Tag Archives: CNN

Biden, Harris set a refreshing pace

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I just watched our new president and vice president on TV, interviewed together for the first time since the election.

My first  reaction? What a remarkable change from what we have endured for the past four years!

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke candidly, openly and thoroughly with CNN’s Jake Tapper, who I should add did not lob only softball questions at them. They spoke clearly and cleanly about whether they would allow family members to stay involved in business interests that could conflict with their roles as president and VP; they both said “no.”

And so … we are heading toward a return to the norms of the nation’s highest offices that Donald Trump has trashed.

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to when President Biden and Vice President Harris take their oaths of office.

I no longer want to see public policy dished out via Twitter; Biden says it won’t happen. Nor do I want to see the president bullying and pressuring the attorney general to investigate so-and-so for such-and-such; Biden says that won’t happen, either. I yearn for a return to this nation as a world leader among the nations of the world; Biden and Harris said the United States will restore our alliances.

I want the president and vice president to lead our fight against the COVID pandemic by demonstrating they, too, will wear masks and practice social distancing. President-elect Biden said he will issue a direct order as president that anyone doing business in federal buildings will be wearing masks and staying apart from each other; moreover, he pledged tonight to ask all Americans to mask up for the first 100 days of the Biden administration.

Biden believes nationwide mask-wearing will help reduce the rate of infection, illness and death. If he wants us to wear a mask, then I am going to do as he asks.

Yes, the nation is about to leave the age of chaos and confusion on the side of the road. I like what I heard tonight from the new team.

The ‘most important line’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza listened to Barack Obama peel the bark off Donald Trump’s hypersensitive hide Wednesday and came away with what he believes is the former president’s most cogent line about his successor.

Cillizza writes: “And with Joe and Kamala at the helm, you’re not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day. And that’s worth a lot. You’re not going to have to argue about them every day. It just won’t be so exhausting.”

As Cillizza noted in his own analysis, the discussion won’t turn on specific policy statements. Instead, he writes, “It’s about a country absolutely exhausted by Trump — his norm-busting, his misinformation, his junior high school bullying, and his tweeting, his tweeting, his tweeting.”

There you go.

I admit to being worn out by Donald Trump. Every single day of the presidency on this individual’s watch has been exercise in “Can he top the previous day?” Sadly, Trump has managed to do it.

I don’t want, as President Obama said, to awaken every morning wondering what in the world the president has done to cast a pall over this nation.

I want normal behavior in the president. I want Joe Biden to restore the dignity that used to personify the office.

Trump and his team have become unhinged

Donald John Trump just cannot stomach the notion that Americans are turning against him and his effort to win re-election as president of the United States.

He has actually demanded that CNN, for instance, retract and apologize for a poll that says at this moment Joe Biden — the presumed Democratic Party presidential nominee — has a 14-percentage-point lead over the smartest politician in human history.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time in its 40-year history that CNN had been threatened with legal action because an American politician or campaign did not like CNN‘s polling results,“ says David Vigilante, the network‘s executive vice president and general counsel.

Yep, Trump is threatening to sue CNN. Why? Because the network has produced a poll that doesn’t comport with Trump’s distorted view of the nation.

Did we hear such nonsense when George H.W. Bush was trailing Michael Dukakis by 17 points in 1988? Or when Walter Mondale was losing to Ronald Reagan by 20 points in 1984? Or the time Barack Obama was leading John McCain by 10 percentage points in 2008?

Donald Trump needs to toughen his thin skin. Then again, maybe not. The more he gripes about such utter nonsense, the more ridiculous he sounds. If only his base of sycophants could see what the rest of us have been seeing all along.

Apologize for poll? Seriously, Mr. POTUS

Knock it off, Mr. President.

Your demand that CNN retract and apologize for a public opinion poll that puts you 14 points behind Joe Biden is ridiculous on its face.

It’s also a bald-faced, hardly veiled ploy to fire up your shrinking base of supporters who just cannot accept your failure to lead in the wake of the COVID pandemic and your ghastly response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

CNN says it stands by its polling. Your damn right it does. It certainly should stand by it. Your childish claim that CNN’s polling is faulty deserves to be laughed out of any room where it is brought up.

