Patterico's Pontifications

3/18/2010

“Deem and Pass”: Will the Courts Allow an Unconstitutional Action to Stand?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:37 am

Via Instapundit, Jonathan Adler has an interesting post addressing the legal aspects of “deem and pass,” the unconstitutional sleight of hand whereby the House of Representatives would claim it voted on the health care bill when it really didn’t. Stripped to its essence, Adler’s take is that the technique is unconstitutional — but that the courts may be unwilling to say so.

As Adler notes, scholars such as Michael McConnell and Jack Balkin agree that the technique is unconstitutional if it is used in such a way as to remove the House’s political responsibility for the bill. That is of course precisely what they intend; Nancy Pelosi admitted this when she said: “I like it, because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.”

But, Adler adds:

But even if “deem and pass” is unconstitutional, that does not mean federal courts would so rule. Another set of court precedents suggests that the question whether a bill in fact passed either House in accordance with that House’s rules is not justiciable. As I noted in this post concerning legal challenges to the Deficit Control Act of 2005, the 1892 decision of Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark would seem to foreclose such a challenge. In that case, the Supreme Court held that “the judiciary must treat the attestations of ‘the two houses, through their presiding officers’ as ‘conclusive evidence that a bill was passed by Congress.’” Pursuant to this decision, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously rejected a constitutional challenge to the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act. (A challenge, interestingly enough supported by Reps. Pelosi and Slaughter, among others, and opposed by the Bush Administration.) This decision, and the Field v. Clark precedent would seem to create a problem for those who would like to challenge the constitutionality of any health care bill enacted through resort to the “Slaughter Solution.” Of course, just because Congress could get away with it, does not mean it’s constitutional.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision referred to by Adler had to do with a typo, described in the opinion as a “clerk’s error with respect to one term.” This is different from taking the presiding officer’s word that the bill was voted on, when the world can see that it was not. I understand the principle discussed in the case is rooted in the idea of judicial deference to the legislature. But that principle is rather comical in a world where courts routinely question the legislature’s motives in passing bills — certainly a much tougher undertaking than simply looking at two bills to see if they are the same.

In any event, as Adler notes, just because a court may be unwilling to undo a clear constitutional violation doesn’t mean we should not be outraged by it. Members of Congress take an oath to uphold the Constititution, not just to do whatever the courts will let them get away with. If “deem and pass” is used, it should be opposed on every front, and not just in the courts.

165 Responses to ““Deem and Pass”: Will the Courts Allow an Unconstitutional Action to Stand?”

  1. Does this fall under “high crimes and misdemeanors” for grounds for impeachment?

    Thomas (a3c869)

  2. [...] abortion legislation Half-Baked Sourdough: Practicing To Do Evil Patterico’s Pontifications: “Deem and Pass”: Will the Courts Allow an Unconstitutional Action to Stand? and Losing the House Over Health Care and Pelosi: I Like This Unconstitutional Sleight of Hand for [...]

    Bret Baier Summarizes POTUS Interview… Prez Doesn’t Care About “Process” — OK to “Deem and Pass” Health Care Bill (video) « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  3. This illustrates the importance of insisting on Constitutionality even when it’s inconvenient for “your side.”

    And…(sigh)….I hate to re-open a can of worms, Pat, but this is what annoyed me so much about the dismissal of the “birther” suits.

    All the unprovable conspiracies, phony “real” documents, and opportunistic dentist/realtor/lawyers aside, the fact remains that there exists no legal mechanism to enforce the Constitution’s requirement of eligibility. The Donofrio suit proved that in 2008, an obviously ineligible foreign national (Roger Calero) made the ballot in several states, and Obama’s lawyers were apparently given the mission to keep things that way. But all attempts to prevent another Calero (or worse) from occurring in 2012 through new legislation were hooted and hollered at by the legacy media as harassing Obama (even though he has always insisted he meets the requirement), and there was nobody there from the right to help because they feared being wrapped in a straitjacket along with some of the nuttier ones.

    L.N. Smithee (eb3307)

  4. This is seriously setting my outrage meter to 11. I thought the whole point of the Senate reconciliation gambit was the sanctity of an up or down vote.

    Well, I guess its on to Plan F to stop this monstrosity: call a point of order for each and every amendment to the Senate bill needed to pass the House bill. If just one point of order gets upheld, the Senate and the House bill will not be identical and the House will actually have to pass this monstrosity. Like, an actual up or down vote.

    Sean P (334463)

  5. If this bill is passed using an unconstitutional sleight-of-hand and the courts refuse to review the law, it should be able to be repealed by the same means. If the courts review the repeal, then that is precedent to force them to review passage. If they do not review the repeal, then it is repealed.

    Mark L (dffa7e)

  6. I tend to agree with Adler in that I doubt that the Courts will get involved in this political dispute. Having said that, it in no way makes what they are trying to do anything less than noxious. There was some Schoolhouse Rock show that these clowns should watch.

    JD (c13155)

  7. Maybe this post will clarify things for it’s-a-mentally-deficient-warbler & Myopic. Yeah, they might get away with it, and Yeah, they might even cite a leagal “precedent” in justifying their action.

    But the action would still be wrong, and would still be unconstitutional.

    Icy Texan (89b4d9)

  8. The Constitution is all about procedure. Remove that, and America is reduced to a common two-bit tin pot run ‘democracy’ — Like Saddam’s Iraq was, or Chavez’s Venezuela.

    Procedure is all we have, a nation of laws.

    bill-tb (541ea9)

  9. What this means is that individual members of congress are irrelevant. The presiding officers of the House and Senate can sign any legislation regardless of who does or does not vote on it. This can not be challenged by the courts.

    That may not be according to our precious constitution, but it is in fact how our government functions.

    The Speaker can act like a Prime Minister with no check whatsoever other than the leadership of the Senate.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  10. [...] Conservative: They are about to find out how stupid we really are Patterico’s Pontifications: “Deem and Pass”: Will the Courts Allow an Unconstitutional Action to Stand? and Losing the House Over Health Care and Pelosi: I Like This Unconstitutional Sleight of Hand for [...]

    Negative 20… Obama’s Prez Approval Index Still Terrible & Wolverines’ “One-Term President OTP” Music Video « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  11. Does this fall under “high crimes and misdemeanors” for grounds for impeachment?

    Huh? Following the law? Probably not!

    Frankly, I think “deem and pass” has become your side’s latest public option. You’re missing the forest due to an obsession over a single tree in it.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  12. The notion that people won’t be taking political responsibility for their votes on this is rather ridiculous. Though it is amusing to see opponents advance this at the same time they advance the idea that… democrats will pay a political price for their vote.

    imdw (8222e7)

  13. imdw: Agreed. (comment 12)

    Myron (6a93dd)

  14. Um. Read the actual report. Check out the way that the money is timed. And the total costs.

    I also have a deal for you. I’ll save you 10,000 dollars on your million dollar mortgage that you can’t afford. Sound good? But 10K is good money, right?

