Patterico's Pontifications


Congressmen Now Can’t Bother Even to Read the Title of the Bills They Vote On

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 am

A.W. passes along word that Congress has passed a law called “The ______Act of____.”

That’s right: they can’t even be bothered to read the titles any more.

That’s OK. It should be easy to fill in the blanks. Just look to the intent of the people who passed it. That should be easy to figure out.


36 Responses to “Congressmen Now Can’t Bother Even to Read the Title of the Bills They Vote On”

  1. Hey, hey, give me some linky love for my crappy little blog, please? As i say there:

    > They passed a law and literally failed to give it a title, failed to even notice they didn’t give it a title, failed to even notice they forgot to enter in the date.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  2. We can just call it Bob, or Jerry.

    Vivian Louise (eeeb3a)

  3. The Democrats Act of Sphincterbanging

    JD (abc2eb)

  4. btw, if we are going to fill in title based on the mindset of those who passed it, i would suggest the “We have abdicated all responsibility for the laws we pass act of 2010.” it has a catchy ring to it.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  5. again, not sure whether to laugh or cry about the whole thing. Of course i have gained from jewish friends the cultural tradition of defaulting to laughing, even at things that really shouldn’t be funny.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  6. Okay another off topic one, but, hey, wtf.

    Robert gibbs says that lefty critics of obama ought to be drug tested.

    So if you criticize him on the right, you are racist. if you criticize him on the left you are on drugs. Is there no such thing as loyal and principled opposition in their eyes?

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  7. Jeez, I hope that was a rhetorical question, A.W.!

    Icy Texan (e1cc22)

  8. How about the “We have to pass this bill so that then you can read it and know what is in it” Act?

    Icy Texan (e1cc22)

  9. If Americans were smart, and we are usually not, it should be filled in “The last act of the Last Democratic Congress.”

    walrus (ac60c6)

  10. walrus for the win!

    And thanks for the linky love, patterico.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  11. They already pass appropriations bills that are, in effect, blank checks (i.e. “John Murtha’s Pennsylvania Pork Bill”, etc.) so why not avoid the tedium of coming up with names and just start literally writing “I owe you, the American people, X trillion dollars”?

    Icy Texan (e1cc22)

  12. Okay at risk of becoming the linkmaster, here, the San Francisco Chronicle, of all things, ran an op-ed saying that the judge should have disqualified himself, or at least disclosed the potential issue as to bias.

    and that is via bench memos.

    btw, since i am in the mood to crow i called this issue almost 6 months ago!

    Although bluntly Patterico stated the problem 100 times better than i did in his post on the subject. in fact better than this op ed columnist.

    i will try to post this in the last one on the disqualification issue, too.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  13. I figure we’re better off if they don’t bother to read the bills. At least that way there’s a measurable chance that they won’t vote yes on every single appropriations bill.

    Dave Surls (8f52ea)

  14. Here’s the consequences of having CongressThings that are able to read bills. They pass laws that make it illegal to sing the National Anthem at National Memorials.

    So much for your supposed constitutional right to freedom of speech, and so much for the supposed prohibition on Congress passing laws that abridge the freedom of speech.

    The first doesn’t exist, and the second is ignored any time the government feels the urge to ignore it.

    Anything, including illiteracy, that keeps these idiots from passing more and more and more idiotic laws is a good thing.

    Dave Surls (8f52ea)

  15. That’s not totally depressing at all. Nope, not at all.

    KingShamus (fb8597)

  16. Dave, I saw that.

    Actually you have to blame the courts on that. There are some decisions that suggest that if you allow them to sing the national anthem, then someone else can sing Dixie, a third persons can sing “God bless the KKK” a fourth person can sing the German national anthem including the verses forbidden since the fall of the 3rd reich, and so on. and then horror of horrors, another person can sing katy perry’s last single.

    So joking aside, they decided that no one could speak at all. Which makes some sense, given our legal environment.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  17. I figure this was intentional. If it doesn’t have a name it makes it that much harder for others to talk about and even more difficult for people to call in and complain about. It’s the next step in legislative evolution after slapping a forced acronym onto everythin.everything.

    Soronel Haetir (8e703e)

  18. It’s fairly ridiculous that they didn’t name the act. And it’s peculiar that the white house website refers to one of the earlier versions of the bill name rather than the current bill name.

    But if you’re really tracking a bill, or even just interested, you know that Thomas ( is the true repository of information, and all you need is the bill number – HR1586 – to get the latest version and a link toa pdf at the GPO:

    GPO PDF of HR1586.

    It’s a 20 page bill which:

    (a) appropriates $10 billion from the treasurey for an education job fund and imposes restrictions on its spending
    (b) makes changes to the stimulus bill that i don’t understand without more research (eg, reading the parts of the stimulus bill modified) but which seem to extend a deadline for spending money.
    (c) changes the way medicaid reimbursement handles drugs delivered via inhaler
    (d) changes the death date of the supplemental nutrition insurance program
    (e) makes various changes to tax law that i can’t understand without knowing more about those areas of tax law first
    (f) rescinds some earlier appropriations (122 million from rural development, 302 million from broadband technology, etc)

    aphrael (73ebe9)

  19. “It’s fairly ridiculous that they didn’t name the act.”

