Liveblogging the President's News Conference

With all the regularity of an eclipse. . .

11:07AM Rove Blackberrying, grinning: "To: CEO@ Diebold. . . Did you get your check yet?"

11:13AM CNN just called Bush "technically a lame duck president." That's right. Only four more years in which to do whatever he wants without having to worry about re-election. Such impotence must be embarrassing.

11:15AM Unusually tardy. Last-minute tailoring to make bulge between shoulder blades less noticeable.

11:18AM "Proving willingness to reach out, including WH press corps." Now, just say you believe in Jesus.

11:19AM On quaaludes? Let's hope: Won't have energy to invade another country.

11:21AM Okay, now we're thinking hungover. Also: Another bad TV tie. Notes correspondent: "That's what happens when you do so few of these."

11:23AM To corps: "I want to thank you all for all your work during the campaign... " All your fruitless, desperate work.

11:25AM Kinda stuck on this one question rule. "Didn't you listen to the rule of the people?" Right, an important check on the freedom of the press. It's the one part of the Constitution he memorized! Oh, wait . . .

11:28AM Hey, you won! Don't be snippy.

11:29AM "Rankled!" "Folly!" Someone got the Shakespearean word-a-day calendar for his birthday....

11:31AM So brilliant: Those who are skeptical about U.S. paternalism in Iraq and Afghanistan actually hate freedom. Wait -- Colin Powell is a terrorist?

11:33AM Well, at least we have permission not to believe in Jesus.

11:35AM President rules presser with an iron fist. No wire hangers! Follow up questions, whatever. "You'll hurt Gregory's feelings." Concern for David Gregory's feelings is actually the Rosetta Stone for entire history of administration. Avoided following through on privatization of Social Security because Gregory had hangnail.

11:37AM Has political capital, will spend it. Ah, well, knowing Bush, he'll blow it all on baseball memorabilia and have nothing left to pay off the deficit.

11:40AM Adorable Mike Allen attempts to thwart one-question rule with disclaimer to his query on churn, "and as part of the same question..." Bush speaks sensitively about White House "burnout."

11:44AM Doesn't like it when people come into Oval Office, "get overwhelmed by atmosphere and say, 'Man, you're lookin' pretty.'" Yes, I can see how that would make him uncomfortable. No wonder all the concern with gay marriage.

11:48AM OMG OMG!!! REAL NEWS AT A PRESS CONFERENCE. Arafat dead. Bush: First reaction: "God bless his soul." Second reaction: Dances a little jig.

11:49AM Crawl says Arafat NOT DEAD. Soul NOT BLESSED.

11:50AM "....get people to buy things... save.... ownership.... I'm sort of losing interest in this question can I go now?"

11:53AM Who let the skirt in!?!?! She was just supposed to dust and tidy things up.

11:55AM "Sometimes I mangle the English.' Laughter. "Very inside." Yes, the nation has been kept in the dark about the President's less than eloquent speech. Like with JFK and the hookers.

11:58AM Oh, yes! Not just the legislative, executive, and judicial branches but also a line-item veto: "I will never have to speak to a Democrat ever again."

12:00PM "Who's going to be here for a second term? Raise your hands." Rove taking notes, writing names in blood on a pentagram-emblazoned piece of parchment....


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