05/14/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Good morning and welcome to your Sunday Morning liveblog of the televised political charlie foxtrotting. My name is Jason, and, apparently not everyone got the word that I would be away last Sunday, and the liveblog on hold for a week. But that was what was going on here last Sunday. Sorry about that!

And I'm really sorry that we're still talking about health care reform! Jeez-o-flips! I thought if I went away for a week this whole matter would be taken care of. A watched pot never boils, and all that! And when I returned to find the internets talking about the effects of modern telecommunication on transgressive prison sex, I thought we had moved on, successfully. But no.

I think it took South Africa a shorter amount of time to end apartheid, didn't it?

Anyway, you know the drill. I write this, you stay in bed. Of if you don't, you can email or leave a comment or follow me on the Twitter, for fun.


Gibbs, Cantor, Van Hollen, Rove! It's an embarrassment of riches on Fox, today. And John Roberts is still all knickers-twisted that Obama doesn't like the Citizens United ruling? Jeez. Thin skin in this town.

Gibbs says that "whoever is sitting here next week will be talking about health care reform as the law of the land." Off to a bold start this Sunday! Gibbs says that Obama will be schlepping off to Ohio to bring out some personal story to, I guess, solidify everyone's position on the matter? Who knows? Pageanty will fix everything!

Gibbs begs off trying to figure out what the Senate parliamentarian will do, as far as reconciliation, but he sells that process as something that would take out the deals that nobody likes as much as it does add the fixes.

Wallace asks about whether or not the failure to pass health care reform will damage Obama's presidency. Gibbs says that politics is not a consideration as far as the President is concerned. Being President "doesn't mean doing what is politically popular," Gibbs says.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton just straight up brought some pain to Bibi Netanyahu, and Netanyahu has "expressed regret." "I think the Israelis have a sense of what to do now," Gibbs says. "It's a good start," Gibbs says, "what would be better if the Israelis come to the table with ideas of their own." Maybe there will be a summit, at the Blair House!

John Roberts doesn't want to come to the State of the Union address anymore if everyone is going to be expressing their opinions of his dumb rulings in front of him. Why can't he live in a bubble, free from criticism, within the bubble that everyone else is living in, free from criticism? Meanwhile, Mr. Chief Justice, AMERICA HATES YOUR DECISION IN THAT CASE, because they do not want to see the whores turned out in politics anymore than they already are.

Finally! Gibbs wore a hockey jersey. Two of them! To the White House Press Briefing! And I'm told that it was the most well-attending White House Briefing he's been to, in months, because all the reporters were like, "WHAT? ROBERT GIBBS IS GOING TO WEAR A HOCKEY JERSEY? AND MY JOURNALISM CREDENTIALS WILL ALLOW ME TO SEE THIS? I can't wait to go!" And so the briefing room was packed! Because: HOCKEY!

Come Monday, the press room will probably empty out again, unless Robert Gibbs can come up with another dumb spectacle, like training a monkey to filibuster.
Eric Cantor and Chris Van Hollen are here, to needle each other. Will Pelosi make up the five votes she needs? Van Hollen says yes, because apparently everyone will be getting their terrible premium increases in the mail. Cantor says that everyone hates the idea of health care. Van Hollen says that the debate process hasn't begun because the most recent CBO analysis hasn't dropped yet. He goes on to say that the Senate bill is totally NO ABORSH, so Bart Stupak needs to run his hands through his bangs and chill. Van Hollen says there will be some up or down bill, maybe even on the Senate bill! But there could be a weird up or down vote on something else. Van Hollen also says that the House needs "absolute guarantees" from the Senate on reconciliation or else.

What's an absolute guarantee? Ha! There is no such thing! And the Senate is a den of elderly grifters, so good luck, House of Representatives! The Democrats, by the way, very strongly framing reconciliation as the thing that gets rid of the "Kansas Kickback" and the "Louisians Purchase." You understand, don't you, how concerned I am that future generations will get confused over what the ACTUAL Louisians Purchase is? And that won't be the fault of some Texas textbook that asserts Joe McCarthy had angel wings and FDR was made of liquid poop.

