Post-election period: mind-boggling!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It might be just me, but this period after the latest presidential election is about as mind-boggling as anything I ever have witnessed.

And, yes, that includes the period after the 2000 election that ended up being decided by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that resulted in George W. Bush taking office as the 43rd president of the United States.

This is one takes the proverbial cake.

Donald Trump got thumped by Joe Biden. The president-elect has rolled up an impressive popular vote margin and a decent Electoral College majority to become the next president. As for Trump, well, he has managed to shower himself with embarrassment upon embarrassment with his petulant, boorish and childish refusal to recognize that he won’t be president after Jan. 20, when Joe Biden takes the oath to become President Biden.

Beyond that, he has endangered our very democracy by encouraging governors to overturn the results of the elections in their states … which they cannot do by law. Trump has denigrated the electoral process, asserting the existence of “massive” voter fraud where none exists. He has fought and lost 30-plus court battles. Meanwhile, states that Biden won are certifying the results, as are the states that Trump carried.

The way I see it, there is no way in the world that Donald Trump will attend President Biden’s inauguration. He will skulk off long before the new president takes his oath and begins the work of repairing the damage done  under Trump’s tenure as president.

I am left at this juncture to merely wish that the new president can finish his pre-oath-taking preparation — which should he should be able to do — and then get to work.

As for Donald John Trump … don’t let the door hit you in your backside, podnuh.

GOP senator: profile in cowardice

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin knows the truth about the 2020 presidential election. Joe Biden has been elected president of the United States. Donald Trump has been booted out on his a**.

The Republican senator, though, just cannot say it out loud within earshot of anyone who would hear him. He cannot acknowledge that President-elect Biden is going to take office next month as the 46th president.

Johnson says he would commit “political suicide.” That’s it. He speaks to the obvious outcome and he fears some kind of push back from the GOP base that has swilled the battery acid potion that makes folks believe that Biden’s free and fair election was the product of phony voter fraud.

Best of all, Sen. Johnson wants Attorney General William Barr — who says there is no evidence of fraud in the electoral process — to prove the absence of such evidence.

Um, let’s see. How does one prove the absence of something when the burden always falls on those to prove the existence of evidence?

So, there you have it. A leading GOP minion of Donald Trump just cannot acknowledge what most of us know already … that Joe Biden is going to take the oath as the next president of the United States.

Johnson casts a profile in cowardice.

Blogging is just so much fun

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I once thought that the terror attacks on 9/11 broke open a dam for opinion writers. I went through a lengthy spell while writing opinions for a daily newspaper that I had to confront more topics that I could comment on each day.

My task after 9/11 became difficult: I had to decide what I could set aside for another day.

I left daily journalism more than eight years ago. I now am a full-time blogger. I am relearning now that the Donald Trump Era of American politics has given me a new surge in subjects on which I can comment.

Soon, though, the Trump Era will come to a merciful end. I am hopeful for a new day in American politics. President Joe Biden promises to restore our national soul. I hope he does. Our soul is in dire need of restoration.

If he does, then I hope that the trove of topics on which to comment will remain full. I am going to use this blog to offer all manner of opinion on issues of the day.

It gives me reason to keep on blogging.

Trump making it clear: He won’t attend Biden inaugural

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump is making it abundantly clear to me that he has no intention of attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in just 49 days.

He is seeking to hamstring the new president’s foreign policy initiatives; he sowing seeds of distrust in the system that elected Biden president of the United States; he won’t accept publicly that Biden won the election; Trump dug in his heels on triggering the transition to the Biden team.

Does he intend, therefore, to shake the new president’s hand, wish him well, leave a nice note in the Resolute Desk drawer for Biden to read when he walks into the Oval Office? Hah! Not even close.

Actually, I don’t want to see Donald Trump on the Capitol stage. I don’t want to see any vestige of the administration he cobbled together, then dismantled before leaving office.

I am one American patriot who wants Trump to leave the White House as soon as possible. He need not stay there for the duration of his time in office. He can do any of his presidential duties from afar … not that he’s seemingly interested in performing any of them.

As I watch the lame-duck president flail about looking for voter fraud that simply does not exist, I become more convinced daily that he has no interest in promoting the smooth transition from one administration to another.

All is far from lost, though. You see, the new president knows government forward and backward, inside and out, up and down. Joe Biden is forming the new government without the help he otherwise might expect from a predecessor who gave a damn about the country he was elected to lead.

