Will we know who won on Election Night?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have been rubbing balm on my trick knee to keep it from throbbing during this election season.

Now, though, I think it might be time to let my joints “talk” to me about what might happen when they count the ballots for president of the United States.

Here is what they’re saying:

They are telling me that we are going to have a winner declared sometime during the night. It could be in the wee hours. Or it might come much earlier than any of us expects.

How might we learn early? Joe Biden could pick off a few key swing states early — such as, oh, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and perhaps Georgia. Without Florida in the bank, Donald Trump has virtually no path to re-election.

Then there could be the shocker of all: Biden squeaking out a win in, gulp, Texas. The early vote here has been stupendous, with Democrats in Harris, Dallas and Travis counties rushing to vote early.

I say all this while resisting the urge to predict it will happen. The West Coast states of Oregon, Washington and California are in the bag for Joe. There’s also Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii. Toss in Arizona and you’re looking at a possible Biden landslide.

Trump is talking up a big Election Day surge among Republicans. They might turn out en masse as well. Will it be enough to overcome the potential early vote surge we’ve seen in Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa where the COVID crisis also is surging? Time will offer an explainer.

My trick knee also could be sending me another sort of message, which is that Trump will enjoy enough of a surge at the end to squeak out an electoral college fluke that mirrors what transpired in 2016. That is the scenario that could keep the result in limbo for several days past Election Night.

OK, one more thought: If we know the evening of Nov. 3 or the early morning of Nov. 4, I believe Donald Trump will concede. He won’t do it in the normal way, offering his congratulations to the winner and promising his full support. He will surrender the White House with gritted teeth.

That’s my call and I’m sticking with it. Such as it is.

Hey, Don Jr.: Shut … up!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump Jr. said what?

Let me see if I have this straight …

On a day when 1,000 Americans died from the coronavirus pandemic, Don Jr. told Laura Ingraham, a Fox News talking head, that pandemic deaths were “almost nothing.” Don’s dad, The Donald, has said pretty much the same thing, that we are “turning the corner” and that the pandemic “is under control.”

I’ve already implored Donald Sr. to keep his yapper closed, to leave the medical analysis to the scientists and assorted experts with whom he has surrounded himself. Dad ain’t listening to little ol’ me.

I don’t expect Junior to listen, either. However, I must pass along this bit of advice to the elder Know Nothing Son of the Know Nothing President:

Don Jr. … shut the f**k up!

Fall back … and get set for the complaints

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Get ready for it.

Americans are going to “fall back” to Standard Time overnight and many of us are going to bitch to high heaven about having to change from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time.

I want to be clear about two points.

One is that I don’t have a problem with changing back and forth. We advance the clocks an hour in the spring to commence Daylight Saving Time and then we set ’em back an hour in the fall to return to Standard Time. I hear it constantly: Oh, the time changes messes me up; it messes up the kids, too.

I cannot speak to the issues of parents with young children, since my own sons are grown; one of them has a young daughter, so he’s got to deal with her issues. As for me, I don’t have a problem with the time change.

I get why we have had Daylight Saving Time in the first place; it was to conserve energy, enjoy late-in-the-day daylight and refrain from turning on lights and consuming electrical energy. I actually like DST for that reason.

That said, if the Texas Legislature was able in 2019 to craft a change, I would have voted to keep DST on for the entire year. The Legislature sought to offer us a choice: full time DST, full-time Standard Time or keep the status quo by changing back and forth twice each year. The legislation didn’t make it out of the Legislature in time for a vote.

So, here we are. We’ll change back to Standard Time. The sun will rise in the morning a bit earlier but it will go dark earlier in the evening.

Yawn … and many of us will gripe about it. You won’t hear a word of complaint from me.

Docs are conspiring?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I just picked my jaw off the floor.

Why did it fall so far? I just heard Donald Trump say out loud to a campaign rally that the nation’s doctors and nurses are conspiring to fake death counts by the coronavirus because they, um, get more money.

He said also that if we hear about deaths from the coronavirus that we shouldn’t believe what we are hearing. It’s all fake, says the president of the United States of America.

I am baffled. Flummoxed. Enraged.

