Tag Archives: Kamala Harris

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.

Mondale blazed a VP trail

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The modern U.S. vice presidency has as its godfather a man known as Fritz. That would be Walter Mondale, who today died at the age of 93.

Say what you might about the likes of Democrats Al Gore and Joe Biden who came along after Mondale’s single VP term during the Jimmy Carter administration. Then we have Republican Dick Cheney.

All those men left their imprint on the vice presidency, too. They became key policy advisers to the presidents they served. Thus, the well-known phrase that former VP John Nance Garner attached to the office he occupied during Franklin Roosevelt’s first two terms as president, which he said wasn’t worth “a bucket of warm pi**,” no longer was relevant to the office.

Then came Mondale’s historic choice of a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, to run as vice president along with him as the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 1984. They lost in a historic landslide to President Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush.

Ferraro was the first woman to run on a national ticket. Republican Sarah Palin would run as VP in 2008 with Sen. John McCain and, of course, Kamala Harris would be elected vice president in 2020.

There you have it. Walter Mondale made history by rewriting the vice presidency and then made it again by starting to clear away the obstacles that kept women off the national ticket.

Fritz Mondale was a great man and a dedicated public servant. May he rest in eternal peace.

‘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 …