* Erik’s Editorial: The Guilty Parties Who Put American Democracy At Risk In The Name Of Donald Trump

US White House upside down (public domain).

I do not fault stupid people for making the stupid decision to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

I do fault smart people for making stupid decisions. These include:

1. Senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump in his no-witnesses-allowed impeachment trial, including primarily Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell:

* Impeachment of Donald Trump (2020-02-05)

* Mitch McConnell (2020-02-05)

2. Members of the GOP who voted to disenfranchise voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – before, during, and AFTER the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol – including Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jody Hice (R–GA-10), Mo Brooks (R–AL-05), Scott Perry (R–PA-10), Josh Hawley (R–MO), and Louie Gohmert (R–TX-01).

* 2021 Storming Of The United States Capitol (2021-01-06)

* 2020 United States Presidential Election Electoral College Count (2021-01-06 – 2021-01-07)

3. Donald Trump’s cabinet, who could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove POTUS at any time:

* Cabinet Of Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

4. Social media, including especially Facebook and Twitter, for allowing their social networks to be used as platforms for hate speech.

* Donald Trump On Social Media (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

5. Mainstream media, including especially CNN (on the left) and Fox News (on the right) for not doing their jobs – asking questions until they get answers – and allowing POTUS to lie unchecked.

* Veracity Of Statements By Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

6. Lawmakers at all levels, for failing to fix bad laws and for failing to enact good laws. Changes that must be made going forward include:

Limiting POTUS power:

  • Executive order power must be limited.
  • All cabinet members (acting/interim/actual) must be confirmed by Senate.
  • Treaties and tariffs must be the role of Congress so that POTUS cannot engage in trade wars.
  • War Powers Act must be updated to limit POTUS power to deploy the military.
  • Special Counsel Act must be updated to make clear that POTUS cannot fire special counsel.

Writing better and new laws:

  • Impeachment Act of 2021, to define how impeachment is conducted, including the requirement to have witnesses.
  • Follow the lead of The Restatements Of The Law project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restatements_of_the_Law) and codify major SCOTUS cases, including especially Roe v. Wade.
  • Fix the Census.
  • Fix immigration.
  • Fix SCOTUS processes, such as limiting appointments to 2 per POTUS with the number of SCOTUS justices fixed at the number of Federal Circuits (currently 13).
  • Election reform, including who is qualified to run for POTUS and that tax forms must be disclosed to do so.

Just to name a few.

Stupid people, bad laws, and lies got us into this mess.

Smart people, good laws, and the truth can get us out of this mess.



Climate Change, the EPA, and the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

“Climate change is a hoax, and the earth is flat.” Though it’s true that we create our own reality, the government should not be in the business of creating an alternate reality for its citizens – especially by censoring scientific evidence in order to do so. In this case, officials at the U.S. National Park service have attempted to alter reality by deleting every reference to the role of humans in causing climate change, in the draft of a report by scientist Maria Caffrey.

Caffrey, a climate scientist at the University of Colorado, worked as a contractor for the National Park Service. Drawing from years of research, she created the report for the agency when she realized that they were relying on data compiled from inconsistent sources and research methods. The report examines sea level rise and storm surge, and projects the future risks from both for 118 coastal national parks. The intent of the report is to protect parks, their employees, and their visitors from the effects of climate change.

The climate change risk report, created during the summer of 2016, has yet to be released. Though it acknowledges natural as well as human contributions to climate change, the report focuses on the human component, because that, to a large extent, is what is under our control. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, however, all mentions of human activities contributing to climate change were deleted. Included in the deletions were all instances of the word, “anthropogenic,” meaning “originating from human activity.”

Climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck, Dean of the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, said, “To remove a very critical part of the scientific understanding is nothing short of political censorship, and has no place in science. Censorship of this kind is something you’d see in Russia or some totalitarian regime. It has no place in America.”

Though current EPA head Scott Pruitt says he believes in climate change, he has questioned the impact that humans have had on it. Pruitt has resisted the science linking the effects of climate change to human activities, as the EPA attempts to reverse a long list of environmental regulations. Shortly after his confirmation as head of the EPA, Pruitt approved a number of EPA website changes, deleting references to climate change.

If it’s true that humans have not contributed to climate change, why not bring that scientific evidence to the forefront to back up (or disprove) government policy? Why is the Trump administration and its various agencies instead working so hard to present a reality in which the concept of climate change, and words like “anthropogenic,” don’t even exist?

National Park Service officials delete references to humans’ role in causing climate change from draft report | Climate Change News [2018-04-08]

Human Role in Climate Change Removed From Federal Science Report | Black Bear News [2018-04-08]