Category Archives: national news

GOP wins SCOTUS battle; however …

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s done.

The U.S. Senate’s Republican majority had its way with the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. She was confirmed in a 52-48 vote. Not a single Democratic senator voted “yes” on this travesty; one Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, voted “no.”

The GOP Senate majority can now look back on the hypocrisy it displayed in jamming this nomination through to confirmation. Many of the Senate Republicans who endorsed Barrett’s nomination said four years ago that no president should be allowed to fill a SCOTUS seat during an election year.

Yet here we are today. Barrett will take her oath and join the court, delivering a solid right-wing conservative majority to the court possibly for decades. Then she well might get to decide whether this election should stand. Hmm. Imagine how she’s going to rule in a case involving the individual who nominated her to the nation’s highest court and who might challenge an election result that delivers a seeming victory to Joseph Biden.

The process that produced Justice Barrett simply stinks beyond measure.

It is known that “elections have consequences.” We have seen the consequence of electing one Donald J. Trump to the presidency, which is the confirmation of a third nominee to the highest court in America.

I do hope the next electoral consequence will be Donald Trump’s defeat next week.

‘We can’t control the virus’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Mark Meadows doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

He told CNN this weekend that “We can’t control” the pandemic that has killed 220,000 Americans and sickened millions more of us.

Really, Mr. White House Chief of Staff? We can’t control a virus that has been controlled quite effectively in nations all across the globe. Has he looked at what they have done in, say, Taiwan? Or Greece? Or Costa Rica? Those countries took the virus by the throat at the outset and have reported a fraction of the misery that has occurred in much of the rest of the world, including the United States.

Think of the idiocy that flew out of Meadows’s pie hole. We live in the nation with the world’s greatest researchers, the greatest medical technology, the most wherewithal to devote to fighting this disease. The White House chief of staff says we can’t control the virus?

What then does this say about the feel-good message that Donald J. Trump keeps offering. Doesn’t he say categorically that the pandemic is “under control”? Yep. He does. Oh, wait! The nation’s top politician doesn’t know what he’s talking about, either.

So here we are. We have an ignorant president saying we have a disease under control when we do not; we also have a White House chief of staff say we cannot gain control over a disease … when we damn well certainly could do so.

May we please banish this ignorance from the White House at the end of Election Day?

Here’s the paper’s ‘asterisk’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader used to feature one of the country’s premier conservative editorial pages.

Its editorial voice was important, given New Hampshire’s role as an early presidential primary state. This weekend, though, the Union-Leader threw its editorial support behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden … but with what the paper called “an asterisk.”

Here is what the paper noted at the end of its editorial:

While Joe Biden is the clear choice for president, it would be a disservice to the country to send him to the White House without a backstop. We suggest splitting the ballot and electing a healthy dose of GOP senators and representatives. The best governance often comes through compromise. The civility of the Biden administration will help foster such compromise, but a blue wave would be nearly as disastrous for this country as four more years of Trump. It would result in a quagmire of big government programs that will take decades to overcome.

I would agree with what the paper stated, were it not for the obstructionism that has dominated the legislative branch of government under GOP rule.

My hope for the election of a “healthy dose of GOP senators and representatives” would be that they would turn away from the idiocy and anger promoted by Donald Trump and actually agree to govern as partners with Democrats, notably with a Democrat who could be elected president of the United States.

Check out the Union-Leader’s full endorsement here.

I should point out that as a U.S. senator and as vice president, Biden was able all by himself to forge relationships with Republicans. The man knows how to govern.

As for the notion of ticket-splitting, that’s fine if Republicans adopt a formula for governance. Anything else is a non-starter.

When will GOP pols abandon Trump?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

First, I must acknowledge the obvious, which is that I am far from the political action, as I am sitting in the peanut gallery with a lot of other Americans.

You know that already. My full-time journalism career ended more than eight years ago. However, I have remained friends with many politicians and political observers in Texas.

Which brings me to this point: I am wondering when the Texas Republican Party political apparatus ever is going to turn its back on Donald Trump.

The president appears headed to defeat. I won’t say it’s done deal. It is looking that way.

I am acquainted with a number of GOP pols in the Texas Panhandle, where my wife and I lived for 23 years before gravitating to the Metroplex. Truth be told, I consider a number of those pols to be friends. One of them, a fellow I have known for more than 25 years, has told me privately that Trump must be defeated, that he has been a disaster as president.

He hasn’t said a word publicly, at least nothing that I have heard.

