Tag Archives: Congress

GOP channels Democrats

Yep, it’s true. What passes today for a once-great political party is channeling the backbiting, backstabbing, in-your-face accusations of another great political party.

The Republican Party today is mirroring, more or less, the shenanigans of Democrats in the 1960s and 1970s. There is a big difference, though, in the context of these struggles.

In the 1960s, Democrats were at war with themselves over the conduct of an actual war, in Vietnam. Today’s Republicans are at war over something far less grim, but equally significant. They are feuding over how to govern this great country.

You had Hawks vs. Doves in the 1960s. The Hawks in Congress supported our involvement in the Vietnam War; the Doves wanted us to get out of there sooner rather than later. It was policy, man, that drove that internecine fight.

The policy this time is driving by those on the far right, the MAGA crowd, is throwing obstacles in front of mainstream Republicans who cling to the notion that they need to work with Democrats to enact meaningful public policy. The MAGA crowd — led by The Former Guy — obstruct efforts at, say, immigration and border security reform. They tie border security to funding the Ukraine war against the Russian invaders. They also tie the border to our continuing aid to Israel, which has declared war on Hamas over the terrorists’ hideous attack on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, 2023.

What’s TFG doing about it? He’s cheering on the MAGA followers, encouraging them to stop our government from doing its job.

Just as Republicans were virtually unified in their efforts in the ’60s and ’70s to wage war in Vietnam, Democrats today lock arms and don’t lift a finger to stop the battle that’s underway across the great political divide.

Wow! I think I’ll continue to hold on with both hands.

Good government gone … not forgotten

Do you remember when government at all levels — from Capitol Hill, to state capitols, county courthouses and city halls — worked for the people who pay their bills?

It wasn’t necessarily a government run by liberals. There once was a conservative movement that railed against government, but whose adherents didn’t stand in the way of government seeking common ground.

Those days are gone. I hope, though, that good government as I recall it isn’t extinct, like the dodo bird and the woolly mammoth.

I long for its return.

Even during the Ronald Reagan era, government could rise to the occasion. The 40th president declared at his first inaugural that “government is the problem” and the cause for the nation’s ills in the early 1980s. President Reagan, though, found a way to work with his old nemesis/drinking buddy Speaker Tip O’Neill to find a way into the light.

We have an entirely different climate today in D.C. Those damn MAGA morons have taken obstructionism to a new level, almost turning it into an art form. The progressive caucus on the other side also has dug in deeply, seeking unaffordable government actions, such as Medicare for All and forgiving every former college student’s debt.

For the purposes of this blog, though, I am going to aim my rhetorical fire at the MAGA cultists.

Because of the MAGA crowd’s ignorance, the U.S. House this year required 15 ballots to elect a speaker … and then only after he conceded so much to the MAGA morons that he made himself vulnerable to the ouster vote that booted him out of office.

This Congress has proved to be among the least productive legislative sessions in history. Why? Because the MAGA crowd insists on seeking something on which to impeach President Biden.

This isn’t good government in any possible form.

Just maybe there will be enough Americans who are as fed up as I am to dropkick the MAGA crowd to the sh***er. I don’t have a problem, per se, with conservatives as long as they understand the value of outreach on occasion to the other side of the aisle.

President Reagan understood it clearly. If only he were around today to lecture the MAGA morons on how to govern while standing firm on their principles.

45 days … nothing to cheer

U.S. House members must be high-fiving each other, slappin’ backs and telling themselves that they really know how to negotiate these deals.

It’s all just pure crap!

The House of Representatives has voted on a 45-day stopgap funding measure that reportedly will head off a potentially catastrophic government shutdown. The measure heads to the Senate, where it faces a friendlier audience.

This kind of government funding simply makes me sick!

Good government has no place in a House of Reps dominated by the MAGA-moron-club-of-kooks caucus within the Republican Party that boasts of being able to shut down the government if they don’t get their way on drastic spending cuts.

A much better way to run the federal government would be for all sides to come together and look for compromise. That’s not how Congress functions these days. The GOP majority is hanging by a shoestring. MAGA cultists keep threatening House Speaker Kevin McCarthy with his job if he doesn’t do their bidding.

The threat of a shutdown looms damn near all the time!

So, it appears Congress will set aside enough money to run the government for the next month and a half.

Then what? More of the same stubborn nonsense?

This is no way to govern!

What’s so wrong with ‘career politicians’?

