If only he hadn’t lied

This makes me so mad I could just spit. Dick Cheney came to his daughter’s defense with a stellar argument that called Donald John Trump a “coward” who “lies to his supporters.”

The former vice president of the United States said a “real man” wouldn’t lie the way Trump does.

Of course he is right! I would be leading the cheers for the former VP who served for two terms during George W. Bush’s presidency, except for this little thing. Dick Cheney also is a liar.

I don’t say this with any sort of cavalier attitude. I want the former veep’s ad to sway voters to his daughter’s corner as she battles for re-election to the U.S. House seat that her father occupied before taking on the job of White House chief of staff for President Ford.

Dick Cheney, though, spooned up a major dose of snake oil when George W. Bush became president. He persuaded the president that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, chemicals that it would use against us. He also told us that Saddam Hussein — the late Iraqi dictator — played a role in the 9/11 attacks on Washington and New York City. Neither allegation was true.

We went to war with Iraq in March 2003 and lost nearly 5,000 American lives in the process. And for what purpose? To retaliate for lies conveyed by the then-vice president and others within the Bush administration.

This is the kind of thing that sticks to people’s backsides. It’s indelible. No matter how much Dick Cheney might pretend to be a man of high honor and integrity — who tells the truth all the time — we cannot deny that he lied about WMD and the culprits behind 9/11.

I just wish Liz Cheney could have found another ally to launch this attack on Donald Trump.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Go for it, Liz!

Liz Cheney well might find out that being a lame-duck member of Congress has an advantage or two … such as freeing her from the threat of political blowback as she seeks to find the truth behind a president’s corruption.

The New York Times is reporting that Cheney will continue on her crusade to keep Donald J. Trump far away from the Oval Office even if she loses her Republican Party primary race next week.

Cheney is running for re-election to her fourth term in the House. She has signed on to the House select committee examining the 1/6 insurrection. Cheney has left no doubt as to her belief that Trump is responsible for the effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and has said out loud that the Justice Department must find evidence to indict the ex-POTUS.

The Trump-backed Republican is favored to defeat Cheney next week. I am not going to take that outcome to the proverbial bank just yet, although I acknowledge that it doesn’t look good for Rep. Cheney at the moment.

Accordingly, lame-duck status would seem to fit Cheney quite well. It will free her to speak even more bluntly — if that is even possible — about the corrupt and criminal intent she and others on the panel have found.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Not even close …

This isn’t anything like the way I envisioned legislation would proceed upon the election in 2020 of Joe Biden as president of the United States.

I envisioned a return to the type of collegiality and compromise one could see with a president with decades of legislative experience working with members of Congress to enact laws that would do good things for Americans.

What have we seen? More gridlock. More obstruction from the loyal opposition. More partisan wrangling.

Democrats are cheering the enactment of what they call the Inflation Reduction Act. The Senate vote was 50-50, leaving the tie-breaking vote to come from Vice President Harris.

The bill isn’t perfect, but it includes the nation’s largest investment ever on ways to battle the planet’s changing climate. It seeks to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. It is paid for by taxes being leveled on corporations.

The Grand Obstructionist Party fought all of it. Tooth and nail. Hammer and tong.

President Biden’s predecessor took office without a lick of government experience … and it showed. He couldn’t negotiate his way out of a phone booth. Biden took office in January 2021 making what I thought at the time was a reasonable pledge to restore a sense of commonality between Democrats and Republicans.

Silly me. It hasn’t worked. GOP members of both congressional chambers continue to dig in, even to the point of denying that Joe Biden even is the “legitimate president of the United States.” Yes, they have swallowed The Big Lie and are obstructing the president at every turn.

But … Democrats won this latest battle. I am glad and grateful at least to see one side of the great divide working on my behalf.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Jury makes example of hater

A Texas jury has done the right thing by assessing a hefty punitive damage award against one of the nation’s most noted and infamous purveyors of hate and outright falsehoods.

Alex Jones will have to pay the families of children slaughtered in the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre $44.5 million. The jury awarded that amount in assessing the punitive damages that Jones must shell out.

