Oregon State vs. Oregon

This is when it’s truly fun watching college football, when the team you’re rooting for loses, but you are still happy with the outcome.

So it was today as I watched Oregon State University come from way back to defeat the University of Oregon in a thriller in Corvallis.

The Beavers were down 31-10 late in the third quarter. Then they stormed back. The Ducks coughed the ball up a couple of times down the stretch; OSU took advantage. They were back in the game.

Why am I not sad? Well, I grew up in Oregon, but didn’t attend either school. Instead, I stayed home in Portland and attended Portland State University, with its downtown Portland campus and a football program that did not compete at the Division I level against the Ducks and Beavers.

My loyalty has been with the Ducks in recent years as they have ascended to near-elite status among football powers. They play the biggest of the big football schools: Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Tennessee … and so on. They’ve done well.

Now, though, come the Beavers. Their win today was their ninth win in 12 games, matching the Ducks’ record.

Yes, today has been a good day of college football.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Is Walker a Georgian … or not?

Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensberger, has been in the news around the nation for the past two years.

His notoriety isn’t about to expire, given what has been revealed –allegedly — about the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Georgia.

Herschel Walker keeps a “primary residence” in Tarrant County, Texas. Walker is running for the Senate from Georgia. What’s wrong with this picture? Well, it might be that Walker doesn’t live in the state he wants to represent in the Senate.

Oh … my. What does that mean for Raffensberger, the chief election official in Georgia? It means he might be forced, just a week before runoff Election Day, to disqualify Walker. Does he act now, sending a message to Georgians who are set to vote either for Walker or the Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock?

Raffensberger, newly re-elected as secretary of state, is no stranger to controversy. Donald Trump pressured Raffensberger to “find” 11,780 votes for Trump to swing the state that had voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 president election. Raffensberger declined, saying he could do no such thing under the law.

A part of me cannot escape the poetic justice that would be delivered if it is determined that Herschel Walker — a one-time University of Georgia football star — no longer calls Georgia home. That he actually is hanging his hat these days in Texas.

Why should anyone care? Because Democrats have a chance to win a 51st Senate seat, given them an actual majority in the upper legislative chamber.

It also goes to demonstrate in graphic terms the miserable quality of Herschel Walker as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Biden needs policy reset

I trust you’re sitting down while reading this brief blog post, so with that I’ll offer something some of you might not expect.

President Joe Biden needs to perform a serious reset on what is a serios foreign policy blunder: the immigration crisis along our southern border.

The first task at hand for the Biden administration is to use the term “crisis” in describing what is occurring along our border with Mexico.

That said, I will continue to resist Republicans’ demagogic accusation that President Biden favors “open borders.” He damn sure does nothing of the sort, given the number of immigrants our Border Patrol and state law enforcement officers are rounding up daily.

I get that using certain terminology doesn’t constitute a substantive policy change by itself. It does, though, fill the air with rhetoric that the administration understands the problem with which it is dealing.

The refusal to call it a crisis appears to be a Democratic Party thing. Recall that Texas Democratic governor candidate Beto O’Rourke refused to call the immigration issue a crisis. It cost him votes on Election Day.

Do I favor deporting every single illegal immigrant immediately back to the country from where they came? No. I do believe there absolutely needs some serious streamlining of the process that enables those seeking refuge from tyranny to seek permanent resident status.

What appears to be developing on our border is chaos feeding more chaos. That has to stop. The Biden administration also needs to call it what it is: a crisis.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Not all Rs are evil … honest!

Contrary to what some readers of this blog might presume, your blogger doesn’t hate all Republican politicians. Far from it.

The detestable Republicans out there are the subscribers to the MAGA cult doctrine espoused by believers in The Big Lie.

These are the pols among the cabal of cultists who refused to impeach or convict a president who incited the assault on our government, who sought to overturn the results of a free, fair and legal presidential election. Beyond that, there exists to this very minute Republicans who are willing to put country ahead of party.

These also are Republicans whose future concerns me as we move past the midterm election and look ahead to the 2024 election. About one-third of the Senate will be on the ballot and among those up for re-election are the likes of Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the lone Republican who voted to convict Donald Trump in his first impeachment trial.