You’ve heard it said millions of times, that someone is unfit for public office because he or she is a “career politician.”

I want to speak in favor of those who choose politics for a living, those who select public service as a career goal. I’ve never quite understood why these “career politicians” so often are held up as figures to be ridiculed, denigrated, reduced to four-letter words.

I am not a Pollyanna about this stuff, mind you. I’ve been watching career pols do their jobs for a long time. I spent nearly 37 years in the journalism trenches reporting and commenting on their activities. Some of them were, um, less than noble. I concede that point with no hesitation.

I’ve watched a few of them up close attain national stature. The meanest of them no doubt was the late Jack Brooks, the Democratic congressman from the Golden Triangle of Texas. He used to refer to himself as Sweet Old Brooks. Yep, he was an SOB, but he was “our SOB,” or so the saying went in Beaumont, Port Arthur and throughout Brooks’s congressional district.

Here’s the thing about Brooks: He got things done for his district. His constituents re-elected him many times because his staff did a good job of listening to people’s needs, concerns, gripes.

Career pols comprise a shrinking portion of Congress these days. Voters have expressed themselves with their ballots, turning away politicians who perhaps overstay their welcome. They bring in newcomers. In this current climate, many of the newbies see themselves as media stars, pushing their way into view of TV cameras. I cannot predict how they will wear over time.

I am not going to dismiss them immediately as flashes in the pan, although I am quite willing to make an exception to that rule: e.g., GOP U.S. Rep. George Santos of New York, the serial liar who needs to get the boot at the next election.

All told, though, I welcome career politicians. Someone has to do this job. Those who are willing and able to make public service a career and are willing to serve honorably, well … may they continue in their chosen field.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Sham ‘hearing’ worthy of scorn

You may take this straight to the bank because it is the unvarnished  truth, which is that I could have lived my entire life without hearing about a sham “hearing” conducted by MAGA cult members of Congress that actually saluted the criminals who stormed the Capitol Building on 1/6.

There they were: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz and Paul Gosar, among others, pretending to conduct a congressional hearing on the events of that terrible day.

All the while, the MAGA cultists insisted that the traitors who stormed the Capitol that day were being treated as political prisoners. The government, they said, wrongfully prosecuted them for crimes against our democracy because the 2020 election indeed was “stolen” from the guy who lost it legitimately.

What’s just as horrifying, of course, is that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — who owes his speakership to these MAGA morons — let it happen in the first place.

None of these yahoos hold chairmanships in any actual House committee. The hearing they conducted today was made up to look like an official event, when in fact it was nothing of the sort. It was a staged propaganda performance designed to denigrate the prosecutions that have put many of the “witnesses” who spoke today behind bars.

And why are the convicted felons? Because they stormed the Capitol, assaulted police officers assigned to protect members of Congress from the frothing mob, they smashed windows, defecated on the floor of the Capitol Building and threatened to execute Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over a congressional hearing to certify the Electoral College results of the 2020 presidential election.

Oh, did I mention that that the Republican incumbent lost that election to Joe Biden?

The traitors who answered the call to assault the government from the guy who took an oath to “defend and protect” the Constitution do not deserve anything other than the nation’s scorn for the crimes they committed.

That goes as well for the president who incited them.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Rep. Santos: without shame

George Santos is that rare politician who believes he can function as a “normal” elected official despite the enormous baggage he’s lugging around as a result of his lies and deceit.

The first-term Republican congressman from New York is an absolute, hands-down laughingstock. No one can possibly take seriously a single word that flies out of the mouth of this serial liar.

He got elected in 2022 by lying his way into office. Let’s see, he lied about:

His parentage, his professional career, his educational background, his marital status, his family’s connection to the Holocaust and 9/11. Oh, then he is accused of swindling money from someone he knows.

Santos’s constituents elected a mystery man.

Yet he now functions as if he hasn’t a care in the world beyond his duties as a congressman.

Good grief, man!

I don’t even know why I’m getting worked up over this. Dude represents a district far from my home in North Texas. But … he is able to vote on federal laws that affect all of us. I guess that gives me justification to gripe and bitch about this fraud.

Like the man who once sat in the White House, I am left to question every single utterance that flies out of Santos’s mouth.

He is just one of 435 House members. He needs to be shown the door. My hope is that the New York congressional district voters who sent him to D.C. in the first place will wise up when they cast their ballots again next year.

The guy is without shame.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Why no remorse?

