Category Archives: political news

GOP dynamic is baffling

I am likely to go straight to my grave never being able to comprehend the weird dynamic playing out within the Texas Republican Party in this age of The Donald and The Big Lie.

Let’s ponder for a moment some weird happenings that occurred during this past Tuesday’s March primary election.

The contest for Tarrant County judge featured two candidates, Betsy Price and Tim O’Hare, who fought tooth-and-nail for the party nomination. Sitting on the other side of the Metroplex, Price — the well-respected former Fort Worth mayor — seemed a good bet to prevail. Oh, no!

She got thumped by O’Hare, who accused her of being a “progressive” mayor who favored rules that don’t discriminate against transgender people. O’Hare then pledged to clamp down on all those hot-button issues that raise hackles among far-right conservatives: critical race theory, immigration reform, gay rights.

Then came the race for Congress in the Third House District — where my wife and I reside. Incumbent Republican Van Taylor was targeted by the far-righties within the GOP of being a traitor to the Republican cause. Keith Self, the former Collin County judge, finished second in the primary, but Taylor was set to engage Self in a May runoff … before he ended his re-election effort admitting to an affair with a Plano woman. So now it appears that Self, who believes in The Big Lie, is going to win the election this November and take his nut-job world view to Capitol Hill, where he’ll get join the likes of QAnon queens Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

The party has become a cult following. It has devolved into a once-great political organization into a cabal of kooks who won’t accept the results of a free, fair and legal presidential election, who hold out the fantasy that The Donald will run again in 2024 and actually win back the White House.

So help me Almighty God in heaven, I cannot think of a more frightening prospect than that.

And yet, we have fully grown human beings believing the sh** that flies out of The Donald’s pie hole and promise to restore some perverted version of “patriotism” to our national government.

What perhaps is most astounding of all is that not every Republican officeholder in America believes this crap, but so damn few of them are willing to speak out, stand up for the truth and call these wackos out for who they are. Who are they? They are dangerous cretins who have no business making laws or collecting taxpayers’ money.

By cracky, they’re in office and seek to cement their vise grip on the American political system by any means necessary. Just think, my family and I have ringside seats from which we are able to watch this nonsense play out.

Good grief!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Righteous among us tumble

My head-shaking just won’t stop in the wake of this week’s stunning announcement regarding a North Texas congressman, a self-proclaimed conservative lawmaker who — I am going to presume — was proud of his “family values.”

Republican Van Taylor ended his re-election campaign Wednesday after disclosing he had an extramarital dalliance with a Plano woman, a so-called “ISIS bride” who once was married to an officer in the Islamic State terrorist organization. Geez, that alone is enough to make me wonder about a lot of other things.

Taylor was heading for a runoff after Tuesday’s GOP primary.

What is so damn disturbing about this — actually one of many things that ought to disturb any of us — is the way Taylor characterized himself as a staunch conservative, someone who stood for strong values. The implication of those values statements is clear, that he is a devoted to his wife and children. Well, the way I see it, one’s devotion must be complete, unequivocal and unconditional.

Taylor has apologized profusely to his family and to his constituents. I am one of the latter and I will accept the apology and I will wish him well as he tries to rebuild his life. Whether he is able to rebuild his family is a matter for them to decide.

My only concern — as a Third Congressional District constituent — is that Taylor stays away from public service. I don’t want him representing my interests at any level of government. You see, I don’t much care for public officials who profess to be of a certain stripe, but who are hiding dark secrets that reveal them to be something quite different.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Rep. Taylor issues stunning admission … then quits

Well … I’ll be deep fried and rolled in oats. I had just urged U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, a Plano Republican, to “get busy” and start working to get his supporters to the polls for a May runoff with former Collin County Judge Keith Self. Then the word came out.

It seems that Taylor had been busier than I ever imagined. He admitted to having an affair with a Plano woman — and then he dropped out of his re-election bid. The withdrawal hands the GOP nomination to Self, who now is slated to be the prohibitive favorite to be elected from Texas’s Third Congressional District.

Oh … boy! What a revelation!

