* 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.



How Trump’s Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Could Affect Americans

The Trump administration has revived a trade practice that has been largely out of favor since World War II: the tariff. Imported metals from U.S. allies Canada, Mexico, and the European Union (EU) will carry tariffs of 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum. It seems likely that the Trump administration did not fully think through the range of impact these tariffs will have. It wouldn’t be surprising if the administration’s thinking were along the lines of something as simplistic as “So don’t buy any steel or aluminum products.”

But Americans will not be able to avoid the broad impact that the tariffs on steel and aluminum will have. Since steel and aluminum imports will be more expensive, so will the products that contain components made of these metals. Appliances, automobiles, and airplanes will likely be more expensive, as will construction products such as pipes, culverts, wire, and beams. The food industry will also be impacted as cans, packaging, and cookware are likely to be more costly.

Though it’s true that American companies could choose not to use imported steel or aluminum and use only domestic-made metals, we don’t know yet whether American manufacturers can currently supply all of the aluminum and steel that we import.

Even if the American metal industry can meet all of the domestic need for steel and aluminum, costs are likely to rise. With the reduced threat of foreign price competition, American manufacturers could raise their prices.

If American companies do continue to import steel and aluminum and pay the tariffs, their costs will increase. This will result in less profitability, which could force them to raise prices on goods, eliminate jobs, reduce operations, or all of these.

The tariffs on steel and aluminum are likely to cause American stocks to suffer, as well, as Wall Street fears trade wars and the potential loss of profits. When the tariffs were announced, the Dow plunged 252 points, the S&P 500 lost 0.7%, and Nasdaq lost 0.2%.

Earlier in 2018, Trump tweeted, “When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win…Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore — we win big. It’s easy!”

Trump appears to think that the U.S. will win this trade war. The evidence, however, as supported by most economists, points to the likelihood that with tariffs such as those on steel and aluminum, it’s Americans who will lose.

Chamber of Commerce launching campaign against Trump tariffs | Fox Business [2018-07-02]

Steel CEOs Push for Waivers From Trump’s Tariff | Seattle Times [2018-07-02]