POTUS-elect an ‘elitist’?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The Washington Post reported the following today …

“Biden’s cabinet picks went to Ivy League schools, have strong resumes, attend all the right conferences & will be polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote on Twitter. “I support American greatness. And I have no interest in returning to the ‘normal’ that left us dependent on China.”

I truly don’t know whether to laugh or scream.

A Republican Party with one of its members was elected president as a populist, is now accusing President-elect Joe Biden of being an elitist.

This is the fellow who commuted by train daily between Washington and Wilmington, Del., when he served in the Senate. Why did he do that? Because initially he was a widower with two young sons who needed their daddy home at night while the boys fought through their grief over the death of their mother and baby sister in a motor vehicle crash.

Yes, Joe Biden has appointed some learned individuals educated at Ivy League schools to join the Cabinet.

This “elitist” canard, though, is as phony as the assertion over the voter fraud assertion that the Whiner in Chief keeps alive.

Hey, POTUS isn’t declaring COVID is ‘under control’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It occurs to me that Donald Trump’s phony fixation with a “fraudulent” election has kept him from repeating yet another series of lies.

Which is that we have the COVID coronavirus “under control.”

It damn sure isn’t anything of the sort.

Deaths are escalating; infections are skyrocketing; we’re setting “records” for infection, hospitalization, mortality. Donald Trump is silent on the pandemic. Hell, he cannot stop repeating that other lie, which is that “widespread voter fraud” resulted in President-elect Biden’s victory over Trump in the Nov. 3 election.

I am not suggesting that Trump’s silence on the pandemic is a blessing. Oh, no. We need a president who can speak truth on the issue. Trump’s inability to tell us the truth on anything does not bestow positivity on his silence; it merely reminds us of Trump’s penchant for prevarication.

Indeed, his attention is now focused on another bit of “fake news,” which is the phony issue of “widespread” voter fraud that, to put it bluntly, does not exist.

The good news? Donald Trump will exit the office in January. The new president, Joe Biden, will tell us the truth about the pandemic.

U.S. set to resume its historic worldwide role

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 vowing to “put America first,” by thinking first of this country’s interest and, in effect, saying “to hell” with the rest of the world.

That policy didn’t work out well for the Trump administration.

Along came Joe Biden in 2020 to declare to the nation and the world that he intends to restore the United States’ historic role as the world’s most “indispensable nation.” American voters bought the Biden pitch, tossing Trump out of office on Election Day.

So here we are, about to re-enter the world community as Earth’s lone superpower. But here’s the difference between the start of Biden’s presidency and the beginning of the Trump term as president: President-elect Biden intends to offer respect for our allies and likely will refrain from the insults that Donald Trump hurled at them.

Joe Biden brings a lengthy public service career with him into the Oval Office. He served for a dozen years as chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee before becoming vice president in 2009. Biden parlayed the personal relationships he had built around the world as Foreign Relations chair into an effective role as point man for the Barack Obama administration.

Trump’s pre-presidential experience bore none of what Biden is bringing into the nation’s highest office. He ran a real estate company with a checkered history; he became a reality TV celebrity. Trump pointed his career toward the goal of enriching himself. Public service? He had zero experience and, oh brother, it showed.

Voters said “hell no!” to returning the carnival barker to the White House. A majority of them grew tired of the chaos. They are weary of the constant embarrassment that Trump brings with his incessant Twitter rants.

The United States is far from a perfect nation. Perfection is an impossible goal to attain. However, a lack of perfection does not prevent the United States from reasserting its role as world leader.

President Biden will take the oath of office and then will get to work bringing this nation back from its ill-fated electoral experiment that delivered an unfit individual to the nation’s highest political office.

Trump plans to leave White House? Wow!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Jeepers, that is awfully big of Donald Trump to acknowledge the obvious.

Which is that when the Electoral College certifies what the whole world knows already, that President-elect Biden defeated Trump in the election earlier this month, that he’ll leave the White House.

Earth to Donald: You ain’t got a choice, dude!

I would actually hate seeing the Secret Service escorting the president out of the people’s house were he to dig in his heels.

Really! I would hate that!

Ike exuded wisdom

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The gentleman in this picture ran twice for president of the United States.

The first time was in 1952; I was a toddler. The second time occurred four years later; I was in the second grade at Harvey W. Scott Elementary School in Portland, Ore. President Eisenhower won both elections in landslides over Adlai Stevenson.

I wasn’t old enough either time to “like Ike,” as the campaign slogan suggested. I do like Ike now as we have suffered through four years of the most hideous individual ever to occupy the office that Dwight Eisenhower once graced.

The text attributed to Ike in the photo above is more profound now, it seems, than when he said it in 1956.

Yes, we have seen Ike’s beloved Republican Party become a vessel for an amoral nincompoop. The man who helped liberate the world from tyranny in World War II and then became our commander in chief just eight years after that terrible conflict would not like what has transpired in the past four years.

He would be heartened, I believe — even with a Democrat, Joe Biden, about to take over — at what we all hope is a restoration of decency and morality in the nation’s highest office.

Trump gripes, transition moves on

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s good to remember this while Donald Trump keeps lying about “widespread voter fraud,” a “rigged election” and how he “won handily.”

He can bitch and moan all he wants. The transition between his administration and President-elect Biden’s administration has begun. Joe Biden thinks he’s behind a little bit, but I am one American patriot who believes he is well-positioned, well-educated, well-versed in government enough to engineer a transition that will be as seamless as it could be … under difficult circumstances.