Let’s get real, Donald. You very well might lose your re-election bid. Sure, I get that you pulled your chestnuts out of the fire at the last minute in 2016 and surprised everyone on Earth by defeating Hillary Clinton. I suspect you surprised even yourself, as it has been reported over the years that you were so sure you’d lose that you hadn’t done any pre-transition planning prior to declaring victory on Election Night 2016.

Well, that was then.

I doubt the former VP is going to get sucked into the trap that swallowed up Hillary four years ago.

As for the polling, you’d better just live with it, accept the grim numbers and seek to turn them more in your favor.

Oh, and just for the record … I hope you fail in that effort. I will do my part to ensure you get drummed out of the office you had no business winning in the first place.

Justice on its way for jogger?

The incident occurred in February. The nation only heard about it this week.

The outrage has been ferocious and by most accounts highly justified.

Now comes word that that two men involved in the shooting of a jogger in Georgia have been arrested, jailed and charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Yes, the two suspects are white; the victim is black. One of the men is a former sheriff’s deputy and former district attorney investigator.

This is a hideous story.

Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael allegedly shot a young African-American man, Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Ga. Arbery was jogging in the neighborhood when one of the suspects shot him to death.

It has fueled yet again the argument that young black men are in peril simply because of their skin color.

According to CNN.comAccording to a Glynn County Police report, Gregory McMichael, 64, later told officers that he thought Arbery looked like a person suspected in a series of recent break-ins in the area.

After they chased down Arbery, McMichael told police, Arbery and Travis McMichael, 34, struggled over his son’s shotgun. The elder McMichael told police that his son shot Arbery after the latter attacked him, according to the police report.
Obviously, I wasn’t there. But this whole story stinks like a rotting fish. It’s tragic that it took a dose of national outrage for the authorities to do what they likely should have done long ago. This saddens and sickens me.

A reporter boycott in the making?

This idea comes from one of my social media contacts; he’s actually a friend who comments on my blog regularly.

Donald Trump’s latest disgraceful dressing down of a broadcast journalist has become far too great of a distraction. His tirade this past weekend against CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond was just the latest example of his intolerance and petulance with journalists who merely are doing their job — which at times requires them to ask difficult questions of the commander in chief.

My friend posted this: They need to stage an organized walkout and not return or broadcast until he behaves decently. They’re enabling his behavior by tolerating it.

The “they” in his message are the reporters assigned to cover the White House for their various organizations.

Diamond asked Trump if it was appropriate of him to boast about the great response he has mounted against the coronavirus when the death toll surpassed 40,000 Americans. Trump was having none of it and lashed out at Diamond, at CNN and at the media in general.

I generally oppose boycotts, but I am starting to come around on this one.

A boycott by the media of the White House “briefings,” which no longer provide any real news is beginning to sound like a sensible response to Trump’s egregiously intemperate behavior.

These daily ramblings by the president of the United States have stopped providing anything useful for Americans to digest. They serve only as a forum for him to rant and roar against those who decline to lick his boots and kiss his backside.

Would such an act produce a change in behavior? Well, that’s the nagging question. The answer is far too elusive to pin down. I tend to believe it wouldn’t … but the notion is starting to appeal to me.

CNN gets skewered for asking a legitimate question of POTUS

Jeremy Diamond is a fine young reporter for CNN, who on Sunday was doing his job while sitting in the White House press briefing room. His job includes asking probing questions of the man standing in front of him, the president of the United States.

Diamond happened to ask Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump why, in the face of a death count from coronavirus that topped 40,000 in the United States, he was congratulating himself for the “great job” he said he is doing. Diamond asked “Is this the time” for such “self-congratulation?”

That sent Trump into orbit. He said CNN delivers “fake news” and said he was speaking on behalf of all the first responders. He said Diamond doesn’t “have the brains you were born with.” Then he compared the treatment he allegedly gets from the press to what President Abraham Lincoln got when he ran for president in 1860. Good ever-lovin’ grief, man!

