* 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.



Texas Judge Rules ACA Unconstitutional

On Friday, December 14, a federal judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare,” unconstitutional. But it’s not quite that cut and dried. The “unconstitutionality” of the ACA lies not in the entire piece of legislation, but in the individual mandate portion. Nevertheless, because of the way the ACA is written, declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional deems the entire ACA unconstitutional, according to District Judge Reed O’Connor, of Texas.

Congress’ 2017 tax reform bill included a change to the ACA’s individual mandate. Originally, the individual mandate required that every American purchase health insurance (if not covered by an employer’s policy) or face a tax penalty. The 2017 tax reform bill, however, eliminated the tax penalty.

Judge O’Connor ruled that when a tax penalty was attached to the individual mandate, Congress was exercising its Constitutional taxing power. Without the tax mandate, however, O’Connor ruled that Congress was overreaching its authority.

“Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause—meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional,” said O’Connor in his opinion, adding that the individual mandate is “essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA.”

Judge O’Connor’s ruling goes further than the Trump administration originally asked. Invalidation of the individual mandate and the provision that protects those with pre-existing conditions were the only provisions the Trump administration had sought to overturn.

Tim Jost, a professor at Washington and Lee University, said that (in addition to the individual mandate and the pre-existing condition provision), “O’Connor’s order would invalidate many provisions of the Medicaid program, the Medicare program and other federal laws.”

Jost added, however, “Judge O’Connor has declared the individual mandate unconstitutional and the rest of the Affordable Care Act invalid, but he has not blocked its continued operation.”

“Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA’s consumer protections for healthcare, on America’s faithful progress toward affordable healthcare for all Americans,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “…The ACA has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court.”

California and 16 additional blue states argue that the individual mandate is still constitutional, but that even without it, the ACA could stand. The Texas federal judge’s decision on the ACA will without question be appealed.

Texas Judge Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional | KPIX CBS SF Bay Area  [2018-12-04]

Federal judge strikes down Obamacare | Fox News [2018-12-14]