The Fiscal Cliff– What It Is– Why It Would Hurt The Economy– And What You Can Do

In Brief…

                On January 2, 2013, the Bush Tax Cuts are due to expire and automatic spending cuts (Sequestration,) go into affect, translating into a 4% or 5% hit to GDP.  This could cause major slowdowns in financial markets and the overall economy.  President Obama and Vice-President Biden have voiced that renewing the Bush Tax Cuts is not likely (unless Congress hits upper earners with higher taxes-)-  and expired Bush Tax Cuts mean that Americans may pay as much as 39.6 % tax  in addition to other national fiscal concerns.  Plus, capital gains and taxes on stock dividends will go off the chart.  CEO’s from large companies have alerted the President and Congress that the Fiscal Cliff could knock the economy into recession, as well as another downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.  The current administration does campaign  “redistribution of wealth,” which the Obama ticket ran on in 2008.  –What exactly will the Fiscal Cliff mean to the country after January 2, 2013?  And what steps can Americans take now to address the outcomes?

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          The few news programs that talk about the Fiscal Cliff are trying to get our attention about what could possibly set back the American economy, even after such a paltry 1.9% growth for 2012.  And 2011 showed even less growth—so any increase in inflation, interest and debt combined with a slowdown in GDP (total goods and services in the market,)  could send the economy into a serious slowdown.   To make reality worse, this 1.9% ‘growth’ is accounted for by government spending: not free enterprise.  The difference?  Government spending is just that: spending.  But capital investment spending in free enterprise business is truly investment.  Well-planned investments are expected to give a return on investment.  Government spending is just money spent.  Period.

With the expiration of the Bush Tax cuts, these January, 2013, tax increases not only hit income, but taxes on capital gains, dividends, estates and more.  The impact of these could be between $300 billion dollars to $600 billion dollars–  in addition to slowdown of GDP.

Economic indicators can seem at first glance to signal an increase in economic upticks, including the recent reduction of unemployment from over 8% to 7.8%–  but economists remind us of the fallout from reduced “participation rates,” or, the growing number of those unemployed who have given up looking for work.  Given that the sequestration (elimination or partial elimination,) of unemployment benefits is looming with the January Fiscal Cliff momentum, the unemployment ‘good news,’ actually indicates a no-change.  Plus, a study by the National Urban League with the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project, shows that “Four Years Under Obama Wipes Away 30 Years of Black American Gains,”   www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/tribune-black-gains-wiped/2012/10/08/id/459096

Not only have Americans of all socio-economic levels been hard hit over the last 4 years—declining home values, foreclosures, loss of income, stalling economy—but with the looming fiscal cliff, we may yet see more economic devalue added on.  And what’s troubling about this study is that middle class Black Americans, especially, are seeing a 13.4% unemployment and youths are seeing way higher unemployment rates.   Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, 40, a doctoral candidate in African-American studies at Northwestern University, who told the Chicago Tribune, “A generation of wealth and assets are evaporating, and the presidential  candidates aren’t making a peep about it.” 

On top of all this, sequestration could also mean further reductions in economic growth.  FCW, The Business of Federal Technology, reports: “it is still far from certain that the 10 percent, $1.4 trillion across-the-board cuts to federal spending will actually kick in on Jan. 2.  And directives from the White House and Office of Management and Budget have reinforced that sense of mere possibility, offering little in the way of concrete guidance for agencies to prepare for the so-called fiscal cliff…”  http://fcw.com/Articles/2012/10/22/sequestration-update.aspx?p=1

Economists agree that sequestration, in addition to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, would combine to spur America into another segment of recession–  it’s ain’t good, folks!  America–  the world!!–  CANNOT afford more recession.  Plus, what we need are concerted EFFECTIVE fiscal policies, the world over!  Let’s not re-build lousy policies in our global economies!  At 1.9% or 2% quarterly growth to our economy this past quarter, keep in mind that most of that figure represents more GOVERNMENT SPENDING!  This is not a sign of the CPI (Consumer index,) which represents a finger on the pulse of growth.  It is government pumping MORE FAKE/printed funny money into our economy disguised as ‘growth.’  No-no!  T’ain’t so!  Just more voodoo-math…. And remember it was President Obama on popular late night T.V. who told Americans and the world that he didn’t get past 7th grade math.  Not good.

Apart from potentially flailing ourselves over the fiscal cliff in 2013 with counter-productive economic policies– plus the president’s own admission to his low math acumen– we must remember that in 2008, Obama campaigned on a Redistribution of Wealth platform.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge3aGJfDSg4

Many constituents were thrilled with Obama’s redistribution philosophies, including the 32% increase of welfare spending.  But, again, once this money is spent, that’s it: unlike free enterprise business, which spends it’s capital investments in order to receive a return on investment.  The difference between these two expenditures is night and day.  AND, as an affirmative action student who went to Columbia and Harvard Law School, I cannot figure out why Obama supports redistribution of wealth anyway–  when he, himself, benefited immensely from affirmative action opportunities with his Columbia and Harvard Law School education.  Although, he’s admittedly not strong in math.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEEpVXspflM  (see minute: 3:14 within 5:01)

Of course, a president who admits to having very little math comprehension, does not instill much confidence when he touts his supposedly sound economic policies–  and attacks the other guy for his math!!  How would Obama know the difference between a good economic policy and a lousy one?

Apart from President Obama’s admittedly poor math comprehension, I know first hand that re-distribution of wealth punishes high-achievers.  As a 12 year- old, I spent every Saturday morning vacuuming the house, dusting, waxing the dining table and chairs, washing the kitchen floor, and doing my laundry.  My big sister did boopkus: but I was paid less allowance!  Was that fair?  Until her last day, sis didn’t know the value of a dime, let alone a dollar.   Money is a form of appreciation, and sis didn’t appreciate money at all.  It just slipped through her fingers like water.  Re-distribution of wealth does not work: but creates a cycle of dependency– the Congressional Research Service’s 10/18/12 report, “Welfare Spending Soars Under Obama,” touts a 32% jump in welfare dollars spent on needy Americans–  to a whopping $746 billion dollars, which is more than we spend on defense!   http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/welfare-spending-climbs-obama/2012/10/18/id/460514

The report goes on to say that the expansion of President’s Obama welfare is “…that more people are qualifying in the weak economy, but the federal government also has broadened eligibility so that more people qualify for programs.”  With this fact, I am left to wonder that the more we spend, the more we must borrow, since our spending has outpaced our revenues.  Yes, Obama inherited the debt (even though he asked for the job—) but Obama has doubled the national debt.  Expanding programs such as these adds to the debt he’s incurred.

