Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Trump has failed

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There should be no doubt over what the New York Times has reported to the world.

It is that Donald Trump is not the business wizard he told voters he was when he was elected president of the United States.

He has failed as a businessman. He has squandered the huge stake his father gave him when he began purchasing commercial real estate. Trump has acquired a debt load that would disqualify anyone seeking a national security job; and yet, here is the president lugging around a $400 million debt load.

To whom does he owe the money?

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, warned us in 2016 when he called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud.”

Now we know what he meant. Mitt nailed it.

So, where do we go from here? We collect our thoughts and then prepare to replace the phony fraud with a man who vows to reshape our national soul, who vows to work to heal the deep wounds inflicted by the pathological liar who masquerades as our commander in chief.

Joe Biden needs to win the Nov. 3 election. He needs to win big. Biden needs to establish a clear mandate defined by a landslide victory. I cannot predict he will do that. I only can express the hope that he will.

We now can see through the New York Times’ exquisite reporting that Donald Trump laid the predicate for the disaster he brought to the nation through his failure as a businessman.

What about all that debt?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald “The King of Debt” Trump has some serious explaining to do in the wake of the smashing New York Times story detailing his financial records.

He called himself the debt king during the 2016 presidential campaign. Now we have a glimpse into what he might have meant. The NY Times reports that Trump owes about $400 million to … someone, or some country, or some business empire.

We need to know to whom Trump owes all that money. Many of us are wondering whether any of those creditors happen to be, oh, heads of state with whom Trump has shown remarkable friendliness.

Let’s see, Russia comes to mind. Same with Turkey. Trump has boasted about his business dealings and it is known he wanted to build a hotel/resort complex in Russia. Meanwhile, he keeps giving Russian strongman Vladimir Putin a pass on some seriously hideous conduct: election interference and the placing of bounties on American service personnel, to name just two.

So, to the King of Debt, we American voters need to know to whom he owes the money.

And spare us the nonsense about the audit crap, Mr. President. The Internal Revenue Service places no audit-based restrictions on telling us the whole story about the debt.

We are waiting on you.

Go hard after him, Mr. Biden

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I wasn’t quite 11 years of age in 1960 when Vice President Richard Nixon faced off against Sen. John F. Kennedy in that history-making first-ever televised presidential debate.

Those who watched the debate deemed Kennedy the winner; those who heard it on the radio declared Nixon the winner. The TV version proved decisive and Kennedy went on to win the presidency.

We’re going to have another possibly history-making joint appearance Tuesday. It will feature former Vice President Joseph Biden against Donald Trump, the current president of the United States.

Were the Biden team ask my advice I would tell them simply this: Go hard after Trump but do not get caught up by the insults and innuendo that Trump is sure to fire at you regarding the business dealings of your son, Hunter.

Donald Trump has provided a treasure trove of hideous declarations, assertions and lies that Biden to fire back at him. I would encourage the former VP to go on the attack. Do not let up. Do not give Trump an opening to launch into one of those riffs that his “base” just eats up.

I don’t expect this debate to have quite the gravitas as that first Nixon-Kennedy encounter. Those men had two more debates in 1960; they became increasingly contentious. Biden and Trump will meet three times as well. I expect fully that their encounters will become angry to the point of bordering on outright rage.

My fondest hope is that Biden keeps his cool, stays focused on Trump’s hideous record compiled during his term in office and remains … and exposes Trump to be the phony so many of us know him to be.

The tax return secret is out

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Now we know — at least partially — why Donald J. Trump has been so intent on keeping his financial records away from public view.

It turns out the man who helps guide federal tax policy that determines how you and I pay in federal taxes didn’t pay any at all for several years in a row.

The New York Times reports that Trump reported income losses that overtook his earnings, allowing him to avoid paying federal taxes.

The Times reports that Trump $750 the year he was elected president but didn’t pay a dime for 10 of the previous 15 years.

How about that? There might be more to come as sleuths get a closer look at those returns.

This shouldn’t even be a story. Trump should have released those returns in keeping with presidential custom going back to 1976. Presidential nominees of both parties have agreed to release their returns just as a show of good faith with voters. Trump has been all over the pea patch on this one: he has promised to release them, then backed away, then promised again, then backed out again.

Now he is suing to keep them private.

How much more is this guy hiding from us? Inquiring minds want — and deserve — to know.

