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DREAM On amnesty-for-illegals

December 1, 2010 12:00 P.M.

DREAM On
The amnesty-for-illegals crowd has found some sympathetic poster children.

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have pledged a vote as early as this week on the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors), a bill that would legalize illegal aliens who arrived here before the age of 16 and who comply with certain educational or military-service requirements.

The core principle behind this amnesty proposal is that it is aimed at those who have grown up here and are, psychologically and emotionally, Americans. In the words of America’s Voice, a hard-left open-borders group, the beneficiaries of the measure are “patriotic young Americans in all but paperwork.”

There’s no doubt that this is the most sympathetic group of illegal immigrants. That is precisely why DREAM has been dangled as bait for the more general amnesty proposals described as “comprehensive immigration reform,” with amnesty advocates brandishing the situation of these young people as justification for a broader amnesty. (Though no one seems to have stopped to ask: If such a comprehensive bill would provide amnesty for all illegals, then why would we need DREAM?)

Nonetheless, now that the amnesty crowd has belatedly decided to move ahead on DREAM as a standalone measure, many in the public and Congress are open to the idea of addressing the situation of such young people. But the DREAM Act, in every one of its iterations over the years, has four fatal flaws.

1. The act is billed as legalizing those brought as infants or toddlers, and yet it covers people brought here up to age 16. The examples used by advocates are nearly always people who were brought here very young. The student-body president at Fresno State University, Pedro Ramirez — who was “coincidentally” revealed to be an illegal alien just as the DREAM Act lame-duck effort got under way — came here at age three. Harvard student Eric Balderas was brought here at age four. Yves Gomes was brought here at 14 months, Juan Gomez at two years, Marie Gonzalez at five, Dan-el Padilla at four, and so on.

So why set the age cutoff at 16? If the point is to provide amnesty to those whose identity was formed here, then you’d need a much lower age cutoff. I have a 15-year-old, and if I took him to live illegally in Mexico (and living illegally is a lot harder to do there than here), he would always remain, psychologically, an American, because his identity is already formed. The Roman Catholic Church and English common law set the age of reason at seven. That, combined with a requirement of at least ten years’ continuous residence here, seems like a much more defensible place to draw the line. Unless, of course, you’re just using those who came as young children to bootstrap a larger amnesty.

2. Next, all amnesties have at least three harmful consequences, and the DREAM Act ignores all three. The first of these is massive fraud. Perhaps one-fourth of those legalized under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act received amnesty fraudulently, including Mahmud Abouhalima, a leader of the first World Trade Center attack. The fraud in that first big amnesty program was so pervasive as to be almost comical, with people claiming work histories here that included picking watermelons from trees and digging cherries out of the ground.

And yet what does the DREAM Act say about fraud? As Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) points out in “Ten Things You Need To Know about S-3827, the DREAM Act,” the measure “prohibits using any of the information contained in the amnesty application (name, address, length of illegal presence that the alien admits to, etc.) to initiate a removal proceeding or investigate or prosecute fraud in the application process.” This is like playing a slot machine without having to put any money in — any illegal alien can apply, and if he wins, great, but if he loses, he can’t be prosecuted even if he lied through his teeth about everything. No amnesty proposal can be taken seriously unless applicants are made to understand, right up front, that any lies, no matter how trivial, will result in arrest and imprisonment.

3. Another problem with DREAM, which all amnesties share, is that it will attract new illegal immigration. Prospective illegal immigrants, considering their options, are more likely to opt to come if they see that their predecessors eventually hit the jackpot. In 1986, we had an estimated 5 million illegals, 3 million of whom were legalized. We now have more than twice as many as before the last amnesty, and they’ve been promised repeatedly that if they hold out a little longer they’ll be able to stay legally. Any new amnesty, even if only for those brought here as children, will attract further illegal immigration.

There’s really no way to prevent this, but to minimize it, you need stringent enforcement measures. This was the logic of the 1986 law and the recent “comprehensive immigration reform” proposals. The critique of such “grand bargains” has been that the illegals get their amnesty but the promised enforcement never materializes — and that critique remains valid. But if the sponsors of DREAM were serious about addressing the plight of people brought here as infants and toddlers, they would include muscular enforcement measures as proof of their bona fides. These would include mandatory use of E-Verify for all new hires, explicit authorization of state and local governments to enforce civil immigration law, and full implementation of an exit-tracking system for all foreign visitors, for starters. And the legal status of all the amnesty beneficiaries would remain provisional until the enforcement measures were up and running and passed judicial muster. Even these might not be sufficient to turn back a new wave of illegal immigration sparked by the amnesty, but the lack of such measures speaks volumes about the real intentions of the DREAM Act’s sponsors.

4. Finally, all amnesties reward illegal immigrants — in this case, both those brought here as children and the adults who subjected them to this limbo. Any serious proposal to legalize young people brought here as infants or toddlers would need to prevent the possibility that their parents and other adults responsible for bringing them here illegally would ever receive any benefit from the amnesty, namely, future sponsorship as legal immigrants. This could be done in two ways: Either the amnesty recipients would not be put on a “path to citizenship” at all, but instead be given a time-limited work visa, indefinitely renewable so long as they stay out of trouble. This would mean they could not petition for any relatives to immigrate in the future. Alternatively, the amnesty beneficiaries could receive green cards and eventual citizenship, but we would abolish all the legal-immigration categories for family members other than spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens. Either way, the adults who knew what they were doing would never be rewarded.

A DREAM Act 2.0 that addressed these problems — that prosecuted fraud, implemented enforcement, prevented downstream legal immigration, and focused much more narrowly on those who came very young — would possibly be something that even I, were I a congressman, might be able to vote for. But the lack of these elements is clear proof that the amnesty crowd isn’t interested in fixing the specific problem of a sympathetic but small group of people; rather, these young people are simply poster children who have been used for years to try to justify a general amnesty for all illegal aliens. And when the DREAM Act fails, as it will, Pedro Ramirez and his fellows will need to ask the pro-amnesty politicians and lobbying groups why they were sacrificed on the altar of “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Obama’s stimulus program cost more than the Iraq war

Little-known fact: Obama’s failed stimulus program cost more than the Iraq war

By: Mark Tapscott
Editorial Page Editor
08/23/10 11:32 AM EDT

Expect to hear a lot about how much the Iraq war cost in the days ahead from Democrats worried about voter wrath against their unprecedented spending excesses.

The meme is simple: The economy is in a shambles because of Bush’s economic policies and his war in Iraq. As American Thinker’s Randall Hoven points out, that’s the message being peddled by lefties as diverse as former Clinton political strategist James Carville, economist Joseph Stiglitz, and The Nation’s Washington editor, Christopher Hayes.

