Category Archives: Joe Biden

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.

Biden pledges to save lives

President Biden today took on the role of commander in chief in our nation’s fight against a killer virus.

The president has issued an order that every federal employee shall be vaccinated against the virus. Moreover, he said that every private company that does business with the federal government will have its employees vaccinated. He signed an executive order and declared that he now is going to act like a wartime president in the fight against the COVID-19 virus and its assorted variants.

This is what presidents need to do!

Biden’s immediate predecessor as POTUS once famously — and wisely — declared that he saw himself as a “wartime president” when the pandemic took root. The problem, though, is that he didn’t follow through on the declaration. He didn’t walk the wartime walk.

President Biden is demonstrating that he understands the power of his office and the overwhelming priority he must place in protecting the health and the lives of Americans.

We have lost more than 600,000 of our fellow citizens to the virus. It has stricken more than 40 million of us.

Biden’s order figures to affect as many as 80 million Americans who aren’t currently vaccinated. Yes, there might be some out there who cannot take the vaccine on religious grounds. I understand that resistance. I don’t agree with it, but I accept that others have such sincere religious belief.

However, the obstinance being shown by those who want to make some sort of hare-brained political statement about the vaccine is ridiculous on its face.

The Hill reports:

A senior administration official told reporters that under a new executive order to be announced by the president, federal employees will have 75 days to be fully vaccinated, with limited exemptions for religious or medical reasons. There will be no testing option. The order will cover about 100 million workers. 

“It’s simple; if you want to work for the federal government, you must be vaccinated. If you want to do business with the government, you must vaccinate your workforce,” the official said.

Biden to require COVID-19 vaccines, tests for millions of private workers | TheHill

I stand with the president.

Tan suit, then and now

(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

By John Kanelis /

I think I know the answer to this question, but I’ll post it anyhow in just a second.

The picture you see here is of President Biden. It was snapped on Friday as he prepared to make some remarks about the job growth posted for July and about the drop in the unemployment rate. He is proud of the progress we are making on the economy.

Do you notice the tan suit? Sure you do!

OK. Now, flash back to the time President Obama appeared in public wearing a tan suit. Do you recall the reaction then to Obama’s sartorial choice? The right wingers out there threw a hissy fit not seen or heard since the time President Lyndon Johnson picked his beagles up by their ears.

What’s been the right wing response to Biden’s tan suit? Nothing, man! The Question: Why do you think the right wing is silent on Biden’s tan suit while they bitched out loud about Obama’s tan suit?

My answer? I believe it’s because President Biden is a white guy and President Obama is not.


‘Sausage making’ continues

REUTERS/Mike Blake

By John Kanelis /

Someone once said that crafting legislation is similar to making sausage, in that neither activity is attractive to watch as it takes place.

I will spare you the nuts and guts of sausage making. However, the infrastructure bill that is slogging its way through the U.S. Congress is another matter.

It is taking seemingly forever for congressional Democrats and Republicans to work through their differences. President Biden is waiting for some form of legislation to arrive at his desk. I will presume he’ll sign what Congress delivers to him.

But … man! This is getting painful to watch.

Senate negotiators are hammering out a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that aims to repair our roads, bridges and rail lines; it also will provide greater broadband Internet service. The legislation also figures to put millions of Americans to work, even though quite a few million of us are returning to the work force as the nation fights mightily to rid itself of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a bipartisan effort, with pols on both sides of the great divide finding ways to compromise. That’s what I call “good government.”

Some progressive politicians want to spend more money; some arch-conservative pols don’t want to spend any money on anything.

Government needs to step up. It needs to find ways to assist Americans struggling to pay their household bills. The infrastructure bill, with all its complexities, figures to lend a much-needed hand. Not to mention that it will repair crumbling roads, bridges and rail lines. We need ’em all to get from place to place … you know?

The only thing is that it ain’t pretty to watch taking shape.

Biden’s not to ‘blame’

John Kanelis /

I am among the last people on Earth to criticize the media, given that I am among those who are still pursuing the craft (more or less) and that I believe the media are doing a good job of reporting the news.

That all said, I want to chide the media for suggesting/implying/inferring that President Biden is somehow to “blame” for the administration falling short of its goal of achieving “herd immunity” against the COVID pandemic by the Fourth of July.

Let us ponder this briefly …

Joe Biden promised to make the vaccines available to anyone who wants it. He delivered the goods there. The shortfall in getting 70 % percent of the nation inoculated is because of those who have bought into the right-wing claptrap about the vaccines.

President Biden has done what he can do. He has sought to persuade Americans that the vaccines are effective and will not cause undue harm to anyone who receives any of them.

Biden inherited a mess when he took office. The previous administration botched many aspects of its handling of the pandemic from the get-go. Yes, it enacted Operation Warp Speed in its effort to get vaccines developed and for that I am grateful. But the previous POTUS managed to contradict and undermine the medical experts he brought on board at every turn.

We continue to make progress against the pandemic, although it has slowed dramatically with the delta variant surge that has kicked the Biden administration in the teeth.

As for putting “blame” on President Biden for falling short of its herd immunity goal, well, the media should look instead at those who are outshouting the rest of us with their baseless condemnation of the vaccines.

What might ex-POTUS do if he loses again?

By John Kanelis /

God Almighty might strike me dead for giving this a moment of thought, but here goes anyway.

What in the world might happen if the former A**hole in Chief loses a second time to President Biden in 2024? Will he declare that election, too, is “rigged,” that it is “fraudulent,” that it was “stolen” from him through widespread voter fraud?

Would he dare suggest such nonsense even if he were to lose in a monumental landslide, which I believe would be the result if we got a rematch from 2020.