Donald Trump doesn’t care about the country. He cares only about himself. I do not expect him to attend the inaugural for the man who whipped him in the presidential election.

You know what? I am totally fine with that.

Where is the GOP outrage over death threat?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Gabriel Sterling has emerged as a Republican Party hero.

Finally. Someone has come forth and spoken the harsh truth to those who need to hear it. He has aimed his rhetorical fire directly at Donald J. Trump, the lame-duck president who is leaving office amid a swirl of chaos and confusion. Imagine that.

Who is this fellow? He is a GOP election official from Georgia. He works for the Republican Georgia secretary of state, Ben Raffensberger, who has endorsed the comments Sterling made at the statehouse this week.

Sterling spoke harshly and with intense anger about the death threat leveled against a former Department of Homeland Security official who declared the 2020 presidential election was the most secure in history. The official is Christopher Krebs, who was in charge of election cyber security. He did his job. Donald Trump’s narrative, though, insists there exists widespread voter fraud. Trump fired Krebs.

Then came former federal prosecutor Joseph DeGenova to say that Krebs should be “drawn and quartered” and then “shot.”

Did the president condemn those remarks? Have other Republicans stepped up to verbally body-slam DeGenova? No! Thus, Gabriel Sterling is an angry man. He vented his anger forcefully by condemning Donald Trump’s silence as well as the silence of Georgia’s two GOP U.S. senators — David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — who are facing runoff contests next month.

Gabriel Sterling has said what Republicans across the land should have said long ago. That Donald Trump and his minions are fanning the flames of hatred of the democratic system. Joseph DeGenova symbolizes how far that hatred has gone.

“It must stop,” Sterling said. “It is not right,” he said.

Yes it should. It is wrong to the max for individuals to deliver threats such as what DeGenova delivered.

It also is wrong for high-profile politicians to bite their lips and remain silent when we hear such hatred coming forth into the public domain. To that end, Gabriel Sterling has emerged as a heroic figure because he has shown courage in calling the president what he has proven himself to be.

Donald J. Trump is a craven coward.

Short-timer’s calendar, anyone?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Any military veteran knows what a short-timer’s calendar is intended to do. Its role is to remind you how much time you have left until your next duty station … or when you can go home for good.

I kept one along the way during my two years in the Army in the late 1960s.

I am thinking now about starting a new one as we count down the days of the Donald Trump administration.

Spoiler alert: We have 49 days to go before President-elect Biden takes the oath and becomes President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

In just seven weeks, Donald Trump will be out of office. He will be a private citizen, but sadly will retain his Twitter megaphone, which I am certain he will use with reckless abandon. The good news, though, is that he can yap, yammer and blather all he wants as a Mar-a-Lago resident; it won’t matter one damn bit.

Yep, I think I just might start a short-timer’s calendar. Holy crap, man. I want this guy out of my face.

Forever!

Self-pardon = murky waters

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Oh, brother. Donald Trump’s term as president is nearing an end and the discussion about pardons is leading us all into some mighty murky legal water … but that’s just this layman’s opinion.

Trump has issued a full presidential pardon to Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and to VP Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian government goons during the 2016 election.

Now comes discussion about whether Trump should pardon himself, his three oldest children and his son-in-law. For what? I’m not sure.

Here is where the murkiness settles in. The acceptance of a pardon is tantamount to admitting guilt. That’s how I see it; it’s also how some legal experts interpret it.

If Donald Trump pardons himself for an unspecified federal crime or crimes, would that disqualify him from seeking — oh, let’s see — the presidency in 2024? I mean, he’s talking openly about running again in four years. How could he do so if he in effect admits to committing a crime by pardoning himself?

Of course, none of this self-pardon idiocy exempts him from being prosecuted by a state court. That might be on the horizon, too, once Trump exits the White House on Jan. 20. President-elect Biden has said he has no interest in pursuing federal charges against his predecessor, but he cannot prevent a district attorney from going full-bore against the former president.

Oh, the humanity!

I just want to be done with this clown masquerading as president of the United States.

Fauci threatened for telling us the truth … amazing!

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Anthony Fauci might possess the strongest resolve of anyone in the United States of America.

Time magazine has declared Dr. Fauci to be one of its People of the Year for 2020. Do ya think?

