Archive for October, 2010
The cost of progressivist worship
Obama’s liberal orthodoxy kills private-sector jobs
By Jim Powell
Bottom of Form
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!
|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!
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
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.
Dr. David Barton – on Obama
Yet another surprise coming from our Post Racial President. We see the heavy hand of race politics in almost every move by Mr. Obama as he attacks Red States and reward his Union base and Blue State supporters. November 2, 2010 is only the start, the battle isn’t over until November 2012, and We the People have to stand and be counted.
Automakers run on race-based political calculations
-7:46 p.m., Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Bottom of Form
A report by the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s inspector general, Neil M. Barofsky, underscores the danger of handing control of private enterprise to government bureaucrats. In running General Motors and Chrysler, the Obama administration‘s Auto Team made decisions based on what its members know best: race and politics.
After taking over the bankrupt carmakers, the administration ordered the immediate termination of one-quarter of existing dealerships – but not for business reasons. “Key members of the Auto Team … stated that they did not consider cost savings to be a factor in determining the need for dealership closures,” Mr. Barofsky wrote in his July 19 report. “Nevertheless, GM officials stated that they developed the cost-savings estimate … after being ‘pressed’ during meetings with congressional representatives to explain the cost savings that would result from the dealership terminations.”
These after-the-fact justifications were needed after Congress learned that closing 2,243 dealerships would cost nearly 100,000 jobs. GM invented a savings estimate of $2.6 billion, and Chrysler said its closings would save $35.9 million. Insiders reported the numbers were little more than a “math exercise” based on highly questionable assumptions, with one GM official admitting the hasty closure plan “might even cost GM money.”
GM set up a scoring system to determine the most valuable dealerships, but affirmative action was used to pick which survived. “Other dealerships were retained because they … were minority- or woman-owned dealerships,” Mr. Barofsky explained. The administration also pressured GM to cut rural dealerships. Mr. Barofsky‘s office interviewed independent experts who confirmed that domestic automakers “had an advantage over their import competitors” in rural markets and that cutting dealerships in those areas would harm domestic sales. The O Force’s disdain for red states and their tendency to “cling to guns or religion” can’t be coincidental.
The Obama administration denied that political calculations determined dealership closures, but Mr. Barofsky‘s investigation confirms that political correctness, not profitability, is Job 1. It’s time to take the keys away from an administration that isn’t driving the country in the right direction.
Purging ‘Me First’ Politicians
By Arnold Ahlert
As I said in a column last week, the principle impetus behind theTea Party movement’s strength is its commitment to three planks: limited government, fiscal responsibility and Constitutional fealty. Yet what really struck a nerve was the idea that Americans are fed up with voting for the lesser of two evils. What is the epitome of a lesser evil? A “Me First” politician masquerading him or herself as a loyal member of a political party. As a conservative, I’ll leave Democrats to deal with their own phonies. On the Republican side, despite all the hysteria emanating from those who think they know better, the electorate was three-for-three: a trio of GOP Me Firsters — Lisa Murkowski, Mike Castle and Charlie Crist — have all been given the heave-ho.
As evidenced by their actions, it couldn’t have happened to a “nicer” group of duplicitous hacks. Florida’s Charlie Crist became the first to reveal his true colors. When it looked like he would win the Republican nomination for the Senate in a cakewalk, Charlie was all about party loyalty and conservative values.
Where are those so-called values today? In the dumpster, along with Charlie’s credibility. When it became stunningly apparent that he was a dead RINO walking who stood no chance of beating genuinely conservative newcomer, Marco Rubio, in the Republican primary, he did what all self-serving politicians do: he broke a firm promise not to run as a third-party candidate.
Bad as that was, Charlie one-upped himself. On August 30th, Senior Collier Circuit Judge Jack Schoonover denied attempts by two GOP campaign contributers to get their donations back — and prevent Crist from using their money to run against their party. Charlie apparently thinks it’s perfectly OK to violate someone’s trust and use the money any way he sees fit.
Spending other people’s money with no regard to their wants or needs? Sounds remarkably in tune with the party currently in control of Congress and the White House. A lot of other people thought so as well. When asked which party he would caucus with in the event of a victory, Charlie was decided non-committal: “I’ll caucus with the people of Florida. You know, they’re tired of gridlock politics, of Washington not being able to get anything accomplished, and they want somebody who will be an honest broker, go to Washington and fight for them first.”
Wrong, Mr. Crist The people of Florida and everywhere else are tired of self-serving phonies whose “concern” for the people is an utter fraud. Current standings? After a neck-and-neck summer, Rubio has taken a +9.8% lead, according to data at Real Clear Politics, which averages out the numbers from several separate polling services.