There likely isn’t a good reason to ask this question of a disgraced former Texas state legislator, but I’ll ask it anyway.

Is Bryan Slaton a dyed-in-the-wool sociopath? 

Here’s the deal. Slaton, a Royse City Republican, was caught having sex with an intern. He filled her with alcohol and then had his way with her in his apartment in Austin. The House General Investigations Committee got wind of it, examined the allegation, and then recommended his expulsion from the Texas House.

Slaton testified before the committee and according to sources on the scene, he expressed zero remorse, contrition or offered nothing resembling an apology for his hideous action. He resigned his House seat, but the House expelled him anyway in a unanimous vote.

Isn’t that the behavior of a sociopath?

Contrast that with the reaction that came from another Republican politician, former U.S. Rep. Van Taylor of Plano. Taylor was running for re-election 2022 when it was revealed he had an affair with a woman who once was married to an Islamic State officer.

When word of his misbehavior got out, Taylor issued a statement calling his action the “worst decision I ever have made.” He apologized to his wife and children and then backed out of his re-election campaign.

Taylor at least had the good sense and appropriate contrition to apologize to everyone involved.

Not so with Slaton, who ran for election and re-election as a “Christian conservative” dedicated to the family values espoused by the Republican Party.

He’s nothing more than a sociopathic chump.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Debt-ceiling fight enters critical phase

Congress and the White House are fighting over an issue that doesn’t deserve this level of political bloodshed.

I refer to the debt ceiling. Congress should increase it as it has done always since the beginning of the Republic. But no-o-o-o! The Republican caucus in Congress, led by the MAGA cultists among its members, are seeking to make some sort of idiotic statement about the need to cut spending before increasing the ceiling.

How can I state this more clearly: If the nation defaults on its debts, the economy is going to crash; we will lose millions of jobs; interest rates will skyrocket; the world will feel the pain this nation will inflict on itself.

Do congressional MAGA cultists really believe this is sound fiscal policy? It is nothing of the sort!

I say all this as a way to suggest that I believe President Biden and the congressional leadership are going to find a solution before the June 1 deadline believed to be when the ceiling must be lifted.

If they do, and I believe it will happen, we are surely going to be treated with all kinds of back-slapping, high-fiving and self-congratulations from our political leaders over the courage they showed in ending this crisis.

It’s all crap!

I am afraid that the end will last only until the next debt-ceiling crisis arrives.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Word of warning: Don’t default, GOP

The men and women serving in Congress as Republicans seem to have lost their collective minds.

They are threatening to allow the United States — for the first time in its history — to default on its debt obligations. They want to negotiate big spending cuts to, um, reduce the national debt before allowing the debt ceiling to be lifted.

If Congress and the president fail to reach an agreement, well, catastrophe looms. President Biden says he won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling, because it’s an action the government has taken since the founding of the republic.

If we default on our debts, all hell is going to bust loose. All hell, I’m telling ya!

I don’t know about you, but I do not want to see my retirement portfolio flushed away. Yet that is what well could happen if we default on our debts.

I hasten to add that when Republicans served as president, the GOP was OK with raising the ceiling. No problem, man. They locked arms with their Democratic colleagues.

I also want to point out that the latest GOP pol to occupy the White House ran the debt up at a greater pace than any other administration in history. Where was the Republican outrage over that? I know the answer: There was none!

Congressional Republicans need to quit playing games and threatening to bring calamity to hundreds of millions of Americans’ financial well-being.

Time is running out. Raise the damn debt ceiling!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Santos to run again?

Why in the name of political sanity does anyone outside of a New York congressional district care about this moron’s decision to seek re-election to a second term in the House of Representatives?

I guess it’s because of the circumstances of his election in the first place and the fact that he actually votes on legislation that affects you and me far away.

George Santos announced he is running for re-election to the House in 2024. Santos is the dipsh** who lied his way to election in 2022. He lied about damn near every aspect of his life: his parentage, his faith, his work background, his education, his marital status.

The Republican has become a laughingstock. He embarrasses all Americans who are concerned about electoral integrity. I am one of those Americans.

This clown needs to lose his re-election bid next year. Indeed, many within his own GOP are saying the same thing.

But … here’s the thing: Santos has zero shame. Were he to actually win re-election, I fear it could open the door to even more frauds traipsing through the halls of Congress, a place that already suffers from abysmal public opinion ratings.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com