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November 12, 2009



Word. There is some, but not much, of the Dems tactics that are unConstitutional but there is no bar to passing legislation unread. Not at all. We have seen that the usual legislative process with competing documents that can be combined and divided ad hoc rhetorically provides so much opportunity for target shifting that, with the tame media, proves able to swamp all other tactical moves. Okay, whatever. Pass it. Pass whatever, it doesn't matter. One thing you never have to fear in the time of fears is that any of these baroque enterprises will "work" in any positive sense. No, these things are not undoable. Who would have thought the double-nickel could ever be rescinded? In Brack's HI, they instituted a SCHIP on steroids that amounted to a single payer for "children" of expanded definition. Well, it went broke in seven months. Rescinded... Gone! Don't forget that O supporters, YES, actually DO believe health costs are coming down with Ocare. Coverage will be universal and unlimited... Death Panels?!?!?! That's crazy talk! So have the courage of your convictions, if any. In this scenario Obama's success will unavoidably be his most dire defeat. So I wish our fine, dapper young President continued, dramatic and public... success!

Shut up and play ball.

The Blue Dog howl: But Obama, I coulda been a contenduh.


And trust me for the lawyers and lobbyists this kind of legislate first, debate later thingy is just one super collosal ka-ching. (You're all going broke--tough--I told you to move here a long time ago..)

sammy small

Who would have thought the double-nickel could ever be rescinded?

I blame Sammy Hagar!


I've long that a slogan of "Repeal!" would be pretty effective in a lot of elections. A new contract with America...

Rick Ballard

"You're all going broke--tough--I told you to move here a long time ago.."

Hmmm.. there's a not so small problem with that. The pike and halberd concession may prove to be more lucrative when we "all come to DC". Laying in a decent supply of manila hemp (for ship rigging, etc) might not be a bad idea. I'm sure Peter would approve.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

manila hemp (for ship rigging, etc)

Phooey on that. We need some truly rad Humbolt County hemp (for rigging, of course, wink wink).

Jack is Back!

Just when you thought elections couldn't get any weirder we learn that NY 23 may not be over and that Hoffman may have conceded based on some bad election result data. NY Election Commission never certified the election before Owens was sworn in so that Pelosi could show Cao her 218 votes.

It is still possible for Hoffman to pick up the 3,000 votes he needs from the absentee ballots. Not as much a long shot as it appears.LUN

Land Ahoy.



I just blew off a telephone caller who wanted me to write to Dick Durbin to ask him to continue to fund private school voucher programs for DC students. I asked her what she thought all those letters from DC residents would do. She said maybe he'd change his mind if lots of letters came in.
I replied that was preposterour. She, like probably 95% of the city already voted for the Dems and the Dems were beholden to the NEA and teachers unions which opposed this. I explained that the millions of dollars they pumped into the Dem party guaranteed this vote would not be changed even if every single one of us asked that be done.
Arithmetic is so hard for some people to grasp.


Hemp, huh?
Yeah, I blogged that JIB--Pelosi was in such a hurry she couldn't wait to get the elction results certified--but why do you suppose all the early returns were so far off?I'm a suspicious old biddy, but Scoizzafava's hubby is with SEIU and Working Party (NY's ACORN) endorsed her.

Jack is Back!


Exactly, that and the fact that Hoffman was initially a 3rd party loner with a rump campaign staffed mostly toward the end by "tea party" volunteers with good intentions but no electioneering experience. Very premature on his part to concede especially if you have so many absentee ballots to go and the reputation of SEIU and Working Families Party. Now I am nervous about having such an amateur like Hoffman in the House. Sounds like he is willing to jump off cliffs at the sound of lemmings.

Old Lurker

It's inside baseball I know, but Clarice's note above about the impact, or lack thereof, of letters from Upper NW DC residents on the likes of Dick Durbin was an understatement. I know several other JOMer's are active in independent, private, and parochial schools, but the story here in DC is downright criminal in the delivery of education to DC kids. It is a travesty, and lately the charter schools and the voucher programs have been the only means of educating even a handful of the local kids who would never, on their own, been able to afford private school here (where kindergarten can now cost $30,000 per year). The dems have fought these programs at every turn, and are defunding them at every opportunity.

Charlie (Colorado)

Okay, here's a legal question for you: Owens was sworn in. If it turns out the election results are in Hoffman's favor, does Pelosi et al have to do anything? As I recall, the House controls its own membership, so if they just didn't trouble to change things, what happens?

