Tag Archives: Twitter

Rep./Dr. Jackson channels AOC

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It didn’t take Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez long at all to make a name for herself after she got elected to Congress in 2018.

Suddenly, this New York City progressive lawmaker became all the media’s No. 1 TV, radio and print “get.” They wanted to know what this rookie congresswoman thought about any issue of the moment.

So, now it’s 2021. We had a congressional election in November 2020. Who among the crop of rookie congressmen/women has emerged as the latest go-to individual? None other than Ronny Jackson, the Republican who now lives in Amarillo, Texas — where my wife and I lived for 23 years before we moved to the Dallas ‘burbs in late 2018.

Jackson wants to make a name for himself, too. He is using the same medium that AOC used to elevate her profile a couple of years ago: Jackson has become a Twitter tyrant. He shows up on Fox News and other right-wing media outlets, sorta the way AOC showed up on liberal outlets in 2019 and 2020.

I called AOC out then because I didn’t believe she had earned her spurs. She needed more seasoning to be considered any sort of authority on congressional matters. I tend to listen more intently to those with years — rather than weeks or months — of experience legislating at the congressional level.

As for Rep. Jackson, the one-time presidential physician who now represents the 13th Congressional District of Texas … well, he just needs to shut his trap.

Where are legislative proposals?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have spent a good bit of time on this blog bitching about a congressman from up yonder in the Texas Panhandle, where I lived for 23 years before moving to the Metroplex.

Republican Ronny Jackson seems to spend an inordinate amount of time tweeting this and that invective-filled message castigating Democrats. He isn’t alone among GOP lawmakers who just love to blast their former pals on the other side of the great political divide.

I am left to wonder: When are these yahoos going to produce some constructive legislation?

I am not seeing or hearing anything from Rep. Jackson, the former White House physician and Navy admiral. All I see are Twitter messages calling President Biden everything but the son of Satan. Hell, maybe he has slipped that on through but I just didn’t see it!

Is this going to be the GOP caucus strategy moving well into the Biden administration? Obstruct, delay, yap and yammer? Will they be able to produce fundamentally sound legislation to at least have some valid talking points on the table to compare to what Democrats are seeking?

So it appears that Rep. Jackson is marching to the cadence being called by House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and his pal in the Senate, GOP leader Mitch McConnell. He’s a freshman legislator and might believe he lacks pull to strike out on his own.

The do-nothing caucus appears to be full of others just like Rep. Jackson. What a flippin’ shame.

Rep./Dr. Jackson needs to shut the hell up

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s official.

The individual who now represents the congressional district where I lived for 23 years has established himself as a first-rate a**hole.

Republican Ronny Jackson said this via Twitter: Fauci and Democrats have been covering for China for over a year about the origins of this virus. They’ll badmouth America any chance they get, but with China, they’re SILENT. Wonder why that is??

This guy is a menace. To think that he gets to vote on laws that affect all Americans, not just those in the Texas Panhandle — where he moved to run for Congress in 2020 after spending his entire adult life far away — is reprehensible on its face.

He succeeded Republican Mac Thornberry, who served the district with dignity for 25 years, even though I rarely agreed with his politics. Jackson has taken to Twitter to taunt Democrats, just like his hero, Donald J. Trump.

He sickens me.

Rep./Dr. Jackson tweets his thoughts … who knew?

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My friends and former neighbors in the Texas Panhandle are getting a totally expected treat from their new congressman: a Twitter storm of statements, proclamations and, dare I say it, demagogic grenades.

Check out a tweet that came from Rep. Ronny Jackson, the newly elected congressman from the 13th Congressional District:

We must say NO to any mandated “vaccine passport.” This isn’t about “stopping the spread,” it’s about CONTROL and restricting our RIGHTS. Vaccine passports = TYRANNY!

You know, I just love the all-caps approach to driving home a point to the faithful. Actually … I don’t. Why not? It’s so, um, Trumpian!