So, if its true that more Americans qualify for (broadened eligibility requirements,) in this WEAK economy, why the heck would the government NOT extend the Bush tax cuts and stop sequestration??

So, what can Americans do to stem the tide of these economic hits?  First of all, pay off debt—especially unsecured debt.  Credit card debt will soar if the fiscal cliff, in fact, happens.  Interest rates will bounce…. And credit cards add as much as 7.9% or more on top of the prime rate.  Secondly, dump the debt.  Try to renegotiate fixed rates: do the math first, before taking the deal, whatever it is.  And finally: cut your spending, live within your means and sock the cash away.  Learn to eat at home, cook soup and brown bag it.  It doesn’t matter that banks give you boopkus for interest on savings— liquid cash is still green.  And tough days lay ahead.

One final suggestion: study the governmental process.  The Congress, Executive and Judicial branches were designed by the Framers of the Constitution to work via citizens’ petition.  Petition the government!  Tell them what you think!  And to do that effectively, one must understand how exactly they work.  America, learn how your government works!

The fiscal cliff doesn’t need to happen–  in fact, President Obama CAN prevent this RIGHT NOW.  And if Romney wins, write and tell him to put off sequestration and the extend the Bush tax cuts–  and CREATE concerted, sustainable economic policies for today and the future!  It is time for Congress to serve the people of this country—and the President, too—  without any more political game-playing and pandering to the media.

Stop sequestration NOW!!  Extend the Bush Tax Cuts NOW!!

Read the facts yourself… and you decide—

Be an informed voter!  Thank you.

©RightOnTheTruth.com  2012

©Suzy Right 2012

A Woman’s Right To Safe, Legal Abortion– Or Not

In Brief…..

            Abortion rights is a hot-topic for all of us: it involves highly charged emotionality from various points of view.  This blog tackles some of the complexities about the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade (a 7-2 decision,) making abortion legal.  Secondly, it addresses how this law—now intertwined with other abortion laws–  could be overturned, dispelling the myth that any individual—including presidential candidates—can overturn supreme court decisions, regardless of election year rhetoric about the fictional ‘war against women.’  Thirdly, the blog addresses what happens IF and WHEN Roe v. Wade ever were overturned–  and what that would mean for Americans seeking safe, legal abortions.  Lastly, it addresses the public tax dollars that pay for safe, legal abortions.  Abortion is an emotional and tough decision and anything but simple or easy. 

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          I was in college when a girlfriend asked if I could lend her $200.00 for a legal abortion.  She didn’t want her husband to know (he wasn’t the father.)  –What would you have done?

That was in the 80’s, ten years after the 1973 Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court (7 – 2,) decision, giving women the right to safe, legal abortion.  I was a full-time college student, working and newly divorced, when I discovered I was pregnant.  After a failed attempt to reconcile with my ex-spouse, I gave up and went my own way, continuing to study and work my way through two degrees.  As it happened, I was studying Roe v. Wade in a summer law class with a professor so acrimonious and nasty, I felt sick every morning–  when a classmate guessed at my daily bouts of nausea–  and told me that I had the right to abortion.  Single parents, she said, had it tough.  I heard about my grandmother backstreet alley abortion, excruciating and downright dangerous.  She never had more children.  Three other friends of mine in college went through abortions— abortion is not easy or simple.

Today, in 2012, there’s still much mis-information about abortion rights about the 1973 USSC decision, Roe v. Wade.  Because this is an election year, the mud flinging drowns out the facts.  I hear about this fictitious war against women.   Stop!  Hold the phone, Joan!!  Let’s get the facts straight!!  NO ONE PERSON CAN make abortion illegal, or strike down Roe, stripping women of their right to safe, legal abortion.   No one person can strike down a US Supreme Court decision, except the Justices themselves, and only in certain circumstances.  Read on.

The nine US Supreme Court Justices are appointed as the bench opens up, either by retirement, or death.  The US President submits names of potential choices to the Senate–  and each potential is deposed (reviewing careers, philosophies, etc.,) via Senate hearings.  Those few that pass scrutiny are confirmed by the Senate.  This time-consuming process is supposed to be above politics–  presidents are NOT SUPPOSED TO lobby the Senate or Justices, or tempt them with political favors.  This process is SUPPOSED TO BE impartial, above favoritism.  The Justices are SUPPOSED TO act with only the law in mind, so, political pressure cannot interfere with the Law of the land.  Do presidents sometimes try to ‘stack’ their favorite judges on federal court benches?  Yes.  Like greedy children, some presidents want support within the triad of government to support their visions.  Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government on earth…. Except when you compare it to everything else.” 

Fast forward to election year, 2012.  President Obama is a Harvard educated lawyer—but he mis-speaks when telling America (and the world,) that his political opponents will abolish abortion rights from women.   Rather, Obama should be advocating respect of the law.  Roe v. Wade involves a REALLY complex legal matter–  given that abortion rights have been addressed by the Supreme Court many times, not just once: often, case law is tied to other case law (and therefore, named in other cases,) because case law is built upon existing case law.  USSC majority decisions (6-3, 7-2, 8-1, and 9-0) demonstrate agreement between the Justices in their interpretation of the law.  BUT with a 5-4 decision, it is clear that the Justices have dissenting opinions within their varying interpretation of the framework of the law: 5-4 sends the signal that, “we reserve redressing this matter if it comes before the Supreme Court again.”   And of the 1500 or so cases each year that petition to be reviewed by the US Supreme Court, the Justices grant 300 or so, depending upon the merits of the case.