The key point in the mantra is an alleged $3 trillion cost for the war. Well, it was expensive to be sure, in both blood and treasure, but, as Hoven notes, the CBO puts the total cost at $709 billion. To put that figure in the proper context of overall spending since the war began in 2003, Hoven provides this handy CBO chart showing the portion of the annual deficit attributable to the conflict:

But there is much more to be said of this data and Hoven does an admirable job of summarizing the highlights of such an analysis:

* Obama’s stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War — more than $100 billion (15%) more.

* Just the first two years of Obama’s stimulus cost more than the entire cost of the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war.

* Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it lasted.

* Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame.

* Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time frame. The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-point-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War.

* The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).

* During Bush’s Iraq years, 2003-2008, the federal government spent more on education that it did on the Iraq War. (State and local governments spent about ten times more.)

Just some handy facts to recall during coming weeks as Obama and his congressional Democratic buddies get more desperate to put the blame for their spending policies on Bush and the war in Iraq. For more from Hoven, go here.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Little-known-fact-Obamas-failed-stimulus-program-cost-more-than-the-Iraq-war-101302919.html#ixzz0xYRIWnaD

Unsustainable Cow Manure

Unsustainable Cow Manure

Paul Driessen

Seek a sustainable future! Wind, solar and biofuels will ensure an eco-friendly, climate-protecting, planet-saving, sustainable inheritance for our children. Or so we are told by activists and politicians intent on enacting new renewable energy standards, mandates and subsidies during a lame duck session.

It may be useful to address some basic issues, before going further down the road to Renewable Utopia.

First, when exactly is something not sustainable? When known deposits (proven reserves) may be depleted in ten years? 50? 100? What if looming depletion results from government policies that forbid access to lands that might contain new deposits – as with US onshore and offshore prospects for oil, gas, coal, uranium, rare earth minerals and other vital resources?

Rising prices and improved discovery and extraction technologies and techniques typically expand energy and mineral reserves – postponing depletion by years or decades, as in the case of oil and natural gas. But legislation, regulation, taxation and litigation prevent these processes from working properly, hasten depletion, and make “sustainability” an even more politicized, manipulated and meaningless concept.

Second, should the quest for mandated “sustainable” technologies be based on real, immediate threats – or will imaginary or exaggerated crises suffice? Dangerous manmade global cooling morphed into dangerous manmade global warming, then into “global climate disruption” – driven by computer models and disaster scenarios, doctored temperature data, manipulated peer reviews, and bogus claims about melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Shouldn’t policies that replace reliable, affordable energy with expensive, intermittent, land-intensive, subsidized sources be based on real science?

Third, shouldn’t inconvenient sustainability issues be resolved before we proceed any further, by applying the same guidelines to renewable energy as courts, regulators and eco-activists apply to fossil fuels?

Most oil, gas, coal and uranium operations impact limited acreage for limited times – and affected areas must be restored to natural conditions when production ends. Effects on air and water quality, habitats and protected species are addressed through regulations, lease restrictions and fines. The operations generate vast amounts of affordable, reliable energy from relatively small tracts of land, and substantial revenues.

Wind turbines generate small amounts of expensive, unreliable electricity from gargantuan installations on thousands of acres. Turbines and their associated transmission lines dominate scenic vistas, disrupt habitats and migratory routes, affect water drainage patterns, impede crop dusting and other activities, and kill bats, raptors and other birds, including endangered species that would bring major fines if the corporate killers were oil or mining companies. And yet, wind operators receive exemptions from environmental review, biodiversity and endangered species laws that traditional energy companies must follow – on the ground that such rules would raise costs and delay construction of “eco-friendly” projects.

Kentucky’s Cardinal coal mine alone produces 75% of the Btu energy generated by all the wind turbines and solar panels in the USA, Power Hungry author Robert Bryce calculates. Unspoiled vistas, rural and maritime tranquility, and bald eagles will all be endangered if 20% wind power mandates are enacted.

The Palo Verde Nuclear Power Station near Phoenix generates nearly 900 times more electricity than Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base photovoltaic panels, on less land, for 1/15 the cost per kWh – and does it 90% of the time, versus 30% of the time for the Nellis array. Generating Palo Verde’s electrical output via Nellis technology would require solar arrays across an area ten times larger than Washington, DC.

Building enough photovoltaic arrays to power Los Angeles would mean blanketing thousands of square miles of desert habitat. Once built, solar and wind systems will be there just this side of forever, since there will be no energy production if we let them decay, after shutting down whatever fossil fuel operations aren’t needed to fuel backup generators that keep wind and solar facilities operational.

Wind and solar power also mean there is a sudden demand for tons of rare earth elements that weren’t terribly important a decade ago. They exist in very low concentrations, require mining and milling massive amounts of rock and ore to get the needed minerals, and thus impose huge ecological impacts.

If mountaintop removal to extract high quality coal at reduced risk to miners is unacceptable and unsustainable – how is it eco-friendly and sustainable to clear-cut mountain vistas for wind turbines? Blanket thousands of square miles with habitat-suffocating solar panels? Or remove mountains of rock to mine low-grade rare earth mineral deposits for solar panel films, hybrid batteries and turbine magnets?

Since any undiscovered US rare earth deposits are likely locked up in wilderness and other restricted land use areas, virtually no exploration or development will take place here. We will thus be dependent on foreign suppliers, like China, which are using them in their own manufacturing operations – and selling us finished wind turbines, solar panels and hybrid car batteries. The United States will thus be dependent on foreign suppliers for renewable energy, just as we rely on foreign countries for oil and uranium.

To claim any of this is ecologically or economically sustainable strains credulity.

Green jobs will mostly be overseas, subsidized by US tax and energy dollars – other people’s money (OPM). Indeed, Americans have already spent over $20 billion in stimulus money on “green” energy projects. However, 80% of the funding for some of them went to China, India, South Korea and Spain, and three-fourth of the turbines for eleven US wind projects were made overseas. This is intolerable, indefensible and unsustainable. But it gets worse.

Denver’s Nature and Science Museum used $720,000 in stimulus money to install photovoltaic panels and reduce its electricity bills by 20 percent. The panels may last 25 years, whereas it will take 110 years to save enough on those bills to pay for the panels – and by then four more sets of panels will be needed.

As to biofuels, the US Navy recently waxed ecstatic over its success with camellia-based eco-fuel in fighter jets. But the PC biofuel costs $67.50 per gallon, versus $5.00 per gallon for commercial jet fuel.

