All posts by kanelis2012

Still waiting for something from Trump on this bounty matter

Donald Trump has remained silent on what might be the most heinous act of treachery perpetrated during this individual’s tenure as president of the United States.

Intelligence reports are piling up that say the same thing: Russian agents paid bounties of as much as $100,000 to Taliban fighters who kill U.S. service personnel.

Trump has taken aim at the reporting of this story. He calls it “fake news.” He reportedly is looking for the White House staffer who leaked the information to the media.

Has he said a word publicly about Vladimir Putin’s role in this astonishing act? No. He hasn’t. He won’t, either. Why? Because I happen to believe Putin has some goods to deliver on Trump that the U.S. president doesn’t want known.

It could be damn near anything. It’s as much a mystery to me as the tax returns that Trump refuses to release, even though he once promised to release them.

What we have here is an act of treachery on the part of a hostile power toward our fighting men and women. We well might have a much more egregious act by the president who took an oath to protect our servicemen and women. He has failed in his duty as commander in chief.

Would POTUS hide a positive result from us?

It is fair to ask, given Donald Trump’s penchant for prevarication, to wonder how he might handle a positive test result on the COVID-19 virus.

My wandering mind asks: Is it at all possible that Donald Trump would seek to hide from the public a test — on himself — that came up positive?

I ask only because I distrust Trump’s ability or willingness to divulge the full truth were it to become necessary to tell us grim news about his own health. I don’t want to think he would hide that information from us, but I am pulled in that direction only because of his long-standing record of lying, of evasion, of deflection.

He does this at every turn, takes every opportunity to lie when all he has to do is tell us the truth. Trump has told us about his astonishing good health. I am forced to believe that anything that tells us something different wouldn’t be true to his own constant boasting.

I don’t want Donald Trump to fall ill. I also do not want him to hide it from us if he tests positive for a virus that poses a serious threat to the president’s very life. His record as a liar makes me wonder.

How dare he say this about Sen. Duckworth?

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth favors removing statues and other monuments to slave owners and Confederate soldiers.

The Illinois Democrat has been vocal in her belief. She has drawn a sharp rebuke from Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, who said this, according to

“You’re not supposed to criticize Tammy Duckworth in any way because she once served in the military. Most people just ignore her. But when Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is,” Carlson said, adding, “It’s long been considered out of bounds to question a person’s patriotism. It’s a very strong charge and we try not ever to make it. But in the face of all of this, the conclusion can’t be avoided. These people actually hate America. There’s no longer a question about that.”

Well, consider this, too. Duckworth flew helicopter for the U.S. Army and in 2004 her chopper was hit by an Iraqi rocket-propelled grenade. She lost both of her legs.

Is that the kind of sacrifice one makes if they “hate America”?

I don’t think so.

Sen. Duckworth is an American patriot who bled for her country. Tucker Carlson, I should point out, did not serve in the military.

Hoping for a President Biden … but not predicting it!

I learned a bitter lesson from the 2016 presidential election, which is that I am a terrible political prognosticator.

I predicted Hillary Clinton would be elected president. Late in the campaign I was foolish enough to think she’d win in a landslide. I couldn’t foresee the FBI reopening an investigation into that email non-story, nor could I predict that Clinton would ignore key swing Rust Belt states down the stretch.

Thus, the door was flung wide open for Donald Trump to traipse through. He won. I was horrified. I still am horrified at the prospect of this clown’s potential re-election.

Trump’s polling at this moment looks dire. He well might lose to Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumed nominee. Biden is polling 10 to 12 percentage better than Trump. The president looks as though he is flailing.

However, I am not going to predict that this Biden advantage will hold up. I will hope for it. I might even pray for it.

Joe Biden was not my first choice to be the Democratic Party nominee. I wanted someone to jump out of the tall grass and surprise everyone, mimicking the way Jimmy Carter did in 1976. That never happened.

Biden’s campaign was considered so much road kill after the first two primary events. Then he got an endorsement from Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the leading African-American member of Congress; Biden won the South Carolina primary on the backs of black voters.

Now he stands on the verge of being nominated. I am all in.

