ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 178

PRESIDENT TRUMP TAKES FIRST STEP TO MODERNIZE GOV’T TECH; 4 SHOT-CONGRESSMAN INJURED BADLY; RUMORS TRUMP WILL FIRE MUELLER PROBABLY JUST THAT; TRUMP SAYS “YES” WHILE HIS LAWYERS SAY “NO”; SUP. CT. TO HEAR GERRYMANDERING CASE; EXXON AND STEPHEN HAWKING AGREE; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 178 JUNE 23, 2017   PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: JARED Trump hosted many Tech-Company CEO’s to discuss modernizing the federal government.  The report on NBR (Nightly Business Report) noted the Department of Defense is still using 8” floppy drives (which were followed by 5” floppies, then 3.2” “floppies”, then cd-roms.  (Nightly Business Report, June 19, 2017.) UNCLEAR whether President Trump is under investigation after he tweets that he is and his lawyers deny it on Sunday tv shows. MUCH ado about nothing as tongues wag that Trump will fire Mueller?  President’s tweets fuel the fire.  Could cause a constitutional crisis. In other news: SUPREME Court to hear case around gerrmandering, the process of drawing election boundaries to you and punish your (political), enemies.  (Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2016.) SHOOTER wounds at least 3, I seriously, as Republican Congressman warm up for the annual Democratic-Republican baseball game.  (The WEEK, June 23, 2017.) President Trump made a conciliatory statement we should do well remember the injured as it if were an assault on all.  For a brief period, political wrangling took a breather but with the clandestinely written Senate Health Care Bill arriving on June 28th the phony goodwill will be over. 70 M use Medicaid because they are old, poor and or disabled.  (The WEEK, June 23, 2017.) MORE people work in the bowling industry...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 177

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS HE’LL “100%” TESTIFY; ASST. AG ROSENSTEIN DENIES HE WILL FIRE MUELLER; 9TH CIRCUIT REJECTS TRAVEL BAN ON “STATUTORY” RATHER THAN “CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS; KANSAS REDUCES TAXES AND GETS LESS TAXES – SOME DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY; WHY BETTER MEDICAL COVERAGE INCREASES ER VISITS; JUNE 15TH IS ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY (BE NICE); OPIODS KILL MORE EVERY YER THAN THE VIET NAM WAR AS DRUG COMPANIES MAKING MONEY; CHINESE MOVING INTO AMERICAN VACUUM, DEAL REACHED ON CAL STATE BUDGET; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 177 JUNE 16, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: PRESIDENT Trump’s aides to be questioned by Special Counsel Mueller’s staff regarding possible Obstruction of Justice charge against President Trump.  (Various, June 14, 2017.); PRESIDENT Trump states in press conference he will “100%” testify under oath, but questions remain such as: to who, when and whether any testimony would be in public.  (Various, June, 2017.) ASSISTANT Attorney General Rosenstein, questioned by House Appropriations Committee, states he will not fire Mueller merely on say-so of the President, i.e. he will require further objective evidence to justify Mueller’s removal.  (Various, June 14, 2017.) ATTORNEY General Jeff Sessions, testifies aggressively he did no wrong or inappropriate action regarding Russian investigation or former FBI Director Jim Comey.  (Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2017.) 9th Circuit Court of Appeal rejects Trump travel ban on statutory (not constitutional), grounds, concluding the ban exceeded the President’s authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act passed by Congress.  (Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2017.) PRESIDENT Trump assails obstructionist Democrats in Congress for his skeletal appointments list, but has failed to nominate candidates for 441 out of 559...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 176

