ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 183

OBAMACARE REPEAL RISES FROM DEAD IN SENATE ONLY TO BE SENT BACK TO EARLY GRAVE; TRUMP ATTACKS LBTGQ SERVICEMEMBERS; TRUMP ATTACKS ATTORNEY GENERAL; PRESIDENT TRUMP CLAIMS COMPLETE POWER TO PARDON ANYONE, EVEN IN ADVANCE;  KUSHNER MEETS SENATE INVESTIGATORS TWICE EVEN THOUGH NOTHING TO TALK  ABOUT; ETHICS WATCHDOG RESIGNS; HOW FAR TO TAKE MEDICAL TREATMENT; MORE:   ELDERUPDATES.COM, No. 183 JULY 29, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: ANOTHER week, another attack.  President Trump sends tweet that LBTGQ should not serve in military.  5 months before 6 month study completed on the issue, Trump again flaunts his ability to surprise.  Apparently, no prior consultation with Pentagon or Secretary of Defense Mattis.  Since this new policy was released in a tweet it contained no details of how to address current members of the military, their health care, or any other matters. One wonders: was he like this with his mother?  “I will or won’t get you a mother’s day card; who knows?” Or is he like that because of his mother?  Where is Freud when you need him? RISING from the almost dead, a crescent of stitches over his left eye, Senator McCain returned to the Senate to vote “NO” and prevent the “repeal from going further” at approximately 1:37 a.m. Washington Time. Possibly, the Senator learned a thing or 2 about the importance of health care during his brain surgery. (Some claim a special “sympathy” chip was put in but your blogger has seen no evidence to support this claim, almost as outrageous as 3 M ineligible voters voting in last election.) Whatever the reason, this blog salutes him.  The...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 182

OBAMACARE SURVIVES NON-REPEAL AS McCAIN SURVIVES BRAIN SURGERY; TRUMP SPOKESPERSON SPICE RESIGNS; NON-OPIOID RESEARCH; IRA DISTRIBUTIONS; 8 IN RUSSIAN DIRT DISTRIBUTION MEETING; ELECTRIC BUSSES COMING TO L.A., MORE ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 182 JULY 22, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: PRESIDENT Trump’s back and forth on what to do about health care for maybe 100 M Americans (70M on Medicaid alone, Children’s Health Care, and Obamacare), deserves more thought than a tweet.  Without the required 50 votes to get a bill to the Senate Floor Republicans may be ready to throw in the towel.  But don’t forget what happened in the House, the bill was resuscitated and passed. Recently Senator McConnell has been offering carrots to Alaska (premium support) and Ohio (opioid addiction treatment).  (The Economist, July 15, 2017.) Words such as “hearings” and “discuss” are being thrown about, and not just by Democrats.  (Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2017.)  Sadly and ironically, while Senator McCain recovers from his brain surgery others still wonder what they would do under similar circumstances.  Time to discuss health care as a serious national issue. GOP bills will make insurance unaffordable for many, especially those with preexisting conditions.  Senator Cruz proposes allowing carriers to have health plans that are not compliant with Obamacare standards if the carrier sells at least one plan which meets any Obamacare plan standard.  (Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2017.) “MEDICARE for all” is rallying cry for growing numbers of Americans.  Other countries administer health care through government with more stable systems as workers don’t lose health care when they change or lose jobs, and premiums don’t have to include...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 181

MOSUL FALLS TO COALITION FORCES; TRUMP, JR. ADMITS MEETING RUSSIAN LAWYER FOR CLINTON DIRT; TRUMP SR. ODD-MAN-OUT AT G-20; PRESIDENT TRUMP OFF TO PARIS; SENATE EXTENDS SESSION FOR COMPROMISE TO KILL OBAMACARE; MOREY ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 181 JULY 15, 2017   PRESIDENT Trump=s week in review: MOSUL, Iraq falls to coalition forces years after it was announced as the headquarters of the new caliphate (NBC, and more). PRESIDENT Trump goes to Paris at invitation of new French leader Macron to celebrate Bastille day and says “well, maybe we can do something on the Paris accord, but maybe not” as he backs down from hardline position.  (KPPC radio, July 13, 2017.) After Trump withdrew from the Paris accords 900 companies signed a “we are still in” letter addressed to the U.N.  (The Economist, June 10, 2017.) DONALD Trump, Jr., releases email chain between himself and others acknowledging he met with alleged Russian government lawyer for dirt on Clinton, got none, but now reaps the whirlwind for meeting with hostile country over U.S. election politics.  (Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2017.) IN Trump-Putin discussion 40 minutes was spent on Russian election interference before the parties agreed to disagree.  Foolishly, Trump did not bring any intelligence experts to the meeting.  Just as foolishly, he has derided 17 agencies and disregarded their findings that Russia interfered. PRESIDENT Trump has been busy signing rule changes to ax government regulations, primarily involving labor laws and coal mining rules.  (The Kiplinger Letter, July 7, 2017.) CHRISTOPHER Wray, Trump’s nominee for FBI Director, states Russia investigation is not a witch hunt, that he has not been asked to...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 180

