MARCH 2, 2017


IF an “enforcement-only” immigration policy is followed we can expect:

  • Agricultural production to decline $30 – $60 B;
  • Food prices to increase 5 – 6%; and
  • Price of milk to increase 45%. (Nightly Business Report, February 22, 2017.)

ANGRY voters flood Republican town halls protesting contemplated Obamacare and Medicare changes; Trump’s fawning over Putin; new Administrations policy changes on the environment; and more, (Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2017), all in a manner reminiscent of a less violent tea party response.

CALIFORNIA employers fret over possible deportations as 10% of California workers are undocumented.  (Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2017.)  Will young white people with a sense of entitlement actually be willing to work as busboys, dishwashers and, perhaps worst of all, fruit and vegetable pickers?  Will older whites be able to?

DURING campaign Trump promised to protect social programs such as social security and Medicare; then nominated people with very different viewpoints.  New York Times (February 23, 2017), finally asks the obvious question: what happens when they disagree?  Based on his prior finger-pointing, both physical and verbal, cuts will be made and Trump will blame others.

Lesser known programs such as Legal Aid, Americorps and the Appalachian Regional Commission could also see budget cuts.  Coal country supporters may take a different view of Trump if their own small benefit plans are cut; especially if qualifying for social security disability becomes more difficult.

REPUBLICAN Senator Susan Collins said she thinks the Intelligence Committee has the authority to subpoena President Trump’s tax records should it be necessary in the investigation into Russian interference with our recent election.  (Roll Call, February 24, 2017.)

GOVERNOR Browns seeks to expedite flood control program from 4 years to 2; also seeks federal emergency funds.  Price tag for current floodwater damage and emergency evacuations exceeds $1 B.  (Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2017.)

OSCARS to charge media $75,000 to $500,000 for free publicity actors get when interviewed in red carpet.  (Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2017.)

PRESIDENT Trump continues war with press, calling it “the enemy of the American people!”.  Former attackers of the press include Lenin, Hitler and Mao Tse-Tung.  Senator John McCain said attacking the press is “how dictators get started”.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)

Side-note: Trump will not attend the annual Washington Correspondents Dinner in which the press and President roast each other.  Even Reagan, after being shot, made a few comments from his hospital bed.

FORMER President George W. Bush (43) expressed support for an investigation of Russian activity during our election, stating “I think we all need answers.  I’m not sure the avenue to take.  I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered” on the Today Show, February 27, 2017.  Bush also said “”[i]t’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves”.

ON February 27th KPPC reported the L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, CNN and Politico were all excluded from the White House press briefing by spokesman Sean Spicer.  Television media, which generally cannot report as thoroughly, remain in the press briefings.

IN speech to joint houses of Congress Trump took a softer tone but still supported building a wall with Mexico and ending Obamacare.  The day after this softer speech his budget plans to reduce the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 20-25%.

SECRETARY of the Treasury Mnuchin (rhymes with smoochin’) says the Trump administration will not be affecting entitlements this year.  However, no promise was made regarding Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California), which may find itself on the chopping block as Trump is prepared to propose a 10% in defense spending.

PERHAPS relatedly to the increasingly intolerance of some, authors’ books are being screened for content about race, religion, gender and sexual orientation someone might find offensive.

In these times when left-leaning students find the vagina monologues offensive because not all women have vaginas (you read correctly), and the right continues to believe the earth was made in a week almost everybody finds something offensive.

FOR example, Trump administration is withdrawing Obama administration rule allowing transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice, stating it is a states’ rights issue.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)

If state’s rights determined civil rights we would still have Jim Crow laws (they’re coming back), and you could still legally say “no future sales to Jews” in a land sales contract.

ABRAHAM Lincoln said “if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)  We see one test not going well.

BROMANCE between Trump and Putin may be ending as Kremlin recently ordered their state TV to “stop kowtowing to Trump”.  Without another distraction, such as a small war, the Russian population might focus on their own declining standard of living.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)  The March 2, 2017 Los Angeles Times reported the bromance must be over because Russian television is now criticizing Trump.

What caused the breakup?  Who knows, but possibly the cautious views about Russia expressed by some of Trump’s appointees.

SECRETARY of Justice Jeff Sessions now rumored to have met twice with Russian personnel during the campaign.  (Washington Post, March 1, 2017.)  Two Republican leaders have called for him to recuse himself from an investigation of his activities.  In Senate testimony, Sessions denied any contacts had taken place.

ORGANIC pollutants outlawed in 1970s found 6 miles deep in the ocean in sea life.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)  Concurrently, Scott Pruitt, who sued the EPA 14 times and argues pollution is no longer an issue, has been confirmed as head of EPA.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)

FIRST children may be smarter, but only because parents focus of them more, according to researchers at Universities of Edinburgh and Sydney.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)  As a second child I find this ridiculous and disgusting, possibly motivated by researchers themselves being first children.  Sad!

SUBSCRIPTIONS to New York Times up by 276,000 in fourth quarter of 2016, while stock has increased 42%.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)  Conspiracy theorists wonder whether the Times helped engineer Trump’s win in a blatant effort to make more money.

MEANWHILE, 76% of midmarket executives believe the Trump administration will be good for their businesses.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)

HEAT wave across Mediterranean causing 30% increase in extra-virgin (the first pressing), olive oil in Mediterranean countries.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)

ONLY thing hotter than the Mediterranean is the U.S. stock market, which took off after Trump’s election and has not so far looked back.

IDEAL (but probably impossible), savings rate for 25 year old making $40,000 is 15% per year.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)  Readers with adult children living at home may find this amusing or aggravating and, in frustration, may share this blog with their own homesteaders.

True ideal savings rate for most is as much as you can while you live as frugally as you can and take advantage of any employer matching contributions as much as you can.

ECONOMY chugging along with retails sales up .4% of prior January and robofacturing (still called “manufacturing” by some) output up .5% since prior year.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)

ONLY in Los Angeles — could an AIDS foundation spark a city wide initiative to reduce building activity because the CEO grew tired of looking out of his 21st story window and seeing construction activity.  (Los Angeles Times, February 26, 2017.)

PASSINGS:  Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade, has died.  Later in life she became a born-again Christian and anti-abortion advocate.  (The WEEK, March 3, 2017.)

The times are so newsworthy it has become impossible, due to limitations of space and my own personal time, to mention all matters I think readers would find interesting and useful.

Note: Citations generally refer to material before the citation.  Comments after a citation are generally my own.

I focus my practice on probate, estate planning and conservatorships, with some mediation.  You can reach me through the website at “BrianSheppardLaw.com” or at “[email protected]”.

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Brian Sheppard

Attorney at Law



DISCLAIMER: This blog is intended to contain information of interest to my clients, colleagues and friends.  The information in this blog is not to be exclusively or primarily relied upon in making any decisions relating to any matters addressed in this blog.  Readers should always consult with a relevant professional (Attorney, Investment Adviser, CPA, Doctor, etc.) before making any decisions.  Due to limitations of space, information may not be complete or include exceptions.  Every situation has the potential to be different and call for different solutions.  ALL READERS ARE EXPLICITLY ADVISED TO CONTACT THEIR RELEVANT ADVISERS BEFORE MAKING ANY DECISIONS BASED ON THE INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG.






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