Trump has built a cult of personality across the land. The GOP no longer is a party of principle. It is a party that centers on an individual who, ironically, had zero political cred prior to his become a presidential candidate in 2015. Trump had no public service on his record. He had never sought any public office prior to seeking the Big One.

Indeed, the Republican Party is strong in the Texas Panhandle. So I keep wondering why the GOP political hierarchy continues to stand with Trump. It might be that the Trump “base” that comprise such a large portion of the Republican voting public has threatened reprisal against any pol who dares to speak out against their guy.

I keep reading reports about Capitol Hill Republicans beginning to put distance between themselves and the president. Why? Because Trump has few personal friendships, or longstanding political alliances with members of the GOP caucus in Congress. Still, they remain quiet.

It’s a puzzle to me. Yes, I am far these days from the hustle and the tussle of politics. I do retain a keen interest in it all.

Eight days from Election Day gives these pols some time to collect themselves, muster up some courage and tell us publicly what they likely are thinking in private … which is that Donald Trump is a loser.

Pandemic surrender?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Did I hear this correctly?

Did the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, actually tell CNN’s Jake Tapper that the White House cannot “control” the pandemic that Donald Trump keeps saying is “under control”?

I’ll be dipped …

There can be zero doubt as to why Joe Biden is making the pandemic response — or non-response — from the White House his signature campaign topic as he seeks to defeat Donald Trump in eight days.

Biden is telling the nation that Trump has “quit” on Americans, that he is lying about having the pandemic under control. Trump keeps lying. Now we have the White House chief of staff, who should be Trump’s key adviser, essentially endorsing Biden’s allegation of Trump’s decision to quit, to surrender in the fight against the pandemic.

Simply astonishing.

Meanwhile, Americans continue to get sick, continue to die. Their families continue to worry about their loved ones’ fate and continue to mourn their deaths.

We hear now that the White House is saying it cannot do what Donald Trump has said it has done already.

Mixed message? Yeah! Do you think?

Down the stretch they go!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As long as the media keep reporting on the “horse race” aspect of the 2020 presidential campaign, I suppose it’s fitting now to note that Joe Biden and Donald Trump are heading down the stretch.

Did anything change substantively from their second and final joint appearance? It appears, um … no!

Biden’s lead remains steady if not overwhelming. Trump is trying to find a new path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win re-election. Biden is taking his talking points this week — get this — to Georgia! Biden thinks he has a chance to capture that Deep South bastion of Republican politics. Who knew?

I remain hopeful — but I am leery — that Biden can pull this off, that he can banish Trump from the White House and that he can restore our national “soul,” which was his initial campaign message when he jumped into this contest.

My hope cannot wipe away the memory of what happened in 2016. Hillary Clinton led Trump down the stretch, too. Then she — and the rest of us — got the surprise of our political lives when Trump cobbled together an electoral majority to win!

He ran four years ago as an outsider vowing to shake things up. Well, he has shaken things up, all right. Now he is the ultimate insider.

Oh, and we have that pandemic that he ignored and the economic revival he inherited has collapsed as a result.

Stay busy, Joe Biden. Your work ain’t done yet.

Would he dare challenge a landslide loss?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I cannot yet buy into the notion that Donald J. Trump is going to mount a challenge to the presidential election result if it turns out that Joe Biden is elected in a landslide.

By every means possible I want him to realize the futility of such a challenge were it come to pass. I am not yet ready, either, to accept that Trump is going to lose his re-election bid by landslide proportions. Heck, I am not yet willing to shout “Game over!” for Trump, given the slippery nature of this individual’s escape ability.

He snatched victory from defeat’s jaws in 2016 and I am not yet ready to suggest that he cannot do the same thing again this time.

All of this is why it is imperative that Joe Biden win this election in a manner that plows asunder any notion that Trump might have that a challenge has a chance in hell of succeeding. He already has sown fear into the electoral process, which in itself is an astonishing thing coming from the president of the United States … the politician who took an oath to defend and protect the system that elected him.

I am acutely aware of what others have said about Trump’s aversion to losing, and how he would do anything to stay in power. I also have heard others call him a certifiable fraud and phony, pointing to the lying he has done about his business and academic success.

My head should tell me to heed those who fear Trump’s intense lust for power. My heart — and a small part of my head — also reminds me that Donald Trump is a blowhard and a coward who is afraid of mounting a challenge he well could lose.

I mean, he doesn’t want us to call him a “loser” or a “sucker.” Right?

