Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Debate No. 1: Unwatchable

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I agree with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos’s view of the first presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

It was “the worst presidential debate I’ve ever seen,” said the news anchor. Yes. It certainly was the worst one I’ve ever seen as well.

Who owns the unwatchability of this mess? Donald Trump.

The president came in spoiling for a fight. He was rude. He was the bully we all have come to know and loathe. Trump’s performance tonight was about as hideous as anything I’ve ever witnessed.

To be somewhat fair, Joe Biden didn’t rise significantly above the sh** show that Trump revealed to us. He sought to do so by looking into the camera and talking to you and me in our living rooms. Then again, he did call Trump a “clown” and told him to shut up.

Sigh …

I want to give a shout-out to Chris Wallace, the Fox News anchor who had the horrible task of trying to moderate this event. He tried on several occasions to tell Trump that as moderator, he was insisting that Trump adhere to the rules that his campaign agreed to along with Biden’s team.

The Trumpkin Corps no doubt will see this event differently. Fine. Go for it, folks.

For my money, Donald Trump showed us all that he remains the Bully in Chief.

Just think, we have two more of these to endure.

Issues might cause noggin to burst

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

We’re getting ready to head down the stretch in this run for the presidency and so help me, the issues — personal, political and public — are threatening to make my head explode.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump are getting ready to meet in their first of three debates. I’ll have more on that later.

I am trying to take all this in as we settle down for an evening of give and take between the Democratic Party challenger and the Republican Party incumbent.

I want Joe Biden to win this election. You know that already. There is no possibility for Donald Trump to collect my support. I detest the very idea that this self-serving narcissist even got elected in the first place. He did so against my strong protests. Now we need to get his ample backside tossed out of the White House.

It is mind-boggling in the extreme to even ponder how Trump can be anywhere near Biden in the horse-race aspect of this campaign. Trump has, in no particular order:

Disparaged men and women who serve their country in the military; denigrated actual war heroes; paid next to zero federal income tax; lied to Americans about the threat posed initially by the COVID pandemic; told an estimated 28,000 lies all told during his time in office; insulted political foes mercilessly; insulted our international allies; pretended to be a man of faith when everyone knows he is nothing of the sort; spoken kindly of KKK’men and Nazis.

I am trying like the dickens to wrap my noggin around all of this. My goodness, in a perfect world Joe Biden would be prepared to roll up a historic landslide, something rivaling President Reagan’s 49-state pummeling of Walter Mondale in 1984.

That base of voters remains loyal to Trump despite his lies, the reports of his tax cheating, his myriad boorish statements, the insults he hurls at opponents. They like that about him because, I have to surmise, he speaks their language; Trump speaks on their behalf. How does one cope with that?

So the debate tonight opens up a possible new lane for Joe Biden to travel. My version of political nirvana will unfold if the former vice president thoroughly thrashes the president and puts this race out of reach. Trump has given so much ammo to unleash.

May the former VP use it wisely … but with maximum effect.

No. 1 issue? Climate change

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If someone were to ask me about the top priority facing the president of the United States, I would place climate change at the top of the list of “existential threats” that needs our attention.

Donald J. Trump is a lost cause on that one. He calls climate change/global warming a “hoax.” He pushes for more fossil fuel drilling and development; he has pulled the nation out of the Paris Climate Accords that establishes a framework for cutting carbon emissions; he has been silent on deforestation.

The wildfires that have ravaged several western states are essentially the direct result of climate change. Trump’s answer? He calls on states to sweep the forest floor clean of dead trees that provide fuel for the fires.

This is where Joe Biden can deliver the goods if he is elected president. Oh, how I hope that happens 36 days from now.

He said he would return to the Climate Accords. Biden has vowed to invest in clean energy technology. He vows to work with Congress — where he served for 36 years before being elected vice president in 2008 — to find common ground on legislative solutions to this growing threat to the only planet we can call home.

Trump is clueless. He is feckless. He is reckless in his declarations of “hoax.”

The men will face off tonight in the first of three debates. May the better man — and I consider him to be Joe Biden — return climate change to the front edge of the top shelf of issues that need presidential attention.

Now we have a lawn sign

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What this picture depicts is a lawn sign stuck in the sod in front of my house.

Bryan Washington isn’t widely known outside of Princeton, Texas, where we live. He is running for Place 3 on the Princeton City Council. We chatted this evening in our front yard and I told Washington he had my vote.

“Can we give you a sign?” asked one of the volunteers who walked the neighborhood with him. “Sure,” I said. “Why not?”