COMEY TESTIFIES – TRUMP REPLIES; MORE ON OPIOIDS; PRIVATIZATION OF AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS?; MEDICARE FRAUD; GOV. BROWN GOES TO CHINA; UBER PROBLEMS CONTINUE; LAST OHIO INSURER EXITS OBAMACARE; POSSIBLE IRA CHANGES; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 176 JUNE 9, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: FORMER FBI Director James Comey testified at length, stating: -President Trump demanded personal loyalty to Trump; -President insisted on speaking to Comey alone about Comey “letting go”  on investigation of Mike Flynn because Flynn is a “good guy”, and that while not following that statement Comey took it as “direction” from the President; -He simply didn’t have the personal courage to tell the President what the President was suggesting was wrong and inappropriate; -Statements that the FBI was in chaos with low morale were “lies, pure and simple”; -That he had assured President Trump he was not being investigated but refused to make a public statement to that effect; -That in 8 years he had 2 contacts with Obama, while in 4 months he had 9 contacts with President Trump; -He hopes Trump has “tapes” (who uses tapes anymore) showing the content of their conversations, and agreed he will release all memos he wrote regarding meetings with President Trump; -Declined to offer opinion on whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, saying that was better left for the Special Prosecutor to determine; -Disclosed what President Trump whispered in his ear on national television “I’m really looking forward to working with you”; (AOL, June 8, 2017); -Reiterated he was fired because of unwillingness to change direction of Russian investigation; and -Often refused to answer questions in public...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 175

PRESIDENT TRUMP REMOVES U.S. FROM CLIMATE ACCORD; POLL SAYS 43% FOR IMPEACHMENT; TRUMP ALIENATES EUROPE; TRUMP EXPOSES ISRAELIS; 9 SANCTIONED AFTER NORTH KOREA LAUNCHES MISSILES; DIRECTOR COMEY TESTIFYING 6-8-17; MILITARY BENEFITS; GENERAL FLYNN TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTS; UBER EXPANDING; ELEPHANT HOISTS HUNTER; MORE…   ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 175 JUNE 2, 2017   PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: PRESIDENT Trump goes to Europe and:   -avoids confirming U.S. will come to aid of any NATO member which is attacked – also knownas “Article 5”; and -refuses to confirm whether U.S. will follow the Paris Climate Agreement. President Trump’s ability to keep everyone guessing is intentional but allies want predictability and dependability, (as cautioned in an earlier blog). German Chancellor Angela Merkel subsequently stated Europe cannot depend upon the U.S. and must proceed on its own to build a better security system, thus calling President Trump’s bet.  On Tuesday, CNN reported the White House thought Germany’s response to President Trump’s action(s) on the trip was “unbelievable”. AS predicted by many, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, although saying he would be willing to renegotiate new provisions that did not “hinder” or cost Americans.  (AOL.com, June 1, 2017.)  However, an agreement to reduce the rate of climate change will, by definition “hinder” Americans in their general lifestyle and “cost” something. Elon Musk of Tesla subsequently resigned from the president’s advisory board. In taking this action, combined with his action(s) in Europe, President Trump has effectively resigned the U.S. from leader of the free world and left massive openings for China and Russia to gain influence over countries formerly believed to...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 174

23 MILLION TO LOSE INSURANCE UNDER REVISED REPEAL; 2ND IMMIGRATION RULE REJECTED ON APPEAL; PRESIDENT TRUMP OVERSEAS; SPECIAL COUNSEL APPOINTED IN TRUMP CAMPAIGN-RUSSIA;  BOMBING IN ENGLAND;  DEBT & HOUSING PRICES BOTH UP; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NOI. 174 MAY 25, 2017 MEMORIAL Day is acknowledged this weekend.  Rather than just a weekend of sales and hanging out, let us all take a moment to think of our citizens – and non-citizen members of our armed forces – who served and continue to serve.  Alternatively, try saying it in German. PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: PRESIDENT Trump’s Budget proposal: Maintain social security and Medicare benefits; Cutbacks to Medicaid (Medi-Cal), in amount of $665B (+ former proposed cutback of $838B = $1.49 T); Cutbacks in other anti-poverty program and/or transfer of administration and rules to the states, with California losing $700 M/yr); Reducing funding for Children’s Health Insurance Program and increasing states’ share of cost 25%; $9.2 B reduction in education-related spending; Increased defense spending by almost same amount as social spending is cut; Fails to account for tax cuts as lost federal revenue; And much more. (Los Angeles Times, New York Times, California Budget Bites, etc.) The budget proposal, combined with Trump’s earlier tax proposal, shift assets and income to the wealthy through tax reductions, while poorer folks will suffer reductions in medical, food and other support services. Meanwhile, homeless youth remain at high risk of being trafficked (New York Times, April 17, 2017).  Presidential Budget Director Mick Mulvaney states we need to have compassion for those on government benefits, but must also have compassion for the taxpayers and the budget proposal...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 173

