Obama’s press conferences, rare as they are, are going to be even more unbearable in the second term.

It’s not like his rhetorical sleight-of-hand is all that complicated, and at this point, it feels like watching a magician perform very predictable and boring tricks. He insists that whatever he wants at that moment is “sensible” and insists that any cuts, of any program, be they discretionary spending or entitlement programs, fail to represent a “balanced approach” and “balancing the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable.” The spending he wants is always characterized as “investments we need to make.”

He says he’s open to “making modest adjustments to programs like Medicare to protect them for future generations” without going into much detail about what they are; usually they amount to declaring the federal government will pay doctors less and hoping those doctors don’t stop seeing Medicare patients, the way the Mayo Clinic did. Less than a month after getting the income tax increases he started demanding the moment the GOP took over the House of Representatives, he’s at it again, declaring, “we need more revenue, through tax reform, by closing loopholes in our tax code for the wealthiest Americans.” He still complains about “ a multimillionaire investor can pay less in tax rates than a secretary” and “ tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans” as if nothing had changed on January