Of course, Jones claims to be impoverished.

Jones already was found guilty of defamation by declaring that the massacre of those kids in Newtown, Conn., was fake, that it never happened, that it was a staged event designed to gin up opposition to the gun owners’ rights lobby.

This individual is a disgrace to the human race. The jury decided, moreover, to make him pay for the damage he did to the loved ones of those precious children and the educators who sought to protect them against the madman.

What might be the fallout from this award? It is my sincere hope that this jury’s decision to hammer a known hate monger might deter someone else out there who is inclined to spew the kind of filth that comes from the mouth of Alex Jones.

I know all about the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. Gasbags such as Jones use the U.S. Constitution as their first and last line of defense against who seek to muzzle them. The truth, though, is that I don’t want them necessarily silenced simply because they espouse views I find reprehensible. I believe it is important to keep such idiots in plain sight where we all can keep our eyes on them.

However, the jury ruled that Alex Jones took several giant steps too far by defaming the families of innocent victims.

Now he has been ordered to pay for the garbage he has blathered and the damage he has inflicted.

Good!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Get her out of Russian prison!

Brittney Griner has been handed an outrageous prison sentence for a “crime” that in most countries on Earth would be treated as a misdemeanor offense.

Oh, but not in Russia!

Griner, a noted women’s basketball star from Texas, was caught earlier this year with some cannabis in her luggage. It was a tiny amount. She told Russian authorities of her mistake at the time, but they took her into custody anyway.

Griner then pleaded guilty to the crime of packing an illegal substance. She went on trial, was convicted of it and then received a nine-year prison term.

What an utter outrage! She is being treated as a political prisoner. Why? Because the United States of America opposes Russia’s lawless, immoral and illegal invasion of Ukraine. President Biden has called Russian thug/goon/dictator Vladimir Putin a war criminal because of his forces’ attacks on civilian targets.

For that — and not the tiny bit of drugs she was carrying — Griner is being punished.

American and Russian negotiators are working to secure her release. Indeed, Griner isn’t the only American being held unjustly. Paul Whelan is serving a prison term for espionage, which is another dubious charge.

Griner and Whelan both need to come home. Many of us are now imploring the State Department to move whatever mountain it must to secure their release.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Senate clears big bill

OK, so it doesn’t constitute a stunning bipartisan mandate, but it does demonstrate how Senate Republicans — once again — appear to be on the wrong side of history.

The U.S. Senate approved by the thinnest margin possible a procedural vote that clears the way for approval of a slimmed-down package that President Biden has been seeking to do a number of positive things for the economy.

The bill seeks to cut carbon emissions and help stem the changing climate; it seeks to pay for itself by raising taxes on the richest Americans; it seeks to lower drug costs, giving more Americans access to medication.

Harris breaks 50-50 deadlock to advance landmark climate, tax, health bill | The Hill

Hey, it’s a good package.

All 50 Senate Republicans voted “no.” All 50 Democrats voted “yes.” That left it to Vice President Harris to cast the deciding vote to send the measure on to a full vote sometime Sunday.

This is the same deal that was given up for dead when Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin declared he couldn’t support it. Then the senator met with Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer to work out a pared-down version. Manchin changed his tune; the deal was back on the table.

This gives President Biden a much-need push toward keeping a major campaign promise, which was to help reduce the threat caused by climate change.

As for the Republicans, they continue to push policies that Americans do not support. How can they sustain that stubbornness going into the midterm election?

My hope is that they cannot.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A bit of history burns away

I just got some stunning news that I want to share with anyone — and I am going to presume that means “everyone” — who has a special place where they came of age.

The Roseway Theater in Portland, Ore., caught fire and burned … almost to the point of destruction.

This place means a lot to little ol’ me. I used to attend Saturday matinees there, mostly with my sister.

Historic theater partially collapses in 3-alarm fire in NE Portland (kptv.com)

It was a meeting place for many of us who grew up in that neighborhood. You know what I mean, right? Friends would gather to watch a movie, carry on and laugh — a lot.