‘People’s voice’ is being ignored

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Senate Republicans argued four years ago when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to join the Supreme Court that the “people need to have a say” in who should join the court.

That was then. These days, Senate Republicans are saying something so very different. The people’s voice? The upcoming presidential election just 40 days from now? Pffftt!

Amy Coney Barrett has been nominated by Donald Trump to join the Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died fewer than 50 days prior to the next presidential election; Antonin Scalia died in February 2016 several months before that year’s election.

We were going to get a new president in 2016, given that Obama couldn’t run for a third term. We well might get a new president this year. Do “the people” this time still deserve to have a say in who joins the high court? Of course we do!

That won’t happen, apparently.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is set to convene a hearing on Oct. 12. Barrett will sit before the committee and dodge question after question from senators. The committee will vote and likely will recommend she gets confirmed; it will be a partisan vote, with Republicans holding a majority of the committee.

Then the full Senate will vote. The entire body’s vote likely is going to be on a partisan basis as well. Barrett will be confirmed and will take her seat on the court.

What about the people’s voice? What in the name of fairness happened to that fervent call four years ago to give voters a say in who joins the court for the rest of his or her life?

It has been trampled by raw, rank and reprehensible political hypocrisy, led by the hypocrite in chief, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

We are living in a dangerous, perilous time.

Ask her this question

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkaneis_92@hotmail.com

Amy Coney Barrett is set to plunge into the maelstrom known as Washington politics.

She has become the latest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, the third individual selected by Donald Trump.

I’ll set the record straight right here: I do not favor this nomination. Barrett is an arch conservative jurist who puts several landmark rulings in dire peril. They are settled law, but that won’t matter to someone who is ideologically driven as Judge Barrett.

Trump made this nomination despite the threat of losing the upcoming presidential election. What’s more, he made the nomination in spite of the timing of the election, which now is just 40 days away.

The president vows to challenge the results of the election if it turns out that Joe Biden collects more votes than he does. If he does mount the challenge, it well might end up before the very Supreme Court that Barrett could join if the Senate confirms her prior to the election.

So here’s what I hope the Senate Judiciary Committee members who will conduct a hearing to recommend whether to confirm her asks the nominee:

Will you commit to recusing yourself from any decision involving the results of the 2020 presidential election?

Judge Barrett has no business making any decision in this regard. Her involvement in such a decision would launch a constitutional crisis the likes of which would make Watergate, and the impeachments of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump look like little girls’ tea parties in comparison.

Let the battle commence.

Now, a word about the Constitution

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I feel the need to offer an encouraging word as we grapple with tumult and trepidation in these so very trying times.

We have a president of the United States who is threatening to stay in office if the election results don’t turn out his way. He is going to challenge the results. He has determined that electing Joe Biden as president would mean the election is rigged.

I am going to place my entire faith in the U.S. Constitution to protect us against the madman who masquerades as the current president.

President Ford took office in 1974 after crisis that saw another president, Richard Nixon, resign from office. “Our Constitution works,” Gerald Ford told us immediately after taking his oath of office. He was right.

We are facing another set of potentially frightening circumstances. Donald Trump is threatening to do actual harm to our system of government.

He is challenging the integrity of our electoral system. He actually suggested that “getting rid of ballots” would ensure his re-election. Trump has suggested that he very well might seek a third term were he to win a second term in office; he says the first term was spoiled by “witch hunts” launched by Democrats.

I happen to believe in the strength of the Constitution, which has endured many crises over the years. We have gone through three presidential impeachments and the Constitution served as the guiding beacon for all of those endeavors.

There was the aforementioned Watergate scandal of 1972-74. A vice president resigned, was replaced by the man who would succeed the president. It was all done under the auspices of the nation’s governing document.

Yes, these are perilous times. I am concerned about our future. However, my faith in the Constitution and the limits it places on executive authority gives me hope that it will see us through this current spasm of chaos and confusion.

I get that the founders didn’t create a perfect governing document back in the 18th century. It’s been made “more perfect” over time. However, what they did create has worked well enough to hold this country together during the most trying of times.

I am banking on the U.S. Constitution keeping us whole as we seek to find our way out of the darkness that Donald Trump has brought.

Who are ‘Vets for Trump’?

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I will acknowledge being a member of the “Never Trump” brigade.

I get to join some prominent Republicans, even though I am not one of them. Given that we in Texas vote in an “open primary” system, we do not have to “register” with a particular political party.

