Tag Archives: Joe Biden

U.S. still stands in dubious infamy

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The worldwide death count from the COVID-19 virus has surpassed 3 million human beings.

Of that total, more than 560,000 deaths have been among Americans.

OK, so what? Here’s what.

The United States comprises less than 5 percent of the world population of 7 billion people. However, our COVID-19 death count totals more than 20 percent of the worldwide total.

Five percent vs. 20 percent.

Hmm. What do we make of that? I’ll offer this brief bit of spewage/wisdom. The United States failed to respond in a timely manner during the pandemic’s early stages. Our president at the time, Donald Trump, did not sound the alarm. He lied to us about the severity of the pandemic and he withheld what he knew about what would happen, that the virus would spread and would become a worldwide threat to human health and well-being.

Trump got beat in the 2020 election. President Joe Biden is calling for a ramped-up effort to fight the disease. Vaccines have been approved and humans are being vaccinated at an accelerating pace.

However, dammit to hell anyway! We never should have been subjected to this level of misery and pain. If only we had been quicker on the trigger in this fight against a killer.

Insurrection + 100

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Where in the world does the time go?

It’s been 100 days since The Insurrection. I am not celebrating this momentous landmark. I will note it with shame and with disgust that the Big Lie that precipitated it lives on in what passes for the hearts and minds of those who followed Donald Trump’s exhortation to “take back the government” on Jan. 6.

We usually note the first 100 days of a new presidential administration. I’ll be happy to get to that in due course. Today, though, I want to commiserate over the Big Lie that needs to plowed asunder.

Donald Trump is holed up in Mar-a-Lago. He’s playing golf, entertaining allies, followers and friends. He steps out occasionally to say things in public that demonstrate just how evil — and yes, I’ll stick with that epithet — he truly is.

This individual’s evil intent foreshadowed The Insurrection of Jan. 6. He sought to derail the constitutional duty under way at that moment with Congress meeting to certify the result of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost to Joe Biden.

Why in the name of human decency is it seemingly lost on the Trumpkin Corps that this individual has not yet condemned the violence that killed a Capitol Police officer, injured dozens more and resulted in the deaths of four more participants in that horrifying event?

It’s been 100 days since The Insurrection. Congress awarded members of the Capitol Police force the Congressional Gold Medal over the objections of 12 House members who disliked the term “insurrection” contained in the resolution. What the hell? That’s precisely what it was!

The Insurrection will remain in a state of dormancy for as long as The Big Lie exists, for as long as Donald Trump continues to insist that the election was “stolen” from him, for as long as his minions continue to believe it.

Why doesn’t Donald Trump just kill it dead by declaring he was wrong to launch The Insurrection and that Joe Biden is the duly elected president of the United States? Because he is consumed by evil intent!

This POTUS listens to experts

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump famously told us that he “watched the shows” to learn about threats to national security and that he didn’t need to be bored to sleep with endless recitations of what he already knew.

Along came Joe Biden to succeed Trump as president of the United States. The latest president has reverted to the traditional script: The National Security Council prepares the “daily presidential brief” and presents it daily to the commander in chief, who then reads it and listens — apparently with keen interest — at what they have to say about this and that threat.

This is one of the many returns to “normal” presidential behavior that I have welcomed while watching President Biden handle the affairs of state.

Whereas the 45th president spent his entire adult life barking orders and never seeming to take advice from anyone, the 46th president has been schooled in the nuance and complexity of government. He spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate and eight years as vice president of the United States. All along the way, Joe Biden sought to play by rules written by all the men and women who preceded him.

Is he the perfect politician? Will he be immune from mistakes that all human beings make? No and no! However, it looks for all the world to me that President Joe Biden will be able to own his mistakes when he makes them. That, too, is a welcome restoration of what has become “normal” in the U.S. presidency.

Biden to scold Putin?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The days of Vladimir Putin getting a pass from the president of the United States appear to be over.

That said, I would pay real American money if I could become a “fly on the wall” in the room where President Biden and the Russian strongman/spook/tyrant/dictator hold their first summit … when it occurs.

They don’t have one scheduled yet, but the wheels are turning to get the two men together to talk about, oh, differences over policy.