Cantor says that the Democrats cannot do what they want and that everyone hates health care and that he's got a copy of the Constitution with him.

Van Hollen is asked about earmarks, and goes on and on and on speaking about "BAH. REPUBLICANS," and now they are talking about Jerry Lewis -- not the comedian Jerry Lewis -- and Cantor is mad and I'm not even bothering to follow what's going on.

Now they are going to ask about Massa and why the Dems won't seem an ethics panel over tickle fighting the same way that they did when Mark Foley was stalking the participants in the page program. Van Hollen makes some Bernie Madoff joke at the GOP's expense and it's pretty lame and Cantor is all haughtily shaking his head and they are talking over each other, and I bet they will be TICKLE FIGHTING IN THE GREEN ROOM.

Pretty bad segment, and Eric Cantor didn't get to say much, so it's weird he was even there.

Now Karl Rove is here because he wrote a book called COURAGE AND CONSEQUENCE. This would be like me writing a book called SLEEPING IN ON SUNDAY MORNINGS AND HAVING A VAGINA, in that the title would be about two things I am totally unfamiliar with.

Wallace says that Rove "admits some mistakes," which is hilarious, because it's like those times you go into a job interview and the guy asks, "What flaws do you have?" and you answer, "Jeez, Bob -- can I call you Bob? It's almost like I'm too awesome sometimes? Like, my greatness overshadows the larger works of man? My bad, totally."

Anyway, Rove thinks that if health care reform gets passed, the Democrats will lose the House of Representatives, so OH NO STOP HEALTH CARE REFORM FROM PASSING BECAUSE THE GUY WHO DROVE BUSH TO HISTORIC LOWS IN APPROVAL RATINGS SAYS IT WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU!

Also, Rove was beaten up by a girl because he wore a Nixon sticker when he was eight years old. Man, I have to say, I hated every kid who was into politics when they were eight. Lame. Come play wiffle ball with us, Karl! Let's ride bikes! It's a nice day outside, and you are listening to Spiro Agnew speeches? Do you EVER want to have sex? Ugh. Mary, will you walk over there and whale on that kid, for his own good?

Didn't work, now Rove is on teevee, yelling about labor unions.

Rove wouldn't have done the famous Max Cleland ad, but thinks it was effective and factual. See, Max Cleland, in a previous ad, suggested that he was "working with President Bush" on the Homeland Security Act. But Cleland actually had some disagreements with Bush. And the proper way to point out that someone is being disingenuous about claiming to be working with the President, is to claim he is like Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. I mean, you could just say, "This is disingenuous and here's why," but isn't the ad they actually made totally neat-o? And now it's history.

Rove on Reid: "He was breathtakingly political in his approach to everything!" Ha, call me when you hear that he GOT BEATEN UP BY A GIRL BECAUSE HE WAS AN EIGHT YEAR OLD POLITICO, KARL.

Wallace says that "the best gig in politics is riding shotgun" with Karl Rove on election night, which sounds very tickle fighty to me, ehhhhh?

The President is delaying his trip to Asia because of health care reform, but that doesn't mean we have to wait for Asia, does it?

Anyway, today we have Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson, Dana Perino, and John Podesta panelling on the Fox.

Kristol, Wallace says, "Has been nothing is consistent for months" in predicting the failure of health care. He sticks with the prediction, which means health care will almost certainly pass.

Wallace says, "Dana and John, let me ask you the same question as our two political insiders." But Dana and John are also political insiders!

Podesta says that it would be "terrible" for the President and the Democrats if the reform effort fails: a year wasted, nothing solved, massive "overhang" on business, drag on the economy, etc.

Kristol says that the optics of criticizing SCOTUS judges at the State of the Union address is bad, but that lawyers and judges are "hypersensitive" and shouldn't feel immune to criticism. Basically, lawyers are the worst, as far as Kristol is concerned. Podesta says, how about the Supreme Court just stop coming to the State Of The Union, and why not have the Supreme Court televise its decisions?

