Tag Archives: Kamala Harris

Will this surge spell end of Trump Era?

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Harris County, Texas, has set two records in a row since the start of early voting on Tuesday.

Dallas County up Interstate 45 hasn’t done too badly, either.

Oh, and how about Travis County, where the state Capitol can be found? They’re turning out in huge numbers, too.

Same for Bexar County.

What does this mean for the 2020 presidential election. Some Democratic activists believe it bodes well for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and us Bidenistas who want the Democrats to oust Donald Trump and Mike Pence from the White House.

I am not going to count them chickens just yet.

However, I hasten to add that Democrats have been all over TV, radio and in print telling us all to “get out and vote.” If the first two days of early voting in Texas are an indication, the message has been heard. Democrats hope it means Biden and Harris are reaping the ballot-box reward.

Let me crystal clear: I do, too, want them to harvest the electoral fruit of this get-out-the-early-vote drive.

Harris, Dallas, Bexar and Travis counties all are Democratic strongholds. I have acquaintances in blood-red Randall and Potter counties who believe the Democratic ticket is catching fire up yonder in the Panhandle. I … am not so sure about that.

However, the record-setting early-vote turnout in those Democratic bastions gives me hope that just maybe, perhaps, possibly the state could turn from an R to a D on the strength of that monstrous balloting tide.

To be sure, the Trumpkins are turning out as well. They’re flying plenty of “Trump-Pence” flags in rural Texas. Donald Trump, though, isn’t going to pitch a huge early vote among his faithful. Indeed, he wants fewer of us do our patriotic duty. Go figure.

Answer the question, Joe

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the Democratic ticket seeking to defeat Donald Trump and Mike Pence, are performing a clumsy dodge when it comes to a simple, straightforward question.

It is this: Do you endorse a plan to add members to the U.S. Supreme Court in the event Judge Amy Coney Barrett gets confirmed to the seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

Many progressives are alarmed at the addition of another conservative to the high court and they want to add at least two seats to the nine-member bench presumably with progressives/liberals to, um, provide some ideological balance.

The move might pick up steam if Democrats gain control of the U.S. Senate, which is looking more plausible each day we draw closer to the election.

Biden and Harris have danced all around the question about whether they back such an idea. For the record, I happen to oppose it. The court has been a nine-member body for more than 150 years and it should remain that way. Even the late Justice Ginsburg opposed the idea of “packing” the court.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are raising a ruckus over Biden and Harris’s refusal to answer the question. To be candid, they do have a point. Biden said he will make that decision public “after the election.” Harris, when asked during her VP debate with Pence this past week, turned the discussion instead to the “packing” being done by Republicans who are filling lower-court bench seats.

Biden and Harris need not provide the Trumpkins with ammunition to fire at them down the stretch of this campaign.

Just answer the question. No matter what they decide, rest assured that the Democratic Party presidential ticket will continue to have my support. Honest. Really and truly.

That’s more like it …

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If that first Joe Biden-Donald Trump brawl turned out to be an unwatchable fiasco, we got something a whole lot more civil tonight.

That’s about it.

Vice-presidential nominees Kamala Harris and Mike Pence chided each other. They refused to answer direct questions. All told, though, it was much more of what we think of as a “debate,” given that they were able to answer each other’s accusatory rhetoric.

I suppose one takeaway was how Vice President Pence talked over Sen. Harris’s answers, to which she would scold him, “I am talking, Mr. Vice President.”

To her credit, Harris didn’t interrupt Pence … except perhaps for a time or two.

I remain committed to supporting the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket. Based on what I witnessed tonight, Pence did nothing to persuade me to even think about supporting his side.

He didn’t answer questions related to the pandemic and his role as leader of the White House response team; Pence sought to pivot at times from a direct question to speak about an unrelated issue.

As for Harris, I just wish she would have answered the question about whether she supports adding to the Supreme Court if the Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett as the next justice. She danced away from it.

Still, I declare Kamala Harris the winner by a split decision.

The Biden-Harris ticket remains in the lead. I just hope now that they can hold onto it through the end of this most unusual campaign.

Mr. VPOTUS? Answer this one

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Vice-presidential political debates always should be deemed critical to a campaign, given that the principals involved are vying to be next in line to the presidency of the United States.

Tonight’s encounter with Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence has taken on new urgency. I’ll state the obvious reason first: the age of the president and his Democratic Party challenger.