Since case law is often tied to other case law (so named in the case, given sound reasons as to why the matters are linked,) similar matters can thusly be ‘heard,’ (reviewed) again in varying legal contexts—as Roe was reviewed (in part,) with Webster V. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490, (1989,) another abortion rights case.  Webster was tied to Roe v. Wade, and in fact, the USSC reviewed, once again, the legality of Roe within this context.

http://www.caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=492&page=490

In 1989, the US Supreme Court rendered a 5-4 decision in the Roe part of Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, in which then-Chief Justice Rehnquist, “declined to explicitly overrule Roe [being tied to the Webster case,] because of ‘ “ none of the challenged provisions of the Missouri Act properly before us conflict with the Constitution.’ ”    

Pretty complicated, huh?  –So, why would the US Supreme Court re-consider a legal matter previously decided?  Because societal attitudes change: and societal needs and conditions change.   And here’s something to consider: each year, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, about a quarter of a million people march on the Supreme Court to protest abortion.   And because more and more protesters each year demonstrate their anti-abortion beliefs, the US Supreme Court knows that this means that nothing is carved in stone regarding federally sanctioned abortions.  Social attitudes are changing—

Democratic Gains Spur Abortion Foes into Action, The News & Observer (2009/01/18)

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/22/pro-life-rally-yearns-for-media-spotlight/

And we should all keep in mind that as we embrace Reagan politics, that Reagan himself was also pro-life.  www.worldcatlibraries.org/oclc/10456929   “Abortion and the Conscience of the Modern Nation.”

AND: some legal minds concur that NOW that Obamacare opens the door to abortion, this could change abortion right.  Some care facilities (under Obamacare funding) do not accept mandated abortion.  If they decide to sue the government—which is happening now–  Obamacare just might be the impetus to motivate the US Supreme Court to hear another abortion case— thusly, jeopardizing federally mandated abortions if the court overturns Roe v. Wade!!  Ironic, but plausible.  Don’t panic— read on.

Are women’s rights imperative?  Of course.  But protesters are also thinking of the women (and men) who have no voice in abortion: the unborn.  The unborn have no rights.   Perhaps the US Supreme Court understood that this philosophical question might become the eventual focus of the argument.   Please understand:  I respect your right to abortion— but you must respect my right to express concern for the unborn child.

There’s another reason for growing contention for abortion–  why should taxpayers PAY FOR abortion?  Each year, our government gives millions of our tax dollars— borrowed tax dollars now–  to organizations to pay for abortions.  And millions of tax payers protest this– including the Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.  Ryan is a Catholic and that adds another side of the argument.  Right now, some in the Catholic Church— via hospitals and care facilities– are suing the federal government over mandatory abortions in their hospitals.  New national healthcare laws make abortions part and parcel to healthcare services– and that means no choice for Catholic health services, or anyone else.  Will care facilities lose their government sponsored health care if they refuse to perform abortions?  Why should the choice of abortion override another’s choice not to perform abortions?  This is a philosophical discussion that should have been addressed before national policies were passed into law— Congress failed to read the Obamacare bill before voting it into law.  The truth is, nobody knows concretely, what the answers are.

Please understand, I respect Planned Parenthood for helping women by providing these services… but please respect me for not paying for them.  Abortion should be privately funded.  Americans donate more to worthy causes than other countries combined.  We are a generous people—but government should not be borrowing money to donate to anything!  We should be paying off our nation debt–  all 16+ TRILLION DOLLARS of DEBT!  Not incurring more.  Instead of ‘warring’ against each other, our President should be working to incite our unity, creating sustainable solutions to help each other.

So, if Roe v. Wade IS overturned, what happens next?  If Roe is overturned, the matter of safe, legal abortion would be REMANDED back to each of the 50 states to decide for themselves.  And states already are preparing for that possibility.  Some states have ‘trigger laws,’ already in place, meaning that if Roe is remanded back to those states, the ‘trigger law,’ enables state governments to make abortion automatically illegal.  Trigger states include: Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota—and Illinois: President Obama’s home state!  This is a war, all right—a war for the truth.

So, if you live in one of these trigger states—including Illinois—AND IF Roe is struck down (overturned via another Supreme Court decision,) AND you decide that abortion is your choice of action, get in your car and go to either: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, or Washington–  these states have passed laws to maintain the legality of safe abortions.  What will the other states do?  Jump on the internet and start digging.  Americans have the right to know what their government is doing!   Call your Congress folk!

So… did I ever lend my friend the $200.00 for her safe, legal abortion?  Yes, because she was desperate.   I held her hand through the procedure.   Then I encouraged her to tell her husband honestly what happened.   We all make mistakes.  She agreed to tell him, but ultimately chose not to.  I respected her decision.  They later divorced.

As for me… my one and only baby has grown up, is happily married—and speaks joyously about making my spouse and me, grandparents.  And I continue to write.

 

What’s your opinion?  Petition your government—get involved– and tell them what you think!  Your voice counts!  

Get all the facts…. And you decide.  Be an informed Voter!  Thank you.

©RightOnTheTruth 2012

©Suzy Right

How Obamacare Drives Up The High Costs Of Healthcare– Part III — What Americans Can Do About Obamacare!

In Brief….

In Parts I and II of this blog entry, are cites to government publications about Obamacare, the “scheme” to hide the real costs of Obamacare from Americans, especially senior citizens who will be the hardest hit— plus reaction by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons’ cite, which speaks to  Obamacare/PPACA.  This third part of the blog will address what Americans can do to offset the increased costs of Obamacare.

