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Letters to the Editor

Changing the rules

It is the final game of the Minnesota State Boy's Basketball tournament. Both teams have fought long and hard to get into the finals. The losing team cannot win because the three seconds in the lane rule greatly hinders their offense. This rule has kept them from victory because their offensive center needs five seconds. In the last half of the final quarter, this rule is changed from three seconds in the lane to five seconds. This team now wins. Thanks to this rule change, the state championship is theirs.

"Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules" (2 Timothy 2:5). Or at least that is how it should be unless rules do not need to be followed.

"Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States" U.S. CONST. art. I, sec. 7, cl. 2.

This means that the House and Senate have to agree on the exact same bill before the President can sign it. Typically, the House and Senate pass their respective bills which though similar, have significant differences. These differences are worked out in a conference committee and then this bill is sent back to the House and Senate to be voted upon again as a sort of "hybrid" of the two bills. This "hybrid" bill, if passed, is then sent to the president for his signature.

In the health care debate, the Senate bill was never voted on by the House of Representatives. By sleight of hand and creative rule writing (read Constitutional breaking) the Senate bill which would not have passed the House was "deemed" to have been passed even though an official vote was never taken. Instead, a "fix it" bill was passed that would cure the defects in the Senate bill. This "fix it" bill will be sent to the Senate for passage and then to the president for his signature. By a change of rules in the last half of the final quarter, one team wins by a few votes.

I do not know why the president bothered with all the effort. By the same rationale, he could simply have written his own health care bill, "deemed" that Congress sent it to him, and simply signed it into law.

The whole process of bribery, arm twisting, smoke-filled (transparent) back rooms is sickening. The statement by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that we have to vote on a bill before we can read it defies logic and common sense.

There are two differing opinions on the health care bill and that is to be expected. What should not be expected is a blatant violation of the rules to get a victory. And Congress wonders why the people are angry and hold them in contempt?

Allen Wold