To meet the 36-billion-gallons-a-year-by-2022 federal ethanol diktat, we would have to grow corn on cropland and wildlife habitat the size of Georgia, to get 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol – plus switchgrass on farmlands and habitats the size of South Carolina, to produce 21 billion gallons of “advanced biofuel.” By contrast, we could produce 670 billion gallons of oil from frozen tundra equal to 1/20 of Washington, DC, if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge weren’t off limits.

OPM-subsidized ethanol also means a few corn growers and ethanol refiners make hefty profits. But chicken and beef producers, manufacturers that need corn syrup, and families of all stripes get pounded by soaring costs, to generate a fuel that gets one-third less mileage per tank than gasoline.

Hydrocarbons fueled the most amazing and sustained progress in human history. Rejecting further progress – in the name of sustainability or climate protection – requires solid evidence that we face catastrophes if we don’t switch to “sustainable” alternatives. Computer-generated disaster scenarios and bald assertions by Al Gore, Harry Reid, John Holdren and President Obama just don’t make the grade.

We need to improve energy efficiency and conserve resources. Science and technology will continue the great strides we have made in that regard. Politically motivated mandates will impose huge costs for few benefits. Sustainability claims will simply redistribute smaller shares of a shrinking economic pie.

“Renewable” energy subsidies may sustain the jobs of lobbyists, activists, politicians, bureaucrats and politically connected companies. But they will kill millions of other people’s jobs.

Let’s be sure to remind our elected officials of this along their campaign trails – and on November 2.

The left’s war on home appliances

EDITORIAL: The left’s war on home appliances

European nanny-state regulations are coming to America

The Washington Times

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If ever there were any doubt that the new environmental movement’s primary goal is reversing progress made since the Industrial Revolution, look no further than Europe, where bureaucrats systematically are targeting the conveniences of modern life. To fight the imaginary problem of global warming – sorry, “global climate disruption” – the European Commission has before it a proposal to reduce the electricity used by the humble family vacuum cleaner, the London Telegraph reported. It’s only a matter of time before the bureaucracy on our side of the Atlantic sucks up this bad idea.

According to the final report on the subject prepared for European Union regulators, vacuums have steadily increased in power from 500 watts for an average upright 50 years ago to 2,500 watts today. The study asserts that “more power does not necessarily equate to better cleaning” and recommends a scheme to cut the allowed power level for vacuums to just 500 watts by 2014. Forget modern Hoovers and Dysons; it’s time for something out of the 1960 Sears catalog.

As the EU report explains, “an energy label on its own will not be enough to effect real energy savings. We are firmly of the belief that limiting input power ratings whilst maintaining good cleaning performance is achievable through the design improvement options.” Governments don’t have a positive track record when it comes to retaining performance on redesigned consumer products. If vacuums have less suction, homeowners will need to spend more time vacuuming, and the supposed “energy savings” will never materialize. The same thing happened in 1992 when congressional plumbers decided to redesign America’s commodes. Government-mandated low-flow toilet models were so ineffective that they required multiple flushes on each use, resulting in no net savings in water use.

Modern technology has delivered a solution to this pesky problem of consumers not doing as they’re told. In last year’s $814 billion stimulus package, President Obama poured 3.4 billion tax dollars into subsidies for “smart grid” projects designed to centralize control over major appliances that use electricity. The program, of course, is marketed as an advance that will deliver new options and savings to the consumer. The two-way communication underlying the concept, however, eventually will make it possible for big-ticket electrical items to be controlled remotely. In 1977, then-President Jimmy Carter called on every American “to lower the thermostat settings in all homes and buildings to no more than 65 degrees during the daytime and to a much lower setting at night.” Now the smart grid enables Big Brother to turn it down for you.

Congress already has regulated light bulbs, toilets, shower heads and washing machines. It’s only a matter of time before it adopts Europe’s forthcoming ban on fully functional vacuum cleaners. Forcing the public to return to push brooms and washcloths is not going to save the polar bears any more than Mr. Carter‘s temperature austerity contributed to world peace. The new House and Senate should make repeal of these pointless appliance regulations a priority next year.

Never Green Enough

CHESSER: Never green enough

Lame-duck energy plan first step in job-killing agenda

By Paul Chesser

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The word on the Web-o-sphere is that a lame-duck Congress could enact a wind- and solar-subsidizing renewable electricity mandate between November and January.

That’s in addition to the billions of dollars in taxpayer “stimulus” that were dedicated to the creation of an alternative energy economy, which the Obama administration touted as a creator of “green” jobs.

But like every other big-spending initiative in which Washington tries to centrally plan the economy, a renewables mandate will fail, just like the stimulus.

The experience in Pennsylvania is instructive. When President Obama took office in January 2009, the state’s unemployment rate was 7 percent – up 2.3 percentage points from a year earlier. Today it stands at more than 9 percent.

But what we heard from the amateur economists in the Keystone State’s environmental movement was that so-called “green” jobs were going to save the day, thanks in part to the passage of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. The eco-activist group Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (known as “PennFuture”), whose motto is “Every environmental victory grows the economy,” said as much in March 2008:

“Clean energy industries are attracted to Pennsylvania because of the work ethic of our people, and because the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act in 2004. The guarantee of a market for wind, solar and biomass power drew major solar and wind companies to locate here.

“But now, other states have upped the ante and are seriously competing for clean energy companies. New Jersey and California have hundreds of millions of dollars a year available for solar energy, for example.”

So similar to what President Obama has prescribed with the stimulus, the failure hasn’t been the policy; it’s been that the government hasn’t intervened enough! And fitting an environmentalist economist’s logic perfectly, PennFuture cites New Jersey (a 22.5 percent renewable energy mandate by 2021; 9.6 percent unemployment) and California (a 33 percent renewable energy mandate by 2020; 12.4 percent unemployment) as examples to be followed.

What other pains do alternative energy mandates inflict? According to Pennsylvania’s Public Utilities Commission, the annual cost of ownership for solar energy per kilowatt-hour is over 700 percent more than the cost of coal, and wind energy is almost 23 percent more expensive than coal. Meanwhile, state government provides more than $20 million annually for grants to alternative energy projects, and in 2008, Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a Democrat, signed into law another mandate for an additional $650 million to be given to “green” schemes. Try paying those higher utility and tax bills while fighting to keep your job.

Not surprisingly, those hefty sums for wind and solar still aren’t enough to keep the environmentalists happy, as groups like PennFuture have pushed for even greater mandates and subsidies this year. They won’t be happy until Pennsylvania hits double-digit unemployment as businesses’ electricity costs go through the roof.

