This story is a tad long, but it is chock-filled with a wealth of twists, turns, personalities, politicians, and much more. I strongly recommend.

Politics is clearly a contact sport. No doubt not all of the punches are above the belt.

I first referenced the Obama White House use of intimidation in the case of Tom Lauria, then lawyer for a group of Chrysler creditors. I wrote in early May 2009, Is Barack Obama Going Tony Soprano? How uncanny that the same reference is utilized today in an article centered on the impact of ObamaCare and the pending sale of three Scranton-area Catholic hospitals. American Spectator writes in regard to ObamaCare:

….the White House is confronted with a rapidly accelerating set of unintended consequences spreading across the country. As listed by theWall 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.


While the reference to intimidation tactics by the White House in a commentary may grab attention, the simple ‘sense on cents’ embodied in this story has to do with the implication of lessened revenues for hospitals as a result of Obamacare leading to their sale. That reality is absolutely referenced as a primary reason for the sale of three Mercy County, PA hospitals by CEO Kevin Cook.

While the attached story is lengthy, I strongly encourage people to read it because it has major implications for your health care going forward. It also shines a light into the rough and tumble world of national politics. I have no problem with playing hard. I have major problems with those who may look to stifle freedom of speech. This commentary may take ten minutes. Might a version soon be coming to a hospital near you? Read on as American Spectator writes, 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.

Where to start? That would be….

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 theWall 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 Catholic nuns? 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.

Growing up in an Irish Catholic household and attending a local Catholic school, I am very familiar with getting knuckles rapped. A few of my brothers were even more familiar with that reality than I. That said, we probably deserved it. In fact, we definitely deserved it. Speaking your mind and freedom of speech in America is a prized virtue. That freedom is critically important for the pursuit of real truth, total transparency, and unbridled integrity. I say we absolutely stand up for it. Who’s absolutely with me?

Larry Doyle

Please subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitter or Facebook.

I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. As President of Greenwich Investment Management, an SEC regulated privately held registered investment adviser, I am merely a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • ono

    I have to reread this. It’s shocking. Everything he touches turns to crap.

    U.S. banks continue to fail in record numbers… Washington’s reckless spending has racked up $13 trillion in debts… the dollar has plummeted in value—and round two of the worst global financial crisis ever is preparing to strike.
    SObama says things could be worse, but let’s face the facts—America is in serious trouble.  But you’re not going to get the real story on the evening news.

    SObama is requesting $1.15 billion from Congress — to add to a $100-million earmark he pushed through Congress in 2008 when he was a senator — to create a $1.25 billion federal fund to settle discrimination claims by 66,000 African Americans who “farmed or attempted to farm” and were allegedly discriminated against by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the period from Jan. 1, 1981 to Dec. 31, 1996. During that 16-year period, however, the number of African American farm operators in the United States peaked at 33,000 — in 1982, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. What a crock of shat this pResident is.

  • EllenD

    And churches that engage in political activism should have their tax exemption revoked because they are, first, a special interest PAC

    AA you are absolutely right!

  • Cindy-the-artist-formerly-known-as-white-baguette

    EllenD—hopefully a happy ending—but what a heartbreaking journey!

  • Cindy-the-artist-formerly-known-as-white-baguette

    whoframedrudy— what you’ve observed about Bloomberg and his allegiances is both bizarre and fascinating, to me.
    He’s a real piece of work, isn’t he!

  • whoframedrudy

    Speaking of hospital closings, the closing of St. Vincent’s in NYC tells us a lot about the bizarre priorities of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    Bloomberg didn’t lift a finger to save St. Vincent’s.  Yet we saw him all over the place, fighting like a pitbull for the Ground Zero Mosque.

    St. Vincent’s was the primary triage center on 9/11 — so close you could smell the smoke and molten metal.  People went to St. V’s in hope of finding missing loved ones from the Towers.  If the Times Square bomb had detonated, ambulances with survivors would have streaked down Broadway to St. Vincent’s top-ranked trauma center in minutes.  Just coping with the typical non-terror trauma load in NY, the loss of St. V’s is a ‘significant disaster‘ as a ‘patient tsunami’ swamps other hospitals.  Without St. Vincent’s, NY is medically defenseless against a terror attack on the Times Square-Theatre District, west side tunnels or Wall Street areas, all prime terror targets.

    So why was Bloomberg so passionate re the Ground Zero Mosque, yet virtually ‘on the nod’ re saving the city’s primary medical defense against terrorism?  What is it with modern liberals?  Is it something in the water?