Donald Trump’s lying has plunged to new lows and that, my friends, is saying patently frightening.

He says if people catch the killer virus, they aren’t likely to die. They’ll just get better; they become immune from further infection; they get on with their lives.

Oh, but wait: More than 1,000 Americans died yesterday from the coronavirus. How could that happen? Donald Trump says docs and nurses are faking it. The media are reporting “fake news.”

This individual is as despicable as they come. He needs to lose this election … bigly.

Yell it out: We’re No. 1

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Early voting in Texas has shut down and here’s the good news: Texans responded like champs to Democrats’ call for early voting.

We responded so well that the early vote totals have surpassed the entire number of ballots we cast in the 2016 election; and that includes Election Day voting four years ago.

So, what does that mean? On the surface it could mean that more voters who lean in Joe Biden’s favor have turned out to cast their ballots early. My ballot is among the more than 9 million already cast. Does the former VP have a majority of those ballots in his column? Beats me. We’ll find out in, what, four days.

Still, it warms my soft spot to know that Texas has set the pace nationally in responding to this early-vote call. It was done out of concern that Donald Trump’s re-election machine is going to muck up the ballot-counting of mail-in votes.

Democrats responded by imploring us to vote early. My wife and I did, even though we would have preferred to wait to vote in-person on Election Day. The COVID crisis, though, persuaded us to vote early and not risk getting a mail-in ballot caught up in the snail-mail delivery system.

Now comes the mad rush by the candidates — Biden and Kamala Harris on one side, and Trump and Mike Pence on the other — as they criss-cross the country in search of votes.

I am now going to relax just a bit over the next couple of days. Then I will await the returns to start pouring in on Election Night. Oh, how I want this election to turn out the correct way.

We moved to a ‘battleground’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As if anyone needed to persuade me on how to vote for president of the United States … I now have learned that my wife and I have moved into a key “battleground” community in the fight for presidential power.

We now reside in Collin County, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas, which has been trending Democratic for the past couple of election cycles. That’s a big deal in Republican-leaning Texas.

Our little town (for now) of Princeton is seen as a prime battleground to be fought over by forces loyal to Joseph R. Biden and Donald J. Trump, the contestants for president.

Indeed, the ‘burbs all across the state have become prime targets of opportunity. Biden and the Democrats seem to think they can swing enough suburban voters — particularly among women — to make the state competitive. I can think of at least one suburban woman who has cast her lot with Biden and the Dems. Indeed, she is a true-blue Bidenista. How do I know?  I am married to her.

And so the fight for supremacy in Texas will rage over the weekend and into Tuesday morning, when the entire nation commemorates Election Day.

Make no mistake that we have been deluged with a flood of political ads, not just for president but for Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Supreme Court. What’s more, Princeton is electing members of its City Council and its school district board of trustees; but those are non-partisan contests, so they’re off this blog post’s grid.

I am a tried-and-true political junkie. Thus, I rather like being the center of attention.

TDS? Who … me?

(AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A frequent and persistent critic of this blog has accused me of suffering from something called “Trump derangement syndrome,” whatever that means.

I don’t actually know this fellow; we’ve never met face to face, but he reads my blog and I presume he thinks he “knows” me better than most folks. Whatever.

I’ll cop to a couple of points he keeps making. He thinks I am driven exclusively by my “hatred” for Donald J. Trump. I won’t attempt to change his mind on that point, so we’ll just agree to disagree on this matter: I do not hate Trump; I do hate what he stands for, which to my eye is self-enrichment. To the extent that I hate the kind of presidency he has cobbled together, I will acknowledge that it has consumed me for the past, oh, four years.

There. I hope my critic will acknowledge my, um, acknowledgment. I won’t expect it.

I have sought to make this point about Trump, which is that my constant criticism of him is driven by my love for the United States of America. I am going to presume that the point has been lost on my critics, all of ’em!

I went to war for my country. I stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I will never “take a knee” during the National Anthem to lodge a political protest; it ain’t my style, man. I have voted in every presidential election since 1972. I pay my taxes on time; oh, and I have paid my “fair share” of taxes for as long as I’ve been a working stiff, unlike at least one prominent politician who happens to be seeking re-election to the nation’s highest office.

