Tag Archives: 2016 election

Graham flip-flops … again!

Someone will have to explain to me why it’s such a big deal that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is now on record saying that Joe Biden was the “best man” to lead the country after the 1/6 insurrection.

Or that the South Carolina Republican had harsh things to say about Donald Trump in the wake of that hideous event.

Why am I questioning all of this? Because Graham once said Trump was “unfit” to become president, that he is a “nut case,” and that Trump is a pathological liar. Graham was correct in his initial assessment of Donald Trump. He said all of that before becoming one of Trump’s biggest suck-up sycophants in the Senate.

Audio: Graham said after Jan. 6 that Biden was ‘best person to have’ (msn.com)

Yes, he did say he was done with Trump, that he had “enough” of him after the insurrection. He has gone on to blather incessantly about how Trump is a shoo-in to be nominated by Republicans in 2024 and that he would support him if he ran — once again! — for president.

The latest revelations come from the new book by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, who’ve already revealed lots of quotes — with recordings to back them up — from The Donald himself. They make my hair stand straight up.

Sen. Graham, though, has been among the greatest disappointments for me as I have watched the Donald Trump era in D.C. unfold since the 2016 presidential election.

To be candid, I believe about as much that comes from Lindsey Graham as I believe what flies out of Trump’s pie hole … which is not a damn thing!

Thus, I am confused as to why anyone should take anything this clown seriously. To borrow a phrase from Graham, who said this about Trump after the insurrection: I’m out.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

How did this guy get elected?

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

As I watch the congressional probe into 1/6 trudge along — hopefully to a constructive conclusion — and then listen to the focus of that probe, the 45th POTUS, I have come to an inescapable finding.

It is that I will go to my grave wondering how in the name of political wisdom did Donald J. Trump ever get elected president of the United States in first place. And how in the name of all that is sane and rational did this guy ever avoid getting tossed out of office on his oversized backside after the House of Reps impeached him twice?

He preaches The Big Lie about the 2020 election. His cult followers cheer him on. Trump teases them with hints about possibly running again in 2024 in an astonishing bid to get elected a second time to an office he had no business at all ever occupying even one time.

I read this idiot’s comments, given that I prefer to read them than listen to the sound of his voice. I then wonder: What the hell is this guy saying?

The list of treachery, transgressions and outright treason are too numerous to check off here. You know what they are, what they entail, and you know of the damage they have done individually and collectively to our cherished system of representative democracy.

Trump’s election in 2016 is a case study of a politician benefiting from astonishing luck. The popular phrase du jour of that election cycle was that Trump managed to draw “an inside straight,” while winning the Electoral College and losing the actual vote by 3 million ballots to Hillary Rodham Clinton. I have read many accounts over the years since that fluke victory that Trump never believed he would win. When he did win, he was caught flat-footed, with no clue on how to form a government, let alone actually know how to govern.

Four years later, he got drummed out of office by a seasoned politician. He never accepted Joe Biden’s victory and skulked out of Washington the day before President Biden’s inaugural.

The 1/6 committee continues to gather information and sworn testimony from those who witnessed the disgraced ex-POTUS on the day of the traitorous riot on 1/6. We’re getting bits of info here and there about revelations on fake electors seeking to overturn the legitimate election results; about Trump sitting in the White House residence cheering on the rioting traitors; about the ex-POTUS considering blanket pardons for all the scoundrels who pooped on Capitol floors while shouting out their desire to find and “hang” VP Mike Pence.

There is much more to chronicle. I’ll leave it to you to piece together all that you have seen and heard from this moron.

I always have expected us to elect the best among us to public office. To think that one of the very worst among us managed to blunder and bumble his way into the White House simply defies my ability to explain it.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

GOP faces a reckoning

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There can be no denying that the Republican Party is facing a reckoning.

It has to decide if it is going to remain on the track laid out by an individual who has corrupted a once-great party. Or will it return to matters of principle and public policy?

The individual who corrupted the party — the 45th POTUS — lacks any defining principle. Unless you consider revenge, spite and chaos to be principles that define a political party.

POTUS 45 had zero Republican Party policy experience when he entered the 2016 GOP primary campaign. He won the party’s nomination that year by hammering his foes into submission. Then he won the presidency — with a bit of help from the FBI and its infamous e-mail investigation. He also won because of incompetence in the Democratic nominee’s campaign.

The presidency became POTUS’s play thing. Many of his top campaign aides found themselves indicted on criminal charges. The corruption ran throughout the highest rungs of his political ladder.

Oh, and then he got impeached twice. Once for trying to coerce a foreign government into doing his political bidding and once for inciting an insurrection that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Many of the men and women who served with him have stood behind his corruption and his venality. For what? Someone needs to explain to me the strange grip this clown has over a party with which he had no prior knowledge or familiarity.

The 2022 midterm election is coming up. POTUS 45 wants to have a big time say in who gets elected. He wants to elect those who are blindly loyal to him. Oh, boy. If the party follows that course, it will consign itself — as well as the nation — to a future shrouded in darkness and corruption.

