How the Tax Bill Harms Elders
Six Months Into Cancer Treatment

Crabby Old Lady's State of the Union

Today's post isn't precisely about ageing but Crabby Old Lady needs to get some of this off her chest and suspects a lot of you may want to also.

Have there ever been so many different things going wrong – painfully, horribly, terrifyingly wrong all at once - in the U.S. than now? It's not even possible to list them all.

Biggest of all is the ongoing confrontation with North Korea. Crabby hasn't been this frightened of the potential reality of nuclear war since she hid under her desk at school in the 1950s. How does it not make it worse to taunt the Supreme Leader with juvenile name-calling?

The tax reform bill has made it clear as never before that the Republican Party philosophy is simple: more for me, less for you. And now they've doubled down on it by openly admitting that adding $1.4 TRILLION to the deficit is a deliberate decision made to be able to claim the necessity to make deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

That's big too. The Pay-Go law may require $25 billion in cuts to Medicare the moment Trump signs the bill into law which would cut back care and treatment for millions of people.

There has been some reporting on that but not enough that anyone not dependent on Medicare would notice. (According to a new Quinnipiac Poll, only 29 percent of Americans approve of the tax reform bill; 53 percent disapprove.)

Remember how, right after the November election, many reporters and pundits were admonishing the public to not normalize Trump's behavior?

Guess what? Everyone, including those pundits, not only accepts presidency by tweet storm now, we expect it on a daily basis and the pundits analyze his every Twitter utterance as though it is a policy announcement.

Which it has become. Who needs Congress or even Executive Orders? The president tweets and it instantly becomes policy. If, in Trump's ignorance, the tweet goes wrong, he can just have his lawyer take the fall for his mistake as happened this week.

There are a lot of people in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere – Republicans usually – for whom Trump's word is their marching order. Case in point, supporting an accused pedophile for the U.S. Senate in the upcoming Alabama election. No Republican will now disavow Roy Moore.

Can anyone count the number of lies from this administration? It's hard to keep up when it's every day, and when any given lie is no longer convenient he and his aides just make up another and refuse to acknowledge if it contradicts the first one.

And how do you feel about the cuts Trump made to national parks earlier this week? Trump reduced Bears Ears National Monument area by 85 percent and the Grand Staircase-Escalante by about 50 percent which, according to The New York Times is the “largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history.”

This move opens about two million acres of wilderness to potential commercial development. Crabby had no idea until now that a president could just do that, all alone without Congress.

Then there the continuing story of alleged sexual misconduct among mostly famous men in glamour businesses. You know the list: Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Glenn Thrush, Garrison Keillor, Jon Conyers, Roy Moore among many others.

There is a fuller list here which, like all the other lists, does not include the predator-in-chief, Donald Trump.

Speaking of lies, earlier this week, he tried to say that was not his voice on the Access Hollywood tape. Billy Bush set the media straight on that.

Most women Crabby Old Lady knows have been sexually harassed at work, including Crabby herself. Pats on the butt, inappropriate jokes and suggestions. In some places Crabby worked, women made note for one another of which men to keep a distance from in order to avoid unwanted touches.

There was never any question of complaining. Everyone knew they would be the ones to be fired.

Some think, thanks to so many women coming forward, those days are gone. Many are claiming this is a watershed moment for women, that workplace sexual harassment will end now.

Don't count on it. Crabby hopes she is wrong but news stories fade, the public gets jaded (see “normalization” above) and the media is always chasing the next new thing.

And here's a question for you: how is it that the president's every single cabinet appointment is the worst possible choice. Worst, that is, if you are idiot enough to believe that the country's leaders are there to run a government by, of and FOR THE PEOPLE, and not to (further) enrich themselves.

Given how ignorant, uninformed and erratic the president is, Crabby Old Lady worries every day about what terrible predicament he will get the country into.

It's not like Crabby has any solutions. She just felt the need, on this otherwise single-topic blog, to acknowledge a problem (well, a large set of problems) that are more important than growing old.

It helps to vent now and then, and to give everyone here a chance to do that too.


Most cabinet appointments, if not all, I agree, have gone to people who wished to gut or do away with the department whose leadership was placed in their hands. How discouraging. Perfidy, thy name starts with a T!

