Mar 252017
 

Obamacare Remains The Law

Common sense along with pressure from constituents prevailed and the Affordable Care Act was NOT repealed. All Democrats and at least 10 Republicans (the latter figure varies from 10-15 according to reports) were ready to vote the new and not improved Republican healthcare bill down. To avoid the embarrassment of defeat, the bill was withdrawn from the House floor even before votes were cast.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said: “Obamacare is the law of the land. It’s going to remain the law of the land until it’s replaced.” Or not. A sigh of bipartisan relief was heard throughout the land….

The proposed Republican bill would have left 24 million Americans uninsured. The costs of health insurance would have risen sharply for all and for senior citizens in particular. It would have hurt badly women, families, those with chronic conditions and those who depend for their healthcare on Medicaid. The list goes on and on. Obamacare may use some improvement, but as President Trump has proven, a program that took years to develop can’t be “repealed and replaced” quickly and his proposed substitute was rejected by Americans who know that the job of any head of household is to provide for ALL household members, putting the most vulnerable, FIRST.

Hopefully, the President is learning from his latest failure: a country isn’t a corporation. The CEO of a corporation generates as much profit as possible for its shareholders at ANY cost. The responsibility of a president – in contrast – is to provide for all citizens, including the most vulnerable. Governing a country isn’t “The Art Of The Deal”, it involves conscience, compassion and some respect for the wisdom of the nation.

So far, the President isn’t making friends or influencing people. Our ally nations are confused about the intentions (and direction) of the United States. The President’s approval ratings are at a historic low. His legislative efforts (like the infamous travel ban or Obamacare “repeal and replace”) are failing. The President’s ignorance (NATO!) and predatory approach to economy (the Dakota Pipeline construction which is moving forward against so many protests) are on full display. His lavish spending of tax-payers money is raising eyebrows. His lack of fiscal foresight is shocking: between the unprecedented cost of the President’s weekends and security for his large family, his excessive spending on defense and the cost of building the wall – it is estimated to run into hundreds of billions of dollars! – has anyone familiar with the concept of a budget, terrified. His plans to cut programs for youth, the poor and the elderly outrage us all. His exaggerations, “alternative facts” and unsubstantiated allegations are making Americans nervous.

Let’s NOT make America great, again. Let’s preserve what we had just a few months ago. It seems not only better but wiser than the President Trump’s vision of the future. Definitions of ”greatness” vary. Our America won’t be great without education, with starving seniors, sick people without healthcare, with environmental destruction, hate crime, isolationism, increase in armament or without civil rights. This isn’t making America great again. The America we all know and love is threatened and disappearing in front of our eyes. Thanks God, Obamacare survived, for now….

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Feb 092017
 

The Rule Of Law Prevails: Travel Ban Remains Suspended

Three Honorable Justices: Judge Michelle T. Friedland, appointed by President Barack Obama; Judge William C. Canby Jr., appointed by President Jimmy Carter; and Judge Richard R. Clifton, appointed by President George W. Bush UNANIMOUSLY upheld Judge Robart’s ruling (which temporarily lifted the travel ban) and refused to reinstate it.

The Rule Of Law Prevails: The Travel Ban Remains Suspended!

Even though the government’s lawyers attempted to argue that the President’s decisions are “unreviewable”; their contention has been not only dismissed but rebuked. The United States of America have a Constitution and a legal system. No one, the President included, is above the law or “unreviewable”.

The three judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, pointed out that the President’s travel ban violated the constitutional law of non-discrimination based on religion, inflicted hardship on individuals, businesses and learning institutions. (National security experts noted that President Trump’s executive order on the travel ban poses a threat to national security, inspires terrorism, attracts more followers to ISIS and worse: it alienates U.S. allies in the fight against terrorism.)

Government lawyers failed to substantiate the President’s claim that travelers from the seven singled out predominantly Muslim countries pose a threat to national security: there is no current terrorism threat, there has never been a terrorist act against America committed by anyone from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen.

President Trump has reacted with anger and tweeted: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” indicating his intent to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court. (To his credit at least this time he didn’t refer to the judges as “so-called-judges”…)

There are three branches of government in the United States: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. For the President to disrespect or disparage any one branch of the government (which – by the way – is his equal!) is shocking.

Even his own nominee for a Supreme Court justice, Judge Neil Gorsuch, called the denigration of judges (President Trump calling U.S. District Senior Judge James Robart “so-called-judge” or his statements about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel would be excellent examples) “disheartening” and “demoralizing”.

We hope that the President’s wrath won’t harm either the judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco or their careers. Their shared commitment to upholding the Constitution and the law, their judicial integrity and personal courage deserve the highest respect.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Feb 042017
 

Travel Ban Lifted

George W. Bush’s appointee, U.S. District Senior Judge James Robart, issued an order lifting travel ban affecting travelers and refugees from seven mostly Muslim countries effective immediately. The Department of Homeland Security was legally-bound to comply and did. The travel ban is temporarily lifted. Muslim arrivals to the United States are welcomed once again.

In response to the ruling Lee Gelernt, the lawyer who argued for the stay against Trump’s ban in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y. and succeeded, said on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union:
“The decision in Washington reaffirms that the courts will stand up to the president.”
and:
“The courts have and will continue to recognize that this executive order favors Christians and disfavors Muslims and that is antithetical to American values and flatly inconsistent with the United States Constitution.”

President Trump – in a tweet no less! – said: “When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety &.security – big trouble!”