Now that we have established that bit of info, I want to explore briefly the phenomenon called “Veterans for Trump.”

Why in the name of public service does any veteran stand with this guy? The Atlantic magazine article that portrayed Trump as someone who detests those who serve in uniform ought to have dissuaded any self-respecting veteran from backing this individual’s re-election effort. They have their assorted reasons and I will respect them for standing on their rationale.

To be fair, I known personally plenty of vets who fall into that category. I mean no disrespect to any of them. They are my friends and I love them all.

The Atlantic cited numerous sources who confirmed that Trump referred to vets as “suckers” and “losers.” He denigrated the service of those who were captured by enemy forces. Trump even told associates that parades honoring veterans shouldn’t include those who suffered grievous injury because “no one wants to see that.”

I hasten to add that The Atlantic article has been verified by other reputable news sources. They have corroborated what the reporter, Jeffrey Goldberg, revealed in the article.

And so I have to ask: How do veterans continue to stand with this guy who disparages them in such grotesque fashion?

To be sure, I am not one of them. Then again, I am a proud member of the “never Trump” team.

Looking forward to early Election Day

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I truly cannot believe I am about to make the following statement.

Which is that I am looking forward to voting early for president of the United States of America.

Texas opens the door to early voting on Oct. 13. We keep hearing about the need to vote as early as possible, to vote in person if we can and if we can protect ourselves against the coronavirus.

We’re going to vote on the first day of early voting. 

You know of my longstanding desire to wait until Election Day to cast my ballot. I am tossing that preference aside with increasing glee.

I am growing more concerned about Donald Trump’s potential for electoral chicanery. He says the only way Joe Biden will win is if the election is “rigged.” Trump is threatening to refuse to accept the result if Biden gets more votes than he does. Trump is suggesting “rampant voter fraud” where no fraud exists.

So with that in mind, we are going to the polls on the first day of early voting. We’ll stand in a socially distanced line for as long as it takes on that day. We will then cast our ballots.

We will vote proudly for Joe Biden. Our votes will be logged into our state’s electronic balloting system.

Then we will await the results of the election.

If Biden wins and then restores dignity to the office of the presidency, my hope is that he ends the suspicion being hurled at our electoral system.

The most frightening aspect of this suspicion is that it is coming from the guy who is masquerading as our current president. We are witnessing an astonishing display of desperation from Donald J. Trump.

I will answer Donald Trump’s horrifying effort to undermine our electoral system by voting early on the very first day that the option becomes available.

Leave SCOTUS alone

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The battle that is fixin’ to explode over the nomination fight regarding the U.S. Supreme Court may include a skirmish I hope does not occur.

Shall the court expand from nine justices to some greater number, say 11 or 13? I believe that is unwise.

Senate Democrats are threatening to seek a court expansion if they gain control of the Senate after the Nov. 3 election. They want to add more progressive jurists to the high court in the event another conservative joins the court after Donald Trump nominates her and the Senate confirms his selection.

Don’t mistake my motives here. I do not want Trump to win a second term. I want voters to elect Joe Biden as president. I do not want this election decided by the Supreme Court. I want it decided cleanly, clearly and without equivocation by voters across the land.

What’s more, if this matter heads to the Supreme Court in a court challenge, I clearly do not want a court with a newly installed Trump nominee having a say on whether Donald Trump should remain in office. If I could define “conflict of interest,” such an occurrence would be Exhibit A in that definition.

I say all this while cautioning against taking drastic action to change one of our nation’s governmental bedrocks, the judicial branch of government. Granted, the U.S. Constitution does not specify that the Supreme Court must comprise nine justices. The number of justices has fluctuated between five and 10 but since 1869 the number has been set at nine.

President Roosevelt tried to enact a court-packing scheme when he took office, but that effort failed.

What’s more, none other than the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — whose death has prompted this monumental political fight — argued against adding to the justices serving on the court. She was a traditionalist.

So … am I. 

If the aim is to seek some sort of judicial balance on the court, then my own preference is to elect presidents who will ensure it. That is far better in my own mind that tinkering with the number of justices. What, for example, would prevent a more conservative Senate from adding even more justices if the Supreme Court tilts too far to the left? It never ends.

I doubt, moreover, that the founders would want one branch of government meddling so intrusively in the affairs of another branch of government.

Leave the Supreme Court alone.