Amen to every point, Ronni, but I am reminded that only about a quarter of us are living through a nightmare while another quarter are living The Dream. Another 40% don't or didn't care one way or the other last year.
Until "We, the People" break out of our stasis and reclaim our Republic, we're going to be reliving this teeter-totter existence of Big "R" vs Big "D" corporate-driven politics over and over. It's 48 weeks until the 2018 Mid-Term Election.

All that and you didn't even mention what he's going to do to Israel when he moves the Embassy to Jerusalem, what a mess.

Amen to all you said. Some days it feels like all of this is just too much.

Then there are things like these in the past 24 hours that get me back up on my feet:

1) A group of GVP activists show up in Phoenix and discover that our Dem Representative who was planning to support Concealed Carry Reciprocity will now oppose it - yay! (Hundreds of cards, emails, Tweets and office visits later...)

2) A large Phoenic legislative district Chili Cook Off last night with about 100 dedicated active volunteers, MANY of them over 60. Activism lives!

3) TIME chooses “The Silence-Breakers!”

Ronni, you might want to correct this:

(According to a new Quinnipiac Poll, only 29 percent of Americans approve of the tax reform bill; 53 percent approve.)

Not that it isn't understood.

Thank you for voicing what goes round in my head daily--and out my mouth even when it is just me watching the news. Arghhhhh!

What Harold said.

S.C. Jones...
Thanks for the heads up. Fixed now.

I have predicted it will get worse, and it has. I don't believe we're any where near seeing the very worst as we have not seen a full year of this presidency and its crazy-making.

Trump is just an interlude, kind of a 7th inning stretch or pause, before liberals and progressives finally regain permanent power so take heart, the trend is your friend. I know, the hope is that he not do any lasting harm, and I'm banking that he does not.

The Pay-go law---

We need to figure out how the republicans would respond to this.

Just because it is a law doesn't mean they would allow the law to be followed. How to obstruct it is the key to victory.

"They" would not say -- oh well --
they would say --like hell!!

Are we superior because we are compliant and follow the rules -- and lose.

Think outside of the box someone ---- Where is AARP when you need a movement?

The media is not strong enough --- nobody wants to risk anything --- until it is too late.

I think ---For a start---everyone should be swarming all over Elizabeth Warren so she knows she can move forward without being destroyed.

We need to follow a strong leader. We are at war and just the Republicans know it. Where are our troops??

Sorry-- I just can't believe all the times I have said---"They can't do that."
When was the last time they said that about the Democrats.

You nailed it, Ronni.

Add to all everyone has said is the fact that Drump, -Rump, or whatever name you wish to use on "our dear leader" (said with sarcasm) is enriching himself at the expense of the tax payer and that he breaks laws right and left and nothing is ever done to stop him in spite of numerous lawsuits.

Most frightening to me is the entire Republican party who have taken full control of our country. Is there an inconvenient rule that might give the Democrats a chance to stop them? They simply change the rules.

Until the Democrats wake up and start playing rough so that the uninformed get the bad news that we who follow politics know, the government will be dismantled piece by piece.

Only we the people can stop this train wreck with protests loud and clear. Bernie Sanders
and Elizabeth Warren are trying, but how many know of it? The silence of the news media is disheartening. Instead we get a daily barrage of headlines with the name -Rump or the latest accusation against a sexual predator (not that this isn't important).

I haven't read the article yet, but the NYT has something on -rump going after Social Security next, which should terrify all of us. The Republicans have been wanting to do away with it since it's inception and now they have the power. Be ready to fight.

As annoyed as I get with the indignities and infirmities odd ageing I am glad I am young in this age. Even if we are able to reclaim our country it will take a generation to get back to where we were when Trump was elected - and that's for the things that are not irreparably damaged. I am in despair for our grandkids.

First of all, not all seniors are poor little old ladies living on a fixed income barely able to provide a decent meal for her and her cats. Many seniors have money. Lots of it, and tend to vote with about as much empathy for their poorer brethren as an Armani-suited 25-year-old venture capitalist.
Combine those folks with every other well-to-do American and those America Firster's who think that a wall will solve all our ills and we Seniors, who depend on our rightful benefits such as Social Security and Medicare, don't stand a chance against the oil lobby, the Koch Brothers and all those members of congress that listen more to the special interest lobbyists rather than the people who put them in office.
When Trump was "elected", I said to myself, "How much damage can he do in four years?" As it turns out, quite a lot.

