This will have to be brief: I spent much of the day listening to the health-care summit. Quick, give me an aspirin, although in truth it didn't give me the big headache I expected.
Here's some random thoughts:
1) Perhaps I was surfing low expectations, but I found the summit to be surprisingly interesting and helpful. It actually illuminated the issues.
2) Obama did an excellent job, in terms of his tone, authority and grasp of the material. Those who continue to think Obama is some idiot because he regularly uses a teleprompter - which by the way, every modern president has done - have to reckon with the fact that his off-the-cuff managing of the meeting was quite masterful.
And just to irritate some of your further, he did what George W. Bush, he of the fractured syntax and general cluelessness, could never have done. Not in a hundred years.
3) After all the partisan back-biting, the Republicans deserve credit for their civility. Democrats were civil too, but in a meeting called by Obama, this was a home game for them and they had less temptation to get into it. Altogether, it was a lively conversation that moved beyond the usual boilerplate (Obama was especially good at keeping the clamps on that).
4) If I hear one more time that America has the finest health care system in the world, as I heard from a couple of the Republican speakers today, I will definitely throw up. Sure, it is great if you have insurance like mine but for many people the system it isn't even marginally good.
This outlandish claim of being No. 1 ignores studies that show the United States lagging significantly in a number of areas. Such idle braggadocio serves no purpose except to insulate people from caring or doing something.
5) The Republicans are obsessed with the physical size of the health-care bill - variously described as 2,400 pages or 2,800 pages. The Republican Whip, Rep. Eric Cantor, ostentatiously had it on display on the table in front of him, which Obama made amusing reference to.
Actually, it doesn't matter how many pages it has - it matters what is in them. And in this attorney-ridden nation, we should all be surprised that it isn't bigger, because the drafter of any big piece of legislation has an obligation to dot the i's and cross the t's to the nth degree.