Tag Archives: Kamala Harris

Weaponization anyone?

Wait just a dadgum minute. Didn’t those Republican idiots who stood up for Donald Trump accuse Democrats of “weaponizing” the impeachment process during both of the impeachments that Trump endured?

Yeah, they did. What in the name of pure partisan politics is going on now with Republicans in the House saying they’re getting ready to impeach President Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Vice President Harris — and perhaps even the White House chef, for all I know — if they seize control of the House after the midterm election?

What in the world would be the basis for any of this absolute horsesh**? Is it because, um, that Biden managed to pass legislation without GOP help in Congress? Or that Garland decided to issue a lawful search warrant to find documents that Trump pilfered from secure locations in the White House? Of that Harris cast tie-breaking votes when Republicans failed to join Democrats in enacting legislation designed to help Americans?

Or — what the hell? — maybe the White House chef cooked a souffle that deflated too early?

I don’t know. I do know that whenever I hear this nonsense coming from the GOP side of the great divide on Capitol Hill, it fills me with a modicum of hope that voters across the land might be able and willing to spare us all the nightmare that awaits if the GOP takes control of Congress.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Expectations have let me down

My expectation of a transfer to smooth governance from an administration that prided itself on chaos, confrontation and confusion perhaps might have placed too large a burden on the new guys who took over in January 2021.

President Biden’s term in office so far has been anything but smooth, seamless and serene. Indeed, the administration has found itself fighting with Republicans in much the same manner its immediate predecessor fought with Democrats.

Except for one little factor that I had hoped would come into play: President Biden brought decades of legislative and government administrative experience to a task to which Donald J. Trump brought none of the above.

Silly me. I didn’t count — as I should have — on Republican obstructionism born out of the GOP’s anger over the way Democrats responded to Trump getting in the way.

But … it has.

To be sure, the president has been able to claim bipartisan victories on gun legislation and on infrastructure renovation. The number of Republican lawmakers to join their Democratic colleagues has been nominal … and that’s the nice way of saying it.

The recent enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act more or less illustrates a point I intend to make, which is that it is dangerous to govern only with the endorsement of those within your own party. Biden received zero Republican support in the House for the IRA. It took a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Harris to put the bill over the top in the Senate.

I had placed a great deal of faith in my belief that Joe Biden’s many decades in government would buy him some political capital that he could spend on behalf of our needs. My faith was misplaced, I am sorry to acknowledge.

Indeed, the president found himself in hot water with Democratic Party progressives because — and this just kills me — he boasted about how he was able to work with narrow-minded Republicans in pushing through legislation.

I continue to stand with President Biden because I believe in the crux of where he wants to lead this nation. He told us he wants us to treat each other with fairness and compassion. He wants to steer us away from the bitterness we heard daily from the four years his predecessor occupied the White House.

That’s all worth endorsing, at least in principle.

Except that Republicans continue to adhere to the politics of meanness and retribution. I hoped that a better day would have dawned by now. Maybe it will … eventually.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Second gent? Really?

Forgive my nitpicking. I can’t help myself at times, so cut me some slack.

Never before has the spouse of a president or vice president been a man. Until now. Doug Emhoff is married to Vice President Kamala Harris. OK, so why do the media keep referring to Emhoff as the “second gentleman”?

We have a first lady in the person of Jill Biden. Emhoff’s marriage to the vice president, therefore, makes him the “first gentleman.” Isn’t that right?

If women occupied both the presidency and vice presidency and were married to men, then the husband of the VPOTUS would be the second gentleman. Not now. Doug Emhoff, so far, is the only male American to have been thrust into the political limelight by virtue of his marriage to the vice president.

Let’s be more accurate, eh? Or perhaps I just am not understanding something.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

VPOTUS fighting back

Vice President Kamala Harris has been for years an inviting target for right-wing pundits and politicians.

So it comes as no surprise to yours truly that she now is being separated from the rest of the Biden administration and singled out for criticism that she is “underutilized,” that her office is in disarray and is dysfunctional and that President Biden is ignoring her best advice.

Hmm. Do you think perhaps there is some rumbling and grumbling out there that she might become the Democrats’ next best hope for the presidency? That perhaps she might seek to succeed President Biden if the incumbent decides to leave office after a single term?

Harris is answering the critics. She contends that all the tittering and chatter is just that and that she is a functioning member of the Biden team.

I get that some of the reporting on alleged discontent comes from mainstream media outlets, such as CNN and Politico. The reporting does feed, though, into the right-wing distortion machine that inflates any negative-sounding report into something unrecognizable.

President Biden has said he intends to run for re-election next time. I dislike the word “intend,” as it leaves too much for room for someone to change his or her mind. If he does, then my hope would be that he wins re-election in 2024.

If not, I believe the president has a fully capable partner in Vice President Harris. If only she could stop the rumor mill from grinding her to pieces.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

‘These officers are heroes’

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Yes, they are, Mme. Vice President.

So it was today when VP Kamala Harris along with President Biden conducted a White House ceremony to honor the Capitol and Metropolitan DC police officers who stood up against a rioting mob of terrorists who on 1/6 stormed the Capitol Building.

The mob’s intent was clear: to prevent Congress from doing its constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. Was that an insurrection against the government, against our democratic system? Yes. It was. There can be no doubt.

The president and vice president today honored the men and women who stood in the breech against the mob, those who were incited by the individual who lost the 2020 election, the 45th POTUS.

I was struck today by three aspects of the event as I watched Biden sign the resolution that honors the police with the Congressional Gold Medal.

One was the presence of the children who took part in the ceremony. President Biden took a moment to hand out the ceremonial pens to the children and then instructed them to give the pens to the officers gathered behind the desk where the president sat and signed the resolution.

