Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Yep, he’s a killer

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Vladimir Putin laughed when someone asked him if he is a “killer.”

Then the Russian strongman/dictator/despot told the interviewer that he has no interest in dealing with rumors and reports about what kind of guy he is.

President Biden hung the killer tag on Putin in an interview some weeks ago. The two men will meet in a couple of days in their first head-to-head encounter as mutual heads of state.

In actuality, Putin is the killer that Biden has described. Thus, it is imperative that President Biden refuse to give any quarter in their talks … not that Putin is going to pull a gun out of his pocket during the meeting and, well, you know.

Putin laughs when asked by NBC reporter if he’s a ‘killer’ | TheHill

I have some hope that Biden is going to present a different sort of approach to this bilateral relationship than the individual who preceded him as president of the United States. Whereas the previous POTUS extolled how Putin flattered him, I don’t hear such nonsense coming from President Biden.

To be sure, the country Putin leads is a formidable power, although it it falls far short of the U.S. standing as the world’s remaining military superpower. Indeed, Russia’s economic standing sits on its tenuous supply of oil, which is the driver behind the Russian economy.

I want to bring this up because Putin is not our equal. Yes, the Russians have plenty of capacity to perform havoc on our democratic system, which they have done through at least two presidential election cycles.

President Biden vows to confront Vladimir Putin on his nation’s interference in our elections, on its abysmal human rights record, its efforts to undermine independence in Ukraine and its paying of bounties to Taliban terrorists who have killed American service personnel in battle.

If the men are engaging in what is called “frank discussions,” perhaps President Biden will be able to ask Putin what’s so damn funny about being called a killer.

‘America First’ gives way to alliance-building

(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A president of the United States who declares an “America First” foreign policy always must be mindful of a simple fact.

The United States of America cannot shirk its global obligations military, economically and environmentally, which means that the U.S. of A. must honor the alliances it has built over many decades with other nations who depend on our leadership.

President Biden is seeking to reconstruct the trust that his immediate presidential predecessor dismantled repeatedly during his tenure in office.

The term “globalism” has become a four-letter word in some sectors of this country. Whether in offices, or in coffee houses, barber shops or grange halls, we hear Americans dismiss the notion that this nation is part of a much larger — but oddly shrinking — global community.

That is why President Biden returned the nation to the Paris Climate Accords, to the World Health Organization, the Iran nuclear talks and reasserted our role as NATO’s senior partner immediately upon taking office.

It also is why Biden will sit down soon with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and, as he said the other day, “tell him things I want him to hear.”

Joe Biden is operating at the summit level from a position of immense strength. Whereas Biden’s predecessor coddled the likes of Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current president vows a vastly different approach. I do not expect President Biden to shake hands with Kim Jong Un for as long as Kim continues to murder his people.

And someone has to explain to me why such dictator-coddling in any form or fashion produces foreign policies that “put America First.”

It’s a new era dawning on the international stage with President Biden’s first foreign journey. In a way, though, it resembles a return to the way it used to be … which is all right with me.

Climate threat is real and dangerous

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden is seeking to redefine the term “infrastructure.”

However, he is running into plenty of old-school resistance from his former friends in the Republican Party, who continue to insist that infrastructure should include roads, bridges, airports and ship channels.

Biden sees a wider world than that. He has reeled in climate change and the effect it has on our way of life. That, too, deals with “infrastructure,” according to the president.

No surprise, but I happen to agree with President Biden’s broader view of the world and the impact of factors that change it.

Biden and congressional Republicans have reached an impasse. Biden wants a massive infrastructure bill to include work on climate change; Republicans think it’s beyond the scope of the traditional definition of the term “infrastructure.”

What, though, happens to our coastal communities if sea levels keep rising? Or to our seaports? To highways, bridges and other thoroughfares threatened by the inevitable warming of the climate and the effect it has on our environment?

That is why in my view climate change must take a front-and-center place among the issues that need our government’s attention.

Joe Biden brought former Secretary of State John Kerry on board as a climate change adviser. Kerry is working with heads of state around the world to rivet their attention as well on the impact that climate change is having on their nations. We have returned to the Paris Climate Accords, from which we withdrew four years ago.

I can think of nothing at all more compelling than finding a way to preserve Planet Earth’s ecosystem for future generations to enjoy. It might already be too late to prevent all the destruction of our planet that is coming. None of that should preclude any effort to seek ways to head it off or to limit the impact it will bring to the only planet we can call home.

Yeah, infrastructure must include climate change.

