Tag Archives: insurrection

Delay Senate trial? Sure … why not?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wants to delay the trial of the disgraced former president until February.

To which I am inclined to say: Sure … whatever.

The former president is out of office. A conviction won’t kick him out. He’s in Florida luxuriating at his posh resort/residence and playing lots of golf.

All he did to merit the second House impeachment was incite an insurrection on Capitol Hill. It happened on the Sixth of January. He egged on a mob, told ’em to walk to Capitol Hill and “take back the government.” That’s what happened and for that the House impeached the Insurrectionist in Chief.

If he’s convicted, and a delay might allow prosecutors to muster up even more evidence than what we all saw happen in real time, the Senate then can cast a simple majority vote to bar him from seeking public office ever again. That is the goal! It’s a noble one.

That is what makes McConnell’s request doable, even for those who want to rush to judgment against the former president.

I am not one of those. I am in no particular hurry to see him convicted. I just want House impeachment trial managers to collect all they evidence they need to get the job done.

Unity is elusive, but not impossible

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden laid down a critical marker that in any other time would sound like just another platitude.

This isn’t just any other time. Joe Biden has become president of a nation still reeling from the tumult, turmoil and terror of recent weeks. He stood on the steps of a Capitol Building that just two weeks ago bore witness to a violet insurrection of terrorists hell bent on inflicting grievous damage to our democratic process.

Biden’s inaugural speech spoke of unity, of healing, of reconciliation. He wants us to be able to disagree politically but not do so out of anger.

Yes, the president has set the correct tone as he now moves forward along with the history-making vice president, Kamala Harris, who becomes the first woman, the first African-American, the first woman of Asian descent to become VP.

It has been quite a day. A moment for the ages.

Can the president achieve the unity he seeks? Sure he can. It will be tough climb. He inherits the highest office in a deeply divided land.

Let’s not be coy about the barriers standing before him. President Biden succeeds a man — who he never mentioned by name in his inaugural speech — who sought to sow division and who governed with no sense of the diversity our nation’s citizenry.

Moreover, Biden offered a moment of silent prayer for the 400,000 Americans who have died from the pandemic. When did his predecessor ever do that?

President Biden’s immediate predecessor is now gone, but the cult that formed upon his election four years ago remains. Yet, Biden spoke to them today, vowing to work just as hard for those who opposed his election as he will for those who endorsed it.

Whether the opponents hear and heed that message remains to be seen and heard. Oh, man … I hope he can deliver the goods.

All in all? This has been a good day for the United States.

I want to make one final point: President Biden spoke of the fragility of our democracy. I concur to a point. Fragility, though, does not mean it breaks easily.

Thus, our democracy remains as strong as tempered steel. We saw that strength today.

Yes, governor, vet our Guard, too!

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has put his righteous indignation on full display and for the life of me I don’t get why he’s so angry about this effort to make us more secure.

Abbott is angry because the Department of Homeland Security is vetting Texas National Guard troops who are being deployed to assist in securing the nation’s capital in advance of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

He calls the vetting to protect against an inside conspiracy an “insult” to Texas Guard personnel. Abbott swears by the Guard’s love of country and just does not accept that someone within our state’s military ranks could be considered a threat to our government.

Really, governor? Are our men and women more patriotic than military personnel from other states? What in the world would Gov. Abbott think if someone from the Texas National Guard garrison was found to be a member of, say, the Proud Boys or is a QAnon supporter? Is that really and truly so out of the question that DHS and other national security team members shouldn’t check … just to be sure?

Settle down, Gov. Abbott. I share your respect for the men and women who sign up for duty to protect us. However, I also believe that given the attack we experienced on the Sixth of January, we cannot possibly be too careful in guarding against further outbursts of senseless violence.

Hoping for a honeymoon

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump didn’t get one when he became president.

My hope is that Trump’s successor, Joseph R. Biden Jr., is able to reap a benefit usually bestowed to shiny new presidents of the United States: a honeymoon period with Congress and with the public.

To be sure, President Biden will take office after arguably the bitterest, angriest and contention-filled election in U.S. history. He ran against a relentless liar to then, after losing the election, fomented the Big Lie — that the election wasn’t free and fair, that it was “rigged” by “widespread vote fraud.”

The Big Lie resulted in what occurred on the Sixth of January, the attack on our nation’s Capitol Building by terrorists egged on by Trump, who now awaits a trial in the Senate after the House impeached him a second time, this time on a charge of incitement of insurrection.

I know what you’re thinking: That is hardly a backdrop conducive to a honeymoon period for a new president.

I am going to remain hopeful nonetheless.