PRESIDENT TRUMP SOFT ON PUTIN, TOUGHER ON CNN; SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS MUSLIM TRAVEL BAN – IN PART; REPUBLICANS UNABLE TO AGREE ON OBAMACARE CHANGES; CHINA SEES OPPORTUNITY AS U.S. LEAVES EUROPE; LONG HISTORY OF PARTISANSHIP IN U.S.; MORE.. ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 180 JULY 8, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: PRESIDENTS Trump and Putin meet for first time.  Trump raises issue of Russian meddling but Putin denies any such action, (perhaps saying, along with an old song, “who you going to believe, me or your lyin’ spies?). DAYS prior to the meeting Trump himself had questioned the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Russia was behind the interference in the U.S. 2016 election. PRESIDENT Trump has established a commission, chaired by Vice-President Pence, to investigate issue of illegal voting raised by himself without any other supporting documentation.  Civil libertarians concerned this could lead to voter suppression laws. PRESIDENT Trump’s office mocks up phony fight scene where he beats up “CNN” reporter; not clear if this itself is “fake news”.  Supporters called the setup “harmless mockery” and Melania Trump, who earlier said her primary goal as First Lady is to stop bullying, said when Trump is attacked “he will hit back 10 times harder”.  (Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2017.) This blogger finds Trump’s refusal to support 17 intelligence agencies unanimous findings Russia and Putin behind 2016 election meddling and fight back “10 times harder against Putin”, while crocodile tears are shed over grade-B comedian holding fake Trump head (admittedly wrong and possibly illegal), and finds her gigs being canceled right and left. If Trump was to hit back “10 times...

ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 179

PRESIDENT TRUMP IN TWITTER WAR; TRUMP TO MEET PUTIN; SENATE HEALTH BILL TO LEAVE 22 M WITHOUT INSURANCE; STOCKS UP IN FIRST 2 OF YEAR; TAPES?  WHAT TAPES?; ILLINOIS HEADS FOR JUNK BOND STATUS, WHOSE NEXT?; CALIFORNIA RIGHT TO DIE LAW RARELY USED; MOREY ELDERUPDATES.COM, NO. 179 JUNE 30, 2017 PRESIDENT Trump’s week in review: PRESIDENT Trump in tweet war with Joe Scarborough and  Mika Brzezinski, now married, accusing them of crashing his party at Mar-a-Lago with Ms. Brzezinski having blood streaming down her face from recent facelift.  (Various.) 3 CNN journalists resign after inadequately documented story and failed to comply with company=s standards; Trump claims victory over “Fake News”.  (Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2017.) WEEKS before G-20 conference where Trump will hopefully discuss (but probably not rage about), Russian interference in U.S. election, Russian government alleges U.S. has been Ameddling in Moscow=s domestic [email protected]  (Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2017.) CBO (Congressional Budget Office) “scores” Senate bill as taking health insurance away from 22 M.  Susan Collins, and Dean Heller, along with other Senators, have said they will vote against the bill.  (Various.) Senate Leader McConnell had hoped for a vote before the holiday break, when Republican senators are expected to get an earful from the folks back home. Trump had wanted a bill with heart, after calling the House version mean.  22 M losing insurance may leave more heart to be desired. RELATEDLY, proposed tax break for childcare expenses would allow families to put aside $10,500 in dependent care flexible accounts.  (The Kiplinger Tax Letter, June 16, 2017.) But how many can put $10,500 aside when...

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...