Now pull back to the national scene. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico Democrat, and Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, want a 15 percent national renewable electricity standard. Nearly half of America’s power comes from coal, with 20 percent each from natural gas and nuclear, and less than 3 percent combined from wind, solar and biomass. As the Heritage Foundation says, “and this is after decades of existing generous renewable subsidies.”

How much will be enough to make the “green” economy – sparked by renewables mandates – save us all? The answer is, it will never be enough. When it comes to the environmentalists’ agenda, their appetite for subsidies and intervention is insatiable.

Caves to Big Corn

EDITORIAL: Administration caves to Big Corn

EPA burns your money with ethanol

The Obama administration wants to boost the amount of corn shoved into the gas tank of newer cars by 50 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made this happen on Wednesday by giving partial approval to E15, an automotive fuel blend containing 15 percent ethanol. This dirty deal will enrich the major ethanol producers represented by Growth Energy while impoverishing taxpayers and anyone else who cares about clean air.

Technically, the agency only approved a waiver allowing the sale of E15 for vehicles from model year 2007 and later, but don’t be fooled by this incremental approach. The EPA is expected by November to adjust down the allowance to cars built after 2000. The current “allowance” for a 10-percent-ethanol fuel blend, or E10, is no different from a mandate. Ninety percent of gasoline sold in the United States is E10, and in most areas of the country, real gasoline is simply not available. It’s not clear how multiple fuel pumps for older and newer cars would work in practice under this rule, but ethanol policy has never made sense.

Congress and the George W. Bush administration enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which, in addition to banning incandescent light bulbs, mandates the sale of 36 billion gallons of ethanol in 2022. That established a profitable market for producers by government fiat. The scheme also will drive up grain and corn prices, benefiting farm states at the expense of consumers.

Without government subsidies, controls and mandates, there would have been little if any demand for ethanol. Besides a 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit, there is a 54-cent tariff on ethanol imports and a 10-cent credit for small ethanol producers that the industry is lobbying to extend beyond the end of next year. Because ethanol produces less energy than gasoline, it makes no sense to use it on the road. A car that gets 30 miles per gallon on gas would get just 20 miles per gallon on ethanol.

Corn-based fuel is not only an economic disaster, it’s an ecological nightmare as well. By the EPA’s own numbers, an across-the-board switch to E15 would “significantly impair the emissions control technology” if used in 74 million cars in America’s fleet. That’s because E15 burns 6 percent leaner than gasoline – often exceeding manufacturer design specifications – leading to higher exhaust temperatures, misfires and catalytic-converter damage. In addition to this problem, burning ethanol produces heightened levels of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and deadly carcinogens such as formaldehyde. The ultimate hypocrisy in the EPA’s position is that the agency lists nitrogen oxides among the emissions responsible for purported climate change. “It accumulates in the atmosphere with other greenhouse gases causing a gradual rise in the earth’s temperature,” an EPA document explains.

The Obama administration doesn’t care if its policies, by its own standards, will poison the air, kill polar bears and melt the ice caps. Ethanol always has been a fundamentally political game. This policy is about re-election. Perhaps next year, the new Congress will have what it takes to stand up to Big Corn and repeal the subsidies, tariffs and mandates propping up this corporate welfare scheme.

The cost of Progressivist worship

The cost of progressivist worship

Obama’s liberal orthodoxy kills private-sector jobs

By Jim Powell

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Why is it that one government report after another “unexpectedly” bears more bad news about jobs? Last week, according to Bloomberg, “The number of unemployment claims unexpectedly shot up.” Before that, Reuters reported, “Employers unexpectedly cut jobs.” This “unexpectedly” bit has been going on for quite a while, suggesting that journalists continue to be surprised that President Obama‘s progressive agenda has failed to revive private-sector job creation. One might as well say, “Monday unexpectedly will come next week.”

There’s no secret about how to create private-sector jobs. Plenty of experience has shown how to do it, and a great deal has been written about it. The literature on the subject goes back a couple of hundred years, so Mr. Obama can’t say he just missed a tweet.

The first step is to make private-sector job creation a top priority. That’s vital, because the private sector pays all the bills. Government doesn’t have any money other than what it extracts from the private sector. Well, Mr. Obama never made the recovery of private-sector job creation a top priority because he was busy pushing his progressive agenda, including a big “stimulus” bill for government employees, government-run health care, more compulsory unionism, carbon taxes and other policies that have a negative impact on private-sector employment.

Mr. Obama‘s hero Franklin D. Roosevelt never made the recovery of private-sector job creation his top priority, either. He was busy establishing big welfare programs, public works projects, compulsory unionism and the first big U.S. entitlement. He multiplied the number of regulations and tripled federal taxation during the 1930s. Those policies made it more expensive and difficult for employers to hire people – major reasons why FDR’s New Deal was plagued by chronic double-digit unemployment despite the 60 percent expansion of gross domestic product between 1933 and 1937.

If private-sector job creation is a top priority, government must reduce the cost of hiring people and remove other obstacles to employment. Payroll taxes make it more expensive for employers to hire people, and Mr. Obama increased payroll taxes. Minimum-wage laws discourage employers from hiring people who are worth less than the legal minimum because of their limited skills and work experience – Mr. Obama didn’t try to stop last year’s minimum-wage increase. Mr. Obama backs labor unions that obtain above-market compensation and benefits, pricing employers out of markets (autos, steel, textiles, etc.) and destroying private-sector jobs. Obamacare imposes penalties on employers who hire more than 50 people. Mr. Obama is spending trillions of dollars the government doesn’t have, which naturally leads employers to anticipate higher taxes, and they’re reluctant to hire people before they know how high taxes are likely to be. Mr. Obama‘s financial “reform” bill authorizes government agencies to issue hundreds of costly regulations, and the resulting uncertainty further discourages employers from making financial commitments needed to hire people.

Mr. Obama has similarly throttled private-sector investment. He threatened to increase taxes on dozens of the top U.S.-based multinational companies, which would tend to depress their shares that are in individual securities accounts, pension funds, endowment funds and other portfolios. Mr. Obama repeatedly has demanded “soak-the-rich” taxes on private-sector job creators. He raised taxes on interest, dividends, annuities and rents. And of course, Mr. Obama wants the George W. Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of this year, which, in effect, means tax increases, including a top federal income tax rate of 39.6 percent, a dividend tax of 39.6 percent, a long-term capital gains tax of 20 percent, a return of marriage-tax penalties, a return of the death tax (55 percent on estates over $1 million) and a phaseout of itemized deductions for private-sector job creators – all this in addition to applicable state and city income taxes. Bottom line: less private-sector capital available to create private-sector jobs.

