At this point, many of us have seen how our Congress “crafts” bills, and the machinations through which they go to accomplish them. The following article, Inside the Pelosi Sausage Factory; Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak sold his anti-abortion soul for a toothless executive order, does a great job of exploring the ins and outs of the recent “Health Care Bill.” Oh, yes, this is some “sausage”:

Last week Republican Rep. Mike Pence posted on his Facebook site that famous Schoolhouse Rock video titled “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” It’s clearly time for a remake.

Never before has the average American been treated to such a live-action view of the sordid politics necessary to push a deeply flawed bill to completion. It was dirty deals, open threats, broken promises and disregard for democracy that pulled ObamaCare to this point, and yesterday the same machinations pushed it across the finish line.

You could see it all coming a week ago, when New York Rep. Louise Slaughter let leak a breathtaking strategy whereby the House would not actually vote on the unpopular Senate bill. The House would instead vote on a “reconciliation” fix to that bill, and in the process “deem” the underlying legislation—with its Cornhusker kickbacks and Louisiana purchases—passed.

The Slaughter Solution was both blunt admission and warning. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not have 216 votes to pass the Senate bill, there never was going to be majority “support” for it, but they’d pass it anyway. The final days were a simple death watch, to see how the votes would be bought, bribed or bullied, and how many congressional rules gamed, to get the win.

President Obama flew to Pennsylvania (home to five wavering House Democrats), Missouri (three wavering), Ohio (eight), and Virginia (four) to hold rallies with small, supportive crowds. In four days, Mr. Obama held 64 meetings or calls with congressmen. The goal was to let undecideds know that the president had them in his crosshairs, that he still had pull with the base, and he’d use it against them. By Saturday the tactic had yielded yes votes from at least half the previously undecided members of those states.

Because, as I keep saying, this bill is ALL about Obama. And, what others can get out of him, apparently:

As for those who needed more persuasion: California Rep. Jim Costa bragged publicly that during his meeting in the Oval Office, he’d demanded the administration increase water to his Central Valley district. On Tuesday, Interior pushed up its announcement, giving the Central Valley farmers 25% of water supplies, rather than the expected 5% allocation. Mr. Costa, who denies there was a quid pro quo, on Saturday said he’d flip to a yes.

Florida Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (whose district is home to the Kennedy Space Center) admitted that in her own Thursday meeting with the president, she’d brought up the need for more NASA funding. On Friday she flipped to a yes. So watch the NASA budget.

Democrats inserted a new provision providing $100 million in extra Medicaid money for Tennessee. Retiring Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon flipped to a yes vote on Thursday.

Outside heavies were enlisted to warn potential no votes that unions and other Democrats would run them out of Congress. Al Lawson, a Tallahassee liberal challenging Blue Dog Florida Rep. Allen Boyd in a primary, made Mr. Boyd’s previous no vote the centerpiece of his criticism. The SEIU threatened to yank financial support for New York’s Michael McMahon. The liberal Working Families Party said it would deny him a ballot line. Obama deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand vowed to challenge South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin if she voted no. New York’s Scott Murphy was targeted as a part of a $1.3 million union-financed ad campaign to pressure him to flip. Moveon.Org spent another $36,000 on ads in his district and promised a primary. Messrs. Boyd and Murphy caved on Friday.

Ah, yes – one such union threatening representatives is the SEIU. I know, big surprise. They have formerly exposed their bullying tactics. Don’t forget, SEIU was created by the same man who created ACORN. Makes more sense now, right? Uh, yeah. But they aren’t the only ones coercing and threatening people:

All the while Mrs. Pelosi was desperately working to provide cover with a Congressional Budget Office score that would claim the bill “saved” money. To do it, Democrats threw in a further $66 billion in Medicare cuts and another $50 billion in taxes. Huzzah! In the day following the CBO score, about a half-dozen Democrats who had spent the past months complaining the bill already had too many taxes and Medicare cuts now said they were voting to reduce the deficit.

Even with all this, by Friday Mrs. Pelosi was dealing with a new problem: The rule changes and deals winning her votes were losing her votes, too. The public backlash against “deem and pass” gave several wary Democrats—such as Massachusetts’s Stephen Lynch and California’s Dennis Cardoza—a new excuse to vote no.

Mrs. Pelosi jettisoned deem and pass. Once-solid Democrat yes votes wanted their own concessions. Oregon’s Pete DeFazio threatened to lead a revolt unless changes were made to Medicare payments to benefit his state. On Saturday Mrs. Pelosi cut a deal to give 17 states additional Medicare money.

By the weekend, all the pressure and threats and bribes had left the speaker three to five votes short. Her remaining roadblock was those pro-life members who’d boxed themselves in on abortion, saying they would vote against the Senate bill unless it barred public funding of abortion. Mrs. Pelosi’s first instinct was to go around this bloc, getting the votes elsewhere. She couldn’t.

Into Saturday night, Michigan’s Bart Stupak and Mrs. Pelosi wrangled over options. The stalemate? Any change that gave Mr. Stupak what he wanted in law would lose votes from pro-choice members. The solution? Remove it from Congress altogether, having the president instead sign a meaningless executive order affirming that no public money should go to pay for abortions.