I've nothing to add. I tried writing several times this week and gave up every time. It seemed pointless to say, yet again, how angry and despairing I am about things in Washington, to dwell on it long enough to add yet another useless commentary. And raise my blood pressure yet again. I'm glad you took the time and exerted the effort to say it. And you didn't even mention the threat to net neutrality. But there are so many bad, even frightening, things happening. Come on, Bob Mueller ...

We are becoming a dictatorship. How soon does he change the name of the United States of America?

Correction: I didn't see that article on -rump going after S.S. in the NYT. It was on another publication. My apologies.

I can only wish you well. My goodness!!ll!

I see it exactly the same as you. Frightened, terrified, disbelief, helplessness and depression

I will repeat again my fondest dream; to see trump led out of the white house in handcuffs.
It will never happen because the rethugs do not have the bollocks to follow thru on a recommendation of impeachment from Mueller. They are just scared, useless little men who will continue to wipe the butts of their donors and to hell with their constituents.

Thanks to one of your readers, Lonni, I successfully put my comment on the FCC website..only to see a news article later that the current administration claimed the site had been hacked. (Too many votes for Net Neutrality?)

Thank you Crabby Old Lady for saying everything I have been thinking! I am rooting for Robert Mueller. I thought the president might be humbled by the comments made about him in the foreign press, after his world trot, but he seems to have cowed the U.S. voices of reason. Is a police state his next action? Our young people are so quiet. They were the loud voices during Vietnam. Despair has an ugly face and a voice that seems to be disregarded.

We are living through a strange moment which will either lead to something much better (yes, I believe that) or far worse. There are signs pointing both ways -- as there usually have been in human history. Almost all of us have some capacity to do something -- make calls, attend another dreary meeting, join up with Indivisible, talk with friends. Doing it feels (marginally) better than doing nothing.

I am lucky enough, living in California, to have seen a great state gripped by racial panic try to destroy good governance for much of the '90s -- and then turn around and set a model of smart, competent, decency for the nation. This is possible. Not easy, not certain, but possible.

I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning because of all the above. I too get so tired of hearing about Drumf's latest tweet as if it were to be taken seriously, and, horrifyingly, it often is. I believe, in these days, our best hope is the lawyers & various lawsuits against the criminals in Washington. Though another part of this nightmare is less newsworthy attempts to load the courts with rightwing judges. I feel the way I did in the days of bomb shelters during the Cold War--I can't allow myself to think of all this if I'm to function at all. At the same time, in all conscience, we must not turn away.

Then, there is the Supreme Court's decision on the travel ban. . .

Had to read this latest blog late (11:20 am) due to my regular volunteer literacy tutoring session at my local library earlier....Ronni never think that this blog is just about getting old - we may be getting old but we're not getting stupid, nor dumb! (as in without a voice).

You keep us on our toes and thank you for that. tRump is his own worst enemy and this will lead to his downfall like the fact he urged Comey to "go easy on" Flynn when the investigation was starting. I hope he gets charged with obstruction of justice, and the sooner the better.

So much is happening. But it is extremely tough to change the course of our Ship of State. This is one of the thoughts that keeps me going. No matter what the current Offender in Chief tries to do, it can only have a limited time effect. If we can only get through that time period.

Unfortunately, if the Offender in Chief is successfully impeached, look at what's down the line. All the way down the line.

Still, a few clear thinking Republicans are bucking his trend. Thus, even now, with majorities all over the place, there is discord in the ranks. So there is a near-term chance for reason. Especially with mid-term elections eleven months (and counting) away.

So just a short time ago, he announced that the U.S. Embassy will be moved to Jerusalem, thus recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, despite requests from several countries and leaders that he not do this. What this will mean remains to be seen, but the fact that the move may have been orchestrated by Evangelicals, who believe this to be one of the signs of the End Times, is more than a little disconcerting. What will tomorrow bring? Is there anything he can't (or won't) do as president?

I can't believe the destruction this one man is accomplishing with the full blessings of the Republican party. I'm heart sick over it all! You write for many of us when you vent here, Ronni.

Nailed it, Ronni.

Have no fear.

* Prison Blues..

Mueller's whistle is like a siren,

He's coming round the bend,

Toting silver handcuffs,

It's not just if but when...

This is a terrifying time for our country.