You know already that I don’t foresee that scenario playing out. I don’t think the ex-POTUS is going to run. Nor do I think he would be nominated even if he were to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

But dang it, man! The question is worth asking only because when you ponder the weird machinations of the ex-Liar in Chief, well … damn near anything is possible.

A return to globalist view

By John Kanelis /

Let’s dispel a myth that has been propagated from the right and far right and made even more of an epithet in the U.S. presidential era that just recently passed into history.

I hereby declare that “globalism” is not a four-letter word. It is not a concept to be scorned, or feared, or ridiculed. It is the reality of the world that is changing damn near daily.

President Biden has launched — among many initiatives — a drive to return the country he leads to its post-World War II role as the world’s leading nation. However, we no longer can carry the load that comes with the role by ourselves.

Thus, a globalist view of international policy becomes essential.

Joe Biden’s presidential predecessor sought to craft a policy around an “America first” notion that too often was interpreted as an “America only” policy. POTUS 45 stiffed our allies. He coddled our foes. He spoke admiringly of dictators who exercised supreme control over people’s lives.

His policies appeared disjointed and chaotic.

President Biden’s world view appears to be a vastly more inclusive one that means the United States will restore its role as an international leader, but working in concert with other nations in search of shared goals.

Climate change is a global threat. So is terrorism. Same for the ever-present danger of armed conflict between and among nations.

These matters affect all of us and they require worldwide solutions. They require a globalist strategy to find solutions to common woes.

I am at a loss as to why, therefore, the term “globalism” became the same thing as a curse word. I welcome its return to the center of White House sessions led by a president who cares to study the complex issues that should be of dire concern to every human being on Earth.

Biden: born for this job?

By John Kanelis /

As I watch President Biden perform certain ceremonial functions — or even simply walk to and from the Oval Office or climb the steps leading onto Air Force One — I am struck by a recurring thought.

It is that this man has wanted the job he now holds for practically as long as he has been a national public figure. That goes back a good while.

He burst on the national scene as a freshman U.S. senator from Delaware. He won election in 1972; Biden was just 29 years of age when they declared him the winner, but would turn 30 (the minimum legal age to serve as a senator) between Election Day and his swearing in.

It is a fairly open secret that he lusted for higher office from almost the very beginning. Biden had to endure intense personal tragedy before taking office in 1973. His wife and infant daughter died in a car crash; his sons, Beau and Hunter, were gravely injured. They would recover.

Biden would remarry five years later.

He ran for president in 1988. Then he tasted humiliation when he got caught plagiarizing the remarks of a British politician, using the British pol’s life story as his own. Sen. Biden bowed out. He would run again for POTUS in 2008, but then quit after being steamrolled by the eventual Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama — who then selected him to run with him as vice president. They won. They served two successful terms.

Now it’s the Joe Biden Show in the White House.

I just am filled with the strong sense that President Biden has been in a sort of training for half a century to do the job he is now doing.

My critique? He’s quite good at acting like a president. He sounds like a president. He behaves like a president.

After enduring the clumsiness, the chaos, the confusion and the cockamamie pronouncements of the president’s immediate predecessor, all this “normal” stuff seems quite, well … refreshing.

Tough to avoid comparison

By John Kanelis /

Try as mightily as I am trying to avoid making comparisons between presidents of the United States I must admit that the effort is taxing my ability to stave off such temptation.

President Biden has pledged full federal government support for officials digging out from the rubble left by the horrific collapse of the condo tower in south Florida.

That is what presidents do. They toss aside during these times of peril political differences — after all, Florida cast most of its votes in 2020 for Biden’s opponent — and speak with compassion and empathy. They serve an unwritten rule of the presidency, that they should serve as comforter in chief.

Compare that response to the Florida tragedy to what we heard when California erupted in flames a couple of years ago. President Biden’s predecessor castigated California officials for failing to maintain proper forest management and threatened to withhold federal money. Why? Well, to those of us watching from afar it appears that the then-POTUS was angry at California because it cast most of its votes in 2016 for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Therein lies the difference between a president who understands that he represents the entire nation and one who holds grudges and fails to this very day the ability to demonstrate any of the compassion that his high office requires of him in times of grief.

I welcome this return to the way our presidents are supposed to behave.

‘America First’ gives way to alliance-building

(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis /

A president of the United States who declares an “America First” foreign policy always must be mindful of a simple fact.

The United States of America cannot shirk its global obligations military, economically and environmentally, which means that the U.S. of A. must honor the alliances it has built over many decades with other nations who depend on our leadership.

President Biden is seeking to reconstruct the trust that his immediate presidential predecessor dismantled repeatedly during his tenure in office.

The term “globalism” has become a four-letter word in some sectors of this country. Whether in offices, or in coffee houses, barber shops or grange halls, we hear Americans dismiss the notion that this nation is part of a much larger — but oddly shrinking — global community.

That is why President Biden returned the nation to the Paris Climate Accords, to the World Health Organization, the Iran nuclear talks and reasserted our role as NATO’s senior partner immediately upon taking office.

It also is why Biden will sit down soon with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and, as he said the other day, “tell him things I want him to hear.”

Joe Biden is operating at the summit level from a position of immense strength. Whereas Biden’s predecessor coddled the likes of Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current president vows a vastly different approach. I do not expect President Biden to shake hands with Kim Jong Un for as long as Kim continues to murder his people.

And someone has to explain to me why such dictator-coddling in any form or fashion produces foreign policies that “put America First.”

It’s a new era dawning on the international stage with President Biden’s first foreign journey. In a way, though, it resembles a return to the way it used to be … which is all right with me.