    Rubes. But then, I expect that kind of thinking from Pelosi supporters.

    Eric Blair (2fc1ba)

  15. rope. tree. politician.

    some assembly required.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  16. “CBO: Health bill would cut $138 billion from deficit in 10 years”

    The deficit effect in the second decade just about negates the deficit that the GOP gave us with Medicare part D. Though not exactly right? That effect was for the 10 years of when part D started.

    “rope. tree. politician.

    some assembly required.”

    No names huh?

    imdw (de7003)

  17. Tossing the BS flag on the CBO report.

    smoke and mirrors for the crooks to use on the rubes….

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  18. One possibility these too-clever-by-half people have not considered is a near-revolution.

    What if the right wing commentariat (Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly, Beck, etc.) all urged their followers to show up on the Mall at a specific time and date to object to the passage of this bill?.

    Picture two or three million outraged citizens demanding reversal of the law.

    Even the NY Times would have to notice.

    James (ba379a)

  19. Re: #11
    That “single tree” is the lack of representation by members of the House Of REPRESENTATIVES within the framework of representative government. That tree is a giant redwood, from which a million copies of the COTUS could be printed.

    That tree is a roadblock to freedom & democracy.

    Icy Texan (89b4d9)

  20. “You’re missing the forest due to an obsession over a single tree in it.”

    Unfortunately, this is probably all too true. But probably not for the reason you think. HCR and the ruckus around it is a symptom of the problem: who is in control? It’s not Dems vs Reps, it is Government vs governed.

    It’s amusing how the President (and others for this reform) will trot out this example and that to highlight problems. “Do you want little Jimmy kicked out of his house because health insurance bankrupted his mommy?” (said ala Sally Struthers) As if that is the norm in today’s world instead of the exception.

    Do you want the Government to decide what procedure is best for you given your health ailment? Based on your age? Based on what you contribute to society? Based on who you know, or don’t know? The current reform may not address those questions; not explicitly at least. But how far are you willing to have someone else, or some other group, decide what is best for you and your family?

    I, for one, would rather the onus be more on me than on you or the Feds. And I think most people agree. So the question becomes how far will one go to protect their right to choose?

    Corwin (ea9428)

  21. So let me get this straight. If one branch of government says something is legit, but it’s still technically unconstitutional, the judicial branch will not intervene? Isn’t this precisely why they exist to begin with? If the legislative branch gets to define the legitimacy of it’s process, what the hell do we need a Constitution for to begin with? The House and Senate can simply vote on a process every 2 years and the judiciary can be dismantled.

    The court showed some balls with Heller. I beg them to at least hear this.

    East Coast Chris (ded5f2)

  22. Myron – GIGO on that BS CBO report.

    JD (a1858f)

  23. Actually, I think the reason the Court is unwilling to delve into the procedure is that whether something actually followed House Rules is often hard-to-impossible to determine.

    That does not say that they will never question how something was done. If it was an affront to the Constitution or just egregious (say, armed House police preventing certain members from voting), they would act decisively.

    Is this particular “deem and pass” a problem? I don’t know. There is a BIG difference between using a Special Order to say “pass this amendment and the underlying bill is also passed” and doing the same with a Reconciliation bill which is MOST EMPHATICALLY not an amendment, but a bill that must be separate and follow the main bill’s passage in time.

    The Slaughter Solution is legislative time travel, and like all time travel has troubling paradoxes.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  24. [...] Conservative: They are about to find out how stupid we really are Patterico’s Pontifications: “Deem and Pass”: Will the Courts Allow an Unconstitutional Action to Stand? and Losing the House Over Health Care and Pelosi: I Like This Unconstitutional Sleight of Hand for [...]

    Trouble in Nancy’s Kingdom: Pelosi’s Floor Whip Rep. Stephen Lynch Won’t Condone “Deem and Pass” Nor Vote for ObamaCare « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  25. If the respect for Constitutional history and proceedure can’t stop this travesty, perhaps Rule 7.62 can?

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  26. Do you want the Government to decide what procedure is best for you given your health ailment?

    Corwin: Insurance companies decide now. They have a for-profit motive in denying coverage. I don’t see that as better. Why do you think the Dems have such an easy time finding horror stories?

    Incidentally, private insurers will still be providers of health care insurance with this bill. So you’re raising something of a phantom argument.

    As for people calling the nonpartisan CBO’s report “b.s.”, I’ve noticed in sports it’s always the team behind that complains about the referee.

    Speaking of the referee, I neglected to mention the CBO report said the deficit would be reduced by $1.2 trillion (with a “T”) in next set of 10 years.

    Myron (a79d53)

  27. Speaking of the referee, I neglected to mention the CBO report said the deficit would be reduced by $1.2 trillion (with a “T”) in next set of 10 years.

    which is how we know it’s BS. you can’t spend more money than before and yet be spending less.

    HTH.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  28. red: Take it up with the CBO. (I don’t have their email/phone number available.) But Congresspeople on both sides uses their numbers.

    Myron (a79d53)

  29. The CBO report is indeed BS, because of the bizarre assumptions that the Democrats created for the CBO. That’s not complaining about the referee ( a stupid analogy because the CBO is not non-partisan but works to its bosses instructions ) it is complaining about rigged rules.

    As noted here, the way that the Democrats pushed off the beginning of the legislation, they claim less than a trillion in costs to the Federal budget over ten years only by only counting five years. The real costs will be in the trillions.

    Pure fraud.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. What a good time for Obama to pick a fight with John Roberts. And using Squire Gibbs as his proxy at that.

    skwiself (b69230)

  31. SPQR: Same response. Take it up with the CBO. Good luck.

    Myron (a79d53)

  32. Corwin: Insurance companies decide now. They have a for-profit motive in denying coverage.

    Insurance companies also have a for-profit motive in making sure their customers are satisfied. If enough people are dissatisfied, the insurance company loses customers and profits.

    Government has no such motivation. No clerk or bureaucrat will lose his job over a dissatisfied voter, and with re-election rates at about 98% for Congressmen, very few legislators will lose theirs.

    A thought: suppose the Republicans take over both houses of Congress and vote to repeal this mess. Then suppose Obama vetoes that measure. Further, suppose the Republican Congress deems the veto to have been overridden. Do you think the Dems would sit still for that?

    Some chump (050674)

  33. “Myron – GIGO on that BS CBO report.”

    How come CBO estimates were so bad for things done during the GOP congress. Did they just not care?

    imdw (b40b74)

  34. Myron, that’s not a response – that’s an admission that the CBO is not a “referee” but a participant in the fraud.

    It does not surprise me that you endorse lying to the American public, Myron, it is of a kind of your character.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  35. SPQR: You should also tell members of Congress that the CBO is a partisan group, b/c some of them — the vast majority of them — seem to think otherwise.