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What can Americans do about Obamacare?  Let’s start with employers.  Some employers will reduce their employees’ working hours to part-time hours, which fall outside the mandates of full-time employees.  Although this may not be fair to some employees, they may be better off getting a partial pay check, than none at all, if some are laid off to reduce the high costs of Obamacare.  Many businesses are already “lawyering up,” telling the media that Obamacare will reduce their ability to grow their businesses because of the projected additional taxes and costs that the GAO, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Congressional Budget Office and others point out that are part and parcel to Obamacare.   At this point, it is safe to say that Obamacare will benefit insurers and government—adding at least 16,000 more IRS workers alone.  Obamacare will NOT benefit consumers, patients, doctors, hospitals, nor employers.

Other employers, like Sears and Darden Restaurants (parent company of Red Lobster and Olive Garden,) are creating new options to assist their employees to head off the increasing costs of healthcare.  But the costs are rising in part due to PPACA itself: through regulations and taxes, including “essential health benefits,” to cover mental-health and substance-abuse services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, medical devices and pediatric dental and vision care.  (see Part II: )These services are not usual services consumers buy, except if they need them: again, as a former insurance sales rep, consumers traditionally buy the basic policy, and then add riders to them as needed.  A 19-year old, for example, would not usually purchase insurance for pediatric dental care, unless s/he already has a child old enough to have teeth.  The CBO (Congressional Budget Office, the fed’s accountant,) says that premiums will rise by close to 30% because of essential health benefits.

www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/10/09/olive-garden-serves-up-better-menu-health-insurance-options

Obamacare/PPACA includes billions in taxes on insurers, drug companies, and medical-device companies that will be mostly passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums.  (ibid.)  “Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the insurance tax alone will add close to $400 annually to family premiums in 2016.  Because the taxes require aggregate amounts to be collected from insurance companies– $14 billion by 2018–  if one insurer’s payout declines, other insurers have to make up the difference.  PPACA’s tax structure will likely motivate insurers to merge–  reducing competition and further driving up costs for consumers.”

After studying this article by Paul Howard, (see above,) I asked myself: what options are there to Obamacare and its increasing costs to Americans?  Howard suggests looking at the Romney/Ryan platform, which has promised to repeal Obamacare on Day 1 of his presidency (presidential debate, 10/9/12.)    Romney/Ryan advocate these options:

  1. Make health insurance truly portable (buy/serve across state lines,) opening up competition in services and pricing;
  2. Give individually-bought health plans the same tax advantage that companies have;
  3. Reform insurance rules, so that as long as consumers stay insured (continuous coverage—see part I of this blog,) they are not penalized for paying higher premiums if they do get sick;
  4. Open up the industry to insurance exchanges—giving consumers a wider range of choices and prices.  “High risk pools could be created with modest funding from Washington for the small number of those with pre-existing conditions who cannot find affordable coverage.”  (ibid, Howard article.)
  5. Finally, repeal the costly regs and taxes of PPACA/Obamacare, and re-fund Medicare/Advantage, which lowers the cost of health insurance.

 

Dr. Howard’s article concludes with: “Private health-insurance exchanges can serve as a model for real health-care reform—  especially if the insurance they sell is made truly portable while protecting individuals from future rate increases as long as they stayed insured.  It’s a simple, elegant approach that would improve American health care at low cost.”

Study healthcare from both front-end and back-end costs.  The front end costs of Obamacare are way too high– and get higher at the back end.  (Read Dr. Bellar’s one sentence definition of Obamacare, Part I.)

www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/02/doctor-seeking-illinois-senate-seat-offers-brutal-diagnosis-obamacare-in-viral/

www.electBellar.com

Obamacare does not translate to neither better healthcare nor affordable healthcare—  not when a board of non-medical government-paid CPA’s decide consumers’ medical needs!  These life-and-death decisions will be based on insurance profitability.  If decisions were based upon healthcare, the board would consist of physicians.  Americans were told, Obamacare does NOT add taxes— Obamacare makes healthcare affordable–  but this isn’t true.  The GAO, CBO, HCO, AAPS, and others are warning us to do our homework.  Even the United States Supreme Court has said that, “States are not required to implement Exchanges or to take the bait….and should not do so.”   http://www.Aapsonline.org/index.php/site/article/supreme_court_oral_argument_analysis/

We either comply with a questionable law the nation did not support, which Congress exempted themselves and the  President–  or repeal PPACA and re-fund Medicare, where the money came from.  “And to the Republic for which it stands,” draft a non-partisan bill that protects the American people.  Remember… government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.  (*November 11, 1863: Lincoln’s Gettsyburg Address.)

Get the facts…. And you decide!       Be an informed Voter!

©RightOnTheTruth 2012

©Suzy Right

Why Obamacare Drives Up Costs of Healthcare—–And How!—— Part II of III

In Brief….

Obamacare adds costs to healthcare.  Also, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating Obamacare funding as The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS: Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, D-Kansas,) defunded Medicare/Advantage of 716 billion dollars to fund Obamacare before the November 6th elections, with 8.3 billion-dollar federal “Demonstration Project” bonus.  Committee member John Mica (R-FL,) calls this a blatant attempt to “buy the election.”  The GAO already has declared this shift of dollars to Medicare a “scheme,” to keep voters in the dark until after the election.

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Like many citizens, I appreciate that President Obama wanted a universal healthcare plan that is fair to all Americans.  But $716 billion dollars have been defunded from Medicare/Advantage to fund Obamacare/PPACA.  (see “Oversight Presses HHS on Billion-Dollar Scheme Designed to Mask Obamacare Cuts,”  http://www.over http://www.oversight.house.gov/release/oversight-presses-hhs-on-billion-dollar-scheme-designed-to-mask-obamacare-cuts/

Here is what the White House is telling Americans about Obamacare:

  1. Obamacare will reduce the cost of healthcare;
  2. Obamacare will make good healthcare affordable for all Americans;
  3. Obamacare will save Americans money;
  4. Obamacare will ‘fix’ the broken healthcare system;

And according to many in the healthcare industry, these claims simply are not true.  Here’s why, according to Paul Howard, PhD, Director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress, and his research associate, Yevgeniy Feyman http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/10/09/olive-garden-serves-up-better-menu-health-insurance-options/

