Tag Archives: NY Times

Liz Cheney: no martyr

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Frank Bruni is a superb columnist for the New York Times.

He is passionate about many issues dear to progressives, especially marriage equality; I mean, he is a gay man who writes frequently about the issue … and does so with superb rhetoric.

That all said, I believe he is mistaken when he implies in his latest column that Rep. Liz Cheney is positioning herself as a martyr of some sort. I don’t believe that’s happening.

Cheney is likely to lose her House Republican caucus chairmanship because she voted to impeach Donald Trump in January for inciting the infamous riot at the Capitol Building.

She remains what she always has been: a conservative Republican who voted overwhelmingly in favor of Trump’s agenda. That isn’t good enough to save her leadership post. The Trump cult that comprises most GOP House members want her gone.

So she’s going to keep harping against Trump. Good for her! Is she pretending to be something other than a conservative GOP lawmaker? I don’t see it.

Opinion | Is Liz Cheney a Martyr — or Just a Hack in Holy Drag? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Is this true? Really?

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

In the realm of a “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy” category of reports, this one really blows my mind.

U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican and staunch culture warrior along with being a strident supporter of Donald John Trump, is now being investigated for engaging in a sexual relationship with an underage girl. What’s more, Gaetz is being looked at in a case of sex trafficking.

This is according to the New York Times. Other media have picked up the story.

Gaetz denies the accusation. That’s to be expected.

What is astonishing in the extreme is that this case involves a loudmouth TEA Party/Freedom Caucus conservative who holds himself up as a champion of old-fashioned cultural standards.

This guy is a standard, run-of-the-mill chump. Pure and simple. Now he might be a criminal … allegedly.

Hypocrisy, anyone?

Texas feels the shame

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas continues to take its lumps over the near-disaster we experienced a week ago.

You see, a state that has prided itself on its ruggedness, its independence and its know-how is being pounded over the failure of an electrical grid that was supposed to carry the state through the worst weather imaginable.

It sure didn’t do the job.

Indeed, now we hear that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas was about four minutes away from a total collapse.

As Ezra Klein wrote in the New York Times: Second, it could have been so much worse. Bill Magness, the president and chief executive of ERCOT, said Texas was “seconds and minutes” from complete energy system collapse — the kind where the system needs to be rebuilt, not just rebooted. “If we had allowed a catastrophic blackout to happen, we wouldn’t be talking today about hopefully getting most customers their power back,” Mr. Magness said. “We’d be talking about how many months it might be before you get your power back.”

How does Texas save its face? How does it recover from this mess, which darkened electrical output for 4 million Texans?

One thought might be to join the two other major electrical grids and give up this notion of Texas running its own grid. ERCOT already is suffering from resignations of seven board members, all of whom quit in the wake of the power failure.

It doesn’t make me feel at all good about my adopted home state.

As Klein writes: It wasn’t even the worst cold Texas experienced in living memory: in 1989 temperatures and electricity generation (as a percentage of peak demand) dropped even further than they did in 2011. Texas hadn’t just failed to prepare for the far future. It failed to prepare for the recent past.

Opinion | Texas Is a Rich State in a Rich Country, and Look What Happened – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Let us demand some actual leadership from our, um, leaders on this matter.

Yes, we’re a rich state. However, we seem to suffer from a poverty-level absence of bright ideas on how to prevent a recurrence of what we all endured. No one likes freezing.

Trump gives us all the shaft

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s no surprise to anyone on Earth to know that I am not a wealthy man.

I made a nice living for many years and was able to provide for my family, but I certainly never acquired great heaps of material wealth, a la … Donald J. Trump.

However, I damn sure paid a whole lot more in federal income taxes than the Trumpkin in Chief paid over the course of the past 15 years, as revealed by The New York Times.

What am I supposed to think of this? Well, first of all, it’s no surprise to learn any of this, given Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns. Am I angry? Sure I am! However, I fall into the “never Trump” category of voters, so my anger is tempered a bit by what I have long suspected about the president of the United States, that is a fraud.

Here’s the question of the day: How should the Trumpkins out there, those who have paid their fair share of taxes, feel about their guy’s tax dodge?

I will shake my head violently if we hear from them that they’re OK with this. The guy who purports to speak for the masses of Americans disgruntled and angry with government now has been revealed to be someone who cheated the government out of revenue while understanding that his fervent, ardent and occasionally rabid followers are paying through their noses.

How many more lies is he going to concoct to persuade those among us that what he has done is OK, that it simply makes him “smart”?

This is what the cult of personality has produced, ladies and gentlemen. Go figure.

Trump has failed

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There should be no doubt over what the New York Times has reported to the world.

It is that Donald Trump is not the business wizard he told voters he was when he was elected president of the United States.

He has failed as a businessman. He has squandered the huge stake his father gave him when he began purchasing commercial real estate. Trump has acquired a debt load that would disqualify anyone seeking a national security job; and yet, here is the president lugging around a $400 million debt load.

To whom does he owe the money?

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, warned us in 2016 when he called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud.”

Now we know what he meant. Mitt nailed it.

So, where do we go from here? We collect our thoughts and then prepare to replace the phony fraud with a man who vows to reshape our national soul, who vows to work to heal the deep wounds inflicted by the pathological liar who masquerades as our commander in chief.

Joe Biden needs to win the Nov. 3 election. He needs to win big. Biden needs to establish a clear mandate defined by a landslide victory. I cannot predict he will do that. I only can express the hope that he will.

We now can see through the New York Times’ exquisite reporting that Donald Trump laid the predicate for the disaster he brought to the nation through his failure as a businessman.

