All posts by kanelis2012

What happened to Meghan?

Hey, I swear I remember Meghan McCain — the former “The View” co-host who’s taken on a new gig as a columnist for a British newspaper — saying how she “loves” President Biden and would be hard-pressed to say anything negative about him.

Now she writes in The Daily Mail that Joe Biden is on track to be a “worse” president than Jimmy Carter.

Whoa, Meghan McCain! Hold the phone!

MEGHAN McCAIN: Joe Biden is shaping up to be a worse president than Jimmy Carter  | Daily Mail Online

McCain is the daughter, let’s recall, of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, one of Joe Biden’s best friends in the Senate. McCain was a Republican; Biden is a Democrat. Their friendship was forged shortly after McCain joined a Senate staff as a military adviser to a committee on which Biden served.

Now the young woman who said she “loves” the president has turned on him, calling him feckless, unreliable and cantankerous.

Look, she’s entitled to change her mind about politicians, even those who hold occupy a special place in her heart. I am just waiting, though, for an explanation from Meghan McCain on the dramatic change in her feelings toward the president of the United States.

As for President Biden being “worse” than President Carter, I need to remind McCain that Jimmy Carter did manage to negotiate a peace deal between Israel and Egypt … which has held firm and solid through thick and thin.

So, let’s stop with the Carter-bashing. Hmmm?

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

POTUS dons legislator’s hat

This thought occurs to me, so I’ll share it briefly.

President Biden is trying to negotiated a legislative deal with moderate and progressive congressional Democrats. Then the following dawned on me.

Biden spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate. He then spent eight years as vice president. That’s 44 years negotiating experience with lawmakers.

The way I figure it, President Biden is the most experienced legislator in the meetings he is having with congressional Democrats. He knows how to cajole, coddle and convince legislators to do what’s right.

If only he could work his legislative skill on congressional Republicans who — sad to say — just won’t wheel and deal with a master of wheeling and dealing.

This is the value of having a POTUS who knows how government works. Let’s see if it pays off.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

McConnell said … what?

(Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Mitch McConnell said it, but I still cannot believe I heard it with my own ears. The U.S. Senate Republican leader spoke about the need to raise the national debt limit, that it is essential for the nation to maintain its standing with creditors.

Then he said that it’s a “Democrat problem,” and that he wouldn’t support to raise the debt limit.

I heard it. I shook my noggin. I cannot believe that the Kentucky Republican would actually such a thing. But … he damn sure did.

McConnell is leading the Senate Republican caucus in its effort to obstruct anything and everything his Democratic colleagues want to do legislatively. He also has become something of a sworn enemy of President Biden, his one-time Senate friend and occasional ally.

Now he is playing craven politics with what should be a bipartisan effort. Democrats want to enact an infrastructure rebuilding plan. It costs trillions of dollars. Republicans are having none of it. They contend that it’s too costly, that it would pile on more debt.

Strange, yes? Yes, given that Biden’s immediate predecessor — a Republican — rang up the biggest annual budget deficits in history and piled on more debt than any president who came before him. The GOP caucus had no problem with that. Now, it does.

Except that the Senate GOP leader recognizes that the debt ceiling is an essential part of governing. However, he will not — or cannot — commit to doing what he knows he should do.

Mitch McConnell has become, without question (in my mind), the master of hypocrisy, duplicity and covering his own backside … to the detriment of the greater good.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Vaccination rates need to ramp up!

The stories we keep hearing — all of them verified by medical records — of unvaccinated Americans dying of COVID complications are beginning to drive me utterly insane.

Additionally, we keep hearing from local public health officials from coast to coast to coast that the vast majority of COVID-related hospitalizations involve those who haven’t been vaccinated against the killer virus.

What part of “common denominator” do the numbskulls among us not understand?

The unvaccinated Americans who for whatever reason — many of them idiotic — are not getting protection against the virus simply stun me into silence. I have nothing to say to them or about them.

I heard a story that was reported today about a young man, 24 years of age, who died of COVID complications. The network had recorded him saying he had resisted taking the vaccine because he bought into the idiocy that the pandemic was made up, that it was a “conspiracy” concocted for reasons no one can comprehend.