Those circumstances were brought on by Trump’s foot-dragging, his refusal to accept the obvious — that he lost the Nov. 3 election — and by his obstinance in clinging to power. There’s also the pandemic, which Trump also refuses to address head-on. The moron.

Biden’s knowledge of the government he will inherit and his deep reservoir of contacts with that government will serve him well.

So, to Donald Trump … you can bitch all you want. Most of us — and the world watching from afar — know what’s about to happen. You will be gone. Goodbye and good fu**ing riddance. 

Two presidents … at once?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President-elect Biden would bristle at the thought, but I’ll express it anyway.

We seem to have two presidents at once while Biden begins the transition into the world’s most powerful office.

Sure, the current president is still doing things that only presidents can do. Such as grant an unconditional pardon to an admitted felon, someone who lied to the FBI and to the vice president about the contacts he had with Russian goons who attacked our electoral system.

Meanwhile, the president-in-waiting delivered a heartfelt Thanksgiving message intended to lift our spirits in the wake of a crippling and vicious pandemic. The current president, Donald Trump, is too busy arguing that Biden “stole” an election that Trump says he won “handily.”

Yes, it is true we only have one president at a time. In a strange sort of way, though, we are seeing a symbolic presidency overshadowing the real thing.

Amazing, yes?

Preparing for challenge of a lifetime … or is it?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There are times when I watch public figures reach the pinnacle of whatever they are seeking to do that I wonder: What must they be thinking?

That thought has crossed my mind more than once as I observed President-elect Joe Biden prepare to become the head of state and commander in chief of our great and beloved nation.

Let’s set aside the nonsense that’s occurring on the sidelines, with the incumbent president who lost to Biden trying to perform some sort of hocus pocus by getting states to toss aside legitimate votes cast against him.

Instead, I am wondering how the president-elect is managing his emotions at this moment. It boggles my noggin, man.

This man has endured more heartache, embarrassment and misery than anyone I can fathom.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. He celebrated his 30th birthday between election day and when he would take office. Then in December of that year, his wife and infant daughter died in a horrific car crash. The young senator-to-be’s heart was shattered. He took office and then became a lion of the Senate.

Biden married again in 1975. He has said that “No man deserves one great love, let alone two.” He has flourished with Jill Biden at his side.

He ran for president in 1988. Then he got caught stealing lines from a prominent British politician. He re-cast the Brit’s life story and turned it into his own. Not good. He dropped out and returned to his work in the Senate.

Biden tried once again to reach for the highest rung on the ladder. In 2008, he ran against a young upstart senator from Illinois, Barack Hussein Obama. He lost that campaign. Then the Democratic nominee, Obama, selected him to be vice president. The rest, as they say, is history.

But along the way, unspeakable tragedy arrived once again, in 2015. The VP’s son, Beau, died of brain cancer, crushing the heart of his father. He persevered. He had to bury his second child. To paraphrase that earlier quote from Biden: No man should have to bury one child, let alone two. 

Now it’s Biden’s turn.

Something tells me a man whose emotions have been tested in the most profound manner imaginable is going to do just fine as he reaches this summit.

Giving thanks … even now!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Once upon a time, I used to write obligatory editorials for newspapers that offered words of thanks.

I mean, it’s Thanksgiving Day, right? A uniquely American holiday that is known around the world. Perhaps the most unique observance of this day I can recall occurred in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in November 1989.

My fellow journalists and I spent the day traveling from Cambodia during the day; we crossed the Mekong River on a raft full of folks carrying goods — and live animals — to market. We arrived in what used to be known as Saigon late that afternoon. We checked into our hotel.

We went to dinner that evening and the hotel staff, catering to their American guests, presented a meal of roast duck, mashed potatoes and peas. They wished us a happy Thanksgiving. It was delicious.

A Thanksgiving to remember … in Vietnam | High Plains Blogger

This year’s celebration brings its own unique quality. The world is enduring a pandemic. It has killed a quarter million Americans. There will be much more misery and heartache ahead. And yet …

We give thanks. We thank the first responders. We thank the medical personnel, the police officers and firefighters for their courage and dedication to protecting us. We thank teachers who educate our children. We are thanking the family members who endure the tragedy and we wish them Godspeed and our prayers.

We thank the researchers who are working diligently to find and perfect a vaccine that we hope will eradicate this killer disease.

We give thanks for our families, our friends and all those who are battling together.

I no longer write full time for newspapers. My work now is of a part-time, freelance nature. I give thanks to my employers for allowing me to keep my head in the game.

This truly is a time to give thanks and offer a word of hope that we might be finally on the road back to what we used to think of as “normal.”

We’re enduring this all at once. Let’s hope for better days … and let us give thanks for what — and who — we have around us.

Gen. Flynn: still a criminal

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A bit of perspective is in order as we ponder the pardon delivered by Donald Trump to the man who served briefly as national security adviser.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn received a “full presidential pardon” from Trump, who proclaimed that Flynn now can have a lovely Thanksgiving with his family.

Yes. He can. He can enjoy the holiday knowing he won’t go to prison.

However, the pardon does not erase the fact that Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI and to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russians who sought to attack our electoral system in 2016. That means, to be blunt, that he will be a criminal for the rest of his life.

I also should point out that despite the high praise Trump heaps on his disgraced national security adviser now he did fire him after 24 days on the job for lying to the VP, and said some harsh things — via Twitter, of course — at the time he fired him.

Trump’s pardon of Flynn does not expunge the record. It just keeps him out of the slammer.

Well, let’s all stay tuned. I am sure there will be more pardons to be delivered. Unbelievable!