  • Cindy-the-artist-formerly-known-as-white-baguette

    Abigail and Diana L.C.—
    I agree with both of y’all esp about Wallis—and if you’ve read my book (kidding!) you know that I grew up with a father in “church work”. Call me old-fashioned, but i don’t trust men in religious work who have perfect diction and perfect hair. Just a thing with me!
    Also, I hate to tell these slick Jesus-lites like Wallis and Wright,  but Christ called (told) Christians to personally feed the poor, heal the sick  and give aid and comfort to our brothers and sisters—in person,  not by proxy through gov’t—-
    Christ did NOT say “if you don’t feel like it, or are too busy then just have your government do it for you”; in fact the opposite: ” render unto Caesar”
    But hey, Jim Wallis, don’t take my word for it. As Jeremiah Wright would say:  “It’s in the Bible!!”
    Also, I agree about churches getting involved in politics…That never ends well. Ever.

  • Cindy-the-artist-formerly-known-as-white-baguette

    Onofre—-this is one of our all-time faves; in fact, hubby’s sis just sent him the CD for his B’day! 
    It certainly is  an appropriate little diddy for Sister Slick and Father Big Bucks, or whatever their names are.

  • EllenD

    Seriously, what is the bottom line here.

    You make a good point, elaine. If the buyers face the same Obamacare financial constraints as the sellers then the only place the new owners could offer more services is abortions and very few abortions are done in hospitals.
    So how are any hospitals going to find buyers?

  • EllenD

     Elaine was being self-deprecatiing, Noogan. Get it? Think hard now. Hold your breath if that helps. I know it’s hard work for you.   
     
    😀

  • Onofre’s arm

    “she doesn’t break knees she garrots her victems with rosary beads”

    Or, she could just gag them with the Vatican Rag:

  • Noogan

    What exactly should the White House be iivid about, FrenchNail? The WHITE HOUSE IS THE ONE DIRECTING SISTER CAROL to BULLY THE CEO into making statements they want!

    Sheesh. You must be an OBOT, FrenchNail. 

    😀

  • Noogan

    Oh, ferchrissakes, Elaine. The hospitals are being sold because they can’t remain solvent with ObamaCare. The CEO said it straight out the FIRST TIME; after that, his statements were practically written by the WHITE HOUSE AND SISTER CAROL for him.

    Get it? Think hard now. Hold your breath if that helps. I know it’s hard work for you. 

    😀

  • Diana L. C.

    AbigailAdams,

    Boy do I agree with you here.  I hate it when church congregations become “active” and cross the line into politics. 

    It’s wrong, wrong, wrong.  I have NO RESPECT for church members who openly admit that they choose the church they join based on who else is in the congregation:  how they can make business connections, how they can win political support, etc. 

  • AbigailAdams

    There’s a considerable and faintly articulated story within this story.  “Social justice” are the watchwords.  The Progs are very quick to smash and vilify any connection to religion by their conservative opponents, while they quietly increase the activism within their church structures. 

    It is unsettling, to the say the least, when a political party or parties preach political ideology (political pathology?) from the pulpit. 

    And churches that engage in political activism should have their tax exemption revoked because they are, first, a special interest PAC which just happens to espouse a particular, and often revisionist, view of their religion.  Isn’t this the same argument we are having about Sharia within the Muslim religion?

    Obama threw Wright out and replaced him with Jim Wallis.  This is one article about Wallis, but I’ve read several.

    http://therealbarackobama.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/loudon-obamas-faith-adviser-jim-wallis-mixes-with-socialists-radicals-and-truthers/

  • EllenD

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1319804/Afghan-girl-Bibi-Aisha-nose-ears-hacked-Taliban-rule-gets-new-face.html

    Look – Grossman Burn Center – a non-profit!
    And the Hollywood proximity comes in useful too. Getting close to a permanent happy ending for this girl. I’m hoping for her to make an Immigration application for Asylum.

  • EllenD

    Thanks, elaine.

  • EllenD

    no COLA increases.  

    That’s because they say there is no increase in the cost of living. Strangely enough, Canada has been giving COLA increases while they has been frozen here.
    Guess those crazy Canadians just don’t understand economics. (BTW John Kenneth Galbraith – Kennedy’s financial Guru – was born in Canada).

  • elaine

    I watched an interesting documentary on pbs recently about ObamaCare. It’s on pbs.org & titled “Obama’s Deal”

    It claims Obama opposed the individual mandate not just during the campaign but also during negoiations & that Max Baucus got paid off by Big Insurance to shove it down our throats. I think this show is worth a watch.

  • Diana L. C.

    Thanks, Larry, for giving this story “legs.”  Living out here in the Wild West, I had not before this read this story. 

    We recently went through a very minor uproar when a local hospital was sold to a Catholic hospital organization.  Longtime residents did not like the idea of the Catholic hospital changing the status of what could or could not be performed in the hospital. 

    I’m wondering now if the Catholic organization will be sorry for its purchase over the Medicare issue.

    BUT…..yes, the real story is the issure of whether or not we do indeed have the mob running the WH–what did we expect when we allowed a Chicago thug to take charge?