I am a good-government progressive who wants the Republican Party to rediscover its basis for existing and to debate the Democratic Party openly and honestly without the hatred that stains the rhetoric that comes from the one-time Liar in Chief.

Is that possible? For the nation’s sake, I hope so.

Russia is not our equal

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump was fond of telling us — perhaps he still is, for that matter — that it “would be nice if we got along with Russia.”

His strategy for making nice with Russia meant sucking up to its strongman, Vladimir Putin. It meant giving Russia a pass when it interfered in our election and denying our own intelligence analysis that said the Russians did interfere. It meant never challenging Russia over reports that it paid Taliban terrorists a bounty for killing Americans on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

Trump’s strategy didn’t work. Putin didn’t take the American president seriously. He played Trump like a fiddle.

President Joe Biden has taken over. He isn’t going to play nice with what is a third-rate military power and a fourth- or maybe fifth-rate economic power.

There can be no mistaking that Russia wanted Trump elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. It hacked into our electoral system and sought to undermine the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Why? Because it would get a better deal — from their standpoint — with Donald Trump.

President Biden has made it clear that he intends to hold Russia accountable for the mischief it is making around the world.

Biden is only 102 days into the presidency. He wasn’t granted the courtesy extended usually to new presidents from those they succeed. Donald Trump did not allow his national security team to consult openly and freely with the new POTUS’s team.

I only can presume that President Biden will deal with Russia from his lofty perch as commander in chief of the world’s greatest military and as head of state of the world’s most vibrant economy.

Yes, I get that Russia still has all those nuclear weapons left over from its Soviet Union era. I also know that the doctrine of mutual assured destruction if they chose to use them has kept the rival nations from going, um … “MAD.”

Making nice with Russia? It’s a non-starter. Period.

Trump policies? What are they?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Not in a million, a billion, a gazillion years will I ever accept the dubious notion that Donald J. Trump’s followers are enamored of his policies … such as they are.

As a social media acquaintance of mine said this weekend, they were in love with his lies, his hatred of certain ethnic groups, with the manner in which he led them down some garden path.

They are waiting for some signal from their guy, the ex-president, that he’ll be back in the arena. The 2024 presidential election might beckon him.

Wait a second, though. Trump told Fox News that he cannot yet divulge what he intends to do in the future because of “legal issues.” Legal issues? What are they? He said he will decide in due course whether he’ll run for president again.

The legal issues hanging over his noggin likely have to do with the possible criminal indictments that might come from Manhattan (N.Y.) District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., or from Fulton County (Ga.) DA Fani Willis, both of whom are investigating separate but serious criminal complaints leveled against Trump.

As for the Trumpkins awaiting the possible return of their guy, well, they have been snookered into the cult that Trump developed from the moment he declared his 2016 presidential candidacy by declaring that Mexican immigrants were “rapists, murderers and drug dealers” coming to the United States to poison us.

Policies? He cannot speak to any of it.

Oh, the irony is rich

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am trying to understand the irony of Donald Trump’s assertion that a Joe Biden victory will come only if the election in November is “rigged.” The ironic richness is beyond belief.

The Russian government interfered in our 2016 presidential election. Its aim was to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Russians intended to sow confusion and suspicion in our sacred electoral system.

Think of it! The guy the Russians wanted to win four years ago is now doing the Russians’ work for them! The president of the United States is asserting that Joe Biden can win only if the election is rigged.

Trump doesn’t provide a scintilla of proof of what he suggests would occur. Yet he is now mounting a prejudicial campaign against an electoral system he took an oath to protect and defend. Yes, think also of that … if you dare.

The presidential oath contains a clause that compels the nation’s head of state to protect the very system that puts him in office. The U.S. Constitution undergirds the entire process. Yet the president is now threatening some unspecified action to challenge the results of a free and fair election if it doesn’t produce the result he prefers.

I keep circling back to what happened in 2016. You heard him encourage the Russians to search for Hillary Clinton’s missing e-mails, right? The Russian government led by Vladimir Putin commenced its attack on our system that very day. At Trump’s invitation! Was the 2016 election rigged? Did it produce an electoral result that was, shall we say, illegitimate? 

So now we have arrived in the here and now. Donald Trump, having benefited in some fashion from foreign interference in the previous election, is threatening to undermine the results of the next presidential election. He bases his threat on allegations he cannot prove. He is sowing the same seeds of doubt that his Russian benefactors did four years ago.

The irony is rich. It’s also dangerous.

Final report is in: Russia attacked us!

I guess you can file this in the “Better Late Than Never” category of official government findings.

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, the panel run by a Republican Party majority, has concluded what many of us knew already: Russia attacked our electoral system in 2016 seeking to aid in the election of Donald J. Trump.

It is a bipartisan finding. It lends credence to the assertions delivered by special counsel Robert Mueller III, who told us in 2019 that Russia attacked us and that they will do so again this year. The report confirms all of that.