Perino objects to this idea, but not because she has anything substantive to say about it, she just thinks the president should criticize the SCOTUS in some special press conference? Also, she says "judicial independence" but I do not think she understands that it doesn't mean that you are immunized from criticism.

Bill Kristol prefers Israel to his own country, and sides with Netanyahu's right to be an intransigent dick over his own country's efforts to re-install a peace process and alleviate massive national security concerns. Podesta disagrees. I'm not sure what Perino was even talking about. Liasson was smartly saying, "Ugh, I'm staying out of this one."


Jake Tapper hosts the show this week, and will try to make something interesting of having both of Washington's dreariest guests on: David Axelrod and Lindsay "Jowly Dave Foley" Graham. Not much charisma to work with there. This is like interviewing teh cartoons of sad, frumpy balloons. Also, there will be a panel. Also, Jake is apparently TWEETING this? Everyone follow his live-tweets instead of reading this, i guess, since this isn't live anymore.

Anyway, I bet we talk about health care. WE HAVE REACHED WHAT JAKE CALLS THE ZERO HOUR, TIME TO TURN LOOSE DAVID AXELROD. Axelrod says "he believes we will have the votes." That's a little more equivocal than Gibbs was on Fox.

Meanwhile, Scott Brown is all sad about health care bill! What about the "pluralities, if not majorities" that are against the bill? Well, a lot of those people are for health care reform, just not the weak reform that will pass the Senate. Anyway, Axelrod says, basically, that people like the bill when they hear what it will do. Anyway, according to polls, health care reform -- even the watered down reform we're likely to get -- has suddenly started to get popular.

While not as confident as Gibbs on the matter of passage, Axelrod is stronger in contending that politics is not guiding the decision. "The real question is whether the American people will win or lose, not how it will affect the politics of this town."

Jake asks about the "special deals" and asks if Axelrod is willing to fight back against them. Axelrod says the president's official position is that he's against them, and that special provisions should not be state-specific.

Jake: "I don't want to get into a debate over reconciliation because I know the Republicans have used it." At last!

But, yes, on the matter of whether the reconciliation process will augment health care reform's ability to reduce the deficit, Axelrod gives two answers: one is that he's not heard from the CBO and so he can't comment on whether or not this will be achieved, and the other is that OF COURSE IT WILL REDUCE THE DEFICIT. So, he's CERTAIN, but is also hedging his bet.

Wow, everyone really cares about John Roberts because of this little talk he gave! Anyway, Obama was a lot nicer to Roberts than Teddy Roosevelt was to Oliver Wendell Holmes, who called Holmes a banana or something and then he got voted off American Idol. Anyway, now that everyone knows Roberts is such a mewler, I hope that people stop being mean to him, so that his whining doesn't become a news story.

Stark question: "Do you believe the intransigence of the Israeli government on the housing issue, yes or no, does it put U.S. troops at risk?" Axelrod waveringly answers, saying that "that region is a flarepoint," and that it's "important for our own security" that it get resolved.

And now here's Jowly Dave, live from Clemson, South Carolina, a location that all University of Virginia graduates abhor.

Jake points out that Graham has voted for reconciliation votes before and that there wasn't a disaster. But Graham seems to think that the reconciliation is going to be used to pass the whole thing and take over one-sixth of the economy, even though the government already controls the segment of health care it will control under the bill. Anyway, he warns that the "Americans are sick of this crap" and if the pass health care reform it will "poison the well" for the rest of the Senate.

But the well cannot get more poisoned! LINDSAY GRAHAM: you cannot threaten to withhold the votes you have never ever given in the first place!

Tapper asks where John McCain is on immigration. Graham says that McCain's done plenty of heavy lifting in the past. And then he goes off on this Sunday's Piss And Moan Aria! MCCAIN is awesome! Shut up about McCain! The president should write his own damn immigration bill [Ed. note: I thought that legislators wrote bills?]. Me and Chuck Schumer have a plan to fix immigration [Ed. Note: So why do you need a bill from Obama?] YOU WRITE A BILL, OBAMA! [Ed. note: So, what? Huh? Who is writing the bill now? Didn't you just say you and Chuck Schumer wrote a bill?] Waaah! You do it! See how good you do! Blaaah! You write one, and if I like it, I'll sign on! [Ed. note: Why don't maybe you show the President this thing you did with Chuck Schumer, maybe?]