Biden pledges to restore “the soul” of the nation that has seen its soul captured and re-created in the hideous image of Donald Trump. He now is talking about immediately reversing Trump’s decisions: on immigrants who were brought here illegally as children; on removing the nation from the World Health Organization; on removing us from the Paris Climate Accords; on restoring our commitment to the Iran nuclear deal.

Biden got beaten up during Democratic primary debates when he boasted of his ability to work with Republican legislators. I want him to bring that ability with him into the Oval Office. I am a firm believer in good government, not necessarily big government. Donald Trump doesn’t know how to cobble together a good government coalition. Joe Biden has many decades of experience working within Congress and the executive branch as vice president for two successful terms with the Obama administration.

Biden is no wacky socialist. He is, as Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham described him, “one of the finest men God ever created.”

I want Joe Biden to be elected president. I want to make that prediction, but I got burned in 2016. Therefore, I will rely on my hope that a better day will dawn once we count the ballots for president.

Texas GOP cancels in-person convention!

With apologies to Walter Winchell: Flash out there to Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea!

The Texas Republican Party, apparently heeding the threat by the Democratic mayor of Houston, has canceled its in-person convention set for next week in Texas’s largest city.

Mayor Sylvester Turner had sought to quash the convention, fearing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The state GOP pushed back. Well, I guess the party thought differently.

There might be a “virtual” convention. I’m OK with that.

A gathering that would have brought thousands of attendees to the George Brown Convention Center — in this tenuous time — clearly was a non-starter.

No, Mr. POTUS … not ‘everyone’ behind a rush back to classroom

Donald Trump is getting way ahead of himself again. Imagine that, if you can.

Now he says “everyone” wants children to return to the classroom this fall. The “Educator in Chief,” though, is speaking way out of school, if you’ll pardon the pun. I am among the “everyone” to whom he refers and I am not yet ready to push our children back into classrooms.

Medical experts, including those who are “advising” him on the pandemic response, say something different. They caution against rushing to reopen public school classrooms. Donald Trump won’t be dissuaded from pursuing this latest form of political idiocy.

I no longer have kids in school. I do have a couple of grandkids, though, who finished the 2019-20 academic year at home. Their schools in Collin County, Texas, might decide to reopen their classrooms, or they might decide to keep the students at home, providing them with online study materials. Last time I looked, Texas’s rate of COVID-19 infection was soaring into the sky.

This gets directly to one of the points I want to make. Which is that these decisions will occur at the state level in conjunction with what local school officials recommend. The president of the United States has no authority to dictate what schools systems should do, just as he didn’t have any authority to order states to reopen their business communities.

Oh, but Trump now says he might withhold federal money to those states that do not order their schools to reopen their classrooms.

This is nothing but political bullying.

Do I want my grandkids back in class? Sure … but only if their schools can assure us they will be safe, that they will return to a learning environment that protects them from needless exposure to potential harm from a dangerous virus.

If they can’t provide that assurance, then students should stay home … and Donald Trump needs to keep his trap shut!

Mayor Turner deserves a prize

Since politics has infected the discussion of public health and the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on human health and welfare, I want to offer a prize to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The mayor has earned the prize for the most politically courageous act as Texas tries to reel in the impact of the pandemic.

Turner is a true-blue Democrat. He has just initiated a process he hopes will block the Texas Republican Party from staging its annual convention at the George Brown Center in Houston.

As you might expect, the Texas GOP has accused Turner of stepping on the party’s right of political expression. Turner, though, has put public health ahead of partisan point-scoring. The convention is expected to attract about 6,000 visitors to the Brown Center. They’ll be stuffed in there, exposing each other to potentially deadly viral germs.

Turner wants to prevent that from occurring in the city he leads. Can you blame him? I cannot.

The Texas Tribune reported this about the state GOP’s response:

Party Chair James Dickey responded later Wednesday, criticizing Turner for “seeking to deny a political Party’s critical electoral function” after the mayor recently allowed protesters to demonstrate there “without any of the safety precautions and measures we have taken.”

Dickey also said the party’s legal team was assessing the city’s ability to cancel the convention and weighing its legal options.

“We are prepared to take all necessary steps to proceed in the peaceable exercise of our constitutionally protected rights,” Dickey said in a statement.

I would expect the party leaders to invoke their “constitutionally protected rights.” Those rights, though, do not entitle them to put citizens in potentially dire harm if they attend this event, get sick and possibly die as a result.

