Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Reagan assailant goes free? Oh, my!

You may consider me as one American who believes John Hinckley does not deserve an unconditional release from custody.

I mean, all he did  was shoot President Reagan in March 1981, damn near killing him, while grievously wounding others in a melee outside the Washington Hilton hotel. One of his other victims was White House press secretary James Brady, who never recovered from the grievous brain injury he suffered; Brady has since died of complications suffered from that shooting.

U.S. President Reagan’s shooter John Hinckley wins unconditional release (msn.com)

A jury would acquit Hinckley on grounds that he was insane when he did the deed. He spent decades in an institution. Then he was released in the custody of his mother, who has since died.

Now a judge has said he can walk free among the rest of us, without condition.

Bad call, judge.

The late president’s daughter, Patti Davis, has argued that Hinckley has shown no remorse and shouldn’t be allowed to roam free. I agree with her.

If the assailant had demonstrated any actual remorse, then might be different. I am unaware of anything he has said or done since the trial to suggest any feeling of the sort over what he did.

The entire nation needs to keep a sharp and vigilant eye on this individual once he is free of the restrictions under which he has lived.

Just one more point. Hinckley is now 66 years of age, meaning that he is still capable of doing harm to others.


No truer words, Gov. Christie

“No man, no woman, no matter what office they’ve held or wealth they’ve acquired, are worthy of blind faith or obedience.”

Do you know who said that? If not, I’ll tell you.

Those words come from former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a one-time foe of the 45th president of the United States, who became an ally of his during  his term in office, and who now seems to be reverting to his former truth-telling self.

Christie spoke Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, site of a symposium on the future of the Republican Party.

Of course he is right about blind fealty to an individual. No political organization can survive if it attaches itself to the whims and wishes of one person, which the GOP has done as it gloms onto the dictates of the twice-impeached former POTUS.

Sadly, given the climate in which we now are living, the Kool-Aid swilling cabal of loyalists are winning the argument within the once-great Republican Party.

Christie also said this at the Reagan Library: “Pretending we won when we lost is a waste of time, and energy and credibility.” Ah, yes. Credibility. That’s the biggest and most important “waste” cited by the former New Jersey governor.

Christie Decries Focus on Lying, Conspiracies in Stinging Rebuke of GOP (msn.com)

Then again, the former Liar in Chief, the chief purveyor of the Big Lie, has zero credibility anyway … at least among us who saw him for what he was when he entered presidential politics in the summer of 2015. We saw him as a phony and a fraud, but someone quite capable of hijacking a political party — which he continues to do.

I fear Gov. Christie is piddling into the wind while trying to persuade the GOP of the dire need to change course. My bigger fear is that the truth he is telling will be translated into another lie that the cultists who adhere to POTUS 45 will use to their perverted advantage.


Government no longer ‘the problem’?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Ronald W. Reagan stood on the Capitol steps on Jan. 20, 1981 and declared that “government is the problem.”

President Joseph R. Biden stood inside the House chamber on Wednesday night and said, well, something quite different, that government can repair what ails many Americans.

So it is that the “era of big government” is returning to the forefront of American life. I have slightly mixed feelings about that, although I do endorse much of what President Biden wants to bring to the lives of Americans ravaged by a global pandemic and the economic hardship that accompanied it.

I endorse Biden’s call for comprehensive immigration reform. I believe the government needs to make permanent the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program — which lends a hand to those who were brought here illegally as children by their parents.

The nation’s infrastructure as Biden has defined it needs government help. I endorse the president’s plan to tax the wealthiest Americans more to pay for much of his big agenda.

Free community college for every student? Hmm. Not sure about that one.

Climate change poses an existential threat to our national security and, yes, government has a role to play in stemming the impact of the change on our fragile planet.

Joe Biden’s speech Wednesday night wasn’t a stemwinder. It didn’t move Americans to jump into the fight fully. It was, however, far from the dark, forbidding speech that Donald J. Trump gave at his inaugural in 2017.