I am thinking at this moment of Mac Thornberry, the actual lifetime resident of the congressional district whom Jackson succeeded when he got elected in 2020. My thought is that Twitter tirades are so not like Thornberry. He was not inclined to fire off Twitter bombs. Thornberry would do that Washington thing, you know … dictate a policy statement and then issue it through his press office. The Thornberry method was more professional and for me more likely to be taken seriously than a wild-eyed, mouth-frothing tweet!

It’s not that Rep. Jackson is a stupid man. He is, after all, a medical doctor who once served as physician to three presidents: George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama and Donald J. Trump and along the way rose to the rank of rear admiral in the Navy.

Now he’s a politician and has taken so very readily to the medium of choice for many blowhards on the left and the right.

I hope my former Texas Panhandle neighbors have a stronger stomach for the upcoming barrage of Twitter messages than I believe I would have were I still living there.

Hate the word ‘tweet’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It might be just me, but I have developed a profound dislike of Twitter as a social medium that so many people in high places use for a number of dishonorable purposes.

Donald Trump made Twitter-use almost legendary during his campaign for the presidency and then during his term in the office.

Now he’s off, banished by the company that owns the medium. I hear he’s upset by his absence from the Twitterverse. Gosh … Mr. Ex-POTUS, cry me a river.

One of my sons is quite wise in determining the pluses and minuses of modern society. He and I today were talking about Twitter and he offered this bit of wisdom: You cannot formulate a complete policy statement in just the limited number of characters that Twitter allows.

His example: “If I say I oppose hate crime legislation, then people presume I am a racist because Twitter doesn’t allow me to explain myself in full context.” Point taken.

So, when I read these pronouncements from high-and-mighty pols on Twitter, I am left to make presumptions about what those pronouncements are intended to state. They may be incorrect.

Twitter has value. I use it to distribute this blog. Indeed, after I finish writing this post, I will publish it and it will go automatically on Twitter, where my followers can read it and send it along to whomever they wish. Beyond that? I am not sure about the value of trying to make a point using only 280 characters.

One more point …

When I read about politicians or celebrities sniping at each other via Twitter, I am reminded of some kind of schoolyard taunt, where folks don’t have the guts to tell someone they’re full of crap to their face. They sit at some comfortable distance and say it via this cyber platform.

And when I hear the word “tweet,” as in “So and so tweeted something” in response to someone else, I only can equate its verb-form use to the word “fart.

Is that really useful? No. It isn’t. There. Rant over.

Lesson learned from this OMB director fight?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Neera Tanden’s nomination to become the next head of the Office of Management and Budget appears to be nearing an end.

She has zero Republican support and one key Democratic senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has announced his opposition to her becoming OMB director; in a 50-50 U.S. Senate, Manchin’s defection appears to be the deal-killer.

Shelby endorses Shalanda Young for OMB director should Biden pull Tanden’s nomination (msn.com)

To be candid, this fight gives me a mild case of apoplexy.

Republicans are mounting a laughable crusade in targeting Tanden’s Twitter rants as their reason for opposing her. As if GOP politicians haven’t said or done the same thing that she has done via that social medium. My personal concern about Tanden’s nomination is her lack of budget management experience.

Having noted the Twitter nonsense, there does appear to be a lesson in this tempest. It is that politicians ought to stay the hell off Twitter, particularly if they aspire to advance their political careers or standing. Tanden has developed a notorious reputation for saying some mighty cruel things via Twitter. But … haven’t her GOP critics said or done the same thing?

Fairness requires me to point out that other Democratic politicians have self-inflicted plenty wounds over Twitter.

As we have learned to many politicians’ dismay, you cannot ever un-say these things once they’re out there. They become inscribed instantly and indelibly in the public record, even after the author of these statements “deletes” the offending tweet.

Will any of the pols who argue that Tanden’s tweets are offensive take heed of the message? Oh, probably not. Still, it is a lesson worth heeding.

