All posts by kanelis2012

Trump offering too little to fight coronavirus

It’s not every day during the Donald Trump Era when you hear lawmakers from both parties express concern about how the president is handling a burgeoning international health crisis.

Coronavirus, anyone?

Congressional Democrats and Republicans are speaking from the same notes. They want Donald Trump to take a more proactive role in seeking some remedy to the outbreak of the virus that is now spreading through Europe as well as Asia and which, if it’s not contained, could do the same in the United States and the rest of North America.

He is asking for $2.5 billion in supplemental budget funds. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer calls the administration’s response an example of “towering and dangerous” incompetence. Then we have Republican U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby calling the administration response lackluster.

Trump said in India today that the disease has been “contained” in the United States. No, Mr. President. It isn’t contained. Granted, it hasn’t spread in the manner it has spread in other regions around the world. Contained? Not yet.

I am not suggesting that the nation’s health-response team push the panic button. Or that we should invest in hazmat suits.

We simply need some sense of urgency coming from the White House … and from the individual who runs the executive branch of the federal government.

‘Energy’ doesn’t always equal ‘votes’

The nation’s political punditry is telling us about all that “energy” that emanates from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ rallies.

The independent senator’s supporters are all in with Bernie. You can feel it, man! They’re going to carry the 78-year-old democratic socialist to victory against Donald John Trump in the fall, presuming of course that he gets the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

But … will he? Does that energy translate to votes?

I was part of an earlier “revolution” back in 1972. We thought we had “energy,” too, as we backed the candidacy of the late Sen. George McGovern.

I had returned home from the Army in 1970 after serving for a time in Vietnam. I was all in on McGovern’s stated intention to end the war. I enrolled in college. I became a political activist. I registered voters at the campus where I attended classes. We signed up a lot of new Democrats.

We went to rallies. We cheered loudly. We filled a downtown Portland, Ore., square when Sen. McGovern came to exhort the thousands of followers.

Hey, we had “energy.” We wanted to kick butt … by golly.

Then came the election. The networks called it almost immediately after the first polling stations closed on the East Coast.

It was over.

We were crushed under the weight of a 49-state landslide.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I want there to be enough energy to carry over that defeats Donald Trump this fall. I don’t know if Bernie Sanders is the guy to ignite the flame.

I just remain dubious of the pundit class’ penchant for hailing all the energy it feels from these Bernie Sanders rallies.

Yep, we are an inspiration

My wife and I are inspirations.

We inspired at least one young man. How do I know that? He told us so this afternoon.

Part of our daily constitutional, weather permitting, involves us walking with Toby the Puppy through our Princeton, Texas, neighborhood. The weather allowed it today, so off we trekked.

We turned the corner and started walking north. A young man drove up in his pickup. He stopped his truck and said the following: “You inspire me.”

I responded: “Oh, really? How’s that?” The gentleman said he enjoys seeing us walking through the ‘hood “holding hands.” 

We both chuckled. The young man said he has been married for 10 years and he hopes that “when I get to be your age that we’re still holding hands.”

I lifted my right hand that was clasping my wife’s left hand and told him, “Well, you know, this is part of our formula” for a lengthy marriage. We told him we’ve been married for 48 years.

He shook his head … I am presuming because he is impressed that we’ve been together for that length of time.

We wished him well; he returned the same to us.

I love it when we can inspire someone with such a simple gesture. Who’da thunk it?

Now it’s ‘Doctor Dittohead’?

Rush Limbaugh isn’t a doctor but he seems to be portraying one on the radio air.

The gasbag/radio talker/political bloviator now compares the coronavirus to “the common cold” and says the virus is being “weaponized” to make Donald John Trump look bad.

Listen up, Daddy Dittohead: The common cold ain’t killing anyone. The coronavirus death toll is climbing steadily. The Tokyo Olympics might have to move to another continent, given the virus has taken root in China.

Limbaugh, someone I usually don’t take seriously enough to offer a response, needs to stick to his usual stash of topics on which to offer his ignorant and imbecilic rants.

 

Shot from a cannon, Mr. POTUS? Really?

Hmm. What about this? It looks like another one of those pre-presidential pronouncements that Donald John Trump really didn’t mean.

It’s dated Feb. 25, 2015. The stock market went through a bad day. Trump said this … but that was then.

Well, um, the market went through that very thing again this week, plummeting more than 1,000 points.

Are you ready for a cannon-shot ride “into the sun,” Mr. President?

This is how you issue a political apology

I want to offer a brief update on a post I published Monday concerning MSBNC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews’ unseemly comparison of Bernie Sanders’ big win in the Nevada presidential caucus.

Matthews compared Sanders’ win this past week to the Nazi invasion and conquest of France early in World War II. He said Monday night, “I was wrong.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9_xhXy9hQg

He then apologized to Bernie Sanders for using the bad analogy. It was offensive in the extreme, given that Sanders — who is Jewish — lost family members to the Nazi Holocaust.

That’s how you apologize for stepping into the pile of political fecal matter. There was none of that idiotic “If I offended anyone” non-apology contained in Matthews’ sincere mea culpa.

For me, the issue is gone. Let’s get back to the campaign.