Here’s hoping the tannest politician in politics get a chance to work on it full time come November.
Party “stalwart” number two is Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, another faux-Republican who can’t take no for an answer. On Friday, she too announced that she will be running as a write-in candidate for re-election. Once again, the will of the electorate, which gave the nod to Tea party choice Joe Miller, is to be treated with the kind of contempt with which Americans are becoming quite familiar.
Murkowski will run despite the fact that the Republican establishment — much to its credit for a change — has made it clear that it will cost her seniority and committee positions. Like Crist, Murkowski’s promise not to run as a third party candidate was as phony as she is.
Current standings? Miller’s lead over Democrat Scott McAdams averages out to +7%, but the polling data was taken prior to Murkowski’s announcement. That’s close enough where Murkowski’s candidacy could tip the race to the Democrat. Once again, a Me Firster had made her priorities crystal clear: screw the future of the party — and the country — if I don’t get mine.
I’m betting the people of Alaska won’t let her get away with it.
Which brings us to the Third Amigo, Delaware’s Mike Castle. As of this writing, he hasn’t made any plans to run, despite the fact that most polls had him as a shoo-in winner in the general election. In comparison to Crist and Murkowski, Mr. Castle is a giant among midgets.
In comparison to ordinary Americans, however, Mr. Castle is a classless whiner. He refused to concede to winner Christine O’Donnell and complained that “misrepresentations and the lies of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh” along with an “out-of-state political operation,” which “spent several hundred thousand dollars to not only take me out but to take anybody who dares to vote with the other party at any time out” were his undoing.
Daring to vote with the other party? A substantial number of Americans, if not an outright majority, consider the Democrats’ progressive agenda utterly destructive to the nation’s well-being. The most over-arching piece of legislation enacted by those Democrats, the health care bill, didn’t garner a single Republican vote. That, along with Democrats’ support of the Arizona lawsuit, the mosque near Ground Zero, the nationalization of car companies, banks and student loans, and continued break-the-bank deficit spending have alienated more than six-in-ten Americans.
Republicans in Delaware were no different. They opted for the “less daring” candidate, Christine O’Donnell.
Days later, the rightness of their instincts was confirmed. President Barack Obama called Castle to console him and “thank him for his service.” Service to whom, one wonders. Certainly not to conservatives trying their best to establish clear differences between the two political parties.
Current standings? The latest polls have O’Donnell trailing Democrat Chris Coons by 11%, which has caused several bouts of self-flagellation among Republican insiders. So much so that the National Republican Senatorial Committee initially announced they wouldn’t fund her campaign. A day later they recanted: “Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee — and I personally as the committee’s chairman — strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O’Donnell in Delaware,” said NRSC Chairman John Cornyn.
Why the change of heart? Perhaps it might have something to do with the nearly one million dollars raised by the O’Donnell campaign — in only 24 hours. Mr. Castle? He still refuses to endorse O’Connell, saying he will stay “neutral.” That’s neutral after a forty-five year career in the Republican party.
Another Me Firster showing his true colors.
The refutation of Crist, Murkowski and Castle is a wonderful thing, regardless of how it plays out in November. What we are witnessing is the beginning of a long slog to eliminate self-aggrandizing frauds from at least one of the two main political parties. And while Beltway insiders moan and groan about the “anger” and “hysteria” of the electorate, it is they themselves who are angry and hysterical. In three primaries Republican voters decided they didn’t like what they saw in the three candidates presented by the establishment. In all three cases, the instincts of the voters were completely confirmed — by the subsequent actions of the hacks they drummed out of the party.
Crist, Murkowski and Castle have made it abundantly clear they are devoid of anything resembling principles or party loyalty.
All three have made something else clear as well: contempt for the average American has revealed itself to be far more “bipartisan” than ever before. Such contempt has become so transparent and pervasive that the term “ruling class” resonates like it never has: many Americans have become completely alienated from their representatives, regardless of party affiliation.
Here’s a scary thought for Democrats: think what’s happening to the Republican party can’t happen to yours? Think again. A Congress with an approval rating of 23.6% while your party’s in charge can’t be reassuring. In November, if the public purges Democrats from the majority less than two years after Democrat political strategist James Carville’s proclaimed they would rule for the next forty, expect the kind of finger-pointing and blood-letting that will make the current Republican purge look tame by comparison.
Americans may not agree about many things but one thing is certain: they are sick to death of selfish phonies selling themselves as “servants of the people.”
Crist, Murkowski, and Castle? The tip of the iceberg. The American public? Ice picks in hand, ready for November.