Joe Biden inherits a government in crisis. He will speak to us Wednesday about unification, about healing, about restoring our national soul. Yes, we have a killer pandemic that has killed 400,000 Americans. Our economy is in free fall. Our nation continues to struggle with deep divides among the races that comprise our diverse population.

Is a honeymoon even possible? I believe so. It could commence with an inaugural speech that tries to tamp down the fiery rhetoric that exploded after the election and culminated in the riot that sought to overturn the democratic process. President Biden’s success in seeking that unity will depend in large part on the receptiveness of Republicans, a majority of whom swallowed Trump’s Big Lie about the integrity of the election; tragically, many of those GOP Big Lie believers serve in Congress.

A new era is about to dawn over a capital still reeling from the terrorist onslaught. May it produce at least a glimmer of a honeymoon period with a new executive branch team working with the legislative branch in searching for a way out of the mess the predecessors left behind.

What do we call that riot?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have been grappling with how we should remember what occurred during the first week of this month, when terrorists invaded the Capitol Building.

Then I noticed a blog written by a friend of mine, a former colleague with whom I worked at the Beaumont Enterprise. Jon Talton, in his Rogue Columnist blog, called it “The Sixth of January.”

I read that and thought, “Hey, that has a bit of a ring to it.”

Rogue Columnist: Cold Civil War Turns Hot

It’s kind of like “9/11” has become a colloquial shorthand to which we refer to the attack on Sept. 11, 2001 by terrorists against the United States. When you say “9/11,” people know of what you are referring. I use that term all the time. Readers of this blog know to which I refer.

I am thinking now of using “The Sixth of January” as the new shorthand to describe the events of that hideous attack on our democratic process.

When you mention The Sixth of January, you will identify immediately with the attack that sought to prevent Congress — and Vice President Mike Pence — from ratifying the Electoral College vote that elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next POTUS and VPOTUS. It was an attack on our democratic process, on our very government … and it was incited by the lame-duck president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

Remember the Alamo. Remember Pearl Harbor. Remember 9/11. Remember the Sixth of January.

Hmm. Yeah, I might go with that.

Videos keep worsening Jan. 6 tragedy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

So help me I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

The New Yorker magazine today released a video from the Jan. 6 invasion of Capitol Hill by the horde of terrorists. It sent chills up my back; it made the hair seemingly stand up. Videos such as this provide ample and graphic evidence of what Donald Trump incited that morning while exhorting the crowd gathered in front of him.

Oh, and then we had Don Trump Jr. saying something like “coming after you” those who don’t turn from “zeroes to heroes” and Rudy Giuliani calling for “trial by combat.”

It just gets more repulsive daily, it seems, as video after video surfaces to show the world — yes, the entire planet — what kind of moron this nation saw fit to elect as its president four years ago.

The latest video shows terrorists busting through windows at the Capitol Building. They are marching under Old Glory, wearing those hideous MAGA hats, yelling “Where’s f***ing Nancy (Pelosi)!” They chant “Hang Mike Pence!” The video shows rioters pulling a police officer into the crowd and beating him within an inch of his life with flagpoles.

And  they scream “USA, USA, USA!” while attacking the very seat of our national government!

How in the name of decency does any of this make any godd*** sense?

The House impeached Trump one week later. He now will stand trial in the Senate. Trump will be out of office. Following true to form Trump said his conduct was proper. He takes no responsibility for the “incitement of insurrection” that he clearly and without any serious question is guilty of committing.

A Senate conviction won’t remove him from office. It can bar him from ever seeking public office again. That punishment would be good enough for me, even though I preferred a conviction during the first impeachment a year ago would have prevented all of this tragedy from unfolding in the first place.

Three days to go before President Biden takes the reins.

Oh, my. Let’s hold on for dear life.

Pipe down, Rep. Jordan!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan needs to stuff a sock in his yapper.

You see, the Ohio Republican is so damn angry with his GOP colleague Liz Cheney — Wyoming’s sole House member — that he wants the House Republican caucus to replace her as caucus chair. Why is that? Because she had the guts, the courage and stood tall on principle in voting to impeach Donald J. Trump.

That ain’t flying in Jordan’s chicken coop.

Cheney was one of 10 GOP House members to vote to impeach Trump on an article alleging “incitement of insurrection.” You know the drill, right? Trump exhorted the mob in front of him Jan. 6 to march down the street to the Capitol Building and “take back” the government from unknown or unseen forces.

The rest, as they say, is history. The mob ransacked the Capitol, killed five people — including a police officer — and proceeded to attempt what is looking more each day like a coup against the government. And why do that? Because Congress was gathering to ratify that Joe Biden beat their guy, Trump, in a free and fair election.

