Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sebelius to Give Obamacare Testimony - Local Lawyer Helps Prep

HHS Secretary Sebelius applauds launch of HealthCare.gov
PPPS (Littleton)—Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, has finally agreed to testify before Congress regarding the less-than-perfect launch of HealthCare.gov, the web site for people to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare).

Secretary Sebelius, was unable to attend Congressional hearings this week, due to her  busy schedule of banquets, late-night TV program interviews, Planned Parenthood speaking engagements, and audiences with petitioners seeking waivers.

The Secretary will testify in a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee next Wednesday.

Our own PPPS staff attorney Pleader Pete, author of the best-selling legal tome, The Art of Testimony, has been asked  by Secretary Sebelius to assist her in preparing for the hearing.

PPPS was able to interview Pleader Pete as he was getting ready to drive to Norton, Kansas where he will supervise the construction of a mock Congressional hearing room at a secret farm location overlooking Sebelius Lake. Pete will then meet with Secretary Sebelius and her closest aids for an  intensive weekend of testimony prep.

Here is our exclusive interview: 
PPPS: What advice do you plan to give to the Secretary?
Pleader Pete: Well, as an attorney, my first advice to her will be to just tell the truth. But within the definition of truth, there is of course a great deal of latitude, as any lawyer or politician is fully aware. I've actually been able to stretch the definition of truth to three full chapters in my book The Art of Testimony.
Did I mention that the book is for sale on Amazon or at my web site, PleaderPete.com? That's P-L-E-A-D-E-R  P-E-T-E, one word, DOT COM.
PPPS: Very clever of you to get that book plug in. But, I'm sure our readers already know that any attorney would advise their client to tell the truth. Can you share any more specific advice you may have for the Secretary regarding her Obamacare testimony?
Pleader Pete: Yes, I will advise her to Just Follow the Chart.
And by chart I mean the diagram of the various components of the Affordable Care Act carefully prepared by Congressional Republicans. Charts and diagrams can be excellent aids to testimony, particularly when you can effectively use one prepared by your enemies, those rascally Republicans.
PPPS: Can you describe the nature of this chart for our readers? And perhaps how the Secretary might use it?
Pleader Pete: Yes, of course. In fact, I have a copy of the chart right here.
(click to enlarge)
As you can see, the chart provides some clarity regarding the various components of the Affordable Care Act, and yet, at the same time, is also a bit confusing. I will instruct the Secretary on how to use the chart to her advantage, sometimes to clarify, and at other times to obfuscate, depending on the nature of the question from the committee.

And of course, by providing this diagram to the Secretary to study over the weekend, it will afford her an opportunity, perhaps for the first time, to learn what was really contained in the 2,400 page bill. It will certainly provide that "first time" opportunity for  the Democratic committee members who voted for the law.
PPPS: I notice that there is a very large circle in the middle of the chart marked Secretary, with lines connecting the circle to nearly every other chart component. Will that have any bearing on the Secretary's testimony? It almost looks like the flow of every piece of data and every decision goes through that circle.
Pleader Pete: You're very clever to notice that. In fact, you've hit upon the most critical piece in the Secretary's testimony, and the main reason I've been hired to prep her.

You see, the Republican members of the committee will have noticed that as well. My sources tell me that they are preparing questions referring to that circle and those lines as the Center of Authority and the Lines of Responsibility, and that they may even demand the Secretary's resignation.

But I have a plan for the Secretary, through her testimony, to turn that strategy right on its head. When she is done, that circle and those lines will be known as the Circle of Least Responsibility and Lines Delegating Authority.

Of course, that last bit of strategy is strictly off-the-record. Client privilege and all.

PPPS: Of course, I understand. Why look, my recorder was turned off the whole time.
Do you have any other advise for the Secretary, say if, for instance, the atmosphere becomes a little heated, or the questions a bit too personal?
Pleader Pete: Well, my final advise will be this: "Never, ever, under any circumstances, reveal the address for any personal or unofficial alias email account that you might maintain. If pressed on this issue, first emphasize that you can't remember such details, and then, if necessary, liberally cite the first and fifth amendments."

Not that there are any such email accounts, of course.
PPPS: Of course.
Thus ended the interview.

Related Stories:
A great article about why Secretary Sebelious should NOT be fired.
Don't Fire Secretary Sebelius! — Charlotte Hays, Independent Women's Forum & Townhall.com
Don't Fire Secretary Sebelius!
Don't Fire Secretary Sebelius!


  1. Another stupid lawyer that we, the taxpayers are probably paying for.

    Why don't you just instruct her to say "What difference, at this point, does it make?" That would be a lot simpler than trying to explain the silly chart.

    1. But the chart is Obamacare that's why it needs to be explained.

    2. I hate to jump in here in a little discussion between two Anonymous'.

      It's a little like hearing a conversation between two Petes going on inside your head - not that I would know what that is like, of course.

      Of course.

      But my suggestion to Anonymous No. 1 would be: cut out the sarcasm.
      I agree.

      And my suggestion for Anonymous No. 2 would be: find out the Republican members on that committee and make sure they have a copy of that chart.
      I disagree. I think you should send a copy to some Democratic Congress members and ask them "which part of Obamacare is their favorite, or do they like the whole thing, since they voted for the whole thing?"

    3. re: "It's a little like hearing a conversation between two Petes going on inside your head - not that I would know what that is like, of course".

      Perhaps you are having flashbacks to the 3rd grade and that oft-repeated ditty: If Pete and Repeat sat on a log, and Pete fell off, who was left?

      My grandmother fell for that one dozens of times.

    4. Anonymous 3 - Were you referring to RePete Pete, our gossip columnist?

  2. Oh, my. the part that is both sad and funny is how close it is to what must likely be the truth . . . Heaven help us.


    1. Anonymous 4 (if that is your real name) - you are very perceptive and obviously a concerned citizen. But in the future, please avoid all references to truth - we have a reputation to uphold here at PPPS.

      God bless, and come back again.

  3. Nice post informative content lovely blog.


Feel free to comment, but keep it clean. Pious Pete will be monitoring.