Although, I do want to say that Biden’s speech did contain at least one reference that might stand the test of time, which is that the Jan. 6 insurrection was the worst such act “since the Civil War.”

President Biden has laid out an aggressive government agenda. He said that inaction is not an option, that Congress must seize the moment and act on behalf of an entire generation.

Oh, I am certain that the Republicans who occupy a hefty minority in both congressional chambers will dig in on their opposition to anything that comes from the Democratic administration. It is their modus operandi.

I stand, though, as one American patriot who welcomes the return of our federal government as a last resort to helping Americans who continue to suffer from a killer virus.

What happened to 11th Commandment?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ronald W. Reagan would be an angry man today.

President Reagan once coined a phrase that became known as the 11th Commandment, which stated that “Thou shalt not speak ill of other Republicans.” The Republican Party of President Reagan’s era wasn’t always faithful to that “commandment.”

Today it is so far removed from that dictum that the party bears virtually no resemblance to the conservative political organization that Reagan helped reconstruct in the 1980s.

Instead, the nation is watching a party being retooled yet again by the latest GOP president, who is launching a nationwide campaign against any Republican who dared stand against him while he committed high crimes and misdemeanors against the U.S. of A.

Donald Trump is now targeting, for example, the Republican secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, who had the temerity to resist the Big Lie that Trump keeps telling that the Georgia presidential election was “stolen” from Trump and given to President Biden. The ex-president is backing a GOP primary opponent against Raffensperger, whose only “sin” was to, um, follow the damn law!

Trump looks to take down Raffensperger in Georgia – POLITICO

Trump has taking aim as well across the nation, seeking to destroy GOP politicians who just couldn’t bring themselves to practice blind fealty to the disgraced former president.

If only President Reagan were around today to take the former Numbskull in Chief to the proverbial “woodshed.”

Are we better off? Umm, no!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ronald Reagan once asked famously during a 1980 presidential debate with President Carter whether the nation was “better off than we were four years ago.”

The question seared the audience that heard him ask it. Voters responded on Election Day 1980 with a stunning verdict: The answer was “no,” and they delivered a landslide victory to Reagan.

Rahm Emanuel, a former Chicago mayor and an acknowledged Democratic partisan, asked  that question today in terms of Donald Trump’s tenure as president. The answer, according to Emanuel, is an equally resounding “no.”

Therein lies the reason why Trump lost his bid for a second term, just as President Carter lost his own second-term run 40 years ago. The nation is fundamentally worse off today than we were when Trump took office.

Trump has presided over a horrendous coarsening of our national debate; he has inflicted heavy damage on our international alliances; Trump has governed by chaos and tossed continuity into the crapper; the POTUS has made full-throated lying an acceptable form of communication … and we have the pandemic.

I will not blame Trump for the virus that has killed more than 300,000 Americans. I do blame him fully for the shabby, shoddy and shameful response he has orchestrated. He lied to us about its severity from the get-go; he has contradicted the advice of his medical experts; Trump has put Americans at grave risk of death as a result.

The pandemic is an existential threat to our national security and Donald Trump has failed to remain faithful to the oath he took when he became president.

Have there been successes along the way? Sure. Israel’s relationships in the Middle East with neighboring Arab nations gives us hope for a more lasting peace in that region; prior to the pandemic’s arrival a year ago, our economy was experiencing significant growth. I will not short-sell those positive outcomes.

The pandemic and all the other failures, though, have left us worse off today than we were when Donald Trump took office and delivered an inaugural address that produced precisely one memorable moment: that “the American carnage” would come to an immediate end. Well, guess what. It hasn’t ended.

President-elect Biden has a monumental task awaiting him when he takes office in 31 days. Just as Americans spoke decisively 40 years when we elected President Reagan — who posed what has become the threshold question for all politicians — we have spoken yet again in electing President Biden.

Trump will do what? Declare ‘victory’ early?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I thought I was hearing things this morning. Turns out I heard it right.