Tapper points out that the reason immigration foundered the last time is that his own party is filled with crazy people who do not have a long tradition of listening to or even liking Graham. (Or John McCain, for that matter!) Graham says, "That's not fair!" He goes on to say that the bill had over sixty votes, and he can name 10 Democrats that voted against it -- which by my math, the sort you learn in states other than South Carolina, I guess, means that Jake was, indeed, being fair.

Now Graham is shifting back to criticizing reconciliation. Here's what he's basically all about. See, Graham hates health care and wants it to fail so that Americans can't have any. But he also thinks he can convince the world that he's capable of bringing GOP votes with him on two key issues: immigration and GITMO closure. So, the idea here is he dangles this willingness to work with the White House and bring votes to major 2010 initiatives. BUT! If the Democrats attempt reconciliation, Graham says this poisons the well, and all deals are off.

In the first place, that's basically a guy standing up publicly and saying, "I really am this craven!" But I don't object to this: everyone else on Capitol Hill is a craven dickhead and I'm glad that Graham is just willing to admit it. The real farce here is that Graham does not really command anyone's support or vote, not now, not ever, and that the White House should not be stupid enough to fall for this after a year of having the football of bipartisan votes snatched away. BUT WHO KNOWS, THE WHITE HOUSE COULD BE THAT STUPID.

Tapper: "I don't see a lot of Republicans behind you!" And Graham threatens to sabotage the climate bill he's been working on.

Tapper asks about the "try KSM in a military commission for closing GITMO" deal, and how he responds to the criticism of people like James Inhofe. He responds by saying that we need a "legal framework" for terror detainees, but that legal framework -- as imagined by Graham -- is confusing. For example, said framework would pave the way for the "indefinite detention of detainees" and for "due process." UHM: DOES NOT COMPUTE! YOU CAN HAVE THE ONE THING OR THE OTHER! Also: Graham wants people to stop treating terrorists as common criminal scum, and start behaving as if they are warriors with superpowers.

Graham says that General Petraeus wants it closed. I'm guessing he probably DOESN'T WANT GITMO'S CLOSURE TO BE A BARGAINING CHIP OVER HEALTH CARE REFORM VOTES.

Tapper: "Does keeping GITMO open put U.S. lives at risk?" Graham says it depends on how it is closed, and it should be closed "safely."

Meanwhile, panel time with George Will, Cokie Roberts, Anita Dunn, and Ed Gillespie.

Jake: "I can't promise you any tickle fights." WHY NOT? Isn't there a designated tickle fight area in the Newseum?

Will says we are "waist deep in health care monomania," which sounds like an ideal venue for tickle fights. He points out that they keep setting deadlines on the health care, and GAH HE IS RIGHT. Why do you keep promising deadlines. And why are they always centered on holidays? WE WILL HAVE HEALTH CARE BY PURIM! By Arbor Day, I promise! You are ruining all our special occasions.

Roberts says, "The Democrats has calculated correctly that they have nothing more to lose...they might as well get the substance." That basically makes sense to me. See, the Democrats will probably lose seats in both Houses this year, and it won't make a difference whether or not they pass health care reform. Also, no matter how many seats they lose, health care reform will be the reason the media assigns to these inevitable losses -- and that's whether they pass it or not! If they chicken out on health care reform, and they lose seats, the losses will be pinned to spending time talking about health care reform by some, and the failure to pass it by others.

Once you accept that there are inevitabilities baked in to the election year -- and those inevitabilities are that the Dems are facing losses and that health care will be blamed for whatever happens -- the only strategic choice left is to go ahead and do the one thing that isn't inevitable: pass the effing bill. It's better to have an accomplishment in hand in both the short and the long term. And let's face it, the Democrats need to be able to say "We accomplished something, we contributed something," because if they're being honest, they haven't prevailed for the past two elections on the strengths of their own accomplishments -- they've prevailed because of their opponents' shortcomings.