That is not a tepid endorsement. I just don’t generally put lawn signs in front of my house. Now that I am more or a less a “civilian” these days — and no longer a full-time journalist — I figure I can declare my political leanings out loud.

What’s kind of cool for Washington and other City Council candidates this time is that the election will occur on Nov. 3, the same date we’ll be voting for president of the United States, U.S. senator, U.S. House members, state legislators and on and on.

I reminded Washington that he will be facing a much larger voter turnout than is usually the case in municipal elections. The turnout for City Council races usually is abysmal, miserable, puny, minuscule. Not so this time.

So, whoever wins the council election will be able to take their seats with a mandate not usually associated with these local elections.

Now, I need to ponder whether I want to put a “Biden-Harris” sign in the front yard. Given the intense passion being exhibited on all sides as we get closer to Election Day, that notion presents some consequences I need to ponder.

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.

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.

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.

Trump = extreme danger

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What in the name of political insanity is Donald J. Trump trying to do?

He has been asked many times about whether he would commit to a “peaceful transition” of power in the event he loses the election in November.

Trump won’t commit. He won’t say he’ll hand the reins of power to Joseph Biden. He won’t follow the example set by every single one of his presidential predecessors.

Oh, no! This president is saying we need to “get rid of the ballots” he insists are being sent out illegally to millions of Americans. He doesn’t offer a shred of proof for anything he alleges.

Folks, we have a dangerous man on our hands. We have a man who is fomenting fear of our cherished electoral system. He is seeking to undermine the process we have used since the beginning of the republic to elect our presidents.

“We’ll have to see what happens.”

That is Donald Trump’s statement regarding the election. See what happens?

What quite possibly will “happen” will be that Joe Biden gets more votes than Trump. He will acquire more than enough Electoral College votes than Trump. Biden will be duly elected as the 46th president of the United States.

Trump, though, is going to cast doubt on the outcome. Indeed, he is setting that table already. He is ignoring what the FBI says is occurring, that Russia is working to interfere in the election just as it did in 2016.

He won’t commit to a peaceful transition in the event of a Joe Biden victory?

This is a dangerous man.

McCain endorses Biden

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I guess you could say that politics at times can travel full circle.

Consider this: The wife of the man against whom Joe Biden ran in 2008 has endorsed the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee’s bid for the presidency of the United States.

Cindy McCain, wife of the late senator and Vietnam War hero John McCain, says Biden is the “only man” who speaks for the nation’s values.

At one level this endorsement isn’t surprising. Biden and McCain were the best of friends. They came from different parties; they differed politically and philosophically. They also shared a love of country and a commitment to serving the public. Biden’s path took him to the Senate by the time he turned 30 while McCain’s journey took him to the Navy and then to the Vietnam War, where he was shot down and imprisoned (and tortured repeatedly) for more than five years; he came home in 1973 and became a successful politician.

Biden ran as vice president on a ticket led by Barack Obama in 2008. They defeated the GOP ticket led by U.S. Sen. McCain, who ran with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Biden and McCain never let their political differences interfere with the deep affection and respect they had for each other.

So it was today that Cindy McCain endorsed Joe Biden’s bid to become president. Sen. McCain would be quite pleased.

Hypocrisy rules!


By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The hypocrisy ringing throughout the halls of the nation’s Capitol Building is becoming the stuff of legend.

Four years ago, Republican U.S. senators said time and time again that no president should be allowed to fill a Supreme Court seat during an election year. They didn’t qualify the assertion. They didn’t stipulate presidents of any particular party.

They said no president, none, should move forward with selecting a justice when we have a presidential election on tap.

You will recall in early 2016 when Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly. President Barack Obama wanted to name a successor. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “not so fast.” He slammed the brakes on a nomination.

GOP senators stepped up and said the same thing. No president should select someone for a lifetime during an election year.

Recall that Scalia died nearly 10 months before the 2016 presidential election. Now we have Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died just 48 days prior to the next election.

Republican senators are ignoring their own assertion. They now want to rush a nomination forward before the Nov. 3 election.

What happened to the 2016 mantra of “giving the people a voice” in who should sit on the Supreme Court? Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida even went so far as to say he would make that demand when we have a Republican president. Hey, Marco, we have one now … bub! What say you these days about seating someone to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg? I know. It’s full steam ahead!

The people still deserve a voice before the Senate acts on Donald Trump’s expected nomination of someone to succeed the great Justice Ginsburg. If the Senate GOP thought it was true in 2016 when Barack Obama sought to fill a post vacated by Justice Scalia’s death, then it should hold to that philosophy now.

Right? Oh wait! The Party of Trump doesn’t believe in ethics, fairness, truth-telling and honor.