Biden: U.S. is back

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden arrived in the United Kingdom today delivering a message he intends to carry with him throughout his first trip abroad as the leader of the world’s greatest nation.

It’s a simple, but profound, statement: The United States is reasserting itself on the world stage.

I won’t belabor the point that’s been made here repeatedly, that Biden’s immediate predecessor damaged our nation’s alliances and emboldened our adversaries.

Instead, I simply want to extol the notion that the president of the United States is going to speak words of encouragement to our friends while offering words of warning to our foes. That, I submit, is how it should be.

Biden arrives in U.K. to press a message: ‘The United States is back’ (msn.com)

President Biden intends to parlay his intimate knowledge of the men and women who lead the world’s leading economic powers into effective relationships at the highest levels of government. That works for me. It also works for me that the leader of the world’s remaining superpower should speak strongly while admonishing those who would seek to do us harm. That would be you, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Joe Biden is going to speak to the world from a position of immense strength. The nation he leads has turned the corner on fighting the COVID virus; he intends to purchase hundreds of millions of vaccine doses and distribute them to nations around the world. Our economy is reviving at a rapid rate.

The president is not going to apologize for past mistakes. He intends to look forward. That, too, is all right with me.

I have said repeatedly for the past year or so that Joe Biden was not my first pick to succeed Donald Trump. He survived a brutal Democratic Party presidential primary and then thumped the incumbent president in the November election.

He didn’t take office as a novice politician. He is a seasoned hand who knows how government works. President Biden also knows the role that this nation must continue to play on the world stage.

I am heartened that he has pledged to bring this nation back to the center of the world stage where it belongs.

Give Putin the dickens, Mr. POTUS

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Vladimir Putin is in dire need of a stern lecture from the leader of the world’s remaining military superpower.

The Russian strongman is preparing no doubt for a summit meeting with President Biden, who has just commenced his first foreign trip as our commander in chief.

Biden has said in public that he plans to bring up at least three critical issues that his immediate predecessor, Donald Trump, didn’t bother to broach with his strongman pal.

They include: interference in our elections, human rights concerns, the paying of bounties to Taliban terrorists who kill American service personnel on the Afghanistan battlefield.

President Biden has known Putin for many years, owing to his two terms as vice president and his time as a U.S. senator. He told Putin once that he looked into the Russian’s eyes and “did not see a soul,” which Putin reportedly responded that the men understood each other.

Whereas Trump coddled dictators, President Biden has expressed an intention to take an entirely different approach in dealing with Putin. Joe Biden now gets his chance to demonstrate that he means business and that he will make Putin answer for the behavior he has sanctioned while governing Russia.

My hope for Joe Biden is that he deals with Putin as the leader of the world’s most powerful and indispensable nation and that Putin no longer can act as though Russia is our equal. It isn’t.

Market collapse? Yeah … right

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump and I have something in common.

Neither of us can predict outcomes worth a damn.

Perhaps you’ll recall one of the consequences Trump said would occur were Joe Biden elected president of the United States in 2020. He said the stock market would collapse, that the economy would fall into a death spiral, that Americans would be clamoring for Trump’s return to the White House.

Hmm. None of that happened. Indeed, the stock market has done quite well since President Biden took office, the economy is starting to rev its engines and, oh yeah, I don’t hear many Americans — other than the members of the Trump Cult Club of Lunatics — wanting any part of the former Imbecile in Chief.

All of this good news is helped, of course, by the success we have had in fighting the COVID pandemic.

With that I wish to declare that Trump and I do share a common trait. Now, if we can just get Trump to declare that he won’t offer lame-brained predictions in the future.

‘Normal’ looks so special

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A brief conversation with a member of my family brought to mind something I have thought since the Donald Trump Era came to a halt and we welcomed in a new era of “presidential normality.”

My family member couldn’t speak angrily enough about the way Trump conducted himself in office. I responded that my own view is that a “non-traditional presidency” wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if the president exhibited any form of competence. That is one of the many shortcomings that Trump brought to the office; he didn’t know anything about government and his actions reflected a knee-jerk, chaos-driven philosophy. The man is incompetent. Not to mention crooked, amoral/immoral and narcissistic. Oops, I just did.

Which brings me to this point.

President Biden’s normal approach to governing now looks special in its own right. It’s not that Joe Biden has scored dozens of key legislative victories. He has just one so far: the COVID 19 relief package that passed with zero Republican help. He well could roll up some more wins with only aid from fellow Democrats. That’s fine.