We witnessed already the damage that election deniers and MAGA worshipers can do to Republican officeholders. I am concerned, thus, for the future of the likes of Sen. Romney, who values his oath to the nation more than loyalty to an individual.

My congressional district in North Texas is going to be represented by a MAGA follower. I look for Republican Rep.-elect Keith Self to be front and center on the calls to look high and low for dirt on Hunter Biden, Anthony Fauci and would vote to impeach President Biden for make-believe transgressions.

We need more thoughtful pols — Democrats and Republicans — who understand that compromise is the most critical ingredient in creating good government.

I know they’re out there.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Herschel shows chutzpah

Herschel Walker, the Republican candidate for U.S. senator from Georgia, likely doesn’t know what the word “chutzpah” means.

But he’s showing a whole lot of it.

Consider that Walker is receiving a tax break for a “primary residence” in — hold on! — Texas, where he apparently still lives.

So, you may wonder: How does this former football star pull this off? He might not. The Texas Tribune reports that he might violating Texas tax law with this dubious homestead exemption based on his “primary residence.”

The dictionary, by the way, describes “chutzpah” as a Hebrew word meaning “utter gall.”

Herschel Walker still gets tax break on $3 million Texas home | The Texas Tribune

Here’s a thought that’s been kicking around the past day or so: Herschel Walker — who is in a runoff against Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock — might be declared ineligible to run for public office in Georgia if he’s going to declare his residence to be in Texas.

I have referred to Walker as the nation’s premier dumbass. If what is being alleged is true, he is giving dumbasses everywhere a bad name.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Trump’s place in history?

Is it too early to begin assessing Donald John Trump’s place in U.S. presidential history?

I don’t believe it is. I believe historians already are hard at work seeking to get their arms around an individual who won an election by securing enough Electoral College votes to defeat a highly qualified, eminently more sophisticated opponent in 2016.

He then began the lying campaign from the get-go, saying out loud he won by a “historic landslide,” which of course was nothing of the sort.

It got a whole lot worse from there.

In many respects, the Trump history is still being forged. Its final form will come when all the prosecutors are done examining whether he committed crimes while inciting the assault on our government, or when he took classified documents from the White House to his Florida estate, or whether he is guilty of tax fraud in the operation of his company, or whether he bullied Georgia election officials to “find” votes that would swing that state into his favor during the 2020 election.

Then again, even those myriad probes are enough to include in Trump’s legacy as a twice-impeached president of the United States.

I keep asking myself what Trump will do with his post-presidential life. Will there ever be a Trump museum and presidential library? Will he ever devote himself to any noble cause, or will he remain as fixated on his own aggrandizement as he was before he became a politician? How will this individual ever be involved with events that include his predecessors or his successors?

It might take a future generation of historians to craft an image of Donald Trump’s time at the pinnacle of political power that matches reality. The beginning chapters, though, surely can be drafted.

No matter what the cultists who adhere to what passes as doctrine in the mind of Donald Trump might say, the first draft will be anything but glorious.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Kinzinger stands tall

I wrote earlier today about the heroism U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney has exhibited in her defense of the oath she took to protect the Constitution against the assault on it led by Donald J. Trump.

Another Republican House member deserves high praise. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois has stood tall alongside Cheney in his criticism of Trump’s conduct post-2020 presidential election.

The major difference between Kinzinger and Cheney rests in the way their political careers are concluding. Whereas Cheney suffered a GOP primary defeat at the hands of a Trump/MAGA supporter, Kinzinger is leaving office on his own terms. He chose not to seek re-election this year and, thus, he declared himself to be a lame duck.

His lame-duck status has elevated him to a spot on the 1/6 House select committee examining the event — the attack on the Capitol by the mob of traitors that led to Donald Trump’s second impeachment.

Kinzinger has stood strong and firm against attacks leveled at him by the MAGA cultists who insist The Big Lie is true, that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump.