    Myron (a79d53)

  36. “If the respect for Constitutional history and proceedure can’t stop this travesty, perhaps Rule 7.62 can?”

    See red, you can find an accomplice on a right wing blog!

    “Insurance companies also have a for-profit motive in making sure their customers are satisfied. If enough people are dissatisfied, the insurance company loses customers and profits.”

    The insurance company is probably very happy to lose as costumers those who use more coverage than they want to give.

    imdw (b40b74)

  37. SPQR: Same response. Take it up with the CBO. Good luck.

    Elmendorf didn’t sign off any of the Dem’s claims, dumbass, and he never has. Take him up on it, and stop asking others to be your monkey and do your own damn work for once in your life.

    Dmac (ca1d8c)

  38. Not to mention that noted Klansman Byrd has pronounced the Slaughter Rule to be wholly unethical and immoral, but don’t let that stop your bloviations.

    Dmac (ca1d8c)

  39. Dmac: You’re my monkey.

    Myron (a79d53)

  40. Dmac: Not bloviating on the Slaughter rule. Read my comments, chuckles.

    Myron (a79d53)

  41. Here’s Moron’s link to a story that blows up in his face – but don’t worry, he’s already “read” the CBO report:

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11355/hr4872.pdf

    Partisan hack.

    Dmac: You’re my monkey.

    You’re actually imadouchebag’s monkey, so let us know after you’ve both enjoyed your passionate night of hot, dissident monkey love.

    Dmac (ca1d8c)

  42. SPQR, red and to whomever else it may apply: I understand some of you don’t like the CBO numbers b/c they undermine a Talking Point, i.e. that the bill will bust the budget.

    But if you’re asking me — or anyone — to accept that your view on the numbers — which you haven’t crunched — should be believed over Congress’ official budget-crunching body, I’m sorry, you’re fighting another losing battle. Call or write the CBO with your complaints.

    And just to correct: Dmac, you’re not my monkey, you’re my bicycle.

    Good afternoon.

    Myron (a79d53)

  43. so much for the CBO report the usual suspects are braying about:

    “Although CBO completed a preliminary review of legislative language prior to its release, the agency has not thoroughly examined the reconciliation proposal to verify its consistency with the previous draft. This estimate is therefore preliminary, pending a review of the language of the reconciliation proposal, as well as further review and refinement of the budgetary projections.” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.1)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  44. Myron, your comments are ridiculous parodies of your usual ridiculous comments. The head of the CBO was appointed by Byrd and Pelosi and you claim that the org is “non-partisan”.

    The CBO numbers themselves are based on brazen lies, things like assuming that the Medicare “docfix” won’t be adopted again in the future ( $250 billion right there ), and other fraudulent assumptions that Congress imposes on the CBO. Its estimates have, because of shenanigans like that, never been accurate historically.

    Your smugness about the CBO estimates only reinforce that you are happy to lie to the American public.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. As is his usual MO, Muron completely ignores Elmendorf’s defenestration of the Dem’s claims and goes right on defecating out of his blowhole. Why am I not surprised?

    Dmac (ca1d8c)

  46. I’ve read that the CBO estimate isn’t final–that it’s preliminary and the final report is due out tomorrow or the next day–does anyone know if this is figure is the final word from CBO or not?

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  47. How come CBO estimates were so bad for things done during the GOP congress. Did they just not care?

    Comment by imdw — 3/18/2010 @ 8:49 am

    I don’t seem to remember Newt Gingrich vowing that he would be skydiving and pole-vaulting to get a bill passed that a majority of Americans said loudly and clearly they didn’t want.

    Re the CBO: We’ve seen Pelosi and Reid take their own party’s dissenters taken behind closed doors for slimy deals, and we’ve seen them do it on the floor of the chambers. We witnessed yesterday Dennis Kucinich acting as if he was the victim of the alleged mind-control weapon that he tried to outlaw in 2001. I don’t see any reason to believe that Dems acting like bulls in a china shop (and in the case of Pelosi and Slaughter, cows) are treading lightly and respecting the non-partisan reputation of the CBO.

    Remember how Obama brought CBO head honcho Douglas Elmendorf the to the Oval Office in an unprecedented meeting last year when he didn’t get numbers he hoped for? Maybe he hasn’t co-opted Elmendorf, but based on the past year, what reason do we have to believe that he wouldn’t dig for details on how the system might be gamed a la “Mike’s Nature trick”?

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  48. [...] is right on about Fred’s take on all of this.  Quite simple and honest read.  Will this unconstitutional action stand? Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Idaho first to sign law aimed at health care [...]

    Idaho Governor Pens Law Requiring AG To Sue Federal Government « Mcnorman's Weblog (15b8a9)

  49. re the CBO numbers, i’m reminded of the old joke about the Mafia don looking for a new bookkeeper:
    every candidate was asked one question, “what is 2+2?”, and each failed when they answered “4″, until the successful applicant closed the room door, pulled the drapes closed, disconnected the phone, and holding a bug jammer, asked the boss “what do you want it to be?”

    the CBO is no different, which is why the numbers have taken so long to produce, and even then they are “flexible”. you can’t polish a turd.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  50. Comment by Some chump — 3/18/2010 @ 8:48 am

    A more practical exercise:
    The new GOP led Congress repeals, Obowman veto’s, Congress fails to override, but strips all funding out of the various appropriations bills …
    The President can’t spend what the Congress declines to appropriate.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  51. “the CBO is no different, which is why the numbers have taken so long to produce,”

    They also brought in trumka and made him eat it on the “cadillac” tax. I’m not sure the CBO is the victim of pressure in this parable though.

    imdw (b40b74)

  52. A more practical exercise:
    The new GOP led Congress repeals, Obowman veto’s, Congress fails to override, but strips all funding out of the various appropriations bills …
    The President can’t spend what the Congress declines to appropriate.

    You’ve completely dodged the point to my hypothetical. Thanks for playing.

    Some chump (050674)

  53. “…They also brought in trumka and made him eat it on the “cadillac” tax…”

    And the transcript of that meeting is posted where?

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  54. You’ve completely dodged the point to my hypothetical. Thanks for playing.

    I let the Left engage in un-non-extra-Constitutional BS (it’s so easy to catch them out on their little games).

    What I propose is something that a Congress can actually do and not run rough-shod over the Constitution and the Liberties and Freedoms of the American People.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  55. Corwin: Insurance companies decide now. They have a for-profit motive in denying coverage. I don’t see that as better. Why do you think the Dems have such an easy time finding horror stories? – Myron

    It would better for them to lose money and go out of business? Great idea! Then the government is run a deficit on covering that too.

