Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
This morning, political commentators are paying a great deal of attention to one of the Los Angeles Times’ stories about Barack Obama’s plans for a Republican takeover of Congress. Unfortunately, they are focusing on the wrong one. Most commentators spent the morning quoting the president’s remarks on a black radio program that a GOP-dominated Congress will result in “hand-to-hand combat.” The reality is most of the action will take place behind their backs and over their heads. All indications are, if Obama cannot get his legislative agenda enacted by Congress, he will impose it by decree.
The evidence comes buried elsewhere in today’s L.A. Times in a piece by Peter Nicholas and Christi Parsons under the hum-drum headline, “Obama Reshapes Administration for a Fresh Strategy.” The story makes clear the “fresh strategy” borders on government by executive fiat. It begins, “As President Obama remakes his senior staff, he is also shaping a new approach for the second half of his term: to advance his agenda through executive actions he can take on his own, rather than pushing plans through an increasingly hostile Congress.” This rule by divine right of kings is confirmed by no less an Obama insider than David Axelrod, who said, “It’s fair to say that the next phase is going to be less about legislative action than it is about managing the change that we’ve brought.” The Times states candidly: This means more executive orders, more use of the bully pulpit, and more deployment of his ample regulatory powers and the wide-ranging rulemaking authority of his Cabinet members. Nicholas and Parsons note how the president has replaced the few appointees with ties to Capitol Hill in place of Chicago insiders. They specifically state the “the Environmental Protection Agency is determined to use its regulatory power…to begin lowering [carbon] emissions, in the absence of congressional action.” In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the EPA could regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act, although the act did not have these “pollutants” in mind. Seizing on this ruling, an anonymous insider who “was not authorized to speak publicly” told the Times, “The ambition is to get a reasonable start” on implementing his extremist vision.
The plan fulfills a threat Obama made earlier this year. The Associated Press reported in June, “The Obama administration says it would prefer that Congress enact climate change legislation, but has used the threat of EPA regulations to goad lawmakers into action.” Within the last week, Congressional Republicans have called the regulations job-killers, and Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia has sponsored a two-year freeze on certain EPA regulations. Now it looks as though the president will run roughshod over Rockefeller, the Republicans, and the will of the American people. More concerning than the aims to which Obama plans to use unfettered executive fiat power is the circumvention of Congress, and the Constitution, in the first place. William Galston of the Brookings Institution took the LAT Obama will employ this strategy even if Republicans do not take back either House of Congress. “Whether or not the Republicans take over majorities in one or both houses, the margins will be so much narrower that the strategy of putting together a Democratic bill and picking off a handful of Republicans to push it over the top won’t be viable anymore,” he said. Rather than triangulate, repackage his radicalism, or take an electoral chastening, Obama plans to ram his agenda down the American people’s throats “by any means necessary.”
What will this agenda look like? In part, it is already in place. On illegal immigration, the president has already excluded Congress, several states, and the overwhelming majority of the American people to aggressively promote an Open Borders agenda. A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services draft memo that surfaced this summer contemplated ways to enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.” Shortly thereafter, an ICE draft memo appeared, instructing all law enforcement – including any “state, local, or tribal officer” – that no one “should not issue detainers against an alien charged only with a traffic-related misdemeanor.” Traffic stops have been one of the most fruitful ways of finding and deporting illegal aliens and make up the heart of Arizona’s S.B. 1070, allowing state and local law enforcement agencies to exercise their federally delegated power in arresting illegal immigrants.
When the Obama administration is not making law, it is busy ignoring it. The New York Times reported that the government simply stopped deporting young illegal aliens this summer – an exemption that applies to 726,000 people – because they may be eligible for the DREAM Act, which Congress has not yet passed (and probably never will). The administration began dismissing virtually all cases against illegals who had not committed any violent crime, letting a potential 17,000 illegals off-the-hook. Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security seems to have let a Congressionally mandated program to assure visa recipients leave the country slide – although overstays are the entry point for 40-45 percent of all illegal immigrants in the United States. That is how six of the 9/11 hijackers entered the country. Although Congress supports enforcement, the administration has simply shut down their requests. Obama has unilaterally decided not to apply equal rights to disenfranchised white voters, dropping all such lawsuits targeting minority organizations. DoJ appointee Julie Fernandez said, “the Obama administration was only interested in bringing…cases that would provide political equality for racial and language minority voters.” Two former, high-ranking DoJ voting rights lawyers have testified the racist arrangement is an official government policy. The Obama administration has already begun to entertain aspects of the Green Left’s agenda, a trend it will increase in the second half of its first (and, we hope, only) term. The EPA considered, then rejected, banning fishing gear and traditional bullets this summer. Obama has taken steps toward nationalizing millions of acres of land in the American West. In July, the president established the National Ocean Council, staffed with 27 members, by decree. Rep. Sam Farr boasted at the time, “We already have a Clean Air Act and a Clean Water Act. With today’s executive order, President Obama in effect creates a Clean Ocean Act.” Some have written this panel will implement the never-ratified UN Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).
