Tag Archives: Kamala Harris

‘Violence must end’ … do ya think?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke for millions of us.

As The Hill reported: “Yet again we have families in our country that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence,” Harris told reporters as she greeted Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. “There is no question that this violence must end and we are thinking of the families that lost their loved ones.”

Eight people died in a massacre at the FedEx distribution center in Indianapolis. The shooter then killed himself.

Harris on Indianapolis shooting: ‘This violence must end’ | TheHill

I won’t identify the lunatic on this blog. I choose to keep his name to myself; besides, you probably already know it.

I don’t know about you, but I am running out of ways to express my outrage over this kind of violence. I am left to throw up my hands, to shake my noggin back and forth, to offer a quiet prayer for the families of those latest victims of this madness.

President Biden has called on Congress to enact laws tightening background checks. He has issued an executive order banning “ghost guns” that have no serial numbers. He and others are imploring Congress to step up. I join them in that effort.

My hope is giving way to a cynical belief that we are being governed by cowards. Shame on them. Shame on those among us for putting them in power.

Comforters in chief weigh in

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are getting a crash course in the unspecified role the leaders of our nation must play … and it is coming in a major hurry.

Eight people died in a mass shooting in Atlanta this week. Six of the victims were Asian-Americans; the massacre occurred in three Asian-owned businesses. Police arrested a suspect, who told the cops he wasn’t driven by race, but instead by some sort of “sex addiction.”

Biden and Harris ventured quickly to Atlanta to offer words of comfort and they vowed to pursue justice heavily and with full force.

We now have an attorney general, Merrick Garland, who has hands-on experience dealing with domestic terrorism, having led an investigation into the April 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

None of us should wish any more of these calls to duty for the POTUS and VPOTUS. However, should the calls come — and they most certainly will — I believe we can be assured that President Biden and Vice President Harris will be up to the task.

Joe Biden possesses a remarkable well-spring of empathy that comes from his own intensely personal loss — of his first wife and infant daughter and of his adult son. Kamala Harris is the first person of Asian descent to serve as VP, so she feels the pain being inflicted on other Asian-Americans by nimrods who blame them for a virus that just so happened to have been discovered in China.

They are the comforters in chief. I am heartened that the know how to perform the role that has been thrust upon them.

Lesson learned from post-ACA debacle

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden, or more likely his White House team, has learned the lesson from an earlier legislative triumph that turned into a political debacle.

When Biden served as vice president in the Obama administration, he and President Obama’s team ramrodded through Congress a monumental legislative achievement: the Affordable Care Act. Biden famously whispered in Obama’s ear that its enactment was a “big f***ing deal.” And it was.

Obama then failed to sell the benefits of the ACA to the public. What happened then? Republicans took control of Congress in the 2010 midterm election, an event that President Obama described as a “shellacking.”

Fast-forward to this year. Biden has scored another huge victory with a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Its aim is to help Americans suffering economically from the pandemic that still grips the nation.

But … the president, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses are fanning out for as long as it takes to talk directly to Americans about why this package also is a big … deal. They want to avoid the thumping that President Obama took after scoring a big win with the ACA. The 2022 midterms are coming up in short order.

I wish them well.

Getting a vaccine … is a secret?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

How does one process this bit of news?

Donald and Melania Trump, the nation’s former president and first lady, received a COVID-19 vaccine in January, being among the first Americans to get the shot. But they kept it secret! They did it under the cover of secrecy!

Compare that with the public display by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the current POTUS and VPOTUS, who along with their spouses got their shots in front of cameras.

President Biden and Vice President Harris wanted to make a public show of them getting vaccinated against the killer virus. They chose to lead by example, as opposed to the modus operandi followed by Trump, who continued to give the notion of vaccination the short shrift.

I am scratching my head. Not in disbelief, mind you. I am baffled by the idiocy of the protocol followed by the former administration.

This is how you politicize an action that in a more perfect world should be utterly free of politics. Getting a vaccine against a disease that has killed 500,000-plus Americans ought to be something to be hailed, for government leaders to pronounce loudly.

The news about Donald and Melania Trump, along with Mike and Karen Pence, getting the vaccine in January has just been made public. I am wondering whether the ex-president and ex-VP ever intended to say whether they got the vaccine.

The politics of this news tracks the same way as MAGA followers and others on the far right have sought to denigrate mask-wearing as a deterrent against the virus. They disparage those who wear masks, preferring to congregate closely among themselves, shouting loudly and proudly their approval of rhetoric they endorse.