There surely will be a day when the Republican Party will shed its Donald Trump-crafted identity. That it will return to a party of principle and policy. I hope when that day arrives that Adam Kinzinger will be a part of that revival.

This earnest young man who served his country in uniform has earned the nation’s gratitude for standing firmly in support of the Constitution he pledged to protect.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Liz Cheney: GOP hero

Now that I am in the mood to hand out kudos to public officials who are leaving the stage, I want to say a word or two in praise of a congresswoman I never imagined praising for her work on my behalf.

Stand tall, Liz Cheney.

Cheney is a Republican from Wyoming who this summer got drummed out of office in the GOP primary by a candidate who was promoted by the former POTUS. Why? Because Cheney chose to stand for the Constitution, chose to honor her oath to protect and defend the Constitution and because both of those matters went counter to the wishes of the POTUS who refused to do either.

She became a target of the MAGA cultists who profess fealty to Donald Trump.

Cheney hasn’t wavered in her commitment to the Constitution. She continues to serve on the House select committee formed to examine the 1/6 insurrection/attack on the Capitol. She blames Trump for inciting the attack. She has vowed to do all she can to prevent Trump from ever entering the Oval Office again. She is one of two Republicans — the other being Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — to serve on this committee; I will have more to say about Kinzinger later.

Liz Cheney makes no apologies for her staunch conservative views. She voted with Trump more than 90% of the time during Trump’s term in office. I truly understand her philosophy. She remains adamantly pro-gun, pro-life, anti-tax, and pro-small government. She is a conservative’s conservative.

Cheney also is equally adamant that she must follow her oath. She has done so gloriously in rising up against the ex-president who incited the assault on our government in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

I salute this public official. I wish her all the very best.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Run, Joe, run!

As a general rule, I am not inclined to presume what incumbent officeholders should do, whether to run for re-election or call it quits.

I’ll make an exception right now: President Joe Biden should run for re-election in 2024. 

OK, so why the change? It’s because I believe he is doing a good job as president and that he is prepared to take on another four years as our head of state and commander in chief.

I do not buy into the rumors about alleged cognitive decline. I know about the verbal gaffes. He’s been making rhetorical mistakes for decades. It’s nothing new; it’s likely an after-effect from the stuttering condition he suffered as a child.

I have no earthly idea who the Republicans will nominate in 2024. Given the GOP’s obstructionist nature since they lost the presidency in 2020, it likely won’t matter who carries the party banner into the political battle against the Democrats.

To that end, I hope it’s the president who carries his party’s flag onto the field.

Joe Biden has managed to get Congress to approve gun violence legislation, to back his infrastructure revamping plan, to help reduce the cost of prescription drugs. On his watch, more jobs have been created in a single presidential term than any time in history. The jobless rate is now at pre-COVID pandemic levels. President Biden has persuaded our allies to back the U.S. economic sanction effort to fight the Russians’ illegal invasion of Ukraine. NATO is more united than ever.

Yes, Joe Biden has worked to do to combat the illegal immigration problem. My belief is that he is working daily to fix it. Yes, despite the threats of impeachment and further obstruction, I am going to retain my faith in Joe Biden’s ability to work the complexities of government in search of a solution.

He’s been at it for decades. Joe Biden isn’t ready to stop.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Put Putin on trial!

Vladimir Putin needs to be tried for war crimes against civilians in Ukraine … of that I am utterly certain.

The Russian goon/thug/strongman/despot/tyrant has stooped to even lower lows than I thought possible.

His military is now targeting heating infrastructure in Ukraine as the temperatures start to plummet to below-zero temperatures. Who suffers from such hideous attacks? Women, children, elderly people.

Russian propagandists insist they are targeting military operations. Bullsh**! Their aim is to bring the civilian population to its knees. It’s the only target left, given that the Ukrainian military machine is making mincemeat on the battlefield of what once was considered an invincible Russian army.

Putin is now turning his weaponry on civilians. Thus, he needs to stand trial. In absentia if need be.

There is plenty of precedent for putting war criminals on trial in absentia. The International Court needs to step in –and step up — to do its job by holding this Russian despot accountable for his obvious crimes against humanity.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

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