Putin got all snuggly with Donald Trump during Trump’s four years in the White House. He interfered in two of our elections, Trump said nothing. Putin reportedly paid Taliban terrorists bounties for every American they killed on the Afghan fields of battle, but again Trump said not a word. He has sought to subvert Ukraine in an ongoing war with the former Soviet republic, but Trump kept quiet about that, too.

Joe Biden wants to look into Putin’s flinty eyes and and give him the what-for, to which I say, “You go, Joe!”

If only I could eavesdrop. Dang!

‘Endless war’ sees an end

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

An astonishing thought occurred to me today as I listened to President Biden’s announcement that he is ordering our troops home from Afghanistan.

Are you sitting down for this? Joe Biden is invoking a policy that mirrors one espoused by Donald John Trump!

Recall that Trump bellowed during the 2020 campaign, and before, about he wanted to cease getting this country involved in “endless wars.” Well, his successor has followed that course. President Biden today announced our final contingent of troops will be out of Afghanistan no later than Sept. 11.

So, this thought also occurs to me: Will there be a statement endorsing this policy decision announced by Joe Biden coming from his immediate predecessor?

I know. You’re laughing out loud! In a way, I am snickering under my breath as I type these words. Hell, how can Trump endorse anything that President Biden does without ever even acknowledging that he was elected to the nation’s highest office?

We might just have seen the weirdest joining of strange political bedfellows in memory.

Declaring victory?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President George W. Bush responded with strength and resolve nearly 20 years ago when terrorists declared war on this country.

He ordered the military into Afghanistan  to overthrow the government that had given the monsters safe haven. The war against international terror had begun.

I said at the time that I wondered how in the world we could declare victory. How could we ever know when we have defeated this enemy? I likened it a bit to the semi-cavalier approach espoused by the late, great Republican U.S. Sen. George Aiken of Vermont who said during the Vietnam War that we should “just declare victory and go home.”

President Biden has in a sense declared victory against the terrorists. He is bringing home the remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan no later than Sept. 11, the 20th year since the beginning of the longest war in U.S. history.

We didn’t start this conflict, but today Biden declared that we are about to finish this particular phase of it.

My fervent hope is that we remain on the highest alert possible for any future evil intent. I heard the president say that it is time for us to look forward, that the terrorist movement has “metastasized” and moved into many other areas of the world. It is time, he said, for us to focus our efforts beyond the Afghan battlefield.

Joe Biden is not wild-eyed. He does not strike me as being prone to making decisions based on hunches and gut feelings. The president is a studied creature of the government he now leads.

I do hope with all that I can muster that he can remove the relative handful of troops from the field of battle while ensuring that we can remain focused sharply on danger when it presents itself. That we can take a proactive posture against threats to our nation.

We do possess the nation’s strongest military apparatus. A first-rate intelligence service complements that force with seasoned and dedicated professionals. We also have a commander in chief who listens and acts on the advice and counsel he receives from the pros who are trained to deliver it.

Can we truly declare victory on the Afghan killing fields? I hope that is the case.

Biden: Bring troops home

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is with guarded optimism — with the emphasis on “guarded” — that I welcome the pending end of our nation’s longest war as announced today by President Biden.

The president today declared his intention to have all U.S. combat troops removed from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 20 years after what has been called simply “9/11.”

Terrorists hijacked jetliners and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that horrific day. A fourth jetliner became the scene of a fight between heroic passengers and terrorists and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. We went to war that day.

Joe Biden today, in effect, declared a form of “victory” in our fight against international terrorism. He wants to end our combat involvement in Afghanistan, where the Taliban gave safe harbor to al-Qaeda terrorists, enabling them to plot and execute the ghastly terrorist attack that drew us into the longest conflict in our nation’s history.

At roughly the halfway point in that struggle, our special forces killed the 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden.

To be sure, the terror threat cannot possibly be extinguished ever. It was there all along, prior to 9/11 and afterward. Indeed, President Biden today acknowledged that threat and vowed to deploy all available counter- and anti-terrorist strategies to protect us against further attacks.

I hope with all my heart that he succeeds in this effort. I no longer want to send our young men and women into battle. That doesn’t mean, though, that we ever let our guard down against threats such as what befell us on 9/11.

I remain dubious that the Taliban can be trusted as a negotiating partner. Thus, it is imperative that we keep our military on the highest level of preparedness moving past the date set for our withdrawal from the Afghan battlefield.

