Tag Archives: 113th Congress

Hire the best … and listen to them!

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What do you know about this?

It appears President-elect Joe Biden might be inheriting an actual positive result that has its roots during the Donald Trump administration. That would be the seemingly pending discovery of a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly a quarter million Americans.

Two big pharma outfits — Pfizer and Moderna — have declared initial success with vaccines they are running through clinical trials. They boast of success rates of more than 90 percent. Finally there might be some good news to report after months and months of misery.

What is the president-elect’s task now? It is to adhere to the advice given him by the medical team he is assembling to combat this killer virus. Biden doesn’t want a nationwide lockdown. However, he must not be swayed by the political consequence of such an event.

Dr. Scott Atlas currently serves as Trump’s go-to guy on the pandemic. Atlas, though, is not an infectious disease expert. Indeed, he hasn’t practiced medicine for a decade. He is a hack, a political donor who landed a job that should have gone to someone with actual experience and knowledge of infectious diseases.

Atlas also had the terrible judgment to say that Americans should “rise up” against government mandates designed to save their lives. What the hell? He said he wasn’t advocating violence … but it looks like he was doing precisely that to me.

Please, Mr. President-elect, avoid that kind of appointment. Whatever you do, make good on your pledge to “follow the science.” Biden must surround himself with experts and then he must actually heed what they tell him.

The signs are filled with promise the new administration is going to march down a different path than the one used by the government it will replace.

That, folks, is a very good thing.

Immigration reform gets big boost

The overwhelming approval this week of the bipartisan budget deal signals a big win for U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

The question now becomes whether he is feeling his Wheaties enough to push through some other legislation that needs to be enacted — such as immigration reform.


The 332-94 House vote approving a budget deal that forestalls a government shutdown has been described as Boehner’s win over the tea party wing of his Republican Party. The tea party clowns also have been yammering against any effort to reform the nation’s immigration laws.

Boehner, until right about now, has been listening to the tea party crowd and saying things like the House won’t act on immigration this year, or maybe even next year. The budget victory now sends other signals that Boehner — who many believe wants to do an immigration deal — might be willing to step on a few more tea party toes.

Go for it, Mr. Speaker.

The nation needs desperately to give the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants living here a chance to come out of the shadows. Do they deserve a complete amnesty? No. They do deserve a chance to become citizens if that’s their desire. President Obama wants to enable those who were brought here as young children a chance to wipe the slate clean, given that they’ve grown up as Americans and know nothing other than life in this country.

The president has an unlikely ally in that effort in the form of GOP Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who also happens to be a tea party darling and who might run for president himself in 2016. Perry, though, governs a state with a large illegal immigrant population and he understands the complexities of the issue and knows how hard it is to round ’em all up and send ’em back the country of their birth.

So, I’m hoping Boehner can decide that the tea party wing of his party isn’t quite so fearsome and he can move immigration reform through the House of Representatives. If nothing else, he can help head off the designation that this Congress has earned for being so unproductive.

No one wants the “do-nothing” label hung around their neck, correct Mr. Speaker?