The trouble is, one's opponents' shortcomings fade with time and when you have gigantic majorities in both houses, it's hard to keep up your awesome streak of winning by default. So, you might as well do something amazing and novel and see where leadership on an issue actually takes you!

Tapper takes up Ray LaHood's op-ed, in which he attests to his willingness to pass the bill. Will suggests that LaHood is just leading people on, and that if he was in the House he'd almost certainly stand in lockstep against the bill.

Dunn says that when the bill is passed, it will be popular, and that will be that. Gillespie says it's a big tax increase. Roberts is a breath of fresh air amid talking points, today: "The reason they are still making the case a year later" is because the White House lost a lot of the populist essence. They stopped talking about the uninsured. She's right! Remember how the White House discovered late last year the line, "No one should go broke in America because they get sick?" That should have been where the debate began! That should have been the rock he demanded Congress get around: "MAKE IT SO PEOPLE CAN GET SICK, IN AMERICA, WITHOUT LOSING THEIR HOMES, WITHOUT GOING INTO CRIPPLING DEBT."

He didn't do that, and so the bill took a long and circuitous journey. And guess what? It unfortunately won't keep all Americans from going broke after getting sick!

We're still talking about the whole Rahm Emanuel nonsense? BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.

Ha, now Jake is showing that film about Rahm Emanuel and Eric Massa on the campaign trail. I believe the film is called TICKLE FIGHTS AND SEXY SEXTS, by Rielle Hunter. The shower scene is HAWT!

HAHA! Cokie Roberts is the MVP! "Clearly there's something in the water in New York!" TOTES! New York has become the sum of all dysfunction and political incompetence, for a change! Here in DC, we're rebuking Marion Barry and legalizing gay marriage. HA SUCK IT EMPIRE STATE.


Tom Brokaw is here instead of David Gregory. "Oh, that's nice," says my wife, speaking for America.

Brokaw actually has the "roadmap" for the health care bill right! He asks how the White House came to find themselves in such a "kerfuffle." Axelrod applauds the use of the word "kerfuffle," saying "it's good to hear that word back in the mix." He then goes on to tell Brokaw the same things he already said earlier:

AXELROD: We're going to Ohio tomorrow in part, because the President got a letter from a woman named Natoma Cantfield. Natoma Cantfield was someone who had insurance in the individual market. She didn't get it through her job. She paid through the nose for it. She was paying $6,000 a year. And it didn't cover much. And she finally had to give it up at the end of last year, because she was afraid she would have to choose between her house and her insurance. She was just diagnosed with leukemia. And now she has no insurance and her house in jeopardy. Anyway, this shouldn't happen in the United States of America.


Brokaw plays that Scott Brown clip, wondering about this whole "The President wants to do more than one thing at once." This mystifies Scott Brown, who only recently learned how to drive his own truck, and ran on his newfound ability to drive said truck. Axelrod says: "So, when you're President of the United States and you take office in the middle of a crisis, you have to be able to do many things at once. Not one thing."

Brokaw: "Let's go back to health care for a second." Go back? It's all we've been talking about, so far, today, on this show, that you are hosting! Anyway, he asks, "Will the bill have all sorts of abortions, and what not, paid for by taxpayers." Axelrod re-affirms the NO ABORSH status of the bill.

Should Democrats be worried about all the side deals made to get health care passed, come November? Axelrod says that they should be worried about what happens if they "do not move the bill forward."

AXELROD: So, if the Republican Party wants to go out and say to that child who now has insurance or say to that small business that will get tax credits this year if he signs the bill to help their employees get health care. If they want to say to them, "You know what? We're actually gonna take that away from you. We don't think that's such a good idea." I say, let's have that fight. Make my day. I'm ready to have that. And every Member of Congress ought to be willing to have that debate as well.

Will Obama be cancelling more trips? Axelrod says he's confident that the vote will happen this week. He's confident. Brokaw asks, "Totally confident?" Axelrod: "Absolutely confident." Brokaw, "Double-plus infinity confident, times infinity, plus one confident?" Axelrod's mustache comes to life and devours him.