This past week’s meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., could provide some evidence of the folly of those who continue to disrespect the notion of masks and social distancing. The crowds that gathered in the meeting hall comprised individuals who shunned the masks. Will there then be an uptick, or even a serious spike, in infection rates among those who attended the CPAC gabfest?

Time well could reveal much about the wisdom of politicizing vaccinations and taking measures to prevent illness or even death.

Donald Trump’s secret is now known. He got the vaccine. How might that bit of news play among those who (a) follow Trump’s rhetoric over the cliff and (b) denigrate the very action their hero took to keep himself safe.

Hmm …

Biden set to re-emerge

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

While many of us around the country were fixated on the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, his immediate successor as president was, shall we say, lurking in the shadows.

President Biden chose to do the smart thing. He said virtually nothing about Trump’s troubles in the Senate. The president blew off questions from reporters on the impeachment trial. He said the Senate would do its work; that the managers would do their work; he expressed next to zero interest in the trial.

I don’t believe much of that. I cannot possibly know how the president spent the bulk of his day, but I feel reasonably certain he had one eye on the trial even as he sought to gather support for the COVID relief package he is ramrodding through Congress.

What I do find refreshing, though, is the relative public silence that President Biden has maintained. It’s remarkable, too, given that Vice President Kamala Harris’s name emerged as a possible witness in the Trump trial; Trump’s legal team reportedly was interested in issuing a subpoena for the VP. The “why” of it, though, remains a mystery to me.

The trial is now over. Donald Trump is officially acquitted of the charge that he incited an insurrection. Our attention now can turn to actual governance, actual legislation, actual negotiation between the head of the executive branch of government and those who lead the legislative branch.

Trump’s future as an active politician, by my reckoning, is likely finished.

I intend to focus more attention on issues that matter and on the politicians who have a direct hand in determining the direction of this great country.

Wishing to put distance between now and the immediate past

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It might be just me, but I am sensing a serious desire among many millions of Americans who yearn to welcome a new presidential administration with an extra sense of zeal.

We’ve been through a tumultuous past four years. It started with a president declaring an end to what he called “this American carnage.” The presidential term ended with another rash of carnage spilling on the steps of our nation’s Capitol Building, inside the structure, threatening the very democratic process that makes us proud to be Americans.

We somehow got through the horrible event of the Sixth of January. The House the following week then impeached the president for inciting the riot that erupted on Capitol Hill. A week after that we welcomed President Biden and Vice President Harris to the pinnacle of power.

The former president jetted off to Florida. Vice President Pence managed to shake the hands of the new president and vice president.

I cannot possibly know what is in the hearts of all Americans. My own heart is quite full tonight after watching one of the strangest inaugurals I ever have witnessed.

There were no large crowds. No grand parade. The former president and the new president did not share a limo ride from the White House to the Capitol.

Throughout the day, my sense has been a feeling of relief that the past is behind us along with a strong desire to put it farther behind us … in rapid fashion!

Yes, many crises confront the new president and vice president. The pandemic needs focused attention from the center of our federal government. Our worldwide allies need assurance that our nation has returned to its rightful place on center stage. Our climate is changing. Our nation is torn by racial strife.

I get a sense that we now have considerable faith in President Biden and Vice President Harris are up to the task of moving us forward.

How to react to new POTUS?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The day is progressing and as Donald Trump completes his tumultuous term as president of the United States, I am left to grapple with a bit of conflict among my emotions.

Oh, make no mistake, my overarching emotion will be of happiness that this vile, venal, vicious human being will no longer represent me as president. Joseph Biden Jr. presents a return to a more “normal” head of state/commander in chief.

His predecessor will take off Wednesday morning from Andrews Joint Base. He’ll head to Florida. He will be gone from my house, our house. That is all good.

I am wondering now, on this day before, whether the moment Biden and Kamala Harris take their oaths will produce some sort of emotional response. You know … will I well up, swallow hard. Yeah, probably.

That’s OK. I also am trying to dial back my expectations of what President Biden will be able to accomplish. The pandemic is no respecter of who’s in charge of affairs in Washington. The 100-day mask-wearing request seems reasonable to me. Biden will order masks to be worn on all federal property; that, too, makes perfect sense.

He wants us to pull together as Americans, patriots, lovers of our country. Hey, I’m all in.

A big day awaits us Wednesday. It should be full of emotion for all Americans and I include even those who are sorry to see Donald Trump fly away into private life. I can’t speak to how they will react. It’s of no concern to me, frankly.

I am just looking forward to a new day.