Mr. Obama could supercharge the economy if he eliminated all these policies that make it more expensive and difficult for employers to hire people, but that would mean dumping his progressive agenda. Does anybody expect him to do that?

Jim Powell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, is the author of “FDR’s Folly,” (Crown Forum, 2003).

Meet Your Czars

 MEET YOUR CZARS!

Stunning…… There are very few of us who know just what all the CZAR’s do up in D.C…………….Here are their names and job descriptions…….

OBAMA’S “CZARS”– Read who they are and realize what they want to do.  

Richard Holbrooke AfghanistanCzar Ultra liberal anti gun former Gov. Of New Mexico. Pro Abortion and legal drug use.Dissolve the 2nd Amendment
Ed Montgomery Auto recovery Czar Black radical anti business activist.  Affirmative Action and Job Preference for blacks.  Univ of Maryland Business SchoolDean teaches US business has caused world poverty.  ACORN board member.  Communist DuBois Club member.
Jeffrey Crowley     AIDS Czar Radical Homosexual.. A Gay Rights activist. Believes in Gay Marriage and especially, a Special Status for homosexuals only, including complete free health care for gays.
Alan Bersin   Border Czar The former failed superintendent of San Diego .   Ultra Liberal friend of Hilary Clinton.   Served as Border Czar under Janet Reno – to keep borders open to illegals without interference from US
David J. Hayes   California Water Czar Sr. Fellow of radical environmentalist group, “Progress Policy”.  No training or experience in water management whatsoever.
 Ron Bloom   Car Czar Auto Union worker. Anti business & anti nuclear.  Has worked hard to force US auto makers out of business.  Sits on the Board of Chrysler which is now Auto Union owned.   How did this happen?
 Dennis Ross   Central Region Czar Believes US policy has caused Mid East wars.  Obama apologist to the world.  Anti gun and completely pro abortion.
 Lynn Rosenthal   Domestic Violence Czar Director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.  Vicious anti male feminist. Supported male castration.Imagine?
 Gil Kerlikowske   Drug Czar devoted lobbyist for every restrictive gun law proposal,  Former Chief of Police in Liberal Seattle.  Believes no American should own a  firearm.  Supports legalization of all drugs
Paul Volcker     E conomicCzar Head of Fed Reserve under Jimmy Carter when US economy nearly failed.  Obama  appointed head of the  Economic Recovery Advisory Board which engineered the Obama economic disaster to US economy.  Member of anti business “Progressive Policy” organization
Carol Brower Energy and Environment Czar Political Radical Former head of EPA – known for anti-business activism.  Strong anti-gun ownership.
Joshua DuBois   Faith Based Czar Political Black activist-Degree in Black Nationalism.  Anti gun ownership lobbyist.WHAT THE HELL DOES A FAITH BASED CZAR DO???????????
 Cameron Davis    Great LakesCzar  Chicago radical anti business environmentalist.  Blames George  Bush for “Poisoning the water that minorities have to drink.”

No experience or training in water management.  Former ACORN Board member (what does that tell us?)

Van Jones   Green Jobs Czar (since resigned)..  Black activist Member of American communist Party and San Francisco Communist Party  who saidGeorge Bush caused the 911 attack and wanted Bush investigated by the World Court for war crimes.  Black activist with

strong anti-white views.

Daniel Fried Guantanamo Closure Czar Human Rights activist for Foreign Terrorists.  Believes America has caused the war on terrorism. Believes terrorists haverights above and beyond Americans.
Nancy-Ann DeParle.     Health Czar Former head of Medicare / Medicaid.   Strong Health Care Rationing proponent.  She is married to a reporter for The New York Times.
Vivek Kundra   Information Czar Born in New Delhi , India .  Controls all public information, including labels and news releases.  Monitors all private Internet emails. (hello?)
Todd Stern     International Climate Czar Anti business former White House chief of Staff- Strong supportrer of the Kyoto Accord.  Pushing hard for Cap and Trade.  Blames US business for Global warming. Anti- US business prosperity.  
Dennis Blair Intelligence Czar Ret. Navy.  Stopped US guided missile program as “provocative”.  Chair of ultra liberal “Council on Foreign Relations” whichblames American organizations for regional wars.
George Mitchell   Mideast Peace Czar Fmr. Sen from Maine Left wing radical.  Has said Israel should be split up into “2 or 3 ” smaller more manageable plots”.  (God forbid) A true Anti-nuclear anti-gun & pro homosexual “special rights” advocate
Kenneth Feinberg   Pay Czar Chief of Staff to TED KENNEDY.   Lawyer who got rich off the 911 victims payoffs. (horribly true)
Cass Sunstein   Regulatory Czar Liberal activist judge believes free speech needs to be limited for the “common good”.  Essentially against 1st amendment.  Rules against personal freedoms many times -like private gun ownership and right to free speech.   This guy has to be run

out of Washington!!

John Holdren   Science Czar Fierce ideological environmentalist, Sierra Club, Anti business activist.  Claims US business has caused world poverty.  No Science training.
Earl Devaney   Stimulus Accountability Czar Spent career trying to take guns away from American citizens.  Believes in Open Borders to Mexico .  Author of  statement blaming US gun stores for drug war in Mexico .
J. Scott Gration     Sudan Czar Native of Democratic Republic of Congo .  Believes US does little to help Third World countries.  Council of foreign relations, asking for higher US taxes to support United Nations
Herb Allison   TARP Czar Fannie Mae CEO responsible for the US recession by using real estate mortgages to back up the US stock market. Caused millions of  people to lose their life savings.
John Brennan Terrorism Czar Anti CIA activist.  No training in diplomatic or gov. affairs.  Believes Open Borders to Mexico and a dialog with terrorists and has suggested Obama disband US military   A TOTAL MORON!!!!!
Aneesh Chopra     Technology Czar No Technology training.   Worked for the Advisory Board Company, a health care think tank for hospitals. Anti doctor activist.  Supports Obama Health care Rationing and salaried doctors working exclusively for the Gov. health care plan
 Adolfo Carrion Jr..  Urban Affairs Czar  Puerto Rican born Anti American activist and leftist group member in Latin America .  Millionaire “slum lord” of the Bronx ,

NY.  Owns many lavish homes and condos which he got from “sweetheart” deals with labor unions.  Wants higher taxes on

middle class to pay for minority housing and health care

Ashton Carter   Weapons Czar Leftist.  Wants all private weapons in US destroyed.  Supports UN ban on firearms ownership in America ..  No Other “policy”
Gary Samore WMD Policy Czar Former US Communist.   Wants US to destroy all WMD unilaterally as a show of good faith.  Has no other “policy”.


