Tag Archives: Nancy Pelosi

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.

Who will cheer this POTUS?

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Presidential speeches to joint congressional sessions have devolved over many years into partisan events.

Presidents of one party stand before senators and House members and deliver lines designed to draw applause. The way it usually plays out is that lawmakers from the president’s party stand and cheer while those on the other side of the room sit silently while their “friends” offer the cheers.

So that will be the backdrop next week as President Biden strides to the podium to tell Congress about his big plans to help the nation continue to recover medically and economically from the pandemic that has ravaged us.

Joe Biden has trumpeted himself as being a politician with plenty of friends on the other side of the room. He is a Democrat who has worked well — in the past — with Republicans in the Senate, where he served for 36 years before becoming vice president in 2009. Why, he’s even drawn high praise from his GOP colleagues over those many years.

They aren’t about to praise him now. The mood is markedly different these days from the time in 1973 when Biden first joined the Senate. There’s a whole lot of snarling taking place these days.

He’ll have a Democratic House speaker sitting behind him at the joint session, along with the vice president, Kamala Harris. We’ll get to watch them cheer the president’s remarks.

My curiosity will be piqued, though, when President Biden enters the room as the sergeant at arms announces his arrival. Will congressional Republicans have enough good manners about them to stand and cheer when our head of state enters? Or will they continue to exhibit their petulance over losing the 2020 presidential election?

I am willing to acknowledge that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at times bristled openly at Donald Trump’s remarks and behavior during his speeches to Congress. Her anger manifested itself spectacularly when she stood and tore up the text of Trump’s speech to pieces in front of the whole world.

If only we could expect better behavior this time around.

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.

Yes, open a Jan. 6 probe

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – to the surprise of no one who reads this blog regularly – is someone I admire greatly. She demonstrated it again today.

Why? She declared her intention to ramrod the creation of a blue-ribbon, bipartisan, independent commission to examine thoroughly the events that led to the insurrection that occurred on the Sixth of January.

She intends to find out who was responsible for it, why the rioters/terrorists did what they did, on whose instruction, their purpose … all of it.

Pelosi aims to have this commission follow the lead of the 9/11 commission that President Bush created after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. That panel, led by former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, formulated a detailed response to what went wrong. It also recommended the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. I also should add that we haven’t been hit by foreign terrorists since that dreadful day.

We have, though, been plagued by domestic terrorists, the likes of whom stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 intending to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election, which produced a winner not named Donald John Trump. FBI Director Christopher Wray said in 2019 that domestic terror groups posed a greater threat to our national security than monstrous outfits such as ISIS or al-Qaeda.

Must we get to the root of what happened? Must we find out whether the rioters were answering some nefarious call to arms by the then-president of the United States, who told them he would be among them as they marched on the Capitol Building, only to watch it unfold from the White House?

Yes, the speaker of the House is seeking answers to questions that are troubling many millions of Americans.

Count ’em: 11 GOP heroes emerge

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Eleven Republicans emerged this afternoon during a vote to kick a fellow GOP House member off two committees because of insanely offensive remarks she has made.

Just 11 of them. Out of more than 200 members of the GOP caucus. Sad. However, the number of Republicans with courage exceeded experts’ predictions.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene no longer serves on the Education and Budget committees. The House today voted her off the panels because she is a QAnon follower who has said some amazingly crass things about tragic events. Such as that the Sandy Hook and Parkland school massacres were made up; that 9/11 didn’t really occur; that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to hold elected office; that Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be assassinated.

It was a bipartisan vote today to remove her from any committee assignments. However, many of us with there would have been more Republican House members to join their Democratic colleagues in speaking out against the hate spewed by Rep. Greene.

I am sorry to say that no one in the Texas GOP congressional caucus rose up against Greene. They all stood with her. I intend to ask my congressman, Republican Van Taylor of Plano, why he voted “no” on removing her from Education and Budget panels. I hope he answers me directly instead of sending out a boiler-plate helping of platitudes.

For now I want to salute the 11 House Republicans who mustered up the decency to do the right thing by rebuking a colleague for the hatred she represents.

Wrong audience, Rep. Greene

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter 

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Well now … that is nice. I guess.

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — the QAnon queen of the House of Representatives — met with her Republican colleagues behind closed doors.

She reportedly offered an apology to her colleagues. We don’t know what she said because it was done behind closed (and presumably locked) doors. Then, when she finished, she got a standing ovation — again, reportedly — from roughly half of those in the room.

I do not accept her apology. Because she made it to the wrong audience.

Rep. Greene needs to apologize to the parents of the first- and second-graders who were slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School; she called their murder a hoax.

She needs to apologize to the survivors and the loved ones of the Parkland, Fla., who died in another horrible school massacre. She has said that event also was made up

Greene needs to apologize to the family members, friends and assorted loved ones of those who died in the Pentagon on 9/11. She has declared that the Pentagon never was hit because there is “no evidence” of a plane flying into the office building.

Rep. Greene needs to apologize to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in person, for declaring her desire to see the speaker “executed” for committing an act of treason.

Finally, Greene needs to apologize to the rest of us out here who are utterly appalled that a member of Congress could hold the hideous beliefs that fester in what passes for this woman’s heart.

None of that likely will happen.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is a disgrace.

Time to ‘move on’? Not just yet!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Republicans in Congress want to “move on” from the events of the Sixth of January. They are calling now for “unity” in the nation, that Americans do not want to see Donald Trump put on trial for inciting an insurrection against the government of this great nation.

I don’t think I will move on. Nor should any of us put the horrendous events of that terrible incident behind us. We need a full, thorough hearing on what the nation witnessed in real time and the U.S. Senate needs to put all its members on record on whether they believe Donald Trump committed a crime on that momentous day.