Donald Trump is 74; former VP Joe Biden is 77. I am not being ghoulish in determining that the age of the presidential candidates is a critical part of the VP debate. We need to assess whether either Sen. Harris or VP Pence is ready to become president at a moment’s notice.

We also have this COVID-19 matter. Perhaps you’ve heard, but Donald Trump is infected with a potentially fatal virus. He spent three days in the hospital. He returned to the White House and is continuing to pose an immediate threat to those around him by, um, refusing to wear a mask or observe “social distancing.”

This brings me to an essential question that Harris — or perhaps moderator Susan Page — needs to pose to Pence.

The VP heads the White House coronavirus response task force. Pence needs to answer this question: If you are seeking to stay in office, how is it that you not only have failed to protect Americans — more than 200,000 of whom have died from this disease — but you also failed to protect the president of the United States?¬†

A host of related questions can arise from that. Why haven’t you insisted at Donald Trump observe medical experts’ warnings? Are you leading by example? Is the task force performing a worthwhile function if POTUS is ignoring your advice? How can you defend the president’s conduct when he jeopardizes the health of those around him?

I believe Pence’s record as head of the response task force needs careful examination in tonight’s encounter.

Next up: Harris vs. Pence

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis92@hotmail.com

I won’t describe the recent Joe Biden-Donald Trump bitch-fest as a “debate,” and to be candid I am now a bit leery of what we might get when the parties’ vice-presidential nominees square off next week at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

However, we’re going to watch Democratic Party VP nominee Sen. Kamala Harris square off against Vice President Mike Pence. I will sit in front of my TV just as I did when Biden and Trump squabbled earlier this week.

Here is what I hope happens …

I hope Harris cleans and dresses Pence. I also hope — and I have modest expectations that it will happen — that the vice president will not follow his hero’s lead and take their encounter down the same trail that Trump did with Biden.

Pence, to his credit, doesn’t seem like the kind of boorish hooligan that Trump revealed himself to be Tuesday night.

He has a record that is difficult to defend. He has led the coronavirus task force charged with coordinating our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He, um, hasn’t done well … at all! Harris will exploit those shortcomings. I don’t expect Pence to stand silently while Harris pummels him.

Nor do I expect Pence to unleash a string of hideous lies while Harris is speaking.

So there you have it. I have set modest expectations for what we might get when Sen. Harris and VP Pence square off. I mean, after watching the sh** show put on by Donald Trump, there is nowhere to go but straight up.

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.

‘You won’t be safe … ‘

Vice President Mike Pence issued a stern warning to Republicans who believe Donald Trump deserves to be re-elected president of the United States.

“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence intoned with all the seriousness and gravity he could muster at the GOP convention this week.

But wait! How safe are many Americans today … in Donald Trump’s America? Not very. Especially if you’re black and you are unfortunate enough to get into an argument with a police officer. What about the concern for those Americans, Mr. VPOTUS and Mr. POTUS?

Well, Pence isn’t wading into that thicket. He chooses instead to follow Trump’s lead, suggesting that the “suburbs” will come under attack by inner-city residents who move into the ‘burbs to escape the criminals who do damage to all Americans.

Hey, it’s a race thing. We all know the game that Trump and Pence are playing. They want to suggest that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the Democratic Party nominees, are going to loose the criminal element on society. They will go soft on criminals, they will throw open our borders to illegal immigrants, they will seek to dismember the Second Amendment and disarm Americans.

It’s all a bunch of horse dookey. You know it as well as I know it. Yet Trump and Pence would have us buy into the crap they’re peddling that Trump’s America is a safe haven set to be overtaken by hordes of criminals if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected president and vice president.

The plain truth is that Donald Trump’s America ain’t so great at this moment. We’re fighting that pandemic, which has killed 182,000 Americans with more to fall victim. Racial unrest has reached a boiling point and Trump is doing not a damn thing to soothe our nation.

That isn’t how Trump is portraying the state of play in the U.S. of A. He tells lies about what he has allegedly has done to curb the pandemic and all he has done for African-Americans.

What’s more, he paints a grim picture of what life will be like if he gets booted from the presidency. I am one American patriot who believes that occurrence will be cause for joy.

From dark to light

Joe Biden vows to lead us from the darkness into the light. He says Donald Trump has steered the nation into the proverbial darkness through his incompetence, incoherence and lack of empathy.

Donald Trump says Joe Biden’s policies will result in a loss of guns, God, freedom … and maybe even our very lives.

