Monday, March 15, 2010

What Media bias?

An "interesting"* NYT image of Obama, as pointed out by Doug Ross, has:

1) the halo light behind him
2) a small superimposed image of the White House - Obama being "bigger" than the WH
3) Obama is pointing to heaven
4) Superimposed "cross" image using some sort of filter dead center in the middle of the image.

Let's first examine the headline: "As Health Vote Awaits, Future of a Presidency Waits, Too."

The Times' concern, laughably, is for the Obama legacy, not the hundreds of millions of citizens whose very lives will be impacted by a Rube Goldberg-esque, certain-to-fail, country-bankrupting, Soviet central-planner's wet dream. The Times, of course, has yet to report on the outrageous and illegal attempt to surreptitiously pass the Senate's health care bill. This effort, orchestrated by the House Rules Committee and known as the "Slaughter Rule", threatens to light the fuse on a full-blown Constitutional crisis.

For those who cried incessantly about the Patriot Act during the Bush presidency, the lack of concern (as voiced by OC in comments just a moment ago) for their circumventing of the Constitution in the attempt to pass the biggest piece of legislation in my lifetime, gives proof of the left's bankruptcy of core principals and disregard for both the will of the people and that document on which we base our government.

I know this is HARD, but try to follow:

The Slaughter solution cannot be squared with Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution.

...Last Christmas Eve, the Senate approved a health-care bill by 60 votes, overcoming a Republican filibuster. This is the bill that contains the so-called Cornhusker kickback, the Louisiana purchase, taxes on high-cost health insurance plans and coverage for abortions. Virtually no one now supports that version of the bill, but Senate Democrats no longer have enough votes to pass an alternative bill under ordinary procedures.

That is where reconciliation fits in. If the House passes the Senate bill and the president then signs it into law, reconciliation would permit Congress to pass new legislation making changes to that law. Reconciliation might not solve the abortion coverage problem or other nonbudgetary issues, but it would allow Democrats to correct most of the Senate bill’s offensive features.

The rub is that, according to the Senate parliamentarian, reconciliation is permitted only for bills that amend existing law, not for amendments to bills that have yet to be enacted. This means that, for the Senate to be able to avoid a filibuster, House Democrats first have to vote for the identical bill that passed the Senate last Christmas Eve. That means voting aye on the special deals, aye on abortion coverage, and aye on high taxes on expensive health-insurance plans. Challengers are salivating at the prospect of running against incumbents who vote for these provisions.

Enter the Slaughter solution. It may be clever, but it is not constitutional. To become law—hence eligible for amendment via reconciliation—the Senate health-care bill must actually be signed into law. The Constitution speaks directly to how that is done. According to Article I, Section 7, in order for a “Bill” to “become a Law,” it “shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate” and be “presented to the President of the United States” for signature or veto. Unless a bill actually has “passed” both Houses, it cannot be presented to the president and cannot become a law.

To be sure, each House of Congress has power to “determine the Rules of its Proceedings.” ...But House and Senate rules cannot dispense with the bare-bones requirements of the Constitution. Under Article I, Section 7, passage of one bill cannot be deemed to be enactment of another.

The Slaughter solution attempts to allow the House to pass the Senate bill, plus a bill amending it, with a single vote. The senators would then vote only on the amendatory bill. But this means that no single bill will have passed both houses in the same form. As the Supreme Court wrote in Clinton v. City of New York (1998), a bill containing the “exact text” must be approved by one house; the other house must approve “precisely the same text.”

These constitutional rules set forth in Article I are not mere exercises in formalism. They ensure the democratic accountability of our representatives. Under Section 7, no bill can become law unless it is put up for public vote by both houses of Congress, and under Section 5 “the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question . . . shall be entered on the Journal.” These requirements enable the people to evaluate whether their representatives are promoting their interests and the public good. Democratic leaders have not announced whether they will pursue the Slaughter solution. But the very purpose of it is to enable members of the House to vote for something without appearing to do so. The Constitution was drafted to prevent that.

(from Doug Ross pasting from the Wall Street Journal piece by Michael W. McConnel, Constitutional law Scholar at Standford)

We WILL hold you accountable. You cannot hide behind the Slaughter solution. And you cannot hide from this monstrosity of a power grab.

* by interesting, I mean worthy of Joeseph Goebbels. Which is an apt comparison, because I think the NYT is committing suicide rather than surrendering to being balanced.

h/t Serr8d