The order won’t change the Senate legal language—as pro-choice Democrats publicly crowed within minutes of the Stupak deal. Executive orders can be changed or eliminated on a whim. Pro-life groups condemned the order as the vote-getting ruse it was. Nevertheless, Mr. Stupak and several of his colleagues voted yes, paving the way to Mrs. Pelosi’s final vote tally of 219.

The worthless piece of paper promised by Obama was enough to sway Stupak, whom I have seen on tv more than just about anyone as he touted his “principles.” Right. One meaningless piece of paper with Obama’s signature was enough to sway this man – I think that speaks volumes about Stupak.

But the Democrats were not alone in creative interpretations of the rules:

Even in these waning minutes, Senate Democrats were playing their own games. Republicans announced they had found language in the House reconciliation bill that could doom this entire “fix” in the Senate. Since many House Democrats only agreed to vote for the Senate bill on promises that the sidecar reconciliation would pass, this was potentially a last-minute killer.

Senate Democrats handled it by deliberately refusing to meet with Republicans and the Senate parliamentarian to get a ruling, lest it be unfavorable and lose House votes. The dodge was a clear dereliction of duty, but Democrats figure the Senate parliamentarian won’t dare derail this process after ObamaCare passes. They are probably right.

So there you have it, folks: “How a Bill Becomes a Law,” at least in Obama-Pelosi land. Perhaps the most remarkable Democratic accomplishment this week was to make the process of passing ObamaCare as politically toxic as the bill itself.

President Obama was elected by millions of Americans attracted to his promise to change Washington politics. These were voters furious with earmarks, insider deals and a lack of transparency. They were the many Americans who, even before this week, held Congress in historic low esteem. They’ll remember this spectacle come November.
(Ms. Strassel writes the Journal’s weekly Potomac Watch column from Washington.)

Indeed. Not only are there plenty of earmarks, deals, etc., but Obama’s level of “transparency” is more of a joke than Bush’s. Obama’s White House has refused more FOIA requests than Bush did. Perhaps Obama is unclear on the definition of “transparency.” Sure.

Let’s return to the earmarks in the Health Care Bill. Given what we know about this bill (law?) and all of the payoffs, bribes, and threats used to get it passed, imagine my surprise when I heard Rep. Van Hollen’s claims below:

Can you believe this guy?? Clearly, he is one of the representatives who didn’t bother to read this bill. Now that’s some hubris there – get on national TeeVee and deny aspects of this bill that have been widely reported. Wow…

And in developing news, ACORN claims it will be closing its doors on April 1st this year. But not so fast – it may just be more smoke and mirrors where the local offices are concerned (big surprise). A name change might be all they are doing. Stay tuned…

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  • )o(

    “that term is HOMOPHOBIC and offensive.”
    How homophobic, like yelling ‘faggot’ to a member of Congress in the Capitol building?

  • PA Caucasian

    Don’t know if it has been covered, I heard that the student loan “reform” includes forgiveness for those graduates who become –
    community organizers.

  • PA Caucasian

    Well you just touched on the Big Lie about abortion. We were sold on it by the NOW gang as a path to liberation.

    And instead it has enslaved many women to a lifetime of nagging thoughts about the child who might have been.

  • Diana L. C.


    My people left the Germany during the 18th century to settle in Russia under the request of Catherine the Great.  She needed farmers to feed the Russians, notoriously bad at that sort of thing.  They lived there for over 100 years, battled the Mongolian Hoards at first to keep the land in farming.  They made Russia the breadbasket of the world.  Then came the Bolsheviks who institued the concept of “factory farming,” by taking the well-run farms away.  It’s a long story, but most can look it up.  It was an absolute disaster. 

    My people again left a country and came here to a place they called the Good Stepmother (since Russia is always called Mother Russia).  The opportunity here was great for them and they were able to give their grandchildren (my generation) an amazing life.

    This happening to the U.S. just makes me terrified and enormously sad.

  • Diana L. C.

    OMG, FF, you show your true colors all the time with your ridiculous comments.  Clearly you are a person who truly likes the idea of a Marxist state.  You are living under the mistaken notion that your loyalty will earn you a place in O’s vanguard.  I suggest you read a little about how most Marxist countries evolved and where you will most likely end up in such a society.  If you think you would be “helping” all those people soon to be made “legal” you will be surprised at how little their lives will change and, most likely, how much worse they will be.

  • Diana L. C.

    Actually, I might consider paying to abort any child that might have to endure FF as a parent. 😉  

  • TeakWoodKite

    A co-worker used the term in . I asked him if he knew what it meant.

    No he said.

    So I explained it to him. I literally had to provide the graphic version for him to get it…..
    Makes you wonder.

  • Buzzlatte

    Does it have anything to do with Morphine? =-X

  • Breeze
  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Thanks, EWard, I appreciate that.

    It is staggering, isn’t it, what the Dems have given (sold) for this bill?  All to “save Obama’s presidency”??  Wow.