Taylor and a woman called an “ISIS bride,” as she was married to an Islamic State fighter, reportedly had a months-long fling. News of the affair reportedly got into the hands of Suzanne Harp, another GOP candidate for Congress who, I guess, was about to spill the beans.

Taylor issued a statement via e-mail to his supporters, which stated, in part: “About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world. I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life. I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters.”

Taylor said he has spoken with Self and wished him well as he seeks to win the election to Congress.

https://www.texastribune.org/2022/03/02/van-taylor-reelection/

I hate to be the predictor of terrible news, but it appears to me — and to anyone with half a brain — that Self is going to be elected in a rejiggered congressional district that is even more GOP-friendly than it was before reapportionment. Self is a member of The Big Lie cabal of cultists who insist that the 2020 election was stolen from The Donald. Self managed to parlay his view into forcing Taylor into a runoff, denying the incumbent the 50% vote he needed to win the nomination outright.

Self now is going to run against Democratic nominee Sandeep Srivistava, who doesn’t have a prayer of defeating Self. Not in this climate. Not in this district.

I don’t know what in the world to say about Van Taylor’s mistake. It likely will doom any thought he might have had about further public service.

There are so many astonishing factors about this development. One of them happens to be this fact: Taylor enjoyed strong endorsements from fervent conservative organizations, such as the National Rifle Association and the Heritage Foundation. Yet he drew the wrath of The Donald’s cultists simply because he voted (a) to certify President Biden’s election in 2020 and (b) to establish a bipartisan independent commission to examine the 1/6 insurrection. Never mind that Taylor then opposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to appoint a select committee to look at 1/6. He committed — in the eyes of the Trump cultists — a mortal sin by voting to accept Joe Biden’s election and seeking an independent panel to examine the insurrection.

I am stunned to the max.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Get busy, Rep. Taylor

Let’s examine a few numbers from the Third Congressional District race that is heading for a May runoff between incumbent Van Taylor and former Collin County Judge Keith Self.

With 99% percent of the vote tabulated from Tuesday’s Republican primary, Taylor has collected 31,168 votes.

Self has collected 16,959 ballots; third place went to Suzanne Harp, who collected 13,319 votes; fourth place went to Rickey Williams, who has 1,721 ballots; the fifth-place candidate is Jeremy Ivanovskis, with 814 votes. All told, the anti-Taylor vote count totals 32,133 ballots.

OK, they’re still counting ballots at the Collin County Courthouse. I don’t expect the percentages to change dramatically but consider the following.

Taylor needs to gin up a lot of return voters for the runoff, given that taken altogether, the challengers finished with nearly 1,000 more votes combined than Taylor reeled in. I don’t know anything about Williams or Ivanovskis, but I do know that Self and Harp are cut from the same kooky cloth; they are The Donald Cultists. Indeed, Harp calls herself an “America First Republican,” which is code for “I am a Trumpkin.” Moreover, Self has swilled The Big Lie potion about the 2020 election being “stolen” from The Donald.

Do you get my drift here? Self’s voters are highly motivated to turn out in the runoff. Harp’s supporters, I am going to presume, are far more comfortable with Self than with Taylor. They, too, might need little persuading to vote in the runoff.

As for Van Taylor’s bloc of supporters, they well might be a touch more apathetic than those who favor the surviving challenger or at least one of the also-rans in the Tuesday GOP primary.

Thus, the result of the runoff will depend on just two words: voter turnout. My advice to Rep. Taylor? You’d better get busy, young man … and start working the phone lines to those who voted for you in the primary.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Congressman faces runoff … holy crap!

Can it be even remotely possible that the North Texas Republican Party is actually going to fall for the trash being spewed by the far-right wing cabal of kooks who say a staunch GOP member of Congress has “betrayed” the party simply because he favored creation of an independent commission to examine the 1/6 insurrection on the nation’s Capitol?

Oh, and that he believes Joe Biden is the duly elected president of the United States and voted to certify the Electoral College result affirming that fact?

Well, the young man who represents my family and me in Congress is headed to a runoff in May. Van Taylor of Plano will face off against a former three-term Collin County judge, Keith Self. By all rights and whatever is left of political reason, Taylor should have breezed to his party’s nomination in Tuesday’s Republican Party primary. He didn’t make the 50%-plus one vote majority he needed to avoid the runoff. Self, a fellow who contends there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and implies the presidency was stolen from The Donald, now gets a chance to defeat Taylor head to head.