–The following are just a few reasons why Obamacare will cost you more (and I apologize that some of my words are direct quotes:)

  1. The costs of Obamacare will increase the cost of healthcare with many regulations and taxes that drive up the cost of insurance in the individual and small-groups.  The PPACA’s “essential health benefits” include coverage for mental health and substance abuse services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, medical devices and pediatric dental and vision care.  Great!  If you need these services… but what if you don’t?  You pay for them anyway, to cover the costs of those who do use them.  The CBO (Congressional Budget Office,) estimates that premiums will rise by close to 30% for this.
  2. PPACA limits insurers’ ability to offer lower rates to younger and healthier applicants and charge higher rates to older, less healthy applicants.  This drives up affordability, particularly to young applicants.  –This could also undermine ‘continued coverage,’ which leads to higher insurance costs to consumers.  (see part I of this blog)PPACA includes billions in taxes on insurers, drug companies, and medical-device companies—that in all likelihood will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums.
  3. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the insurance tax alone will add close to $400.00 annually to family premiums in 2016.  AND because the taxes require aggregate amounts to be collected from insurance companies (14-billion dollars by 2018!) then if one insurer’s payout declines, the other insurers will have to make up the difference.  This tax structure will likely cause insurers to merge—reducing competition, further driving up the cost for consumers.
  4. Even Obamacare supporters say that PPACA will drive up costs:  including former Obama administration health adviser Jonathan Gruber.  He used to advocate that PPACA “for sure” will lower costs.  Now, however, Gruber says the law will drive up individual insurance premiums by 40% in Maine and Minnesota, and by 20% in Colorado… and others speculate 85% in Ohio and 95% in Indiana.  Rates for small businesses will also be hard hit.

How exactly does Obamacare protect patients?

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) supports the repeal of PPACA and the restoration of personal freedom.  (see part I of this blog.)  AAPS filed a lawsuit against the PPACA in federal court (still pending.)  http://www.aapsonline.org/hhslawsuit      Plus, they filed a motion to intervene.  (see AAPS efforts before the courts at the AAPS website and at http://www.FreeMediPedia.org)

And here’s another reason why Obamacare is unsustainable for the American middle class: because Obamacare will ultimately cost senior citizens their affordable Medicare coverage.  Read on.

The study in Part I of this blog (“Oversight Presses HHS on Billion-Dollar Scheme Designed to Mask Obamacare Cuts,”) is about a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (HCO) investigation into the $8.3 billion dollars that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebilius (former D-Kansas governor,) has spent “to temporarily offset Obamacare’s controversial cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.”  (ibid: internet site.)

The following quote is the HCO’s memo’s dated 9/27/12, in which they protest the 8.3 billion dollar “bonus,” so-called, taken as a “demonstration project” fund.  The ‘demonstration project’ is cash for a governmental study on a particular policy or change to a policy, a feasibility study.  But this 8.3 billion is not to test the feasibility of Obamacare—that’s why it’s under investigation by the HCO.  The reality is that HHS and Obama have defunded the Medicare/Advantage program for 716 billion dollars to fund Obamacare: and with the start of the new fiscal year (on October 1,) to float Obamacare.  Secondly, this 8.3 billion dollar demonstration project fund is the largest demo-project fund ever spent in one time, since 1995.   And why?  Read the HCO’s quote:

“Obamacare was rushed through the House of Representatives and Senate by the Democratic majority in each chamber.  Many conceded they did not even read its entire contents…. One of those consequences is major cuts in the popular Medicare Advantage program serving seniors.  These cuts mean many seniors will lose coverage that they enjoyed prior to the law’s enactment….” 

—Chairman’s Preview Statement Committee On Oversight & Government Reform:  Mr. Jonathan Blum (Deputy Administrator and Director Center for Medicare;) Mr. James C. Cosgrove (Director, Health Care; US Government Accountability Office;)  Ms. Edda Perez (Managing Associate General Counsel; US Government Accountability Office.) http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-409R

http://www.oversight.house.gov/hearing/gao-report-the-obama-administrations-8-billion-extralegal-healthcare-spending-project/

http://www.oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/MedicareDemonstrationProjectFAQs.pdf

 

HHS defunded Medicare/Advantage’s $716-billion dollars to leave M/A with a shortfall.  The 8.3 billion dollars worth of ‘bonus,’ is a temporary stop-gap plan to pay for seniors’ M/A insurance before seniors find out that their M/A coverage is less than what they paid for before.  Once the 8.3 billion dollars are gone, (in 2 or 3 years,) senior’s will discover that they were deluded into thinking that Obamacare did NOT use M/A dollars.  This leaves Obamacare to cover young people, while Medicare/Advantage is gutted—meaning that:

  1. More seniors will have to pay higher fees out of pocket for M/A coverage;
  2. Seniors’ out-of-pocket costs (on fixed incomes,) will buy fewer healthcare services;
  3. Fewer seniors will be able to afford Medicare/Advantage, meaning fewer seniors will have healthcare coverage when they need it the most;
  4. All to pay for others’ “free” yearly pap smears and prostate screenings–  unless the non-medical ‘board’ of decision-makers decide that those expenses are too high.

The GAO reported that this defunding of Medicare to fund Obamacare is a “scheme.”  John Mica (R-FL,) House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, now subpoenaing the White House, calls this defunding of Medicare, “buying the election.”   I’m inclined to agree.  Where do you stand?

What can Americans do about Obamacare??

Read Part III of this blog: thank you!

Get the facts…. And you decide.  

 

© RightOnTheTruth 2012     © Suzy Right 2012

Obamacare Drives Up the Costs of Healthcare— Part I of III

In Brief….