    The insurance company is probably very happy to lose as costumers those who use more coverage than they want to give. imdw

    Exactly. That’s how a business operates. Geez. What? Should they provide something that costs them more than they get in payment?

    What both of you fail to understand is that the costs for insurance companies have risen due, mainly, to legislation and better drugs/treatment/procedures. Of course costs have gone up.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  56. Insurance companies decide now. They have a for-profit motive in denying coverage. I don’t see that as better. Why do you think the Dems have such an easy time finding horror stories?

    This is the standard liberal airhead line. The celebrated denials of coverage were for preexisting conditions, which the policies exclude. Denying coverage for something that happened before the policy went into effect is a perfectly normal thing in insurance. It’s there in writing in the policy. They can’t just arbitrarily deny coverage as they see fit.

    You could make them cover preexisting conditions, which is what the “reform” bills do, but then it will raise the cost of insurance. This is just one reason people who believe Obama’s claims that premiums will decline are mentally defective.

    Gerald A (138c50)

  57. If Democrats have such an easy time finding horror stories, why have so many of their “stories” turned out to be false or exaggerated?

    Typical of Myron’s nonsense.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  58. “Feelings”, not “Facts”!

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  59. “They can’t just arbitrarily deny coverage as they see fit. ”

    No but they can scan for some arbitrary discrepancy to kick out consumers they don’t want. But lo and behold — consumers can just go elsewhere and thus the market works.

    imdw (c5488f)

  60. “Does this fall under “high crimes and misdemeanors” for grounds for impeachment?”

    So, I guess the answer to my question is yes.

    Next question; is it only applicable to Nancy Pelosi, or does it extend further?

    Thomas (b7fe33)

  61. Okay, we can resolve this entire mess with one simple caveat.

    If those representatives who actually believe the CBO estimate that passing the health care measure will result in a trillion dollars in savings, let them vote for the measure on the condition that they will be personally responsible for any actual shortfall.

    Passing Obamacare will certainly bankrupt the country, but those who vote “yes” would go to the poor house first.

    navyvet (e4db05)

  62. “But lo and behold — consumers can just go elsewhere and thus the market works.” – imdw

    Truer words cannot be written. I know you mean that sarcastically – but that is how it would work if the market was free. Of course, it is not. The Feds and States have seen to that. And that is exactly where real reform should focus – not adding more layers of bureaucrats; removing layers. The fight has been moved further and further from whence it started. You might enjoy having others make decisions for you, I do not.

    You can prattle on all you’d like about how the big, bad businesses have bullied their workers and @#$% on their customers. Some, and I mean very little, control is required to ensure the rights of men. Our Congress has written very few pieces of legislation that work as intended and don’t trample on two rights for every one they try to protect.

    You want more gov’t because you are either too lazy to think and provide for yourself and family, or too lazy to educate yourself and family on how to be less reliant on government.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  63. Thomas – House members and Senators can not be impeached – or recalled by their constituients. Impeachment only covers elected Executive posts (President and vice) and federal judges.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  64. “Truer words cannot be written. I know you mean that sarcastically – but that is how it would work if the market was free.”

    You’re not getting it, are you? These consumers going elsewhere is what the insurance company is trying to achieve!

    “So, I guess the answer to my question is yes.”

    Why would you guess this?

    imdw (b0502c)

  65. So, now the insurance companies have as policy, the intent to chase away their customers, and thereby reduce their revenues to zero, which would put them out of business?
    I guess now would be a good time to embark on a long-term shorting of stock in insurance companies that offer health-care coverage, since they will eventually be bankrupt, and the stock worthless.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  66. I just love it when partisan trolls natter on about other people’s talking points…given their own reliance on exactly the same wishful thinking they claim to abhore.

    Best part: trust a government report. Why, I can think of plenty of times these specific TLEs didn’t trust government reports.

    It all depends on whether or not they like what the report says, apparently.

    And if Republicans do that, what about the supporters of the..what was it again?..most open, honest, and ethical Congress in history? I thought you folks were better.

    Instead of being the partisan hacks you are.

    By all means, use an argument from authority. I seem to remember a lot of Republicans doing that, and being criticized for being stooges.

    Eric Blair (2fc1ba)

  67. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll129.xml

    “A ‘yes’ vote [...] is a vote to authorize Speaker Pelosi to use the Slaughter Solution to ram ObamaCare through the House without an up-or-down vote. A ‘no’ vote on the PQ is a vote against the Slaughter Solution. ”

    So the Slaughter Rule survives, which is simply abhorrent.

    Anyone know a reason why Westmoreland, Hoekstra, and Hastings didn’t vote? Just not keeping up with them lately.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  68. “So, now the insurance companies have as policy, the intent to chase away their customers, and thereby reduce their revenues to zero, which would put them out of business?”

    There are certain people the insurance companies would rather not insure — as evidenced by them trying to find ways to cut these people off. Saying these people can just go elsewhere for insurance kind of misses the point. These people going elsewhere is what the company wants. Thus this doesn’t give insurance companies incentives to behave better.

    I’m not sure why this is such a problem for you.

    imdw (842182)

  69. “You’re not getting it, are you? These consumers going elsewhere is what the insurance company is trying to achieve!” – imdw

    Yes. Great. That is exactly how it is supposed to work!!! (see, I can use exclamation points too) And when the insipid, tedious, @#$%y rules and regulations that Gov’t imposes are lifted, and businesses can offer nearly infinite policy types, there will be policies that offer what any given individual desires. And the costs for the vast majority will drop. That is how the market system works. With such cost drops, systems like Medicare and Medicade would be the answer for the very few (relatively speaking) who aren’t otherwise covered.

    As it is now, they are trying to create a system where more people will rely on the Gov’t for assistance. Health Care is being trumpeted as a right (entitlement) instead of a privilege (like owning a home, buying the food you want, deciding to work two or three jobs so I can afford a better car).

    Get off the gov’t crack, it’s leading you down the wrong path.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  70. [...] Conservative: They are about to find out how stupid we really are Patterico’s Pontifications: “Deem and Pass”: Will the Courts Allow an Unconstitutional Action to Stand? and Losing the House Over Health Care and Pelosi: I Like This Unconstitutional Sleight of Hand for [...]

    “DemonPass Lambs-to-the-Slaughter” Bill Passed, 222 – 203… Call Congress Today « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  71. “The notion that people won’t be taking political responsibility for their votes on this is rather ridiculous. Though it is amusing to see opponents advance this at the same time they advance the idea that… democrats will pay a political price for their vote.

    Comment by imdw — 3/18/2010 @ 7:53 am”

    Huh? It’s precisely because they face a political price for supporting the toxic Senate bill that they seek to avoid political responsibility for that bill, by arguing that they didn’t actually vote for the bill.