Sara (Pal2Pal)


I'm not sure Owens being sworn in is legal since his election has yet to be certified by whoever does that for NY.

Interesting question to research.


Well, write to Durbin, OL (LOL)


I haven't and don't plan to research it, but I believe the concession was without legal effect. Under NY law the Board of Elections says that no election result is final unti the Sec of State of NY certifies it and he hasn't and will not and cannot until the absentee ballots are counted and the errors corrected.

If that should occur, Nancy Pelosi's swearing in of Owens should be annulled but I do not see that changes the vote--taking it to court might be interesting,but I can't imagine the courts want to open that can of worms.
OTOH it will give opponents of the bill more fodder.

Jack is Back!

Didn't Franken have to wait basically because the Secretary of State in Minnesota couldn't certify his election due to the legal appeal process? Or something like that.

Regarding school vouchers and democrats - this is how they keep their base loyal by being denied the education it would take for them to see the folly of their ways. Think about how fragile the base of the democrat party would be if the quality of education increased the political, economic and security intelligence of their likely voters. Like porchlight said 50% working and 50% voting. Now with the economy on the ropes its more like a 70/30 proposition but they are running out of hope and change and in 2010 even public educated voters will see the real difference in the parties.


The only thing funnier than Hoffman actually winning the seat is how important that seat became due to democrats. Think about it. That seat became the talking point for Obama losing NJ and VA. But they won the 23rd, which hasn't been out of republican hands since the Civil War...yada, yada...it would be rich just to see them walk that back, for Hoffman to be declared the winner.


Howard Kurtz spins like crazy:

"CNN announced Thursday that John King, the "Sunday morning host best known for his magic wall, is taking over the 7 p.m. slot left vacant by the abrupt resignation of Lou Dobbs. (Snip) King, a former Associated Press writer, is known for his reporting and neutral approach to politics, while Dobbs has grown increasingly opinionated in recent years, especially on such issues as his opposition to illegal immigration."

Who woulda thunk? Dobbs is "opinionated" but Kind is "neutral"


Yes, he did,JIB.


King not Kind.


I thought I heard today that the SoS of NY wrote to Pelosi warning her the election hadn't been certified. If so, just another LOL for me.


That's what the Syracuse paper said.
JIB--of course, in Franken's case Coleman did not concede, but state law on certification in Minn and NY required the S of State's certification and here it wasn't and couldn't be law be given yet.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

If Owens voted and he wasn't certified then the vote cannot be legal and should be void. They would first have to resschedule the vote, with or without a Rep from NY-23rd. If with, then they have to wait for Certification.

That's my take. Of course, I know nuthin'!


The numbers don't look to good for Hoffman. He is down 3000 votes instead of 5000+ with about 5200 absentee ballots to be counted. Unless they can find more votes cast on election day for him, he won't make up the difference in the absentees.

That being said, evidently there are three townships where Hoffman got 0 (yes zero) votes. Dede and Owens got several hundred votes apiece. The likelihood of a candidate getting 0 votes in a universe of several hundred votes while getting 45% district wide are slim to none. So if Hoffman can narrow the spread to less than 1,000 votes then he has a legitimate case for a recount.

Charlie (Colorado)

If that should occur, Nancy Pelosi's swearing in of Owens should be annulled but I do not see that changes the vote--taking it to court might be interesting,but I can't imagine the courts want to open that can of worms.

I agree, but I wonder if Nancy could simply refuse to seat Hoffman, and leave Owens in the seat instead? I do recall them refusing to seat a Republican who won a disputed election... hmm, google google... yeah, here's one: Richard McIntyre in 1984.

Uncle BigBad

I won't matter if Hoffman is put over the top with absentee votes. Owens would just demand a recount, and we know who wins recounts.


Dubya's feelings got hurt. Not enough that the 2008 elections were a referendum on his administration; now we have the apologists who think history will be re-written. Because they say so. The truth is more complicated than that. Independent voters shifted. And, while there's disappointments aplenty to bathe Obama in, it still needs to be admitted "how he got there." And, not all independent voters are big on conservative social values. When the news spins you can think you're ahead. Politics is a gamble where most people try to husband their bets. That anything can happen ahead? Still true. Lots of presidents leave office and their popularity wanes.

By the way, Pelosi got 219 votes to pass the health care dog. She just needed 218. And, even if Bill Owens election goes into 'question.' He did get sworn in and seated. Meanwhile, Reagan never led a parade where nastiness was used as a weapon. Barry Goldwater did, and he hated Reagan's ways.