Start looking for new OMB boss, Mr. POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Neera Tanden’s status as the next director of the federal Office of Management and Budget suddenly has run into a serious roadblock.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, has said he will oppose her nomination when he gets to vote on it. That means a 50-50 Senate composition puts Tanden’s nomination in serious jeopardy. All of the Senate’s 50 Republicans will oppose her selection; Democratic support stands at 49 votes maximum. Got it? She cannot be confirmed, if the numbers hold up.

To be honest, I was skeptical of her nomination from the get-go … and not because of her fiery Twitter messages that savaged Republican lawmakers. My concern always had been that she is light on budgeting experience. To be candid, I am not clear why President Biden chose her in the first place.

Politico reports: Two early contenders to replace Tanden are Gene Sperling, a two-time director of the National Economic Council, and Ann O’Leary, who just came off a stint serving as California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s chief of staff, and who was considered a leading alternative to Tanden back in November when Tanden’s nomination was announced, according to people familiar with the matter.

The jockeying to replace Neera Tanden has begun – POLITICO

At one level it is laughable on its face that GOP senators would be angry because of her partisan Twitter messages, given that the 45th president of the United States used that social medium to inflict serious insult and damage to his foes.

Even without all of that, Tanden’s pick is suspect, given that she is a hard-core partisan and someone with little experience implementing budget policy on a scale required by the OMB director.

“I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Manchin, a moderate Democrat, said in a statement. “For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”

Whatever. It looks to me as though her Twitter activity should be the least of the issues that work against her.

President Biden ought to start looking seriously for someone with actual budgetary chops to handle a daunting task.

No angry tweets … sweet!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I want to stand with David Plouffe, one of America’s most brilliant political strategists.

He wrote this message on Twitter: Will take a while to get used to waking up on a weekend and not be bombarded with a dozens of mean, crazy and destructive tweets from the world’s most powerful person. But I like the feeling so far.

I like the feeling, too. I like not having my Twitter feed flooded with posts from an angry president of the United States. I like reading about how senior presidential administration officials are learning they are being fired, or are learning about critical policy decisions, or are having to fend off criticism from the commander in chief.

The silence is golden.

Twitter silence is, um, golden

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It might be just me, but I am finding Donald Trump’s expulsion from Twitter to be a Godsend.

He isn’t blasting out incoherent policy pronouncements, or hurling insults at Democrats and Republicans, or bullying people who cannot defend themselves against the head of state, or calling the media and others the “enemy of the people.”

Isn’t it great that he has been denied all this? Well, I believe it is.

I also believe that he hasn’t been denied a single tiny bit of his First Amendment liberty. He can still issue policy statements. He can still rant and spew on TV. Trump can still make an ass of himself and he can still lie through his teeth about how he has done a “fantastic” job in fighting the COVID pandemic.

The Twitter storm? It’s calm out there. It’s grand!

Trump ban is no violation of liberty

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Time for a brief civics lesson to the minions of Donald J. “Insurrectionist in Chief” Trump.

Many of them are yammering that Twitter’s decision to ban Trump permanently from the social media platform is a violation of the president’s First Amendment rights of free speech.

Ummm, no. It isn’t. Not even close.

Trump has made liberal use of Twitter to get his message out, to do an end-around the filter of what he calls “mainstream media.” He was wildly successful at it, collecting 88 million or so followers. Many of them hung on every pronouncement he made. To be candid, I followed him, too, but only to see what kind of nonsense he would send out there.

He also used it to foment lies, such as the voter fraud lie about the 2020 election.

Twitter took action as a private business and banned him. Why doesn’t it violate the First Amendment?

The amendment instructs Congress to pass “no law” that restricts a number of personal liberties; one of them is free speech. The founders directed the amendment at the legislative branch of government, ordering Congress to refrain from passing laws that inhibit free speech, religious freedom, a free press, freedom to assemble peaceably, to seek redress of grievances against the government.

The amendment does not prohibit a private business, such as Twitter, from blocking someone from using that platform to spew lies … which Donald Trump has done!

There. Civics lesson is over.