Hey, Bernie, Fidel was a bad dude!

I got into a snit the other day with some supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who at this moment is the front runner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

They chewed me out for dismissing his candidacy. Well, here comes Round Two.

Bernie Sanders is wrong to give the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro any props for the “good” he did while leading the island nation for a seeming eternity.

Sanders told Anderson Cooper on “60 Minutes” Sunday night that Castro enacted a literacy program when he took over the Cuban government in 1959. “That’s a bad thing”? Sanders asked, rhetorically.

Well, no. It’s not. However, none of that negates the firing squads that Castro deployed to rid Cuba of political dissenters. Nor does it counter the myriad human rights abuses that Castro imposed during his tyrannical reign. Nor does it overrule the fact that in 1962 he welcomed Soviet missiles onto his island, allowing the Soviet Union military geniuses to program the missiles to strike targets in the United States.

Sen. Sanders is trying to make it clear that he despises autocrats, strongmen, dictators and tyrants. He is drawing a line between himself and Donald Trump, who professes to be “in love” with North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un.

OK, that’s fine. However, Sen. Sanders needs to navigate his way around any effort to speak well of another tyrant, Fidel Castro.

If Sen. Sanders has any hope of winning the 2020 presidential election in the event that Democrats nominate him this summer, he’ll have to assuage the anger he is igniting among a key voting bloc of Cuban expatriates in South Florida that has long memories of Fidel Castro’s monstrous rule.

Has Trump been ‘chastened’ by impeachment? Not even!

Some of the congressional Republicans — House members and senators alike — who voted to acquit Donald John Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress talked about him learning the lessons of the impeachment and trial.

Hmm. Has the president learned anything? Is he feeling chastened by the acquittal in the Senate?

Umm. No. He isn’t. He has learned a single constructive thing.

Instead, he is feeling emboldened. Trump is proceeding as if the acquittal actually means something other than Republicans (more or less) standing behind him. Except for GOP U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah voting his conscience on the abuse of power impeachment allegation, the rest of the Republican caucus refused to budge.

Trump, though, sees it this way: an acquittal is an acquittal. It doesn’t matter how it came to pass.

He issued those 11 pardons and commutations. He fired Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because the DNI briefed members of Congress on reports that Russia is attacking our election system this year just as it did in 2016. The president is purging his administration of those who would seek to provide critical analyses, replacing them with yes men and women, with blind loyalists.

What’s more, the president is dismissing reports about Russia’s renewed attack on our election. He is disparaging, just as he has done so many times already, the hard work of our expert and patriotic intelligence analysts who speak with a single voice on one critical point: Russia is attacking us! 

Donald Trump is unleashed. He should frighten all of us.

Now … a good word for a good deed

It’s not all gloom and doom, anger and angst out there in this contentious election season.

I came upon a wonderful example of community generosity while working on a story for a local weekly newspaper here in Collin County.

It came from a gentleman who contributed $21,000 to an animal rescue outfit based in Farmersville. Dell James owns a McKinney tax company. He kicked in a five-figure donation to Shutt’er Down Ranch, which cares for injured, neglected or abandoned animals — ranging from emus, to donkeys, pigs, horses, cattle, goats, sheep.

The ranch is looking to acquire a mobile veterinary clinic that would provide spay and neuter service for animals, along with vaccinations. Ranch officials tell me the clinic will cost around 100 grand; so James’ contribution will go a long way toward making that clinic a reality.

Dell James, a Farmersville native, wants to help the organization, so he contributed the money and then sponsored a professional basketball game in Frisco featuring the Texas Legends and South Bay Lakers — minor-league clubs affiliated, respectively, with the Dallas Mavericks and the LA Lakers of the NBA.

I want to offer a salute to Dell James for the contribution he delivered to Shutt’er Down Ranch and to the ranch for the good work it does to provide some old-fashioned TLC to God’s creatures.

MSNBC host needs to issue a full-throated apology

Chris Matthews has stepped in it. Big time.

The MSNBC “Hardball” host is taking intense social media fire over a remark he made over the weekend in which he likened Sen. Bernie Sanders’ big win in the Nevada caucus to the Nazi invasion and conquest of France during World War II.

One serious problem has emerged immediately after Matthews shot off his loud and boisterous mouth. Sanders, who is Jewish, lost many of his family members during the Holocaust.

Social media have gone berserk. Viewers are calling for Matthews, a veteran newspaper columnist, a former congressional aide and a longtime cable TV broadcast personality, to resign. Short of resignation, social media critics are calling on MSBNC to fire Matthews for his display of extreme insensitivity.

Here’s what I think ought to happen.

Chris Matthews needs to go on the air and issue an apology. And I don’t mean one of those phony “If I offended anyone” non-apologies. He needs to say something like this: “I made a terrible mistake. I am sorry for what I said. I engaged my motor mouth without turning on my sensitivity filter. I blew it and I apologize to everyone who heard me make that hideous comparison on the air.”

If the apology doesn’t stem the criticism, then he should quit. My hope would be that a full-throated, sincere apology might do the job.

What’s more, Matthews — who is known for his machine-gun delivery — needs to re-calibrate the manner in which he delivers his commentary.