* 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.



* Erik’s Editorial: The Dangers Of Nationalism; A Military Operation; Speech >> Silence; Fox News Jumps The Shark; Real Issues, Facts, and the Truth; #Resist (2017-02-24)

Today I pivot.

By Erik J. Heels

First published 2/24/2017; FailedPols.com; publisher: GiantPeople.

Woman in business meeting: Can we please stop pivoting? I'm getting dizzy.

Dear Friends,

Previously, I posted news stories on this, my political blog, then posted editorial content about said news on Facebook.

Going forward, I will continue to post news stories on this blog, but I will post editorials – clearly labeled as such – here as well. On the news side, I gather the top stories of the day and present both liberal and conservative viewpoints on the news. On the editorial side, I editorialize.

This is not a new idea. It is how “traditional” news sources have operated for years.

FWIW, I have probably voted for a greater percentage of presidents than you have. Here is who I voted for in each election:

  1. 1984 – Reagan (won)
  2. 1988 – Bush (won)
  3. 1992 – Clinton (won)
  4. 1996 – Clinton (won)
  5. 2000 – myself (lost)
  6. 2004 – myself (lost)
  7. 2008 – Obama (won)
  8. 2012 – Obama (won)
  9. 2016 – Clinton (lost)

So I’m 6 for 9 (about 67%). If you voted only for Democrats, then you’re 4 for 9 (about 44%). If you voted only for Republicans, then you’re 5 for 9 (about 56%). As it says in the “Political Views” section of my Facebook profile, “Independent. I vote for the smartest candidate. It doesn’t always work out.”

As to whether or not I can separate news from opinion, I think that is a pretty simple task. Just like I separate the activities of my two business, as I discussed on (yet another) blog recently:

I have two companies: my law firm – for the left/logical side of my brain, and GiantPeople (the publisher of this blog) for the right/creative side of my brain. This is how my mentor structured his businesses: one for law practice, one for not law practice. And it is how I structure mine.

For completeness, I have republished editorial content from Facebook on this blog under the “Editorial” category. You can also search by author. Stuff published under the GiantPeople byline is news, stuff under the Erik J. Heels byline is editorial.

Without further ado, I give you the news and my editorial on said news.

Yesterday’s News

* Republicans Face Backlash From Constituents At Town Hall Meetings, NASA Finds More Habitable Planets, Trump Removes Federal Protection For Transgender Students (2017-02-23)

Today’s News

* Bannon Speaks at CPAC, Black Lives Matter Protestor Removes Confederate Flag, Military To Deport Immigrants? (2017-02-24)

Erik’s Editorial

The Dangers Of Nationalism.

Nationalist Steve Bannon spoke in public for the first time since the election. Bannon, supposedly the evil brains behind the Trump administration, said, among other things, that Trump is “maniacally focused” on keeping his campaign promises. I’m not sure what’s worse, having a maniac in the White House or Trump spending time pandering to the minority of Americans who elected him rather than implementing polices that – you know – make sense. Confirming his isolationist and nationalistic views, Bannon also said, that “we’re a nation with an economy – not an economy just in some global marketplace with open borders, but we are a nation with a culture and a reason for being.”

Let’s just say that rational Americans – and a majority of them – disagree about what America’s “reason for being” is.

It is worth noting that the last POTUS to win the electoral college vote but not the popular vote – George W. Bush in 2000 – went down in history as a bottom quartile president and the worst president in my lifetime. Trump is on a crash course to be even worse than W.

A Military Operation.

Trump appears to have the vocabulary of a 6-year-old. “Military” is a noun, not an adjective, so if you say “military operation,” that means that the MILITARY will be involved.

On the issues of mass deportation of immigrants, Bannon and company are spending political capital that they do not have. If they continue down this path – like any over-spending – they will be bankrupt politically. They have already proven to be morally bankrupt, and I look forward to a future when this chapter is a footnote in American history. The shorter, less embarrassing, and less shameful we can make that chapter the better.

Oh yes, and immigrants are fleeing from America – a nation of immigrants – to seek asylum in Canada. Let that sink in.

Speech >> Silence.

I recently criticized my millionaire friends for being silent since Trump took office. A notable exception (whom I have already nominated for POTUS) is Brian O’Kelley, founder of AppNexus:

* AppNexus Calls on President and Congress to Reverse New Immigration Policy (2017-02-28)
“The policy is ethically offensive and potentially disruptive to global businesses like AppNexus. It violates the open spirit and inclusive ethos of our company. And I personally believe that it betrays the fair-minded and generous values that most Americans share. This is a matter that transcends partisan politics. It is about holding true to our core values. We hope that the president and Congress will work for a swift resolution.”

Fox News Jumps The Shark.

One of the problems with conservative news is that Fox News is basically the only game in town. So whose fault is that? Is not the media a product of supply and demand? Look closely at the news stories on this blog and you will see that those on the right are fewer, shorter, and less substantive than those on the left. The left both produces and consumes more news than the right.

So we should not be surprised when – emboldened by a Trump administration that is turning a blind eye to racism, misogyny, and anti-semitism – separatists in South Carolina feel free to fly the hateful Confederate flag in the face of Black Lives Matters protestors. Note that Fox News did not even cover the Confederate flag story, and the most recent story on the topic was from nearly two years ago. When Fox News does not cover Black Lives Matter, it means that they believe that black lives do not matter.

Also, Fox News employee Sean Hannity spoke at CPAC. How can you both report on the news while being part of the news? Where is the outrage from the right?

Real Issues, Facts, and the Truth.

The real loser in Trump’s misplaced focus on solving the non-problem of immigration is that other real issues are being ignored. What if instead of 15,000 border cops we instead hired 15,000 pre-school teachers? Or 15,000 nurses? As you can see from the count of stories on this blog, issues such as climate change, jobs, and taxes are being ignored while the Trump administration implements solutions in search of a problem.

There are real-world consequences for bad policies.

From AsapSIENCE, I give you this video for some perspective (HT LifeHacker):

* You Are Not The Majority (2017-02-16)

The Onion nails it:

* [SATIRE] Nation’s Schools To Ensure Bullied Transgender Students Hide In Stalls Of Bathrooms Corresponding To Biological Sex (2017-02-23)

That I feel compelled to add the “SATIRE” tag to that story tells you the sad state of the American electorate.

And The New York Times ups the ante on truth:

* TV Commercial | The New York Times | The Truth Is Hard (2017-02-23)


We can all do something to help others:

* Clocktower Law Announces 50% Discount For Muslims, Immigrants, and Others (2017-02-14)
clocktowerlaw.com by Erik J. Heels Feb 14
Nonprofit discount extended to any group marginalized by the Trump administration.

* 17 Seconds #33 – Hire my brother Mark Heels (and I will owe you a favor)
Nepotism is a good deal if you can get it, but we’re not hiring at the moment.

Finally, as it says in my bio, brevity is not my strong suit. I’ll try to make my next editorial shorter.


P.S. Substantive comments appreciated, trolls need not apply.