Another was the presence of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican — the only GOP lawmaker present at a ceremony meant to honor the officers who protected all the members of Congress who were threatened by the terrorists. The absence of other key GOP leaders — such as Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy — is a shameful example of their political fealty to the twice-impeached former POTUS.

A third key point was the strong language that Biden and Harris used to describe the events of 1/6. They didn’t pussyfoot around what the whole world witnessed that day. We watched a frontal assault on our democratic system. We watched an insurrection take place in real time.

And yet, there are members of the very legislative body those officers protected who refuse to acknowledge the heroism and the patriotism of the officers who stood in harm’s way. They have disgraced their high office.

Enough about them. The men and women will be honored forever and ever for their courage in the face of blind anger and hatred.

Who’s a socialist?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The dictionary offers a comprehensive explanation of a term that has been weaponized in the current political debate.

It is socialism. The dictionary describes it this way :

” … a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

That is where I want to start this brief blog post.

Republicans throw the “s-word” out there whenever they hear a policy that want to oppose. It’s socialist, they say. Those who preach it believe in socialism. They want to strip away capitalism.

That’s the mantra of the demagogues who throw around “socialism” and “socialist” as if they know what the hell they’re talking about.

They don’t.

I have heard nothing from President Biden or Vice President Harris to suggest they favor taking over complete control of the means of production, distribution or exchange.” They remain, as far as I can tell, as dedicated to capitalism and the traditional American way of life as you and me.

That isn’t stopping the critics, though, from tossing around hot-button terminology as if it’s gospel. Socialism has become the term du jour that right-wing critics are using to scare the daylights out of those who adhere to their world view.

Here’s my suggestion for the day.

How about just chillin’ out? Americans elected a mainstream politician as our president in 2020. He chose an acknowledged political liberal as his running mate. Let us remember, too, that President Biden is in charge of the executive branch, which is one of three co-equal branches of government.

All of this is my way of saying that a president can propose all he wants, but it falls on the legislative branch — Congress — to enact legislation that becomes the law of the land.

Are the POTUS and VPOTUS going to pitch a notion that we become a socialist nation?

Not in a zillion years.

VP Harris to visit Texas … will Gov. Abbott be there, too?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Vice President Kamala Harris, who’s taken her share of hits for failing — so far — to visit the U.S. southern border after being put in charge of handling the immigration crisis, is coming to see it for herself.

She arrives Friday in El Paso.

OK, she’s been a bit late in laying eyes on the crisis. Some of the criticism is warranted. I won’t pile on here.

Kamala Harris is set to visit the border (msn.com)

I do want to know, though, whether Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will be on hand to greet her as she arrives. Will the Republican governor meet with the Democratic VP to discuss common problems and search for common solutions? Or will he continue to take pot shots at the Joe Biden administration, declaring its immigration policy to be a failure while asserting his desire to build a wall along the state’s entire border with Mexico?

Good government requires teamwork among state and federal officials. Here is a chance, I submit, for Gov. Abbott to join with Vice President Harris in ensuring that Texas is on the same page with President Biden and his immigration team led by the vice president.

I hope to see Gov. Abbott on hand to lend his voice to this important discussion.

VP goofs with Memorial Day greeting

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This news item came from Fox News, but you know what? The right-leaning news network makes a point in mentioning an error of omission that came from Vice President Kamala Harris.

The VP offered a Memorial Day greeting that wished us all a happy “long weekend.” The criticism comes from those who wondered why Kamala Harris didn’t mention the significance of the “long weekend,” which is the significance of the fallen warriors we honor each year.

The critics are correct. The vice president certainly understands the significance of the Memorial Day weekend. Yet for a sitting VP to fail to recognize it publicly with a social media greeting just makes many of us a bit chapped.

This is a somber weekend. Yes, we should enjoy each other’s company, the fellowship we are engaging in as we come out of the COVID pandemic. Let us also pay tribute to the Americans who paid the supreme price so we can enjoy “the long weekend.”

No ‘designated survivor’?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden is going to stand before a sparse gathering of officials Wednesday night for his first speech to a joint congressional session.

Here, though, is a strange wrinkle: There will be no “designated survivor” among the Cabinet members who can step into the office in the event of a catastrophe.

The COVID pandemic is going to limit the audience to 200 people. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be present, along with Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate President pro-tem Patrick Leahy. Harris, Pelosi, Leahy and Blinken all, in that order, would succeed to the presidency if something happened to those ahead of them in the line of succession.

So, were something to happen, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen would be the next to step into the office.

No designated survivor for Biden’s first joint address to Congress (msn.com)

Nothing is going to happen. Let’s stipulate that much.

It does kind of give me the creeps nonetheless to comprehend how much this pandemic has upset everything.

POTUS to speak to sparse ‘crowd’

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Joe Biden campaigned for the presidency in the midst of a pandemic, meaning that he avoided staging big campaign rallies.

As president, he is getting set to speak to a joint session of Congress this week. Hmm. Guess what … the House of Representatives chamber will contain a fraction of the number of people who usually listen to these speeches.

The Cabinet won’t be there. Only the Supreme Court chief justice, John Roberts, will be present, with the rest of the court staying away. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley will represent the military brass. Members of the House and Senate will be there. First lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will be in the VIP section, but they will be virtually unaccompanied.

But … the event will show off a bit of history-making. Sitting behind President Biden will be two women: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris.

I understand they’ll be masked up, as will the audience in the chamber.

An earlier blog post wondered how the partisans will react. Will they cheer the president’s arrival? Will they stand and applaud when Speaker Pelosi introduces him?

I am not going to obsess over things we cannot control. I am, however, going to applaud the precautions that the powers that be are taking to avoid creating one of those “super spreader” events.

After all, the pandemic is still raging.