So, there you go. I am angry at Donald Trump not because I hate him, but because I love my country.

Are we clear on that? Good. Now, let’s get over this election.

Falwell Jr. sues Liberty U … for defamation? Eh?

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Jerry Falwell Jr. is fighting back against the university his late father founded.

Someone will have to explain to me how this should play out.

Falwell once served as president of Liberty University, the school that his dad, Jerry Falwell Sr., founded. Junior got himself into a series of scandals and ethical difficulties, culminating in a picture showing him snuggling with a woman who is not his wife … with his pants unzipped.

Oh, we also have reports of his wife engaging in a sexual relationship with a pool guy who alleges that Junior actually watched the two of them taking part in naughty behavior. To think, then, that Falwell Sr. founded an organization called the Moral Majority.

Falwell now says the university defamed him and that he was dismissed unjustly from his post as head of the nation’s largest Christian institution of higher learning.

I am no fan of Falwell Jr., or his father for that matter. So I am not looking at this lawsuit story with a dispassionate set of eyes. I acknowledge my bias. Still, it seems to me — looking at this from some distance — that Falwell Jr. brought all of this trouble on himself with his rather strange behavior.

Trump looks like a loser

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump looks, sounds and is acting like a loser.

I know he hates the word applied to himself, given that he tosses it at others with sickening regularity.

I spend a big chunk of my day listening to political analysts who contend that Trump is on the brink of losing the presidential campaign. It might be a landslide, some of them say. Others contend we’re in for a nail-biter Tuesday night.

To be honest, I don’t know what to think, who to believe, what to expect. Why the uncertainty? It has everything to do with Donald Trump. He makes me queasy. He gives me the heebie-jeebies. I am frightened — yes, actually frightened — by the prospect of a second Trump term as president.

This individual is capable of doing anything to win. By anything, I mean … anything. He doesn’t like governing. Trump doesn’t bother to study the issues he should confront. He savors the limelight that the presidency casts on him. Accordingly, he wants to stand on center stage and in my view will do whatever it takes to remain there.

But, damn! He looks like such a loser as this campaign heads down the stretch. Trump is not seeking to expand his voter base. Joe Biden, the challenger, is taking his mostly positive message of unity, healing and hope to places such as Georgia.

Get this: Biden’s VP running mate, Kamala Harris, is coming Friday to Texas; she’ll campaign in McAllen, Houston and Fort Worth. The Texas swing is big, folks. Texas most recently voted for a Democratic presidential ticket in, um, 1976!

I wish I could take the loser look and sound of Trump to the bank. I just cannot. Not yet.

Donald Trump yanked victory from defeat’s jaws four years ago. I am not suggesting he can do it again this time. I merely am practicing an abundance of caution while watching this campaign head for the finish line.

Awaiting a new era

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Critics of this blog will have to bear with me for just a few more days.

I truly am looking forward to the day when I won’t have to devote so much of my emotional capital criticizing the actions, the rhetoric and the record of the current president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Moreover, my fondest hope is that the day will arrive sometime on Election Night early next week, or maybe in the next day or two afterward. That would be when we can declare Joe Biden to be the next president and the current one can start his transition back to private life.

Until then I will keep up a steady stream of rhetorical fire aimed at Trump.

He is unfit for for the office he occupies. Trump won the 2016 election by portraying himself as a “populist” who allegedly cares about the little guy. We have learned from the get-go that he is nothing of the sort.

The litany of strikes against Trump are virtually endless, so it is daunting in the extreme to list them here. I trust those of you who have read this blog over the years understand where I come from.

I do hope the day of calling Trump to task for all that he has done to this country is coming to an end. He will be rendered irrelevant eventually. I hope that moment arrives next week and not four years from now.

My final concern about a potential Trump defeat at the polls will be that he won’t go quietly. That he won’t accept the results as legit. That he’ll mount that challenge that could end up in front of the Supreme Court’s justices. Then, of course, he remains a target of this blog. If he decides against all of that and surrenders to reality, well, then we can move on to the next era.

I hope the day after the election dawns brightly.