The Senate is preparing to conduct the second impeachment trial on Donald Trump’s conduct as president. The Senate acquitted him in early 2020 on charges of abuse of power and of obstruction of Congress.

Now comes this event. To my way of thinking, what Donald Trump did on Jan. 6 was tantamount to launching an attempt coup against the government. The terrorist mob marched on Capitol Hill with many terrorists intent on harming Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Their “crime”? They were presiding over Congress’s sworn duty to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, which Joe Biden won.

Is it really time to “move on” from this incident? Do we just throw up our hands and say that none of it matters any longer just because Trump is no longer in office? Good God in heaven, no!

I say this understanding that Trump is likely to walk away once again with an acquittal. That outcome will cause me some internal grief, but I’ll get over it.

There must be a full hearing of what Trump did that day. What the mobsters did in response to his egging them on. The consequences of what could have occurred had they achieved their stated aim of overturning a free and fair election.

They attacked our democratic process.

Once we hear it all, every detail of it, only then can we move on.

Impeach him … again?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I almost couldn’t believe what my own ears had heard come from the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nancy Pelosi actually said she is keeping possible impeachment of Donald Trump in her “quiver” of weapons to use against the president as he seeks to name a successor to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wow, man! Let’s ponder that one.

The House already impeached Trump. The Senate led by Republicans acquitted him in trial. The House, though, made its point by impeaching Trump on charges that he abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress’s effort to learn the whole story behind alleged “collusion” with Russians who interfered in our 2016 presidential election.

Is the speaker serious? Is she really prepared to impeach Donald Trump again? 

Let me be clear on this point: I do not want the House to re-impeach Donald Trump. My reluctance has nothing to do with the merits of an impeachment. It has everything to do with the blowback I believe would occur if the House were to proceed with such a drastic move.

It might be merely that Pelosi, as tough a pol as there is in Washington, is firing a barrage across Trump’s bow. She wants him to hear from her that she is quite serious in preventing Trump from acting on his appointment prior to the presidential election.

Pelosi told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos this morning that she is not taking anything out of her arsenal of weapons to use against Trump.

It enrages me in the extreme to hear Mitch McConnell thump his chest anticipating a quickie hearing and vote on a lifetime judicial appointment that is likely to affect the balance of power for a generation.

I am hopeful there can be a way to forestall this pending appointment … without impeaching Donald Trump. I fear such a move would loose the hounds that well could propel the president to a second term.

I can barely type those words without breaking into a cold sweat.

Pelosi speaks great truth about relying on knowledge, facts

The blistering critique of Donald Trump delivered by Nancy Pelosi clearly had one major goal, which was to point out — in Pelosi’s view — the ineptitude demonstrated by Trump in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the speaker of the House of Representatives’ letter to congressional Democrats also spoke to a larger issue that bears a brief examination. It is that we need to rely heavily on the knowledge of individuals educated specifically in the field of fighting the pandemic that is sweeping around the world.

Yes, the speaker spoke of Trump’s lies, his ignorance, incompetence, his confusion, chaos, mixed messaging, bullying … all of that and more. The president displays it in abundance every time he stands before a microphone and talks about the pandemic.

He politicizes this crisis in ways that sicken many of us. The issue at hand is the safety of human beings. Americans are longing for a president who can speak with authority on his caring for his countrymen and women. Donald Trump cannot exhibit that caring. He simply is not wired that way.

So we are left to depend on the experts. Trump has no shortage of them at his disposal. You’ve seen them and heard them. They are learned men and women who’ve spent their entire professional lives studying and battling these diseases. They are the individuals who need to be heard. Not the politicians … and damn sure not the nation’s top pol, the president of the United States.

Let me be clear about this point: Not every politician speaks with the vacuous volume that comes from Donald Trump. We’ve heard from governors and mayors who express sincere empathy with those who are suffering. However, these individuals are not inclined to delve into scientific details about which they are not as informed as the experts with whom they are surrounded. One cannot say such a thing about the president who continues to insist he knows far more than he does.

So, with that I want to suggest that the greater truth that came from Nancy Pelosi should resonate with all Americans who want to hear unvarnished facts about the fight against coronavirus. They won’t get them from the Politician in Chief.

Pelosi puts it out there: Trump shows weakness

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is giving Donald Trump a taste of what he has dished out to her, meaning that she has declared that the president is exhibiting signs of weakness and not strength while floundering in his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi has delivered a blistering critique of Trump in a letter to her Democratic House colleagues. She says Americans should ignore Trump and listen exclusively to the learned scientists and physicians who have the knowledge and expertise to explain the pandemic to a worried public.

Pelosi wrote: The truth is, from this moment on, Americans must ignore lies and start to listen to scientists and other respected professionals in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

I will quibble with one point: The time to ignore the “lies” began long before “this moment.” Still, the speaker is spot on in her assessment of Trump’s inability or unwillingness to lead a nation in distress.

She said that Trump continues to “obfuscate” and lies openly when he says the United States is testing more than any other nation on Earth for the COVID-19 virus; the truth is that we’re testing only a tiny fraction of Americans.

Trump would have us believe the response has gone swimmingly. The reality is that our hospital workers are drowning under the weight of the pressure they are feeling, as are ambulance crews, police officers, firefighters, nursing home employees, grocery store clerks, truck drivers …  you name it. Yet they’re all answering the call with true heroism.

Trump has dished out a boatload of insults at Pelosi stemming from the House impeachment effort earlier this year. The speaker is now giving some of it back.

I believe the speaker when she says she prays for Trump. I will join her in praying for the president and I’ll save a healthy dose of good will and prayer for the speaker as well.