* 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.



Does the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Repeal Obamacare?; How Obamacare Has Failed (or Not)

This week, Donald Trump and the GOP celebrated the passage, along party lines, of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In his celebratory speech, Trump told his audience that, among other things, the Republicans’ tax bill “essentially repeals Obamacare.”

Below is Trump’s speech, including, at 4:58 in the clip, his assertion that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will end Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act):

President Trump & GOP Full VICTORY Speech at White House After Tax Bill Passes |  Right Side Broadcasting Network |  [2017/12/20]

Though the Republican tax bill does include a change to Obamacare, it doesn’t wipe out the entire law; it only puts an end to the individual mandate portion. The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate requires that all Americans purchase health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty.

Trump boasts about sneaky provision in tax bill that ‘repeals’ Obamacare
New York Daily News | [2017/12/20]

House Republicans Have Passed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act | House Republicans | [2017/12/19]

Some say that the tax bill’s elimination of the individual mandate is a good thing (people who don’t feel they need health insurance will no longer be required to buy it). Others argue that with fewer healthy people in insurance pools, premiums will increase for those who do elect to buy health insurance.

Middle-income Americans who opt out of purchasing health insurance will either rejoice in the newfound money in their pockets once the tax bill is implemented, or they’ll be surprised at how little it impacts them at all – perhaps until they are sick and need to visit an emergency room.

Will most Americans be relieved that they will no longer have to spend money on health insurance premiums if they choose not to be covered? Or will the increased number of uninsured Americans as a result of the Republicans’ tax bill cause a chain of costly events that ultimately leads to frustration with the American health care system? Will this eventually lead to Americans’ ripeness for a complete health care system overhaul…say, to a single payer system?

How Obamacare Has Failed (Or Not)
The GOP has long insisted that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a “massive failure.” They cite such issues as the high cost of many health exchange participants’ premiums, the limited choices of insurers and plans available on the exchanges, and the increased costs of providing health care.

Obamacare has failed the American people |  The White House | [2017/6/21]

Obamacare Must Go  |  CNN Money  |  2017/2/7

Most Democrats, while admitting that the Affordable Care Act currently has its failings, maintain that it’s been a significant step toward ensuring that all Americans have access to health care. They point out the fact that since the passage of Obamacare, approximately 20 million more people now have health insurance. In addition, Democrats tout such aspects of the Affordable Care Act as limits on out-of-pocket spending for health care, and the requirement to cover those with pre-existing conditions while protecting them against higher premiums.

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood, but most meaningful aspects of the Affordable Care Act, though, is the guaranteed coverage of a list of “essential health benefits.” These include preventive care (such as annual physical exams), mental health services, prescriptions, and other services deemed necessary for maintaining good health (and thus, ideally, helping to prevent the high cost of illness).

Obamacare’s “Essential Benefits” Explained | CNN | [2017/3/24]

Whether you’re feeling alarmed or victorious about this change to Obamacare through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and whether you think Obamacare is a miserable failure or a huge success, the changes to it will impact all of us.