I heartily agree with everything you wrote. The despair I feel increases weekly. Trump's behavior continues to worsen, and sadly I do not see an end soon. He is a monster. I also don't believe that all the accusations of sexual abuse and other horrible behaviors will cause changes to improve life for women. This has gone on too long (centuries), and I think it will take much more than outing the horrible behavior of a few men to improve things.

You certainly presented a litany of major destructive issues echoing my concerns that this current Administration has employed. to accomplish his goals. Then there are also those objectives his questionable appointees initiate I.e. net neutrality to name just one of many other travesties against ordinary citizens.

Our leader is and has been dedicated to altering our form of govt. since he was a candidate. Almost every action he has taken has been an effort to undermine our constitutional democratic republic in calculated steps mirroring those documented in past history — and observable in other countries during our lifetime. So none of this should be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Unless we desire an autocratic or dictatorship form of government we should be beyond outraged!

Essentially, other branches of government are going along for a variety of reasons — some legislators, Justice Dept. figures, appointees, support staff, citizens are under the delusion they can play along to get what they want and can prevent him from going too far. Well, guess what — there have been other governments who believed the same thing, then found themselves powerless one day and their leader basically a dictator. That’s where we’re headed folks — as authorities who study such matters have described, those who have lived through such conversions have warned and this leader’s actions evidence. Mueller’s investigations revealing facts hidden from us with enforcement of any betrayal to which we’ve been subjected gives us hope of avoiding this disaster.

The Fourth Estate must do their moral and ethical job and we must support the legitimate reporters. Our leader will continue his efforts to undermine the American people’s trust and confidence in those news media individuals who are dedicated professionals reporting the real facts — contrary to the lies put forth to undermine their truth by the Prevaricator-in-Chief — master of fake and alternate news — and his minions.

I believe we citizens will preserve our freedoms and way of government. Our work is cut out for us though. We must react, each in our own way, to every assault, if we want to preserve our nation’s democratic republic as I do.

Ronni, Thank you for your blog.

I am reminded of the Aesop Fable: The Tortoise and the Hare: slow and steady. I feel that the "silent majority" is working slowly to improve the disturbing issues that this country is facing.

I haven't been the same since this person (can't say his name or I will get nauseous) became our president. My first thought upon awakening each morning is....What asinine thing has he done or tweeted while I've slept? I don't feel the world is normal now. It is almost like it has been taken over by an alien force, one none of us are familiar with.

Hopefully, the millennials will find a solution to fix this very corrupt government we have. Maybe a third party? Unfortunately, so much destruction has taken place since this president came on the scene, we may not be able to easily undo it .....ever..... and that is a very scary thought.

Hard to keep your spirits up when all the news is bad. I wonder if we're headed for an official breakup - two Americas. What we have now is unendurable for much longer.

and last but not least.... Jerusalem ! In France, we are horrified and terrified by Trump

I couldn't agree with you more -- or feel more helpless. I have signed every petition, wrote dozens of heartfelt and persuasive emails, made phone call after phone call to deaf politicians, and all I get back are form emails proving no one has read or listened.
I have a whole new appreciation for those who watched in horror and felt helpless to stop him when Hitler rose to power. I used to wonder why the good people, the majority, didn't stop him; not anymore.

I can't believe what a minefield American government has become! How does one person get so much power in a country? Where are the measures that can slow him down, even stop him? Nothing that I am reading or hearing suggest that this is possible. And most importantly, how can Americans reach and influence voters who put (and still support) Trump into office? I am constantly horrified, as are many of you.

May he be shamed (no, I don't think he minds that), or ridiculed (there we go) into resigning, using any crazy reason he comes up with!

Too bad the Dems aren't letting the process put into place work for Franken. What are they gaining by forcing him out? Wishful thinking? They're showing weakness, I'm afraid. They best wait til after Tuesday for any action here. Somehow this seems tied to Alabama race.

Yes, Ronni. Thanks.

I am scared. We must stop this somehow.

Franken should not quit. We need all the Dems in office we can get. We've got to stop the GOP. Franken should say he will quit when the president quits.

Our politicians in Australia often make us despair - but certainly not to the extent you are having to deal with given that your President's actions can affect the whole world - North Korea and now Jerusalem - what more do we need! I think we all have that horrible feeling of standing by watching a slow train crash! All we can hope for is enough evidence for impeachment! Although then I have fears for American civil stability - we can only hope that sanity prevails.

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