Donald Trump reportedly is going to “declare victory” prematurely Tuesday night if the early returns show him leading the contest over Joe Biden. Yep. That’s what might happen, according to Axios.com, which broke the story.

That is weird, man. Totally strange and bizarre. In a way, though, it illustrates a bit of daffy cunning on Trump’s part.

The early voter returns likely won’t have a winner declared in the Electoral College. The winner needs 270 electoral votes to be elected. So if Trump decides to declare “victory” before all the votes are counted, he might be banking on voters deciding against casting their ballots believing that Trump’s actually been re-elected.

Far-fetched? Yeah. It is. There is a strange plausibility to trying such a thing.

In 1980, the TV networks declared Ronald W. Reagan the winner over President Carter early on election night. He had rolled up enough electoral votes to oust Carter after a single term. The polls had not yet closed way out west, where I was living and working at the time.

There was plenty of anecdotal evidence that night of voters walking away from the polling place when they heard that Reagan had won, forgoing their own casting of ballots. The evidence also showed that in at least one key congressional race, the one between U.S. Rep. Al Ullman and Denny Smith in the Second Congressional District of Oregon, that the walkaways cost the Democrat Ullman enough votes to deny his re-election. I watched that one up close as I was working for a newspaper that covered a portion of that congressional district in Clackamas County, Ore.

Donald Trump has a few tricks up his sleeve. I guess this might be one of them he could deploy to deny Joe Biden a victory. For the sake of the Republic, I hope Joe Biden holds a strong lead when the early returns are broadcast around the world.

Not so strange after all

Media pundits continue to make something of a ruckus over the recent political history involving Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris, that Harris roughed up Biden in a couple of debates before she dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest.

They’re now on the same Democratic ticket. So I am left to wonder: Why the fascination? It’s hardly the first time political rivals have hooked up, buried the hatchet and locked arms in the fight against a common opponent.

In 1960, Sens. Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy fought for the Democratic nomination. They spoke harshly of each other. LBJ pulled out at the end of that primary fight. JFK was looking for someone to help strengthen him in the South. So he turned to Sen. Johnson. They won that race. Fate, though, tragically intervened when JFK died from an assassin’s bullet in November 1963.

In 1980, former Gov. Ronald Reagan and former CIA director/U.N. ambassador/former congressman/former special envoy to China George H.W. Bush butted heads for the Republican nomination. Bush chided Reagan’s fiscal policy as “voodoo economics.” Reagan survived and then selected Bush to be his VP. The two of them served together through two successful terms.

In 2008, for heaven’s sake, Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden fought for their party’s nomination. Biden didn’t last long. He took his shots at Obama, who fired back at his foe. Obama got nominated and had Biden at his side for two terms.

So now it’s Sen. Harris who’s being examined. Is she loyal enough? Does the presumptive nominee trust her to be a team player?

Biden has been through the VP vetting process. He knows what to ask, where to look.

Harris’s selection is historic. Many have made much of that fact, given her racial and ethnic background. Biden’s decision to select her, though, doesn’t look like much of a gamble. LBJ, George H.W. Bush and Biden himself already have blazed recent trails that led them all to the vice presidency.

Let’s worry less about the recent past between these two politicians and concern ourselves more with the policy positions they share and will take to the fight against Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

It’s game on, man!

What will happen post-Trump?

A critic of High Plains Blogger posed a question to me that I feel compelled to answer with this post.

This critic, a dedicated Donald Trump devotee, wanted to know what I would write about were it not for The Donald’s presence on the national scene. I reminded him that I have written on plenty of non-Trump topics during the past four years. I presume he’s like a lot of us who focus on the things with which we disagree most fervently, causing us to narrow our vision dramatically.

Here is the truth, though, about the future of this blog post-Donald Trump. I am looking forward to weaning myself of Trump-related matters. Whether it’s after this upcoming election (please, please … I hope that’s the case) or after the next one in 2024, I am excited at the prospect of looking beyond the wreckage that this individual has brought to the political stage.

