank that we paid for favorable polling".

11:46am - The GOP is already whining about the amount of time each party has had to speak, apparently forgetting that the President's opening remarks shouldn't really count cause, well, he's the President. It's becoming more and more clear that this day is going nowhere.

11:40am - GOP Congressman John Kline essentially says that it's okay for insurance companies to send a woman home immediatley after giving birth to a baby to keep HC costs low, even when that woman's had a C-Section. What an asshole.

11:37am - Obama cuts off some d-bag who is speaking out of turn. The guy keeps right on speaking anyway. Is Barry gon' have to pull this fool's mic?

11:35am - Boehner has a copy of the full 2,500 page House bill sitting on the table in front of him. If you're resorting to props to make up for your lack of ideas, why not just bring Joe the Plumber and have him sit on the floor behind you?

11:32am - I wonder is these folks are going to break for lunch, or order some Armand's and do a working lunch like the average Day Jobber. We'll see.

11:30am - One thing that pissed me off continually about the buildup to this summit was Conservatives somehow suggesting that meeting Obama on "his own turf" was going to be part of this grand "set up". The meeting is at the historic Blair House, not the White House itself. Yet this wood paneled, well heated room is somehow supposed to be "enemy territory"? Really? Where do they want him to debate them, Flo's Diner? You just can't win with these guys. You cannot win.

11:28am - Senator Max Baucus (correctly) mentions the fact that a large number of the GOP's recommendations are already in the House version of the bill. {crickets}

11:24am - Rep. John Cline drops the 924th mention of "small businesses" already today. I mean, come on, when the "small businesses" become this populist euphemism. Enough already. Not everyone works at effin' Flo's Diner, or is a plumber. What about us Corporate Negroes? Where's the Corporate Negro pandering? I want to be pandered to too!

11:02am - Obama tries to explain the whole "insurance exchange" concept, which is relatively simple (pooling resources to demand cheaper rates) at it's base, but his chorus of "uhmmms", "ahhhs", and awkward pauses pretty much renders his point moot. The GOP pounces, responding with more falsehoods and trickery. Ain't sh*t gettin' accomplished today.

10:50am - Both Obama and Harry Reid absolutely ethered TN Senator Lamar Alexander's opening remarks, which were full of talking point falsehoods and typical GOP trickery. This isn't starting on the best of terms.

Question: What are your observations/comments on the HC Summit thus far?!?

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