What a freakin’ joke!

Now, I want to be clear. I do not support Van Taylor’s re-election. However, given the choice between Taylor and the wingnut who is challenging him, I would prefer the GOP nominate Taylor for a third term in the House. What frightens me about Self is that he appeals to that fanatic cult that still adheres to The Big Lie about the 2020 election. The cultists are more likely to vote in a runoff than some of the more, um, lackadaisical members of the GOP.

Then there’s the prospect of a loon such as Self being nominated by the GOP and carrying that whack-job message with him into the general election … and winning that race, too!

I will be unable to vote in the runoff, as I voted Tuesday in the Democratic Party primary.

This all puts me in an awkward position. To be crystal clear, my preference would be for Democratic nominee Sandeep Srivastava to be elected to Congress. I just shutter at the prospect of the Democratic nominee having less of a chance against The Donald Cultist than the incumbent, who at times has shown a willingness to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats … which his GOP primary foes have used as a strike against him.

This is a dangerous political moment, my friends.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Taylor a RINO? Wow!

Van Taylor needs some help from an unexpected source. That would be little ol’ me, your friendly good-government progressive blogger.

You see, the two-term Republican U.S. House representative is getting pounded by a Trumpkin cabal of idiots who consider Taylor to be a Republican In Name Only. Good grief! The young man is as Republican as they get. He won’t collect my vote on Tuesday when we get to cast our ballots in the Texas primary.

Taylor, though, will get this word in his defense as a Republican who is far from what the RINO hunters contend he is.

They castigate him for voting in favor of an independent commission to examine the 1/6 insurrection. That’s a no-no in the half-baked minds of the Donald Trump acolytes. The independent commission idea died a quick death in the Senate. Taylor then voted against creating a House select committee. Why? Because he said the select panel would be too political. That’s crap, of course. However, that first vote is like an indelible stain on the congressman.

The ultra-right-wing group calls itself RINO Reckoning. It is based out of Ohio. It has searched for so-called RINOs around the country and has found Taylor to be a prime target. He has drawn some far-right foes in the GOP primary, such as former three-term Collin County judge Keith Self, who alleges there is ample evidence of “widespread voter fraud” in the 2020 presidential election.

What utter bullsh**! Self is revealing his idiocy with every statement he makes about The Big Lie.

Van Taylor’s candidacy has put me in an admittedly awkward spot. I dislike his view of conservatism. However, I truly hate the message being put forward by those on the far-right wing of his party. They comprise a dangerous gang of traitors.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Rookie pol makes ass of himself

Ronny Jackson is new to this game of politics, but barely a year into his gig as a member of Congress he has established himself as a darling of the far-right wing of the Republican Party, which makes his comments about the Russia-Ukraine war worthy of a brief retort from your friendly blogger.

Jackson, who represents the 13th Congressional District of the Texas Panhandle, said this via Twitter about the invasion that began just a few hours ago:

WHERE IS JOE BIDEN!? Is he even AWAKE right now!? The absence of leadership from this White House is SICKENING! This war should’ve NEVER happened!

Hmm. Wow! There you have the ramblings of a former Navy flag officer, a former physician and a carpetbagger who moved to Amarillo specifically to run for political office. He detests President Biden, who I actually wonder if he gives a crap about what this neophyte politician says about him. Joe Biden has many bigger and more important issues to concern himself.

However, Jackson does have a following — I presume. He did get elected to Congress after trumpeting his close ties to The Donald. Furthermore, the ex-doc keeps offering peanut-gallery diagnoses challenging Joe Biden’s mental acuity. Now, when the president of the United States is trying to rally the nation to his resistance to the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the tyrant who runs Russia, Ronny Jackson provides this kind of brainless rebuke of the commander in chief.

I hope my friends in the Texas Panhandle are proud of themselves for sending this nitwit to Congress.

If I could ask Jackson any question at this moment, it would be: How would you have prevented Putin from invading Ukraine?