The Hill newspaper reported: “I mean I’ve been doing this for 36 years as director of the (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases).” I’ve seen disagreements. I’ve seen political issues get in the way over the 36 years, but I’ve never seen the extent of the divisiveness which leads to hostility against public health measures,” he continued.

Fauci revealed earlier this year that he and his family, including his daughters, have received harassment over complaints about his public health recommendations during the pandemic, including wearing face masks or coverings. 

Let’s just ponder this for a brief moment.

Donald Trump brings an esteemed infectious disease expert aboard to help run a coronavirus response effort. Then he dismisses the expert’s advice, his wisdom and his call for caution. The dismissal brings out the lunatics among us who do things such as what Fauci has described. His daughters are harassed? Their lives are threatened? Is this for real?

And yet the good doctor continues to deliver the news we need to hear, eschewing the tendency to tell us what we — and Donald Trump — want to hear.

Does he deserve the recognition that Time is bestowing? Absolutely!

We do not yet know who will receive the coveted Person of the Year honor from Time. My own sense is that it should go to those on the front line of this fight against COVID-19: nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters and educators.

Somewhere in all of that we can find a spot to insert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s name for him to receive the high honor and respect he has earned, not just for this fight but for all he has done to educate us about the danger of infectious disease.

Who is this Texas GOP chairman?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Who is Allen West?

I will answer the easy part. He is the current head of the Texas Republican Party. He’s also a one-term former congressman … from Florida! He moved to Texas a year or two ago I reckon to restart his political career.

He served in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was then discharged — I believe it was honorably — but only after facing a charge of “conduct unbecoming” an officer. He was involved in an incident involving an Iraqi prisoner who was treated harshly by U.S. service personnel.

West is a firebrand. While serving in the U.S. House, he accused his Democratic colleagues — all of them! — of being agents for communists around the world. Nice, eh? Hardly. It smacked to my ears of the kind of rhetorical crap spouted by the late, and infamous Sen. Joe McCarthy, the noted commie-hunter who became disgraced because of his witch hunting tactics.

West’s latest rhetorical barrage came at the expense of a young Texas legislator from Beaumont, Dade Phelan, who wants to become the next speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. It turns out that Phelan has been courting Democrats as well as his fellow Republicans, which according to West is a bridge too far. A GOP House speaker shouldn’t have to court the favor of Democrats, West said in criticizing Phelan.

Wait a second, dude. Texas has a long history of House speakers who have worked well across the aisle. Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, was one; then we had Pete Laney, a Hale Center Democrat, who worked well with Republicans.

Indeed, governors of both parties have been known to reach across the aisle to seek favors from the other side.

So, what is this intruder trying to do?

I had thought that Texas had enough dedicated Republican political operatives of lengthy Lone Star State standing to lead the party. Instead, it has turned to this guy who knows practically nothing of this state’s unique political climate.

Weird.

Democracy: big winner of 2020 election

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Let’s set aside — if we can — the idiotic challenges that Donald Trump continues to mount against our electoral system.

I want to declare that the big winner of the 2020 election was none other than democracy itself. I continue to watch the straggler votes being counted and am utterly amazed at the huge numbers being rung up by the vote counters.

Nationally, more than 157 million ballots were cast. President-elect Joe Biden captured 51.2 percent of them; Donald Trump collected 46.9 percent. Biden’s vote total is nearly 81 million ballots; Trump has collected more than 74 million. Trump can claim some sort of “moral” victory (although “moral” is a word I usually do not associate with Trump) in knowing he has the second-greatest vote total in U.S. history.

Why are these numbers so staggering? Because they came while the nation is suffering through a massive pandemic that has killed more than 270,000 Americans.

Politicians urged us to vote. The call came mostly from Democrats who wanted to ensure that Americans used their constitutional right. They encouraged us to vote early if possible. My wife and I voted on the first day of early voting in Texas. We were glad to do so.

Democracy came out the big winner. Our democratic process has survived. I am confident it will survive this farcical attempt by Trump to overturn the clear and decisive result that we all delivered on Election Day. It might take some time for democracy to recover from the wounds that Trump has inflicted by sowing all this doubt into the integrity of our democratic system … but it will. Of that I am supremely confident.

President Ford told us on the day he took office that “our Constitution works.” It has shown us yet again — in the midst of a deadly pandemic — that it remains resilient, sturdy and strong.

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