President Obama is proud of his healthcare plan, Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: PPACA.  He lobbied Congress hard, with then-Speaker of the House, Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, as his biggest ally.  Later, she and others admitted that they did not read the PPACA bill.  But pass it, they did, with not one single Republican vote.  This is the first part of a 3-part blog entry that speaks about the high costs of Obamacare.  Keep in mind that national polls showed that the majority of Americans were opposed to Obamacare, and that the US Supreme Court, in its review of the legality of Obamacare—and other cases involving huge amounts of money— ask the question, “Cui bono?”  Who benefits?  According to G. Keith Smith, M.D., and others, “…big-money players have already achieved their purpose, regardless of the fate of the bill in the courts.”  **

** quote from “The Affordable Care Act: Does the Supreme Court Decision Matter to Its Proponents?”  G. Keith Smith, M.D.  www.jpands.org/vol17no2/smith.pdf

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            Folks, after a brief stint selling health insurance, I investigated this controversial issue myself.  You better get a cup of coffee.  You’re gonna need one.

I appreciate that Obama tells the American public that he wants to help Americans get better and more affordable healthcare.  But you need to discover for yourself if Obamacare is affordable, or if it will provide better care.  He speaks about the “free services,” Obamacare will provide, but I know firsthand that nothing in insurance is free: everyone pays.  Insurance costs are deferred either through rating up customers with higher risks, or by spreading the costs to customers in the pool.  Insurance companies are designed to make profits– all organizations must be profitable to keep the doors open.  Insurance companies are mandated by state law to retain a certain specific percentage of profitability: the MLR, or medical loss ratio: cash on hand to pay claims.  Hence, loss or payout is divided among the pool of consumers via higher premiums.  MLR’s are based on actuarial tables, and probability rates of customers’ claims.  Hence, with medical insurance, the customer’s youth, good overall physical condition, the absence of alcohol or drug use, no pre-existing conditions, relatively safe employment conditions, and so on, keep premium prices low.   Plus, ‘continued coverage,’ which means, keep the insurance in effect.

Healthcare insurance has never been regulated by the federal government until Obamacare!  The Congress disregarded the US Constitution…. despite the fact that Congress consists primarily of lawyers!  The President (also a lawyer,) is vested with the responsibility to “uphold, protect and defend the US Constitution…”  Yet, both the Legislative and Executive branch of our triad of republic passed a law that is contrary to law!  Rather than change the law, as any citizen would be required to do– Congress and the President simply disregarded the law.  Then, Congress and the President exempted themselves from Obamacare altogether!  Hypocrisy makes a poor example of leadership.

What does a consumer do, for example, with a complaint about her car insurer?  She hoofs down to the state government and files a complaint with the state insurance regulatory agency.   But, what about all the complaints about Obamacare?   Where do you file a complaint?  Washington D.C.?  If Congress had not read (or still has not read) the 2700-page bill before they passed it into law, what’s the likelihood that they enacted well-conceived rules and regulations for administrating Obamacare?   Dr. Barbara Bellar, also a lawyer, nun, college professor and Army major, and is running for Illinois’ state senate from the 18th District, and says this about Obamacare:

“So let me get this straight.  This is a long sentence.  We are going to be gifted with a health care plan that we are forced to purchase, and fined if we don’t, which reportedly covers 10 million more people without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that didn’t read it, but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, for which we will be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese and financed by a country that is broke……. So what the blank could possibly go wrong?”    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/02/doctor-seeking-illinois-senate-seat-offers-brutal-diagnosis-obamacare-in-viral/

Thank you, Dr. Bellar: lawyer, doctor, nun, Army major, college professor.  Do you think she might have some insights about what this law really does?  Her website is:  www.ElectBellar.com

Here are some thoughts from a June 28, 2012 statement by Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS,) Jane Orient, M. D., who said, “[Health insurance] Coverage is not care… The Act [PPACA] will increase costs, sharply restrict availability, and deny treatment to the old and the sick…. The key to patient protection and affordability is the patient-physician relationship and free-market competition.” 

The AAPS is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to defend the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship.  Think about the 10 million additional patients in the Obamacare system with no additional doctors: they sued the government over Obamacare.  PPACA will erode the patient-physician relationship.   And don’t forget that sitting ‘board’ of CPA’s in Obamacare who will make decisions about medical procedures and care for YOU and your doctor– with their eye on profitability.  Remember the mandated MLR and profitability.  These lay-people can override YOUR physician’s medical recommendations.  How does this give you better care?

The United States Supreme Court heard the appeal of a law suit brought against Obamacare, and indeed, upheld some parts of Obamacare.  http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/site/article/supreme_court_oral_argument_analysis/

This is what Dr. Jane Orient of the AAPS had to say about the USSC opinion (with my bolding:)

“This is a bleak day for America.  The US Supreme Court has upheld a blatantly unconstitutional law of enormous scope that affects every American.  The federal government has no constitutional authority to dictate how Americans shall pay for their medical care.  It has no right to force them to turn over their earnings for the profit of private insurers or for the “public use” such as providing “free” services that a federal agency dictates people should have.  It is most distressing that the Supreme Court has validated the corrupt, dishonest process by which this law was enacted, the “penalty” for noncompliance with the mandate was repeatedly said not to be a tax, until it suddenly became one… As the US Supreme Court said, “it’s up to the people to repeal the law, defund it, and resist its implementation.  States are not required to implement Exchanges or to take the bait for Medicaid expansion, and should not do so.  Physicians are not required to sign up for “Accountable Care Organizations,” and should not betray their patients by doing so…”

AAPS’s then-President, Alieta Eck, MD, voiced physician-opposition to the law…. And (based on the questions and statements of the Justices, during oral arguments in March, 2012,) there is now optimism that the court will invalidate the individual mandate and possibly the rest of Obamacare.  I only wish Obama had worked both sides of the aisle in Congress to build a mutually beneficial plan for all Americans.   But, until then….

Get the facts…. and you decide.

Go to Part II, for more info!  Thank you!

©RightOnTheTruth 2012

© Suzy Right

What Went Wrong In Libya?

Update- 10/29/12:  Intelligence investigators had penned on September 13, that this attack was, indeed, a terrorist attack at Benghazi.  There was no evidence of a mob unrest or demonstration… and General Petraeus stands by that assessment…

Fox News continues to request an interview with President Obama, or Vice-President Biden… but reports that the White House has not yet responded as of 10/29/12…

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In Brief….