That’s my hope. However, I do have this fear. It is that Donald Trump, as a former president of the United States, is still going to command a lot of attention. He will continue to have his social media access, namely Twitter. I fear, therefore, that Donald Trump is not going to fade away quietly into some sort of post-presidential hibernation the way every one of his predecessors has done.

Surely, some have done so more notably than others. Perhaps the biggest post-presidential tragedy occurred after Ronald Reagan left office in 1989. He retired to California, would emerge on occasion to make a speech, such as when he famously spoke to the 1992 Republican convention in Houston. Then in November 1994, not even six years after leaving the White House, he told the world of his affliction from Alzheimer’s disease. President Reagan bid us farewell … and we never heard from him again.

Donald Trump’s penchant for hogging the limelight won’t allow him to go away quietly. The good news for yours truly, though, is that as a former president he will become decidedly less relevant on matters that count. He will be unable to set policy or issue executive orders. He’ll just be one of the rest of us, using social media to blather on this and/or that subject.

I intend to focus this blog — as I declare in my profile — on issues relating to “politics, public policy and life experience.” Where any of this concerns Donald Trump likely will entail what his successor does to repair the damage Trump inflicted on the presidency.

How stirring, Mr. POTUS

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, so I thought I would share it here.

This message comes to us from the 45th president of the United States, Donald John Trump. They just make you want to stand up and cheer … don’t they? Well, no!

  • President Abraham Lincoln stirred us in 1865 at his second presidential inaugural when he declared “with malice toward none and charity for all” he would seek to heal the wounds inflicted by the Civil War.
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president and in 1933 told us during the Great Depression that “the only thing we have to fear is … fear itself.”
  • President John F. Kennedy stood before the nation in 1961 and implored us to serve our country, that we should “ask not what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country.”
  • President Ronald Reagan stood at the Berlin Wall in 1987 and demanded that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, if he intended to work toward creating a better world, to “tear down this wall.”

This president has reduced such soaring rhetoric to utter nonsense such as what he said this week about whether testing for the COVID-19 virus was helpful in stemming the rate of infection by the worldwide pandemic.

Yep, this is what we got when we elected this clown.

I am shaking my head in disgust.

Listen up, Dr. Fauci: Trump is fighting you

Dr. Anthony Fauci testified this week before a Senate committee on the fight to quell the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 85,000 Americans.

Then came a series of questions from one of Donald Trump’s toadies on the panel, rookie Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler from Georgia, who wanted to know if Fauci felt tension between himself and the president. Fauci said “no,” that he doesn’t believe he and Trump are at odds.

Then something else happened later in the day. Donald Trump contradicted something Fauci had said about the wisdom of letting children back into school classrooms this fall.

So … yes, Trump and Fauci are at odds. Got that? I want to stand with the nation’s premier infectious disease expert over the bloviations of a cheap huckster who masquerades as president of the United States.

Senators asked Fauci whether children should be allowed back into classrooms this fall. He balked at the suggestion, saying it would be premature to open classrooms to students if the virus isn’t contained.

What did the Carnival Barker in Chief say about Fauci’s response? He was “surprised.” He said Fauci seeks to play to all audiences. He said Fauci’s answer to the Senate panel was “not acceptable.”

Where I come from, that looks and sounds like a dispute between two principals involved ostensibly in a fight against a common enemy.

Where does Fauci go from here? Does he quit? Does he walk away from the president’s pandemic response task force? No. He shouldn’t.

Fauci is nearly 80 years of age. He has worked for every president of both political parties dating back to 1984, when he was hired by President Reagan to take the lead on HIV/AIDS research. His credentials are beyond reproach. Fauci is an expert on infectious disease and the pandemic response team needs his reasoned, rational, scientific approach.

Indeed, this man’s wisdom stands in the starkest contrast possible to the bloviating bullsh** that flies incessantly out of Donald Trump’s pie hole.

I am one American who wants Fauci to remain on the job looking out for us. What’s more, I am as certain as I am sitting here that he knows beyond a doubt that he is working for a moron.

It’s just too damn bad he cannot say it out loud.