The danger is not merely that the president will enact legislation with the stroke of a pen, like Caesar. It appears likely he will accelerate his trend to pre-empt domestic political questions before the United Nations. I was the first reporter to discover that Obama hauled Arizona before the UN Human Rights Council this summer over the state’s aforementioned immigration law. Last week, the UN’s Global Migration Group issued a new report blasting opponents of Open Borders and welfare for illegal aliens as “xenophobes and racists.” Now, the Justice Department has solicited 11 Latin American nations to weigh in on its lawsuit stating the Arizona law violates the U.S. Constitution – as though any of the parties would know or care. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer called the foreign intervention “incredibly offensive,” adding, “American sovereignty begins in the U.S. Constitution and at the border.” The Obama administration has already rendered one of these moot and is now working to undermine the other. He has appointed two Supreme Court justices who believe in supplanting the U.S. Constitution with foreign law.Obama used the same UN report to push a far-Left agenda (including card-check union organization, bilingual ballots, universal preschool, and gays in the military) under the guise of “human rights.” He likewise extended benefits to the same-sex “partners” of some federal employees in advance of a Congressional bill to do the same.
Where does the president derive these dictatorial powers? Simple: he claims them. Article II of the U.S. Constitution delegates to the president only the powers to act as commander-in-chief of the military, grant pardons, make treaties (which must be approved by the Senate), appoint ambassadors and Supreme Court justices, and give the State of the Union address.
And, if necessary, the “right” to be impeached.
Barack Obama is dedicated to use whatever time he has in office forcing as much of his agenda on the United States – and so transforming the economic and electoral make-up of our nation – that his radical vision can be foisted upon Americans as a fait accompli.
Many Americans believed the velvet words of hope and change during the 2008 campaign. If the thuggishness of the past two years has not convinced them of his disregard for popular will, the U.S. Constitution, and the rule of law, two years of radical, royal decrees may.
If Congressional Republicans do their jobs in 2011, Obama may not fill out two more years in office.
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
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.
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.
Dr. David Barton – on Obama
The End Of The Rule Of Law
August 2, 2010 by Bob Livingston
Some call the Barack Obama administration progressive. Some call it socialist. Other terms used are Marxist and communist.
I have called it fascist and corporatist in the past. Now I’ll just call it Evil.
That’s because the rule of law is dead in America. Now we have the rule of man—or government agency. The rule of man—or government agency—is a rule of Evil because it knows only the moral bounds of those making the rules. And it’s evident this administration, its appointments and its goals are amoral, if not immoral.
In America there is a Federal law that makes being in the United States illegally illegal. There is a requirement in the law that those who are not United States citizens but are here legally must carry papers designating their legal status.
That law is not enforced. Why? Someone decided not to. Granted it hasn’t been enforced for some time, maybe since its enactment in the 1940s, but it is a law and it should be enforced or changed. Were we under the rule of law it would be.
In Arizona the legislature followed the rule of law—and the will of its citizens—and passed an immigration law, subsequently signed by Governor Jan Brewer, that mirrored the U.S. law. However the Obama administration made it plain it would not only not help Arizona enforce its law it would work actively against its enforcement. It sued to stop the law from being enacted. It ordered its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Division not to pick up any illegals Arizona arrested under the law.
What you have is the Federal government prohibiting a state from enforcing a law the Federal government has refused to enforce. Obama decided the law was contrary to his self interest. Obama became the law.
The rule of law was dead and the rule of man—or government agency—had triumphed.
The administration’s challenge of the law was upheld by Federal Judge Susan Bolton and the law gutted and effectively stopped on the day before it was set to take effect. That’s not a surprise. Federal judges, after all, are entities of the government and have come to regularly strike down laws passed by the people.
Bolton, appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton, is probably now hoping for a promotion to the Ninth Circuit, or perhaps to the Supreme Court. With the way Obama hands out job offers, perhaps she’s already been promised one.
Notice that Federal judges rarely strike down laws passed by the fascist elected class contrary to the people’s wishes—or the Constitution.
And while the U.S. Justice Department was working to get Arizona’s legally-passed and lawful immigration law struck down it was doing nothing to require sanctuary cities—those which provide safe harbor to law breakers—to enforce the current immigration law.
The rule of man—or government agency—strikes again.
Meanwhile, thousands of acres of Arizona are now declared off limits to Americans and ceded to Mexican drug cartels and human traffickers. Calls for assistance by local law enforcement to take back their territory—U.S. territory—are ignored by this Evil administration.
On July 23 the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas crossed into Texas and commandeered two ranches just outside of Laredo. The ranchers, thankfully, escaped without injury. Local law enforcement, outgunned and outmanned by a paramilitary group trained by U.S. agents, don’t know what to do to remove Los Zetas and return the ranches to their owners. Calls for Federal help have gone unheeded. You probably have not even heard about this. The mainstream media didn’t report the incident.
Obama has decided enforcing our Southern border is contrary to his interests. He told Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) that he was not interested in border enforcement because if border enforcement was stepped up Republicans would be reluctant to move on comprehensive immigration reform.
The rule of man—or government agency—is sovereign.