    Patterico (1bb11a)

  72. Sen. Coburn (R-OK) Throws Down the Gauntlet to Bought-Off House “No” Votes
    He’s going to hold up any nomination to a federal position for Democrats who lose after switching, or who get appropriations for their districts to buy their votes. “If you think you can cut a deal now and it not come out ’til after the election, I want to tell you that isn’t going to happen.”
    – Reported by Rush

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  73. Good luck, Patterico, on playing logical Twister with imdw. I think that the “i” stands for “invertebrate,” the way he twists himself up to Defend the D.

    Eric Blair (2fc1ba)

  74. Ah, Patterico, welcome to imdw-speak.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  75. Looks like the Dems don’t want an up or down vote on the Senate bill

    Democrats shot down a Republican effort to force an up-or-down vote on the Senate healthcare bill on Thursday afternoon.
    In a 222-203 vote, Democrats beat back a GOP resolution offered by Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Parker Griffith (Ala.) that would have forced lawmakers to vote on the Senate healthcare bill separately from the series of fixes they hope to make to that legislation.

    Some chump (050674)

  76. Have Blue, I am not sure it is limited to the executive, though I am surely not an expert. I copied this from Wiki “During the impeachment trial of Senator Blount, it was argued that the House of Representatives did not have the power to impeach members of either House of Congress; though the Senate never explicitly ruled on this argument, the House has never again impeached a member of Congress. The Constitution allows either House to expel one of its members by a two-thirds vote, which the Senate had done to Blount on the same day the House impeached him (but before the Senate heard the case).” Leaving it unclear, but probably as you say. Still I would rather her impeached than expelled.

    Thomas (b5d255)

  77. “Huh? It’s precisely because they face a political price for supporting the toxic Senate bill that they seek to avoid political responsibility for that bill, by arguing that they didn’t actually vote for the bill.”

    I think they will be clearly held politically responsible for the results of their vote, be it the senate bill or the reconciliation bill. You’ll be holding them responsible, so will I.

    imdw (8f8ead)

  78. Thomas – She has already been impeached, by her own words and actions.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  79. Thomas – I, personally, would rather see them (including Madma Speaker) out of power before they can do any more damage … I learned a long time ago that sometimes revenge/vengeance is best left aside, lest the victory become pyrrhic … “The operation was a success but the patient died.” isn’t something that works for me …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  80. “Saying these people can just go elsewhere for insurance kind of misses the point. These people going elsewhere is what the company wants. Thus this doesn’t give insurance companies incentives to behave better.” – imdw

    ZOMG – That’s why this bill is just a massive bailout for the insurance industry. It forces them to covers millions of customers they otherwise did not want to cover, forces them to write business to a minimum loss ratio, and to offer a very limited menu of products selected by Washington bureaucrats. It just doesn’t get any better than that for insurance companies.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  81. Does “imdw” really stand for “Insurance Mandated Death Wish”?

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  82. imdw – if you and your party were holding her responsible, she would have stopped being Speaker at the end of the last Congress, as a result of the two Federal Budgets for which *she* and her party are responsible …

    If you *start* holding her responsible, then she will no longer be Speaker after *this* Congress, as a result of the FOUR Federal Budgets (and the resultant economic conditions) for which she and her party will be responsible …

    Or will you be continuing (as seems more likely) to be blaming Bush for both the Federal Budgets in the 111th Congress ?

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  83. Why not?
    They continued to blame Hoover for everything that went wrong for over twenty years.

    Remember, being a Leftist means never having to admit to being wrong.
    It is always the fault of someone else, or that not enough money was spent, or that the wrong person was in charge….

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  84. Corwin: Insurance companies decide now. They have a for-profit motive in denying coverage. I don’t see that as better. Why do you think the Dems have such an easy time finding horror stories?

    All insurance companies check claims to determine validity. It is no different when health insurance companies do it than when auto insurance companies do it.

    The celebrated denials of coverage were for preexisting conditions, which the policies exclude.

    because, as well all know, no other type of insurance denies coverage for pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing death does not preclude people from getting life insurance, right?

    No but they can scan for some arbitrary discrepancy to kick out consumers they don’t want.

    And auto, life, and fire insurance companies never do this, right?

    There is a time limit with which to find these discrepancies, called the contestability period. Beyond the contestability period, there can be no exclusions based upon discrepancies.

    There are certain people the insurance companies would rather not insure — as evidenced by them trying to find ways to cut these people off.

    Would auto insurance companies want to insure people with multiple drunk-driving convictions?

    Michael Ejercito (526413)

  85. By their postings here, Moron and imadickwad and others would be precluded from buying any health-care policy that includes mental health care, since they are obviously delusional, among other problems.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  86. “ZOMG – That’s why this bill is just a massive bailout for the insurance industry.”

    Yeah I never quite got the people that think this is an insurance industry bailout.

    “Or will you be continuing (as seems more likely) to be blaming Bush for both the Federal Budgets in the 111th Congress ?”

    If it turns out that it passes, I will gladly say that it is because of democrats and maybe joseph cao that we have health reform. I will hold no other republican responsible for passing health care.

    “They continued to blame Hoover for everything
    that went wrong for over twenty years.”

    Well we let carter off the hook. So I guess we can let hoover off too.

    imdw (b40b74)

  87. They don’t have the votes, so they need to employ sleight of hand and trickery to pass something they don’t even fully understand. They lack courage and confidence that the majority of Americans support this expansion of government power, so they won’t submit it to an up or down vote.

    Up is down, down is up and the Red Queen will lose her head come November.

    GeneralMalaise (f0137a)

  88. “They lack courage and confidence that the majority of Americans support this expansion of government power, so they won’t submit it to an up or down vote. ”

    Amazing how quickly the world turns. Not too long ago, the filibuster was king. Now it is an “up or down vote.”

    My guess is we’ll have both.

    imdw (603c39)

  89. “Yeah I never quite got the people that think this is an insurance industry bailout.”

    imdw – Ask Myron since you two get along so well. It’s a liberal talking point.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  90. “Well we let carter off the hook.”

    No we haven’t. We’re still paying the price for his mistakes.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  91. Heh. That just means we’re still on the hook.

    Alan (07ccb5)

  92. “No we haven’t. We’re still paying the price for his mistakes.”

    Well at least we can still blame *someone*

    “imdw – Ask Myron since you two get along so well. It’s a liberal talking point.”

    Hey accuse me of bucking the talking points. I don’t mind: I think people who say that are wrong.

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    imdw (d867f1)

  93. I think they will be clearly held politically responsible for the results of their vote, be it the senate bill or the reconciliation bill. You’ll be holding them responsible, so will I.

    But the whole point of this gambit is for them to attempt to avoid that responsibility by claiming that they didn’t really vote for the Senate bill. But the Constitution forces them to vote the same bill precisely to force them to accept that political responsibility that they are trying to avoid.