The Trump method just didn’t work. The Biden method — which features attempts at compromise and jaw-boning with the loyal opposition — holds considerable promise … if only the GOP members of Congress would cut the POTUS just a bit of slack. The problem, though, is that the GOP caucus is being dominated by the Loony Bin Wing, the Trump adherents who keep fomenting the Big Lie about 2020 presidential election vote fraud that did not exist.

I am going to stick with the guy who ran for office vowing to “restore our nation’s soul.” He’s got a ways to go before he can declare full restoration. The normal approach to governing, though, looks pretty good to me.

‘Reinstated’ in August? Huh?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If this report is true — and I believe it has legs — then it needs to be said loudly and with maximum clarity.

Donald John Trump is certifiably and clinically insane.

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who knows Trump as well as anyone in the media, is reporting that Trump is telling allies he believes he will be “reinstated” as president in August.

Yep. The election will be overturned. President Biden will be stripped of his office. It will be handed to Trump.

Hmm. Someone needs to call the paddy wagon. Fit the old ex-POTUS with a straitjacket. Send him to the loony bin. Let him talk to the walls about how the 2020 election was “stolen” from him and handed to the guy who beat him bigly by virtue of “rampant and widespread vote fraud.”

Trump is telling people he thinks he’ll be ‘reinstated’ as president in August, according to a report (msn.com)

Oh, my.

How in the name of political nuttiness does one escape the realization that Trump is out of his ever-lovin’ noggin?

I cannot. You can’t, either. No one can.

Let me be as clear as I can possibly be: There is no way on God’s good Earth that Donald Trump will be reinstated. Period. End of story.

Now, shut the hell up … Donald.

‘Assault on democracy’ explained

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A critic of this blog wants to know how Texas’s efforts to restrict voting is an “assault on democracy,” as President Biden has described it.

I’ll take the bait and offer what I believe is an explanation for all to read.

It’s an assault because our form of representative democracy — as I have understood it — intends to make voting easier for all Americans. Thus, states and local governments have enacted early-voting laws; they have given citizens a chance to cast ballots in a variety of ways; they have sought to extend early-voting days and hours to enable citizens to have their voices heard.

Texas Republicans along with their GOP colleagues in several other states have determined that such voting initiatives also lead to corruption of the voting process. They have concocted the Big Lie about the 2020 presidential election about “rampant vote fraud” where it did not exist and have projected it onto efforts to restrict access to those who wish to vote. The Texas GOP legislative caucus also wants to give judges more power to overturn election results.

One of the tragic consequences of this effort is that the GOP is  targeting minority voters who — get a load of this — tend to vote Democratic. Shocking, yes? Rather than seeking to compete head to head with Democrats over their ideas and policies, Republicans instead are seeking to restrict access to all eligible U.S. citizens.

Where I come from, I consider all of that taken together to be an assault on democracy. The Texas Democratic legislative caucus has stalled the GOP assault — if only temporarily. The Legislature likely will  reconvene soon in special session to figure out a new strategy to continue its attack on our democratic process. I hope Democrats hold firm.

This brief response likely won’t persuade my blog critic friend of anything. I just felt the need to clear the air.

Texas joins ‘un-American club’

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden calls Texas’s new anti-voting law “un-American” and “an assault on democracy.”

You know what? I happen to agree with him. Big surprise, eh?

As the Texas Tribune reports: Senate Bill 7, a Republican priority voting bill, would limit early voting hours, curtail local voting options and further clamp down on mail-in voting, among several other provisions.

Let me be clear about one point: One of those “other provisions” involves proof of identification when you go vote. I have no problem with requiring photo ID or some valid documentation to prove that we are who we say we are.

As for the much of the rest of it, President Biden is correct to presume the Texas anti-voting legislation is anathema to what we stand for as a democratic nation.

Joe Biden criticizes Texas bill that restricts voting hours | The Texas Tribune

“Today, Texas legislators put forth a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote, ” Biden said in a statement to The Texas Tribune. “It’s part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year — and often disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans.”

There you have it. Biden has identified what many of us believe has been a frontal assault by Republican Party officials against efforts to encourage voting. Their response has been to restrict avenues for Americans to cast ballots.

Think of this for just a moment. A nation that has suffered through low voter turnout — compared to many other industrialized nations — has taken a state-by-state approach to restricting voters’ access to the ballot box. To think, therefore, that Texas — where turnout is below the national average historically — wants to discourage voters from casting ballots.

Disturbing, indeed.

Texas Republicans are hiding behind the Big Lie about alleged “vote fraud.” The 2020 election was the most secure in our history. That hasn’t dissuaded the GOP from clamping down on access to voting.