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    I’m with creeper – good to *see* you back again, and I completely understand your “trying to have a life.” 🙂    Still, I enjoy your comments, and am glad you are making them again!

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    I saw that one, too, AnnieCarmel.  I fear you are right abt the USA and bankruptcy, too, especially at the rate we are going now…

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    I saw that, PE – it is just dumbfounding, isn’t it??  This is why Obama INSISTED that this bill get passed before the Easter recess, and we had more time to pour over this bill.  Because he, and the other Dems, knew we would go ballistic at some of the BS that’s in there.

    ED meds for sex offenders – WTH????

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    Huh.  Maybe they shoulda read the damn thing.

  • Rabble Rouser Rev. Amy

    And for the GAZILLIONITH time, that term is HOMOPHOBIC and offensive. 

    Why is it the so-called Progressives are the ones who continue to use these offensive terms???  Oh, yeah, right – they are also the ones spewing misoynisitic and sexist terms during the campaign, too.

  • AnnieCarmel

    Those are the Republicans conservatives are trying to replace.  Amnesty hardly matches the fiscal conservative policy they are promoting.  Sanctuary cities, lack of structure, flaunting the laws, all go with the socialist goal of lowering and breaking the standards of civil society.  This is the goal of the Left…crudeness, low morals, vulgar language, and no support for unifying language…they love it all.  This has been going on since the 60’s…and they finally got the one they were waiting for.

  • Docelder

    That one will be sold to replace the complicated IRS tax. Then… surprise you will just have hem both. These guys can’t help but to lie, players that they are.

  • AnnieCarmel

    Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall when they talk privately?  Then we’d hear the real story of what they have in mind for the country rather than what they just let slip.

  • Docelder

    52 race card pickup. Damn I like it. We need to make those decks and profit like greedy capitalist pigs.

  • AnnieCarmel

    Not sure how attractive it will be to live in the USA after it’s bankrupt.  Maybe Mexico will begin to look better to them.  In fact, some Americans are moving south.  I saw a House Hunters International show a few weeks back…a Marin divorcee and her daughter sold their house in Corte Madera to buy and renovate a house in an artists community…filled with American expats.  They could afford to pay cash for everything and still have plenty left over.  I guess if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

  • AnnieCarmel

    I couldn’t agree more, AM.  NOW hasn’t done much for women.  The East Coast Elitist women who started NOW can just sod off so far as I’m concerned. 

    My next grandchild is due in April.  I, too, see abortion differently these days.  You want one?  Pay for it yourself…in more ways than one.

  • AnnieCarmel

    Could we lobby Cameron for some of his profits?

  • AnnieCarmel

    Plastic surgery isn’t covered by insurance.  Reconstructive plastic surgery generally is…unless it’s something as radical and elective as Pelousy’s facelift.  She has plenty of $$ to pay for Botox.

  • daedalus


  • creeper

    You didn’t mention manufacturing.  What?  Oh.  Never mind.

  • Armymom

    I should also add that I could care less what NOW does. I don’t believe in them either. To me, they are hypocrites

  • getfitnow
  • Armymom

    I’m not going to argue over abortion. I, personally, was a person who believed in abortion, had one over 30 years ago and paid for it myself. However, I now have 3 grandchildren and one more on the way. I got to see my precious granddaughter in womb, 4 d echo at 12 weeks. So while I’ll respect anyone’s right to do what they want to do in this matter, I, personally, for me, no one else,  cannot believe in them anymore. I’ve seen too much to ever believe that it is a “mass of cells”. So I don’t want to pay for them anymore. It’s a personal choice. I would rather work with women who want to find agreeable areas on how women should be treated in the healthcare issues. We’ve changed so much as far as technology goes, yet women lag behind. Everything as been geared to how it “reacts” in a man.

  • Docelder

    Democrats like them because they vote for the free stuff. Republicans like them because they work for cheap. Most of us regulr people just wish they would enter legally and maybe learn the language. Not too much to ask is it?

  • FembotsForObama

    Thanks creeper.  I used to post regularly way back; have been lurking a lot.  But have been trying to have a life.  Just cannot believe this ObamaCare crap and the convoluted reasoning of the Obots.  

  • FembotsForObama

    OF course it is quite different.  However, technically it is still an abortion.  And as NOW had argued could be eliminated due to the slippery slope of banning medical procedures.  Obama’s EO is no different.

  • creeper

    Fembots, we haven’t seen much of you on here.  I hope that changes.

  • Docelder

    You could undo healthcare. You can’t undo immigration. They are doing this next because opposing it fits into the all encompassing racist angle. Don’t like new immigrants? Then you are a racist. Myself, I could give a damn what somebody else says or thinks at this point.

  • Buzzlatte

    Nah, I want to be a constant reminder for Mr. Hanks that there are consequences to the stupid behavior and stupid talk.

    Actually, there’s a rock god I’d rather hang out with but the rest of my family doesn’t agree.   😎

  • ~~JustMe~~

    after hanks statement the other week his house should  be last on your list Buzz!

    Freeload down the block with someone you don’t mind rubbing shoulders with 😉  well at least a little.