    You seem to understand this not at all. You profess to see irony in the fact that Republicans claim Democrats will suffer politically for voting for the Senate bill (which they most certainly will) and at the same time Republicans claim that Democrats are trying to avoid that responsibility (which they most certainly are):

    The notion that people won’t be taking political responsibility for their votes on this is rather ridiculous. Though it is amusing to see opponents advance this at the same time they advance the idea that… democrats will pay a political price for their vote.

    Your comment indicates to me that you don’t even understand the argument. They’re certain to pay the price; they see that; so they’re trying to avoid paying the price with an unconstitutional maneuver. There’s nothing “amusing” about it at all.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  94. Patterico, imdw understands the argument. He just pretends not to, in order to post non sequiturs in response.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  95. Note that most of the reason we are seeing these shenanigans is that the Democrats are trying to get around the consequences of losing an election.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  96. imdw:

    Amazing how quickly the world turns. Not too long ago, the filibuster was king. Now it is an “up or down vote.”

    My guess is we’ll have both.

    Personally, I’ve always liked the filibuster. It serves a good purpose, no matter which party controls the Senate. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it has provided great political drama over the years. I would hate to see it go away.

    Up and down votes are good, too.

    Looks as if Cao may be saying no. But it’s early.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  97. All of this drama right now is so the Dems can avoid a filibuster. Interesting how quickly Barcky’s position has evolved on these types of issues.

    JD (24e83b)

  98. “But the whole point of this gambit is for them to attempt to avoid that responsibility by claiming that they didn’t really vote for the Senate bill. ”

    I’ve heard some talk of that. But it’s pretty weak. I think the point is to have one vote to tie this all together — the bill, the reconciliation package, and the student loans. It’s part logrolling to help passage and part also guaranteeing that the two health pieces rise or fall together. But they won’t escape responsibility — positive or negative.

    “They’re certain to pay the price; they see that; so they’re trying to avoid paying the price with an unconstitutional maneuver”

    I think its very clear all of congress will be held responsible for how they vote; they are getting the responsibility for this; they will not escape it; and this manouver does not escape it. Given that we will know who is for or against, there is no way that this can be said to be unconstitutional.

    Maybe you think that avoiding by hiding but failing at hiding is unconstitutional? Is that what you’re trying to argue? Because I don’t think there’s any hiding here. I think it’s quite clear what is going on. And they know it.

    “Looks as if Cao may be saying no. But it’s early.”

    I’ve been counting him as a no. Though today he said some things that if you take at face value, open up some room. Maybe we can’t do that. That was a long shot.

    imdw (79d4a3)

  99. Oops that Cao talk was yesterday — I only read his quote today. Sorry.

    imdw (7769f5)

  100. “Maybe you think that avoiding by hiding but failing at hiding is unconstitutional? Is that what you’re trying to argue? Because I don’t think there’s any hiding here. I think it’s quite clear what is going on. And they know it.

    Another classic imdw troll, Patterico. Pretending not to understand the argument so he can introduce a non sequitur.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  101. #100 is an obvious troll post……

    the real dim wit would never admit being wrong. :-D

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  102. You know the vote must be an absolute lock when Obama starts lobbying Cao at the White House.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  103. Clever people tend to like clever people and are a bit intolerant, otherwise.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  104. imdw – How will the individual votes on the Senate Bill be recorded in the House to satisfy the bicameralism requirements of our constitution?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  105. “imdw – How will the individual votes on the Senate Bill be recorded in the House to satisfy the bicameralism requirements of our constitution?”

    I’m not sure I follow the question. There will be a vote recorded on whether to pass the bill, and if the bill passes, that’s the house passage that bicameralism requires.

    imdw (b40b74)

  106. Just to be clear, how will the House vote, specifically, be recorded?

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  107. imdw – Will there be a yea or nay vote recorded for the Senate Bill by each House member’s name if the House uses the deem and pass procedure?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  108. imdw – I can’t believe you don’t get this, especially since Queen Pelosi highlighted it herself. No vote means no vote. It’s not rocket science.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  109. 50. you can’t polish a turd – Comment by redc1c4

    Actually, I saw an episode on “Myth Busters” where they disproved this. They actually had some kind of meter that gave objective readings of how “shiny” something is. The lower cut-off was 80, and the one fellow made a ball of lion dung that gave a reading of well over 100.

    Unfortunately, this thread is not primarily about humorous and “interesting” things:

    “[I]t is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts…” (Patrick Henry, St. John’s Church 1775.)

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (John Adams, October 11, 1798.)

    “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” — Benjamin Franklin

    Public virtue cannot exist in a Nation without private Virtue, and public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics.” (John Adams, 1775.)

    “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites—… Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there is without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.” (Edmund Burke, A Letter From Mr. Burke To A Member Of The National Assembly, 1791.)

    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free . . . it expects what never was and never will be” (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816.)

    So, the governmant, the media, and a significant percentage of voters have prefered illusions of hope rather than truth, have mocked virtue instead of practicing it, have been unwilling to exercise control over their own passions but have indulged them, and have prefered lies and ignorance over truth.

    “…should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular …, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps, refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union; …, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter. But ambitious encroachments of the federal government… would be signals of general alarm. … Plans of resistance would be concerted..” (James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46.)

    It is very scary to think what the options are if a government of checks and balances refuses to be just that, and the free press chooses to be an accomplice.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  110. “No vote means no vote. It’s not rocket science.”

    And it’s not aerospace engineering either. But yet… people will be voting! And somehow the ‘no vote’ crowd has the doublespeak to be able to (1) rant against people’s votes and (2) say there isn’t a vote!

    “imdw – Will there be a yea or nay vote recorded for the Senate Bill by each House member’s name if the House uses the deem and pass procedure?”

    Haven’t you noticed the whip counting that is going on? Of course they’ll have their votes recorded.

    “Just to be clear, how will the House vote, specifically, be recorded?”

    You mean like, by Yeahs and Nays by name? I’m not sure I know enough about the House to tell you more than this.

    imdw (8f8ead)

  111. Good contribution. Thanks.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  112. “Of course they’ll have their votes recorded.”

    On what?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  113. “And somehow the ‘no vote’ crowd has the doublespeak to be able to (1) rant against people’s votes and (2) say there isn’t a vote!”

    Except for the ranting, does the ‘no vote’ crowd include Nancy Pelosi?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  114. On a rule that is not actually the legislation.

    That’s the part that imdw wants to ignore with snide comments and non sequiturs.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  115. “On what?”

    On whether to pass the legislation. Yes votes pass it. No votes don’t. Hold people accountable as you politically prefer

    “Except for the ranting, does the ‘no vote’ crowd include Nancy Pelosi?”