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Trump far from in the clear

Two top prosecutors from the Manhattan (N.Y.) district attorney’s office have quit, reportedly throwing a criminal investigation into Donald J. Trump into some state of disarray. The chatter suggests the new DA has choked on deciding whether to indict Donald for any sort of allegation associated with a longstanding criminal probe into his business dealings.

Does this mean Trump is home free? That he has nothing about which to worry? Oh, no. Far from it.

DA Alvin Bragg reportedly has balked on proceeding with indicting Donald. Two of his top legal eagles quit simultaneously, suggesting to many observers that there’s a major disagreement within the DA’s office on how to proceed.

But let’s hold on for a minute. This is one investigation. Do I want it to end now? No! As an ardent critic of Donald Trump, my preference would be for the DA who took over from a veteran prosecutor — Cyrus Vance Jr. — to follow the evidence and the law all the way to the end.

However, the New York attorney general, Letitia James, is still working on our own investigation into Trump’s alleged business chicanery. Let us also remember that the Trump Organization already is has been indicted on charges of tax fraud and other matters.

Oh, and then we have yet another criminal investigation down yonder in Fulton County, Ga., where DA Fani Willis is examining whether to prosecute Donald on a charge of interfering in a state election process. Donald did demand that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger “find” enough votes to swing the state from Joe Biden’s column to Donald Trump.

Finally, there’s the House select committee examining Trump’s role in inciting the insurrection on 1/6. We now hear of possible cooperation with the committee from key Donald Trump acolytes, such as Rudolph Giuliani and — get a load of this! — Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of Donald. The Justice Department already has indicted one key Trump aide, Steve Bannon, on a charge of contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena.

This is all my way of suggesting that the resignations of the DA’s office prosecutor might not be as big a deal as many are making of it. The quitters might have stalled the progress of that probe by virtue of their resignation. It isn’t the end of Donald Trump’s troubles. Not by a very long shot!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hey, Ken … answer these questions

Ken Paxton, by all rights, should attend a four-person candidate debate Thursday, answering questions from the three Republicans who are challenging him in the March 1 GOP primary for Texas attorney general.

Except for this little item: The AG is under felony indictment in Collin County for securities fraud. There’s that and the FBI investigation into allegations of corruption in his office. There’s also the dipsh** lawsuit he filed in 2021 seeking to get four states that voted for Joe Biden for POTUS to overturn their results and give their electoral votes to Donald Trump; the U.S. Supreme Court tossed that lawsuit out.

So, you see, Paxton won’t attend the debate. He’ll cede the floor to challengers George P. Bush, Eva Guzman and Louie Gohmert, all of whom are making Paxton’s ethical (mis)conduct a major part of their efforts to defeat the AG.

Because the Texas Republican Party electorate comprises voters who don’t give a rat’s rear end about ethics and moral standing, Paxton somehow enjoys standing as the front runner in the primary campaign. One of the three challengers wants to face off against him in a runoff if no one gets 50% of the vote in the primary. I have no favorite among the three people running against Paxton. I merely want the attorney general to lose the primary contest, whether it’s March 1 or in the runoff.

As for his absence from the debate, a candidate with a semblance of courage and a stern belief that his conduct is defensible would show up and take on the challengers. The incumbent, however, is showing a cowardly streak that should not be tolerated.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Now he’s just ‘Donald’

I have made a command decision on my blog. Future references to Donald J. Trump are going to be limited to just use of his first name.

Yes, I will hereby make initial references to the former Liar in Chief using his first and last name; subsequent references will be simply “Trump” or “Donald.” I think I’ll stick with “Donald” most of the time.

Hey, I can make that decision regarding my blog. Because it is my blog.

I refused during his term in office to link the terms “President” and “Trump” consecutively; I have held true to that just now, if you get my drift.

Therefore, I am no longer going to use the term “former president,” or “ex-president,” or even “former POTUS” to describe Donald in the future. He doesn’t deserve any sort of respect. He won’t get it from me.

I hope to dial back the frequency of blog posts referring to Donald. I’ll do my best to be more selective.

Hang with me, OK? Thanks. Now … let’s go on down the road together.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com