The Obama Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder—who has called Americans a nation of cowards when it comes to race—threw out charges against three members of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) who were convicted of intimidating voters outside a Pennsylvania voting booth. Some of those same NBPP members have called for the killing of “white cracker babies.”
The Obama Justice Department turned a blind eye.
The rule of man—or government agency—takes precedence.
Ignoring the Constitution Congress passed a healthcare reform bill—dubbed Obamacare—against the will of the majority. It will impose onerous taxes and regulations on the citizens and result in rationing of substandard healthcare and higher prices.
Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are the new Axis of Evil. They pushed the bill through despite massive grassroots protests, and when asked where in the Constitution they got the authority, they scoffed.
The rule of man—or government agency—is supreme. The Axis of Evil knows this.
Seeking to drive up energy costs and limit the amount of energy resources available to Americans, Obama and his Axis of Evil cohorts want to pass a Cap and Trade bill. Obama is on record and on video acknowledging such a bill will “necessarily cause energy costs to skyrocket.”
Fascists hoping to secure their re-election have become hesitant to embrace a comprehensive energy tax bill before November, but hold out the prospect of passing it after the election. The Axis of Evil wants it done as soon as it’s politically feasible—even if that means during a lame duck session of Congress.
If that fails the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said it will enact its own version of Cap and Trade. There is no provision for such a thing in the Constitution. That no longer matters.
The rule of man—or government agency—trumps all.
After several false flag terrorist events on airliners the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began installing backscatter x-ray machines—naked body scanners—in airports and requiring passengers to pass through them before boarding an airplane.
Oh yes, you can decline the cancer-causing dose of radiation, but you must subject yourself to a full-body groping by TSA personnel. Many who have chosen this alternative have described the procedure as being done contemptuously by the agent, as if by declining the irradiation you have somehow offended the agent in charge of your humiliation.
Some who have protested at the vigor with which the agent poked, prodded and felt in the most private of places have then been hauled into back rooms, interrogated as if they were criminals and strip searched. Usually this extra-curricular harassment lasted until the passenger’s plane had long since left the terminal. Some passengers have even been arrested.
Now there is word the TSA wants portable backscatter x-ray machines so they can irradiate and ogle passengers boarding trains and buses and people entering sporting events and concerts.
This is the Evil of the rule of man—or government agency.
For the last several years Federal Reserve policies kept interest rates unjustifiably low, creating a bubble in housing and other sectors of the economy. Large financial institutions, with nothing to lose because of government regulations in place to save them, played fast and loose with investments. They played both sides against the middle and falsified the risk to their investors.
The economy imploded and about 15 million Americans are now out of work, millions more are underemployed, and many have lost their homes, their retirements, their businesses and their dignity.
At the same time, those responsible for regulating those institutions—including members of Congress—received special enrichment deals like low-interest loans and cushy lobbying jobs. The institutions received government bailouts, the members of Congress and the regulators felt no pain, only gain.
In the recently-passed financial reform legislation, pushed by the Axis of Evil and signed into law by Obama last week, is a provision that exempts the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from disclosing records or information compiled during investigations, even if requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It was FIOA requests by Fox Business Channel that led to the discovery of SEC failures in the Bernie Madoff, R. Allen Stanford and Pequot Asset Management cases that resulted in new charges being filed and a revamp of SEC policies.
The SEC was embarrassed because it had failed to properly investigate those cases. You can be certain it’s no accident those provisions were in the new law.
The financial reform legislation also puts an end to free checking accounts, raises fees for ATMs and makes credit difficult to obtain. It gives the President broad new unconstitutional powers. What it doesn’t do is what the Axis of Evil said it would: reduce the chance that another financial meltdown will occur.
The rule of man—or government agency—prevailed.
As the economy continues to limp along we get mixed signals out of the Axis of Evil and their minions—Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner . “Everything is fine.” “We’ve created or saved millions of jobs.” “The economy is on the rebound.” “Green shoots.” “The weakness will continue.” “We need more stimulus.” “Extend tax cuts.” “Repeal tax cuts.”
All the while they are killing jobs and stifling economic growth through stimulus bills, regulation, uncertainty, higher taxes, extended unemployment benefits and outright, overt attempts to destroy the oil industry in America by preventing new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and on the U.S. mainland.
They don’t warn you of the coming crash. They don’t tell you to buy gold. They deny that inflation is here and hyperinflation is coming. They want you impoverished. They want you subservient. They want you crawling to them in need. They are Evil.
The rule of man—or government agency—protects its own at the expense of the populace.
And Obama surrounds himself with like-minded thinkers, appointing czars over this and that and making unjustified recess appointments—bypassing the Constitutional requirement that cabinet heads be appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate.
And who are these people he’s appointing? They are avowed communists, practicing Marxists, anti-Semitic Islamists, perverts that promote sex with children, homosexual activists, secularists, atheists and radical environmentalists.
Unlike the rule of law, which is color blind and equal, the rule of man—or government agency—is out for one thing: Creating a totalitarian state and advancing the agenda and enrichment of the man (or woman) setting the policy and running the agency.
That is Evil.