Who’s version do you prefer? Well, I am all in with Joe Biden. I did manage to watch a lot of this past week’s Democratic National Convention. I could take only one night of the RNC, so my comments about the GOP convention will be based on that first night.

I heard a dark and foreboding tale coming from the likes of Don Jr., his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle and assorted other fans/toadies/lackeys of the president, all of whom told bald-faced lies about the character of the individual they are facing in the upcoming presidential election.

They are trying to paint Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris with the far-left progressive/socialist paint brush.

What about them? Let’s see: Biden was elected to the Senate in 1972; he made friends with Republicans and Democrats; he served as chair or ranking member on the Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees; he crafted legislation that protected women and sought to toughen federal laws against certain crimes. He also endorsed the Defense of Marriage Act, which chaps progressives’ hides. He was in a position to lead efforts to take away our guns, but didn’t do it. Nor did he do anything that diminished the role of religion in people’s lives.

As vice president, he helped craft the Affordable Care Act, he led the fight against the Ebola pandemic and sought greater accountability from government agencies.

Man, that’s scary stuff.

What about Sen. Harris? She was a career prosecutor. She served as California attorney general before being elected to the Senate in 2016. A prosecutor and an AG? Does that speak to a career aimed at disarming Americans or taking God out of our homes?

The RNC no doubt is going to paint Biden and Harris as monstrous cretins. They’re both well-educated, seasoned in the mechanics of government and are battle-tested.

I’ll get to this God matter in a blog post in the near future. For now I want merely to challenge the assertion that Joe Biden is beholden to far-left ideologues. Indeed, for Donald Trump to suggest any sort of fealty to ideology — given his own penchant for tilting toward right-wing TV talking heads — is laughable on its face.

Except that I ain’t laughing. Neither should anyone else.

Barack Obama delivers

Barack Hussein Obama delivered the goods and laid them directly at the feet of Donald John Trump.

Those goods contained a fairly detailed recital of precisely why — in my own view — Trump is unfit for the office he holds and why former President Obama’s “brother,” Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., deserves to be elected the next president of the United States.

The media are making quite a lot of the “unprecedented” nature of a former president taking a sitting president to task so directly and so harshly. Hmm. Well, my own sense is that Trump merely is reaping what he has sown.

Why? I consider equally unprecedented the level of direct criticism, denigration and disparagement that the current president has laid on his immediate predecessor. I feel the need to point out that President Obama had remained essentially silent in the face of those unfair and unwarranted attacks … until now!

Obama said Trump has failed to grow into the office. He has failed to grasp the gravity of the awesome responsibility he inherited when he walked into the Oval Office. He said Trump has failed to rein in his angry impulses, failed to cease labeling foes as the “enemy.”

Yes, the 44th president delivered the goods. As did Sen. Kamala Harris, the VP nominee who’s running with Biden against Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

What’s next? Joe Biden has a steep hill to climb tonight when he accepts his party’s presidential nomination. He will need to at worst to meet the level that Obama and Harris reached with their speeches.

Biden has a stirring and compelling personal story, full of heartache and tragedy and perseverance. We know the story. He needs now to tell us where he intends to lead the nation if he becomes elected as our 46th president.

I am all ears, Joe. Talk to me.

Not missing convention noise

Given the nature of presidential nominating conventions and their evolution from actual conventions to televised infomercials, I am prepared to say that I do not necessarily miss all the trappings of the way the conventions used to be piped into my living room.

The Democrats have nominated Joe Biden as their 2020 presidential candidate; they’re about to select Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate.

They’re doing all this remotely, per the conditions brought on the COVID pandemic.

We’re getting the speeches, the TV spots extolling the candidates, the testimonials. Just like before. The only thing missing is the thunderous applause in the convention hall and the sight of delegates cavorting on the floor of the place wearing the goofy hats and buttons.

I get the drift of what the Democratic Party is trying to tell us. Next week the Republican Party will do its thing. They’re both going to be “virtual” conventions. The one big difference will be that Donald Trump will make his acceptance speech in the White House, a publicly owned, federal building that is supposed to be exempt from partisan political activity. Aww, but what the heck. Trump doesn’t give a rip about risking federal employees to potential criminal liability by making them violate the Hatch Act, which prohibits them from participating in partisan activity.

But … the beat goes on. We’ll have two presidential tickets named after next week. We have broken from the normal way we usually do these things. It’s still legitimate.

Now comes the rest of it, which is the sprint to the finish.

May the better ticket win. Oh, and I hope with every fiber of my being that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris cross the finish line first.