The Blog

The Presser, Synopsized

10:00 PM, Apr 29, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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First, the earth moved briefly when the words "Bush administration" and "good job" came out of Barack Obama's mouth in the same sentence. Apparently he's finally inherited something he likes-stockpiles of Tamiflu and the infrastructure to deal with a pandemic.

From now on, we're calling this sucker H1N1 flu, not only because it totally rolls of the tongue, but because calling it "swine flu" is "not fair to Missouri's hog farmers," according to Sen. Claire McCaskill.

The NYT turned into a beauty pageant judge. "What enchants you?"

Obama obfuscated for 5 minutes before answering Jake Tapper's question, but eventually and mercifully used just seven words to wrap things up: "I do believe that it is torture." He also asserted that vital information for preventing terror attacks could have been gleaned from hard-boiled mass murderers through other means, the guidebooks for which are hidden in the sugarplum grove at the foot of the gumdrop tree in the Mythical Forest of Prosperity from which Obama's domestic plans come. Convenient!

Speaking of terror attacks and simulations thereof, the president declined to take his $21.5 million worth of prime-time TV coverage to say, "Hey, sorry for using Air Force One to re-create 9/11. Mix-up at the office." No reporter in the room availed himself of the opportunity to ask Obama about the $329,000 terror attack run-through, surely figuring that it was totally worth it for the "investment" in lowering future health care costs by making New Yorkers sprint through the streets in gut-wrenching panic.

Luckily, now that he's president, momentary upticks in violence in Iraq don't mean that the U.S. should run for the hills or that the nascent political system is on the verge of utter collapse.

"Civilian deaths, incidents of bombings … remain very low relative to what was going on last year," Obama said during a prime-time news conference on his 100th day in office. "You having seen the kinds of spikes that you were seeing for a time. The political system is holding and functioning in Iraq."

Obama is full steam ahead on immigration reform, and Johnny Mac is gonna be his First Mate! Coming by the end of 2009, he claims. He did concede that he and Napolitano have a duty to make the American people sure that border security can happen before delving into a guest-worker or amnesty plan, lest the voting public not believe in their promises. I'll give him credit for saying that. It would have been easier to call everyone with an issue "racist." Presumably, that's Plan B, after he reverses on border security....

...just the way he reversed on the Freedom of Choice Act, of which he said on the campaign trail: "First thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act." Sorry, Planned Parenthood!

U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday his position on abortion rights has been consistent but the Freedom of Choice Act is not among his top priorities.

See? Consistent!

Speaking of border security, Obama didn't entirely close the door to closing the border with Mexico to prevent swine H1N1 flu spread, but said he's "consulting daily and sometimes hourly with public health officials who recommended against it." He added:

"From their perspective it would be akin to closing the barn door after the horses are out. We already have cases in the United States."

To which I say, OMG did Barack Obama just call immigrants horses? How insensitive!