Who are the undecided?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Political pundits from coast to coast to coast are pondering the effect of the second and final presidential joint appearance with Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Namely, which of them persuaded the “undecided” voters spread across the land.

I am left to scratch my head and wonder: Who in the world is actually undecided at this stage of a campaign that has been raging for more than two years?

I’ve seen the polls that put Biden ahead by roughly eight to 12 percent across the board. The former vice president’s lead has been steady, if not overwhelming. I can find few undecided voters tabulated in any of the major surveys conducted.

Are there enough undecided voters to swing the balance from Biden to Trump as we head into the final week of this campaign? If there are, then they are lying to pollsters.

I want to remind everyone who actually cares that in 2016, the public opinion actually called it correctly between Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton. They said the polls would tighten down the stretch; they did. They also said Clinton would lead Trump by two to three percent by Election Day; they had that right, too.

Clinton defeated Trump in what I will call the “actual vote” by nearly two percentage points. Trump, of course, won the presidency because he captured enough Electoral College votes. There you have it. Game over.

Who, though, really is undecided about Trump this late in his term as president? You either endorse the way he has conducted himself or you don’t. Count me as a serious voter who opposes Trump’s reelection. Hell, I opposed his election four years ago with everything I could muster.

I am trying to discern whether there really is enough of an undecided voter cache to claim for Trump to turn a losing re-election effort into a winning one. I don’t see it.

Then again, I didn’t see Hillary Clinton losing to Trump; I don’t feel too badly about that, as virtually no one in America saw Trump scoring a political fluke for the ages.

Get busy, Joe Biden. Time is not your friend.

Sick of the anger

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump is an angry man.

He is too angry. He is too riven with insecurity. His narcissism is beyond belief and redemption.

I want to speak briefly today about the anger. I am sick of watching him rail against “fake news” that is nothing of the sort. I have had my fill of him contending that the media are against him because, well, they just are. I long ago lost tolerance for his anger-laced epithets against his presidential predecessors, chiefly his immediate predecessor, Barack H. Obama.

I didn’t watch the final debate Thursday night he had with Joe Biden. I didn’t need to watch it to help me decide who to support in this year’s election. I was without TV reception, so I’ll catch it later.

I keep reading that Trump was on his better behavior, that he didn’t interrupt Biden or the debate moderator as he did in that first sh** show.

Imagine getting four more years of Trump’s anger emanating from the White House. I cannot go there. I will not go there. I cannot stand the thought of him being re-elected to a second term.

Joe Biden is not pretending to be Mr. Happy Joy-Joy. He is a serious public official. He also is devoid of the anger that Donald Trump demonstrates every single day.

I want my president to speak to me seriously, but without rancor.

The Russians are still at it

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Wherever he is ensconced in the Kremlin, Russian goon in chief Vladimir Putin must be a happy man these days.

He set out in 2016 to sow fear, discord and confusion in the American electoral system. If there’s a Russian equivalent to “mission accomplished,” then Putin is saying it over and over.

Now he’s at it again. FBI Director Christopher Wray agrees with two of his predecessors — Robert Mueller and James Comey — both of whom have said the Russians would do the same thing, only more of it, this time around.

I heard today that Donald Trump, Putin’s pal in D.C., might fire Wray after the election, I guess Trump means “win or lose” the election. He doesn’t like the job Wray is doing. All he has done to incur Trump’s reported wrath is confirm what the rest of the civilized world knows already, that the Russians are up to no good once again.

They wanted to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump invited them to look for Clinton’s missing e-mails, which they commenced doing the same day Trump made the public request.

They’re messing around now with Joe Biden’s campaign. I pray that Americans have wised up to the chicanery Putin is capable of performing.

All in all, though, Putin’s gang of crooks has enlisted the aid of none other than Donald Trump, who himself is sowing more doubt in our electoral process, claiming the existence of “rampant voter fraud” where none exists. Trump threatens to take the election to the Supreme Court if Biden gets more votes than he does. And, what to do you know, he is likely to have a fully staffed SCOTUS on hand to render some decision on whether to accept the results; that will include, in case you’ve been comatose, Amy Coney Barrett, who is about to be confirmed by the Senate in a railroad-job of a confirmation process.

I will hand it begrudgingly to Vladimir Putin. He played his hand perfectly four years ago. I am going to hope for all I am worth that we have wised up to the trickery and will send Vlad’s boy, Donald Trump, packing once we get the ballots counted.