  
How lucky are we that these are the people who are helping President Obama in the RUNNING of our country and the White House? 

  
ARE YOU MAD YET?  Please pass this on and EDUCATE your family, friends and neighbors!

The Presidents Nun

The President’s Nun: Obamacare Scranton Scandal Explodes

Can you say “October Surprise”?

A mushrooming political battle over ObamaCare involving the White House, two incumbent Pennsylvania congressmen, three Catholic hospitals and a nun has just exploded in, of all places, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Charges from the Scranton medical community of intimidation by the Obama White House and its allies are filling the air. 

All of this just as Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Scranton today to raise money for one of the participants.

There are two issues at the core of the controversy.

1. ObamaCare and the sale of three Scranton-area Catholic hospitals.

2. The re-election prospects of the two House members, Democrats Paul Kanjorski and Chris Carney, both of whom cast key votes to pass ObamaCare.

Here’s the list of players — major and minor — so far.
• The President of the United States.
• The Vice President of the United States.
• Three Scranton-area Catholic hospitals suddenly for sale.
• The CEO of the three Scranton-area Catholic hospitals for sale.
• ObamaCare, otherwise known as “health care reform” or the “Affordable Care Act.”
• A Catholic nun.
• Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak.
• A pen.
• Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of the late Senator Ted Kennedy.
• Time magazine.
• The Scranton Times
• The two Scranton-area House members Kanjorski and Carney, both losing in the polls.
• U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr., a native and resident of Scranton.
• Congressman Joe Sestak, the Democrats’ nominee for the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat.

March 22, 2010: President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”) into law in front of live television cameras and a packed East Room of the White House. According to news accounts, the President uses 21 different pens to sign his name, the highly prized souvenirs of the historic moment given to Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the wife of the late Senator Ted Kennedy along with a very select handful of others.

The President, after being introduced by an exuberant Vice President Biden (who whispers “this is a big f…g deal” into the President’s ear and is picked up by a live microphone) says:

“I heard one of the Republican leaders say this was going to be Armageddon. Well, two months from now, six months from now, you can check it out. We’ll look around and we’ll see.”

Almost immediately — it didn’t take two months much less six — the White House is confronted with a rapidly accelerating set of unintended consequences spreading across the country. As listed by the Wall Street Journal, those unintended consequences included 2011 premium increases shooting up as high as 9%; “multibillion-dollar corporate writedowns by Verizon, AT&T, Caterpillar and others”; the disruption of insurance markets, a show-down with McDonald’s, the imposition of price controls on premiums, insurers withdrawing from Medicare Advantage.

In what appears to have become a pattern, the response from the Obama Administration has been repeatedly swift and harsh — compared by one critic as an episode straight out of the Sopranos, the famous HBO mobster series.

The corporate writedowns — done in compliance with federal law — resulted in angry phone calls from then-Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and colleague Valerie Jarrett to corporate CEO’s and the heads of the Washington corporate offices of those involved. Congressman Henry Waxman threatened a congressional investigation into those companies whose obedience to the law put them at odds with the actual results of ObamaCare. Notification by insurers that rates were being forced up by ObamaCare resulted in a threatening letter from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to insurers warning that such candor would not be tolerated — at risk of not being allowed to participate in a future government-run health care exchange for insurers.

Then, suddenly, on October 6 — five days ago — the fuse to what is becoming a huge political explosion was lit.

In the unlikely location of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

IN THE MIDDLE OF THESE two hotly contested re-election races for a pair of Pennsylvania Democratic congressmen, the controversy first erupted over the suddenly announced sale of three Catholic Hospitals spread out between Paul Kanjorski’s and Chris Carney’s two adjoining congressional districts.

The initial announcement was made by Mercy Health Partners CEO Kevin Cook.

Cook is based in Scranton, while Mercy Partners and the three hospitals up for sale are in fact a subsidiary of the larger Catholic Healthcare Partners (CHP) based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 The three Catholic hospitals involved are: Mercy Hospital in Scranton; Mercy Special Care Hospital in Nanticoke, both in Kanjorski’s 11th District. And the Mercy Tyler Hospital in Tunkhannock, located in Carney’s adjacent 10th District.

The Cook announcement was big news in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters of Mercy had opened Mercy Hospital in Scranton, a major facility for the city, in 1917 — 93 years earlier. Inevitably it drew media attention. Which is where the plot thickens.

WNEP TV (Channel 16) reporter Jon Meyer filed a story about the sale at 4:40 pm. that afternoon. WNEP TV anchor Paula Giangiacomo led the story on the air by saying that “one big” reason for the sale “is the health care reform bill signed into law this year.” Mercy Health Partners CEO Cook was interviewed on camera along with Sister Marie Parker. When Meyer asked Cook if ObamaCare had anything at all to do with the sale, the CEO replied:

“Health care reform is absolutely playing a role. Was it the precipitating factor in this decision? No, but was it a factor in our planning over the next five years? Absolutely.”

Notice the use — twice — of the word “absolutely” by Cook, leaving no doubt with viewers that while ObamaCare wasn’t the “precipitating factor” it was “absolutely playing a role…Absolutely” in the decision by Mercy Health Care Partners to put the three hospitals up for sale.

Then, on Friday October 8, only 48 hours after the story hit the local news on WNEP, the executive changed his story. Sort of. A second statement came out over Mr. Cook’s name as CEO. Headlined on the PR Newswire-US Newswire services, the statement was headed: “Mercy Reiterates Rationale for Sale Exploration.”

Gone was any reference to the subject discussed in the WNEP-TV story. ObamaCare playing a role in the sale of the three hospitals? Where would an idea like that ever come from? Not from this second statement. There is not a word of Cook’s videotaped certainty that ObamaCare is responsible in some measure for this proposed sale. Yet curiously, there is no out-and-out retraction of Cook’s comments to WNEP either. The subject of ObamaCare bearing responsibility for this sale in any fashion is disappeared. Completely missing. The second statement just has Mr. Cook saying that sale discussions were being conducted “long before the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The decision was due to many factors.”

But there appears to have been something else at work here behind the scenes that necessitated this second statement from Cook.

Mysteriously, the very same day, came this statement, also released on the PR Newswire services. Out of the blue, suddenly released by Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), the headline was sharp and pointed. The headline?

Alarmist News Reports About Catholic Hospitals Are False; CHA Supports Difficult Decision by Mercy Health Partners.