    I hope the DEMs lose big there in the upcoming elections.

  • candymarl red bone cracker

    I read this story yesterday and was stunned. I understand that politics can be dirty and nasty but this? 

    What about the communities involved?  What about the patients?  Do the Powers-That-Be even care?  Somehow I don’t think so.

    Bush was bad. I admit that. I was one of his most fierce critics.  But this shows that this administration cares nothing for the people of the USA.  Just as Bush pushed for Soc Sec cuts, which I was against, Obama is pushing for these same cuts and no COLA increases. 

    How much do you want to bet that Congress votes themselves, party notwithstanding, a pay raise next year?

    These people make me sick.

  • EWard

    elaine

    This story symbolizes the threats and censorship practiced by the Obama WH when anyone dares to tell the truth about Obamacare or their progressive agenda. 

  • EllenD

    those unintended consequences included 2011 premium increases shooting up as high as 9%

    OK – look – I am being mandated to buy apples from private companies. The price of apples rose suddenly. Big Surprise.

    I remember when hospitals were created as non-profit (mostly religious – Catholic, Presbyterian, Jewish). They were created for the good of the community.
    Now they are big corporations that are for profit.
    I thought only another non-profit could buy a non-profit so I don’t understand how an entity that was created by people donating to it could become a shareholding for-profit entity.
    Shouldn’t my donations buy me a piece of it if it becomes profit-making?
    Or is this another gift to Corporations device?

  • Crackerjack -Obamastahn Rebel Resistance

    Sister Bertrille left the convent and is now running for congress in delaware.

  • EWard

    Larry

    This small excerpt from the Catholic Key Blog explains Sister Carol’s role with CHA….

    “CHA is not a repository of Catholic social teaching with regard to health care or an association of moral theologians or a charity in service of the poor. It is a trade association. There is nothing wrong with a trade association, but too many reporters, including members of the Catholic press, have sought comment from CHA without recognizing they are primarily an organization with a vested financial interest in the outcome of the health care debate.”

    CHA does not represent patients or the poor. Their board is composed of, and Sister Carol represents, the very highly compensated chief executives of large health care conglomerates throughout the country. Lay-led corporations such as San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West and St. Louis-based Ascension Health run dozens of hospitals across numerous states which at one time were directly operated by religious orders.”

  • FrenchNail

    I had no heard of the story. But yes the WH should be livid over it because it is encompassing all which is wrong with Obamacare and the way it was forced down our throats.

    This law needs to be defunded ASAP and repealed or declared unconstitutional soon after.

    Thanks for the info Larry.

  • FrenchNail

    Call it  like it is Crackerjack!

  • Crackerjack -Obamastahn Rebel Resistance

    Bottom line (as I see it) is that the obama regime is twisting elbows to hide the fact that hostpitals are closing because of Dear Leader’s scheme.  They want it to look like Hospitals are being sold because of greed….

  • tango

    Remember Sister Bertrille the Flying Nun?  Well now we have Sister Keehan the Lobbying Nun! 

    I think this story will grow legs. Might not happen right away but you know if hospitals closing due to decreased Medicare reimbursements happened in PA, it can and will happen in other states. I’m just sorry Mr. Cook retreated from his first statement and bowed to pressure.

  • elaine

    Dense? Me? Guess so. What is the point, I honestly don’t get it. Very few abortions are performed in hospitals so I know that’s not it. Why are the hospitals being sold? Is it because Medicare was cut by a 1/2 a Trillion? Seriously, what is the bottom line here.

  • EWard

    Larry

    The Republicans need a Sister Carol ad, the death panel sister

    Fantastic post!

  • Murray

    So Sister Carol is a (gasp) lobbyist?!

    Thank you, Larry, for illustrating this so clearly.

  • Crackerjack -Obamastahn Rebel Resistance

    she doesn’t break knees she garrots her victems with rosary beads

  • Noogan

    Can you say “October Surprise?” 

    Yes, we can. 

    And it’s going to be an ugly “treat” for Obama this year, in return for Obama’s “trick” of ObamaCare. 

    These people are CHICAGO THUGS; WH MAFIA. That includes Sister Carol, as she’s just a knee-breaker for the boss. 

    Really excellent blog post, Larry. 

  • Crackerjack -Obamastahn Rebel Resistance

    Sister CArol is an obot bitch

  • ProudMilitaryMom

    I read about the Scranton hospitals and went away scratching my head. I grew up Catholic- but with public schooling- husband went to Parochial and knows all about the ruler weilding nuns.
    This will be a controversy to follow. The RC Church has never been a lover of dissent- did they not just recently get around to apologizing to Galileo?
    When I read the article I went away wondering how many other Catholic hospitals are going to go the same route? And how is this all working out for those Catholic officials who supported Obamacare?