Ha, kidding? What about all that static Israel gave Joe Biden? Axelrod says, "I think both the Vice President and the Secretary of State reflected the President's thinking. This was an affront, it was an insult, but most importantly, it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region."

Now, here's James Clyburn and Dick Durbin. Clyburn says that the House does not have the votes yet, as of this morning, but he is confident that it will get done. How? Clyburn says, "I believe sincerely that the House and Senate have been working together," and that they have a "comfort level" with one another, like, maybe they'll start exploring each other's bodies and getting high and having tickle parties?

Brokaw tells Durbin that House members are mad skeptical of the Senate's intentions, because they are a den of drunk thieves. Durbin says, come on, you can trust us! We give you "solid assurance" that we'll pass your "reconciliation" bill. Then, he and Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham will meet the House out back, to sell them some microwaves that "just fell off the back of a truck, what a great deal!" Also: Ben Nelson! (Apropos of nothing.)

Ha, or maybe so, because Brokaw wants that Cornhusker Kickback out and he wants the Louisiana Purchase gone, too! The Saints won the Superbowl, so what sort of Medicare break do THEY need!

Bart Stupak Shakur gave an interview to the National Review? What a joke. Anyway, Clyburn says Stupak is one of his best friends and is "operating in earnest" but the bill does what he wants and the Catholic hospitals are down with it, and so he should stop pretending that the bill will Federally fund abortions.

The Congressional Black Caucus is mad at Obama for not doing more for poor people, but they must not watch the Glenn Beck show because it reliably informs me that what is underway in America is a radical attempt at socialism and wealth redistribution. Anyway, Clyburn says everything is fine! (Except yes, we are totally selling out to the banks, aren't we?)

Durbin asks the GOP to stop filibustering so that they can pass bills to create jobs. But, ha, that won't happen. And one day, the Democrats will be filibustering the bejeezus out of everything the GOP does!

Karl Rove is on, now, for a very softball interview with Brokaw. Rove says that Obama has not created a "bipartisan predicate" for the health care bill, which is nuts, because both bills contain a ton of GOP ideas and the White House actively courted GOP members and even did so after the same people, like, say, Chuck Grasslet WENT IN FRONT OF REPORTERS to say "HA HA, I AM TOTALLY LEADING PRESIDENT OBAMA ON, BECAUSE I AM A LIAR, REMEMEBER?"

Anyway, Rove says the Senate bill is "obnoxious" and that it won't be "pared down" before passage. He also says that the bill is getting less popular, when, as I pointed out earlier, it's actually starting to get more popular (this is to be expected: most Americans want reform, they'll come home as they realize this is all the reform they are going to get -- as always, the COngress' inability to pass a public option -- which is just been so insanely popular with the public all year -- will be a lasting shame for this Congress, no matter what the outcome on health care is.)

Rove says the only thing that would help the Democrats win in November would be for them to "step back from this bill" and "move it as a series of measures." Which is why Democrats should to the opposite, as Rove is not in the habit of giving Democrats good advice.

Brokaw asks if going into Iraq was the right thing to do, even though there weren't WMDs, and Rove says well, if we had known now, we'd have had to find "other ways to constrain" Saddam's behavior (these too would have been a pointless diversion from the strategic necessities in Afghanistan.) But Brokaw's all: LOOKIT THIS CLIP, and ther clip is of Cheney, saying that the WMDs didn't matter, he'd recommend the pointless and costly war all over again. Rove says, "Well John Kerry said the same thing."

YEAH AND JOHN KERRY WAS ALSO WRONG. Brokaw: "But we're talking about your Administration, and this Vice President and what he said." Rove: I'm merely making the point that had there not been this widespread consensus, Democrat and Republican, throughout the intelligence community, that we would not have been able to get the authorization for the use of force. Nor would we have gotten the U.N. resolution." BUT THAT'S NOT THE ISSUE, DUMBASS. The issue is: there were no WMDs, and so all that consensus wasn't worth a hill of beans!