FORMER FBI DIRECTOR MUELLER APPOINTED SPECIAL PROSECUTOR; TRUMP HAS BACK TO BACK TO BACK BAD DAYS BUT AT LEAST WAIVES SALARY; BEST INVESTOR IN WORLD CRITICIZES HOUSE OBAMACARE REPEAL – REVISED BILL REDUCES BENEFITS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN; RANSOMWARE AGAIN?; EPA REARRANGING SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 173 MAY 18, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: ON May 17th Robert Mueller, former Director of the FBI prior to Comey, was appointed Special Prosecutor.  To quote the New York Times: “WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has appointed Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director, to serve as a special counsel to oversee its investigation into Russian meddling in the election, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced on Wednesday. The appointment of Mr. Mueller dramatically raises the stakes for President Trump in the multiple investigations into his campaign’s ties to the Russians. It follows a swiftly moving series of developments that have roiled Washington, including Mr. Trump’s abrupt dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the disclosure that the president urged Mr. Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. “I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,” Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination.” While a special counsel would remain ultimately answerable to Mr. Rosenstein — and by extension, the president — he would have greater autonomy to run an investigation than a United...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 172

TERMINATION OF FBI DIRECTOR; IMMIGRANTS MORE ENTREPRENEURIAL; OBAMACARE REPEAL PASSES HOUSE; MEASLES SPREADING; OBAMA ON LECTURE CIRCUIT; CLIMATE CHANGE ROARS ON; MICHAEL FOX DEFINES COURAGE; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 172   MAY 11, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: TERMINATION of FBI Director Comey surprises many.  Trump cited handling of Clinton email matters in termination letter, although this information was public knowledge earlier when Trump was effusive in his praise for Comey.  Some believe Trump is concerned about Russian-Trump campaign contacts; Democrats calling for special prosecutor to supervise that investigation.  On Thursday Acting Director of FBI stated Comey had strong support among the FBI rank and file.  (Various.) PRODUCTIVE immigrants without criminal records being deported by Trump Administration.  60 Minutes showed deportation of restaurant owner employing 20 people, who was married with 3 children (all citizens). 1/3 of all new businesses started by immigrants in 2016.  Immigrants twice as likely to start a business as native born Americans.  (NBR, May 3, 2017.) $1.1 Trillion budget deal reached without including funds for border wall; President Trump states we need a “good shutdown” but signs bill anyway. HOUSE passes Obamacare Repeal that will place those with pre-existing conditions in high-risk pools if accepted by Senate.  Subsidies for the high-risk pools to be funded for 5 years, but then (apparently), subsidies will be reduced, those with illness will find coverage unaffordable, and pre-existing illness will become synonymous with “no insurance”. PRESIDENT Trump tweeted “healthcare plan is on its way.  Will have much lower premiums & deductibles while at the same time taking care of pre-existing conditions!”  (Quoted from New York Times, April 30,...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 171

TRUMP RIDING HIGH WITH TRUMP VOTERS; TRUMP ATTACKS SUCCESSFUL COMPROMISE BUDGET COMPROMISE — CALLS FOR GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN; 3RD ATTEMPT AT OBAMACARE REPEAL UNLIKELY TO SUCCEED; TRUMP’S MAJOR VICTORY TO DATE – RUINING THE ENVIRONMENT; TAX CUTS LEAD TO GROWTH OR IS IT THE WHISKEY TALKIN’(?); NORTH KOREA ALWAYS ON MY MIND; SENIORS IN THE GIG ECONOMY; MORE…   ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 171 MAY 4, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: 85% of Trump voters approve of his performance in office (Various.) 5 month $1.1 T spending bill, including “$1.5 B” for Mexican wall related technology, passed by Congress.  (NBR, May 1, 2017.) PRESIDENT Trump lashes out at the agreement, saying the U.S. “needs a good shutdown’ in September.  (Bloomberg Television News, May 2, 2017, Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2017.)  We do?  Why? Is calling for a “good shutdown” consistent with the oath to support the constitution of the United States, which some believe it is his job to continue running?  In the last blog it was noted our allies look to us for stability, strength and leadership.  A shutdown sends the opposite message. PRESIDENT Trump is also calling for something like a rejuvenation of Glass-Steagall, which prevented banks from merging their retail operations with their investment operations. OBAMACARE taxes are here to stay for the foreseeable future as Republicans can’t agree and Democrats don’t want to help them.  (Kiplinger Tax Letter, April 21, 2017.) However, if Republicans can agree among themselves, Obamacare will be repealed in the House, the Senate less likely to do so. AMA (and AARP), oppose the modified health care bill.  The AMA’s CEO stated while...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 170