Surely the state GOP deserves to have its voice heard. Why not do so during a “virtual” convention that doesn’t expose people to the effects of a potentially fatal viral infection?

U.S. Army losing a patriot because of politics

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The United States Army is about to lose a patriot, someone who shed blood on the battlefield for the country he loves.

And why? Because he had enough of a conscience to testify under oath before Congress about things he heard from the commander in chief … things that led the commander in chief’s impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman became a household name during that troubling episode. He has served more than two decades in defense of the nation. He once worked as a staffer for the National Security Council and reported to Congress that he heard Donald John Trump ask for a political favor from a foreign head of state in exchange for weapons the United States would provide that nation.

Trump called Vindman a “never Trumper” and dismissed his testimony as fake.

According Vindman and his lawyer, Trump’s anger reportedly got in the way of Vindman being promoted to full colonel.

This is despicable if true. I happen to believe it is true. Thus, the nation is now the poorer because a war hero and a patriot is surrendering his service to his beloved country.

This is so par for the course for this president.

“The President of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a President. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers. These are choices that no one in the United States should confront, especially one who has dedicated his life to serving it,” Vindman’s lawyer, David Pressman said.

Thus, according to Pressman, Trump engaged in standard bullying of a career public servant.

This is another chapter to add to Trump’s growing list of disgraceful acts — allegedly! — while masquerading as commander in chief.

Drop out of WHO? In the midst of a global pandemic?

Let me see if I have this straight.

Donald Trump has decided to initiate the withdrawal from the World Health Organization in the midst of a global pandemic that is killing thousands of human beings every hour.

He’s mad at WHO because of its initial response to the pandemic, which Trump says began in China and which the WHO was too slow to call the People’s Republic of China to task for withholding valuable information from the worldwide public.

Instead of staying with the WHO where the United States could bring its influence to bear to enact reform and, by the way, reap the benefit of WHO’s medical expertise, Donald Trump wants to pull the United States out of the organization altogether.

I do not get the “logic” here.

I now am willing to suggest — which I shall do at this very moment — that we have yet another reason to elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. as our next president.

You see, Joe Biden can stop this continuing self-isolation by Donald Trump that puts even more Americans in jeopardy if we no longer can can rely on the World Health Organization for expertise on how to deal with — and eradicate — this killer virus.

Looking for the leaker, but no answers on bounty

Well now, it appears Donald John Trump is really angry … at the individual who leaked the item about the Russians placing bounties on the heads of U.S. service personnel.

He is going after the person who spilled the beans to the media about what might shake out as arguably the most damning scandal we’ve seen during Trump’s scandal-ridden tenure as president of the United States.

He vows to root out the leaker and punish him or her to the extent that he can. Although it’s unclear to me what precisely he could do other than fire the individual.

But … what about the bounty? When is Trump going to speak directly to the issue of Russian intelligence officials reportedly paying $100,000 to Taliban terrorists who kill our men and women on the battlefield? He’s been stone-cold silent on that matter.

I happen to have a personal stake in this issue. Two members of my family have seen combat in Afghanistan since we went to war against the Taliban after 9/11. One family member is now retired from the Army and is living in Colorado. The other family member, though, is on active duty and well could be sent back to Afghanistan. Obviously, I do not want him harmed. Therefore, I am imploring Congress, the intelligence community, the executive branch of the government to get straight to the depths of what has transpired.

Trump’s initial reaction to the bounty story was to denigrate the reporting of it. He called it “fake news.” He said he never was briefed by his national security team when it first collected intelligence about the bounties.

Reporting on the matter, though, suggests something quite different. Normal National Security Council procedure compels officials to brief the president when it obtains information of this magnitude.

Did they tell Donald Trump when he should have been told? If they did and he ignored it, then I believe we have an act of treason on our hands. If they withheld that information because they feared how he might react to negative news about his pal Vladimir Putin, we have something quite different but also seriously egregious.

Trump keeps saying how much he cares about the troops under his command. He has yet to demonstrate that love and caring in a tangible manner as it regards this hideous story.

Now he’s going after the leaker? That is a shameful dereliction of duty and a disgraceful violation of the oath he took when he became our commander in chief.