But this line of questioning is also not worth a hill of beans. It's so at the margins! You really need to be asking things like: "Why did you do this in the first place? Why did you appease al Qaeda? Why did you allow the men who attacked us on 9/11 to have a safe haven? Why did you follow policies that led to a jihadist golden age, of increased global attacks?"

Brokaw: "We were not greeted as liberators beyond the first couple of days." For the first couple of days? No, we weren't! And in the weeks that followed, we weren't greeted as liberators. NO ONE IN IRAQ THINKS OF US AS LIBERATORS. On the day we leave, they will say, "GOOD-BYE, YOU NON-LIBERATING MOFEAUX! WE WILL SEND YOU AN INVOICE FOR ALL THE DAMAGE."

Rove: "A battle plan rarely survives intact, its first contact with reality." Truer words were never spoken, dingus.

Rove says he isn't sure Sarah Palin wants to be president, and he is sure that the "Tea Party" movement will exact a greater price on Democrats than the GOP. He says the Harry Whittington incident taught him that Dick Cheney could be "stubborn and unmovable" (he was the last to know this, apparently.) And then there is some inside baseball, FOX/MSNBC back and forth that I don't exactly care about.

I don't know what America did to deserve this, but now we shall all sit through a conversation with David Brooks and Thomas Friedman. This will be like all of the non-erotic parts of being auto-erotically asphyxiated.

Will health care reform be the end of the Obama Presidency? Brooks says that the White House is all in, so the apocalyptic imagery is okay. He thinks that Pelosi and Obama is good, but that Obama is "risking it on a fifty-fifty chance." He asks, "Would you risk your house on a fifty-fifty chance?"

David! HE IS THE PRESIDENT. He is actually SUPPOSED to risk his job, at times, to do what he feels is right. That is what the job of President is. LBJ risked "his house" on the Civil RIghts Act and LOST, but the end result is that the Civil Rights Act passed and the country is better off.

BELTWAY DISEASE! Friedman, at least, says, "That is what you come to Washington to do." Brooks is more of a "singles" guy instead of home runs, because of cynicals, and BASE HITS are the LEAST CYNICAL WAY of reaching base in baseball. KILL ME.

Brooks is really worried about the cost! For the first time ever! He's worried there won't be money to spend, profligately, on the things he wants, because of this crazy idea that people should stop dying from lack of health insurance.

Meanwhile, Israel insulted the United States, and it made Thomas Friedman mad, so he wrote an op-ed where he asked Israel: "You think you can embarrass your only true ally in the world, to satisfy some domestic political need, with no consequences? You have lost total contact with reality."

Tom Friedman finally noticed that Israel believes it can do these sorts of things, which they have been doing for years, with no consequences! Why shouldn't Israel believe this? Friedman seems to think that Israel JUST STARTED SETTING SOME BRAND NEW DOMESTIC POLICIES THIS WEEK? Apparently not, by the way! He just thinks Biden should have written a salty-sailor letter to that effect? Anyway, Friedman's by and large right except for that whole thing about Israel having a right-wing prime minister who could deliver the right (yeah, the same way Chuck Grassley is delivering the right here at home.)

Brooks says everyone gets to pick their own reality. Even he! In his reality, he thinks it's weird that some liberals criticize Obama for not being tough, when -- if viewed solely through the prism of Brooks' narrow interests -- Obama has been tough! Obviously, it's the internet that's keeping us from being as smart as David Brooks, who writes favorably of Obama when the winds are blowing Obama's way, and writes disfavorably of Obama when the opposite is true.

Wow, that is over! That seemed mercifully short. Let me end today on a few notes: 1) Robert Pattinson dies at the end of REMEMBER ME, in the September 11th attacks. Sorry Twi-hards, but it is my duty to ruin that movie, for America. 2) DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, I AM SORRY, SUCKS. I HATE IT. Didn't Obama say he was going to stop this? And finally, 3: If you have some good NCAA tournament picks, please send them my way. I've not been paying attention this season, because of health care.

Anyway, have a great week. Stop telephoning me, I'm dancing!