In a fury that fairly leaps from the page, Sister Carol says immediately that “false motives” have been assigned to the proposed sale of the three Mercy hospitals. Says the good Sister: “Reports that health reform is the primary motive behind the sale are completely false, misleading and politically motivated. Deliberations to sell the facilities began well before the Affordable Care Act became law and did not hinge on enactment of the legislation.”

In other words, Mr. Cook — he the CEO of the hospitals who said flatly that ObamaCare was in fact “absolutely” and yet again “absolutely” playing a role in the sale of the three hospitals — was, in the polite language of a Catholic nun, in essence being called a liar.

By Sunday, there was a third Cook statement, this one posted on the website of Mercy Health Partners. Cook statement # 3 was no longer as benign as statement # 2. The third Cook statement used some of the original language from statement #2, but its lead paragraph was now saying something else entirely. I have marked the change in bold print:

Mercy Health Partners recently announced our intention to explore the sale of our facilities in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The rationale for our initiative has been mischaracterized by certain politicized media outlets and severely distorted by some special interest groups.

In other words, Cook statement #3 has picked up a flavor of the statement from Sister Carol. Now saying without saying it that Cook’s original WNEP answer about the role ObamaCare “absolutely…absolutely” played in the decision to sell the hospitals has been “severely distorted.”

Curious, no? Very.

WHY IN THE WORLD would a Catholic nun be so revved up as to denounce in such strong language what Mr. Cook insisted was a fact — that ObamaCare was “absolutely” and yet again “absolutely” playing a role in the hospital sale? Why the hair-trigger fire-breathing response. From a simple Catholic nun named Sister Carol?

And why in the world would Mr. Cook feel compelled to issue not one but two re-statements of the rationale behind the sale of the three Mercy hospitals?

One doctor in Scranton — who was deeply disturbed by the announcement — is certain he knows the answer. That answer? Mr. Cook was absolutely right the very first time he spoke to WNEP on camera. Hospitals, said this doctor — frequently run a debt. “What’s different? Why now?” he said in terms of the rationale for selling the Mercy hospitals. The reason is exactly as CEO Cook originally said it was. ObamaCare cuts in Medicare reimbursement have changed the rules so drastically for hospitals “you [Mercy Health Partners] are in an untenable situation,” said this physician. Most hospitals have accumulating debt because of capital investments, says the doctor. But they can’t deal with that debt if in fact their ability to earn money is cut off or drastically reduced over time.

Alarmingly, the doctor, with a lifetime of practice in hand, says that “hospitals close in clusters where there is decreased income in terms of relatively low Medicare reimbursement…because they are the most vulnerable.” He adds that what is happening in Scranton, Nanticoke, and Tunkhannock with the Mercy hospitals “is just the beginning. It will happen everywhere because reimbursements will be reduced” under ObamaCare. Particularly, he adds, in areas where you have a high elderly population.

If the doctor is right, and he is not alone in saying this, the proposed sale of the three Mercy hospitals becomes a harbinger of what will happen nationally as a result of ObamaCare slowly tightening its government tentacles over the private health care system. Which means the sale of the three Mercy hospitals has added Scranton to what the Wall Street Journal has already called ObamaCare’s “trail of destruction.”

Ahhhh. But who is Sister Carol Keehan? What’s the big deal here with her? Why would a statement from simple Catholic nun appear to cause so much consternation with Mercy Health Partner CEO Kevin Cook in Scranton, Pennsylvania?

LET’S GO BACK to that presidential signing of the health care reform law. There were 21 very powerful people in that little group who received signing pens from the President. As mentioned that included the Vice President, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy’s widow Victoria Reggie Kennedy. And someone else.

That would be Sister Carol Keehan.

Impressive, no? The Catholic News Agency thought so, and prominently noted the story here. It also noted that Sister Carol was receiving her presidential pen from the President himself because she had been “supporting health care despite bishops’ objections.” The story even pictured the pen itself alongside the presidential seal on the box in which it came, with “Barack Obama” clearly visible scrawled along the side. Meaning, Sister Carol had enough clout to take on the Catholic Bishops on the President’s behalf — and win. 

Does the name Bart Stupak ring a bell? The much ballyhooed pro-life Democrat Congressman from Michigan? The Catholic Congressman Bart Stupak who was said to be such a sturdy obstacle to passage of ObamaCare because it would allow abortions? In the aftermath of the ObamaCare passage, Slate came forward to note that a letter signed by “representatives” of Catholic nuns finally swayed Stupak to break his staunch anti-abortion pledge and sign on for ObamaCare with a simple promise of an executive order on abortion, executive orders being overturned by successor presidents with the rapidity of rabbits doing the breeding thing. Wait! Stupak was persuaded by A nun.

Isn’t Sister Carol a …nun? How about that? What a coincidence? Yes indeed, the letter in question was signed — solo — by Sister Carol.

In other words, Sister Carol is not just some kindly nun who reminds you of the nun whacking your knuckles in grade school for this or that offense. No, in the world of Washington Sister Carol is a powerhouse lobbyist — make that a liberal social justice lobbyist — with a clear set of political skills and a very, very high-powered set of very elite friends. She is quite decidedly not just the neighborhood nun. Sister Carol is the Washington voice of the Catholic Health Association, once called the Catholic Hospital Association, which means her clout with Catholic hospitals around America — like the Mercy Hospital in Scranton and its siblings in Nanticoke and Tunkhannock, all run by CEO Cook — is considerable. Not to mention her clout with the parent company located in Cincinnati — and not to mention with Congressman Bart Stupak.

Selected as one of Time magazine’s “2010 Time 100” most influential people, Sister Carol’s social justice passions were written up glowingly for Time by one of the other Obama 21 pen-receivers at the health care signing: Victoria Reggie Kennedy. AKA, Mrs. Ted Kennedy. Sister Carol, as demonstrated by her status as the receiver of a presidential signing pen, is clearly the President’s favorite nun.

Thus her abilities to whack Mercy CEO Kevin Cook’s knuckles for speaking out of turn on what in fact he “absolutely” and “absolutely” saw a mere two days earlier as the impact of ObamaCare on his hospitals were considerable. And when the Cook statement #2 didn’t pass muster, he apparently was whacked again. After reining in a sitting Congressman Stupak and getting him to, in the yes of many pro-lifers, abandon his anti-abortion stance and pass ObamaCare, what’s a mere hospital executive like Kevin Cook to Sister Carol? It is safe to say that there are doctors in Scranton, furious at what they are seeing as happening to the local health care system, who believe Sister Carol — or someone else connected to the Obama White House if not the someone inside the White House itself — was behind the knuckle rapping of Kevin Cook.