    I havent’ heard her claim there won’t be a vote. But maybe you guys follow her more than me.

    imdw (7ae49a)

  116. You mean like, by Yeahs and Nays by name? I’m not sure I know enough about the House to tell you more than this.

    Really? I’m aghast.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  117. I think the point is to have one vote to tie this all together — the bill, the reconciliation package, and the student loans

    The point is, that is unconstitutional. Any SINGLE vote that is not merely for the Senate bill does not meet Constitutional requirements. You understand this; all we’re doing here is showing your unwillingness to confront the core issue. Yes, we notice when you don’t.

    They can vote for alterations all they like — in a separate bill. They can claim to voters that they only voted for the Senate bill because they voted to modify it. But they HAVE to vote for the Senate bill ON ITS OWN for it to be constitutional. Period.

    Period.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  118. If the speaker was not trying a trick, all she had to do was have the Rules committee pass out a rule that called for a vote on the Senate bill, and then a vote on the reconciliation bill.

    There is no reason not to so organize the votes, on the two separate pieces of legislation, were they not trying to provide cover by confusing what the vote was about.

    That’s the plain fact, when stripped of all of imdw’s non sequiturs, and BS.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  119. imdw:

    Amazing how quickly the world turns. Not too long ago, the filibuster was king. Now it is an “up or down vote.”

    My guess is we’ll have both.

    So, to be clear, we’ll have a filibuster, although unlikely in the House, and an up or down vote, which will be recorded by member. Is that correct?

    The vote on the Slaughter Rule has already been made, so deeming the bill passed is clear.

    Will the people’s House, as coined by the Speaker, clearly vote up or down on the bill?

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  120. Don’t pretend, imdw, that you don’t know that the constitutional requirement is that the House adopt the same legislative text as the Senate. With the Slaughter rule, they don’t.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  121. “Any SINGLE vote that is not merely for the Senate bill does not meet Constitutional requirements.”

    No I don’t see why that is constitutionally required. Not by the text of the constitution nor by the ‘political accountability’ test. The constitution requires passage in the house and determining of yeahs and nays. We’ll have that. Political accountability follows from the vote and from what we all can see.

    imdw (241c75)

  122. That’s pretending again, imdw.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  123. Up or down, imdw, up or down.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  124. “Will the people’s House, as coined by the Speaker, clearly vote up or down on the bill?”

    Turn on your cspan on sunday.

    “Don’t pretend, imdw, that you don’t know that the constitutional requirement is that the House adopt the same legislative text as the Senate. With the Slaughter rule, they don’t.”

    Sure they do. They also do more. I think they can wrap up as many bills as they want and have one vote that says ‘bills 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are now passed.’ That gets recorded as votes for or against all of those, and that is that. The senate can pass one or all or none of those together or separate. This meets the constitutional requirement of passage of the house and a recording of yeahs and nays.

    imdw (241c75)

  125. No I don’t see why that is constitutionally required. Not by the text of the constitution nor by the ‘political accountability’ test. The constitution requires passage in the house and determining of yeahs and nays. We’ll have that. Political accountability follows from the vote and from what we all can see.

    The Constitution requires what it requires whether imdw understands the requirements or not. The text must be the same. If the vote on the Senate bill is CONDITIONAL on passage of amendments, then the text is not the same.

    Two-step all you like. Deny reality all you like. The Constitution does not recognize your two-steps or denials. It says what it says.

    Period.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  126. I think they can wrap up as many bills as they want and have one vote that says ‘bills 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are now passed.’

    OK, I agree with this, as long as passage of each bill is not conditioned on passage of another.

    They must have a vote that passes the Senate bill without conditions.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  127. When the House votes on the combination of the Senate bill and the reconciliation bill, if it passes, the same text did not pass both Houses.

    It isn’t law.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  128. Hmmm, Patterico. I wonder why certain TLEs are so exercised about this, posting over and over again to receive skooling.

    I think that they are worried. The “Hope and Change” ain’t working out.

    Sort of like the earlier message about Cao.

    But seriously, don’t get too irritated with imdw. This is what he is all about: Defendin’ the D.

    Eric Blair (2fc1ba)

  129. I was just thinking about how the issue was a mimic of the classic contract issue I was just trying to teach my business law class, of an offer that is answered with a change of terms – which is treated as a rejection and counter-offer.

    That’s what the House bill is.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  130. “The text must be the same.”

    You a fan of scalia? He’s a textualist. You should try grounding your analysis in the actual text of the constitution. Per wit:

    “If the vote on the Senate bill is CONDITIONAL on passage of amendments, then the text is not the same.”

    The constitution requires that we have yeahs and nays recorded for the bill, and that the bill pass each house. We’ll have yeahs and nays — the rule can specify that yeah and nays be recorded for the senate bill per votes on this (note that the constitution allows the house to make its own rules — that’s also in the text). And we’ll have it passing each house. Thus the constitutional requirements are met.

    imdw (d867f1)

  131. The insurance company is probably very happy to lose as costumers those who use more coverage than they want to give.

    And no wonder. The healthcare-insurance industry apparently needs to be greedier and more like, well, uh, the typical phony-ass limousine liberal.

    Actually, when I think of greedy, I envision all the union-protected, platinum-pension-and-healthcare-plan bureaucrats throughout the government. You know, the same clowns (imagine a cross-section of workers found at, say, the local DMV, Post Office and the IRS—except carrying medical forms attached to clipboards) who will be sticking their mitts into more aspects of our life if the Democrats have their way.

    Associated Press, October 25, 2009

    Quick quiz: What do these enterprises have in common? Farm and construction machinery, Tupperware, the railroads, Hershey sweets, Yum food brands and Yahoo?

    Answer: They’re all more profitable than the health insurance industry.

    In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making “immoral” and “obscene” returns while “the bodies pile up.”

    Ledgers tell a different reality. Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That’s anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.

    Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans.

    Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th on the Fortune 500 list of top industries. As is typical, other health sectors did much better — drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10.

    The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent.

    HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That’s a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers.

    [P]remiums have more than doubled in a decade, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found a 131 percent increase. But were the Bush years golden ones for health insurers?

    Not judging by profit margins, profit growth or returns to shareholders. The industry’s overall profits grew only 8.8 percent from 2003 to 2008, and its margins year to year, from 2005 forward, never cracked 8 percent.

    The latest annual profit margins of a selection of products, services and industries: Tupperware Brands, 7.5 percent; Yahoo, 5.9 percent; Hershey, 6.1 percent; Clorox, 8.7 percent; Molson Coors Brewing, 8.1 percent; construction and farm machinery, 5 percent; Yum Brands (think KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), 8.5 percent.

    Mark (411533)

  132. Accountability.

    Say what you stand for or step aside.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  133. The newest Constitutional scholar wrote:

    “…Per wit…”

    Which, when you think about it, is pretty darned funny.