What about all that debt?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald “The King of Debt” Trump has some serious explaining to do in the wake of the smashing New York Times story detailing his financial records.

He called himself the debt king during the 2016 presidential campaign. Now we have a glimpse into what he might have meant. The NY Times reports that Trump owes about $400 million to … someone, or some country, or some business empire.

We need to know to whom Trump owes all that money. Many of us are wondering whether any of those creditors happen to be, oh, heads of state with whom Trump has shown remarkable friendliness.

Let’s see, Russia comes to mind. Same with Turkey. Trump has boasted about his business dealings and it is known he wanted to build a hotel/resort complex in Russia. Meanwhile, he keeps giving Russian strongman Vladimir Putin a pass on some seriously hideous conduct: election interference and the placing of bounties on American service personnel, to name just two.

So, to the King of Debt, we American voters need to know to whom he owes the money.

And spare us the nonsense about the audit crap, Mr. President. The Internal Revenue Service places no audit-based restrictions on telling us the whole story about the debt.

We are waiting on you.

Mini-strokes? Huh? What?

Let’s try to unpack this bit of prose.

New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt has just published a book, “Donald Trump v. The United States.” He writes in the book that on Nov. 16, 2019, Trump was taken to Walter Reed Military Hospital for an unscheduled visit. The White House informed Vice President Pence to stand by in case the president would be incapacitated by heavy sedation.

Schmidt writes that Pence never assumed the presidency in a temporary fashion. He writes only that Trump was treated for a “mystery” ailment.

What, then, is up with this Twitter message from Trump. He denied in a tweet that he suffered any “mini-strokes” or a “stroke.”

Hey, wait a second! No one reported a thing about mini-strokes! Donald Trump today broke that bit of news all by himself, without prompting, without any reason on Earth to issue a denial!

Has the president just opened the door to open speculation about his physical health?

One man mocked; the other man helped

It was a moment during the Democratic National (virtual) Convention that to me spoke volumes about the differences between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Biden featured a young man, Brayden Harrington, who had a terrible stuttering problem. The former vice president also conquered a stuttering handicap he had a child. Biden reached out to the youngster, lent him his emotional support and helped him fight off the debilitating handicap.

On Thursday, the youngster appeared in a brief video that meant to call attention to the empathy and compassion that is part of Joe Biden’s makeup, part of what drives him daily. “About a  few months ago, I met him in New Hampshire and he told me we are members of the same club. We stutter,” Brayden said, stumbling over his words.

The other picture you see here is taken from a 2016 campaign appearance in which Trump mocked a disability suffered by a New York Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski. He mimicked the reporter in hideous fashion. The social media image has gone viral and it speaks to the ghastly impulse that too often overtakes Trump, who has no discernible empathy or compassion bone in his body.

I thought I would share these thoughts just to remind you of the choice we all get to make this fall as we elect the president of the United States.

Does POTUS really want a second term?

Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni are two top-notch reporters for the New York Times who have put together a story that suggests something quite remarkable.

It is that Donald Trump’s behavior and his inability/unwillingness to listen to advice from his staff to dial back his weird impulses suggest that Trump secretly doesn’t want to serve a second term as president.

Oh, I wish that were true. I have trouble believing it.

Haberman and Karni aren’t suggesting it’s all true. They just have talked to a lot of White House functionaries who make the suggestion based on what they are witnessing within the West Wing.

It is an intriguing thought to be sure. Trump cannot lead. He isn’t wired for public service. He is proving it time and time and time again. Trump’s feeble attempts at crisis management reveal a fundamental weakness in a guy who spent his entire professional life running a business, hosting a TV reality show and behaving like a crass, cruel and scandalous fool.

“I don’t think he’s fit for office,” says former national security adviser John Bolton. No kidding? Well, many of us have been saying it all along.

We have walked headlong into a most fascinating election season. I think we ought to keep Trump’s behavior at the top of our minds as this individual seeks to suggest he deserves a second term at the helm of the most exalted public service job on Earth.

Take a look at Haberman and Karni’s story here.

It might give you pause.

Trump ought to call those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic

Donald Trump isn’t wired to show compassion.

He doesn’t grieve openly. He won’t be seen wiping tears from his eyes. The president is too preoccupied with “making America great again,” and “telling it like it is.”

Donald Trump finds himself concocting rosy scenarios where none exists. He is separating himself from the suffering that is occurring in rural America and in our inner cities. He doesn’t seem interested in dealing on a personal basis with those who are suffering untold heartbreak.

As The New York Times reports: As he presides over the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic collapse, Mr. Trump has hosted o called many people affected by the devastation, including health company executives, sports commissioners, governors, cruise ship company heads, religious leaders, telecommunications executives and foreign heads of state. One category that has to make his list: Americans who have lost someone to the pandemic.

I will not hold breath waiting to hear from anyone of those victims out here who has received a phone call from Donald Trump.

Trump’s failures as a leader are becoming even more evident than they were already. Many of us knew he lacked the compassion gene, or the gene that enables him to hurt along with the country. It’s just that watching all this play out in real time remains a sight to see.

While the country’s death toll soars past 60,000 individuals, Trump launches Twitter tirades and chastises: CNN, Democratic politicians, the media in general, China, MSNBC, Fox News. He can’t even take time on Twitter to say how profoundly sorry he is to hear about the misery that millions of Americans are feeling.

They are hurting because they have lost their jobs. Their loved ones have died from the viral infection. Their businesses are withering.

Donald Trump’s reaction? It is to blame others for his own failures and to lie about what a “fantastic” job he and his team are doing.

Sickening.