Then he got sick. He told the TV interviewer he wished he had taken the vaccine earlier. He was convinced it would save his life.

The young man died over the weekend. He leaves a wife and a young son.

Thus, I am left with this conflict of emotions: Do I feel sad that a young man died? Or do I just blow it off, just as he did when he refused to get inoculated?

Pfizer is getting closer to having its booster dose approved by the feds. When that moment arrives, my wife and I will be among the first to get in line and receive it. We got our second shots in February. We have been fortunate so far. We mask up. We practice “social distancing” when it’s possible. We don’t go anywhere out to eat. We stay home as much as we can.

I am fighting hard to keep my sanity, though, while we hear these stories similar to the one I just described. That might be more difficult than the struggle to remain clear of the COVID virus.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This day, and season, begin the right way

What a wonderful way to welcome a new day and a new season of the year.

We awoke today to say “hey” to the autumnal equinox, aka the “first day of fall.” Then we ventured outside.

What did we encounter? Sweater weather, man! The temperature dropped to the mid-50s overnight, which given the searing heat we’ve experienced in North Texas this summer was a welcome respite.

Moreover, it all occurred right on time, on cue, as if — well — it’s supposed to happen on autumn’s first day!

So, it did.

I think I’m going to have a good day.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Let anthem stand on its own

The older I get the more of a fuddy-duddy I become.

There. I’ve admitted it. What caused this admission? It’s the inclusion of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at professional football games which is now being sung alongside the National Anthem.

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” has become a sort of de facto “black national anthem.” It’s a lovely song. I don’t know the words, but I do hear it on occasion and I like the melody.

Do we need to sing it at pro football games as a statement that we recognize the injustice being done to African Americans to this very day? I don’t think so.

I prefer to sing only the National Anthem — the “Star Spangled Banner,” if you will — at sports events. How come?

We have one National Anthem. Just a single tune. Its lyrics were penned by Francis Scott Key in the early 19th century. It stands as the song we all learned as children. We sang it in school. We sing it today at public meetings and, yes, at sporting events.

I don’t want to dilute the meaning of the national anthem, which proclaims we are the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Do I ignore the injustice that continues to occur? Do I accept that some Americans are treated unfairly? That they face discrimination? No! I reject all of that!

However, this notion that we sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” alongside the “Star Spangled Banner” just doesn’t feel right.

OK. I’m a white guy. I also am a fuddy-duddy. Deal with it!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s all about the turnout

Allow me this brief moment to express my frustration over what I expect will occur in early November.

My neighbors and I are going to vote for Princeton City Council members, for Princeton Independent School District trustees and for a special municipal referendum calling for the formation of a home-rule charter committee.

The frustration, which I expect fully to experience, will be in the abysmal voter turnout.

Mayor Brianna Chacon, who is running for re-election to a full term, is urging us to vote. She laments the historically low turnout for these municipal elections. It well might fall into the single-digit percentage of eligible voters who actually cast ballots on Nov. 2. That stinks to high heaven, man!

How many times must I say the same thing? Which is that local elections bring the most tangible impact on us as voters. We don’t care! Or so the dismal turnouts would suggest. City Councils set our tax policy; they determine the level of police and fire protection we receive; they set policy for trash pickup; they spend money to repair our streets.

The home-rule charter committee decision has me particularly juiced up. Princeton’s population exploded between the 2010 and 2020 census; we now are home to more than 18,000 inhabitants. Texas law grants cities with populations of 5,000 or greater the right to seek home-rule charter governance; Princeton currently is governed as a “general law” city, adhering to laws written by the Legislature.

We gotta change that, folks!

I don’t want to see a miserable voter turnout make that decision. We need to have everyone casting ballots who is eligible to do so.

Are we clear? Good! See you at the polls!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Biden seeks to reassure allies, warn foes

Joseph R. Biden Jr. stood before the United Nations today and delivered the kind of speech Americans — and those around the world — hadn’t heard delivered from a U.S. president in some time.

He spoke of diplomacy, of global warming, of human rights, of an end to U.S. warfare. President Biden delivered a reasoned, rationale, coherent speech to the U.N. General Assembly that was devoid of name-calling — such as “Little Rocket Man” — and some of the curious statements that would fly out of the mouth of Biden’s presidential predecessor.