If you listen to Trump’s campaign rally-style riff at the briefing room, it is clear that he is speaking ofhimself and not of the men and women he purportedly was praising. Thus, Diamond posed a perfectly legitimate question of the individual who signed on to the presidency knowing he would be questioned aggressively by the media whose job is to hold him accountable for his actions.

Despicable.

Trump sure to ramp up his war against ‘fake news media’

Donald Trump sought Monday to turn a White House “briefing” on the coronavirus pandemic into a campaign pitch for his re-election.

To their credit, two major cable news networks — CNN and MSNBC — decided that viewers did not need to see a propaganda video in place of what was supposed to be an analysis of the federal government’s response to the worldwide health crisis.

Fox News, of course, stayed with it, no doubt to Trump’s pleasure. That’s their call.

I want to applaud CNN and MSBNC for exhibiting sound news judgment in deciding that Trump’s self-aggrandization should not be part of a sober assessment of a health crisis that has killed more than 20,000 Americans and sickened more than a half-million of us; and be sure, those numbers might be far fewer than the reality, given the shocking shortage of testing equipment to determine the actual infection rate.

You can take this to the bank as well: Donald Trump is going to ramp up his war against what he labels falsely the “fake news media” outlets that refuse to pander to his every wish.

He doesn’t grasp — or refuses to grasp — the principle behind a “free press.” The principle that he ignores is that the media do not work for him; they work for the public.

That likely won’t stop the Imbecile in Chief from going ballistic against the media who, I hasten to add one more time, are just doing their job.

Pence’s pettiness is so unbecoming

You have pettiness … and then you have Vice President Mike Pence.

The VP, who heads the Trump administration coronavirus pandemic response task force, has issued the strangest decree I can imagine.

He has ordered Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx — the task force’s preeminent medical experts on infectious disease — to stop appearing on CNN. Why? Because the network has chosen not to cover the entire task force briefings, which almost daily devolve into a campaign riff Donald J. Trump.

The president says nothing of importance at these briefings. Fauci and Birx, though, do offer expertise and knowledge of the fight in which we are engaged. CNN has chosen to report later what the principals say rather than covering them live.

That’s not good enough, says Pence.

If the briefings concentrated exclusively on the medical issues and if they focused more on the doctors than on the president, I could understand covering these events fully in real time. They don’t. They  become a forum for Trump to lie, to misdirect, to criticize others for the failings of his administration’s response to the pandemic.

CNN is not the only major media outlet to cease airing the briefings in their entirety. As Yahoo.com reported:

The New York Times, another outlet that has been a target of the Trump administration’s ire, stopped airing the briefings on its website entirely.

“We stopped doing that because they were like campaign rallies,” Elisabeth Bumiller, the paper’s Washington bureau chief, told the Washington Post. “The health experts often have interesting information, so we’re very interested in that, but the president himself often does not.”

Mike Pence petulance rips a page straight from the Donald Trump playbook. It’s disgraceful.

Hey, Blago … you aren’t a ‘political prisoner’

I have to weigh in briefly on a ridiculous assertion by the former Illinois governor who contends he was a “political prisoner” sent to prison for eight years by “corrupt prosecutors.”

Rod Blagojevich had his sentence commuted by Donald Trump. He’s now out and is telling the world that he was imprisoned because of, um, pure politics.

Actually, he wasn’t sent to the slammer for those reasons. A jury of his peers convicted him of trying to “sell” a U.S. Senate that had been vacated by Barack Obama, who had been elected president of the United States. He was caught in a recording offering the seat to the highest bidder. I believe that fits the description of, dare I say it, a “quid pro quo.” It was an illegal act that stunk to high heaven.

Blago wasn’t a political prisoner. He got caught participating in an unseemly, corrupt political act. He was told to pay a price of a 14-year prison sentence.

Then along came Donald Trump, the former “Celebrity Apprentice” TV host. Blago had been a contestant on his show. So the former TV celebrity-turned-president thought he’d do his good friend a favor.

He set him free.

A political prisoner? Hah! Give me a break!

CNN’s Anderson Cooper challenged Blago’s assertion. Check it out here.

Gov. Blagojevich is off his rocker.