It was the place where I enjoyed my first kiss. Yes, I remember her name, even though it was, shall we say, a very long time ago.

The Roseway Theater also was the place where I had my brush with infamy.

The movie ended one evening. I went outside with a couple of friends and lit up a cigarette. A police officer approached me and asked me my age. I told him 16. He said, “You’re under arrest.” He then escorted me to a paddy wagon — yes, an actual paddy wagon! — and hauled me downtown. The cops called my parents, told ’em they had me in custody for smoking; Mom fetched me.

My evening didn’t end well, if you get my drift.

Still, the Roseway Theater is part of my history and I am saddened to believe it might no longer exist.

The building was erected in 1925. It has withstood a lot, I presume, over the many decades of its existence. To me it is a symbol of my youth, just as I am absolutely certain we all have such symbols of our past.

Keep those places near to your heart. They can vanish in a flash.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

RINO: misdirected term

It is an astonishing thing to watch and to hear as Republicans seek to hang RINO tags on fellow party members in this age of Trump as the former POTUS seeks to tighten his grip on a once great and grand old party.

Donald Trump’s hijacking of the party has turned it into a cult of personality in which actual long-standing and principled Republicans are being demonized because they, in so many cases, simply stand for the rule of law.

RINO, of course, is the acronym that stands for Republican In Name Only. What is baffling to me in the extreme is to hear so-called Republicans who — prior to Trump’s arrival in politics — had little to do with the party or with crafting policy positions on which the party ran for public office.

Donald Trump is one of them. In that context, he is the ultimate RINO, an empty vessel who becomes a champion of whatever cause someone tosses out there for him to scarf up.

Liz Cheney is seeking re-election to her House seat in Wyoming. She has been censured and cast out of her state’s GOP. Why? Because she had the temerity to criticize Trump for inciting the insurrection of 1/6 and for refusing to adhere to the long-standing tradition of handing over power to the man who beat him in the most recent presidential election.

And yet she is as a Republican as they come. Her record is replete with votes in favor of gun ownership, against abortion, in favor of lower taxes, favoring a strong military.

You get the idea, right? Her Republican credentials cannot possibly measure up to the standard that the Trump Cabal of Cultists have set. You have to be loyal to the former POTUS, or else you’re out!

It is truly astounding.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Where’s the compassion … doc?

It never ceases to amaze how the man who claims to represent the Texas Panhandle in Congress — the Dipsh** Doc, if you will — can exhibit so little common decency when it involves the commander in chief.

Ronny Jackson, the Republican who once, served as White House physician for Donald Trump and Barack Obama — keeps tweeting the idiotic messages calling attention to President Biden’s struggle to get past the COVID-19 infection that continues to register on his test results.

And yet … there is no expression of concern or of any good wishes for the president’s complete recovery from the ailment. It ain’t coming from Jackson, who continues to enrage many of us out here with assertions about the president’s mental acuity … which is absolute rubbish.

I must remind Jackson and other GOP critics that Joe Biden sent Donald and Melania Trump wishes for a speedy recovery when they contracted the virus.

Any reciprocity from the other side? Hah!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

CPAC paints us as ‘enemy’

There they go again. The Conservative Political Action Conference, holding its annual meeting down the highway from me in Dallas, is labeling those of us who oppose its right-wing agenda as “the enemy within.”

Good grief, man! The particular epithet came from U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, the Florida loony bin Republican, who says all liberals are “socialists” who want the entire country to march in lockstep with their agenda … or else!

I don’t know what the “or else” is, other than to presume that it must involve some form of punishment.

Hey, but here’s the really bad news: Donald J. Trump is going to soil the CPAC stage on Saturday. Oh, he’ll feed the attendees more Big Lie crapola. He might drop another hint or two about whether he intends to run for POTUS in 2024.

He might … if he isn’t under felony indictment by the Justice Department for conspiring to commit sedition after the 2020 presidential election — which Trump lost!

Yep, in the CPAC world of Us vs. Them, those who hold different views are the “enemy within.”

Sickening.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Commentary on politics, current events and life experience