First and foremost the country didn’t say who can and who can’t enter: President Trump issued an arbitrary and contrary to the Constitution executive order. The country took to the streets and courts and prevailed. The Christians and the Jews, all decent human beings came to defend the Muslims….

In his usual low-blow style, President Trump sought to denigrate yet another respectable judge (this time, District Senior Judge James Robart who lifted the unconstitutional travel ban): “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” The President is developing “diplomatic mastery”: in a single tweet he managed to offend former President George W. Bush AND U.S. District Senior Judge James Robart!

(Who was the other judge Trump attempted to tear-down? Indiana-born, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel whose judicial integrity – the then presidential candidate Trump claimed – would be compromised by his Mexican heritage if he were to rule in a lawsuit against Trump University… Obviously a guilty verdict would have meant that the judge is biased, not that the Trump University was a scam that defrauded consumers. Got it?)

“Incidental casualty” of the travel ban? Sally Yates United States Deputy Attorney General – with impeccable reputation! – who got fired by President Trump for refusing to defend the unconstitutional executive order on travel ban. The ruling of U.S. District Senior Judge James Robart further affirms Sally Yates professional integrity and commitment to upholding the rule of law in the United States.

Not surprisingly, the new federal government will challenge Judge James Robart’ decision. For now, America has won, but it isn’t over, yet. Stay tuned.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Jan 222017
 
Women’s March on Washington

Women’s March on Washington

On the day after the inauguration of President Trump America – and the world! – awakened.

There were no celebrations honoring President Trump. Millions of people have taken to the streets across America to speak up for women rights, human rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, Black Lives Matter, LGBT and transgender rights and many other rights threatened by the new President’s agenda.

Mass Protests In Texas

Mass Protests In Texas

The turnout was unbelievable. The Women’s March at the Washington Mall which planned on 200,000 participants attracted more than 500,000. Many planned marches became in-place demonstrations because the massive turnout left no place to march. Over 600 mass protests against President Trump’s values and anticipated policies took place throughout the world today.

The immediate reaction of President Trump? None. He didn’t address the protesters. Not on the street. Not via media. Not via Twitter. He attended a prayer service, spoke to CIA and bowled with his family in the White House. America first….

The good news: America is well and alive. Another good news, the world stands behind us: demonstrations in support of ours took place throughout Europe, Australia and other continents. More good news, we have artists and politicians who use the power of their celebrity for good.

The bad news: the leading theme of the marches and protests were cherished American values. The message: this is our wishlist. There is no concrete plan on how the wishlist should be implemented.

Final thought: where were all these good people on Election Day, the day before the election and on the day the election results were announced? There was time, opportunity and ways to express and assert our values effectively, take control over the issues and the Country we all hold dear. America awakened the day AFTER President Trump took the oath of office.

Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada addressed President Trump in a tweet:
“….. America was already great and successful, then you happened!”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”

Let us NOT forget it: stay awake America!

Protests the day after 2017 Presidential Inauguration

Women’s March on Washington

Article by Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Jan 212017
 

2017 Presidential Inauguration

President Donald J. Trump took the oath of the office and became the 45th president of the United States on Friday, January 20th 2017 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Roy Blunt issued the call to order. Next, Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, The Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez and Pastor Paula White-Cain have given readings and invocations.

With dignitaries and former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (accompanied by Hillary Clinton, Trump’s rival for presidency and the winner of the popular vote) in attendance, the incoming President and Vice President were sworn in. The first to take the oath was Michael R. Pence whose oath was administered by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Then, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath to Donald Trump. The oath ceremony was followed by the Marine Band’s “Hail to the Chief”.

Then President Trump delivered his Inaugural Address. Many characterized his speech as inappropriate for the occasion, inflammatory, divisive, too closely related to his campaign rhetoric, offensive to both parties, not to mention disrespectful of Obama’s legacy. Obviously, the same speech is open to many interpretations.

Following the Inaugural Address, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Rev. Franklin Graham and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson delivered benedictions.

The event concluded with Jackie Evancho singing the National Anthem.

Protests were held in Washington D.C. during the Inauguration ceremony. More protests were held in all 50 States. Some are on-going. The day after the inauguration a huge (200,000+) Women’s March on Washington is taking place.

A new chapter in America’s history has begun.

The new President achieved business success already. He doesn’t need money or fame. He is patriotic. He is against “establishment” politics. He notices some problems that are troubling us all. He is the oldest President to be sworn into the office. Based on his age and history, he’s been there, he’s done that and as an individual, he succeeded at everything he took on so far.

While concerned about the many controversial goals of the platform he’s run on, we are wondering what will Trump’s presidency mean for us. There is a possibility that we might be asking the wrong question. So far no one raised the question of President Trump’s expectations of the presidency. It may just be where it’s at.

What does HE need from the presidency he fought so hard to win? Given his history, accomplishments and age, he may just put America ahead of his business interests and make America his legacy “project”. He has run against all odds. He was elected against all odds. He may just put America first and for “self-serving” reasons – and against all odds! – be a good president. There is a chance that President Trump’s presidency will not be defined by his political rhetoric but his personal “agenda” of leaving a positive legacy.

Political affiliations aside, no American takes issue with America being great. Hopefully, the varying definitions of greatness will eventually align.

Guys, before you set my stake on fire: I’m merely looking for some hope for us ALL! As individuals we have to move on, a little hope is badly needed…. Just doing my job. Don’t shoot.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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