    They’re probably just running out of names. We have so many Goddamned laws in this country, they’re bound to exhaust every possible combination of names sooner or later.

    Dave Surls (8f52ea)

  20. “The Bailout of Governmental Unions Act of A Congressional Majority Soon to End.”

    Zoltan (f80707)

  21. Dave

    > We have so many Goddamned laws in this country, they’re bound to exhaust every possible combination of names sooner or later.

    Well that would explain why Congress just passed the “Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo Yankee Oscar Uniform Mike Oscar Romeo Oscar November Sierra Act of 2010.”

    (turn it into an acronym to get the joke.)

    Seriously its like they think we are all morons or something.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  22. If a bill gets passed in Congress and no one reads it, does it make a sound? Why yes, yes it does and the sound is your liberty and freedom being chiseled away.

    I wish I’d saved this game earlier so I could go back and try some different moves.

    What? This isn’t a video game?

    THIS IS REAL????

    @#$$%%&&**(*&) darn.

    jakee308 (e1996a)

  23. #16, what do you mean by “some decisions”? The first amendment is pretty clear; is there any way to interpret it that would allow the Park Service to allow the singing of The Star Spangled Banner while forbidding songs like Dixie and Maryland, My Maryland? You know someone is going to want to sing those. Actually lots of people.

    Milhouse (d84b40)

  24. milhouse

    actually i believe that the rules on forum law were less clear on the subject on the federal level, but states might change it, even in this case possibly the territorial government. but i will be blunt. i am not sure what all went on there, just that i am pretty sure i see the concern for creation of a forum behind this decision.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  25. The Parks Service is a federal body, so state and district law are irrelevant. But I see no way to read the first amendment in a way that would allow them to permit pro-Lincoln songs at his memorial while banning anti-Lincoln ones. Simply saying “it’s the Lincoln memorial, have some respect” is surely not enough; after all, many people think that he shouldn’t be respected.

    Milhouse (d84b40)

  26. Milhouse

    all i am saying is, i am not sure. you could be right and i operated on the assumption it was the constitution doing much if not all of the mischeif here.

    and yes, it is sad that people think Lincoln doesn’t deserve respect. it just goes to show you that even if you liberate millions of people, others will still vilify you. I am sure Bush takes that lesson to heart.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  27. Lets call it the Let Them Eat Cake Bill.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  28. It will certainly be telling how many Republicans won’t support “Read the Bill” legislation when it’s proposed by ‘tea party’-backed Senators in the next Congress.

    John (2b2d60)

  29. How about “The Ultimate Act of Irresponsible Governing”?

    Hangtown Bob (23a7d6)

  30. So a title means more than the content?
    Who knew.

    I can’t help but think that the Democrats are spending so much money that they’ve sorta lost track of details.
    Maybe they’ll hire a bunch of people at $80K plus bennies to make sure all the bills have names…

    SteveG (f6fb69)

  31. I’m surprised no one has figured this out yet-

    It’s obviously an attempt to bring the federal debt under control. Starting with this bill, the feds are going to auction the rights to name every bill, with an additional fee put in escrow in the event it is passed into law.

    The starting bid level will be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury using a method involving a complex mathematical manipulation of numbers found on a random page of the full US tax code; numbers such as section, subsection, paragraph, page #, footnote #, etc. (They’ve already spoken to Michael Mann of AGW fame to work out the computer model).

    Not to be outdone, the DOJ has been investigating intellectual property rights of this approach in order to demand payment from any state, county, metropolitan area, city, township, village, burrough, or Hobbit Hole that wishes to try this appraoch themselves.

    President Obama has declared his administration will not rest until this has been accomplished. In addition to decreasing the national debt, approximately 10,000 additional workers will be hired by the IRS, thereby improving the unemployment problem.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  32. “And I will love it and hug it and squeeze it and pass it, and I will call it ‘George!'”

    Technomad (e2c0f2)

  33. Trouble is already brewing. Rumor has it that a futures market on bidding fees is already being developed on Wall St. The major complicating factor is Sen. Dodd wants to withdraw his resignation from the Senate so he can get in on the action. Some people just never learn…

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  34. Misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance, all wrapped up with a signed confession. Oh, they weren’t read their rights! What are we to do?

    htom (412a17)

  35. I’m coming to believe that the appropriate constitutional amendment to address this problem definitely involves in its enforcement mechanism — as a practice expressly exempted from the Eighth Amendment — tar and feathers.

    Beldar (6921f4)

  36. > Anything, including illiteracy, that keeps these idiots from passing more and more and more idiotic laws is a good thing.

    I vote in favor of lead poisoning being the preventative measure. Especially the high-velocity steel jacketed kind.

    An ounce and three quarters of prevention is worth a few trillion dollars worth of cure. A few preventions like this and they’ll be falling all over themselves to actually cure the problem.

    IGotBupkis (e080b3)

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