POTUS-VPOTUS pairing more critical than ever

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The ghastly insurrection the world witnessed this past week has torn open many sores, revealed many flashpoints about our government.

One of them involves the relationship between the president and vice president. It is now on full display and that pairing becomes even more critical as we move in just eight days from one administration to the next one.

Donald Trump exhorted the mob to march on the Capitol Building, where at that very moment Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over a congressional session to ratify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Spoiler alert: Trump lost that one; President-elect Joe Biden won bigly.

Trump tried for days to browbeat Pence into doing something he had no power to do, to ignore the Electoral College results and declare that Trump won. Pence told Trump he had to follow the Constitution. That didn’t set well with Trump. He reportedly was furious with the VP.

The mob stormed into the Capitol Building. It occupied the speaker’s office, ransacked several other offices, stole computers … and sent the congressional session scurrying for cover. That included Pence. Oh, and rioters also were yelling “Hang Mike Pence!” while they were bludgeoning overwhelmed police officers with flag poles flying Old Glory.

It took Trump six days to even talk to the vice president after the attack. Did I mention that the rioters were intent on harming or killing the vice president?

I believe I can say this with confidence, but Trump never valued the experience that Mike Pence brought to the administration. Trump chose Pence because Pence is a darling of the evangelical Christian movement, which Trump manipulated during his term in office. Pence was a Trump toadie to the core, standing up for Trump even as the president embarrassed and shamed the presidency and even as he told lie after lie to the public.

They will be gone soon. President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will bring an entirely new and presumably more constructive relationship to the executive branch of government.

Try to imagine President Biden turning his back on Vice President Harris were she put into the spot Pence found himself during the insurrection. It would never happen.

For that matter, Biden’s role as VP during the Barack Obama administration wrote a new chapter in that relationship that should become the standard for future administrations to follow. President Obama routinely refers to himself and his family as “honorary Bidens” and describes the new president as his “brother.”

Yes, this relationship is critical to the max. We are witnessing in real time just how dysfunction can ruin such a pairing and the potential it has for ruining the conduct of our government.

Ready to use the term ‘president’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Allow me this moment to boast.

I made a vow four years ago that I never would attach the term “President” in front of “Trump” consecutively, that I was so repulsed by Donald Trump’s election that I could not possibly bestow the title directly in front of his name.

My pledge rankled many of the Trumpkins who still read this blog. I stand as firmly behind that pledge today as I did when I made it to myself — and declared it publicly — four years ago when Donald Trump became president.

Indeed, the events of the past week only have solidified in my own mind and heart the decision I made. Accordingly, with a new president and vice president about to take office I gladly will refer to President Biden and Vice President Harris.

To be fair and in the interest of full disclosure, I have referred on this blog to Mike Pence as Vice President Pence. Why the VP and not the president? Because my loathing of Trump is so intense, so visceral and so personal that I just couldn’t bring myself to bestow the title of president on him while writing about him. Pence is not my ideal politician, but he at least knows how to conduct himself in the high office he will occupy for just a few more days.

OK. The past is going to recede quickly. I want to deal in the moment with what we have in front of us. To my way of thinking, we will welcome a president who will restore the office to the stature it deserves. We also will have a vice president who, if Joe Biden follows the script he and Barack Obama wrote when they took office in 2009, will be the last person in the room when it’s decision time.

Welcome aboard, President Biden and Vice President Harris!

So much good awaits the nation

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will confront many challenges when they take office in nine days.

A coronavirus pandemic continues to rampage across the land; an economy is still shedding jobs because of that pandemic; the nation must rebuild its alliances around the world; it also must confront our adversaries, including those who have attacked our nation’s cyber networks.

However, we also can await some good news from the new government executive team. One of them will include the lack of demagoguery from the new president.

Joe Biden pledges to be president for all Americans. I believe him. Yes, I voted for him and for VP Harris. Part of my vote came with my trust that he is a man of his word. We endured four years of listening to a president say certain things, but do other things in contradiction to what he said.

Mexico would pay for The Wall; not so. The “American carnage” would stop; it only has gotten worse, as evidenced by the insurrection this past week on Capitol Hill. The pandemic was “under control”; it is running wildly out of control.

The immediate past president tweeted hourly. His policy pronouncements and top-level firings have become damn near legendary. President Biden is highly unlikely to forgo that form of communication.

A president with no government experience made a shambles of our government norms. The new president with decades of government experience will  restore them. He pledges to restore our national “soul.” I also believe in the sincerity of that promise.

I look forward to normal behavior and an absence of blind, raucous demagoguery from our commander in chief.

Big challenges await. So does some major promise.