Cheney couldn’t abide by what she saw. So she did the right thing and declared her intention to impeach the president. Which she did.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, I am happy to learn, is standing behind Cheney. He ought to take his rowdy colleague Jordan to  the proverbial woodshed.

If anything, the House GOP leadership can use more politicians who are willing to be faithful to their oath of office, to the Constitution and to our government than to one man who has hijacked the party and turned it into a cult of personality.

Jim Jordan is a member of that cult. He should be ashamed of himself and stop trying to shame Rep. Cheney because she acted out of conscience and principle.

Biden facing tough prosecutorial call

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid down an important marker a while back when he said he had no interest in pursuing federal criminal charges against his predecessor as president of the United States.

I’ll just get this off my chest: I think that was the correct course for President Biden to take. However, Biden made that judgment prior to the events that occurred on Jan. 6, which is the insurrection that Trump incited with that hideous speech on The Ellipse.

The House of Representatives impeached Trump a second time just one week after that tragic event. Joe Biden will take his oath of office just one week after the impeachment.

Trump will stand trial in the Senate. What the senators do, of course, remains the Question For the Ages. A conviction won’t remove Trump from office; he’ll be long gone from the White House. It would deny Trump the ability to seek public office ever again.

Should the Justice Department pursue criminal sedition charges against a former president if it determines there is evidence that he committed a crime by telling the mob to walk down the street and “take back the government”? If it doesn’t pursue them, does that let Trump off the hook, letting him get away with a punishable felony?

Here’s another question. Would a federal prosecution put the soul of the nation — which President Biden vowed to restore — in even more dire peril? Would such a prosecution inflict mortal wounds on our national psyche?

I now am officially undecided on the pledge that President-elect Biden made, that he has “no interest” in prosecuting Trump.

Joe Biden might have to assess the national mood in real time as he faces whether DOJ should proceed with prosecuting Trump.

I am not suggesting that Trump should avoid all prosecution. State authorities are looking into myriad other allegations leveled against the president. They involve campaign finance violations, his personal finances, the activities of his closest advisers and even his own family and a host of other matters. Local prosecutors’ ability and willingness to prosecute Trump are beyond the federal government’s reach, which renders DOJ’s view irrelevant.

What’s more, I also believe that local authorities need to keep looking until they determine whether they have enough to level charges. And if they don’t …

President Biden’s lengthy political career, burnished by his legal background, prepared him to ponder the decision he likely must confront.

If only Donald Trump had exhibited a scintilla of decency on Jan. 6 by telling the rioters to stand down. He didn’t. He incited them to attack the bastion of the government of this great nation.

That’s why President Biden faces an agonizing decision.

Intended to assassinate leaders?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The hits just keep coming from the wreckage of what transpired on Capitol Hill.

The rioters stormed the nation’s seat of government. They intended to disrupt the constitutional proceedings under way, which was to certify Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States.

Oh, but that’s not the whole story … allegedly.

Federal prosecutors have issued a memo that suggests that one of the more notable rioters, a terrorist who was dressed in buffalo skins and was wearing a horned helmet and face paint, intended to “capture and assassinate elected officials” during the riot.

This moron’s lawyers want him released from jail on bail. The prosecutors are arguing against that notion.

Oh, my. This requires a deep, thorough and exhaustive probe into what the hell went on, why it occurred, who directed it.

It ain’t over, folks. Not by a country mile.

Good grief! We all issued a hearty and vocal “good riddance” to 2020. From my perch in North Texas, 2021 isn’t starting off too well.

Trump leaving office just as he entered it: awash in chaos

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.

The Chaos President is living up to his unofficial title.

Donald Trump is now five days away from being relieved of his title as president of the United States. It cannot come a moment too soon. Frankly, I wish he had left after a Senate conviction on his first impeachment but it wasn’t meant to be.

He is about to leave and the media are tripping over themselves trying to cover his imminent departure.

Chaos … anyone?

The House of Representatives has impeached Trump a second time. The legal eagles who defended him the first time are bolting. He is left now to be defended reportedly by Rudy Giuliani who — if reports are accurate — isn’t being paid for the work he has done already for the embattled, embittered and disgraced president. But seriously, how does one defend the indefensible, inciting a riot in the halls of our democratic system of government?

As for the rest of the White House, only the closest aides — comprising family members mostly — remain on duty. Trump has been closeted somewhere in the WH residence, having been deprived of his Twitter fetish.

Still, the media wonder. Where is Donald and what on Earth will he do once he’s out of office?

Jeb Bush says ‘I told you so’ | High Plains Blogger

To borrow a phrase from the infamous slogan seen one day on the back of the first lady’s jacket: I don’t really care … do you?