Gregory Koster

It wouldn't matter even if Hoffman won decisively. Nancy would howl that the Constitution makes the House the sole judge of its memeberhsip. Hoffman could sue, but he'd be running up against he ancient legal principle of "Whaddaya gonna do about it, sucker?" Even if he wins, who's going to enforce any judgment he won? Eric Holder's Justice Department? Any judge whose nose got tweaked by the the Executive and Legislative Bronx cheers, would suddenly find a resolution of impeachment coming up against him. No, contempt of court is only for the small fry, those who can't hit back. Hoffman is cooked. But he should yell like hell about this. The public needs to see the shenanigans the Dems are frying.

hit and run

Hoffman is cooked. But he should yell like hell about this. The public needs to see the shenanigans the Dems are frying.

This one was the special election to fill McHugh's seat. The real election happens as scheduled next year.

If it's shown that Owens is in the seat after losing the special election,and yet doesn't relinquish it,it's Owens who's toast.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Wiki (I know) has this:

The term of a member chosen in a special election usually begins the next day, or as soon as the results are certified.


Didn't Algore rescind a concession?

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Yes Anduril.

Gregory Koster

True hit. I meant Hoffman is cooked in this year's race. Next year? Owens must be swallowing mighty hard by now.


I'm skeptical that the House's power to determine the qualifications of its members would allow them to select Owens over Hoffman even if Hoffman won the election. In Powell v. McCormack the supreme court said the House could not refuse to seat Adam Clayton Powell. The court held that the power to determine the qualifications of its members was merely the power to set general qualifications, saying, "Respondents' argument is inherently weak, however, because it assumes that legislative bodies historically possessed the power to judge qualifications on a case-by-case basis. The court concluded, "Further, analysis of the "textual commitment" under Art. I, ยง 5 (see Part VI, B(1)), has demonstrated that, in judging the qualifications of its members, Congress is limited to the standing qualifications prescribed in the Constitution. Respondents concede that Powell met these. Thus, there is no need to remand this case to determine whether he was entitled to be seated in the 90th Congress. Therefore, we hold that, since Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was duly elected by the voters of the 18th Congressional District of New York and was not ineligible to serve under any provision of the Constitution, the House was without power to exclude him from its membership."


I think MJW is right. Thanks for digging up that case. My argument was just based on "instinct" about the constitution.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

"duly elected by the voters," the operative word duly, as in certified.

Gregory Koster

MJW has a point. But remember, Powell was kicked out of the House in March 1967. POWELL wasn't published until June 1969, after Powell's 1967 term had expired. Powell had already gone back to the House by winning the 1968 election. So what does POWELL prove? Potter Stewart wrote an honest, cynical dissent to POWELL saying it was moot, so who cared? "Whaddaya gonna do about it, sucker?" in the hands of a powerful gang is going to make legal reasoning look silly. After all, Pelosi stuck Owens in the House without the NY SecState's certification. Sounds like a violation of law to me. But "Whaddaya gonna do about it, sucker?" carried the day.

I'll take MJW's accurate point seriously when Hoffman applies for a temporary injunction against Owens pending resolution of this matter, and gets it. Remember again: Eric Holder's Justice Department is in the background, slapping a nightstick into its other palm, just itching to do nothing in support of any ruling in Hoffman's favor. Hoffman doesn't even have the whole hearted backing of the GOP establishment, who might be able to make Pelosi nervous enough to give some ground. Nope, I stick to my bet that Hoffman is cooked in 2009. On to 2010.


Gregory Koster, I think the significance of the Powell decision is not so much that it can be used to unseat Owen, but it can be used to force the House to seat Hoffman (in the unlike event he prevail in the election).

Consider what the courts said: "Therefore, we hold that, since Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. [Hoffman], was duly elected by the voters of the 18th [23rd] Congressional District of New York and was not ineligible to serve under any provision of the Constitution, the House was without power to exclude him from its membership."

If Hoffman is duly elected, and the courts follow the Powell precedent, there's seems to be no question that he must be seated. And, as a natural consequence, Owen must be unseated.

Stewart's dissent was based on his contention that the case was mooted because the session of congress which barred Powell from membership had expired, and a new session had begun in which Powell was a member. Not a bad argument, but completely inapplicable to the situation in which a duly elected Hoffman is refused membership in the current session of congress.


Owens, that is.


Balloon Boy. He's still thinking and it's the worst month in the wars histories. He lost all of it.

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