            The September 11, 2012 attack by Al Qaeda terrorists upon the American sovereign soil compound at Benghazi, Libya, resulted in the massacre of four Americans, including the first American Ambassador since 1979.  But, how could this happen?  At first, the Obama Administration declared this to be a spontaneous attack resultant from a mob riot due to a Youtube.com video insulting an Islamic leader.  Members of the Administration repeated this explanation—even on popular TV.  The President repeated this on the stump, saying again and again that “bin Laden is dead and the Al Qaeda is on their heels.”  Government investigations were already under way, when the 9/11 Benghazi attack was finally classified as an Al Qaeda terrorist attack.  Peaceful Libyans are attempting to create a new government, with the assistance of the late American Ambassador, and other courageous security forces—but too many questions remain, especially, what did the Administration know and when did they know it? 

……………………………………..

            What happened in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012?  Just weeks before the American national elections, four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were massacred and killed at the American compound in Benghazi, Libya.  The attack was recorded on video surveillance cameras around the compound of this sovereign soil.  The Americans are assisting Libyans to create a new government, after the demise of Gaddafi’s brutal reign.  After the Benghazi attack, non-violent Libyans protested the massacre–  Fox news coverage showed many carrying signs, apologizing to the American people for the massacre: a courageous act considering that the Al Qaeda shoots western sympathizers.  American security forces and CIA are testifying under oath in an on-going Congressional investigation, that the attackers were, in fact, heavily armed Al Qaeda rebel forces.  Security operatives are testifying that Al Qaeda forces are re-bounding throughout the Middle East and North Africa, despite hoopla to the contrary.  Highly respected international journalist, Lara Logan, after years of investigating the Middle East, is on a mission to alert Americans that, yes, Al Qaeda is bounding back.   Sadly, Americans have been told repeatedly by our own President Obama, that “Bin Laden is dead and the Al Qaeda are on their heels.”  President Obama’s claim is not true.

On September 12, from the White House rose garden, Obama apologized to Muslims around the world, saying America will not tolerate insults to the people of Islam.  For the next two weeks, the President repeatedly told Americans that a ‘spontaneous demonstration’ erupted because of an Islamic-offensive Yutube video.  (The maker of that 18-minute film was later arrested for what turned out to be only a probation violation Both Secretary of State Clinton repeated the Youtube riot story on national TV..  Ditto, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, on 5 separate network appearances in the week following the attack.  And ditto again and again, with the President’s words on “The View,” and the David Letterman show.  A spontaneous attack over a Youtube video.  End of story.  Until the security forces came forward to Congress.

In fairness, the chaos of such a massacre can be confusing, but security forces must investigate all the information.  The fact is that Susan Rice, Ambassador to the UN, had definitively declared this tragedy to be a demonstration gone wrong, and not a planned terrorist attack—  and the resultant conflicting information lead some to believe that there is a cover-up about Benghazi.  Ambassadors are in fact, personal representatives of the US President.  Why did the President’s personal representative tell 5 separate TV networks something that was later proven to be untrue?  Who gave the President’s personal representative—as well as State Secretary Clinton– authority to tell the American people (and the world,) that this attack was not a planned terrorist attack?  Tragically, as facts about Benghazi emerge, it is established that Secretary Clinton was watching the security cameras’ video as the compound attack ensued in real time.

            Here are some facts that have emerged with the Congressional hearings:

  1. In the past year, there have been 230 concerted attacks against American embassies and their ‘sovereign soil,’ in the Middle East;
  2. The Libyan Internal Minister sent a memo to Washington, D.C., on September 1, saying that Benghazi had been put on ‘high alert,’ and needed help;
  3. That there are 2000 security forces in Bagdad, but only 2 dozen in Libya;
  4. American security forces in Benghazi had been put on ‘combat pay,’ status, although, the number of security forces was reduced;
  5. The Benghazi compound (separate from our embassy in Tripoli, but still sovereign soil,) had also been violently attacked in June: leaving a huge hole in the compound’s wall, several feet across— and, as of 10/19/12, the breach was intended to measure the American response;
  6. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, told the nation from the White House rose garden on 9/12, that this was not a terrorist attack, repeating this for many days—before a full retraction, saying, yes, it was a terrorist attack.  On 10/15, Clinton took full State Department responsibility for the tragedy— one day before the 2nd Presidential debate in Hempstead, NY, on 10/16;
  7.   Former CIA Director, Porter Goss, said on a Foxnews.com interview (on/about 10/19,) that “they don’t want us here,” pointing out Al Qaeda attacks against the British and the international Red Cross–  who got their people out.

On October 9, 2012, Vice-President Joe Biden, in his debate with Congressman Paul Ryan (in the vice-presidential debate,) said, “we were not told!” [–it was a terrorist attack.]   How can the Vice-President, who is one heart-beat away from the Oval Office, NOT KNOW about terrorist attacks against Americans?  What went wrong? 

Campaigns are designed to sway voters and beat the competition.  For months, Mr. Obama’s campaign has campaigned again and again– on TV, in ads, on the ‘stump’– that “Bin Laden is dead– and Al Qaeda is on their heels.”  As Congressional investigations show, that claim is just not true.  Plus, soldiers report from the front, don’t make such claims—  Al Qaeda responds with more attacks.  We need to stop saying that Al Qaeda is on their heels!

Fox news interviewed Congressman Bob Corker, R-TN on 10/10/12 (Foreign Relations Committee)  (http://video.foxnews.com/v/1890914976001/sen-corker-white-house-trying-to-protect-faux-image)   Corker said that Al Qaeda is on the rise: that “the White House is trying to protect its faux image… there was no question that the State Department said that everyone knew this was a terrorist attack…. that this speaks to the character of this administration…”  and continued saying, “the State Department on Libya, in fact, completely contradicts the White House’s response to the attack.”  From Fox interviews with other Congressmen, the surveillance video is  now being studied by the CIA and shows many identifiable faces as Al Qaeda members.   Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT,) upon return from the Middle East, flat out told Fox news, “the President and Vice-President are not being straight with the American people,” and, “our Consulate in Benghazi had been bombed twice!  And they reduce security??”