TRUMP ON TAXES “CUTS FOR BUSINESS” “REFORM FOR US”; WALL “OFF THE TABLE” AFTER FUNDING STANDOFF; GENERAL FLYNN FACES MORE HEAT; WHO TAKES CARE OF CHILDREN WHOSE PARENTS ARE DEPORTED?; MARCHING FOR SCIENCE; EMPLOYERS PAYING STUDENT LOANS; A FEW COMMENTS ON TAXES; MORE… ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 170 APRIL 29, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: AS of Monday afternoon, Trump in standoff with Congress over wall on Mexican border.  Republicans have the votes to pass a budget on their own and prove they can govern.  Government shutdown could have more than normal consequences as collapsing world structure needs a stable U.S. as confrontation with North Korea may be imminent and Europe undergoes Brexit. By Monday evening it was reported Trump had stated to conservative media he would move back to September.  Is he a bully backing down or a politician wisely accepting his goal? President Trump wants to be, and is, unpredictable.  This may work in the private sector where he was the Big Man and the “next deal” with someone else is around the corner.  But in the political world where there is no “next deal”, one must deal with the same governments, and our allies need predictability from the world’s largest economic, political and military power. “IN the long term, however, erratic national leaders often lose allies, who seek more dependable protectors.”  (The WEEK, April 28, 2017.) LAST week President Trump announced he would announce his tax reform proposal on Wednesday.  It was later revealed the proposal would include a reduction of the corporate tax maximum from 35% to 15%.  On Tuesday, Republicans announced opposition to the Trump...

ELDERUPDATES.COM., NO. 169

MORE MILITARY ACTION; FOX FIRES O’REILLY; ESTATE TAX EXEMPTION UP AGAIN; FREE SPEECH NOT SO FREE; L.A. CITY HAS $ FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING BUT NOT LAND; EXXON WANTS TO DRILL IN RUSSIA; NATO GETS TRANSFUSION – NO LONGER “OBSOLETE”; MORE… UPDATED AND REVISED ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 169 APRIL 22, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: PRESIDENT Trump gives free reign to military to strike without prior presidential approval.  (KPPC, April 14, 2017.) PRESIDENT Trump stated U.S.S. Vinson group is heading towards N. Korea for possible confrontation, when it was actually heading away from N. Korea and towards Japan.  (Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2017.)  What must Kim Jung Un, leader of N. Korea, be thinking: U.S. is paper tiger?  U.S. doesn’t know what it is doing? VICE-President Pence subsequently warns Kim not to “test” Trump, overlooking Trump already was tested and found wanting when U.S. ships were sailing away from North Korea instead of toward it.  (Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2017.) Hopefully, President Trump will find time to visit military hospitals, watch a documentary or 2 on past wars (not “Band of Brothers” or “Hogan’s Heroes”, but possibly filmmaker Ken Burns’ civil war series), and the horrors of them, before he recommences his bombastic rhetoric. FROM “America First” President comes newfound respect for intervention in Europe “NATO no longer obsolete”, Afghanistan (dropping on 21,000 pound bomb, and verbal attacks on Russia).  It is, however, too optimistic to think Trump will wish to renegotiate the TTP agreement. LIFETIME estate tax exemption will increase from $5.45 B to $5.49 B per person for those dying in 2017.  Meanwhile, maximum deferral to...