Joe Biden reminded us that four U.S. presidents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Biden — all have dealt with this conflict. President Biden vowed today he wouldn’t hand it to a fifth commander in chief.

I want to applaud this decision. However, I will hold off on that hand-clapping when we can know for certain that we have ended forever the threats of violence that can come at a moment’s notice.

Take the offer, Mr. POTUS

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Joe Biden has received an offer he cannot in good conscience refuse.

It came from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has invited Biden to speak to a joint session of Congress on April 28. Accept the invitation, Mr. President.

The speech won’t be a State of the Union address, per se. It would give the president a chance to speak to the nation all at once, seeking to lay out his legislative agenda and to keep a pledge he made to tell us “Help is On the Way.”

And it is.

The president has scored one key legislative triumph in the form of the COVID-19 relief bill. He wants more victories that he says will benefit Americans.

The Hill reported: “Nearly 100 days ago, when you took the oath of office, you pledged in a spirit of great hope that ‘Help Is On The Way.’ Now, because of your historic and transformative leadership, Help Is Here!” Pelosi wrote in a letter inviting Biden to address both chambers.

“In that spirit, I am writing to invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday, April 28, to share your vision for addressing the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment,” Pelosi added.

Pelosi invites Biden to address Congress on April 28 | TheHill

Joe Biden has a full plate of “challenges and opportunities” as he seizes control of our government’s executive branch.

My fervent hope is that he accepts the offer, agrees to speak to us directly, candidly and honestly. We keep hearing about the progress we are making in eliminating the pandemic. We see job creation accelerating after the battering our economy took in 2020 when the pandemic shut the nation down.

There’s more to do, to be sure.

Talk to us, Mr. President. Say “yes” to the speaker’s offer.

That’s how a POTUS should act

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.

The nation today saw a display of how our president fulfills an unwritten — but still highly critical — aspect of his job. President Biden stepped up and did his duty as our consoler in chief.

The remains of Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans were brought to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, not far from where he died when a lunatic sought to plow through a security barricade Evans was manning.

Joe Biden stood up and spoke directly to Evans’ mother, the officer’s two children and to the children’s mother. He told us how he feels their hurt, their heartache. How does he know? Because he has buried two of his own children and his wife. He spoke to them — and to the nation in human terms.

Two senior political leaders who also spoke today in the Rotunda — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer — spoke directly to the Jan. 6 insurrection and the heartache being felt by the Capitol Police Department.

President Biden did not speak to that terrible day. He had no need to mention. Instead, he spoke directly to the children of the hero they were honoring and to the nation that continues to grieve over this senselessness.

That is what presidents do.

No excuse for looting

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This should go without ever saying it, but I feel a need to state the obvious.

A young man is dead tonight from a gunshot fired by a Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer who thought she was pointing a taser at the young man. Instead, she fired her service pistol at his chest. He drove his car away, crashed it and then died on the scene of the wreck.

The response in nearly Minneapolis and in other communities has resulted in looting, vandalism and violence. It has been launched against people who have not a single thing on Earth to do with what happened to the young man, Daunte Wright.

President Biden issued a statement, declaring there to be “no justification” for violence. He acknowledges the right of those who want to protest peacefully. The president’s message likely will be ignored by the looters.

Two things about this case are astonishing in the extreme. Daunte Wright was a young black man; the officer who shot him is white. Moreover, the incident occurred about 10 miles from where a highly publicized trial — with former officer Derek Chauvin being charged with murder in the death of George Floyd — is under way. Floyd was black; Chauvin is white. You know the story about what happened to Floyd.

As USA Today reports: Biden stressed there is “absolutely no justification” for looting and violence.

“Peaceful protest is understandable,” he said. “And the fact is that we do know that the anger, pain and trauma that exists in Black community in that environment is real – it’s serious, and it’s consequential. But that does not justify violence.”

He added: “We should listen to Dante’s mom who is calling for peace and calm.”

Biden calls for ‘peace and calm’ after Daunte Wright shooting sparks protests in Minnesota (yahoo.com)

Is it me or do we seem to be entering a whole new phase of civil unrest, the likes of which many of us never have experienced?

What I want to know is this: How in the name of serving and protecting the public does a trained police officer mistake a taser for a fully armed service pistol?