There is a terrible irony here.  Four American killed in a terrorist attack.   Did the American government know it was a terrorist attack and misrepresent the facts?  Or not?  Either way, the world loses.  And Al Qaeda gains ground.   Terror cannot survive without lies. Justice cannot survive without honesty.  To fight terror, we need honesty.           

What went wrong?  Get the facts…. and you decide.

–Suzy Right

RightOnTheTruth  © Suzy Right 2012

 

Why I Like Barak Hussein Obama—But Not For President:

In brief: I like Barak Obama, but not for president: he seems like a nice guy, someone I could enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation with.  But his decisions seem out-of sync with the results of his policies. The outcomes of his policies don’t add up with what he says.

I personally like Barak H. Obama.  Anyone who survives law school to move right into national politics earns my respect!  In many ways, Barak Obama is the quintessential American: the crowning result of Great Society programs and laws that enable the success of free enterprise choices to all races and creeds!  Isn’t that why Obama ran in 2008 on the platform of, “hope and change”?  I also respect his family, with its rocky road between Kenya, Hawaii and Indonesia–  especially when you listen to his half-brother, George Obama, in Kenya (see Dinesh D’Souza’s film, “2016”)  George struck me as an honest man, wishing that the Colonialists stayed long enough to build hospitals and universities in Kenya— leaving the Kenyans to rule themselves.  Not so.  Maybe, I thought, Barak could help.

I like Barak Obama, but not for President.  I question his executive orders and his decisions.  Looking at the Middle East today, it seems like America has lost footing in the war on terror.  It doesn’t seem like our previous strides made there have been sustained.  Like with the attacks at Benghazi and Cairo.  Obama recently gave the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt 1.4 billon dollars.  And Congress is deliberating if they should get the other 4 billion dollars Obama has requested.  The CIA testifies to a Congressional investigation into Libya that there have been dozens of attacks in recent months, when Benghazi had been executed on one of America’s most reverent days, 9/11.  I’ve been to the NYC 9/11 memorial.  It’s humbling to walk among gargantuan buildings and thousands of people from all over the world, the epitome of diversity.  I wish all people could live freely and peacefully under the umbrella of security.

I am also deeply concerned about Iran especially when it tells the media that it will obliterate Israel.   President Obama continues to advocate for economic sanctions against Iran, yes: but 11 nations are exempt from sanctions in order to buy Iran’s oil.  Mr. Obama declined seeing Netanyahu, opting instead for phone time, freeing him to guest on The View and then jet to Las Vegas to campaign with Beyonce.  The Israeli people are preparing with gas masks and bomb shelters in their homes.  When Sarkozy was President of France, he and Mr. Obama were unknowingly taped expressing their disdain for Netanyahu.  I don’t understand these inconsistencies between words and actions.  Alan M. Dershowitz, of Harvard Law School–  Mr. Obama’s alma mater—said that we should be very concerned with the Obama Administration’s relationship with Israel.  And he’s not the only one: Ed Koch, former NY Major, Senator Charles Schumer (D- NY) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) have also expressed grave concerns.  Yet, VP Joe Biden said that not since Harry Truman, has any other American president done so much for Israel, but Barak Obama.

I like Barak Obama, just not as the American President: our economy has deteriorated.  He campaigns that he inherited this mess, but inheritance implies being an heir: Mr. Obama asked Americans to elect him to this job.  He has incurred 6-trillion more dollars of debt—it’s growing by the minute.  Borrowing money to buy things is not a good idea in my opinion.  I would rather that he and Congress would follow the national law and create a budget–  I think good leadership should work ‘across the aisle,’ in Congress and bring the parties together.  He promised to bring people together.  America spends 2-billion dollars a week just servicing our debt!  I don’t know anyone who wants our kids—mine or yours— to inherit massive debt.  Right now, 47 million Americans live on food stamps: up from 30 million since Obama’s administration, so, what happened?  If the economy is on the mend, why do more Americans need food stamps?  Unemployment stats are perplexing, too–  some say it’s 8%, but the Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project and the National Urban League reported that “most economic gains that the black middle class made during the last 30 years have been wiped out by the economic downturn,” according to the Chicago Tribune.  (see http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/tribune-black-gains-wiped/2012/10/08/id/459096)  My friends all are struggling, black and white, and some have taken jobs after layoffs, making half of what they made five years ago.  8.7 million Americans live on Disability— maybe the government counts them as, ‘employed,’  but Disability will be broke in just a few years.  In Colorado, 85,000 people enrolled on Disability this past year, while only 80,000 got jobs.  (see Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle, September 201, page 1.)http://www.glendalecherrycreek.com/social-security-disability-thousands-in-the-valley-flock-to-join-its-ranks/

All these data do not point in a good direction.

Then there’s Medicare/Advantage: it’s coverage is reduced by 716 billions of dollars taken away for Obamacare.  The deficit will be covered by an 8 billion dollar ‘bonus.’  The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating the legality of this ‘bonus.’  That’s two investigations by the HCOGR into President Obama’s administration— Benghazi-gate, as it is now called– and the ‘bonus’ plan which is called– “this scheme…. to minimize the impact of Obamacare’s cuts on seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage before the election.”  (COGR.)  Interested readers can find this memo and more at: http://oversight.house.gov/release/oversight-presses-hhs-on-billion-dollar-scheme-designed-to-mask-obamacare-cuts/

All these things are disconcerting.  Especially when I think about the America I want to leave to following generations.  I know Barak Obama wants a good America for his daughters, but our decisions lead us to the future.  He seems like a really cool guy.  He likes basketball, golf, parties, hob-nobbing with celebrities—although he smokes cigarettes, which nobody should do— and he’s a father, a husband and very likeable.  I like Barak Obama.  But not for President.

–Suzy Right: Right On The Truth!

copyright 2012