With the White House already on record for having senior staff making angry phone calls to CEO’s over corporate writedowns, having the Secretary of HHS send threatening Soprano-style letters to insurers not to blame ObamaCare for premium increases — the question in Scranton is why wouldn’t the same White House enlist the President’s favorite nun to intimidate Mr. Cook and the company he represents?

Protecting ObamaCare turns out to be but one reason — albeit that alone is a big one with national consequences for this White House.

THE OTHER REVOLVES around the struggling campaigns of Representatives Kanjorski and Carney. And the larger political picture in Pennsylvania. U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. is a Scranton resident. Indeed, one Scranton source pointed out that the Casey home is within walking distance of Mercy Hospital in Scranton. Casey and his father before him have succeeded in part by creating the image of the old-fashioned FDR-JFK working class Democrat whose values are revered in Scranton. This is the city that is the hometown of Vice President Biden. For Scrantonians and their fellow Pennsylvanians in neighboring communities to suddenly see a Catholic hospital that has been a mainstay for 93 years suddenly slip away has caused considerable upset.

And notably, in a town that is heavily Catholic, the realization that three hospitals that did not perform abortions could be sold to owners who would allow the procedure is infuriating.

Both Kanjorski and Carney have been under fire for their ObamaCare votes from GOP opponents Lou Barletta and Tom Marino respectively. The startling news of the Mercy sale was barely 24 hours old when State Republican Chairman Robert P. Gleason picked up on it, issuing statements tying the ObamaCare votes of the pair to the prospective loss of Mercy. 

And at that, Sister Carol, presumably not having the comings and goings of Pennsylvania politics on her mind, suddenly launched herself into the Scranton hospital debacle, presumably finally forcing a tougher stance from Mercy’s CEO Cook in statement #3.

The explosion, all recent with its implications of White House pressure and lost Catholic hospitals, is about to bring in media ads from CatholicVote.org. Says Communications Director Joshua Mercer: “Paul Kanjorski and Chris Carney are Catholic and they both voted for ObamaCare.” Citing the sale of the three Mercy hospitals, Mercer says that the pro-ObamaCare votes of the two “has had a real impact on the community.” Mercer added a sentiment voiced as well by the Scranton doctor: “There are a lot of Kevin Cooks across the country…the CEO’s of small Catholic hospitals are all facing the same realities of more [ObamaCare] mandates and regulations.”

Interestingly, a Scranton medical source notes the lack of coverage of the growing Mercy hospital sales controversy in the local Scranton Times. “It’s a Democratic paper,” the source said, mentioning that he listens to talk radio to get a better picture of the news. “I listen to Rush, to Sean, Fox News and local talk radio. But with a Democratic paper you have to listen to national talk radio to get another perspective.”

Today, Vice President Biden arrives in Scranton to campaign for Congressman Carney.

A Capitol Hill aide to a Republican U.S. Senator says of the Scranton controversy the Obama White House is terrified the Mercy Hospital sales story will “get legs” as a national story — further intensifying the anti-Obama vote pollsters are recording in potentially record numbers. And leading to the defeat of not only Kanjorski and Carney but another Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman who voted for ObamaCare: U.S. Senate nominee Joe Sestak. Sestak is trailing his own opponent, conservative anti-ObamaCare GOP nominee Pat Toomey.

With less than a month to go until election day, one thing is certain. 

The story of the President’s nun and charges of possible intimidation of a hospital executive over ObamaCare will ensure the Scranton hospital sale isn’t going away anytime soon.

Volt Fraud At Government Motors

Volt Fraud At Government Motors

Green Technology: Government Motors’ all-electric car isn’t all-electric and doesn’t get near the touted hundreds of miles per gallon. Like “shovel-ready” jobs, maybe there’s no such thing as “plug-ready” cars either.

The Chevy Volt, hailed by the Obama administration as the electric savior of the auto industry and the planet, makes its debut in showrooms next month, but it’s already being rolled out for test drives by journalists. It appears we’re all being taken for a ride.

When President Obama visited a GM plant in Hamtramck near Detroit a few months ago to drive a Chevy Volt 10 feet off an assembly line, we called the car an “electric Edsel.” Now that it’s about to hit the road, nothing revealed has changed our mind.

Advertised as an all-electric car that could drive 50 miles on its lithium battery, GM addressed concerns about where you plug the thing in en route to grandma’s house by adding a small gasoline engine to help maintain the charge on the battery as it starts to run down. It was still an electric car, we were told, and not a hybrid on steroids.

That’s not quite true. The gasoline engine has been found to be more than a range-extender for the battery. Volt engineers are now admitting that when the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery pack runs down and at speeds near or above 70 mph, the Volt’s gasoline engine will directly drive the front wheels along with the electric motors. That’s not charging the battery — that’s driving the car.

So it’s not an all-electric car, but rather a pricey $41,000 hybrid that requires a taxpayer-funded $7,500 subsidy to get car shoppers to look at it. But gee, even despite the false advertising about the powertrain, isn’t a car that gets 230 miles per gallon of gas worth it?

We heard GM’s then-CEO Fritz Henderson claim the Volt would get 230 miles per gallon in city conditions. Popular Mechanics found the Volt to get about 37.5 mpg in city driving, and Motor Trend reports: “Without any plugging in, (a weeklong trip to Grandma’s house) should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s.”

Car and Driver reported that “getting on the nearest highway and commuting with the 80-mph flow of traffic — basically the worst-case scenario — yielded 26 miles; a fairly spirited backroad loop netted 31; and a carefully modulated cruise below 60 mph pushed the figure into the upper 30s.”

This is what happens when government picks winners and losers in the marketplace and tries to run a business. We are not told that we will be dependent on foreign sources like Bolivia for the lithium to be used in these batteries. Nor are we told about the possible dangers to rescuers and occupants in an accident scenario.

There’s the issue of asking grandma to use her electricity for the three or four hours necessary to recharge your car so you can get home to charge it again. Where’s the electricity going to come from considering that solar and wind don’t work when the sun don’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? We aren’t building any nukes.

And since electricity rates are necessarily going to skyrocket as a result of this administration’s energy policies and fondness for cap-and-trade, what’s the true cost of operating a not-so-all-electric car like the Volt?

In 2008, candidate Obama pledged to put 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015. Not likely. It was a tough sell when we thought it was all-electric and could get 230 mpg. It will be a tougher sell now that we find it’s a glorified Prius with the price tag of a BMW that seats only four because of a battery that runs down the center of the car.

President Obama likes to talk about not giving the GOP back the keys to the car. It’s his industrial policy and central planning that have driven us into the ditch.