    Eric Blair (2fc1ba)

  134. I think it depends on whether passage of the Senate bill is conditional on passage of other language changing it.

    There are two situations:

    1) It’s conditional — meaning that the House is NOT agreeing to pass the Senate bill UNLESS other (reconciliation) provisions are also signed into law.

    2) It’s not conditional. In that case, they can vote on other bills at the same time, but if those bills are not approved by the Senate and signed into law, they still get tagged with responsibility for voting for the Senate bill. Their opponents can tag them with approving the various atrocities of the Senate bill and the opponents will be correct. The best they can HONESTLY say in response is that they did approve those atrocities, but they tried to fix them in a separate bill.

    If they’re not voting on the Senate bill, as Pelosi claimed, then it’s not law. There I agree with SPQR.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  135. Scalia is not the only Justice who is going to think that the Constitution requires that the same text pass both Houses.

    Sheesh, what a lame wit, imdw is.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  136. I was just thinking about how the issue was a mimic of the classic contract issue I was just trying to teach my business law class, of an offer that is answered with a change of terms – which is treated as a rejection and counter-offer.

    That’s what the House bill is.

    Well, you have defined the issue well.

    A conditional acceptance is a rejection and counter-offer and there is no contract.

    An unconditional acceptance with an offer to vary certain terms is an acceptance and a separate offer which can be rejected.

    In the latter case, the accepting party bears responsibility for acceptance of the original offer on its own terms. He cannot avoid that responsibility or there is no contract.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  137. “There are two situations:”

    I think i’m unclear on this “conditional” you’re talking about. The tying together i’m talking about is that it is one ‘package vote’ — 3 things that the house has to accept or reject together. The one that already passed the senate is passed and ready for the president. The others aren’t and have to pass the senate on their own. But the signature by the president of the first doesn’t depend on the latter ones passing.

    imdw (de9ac8)

  138. Scalia is not the only Justice who is going to think that the Constitution requires that the same text pass both Houses.

    Sheesh, what a lame wit, imdw is.

    Mmmm … my impression from a quick look at that D.C. Circuit case was that Scalia favored that enrolled bill concept.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  139. “The text must be the same.”

    You a fan of scalia? He’s a textualist. You should try grounding your analysis in the actual text of the constitution. Per wit:

    “If the vote on the Senate bill is CONDITIONAL on passage of amendments, then the text is not the same.”

    The constitution requires that we have yeahs and nays recorded for the bill, and that the bill pass each house. We’ll have yeahs and nays — the rule can specify that yeah and nays be recorded for the senate bill per votes on this (note that the constitution allows the house to make its own rules — that’s also in the text). And we’ll have it passing each house. Thus the constitutional requirements are met.

    What? The Supreme Court has pom-pom girls now?

    The Court generally doesn’t mess in the procedural affairs of the Congress and vis a versa. Nor should either.

    So, again, up or down. It’s a vote that will pass. What’s wrong with knowing who voted which way?

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  140. Let me fix imdw’s #138:

    “…I think i’m unclear…”

    The first step to fixing a problem is to admit to it. Face it, pal, you are out of your element.

    Eric Blair (2fc1ba)

  141. “I was just thinking about how the issue was a mimic of the classic contract issue I was just trying to teach my business law class, of an offer that is answered with a change of terms – which is treated as a rejection and counter-offer.”

    So we’re seeing this differently. I don’t see it as a change of terms. I see it as acceptance and proposal of another contract. The House is bound to their acceptance of the senate bill whether or not the fixes pass the senate.

    imdw (de9ac8)

  142. Let me help Mr. Jacoby and Meyer again:

    “… I don’t see it …”

    Indeed.

    Eric Blair (2fc1ba)

  143. The House is bound to their acceptance of the senate bill whether or not the fixes pass the senate.

    By a vote, or procedural rule?

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  144. Patterico and other attorneys…

    PLEASE challenge imdw to define clearly some legal terms. I love watching an earthworm writhe.

    Eric Blair (2fc1ba)

  145. “So, again, up or down. It’s a vote that will pass. What’s wrong with knowing who voted which way?”

    Nothing. Tune in to CSPAN on sunday.

    imdw (241c75)

  146. Legal beagle is opining about Constitutional law. Love it!

    Defend that D!

    Eric Blair (2fc1ba)

  147. “By a vote, or procedural rule?”

    By voting to pass it.

    imdw (2c1194)

  148. Finally. We have a prediction and I hope he’s right. About the vote, not the outcome. If he’s right, I know what the outcome will be.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  149. Comment by Patterico — 3/18/2010 @ 9:44 pm

    I know, my point was more that imdw’s Scalia slam was just f’ing lame BS.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  150. Ignore me if this makes no sense…

    My understanding is there are two issues involved-

    one is that the House and Senate need to pass “the same bill”, which they haven’t done

    the other is they want to say the House can make their own rules as to what it means to “pass a bill”, and they’re going to say it is passed, or deemed, because they say so, and this is how they are going to say that tyhe House “passed” the Senate bill without voting on it

    then the question is to what extent can the House make its own rules, and to what extent can and will the court tell them they need to have their rules in a way that meets other Constitutional criteria

    Is that a fair summary?
    (No need to take a vote, I’ll be satisfied if someone trustworthy deems it so, or not)

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  151. I thought Scalia was an Originalist?

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  152. imdw,

    Unless I seriously misunderstand the whole point of the Slaughter rule, the House is not actually going to vote on the Senate bill. They will just be “deemed” to have done so. So they can claim they didn’t.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  153. Patterico – It is through the looking glass, and down the rabbit hole, should you choose to proceed.

    JD (b537f4)

  154. “Unless I seriously misunderstand the whole point of the Slaughter rule, the House is not actually going to vote on the Senate bill. They will just be “deemed” to have done so.”

    They are going to vote on something that deems it passed. A vote for is a vote for health reform. A vote against is a vote against health reform.

    imdw (017d51)

  155. They are going to vote on something that deems it passed. A vote for is a vote for health reform. A vote against is a vote against health reform.

    If they’re not going to claim they didn’t vote for it, then why are they doing it this way?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  156. “If they’re not going to claim they didn’t vote for it, then why are they doing it this way?”

    Like I said:

    “I think the point is to have one vote to tie this all together — the bill, the reconciliation package, and the student loans. It’s part logrolling to help passage and part also guaranteeing that the two health pieces rise or fall together. But they won’t escape responsibility — positive or negative.”

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    imdw (b6a6d9)

  157. They’re going to hide behind an emanation from the penumbra of the reconciliation bill that isn’t a bill because they may or may not have voted for a rule that deems something passed even though it was never put up for a vote.

    Do you follow that?
    If you do, you’re one sick puppy.

    AD - RtR/OS! (7a1f69)

  158. MD #110. I think we are nearing the tipping point.

    Corwin (ea9428)

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