To be sure, the current president has a heaping plate full of trouble. We have a refugee crisis on our southern border. We are still trying to finish extricating ourselves fully from Afghanistan. The nation is battling a COVID-19 pandemic that many of us thought was whipped four months ago.

To hear the president’s tone, though, in a speech to the world’s No. 1 diplomatic body seems to signal a return to normal diplomatic procedure, the kind of thing he promised when he ran for president in 2020.

Yes, President Biden is struggling at home. The political forces that keep digging in against him are fierce, determined and dogged in their effort to torpedo everything the wants to do.

However, I remain determined to offer my support in the efforts this president is making to repair the wreckage left by his predecessor.

Today’s speech at the U.N. took us another step toward that end.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Biden gets blame for this, too?

President Biden no doubt knew he was jumping into a briar patch when he decided to seek the presidency in 2020.

Now he’s getting pilloried for something he couldn’t possibly control, which is the flood of refugees from Haiti; they are congregating on the U.S. border near Del Rio, Texas. The United States is sending thousands of them back to Haiti.

Wait, though, for the criticism that is going to come flowing toward the Biden administration.

Why didn’t they anticipate this flood of immigrants? Why are they being mistreated by border and immigration officers? How can they allow this monumental tragedy unfold?

I will continue to stand with the president as he seeks to deal with this newest crisis on our border.

Haitians are fleeing their country, which was torn apart with the assassination of its president. Then came that killer earthquake. I guess one would want out of a nation with no stable government, let alone a stable infrastructure to withstand Earth’s awesome power.

Where do they go? To the U.S. of A.!

“We are very concerned that Haitians who are taking this irregular migration path are receiving false information that the border is open or the temporary protected status is available,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. “I want to make sure that it is known that this is not the way to come to the United States.”

Border patrol criticized for treatment of Haitian migrants in Del Rio | The Texas Tribune

President Biden is getting pilloried, pounded and pummeled these days for the crisis that erupted virtually without warning. How in the world does one prepare for such a monstrous development?

Joe Biden sought the presidency twice before finally winning the office in 2020. He has been involved with politics long enough — seemingly since The Flood — to know that the realm is fraught with peril. I spent the previous four years lamenting the fecklessness of a president who didn’t listen to any of the advisers with whom he surrounded himself. He sought to live up to the mindless boast that “I, alone can fix” whatever problems arose.

President Biden isn’t wired that way. He has surrounded himself with critical thinkers and individuals seasoned in the nuanced world of international relations.

They all have a huge problem on their hands at the moment. They need to find a solution quickly. If they fail, then they will deserve the pounding they are sure to receive.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

He put us in ‘Peril’

The older I get the harder it becomes for me to sit down with a book and read it from front to back non-stop. Yep, even those so-called page-turners.

That all said and understood (I presume), I ordered a new non-fiction piece of work that well could go down as a landmark historical document of the final days of the 45th president’s term in office. It’s titled “Peril,” co-written by a walking-talking journalistic legend, Bob Woodward, and an up-and-comer, Robert Costa.

They are telling the world a story about the imminent peril that the 45th POTUS put the nation through while he continued to fight the results of the 2020 presidential election, which Joe Biden won fairly, squarely, legally and any other way you want to describe it.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley called his Chinese counterpart to assure him he would be alerted ahead of a possible attack by the United States, Woodward and Costa tell us. They also related how then-Vice President Mike Pence talked with one of his VP predecessors, fellow Indianan Dan Quayle, about how he (Pence) could overturn the results of the election; Quayle told Pence to “give it up,” that he had no choice but to obey the Constitution and certify the results on Jan. 6.

I want to know more. I trust Woodward implicitly to get it right. I mean, he and his former Washington Post college Carl Bernstein wrote the book on political investigative journalism (no pun intended) during the Watergate crisis of the 1970s.

This is good stuff. I might be too old to read a good book in one sitting. I am damn sure not too old to learn more about how vulnerable our democratic institutions can become when we put a charlatan in charge of our nation’s executive government branch.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com