It also puts to rest any phony denial — supported by Trump — that Russia didn’t do what has been alleged all along.

Recall that Trump stood next to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and openly dismissed reports from our intelligence experts that Russia had interfered in our 2016 presidential election. He sided with his pal, Vlad, standing before the entire world.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report now has put to rest any notion that Trump might try to foist on us that the Russia probe was a “hoax,” a “witch hunt,” or a fishing expedition.

It was none of any of those things. Indeed, the Senate findings also suggest that there was, indeed, “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian goons who hacked into our electoral system. Does that sound like “exoneration”? Not to me!

CNN reports: The report is all the more remarkable because it was led by then-Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. The report provides an exhaustive, bipartisan confirmation of the contacts between Russians and Trump associates in 2016 — and it was the only congressional committee that managed to avoid the partisan infighting that plagued the other congressional investigations into Russian election meddling.

What do we do with this report? It will remind me — just a chump voter and blogger who happens to be an American patriot — of the corrupt nature of Donald Trump’s political team … then and now.

‘T-word’ tossed out there … again

Oh, that goofball/demagogue/liar Donald J. Trump just can’t stop hurling the “t-word” at Barack Obama.

He said the former president of the United States likely committed “treason” by spying on the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. He said that former CIA director John Brennan knew about it; so did former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; same for former FBI director James Comey; of course, let’s not forget former Vice President Joe Biden … he knew about it, too.

Trump today called it the “biggest political scandal in history.”

Was it “treasonous,” Mr. President? Are you kidding me?

First of all, there was no “spying” done on the campaign. There were questions raised about allegations of Russian interference during the 2016 campaign. The Obama administration was obligated to examine it under the law.

Furthermore, for Trump to toss out “treason” once again amounts to demagoguery at its worst.

For the record, treason is defined by federal statute as a betrayal of the country, of doing something to aid an enemy state.

What’s the punishment for committing an act of treason? Death! 

I am so damn weary of hearing Trump spew this trash.

We have an election just over the horizon. For my money, it cannot get here soon enough. Donald Trump’s incessant posturing about alleged “spying” is dangerous and it needs to end.

It appears to me the only way to shut this liar down is to vote him out of office.

Russians are at it again … imagine that!

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Russia has its favorite American political candidate. His name is Donald J. Trump. Russia is doing precisely what Robert Mueller, the former special counsel, said it would do: attack our electoral system just as it did in 2016.

Is Donald Trump going to express any outrage over it? Is he going to meet with Republicans and Democrats in Congress seeking to find meaningful sanctions to levy against Russia?

No and no.

What in the name of electoral sanctity does it take for the Trumpkin Corps to wake up to the reality that their guy poses an existential threat to our democratic way of life?

He invited the Russians to find Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign; the Russians obliged. Trump stood with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and openly denigrated U.S. intelligence conclusions that Russia interfered in 2016; he sided with Putin. Robert Mueller got the task of investigating all of that and determined that Russia had attacked our election and said it would do so again. He was right. Trump’s response has been to disparage Mueller’s findings.

Trump hasn’t yet said a single critical word about Putin’s chicanery. He spoke on the phone with the Russian strongman, but didn’t bring up the issue of Russian electoral interference … or the issue of Russian goons placing bounties on the lives of American service personnel killed in battle against the Taliban.

Where I come from that is called “dereliction of duty.”

And yet, the Trump faithful continues to give him a pass. Whatever they might feel privately they keep strictly to themselves. The public outrage is nowhere to be seen or heard.

Donald Trump has become the most dangerous existential threat to the nation he was elected to govern. The Russians know it and, in my view, that is precisely the reason they are seeking to work on behalf of his re-election.

Trump’s boorishness is beyond … boorish

I am running out of ways to express my disgust and utter astonishment over Donald Trump’s public utterances.

I look at some of the public opinion polling that puts Trump at a 42 percent — give or take — approval rating and I wonder: How in the name of sanity does anyone continue to stand with this idiot?

Trump’s passel of platitudes now includes some hideous accusations about Joe Biden being against God, against the Second Amendment, how he has forsaken African-Americans, that he is a far-left socialist.

Trump sounds like someone who thinks he is going to lose the election in November.

Then he tells reporters that he might not accept the election results, which he says will be the result of the “most corrupt election in history.” What if the Russians interfere this year as they did in 2016 and try to persuade Americans to re-elect Trump? Then it’s OK, he will say.

Trump’s hideous record, exemplified by the reprehensible initial non-response to the coronavirus pandemic, only confirms what I and other critics have said all along … which is that this guy cannot lead the nation. He has no understanding of the role he took an oath to perform.

He is left now to fabricate issues against which he will run.

Trump’s incessant lying, demagoguery, posturing, fraudulent characterizations of his record have revealed to the world that the United States made a terrible mistake in electing this clown in 2016.

My goodness, we have to correct that mistake.