Tag Archives: Twitter

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.

Social media reveal true friends

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It didn’t take me long to become swallowed up by the social media culture that seems so prevalent.

I am attached to many social media platforms, most of which I use primarily to circulate this blog. Facebook remains my No. 1 social media platform and I appreciate very much the attention that the outlet provides this blog of mine.

Social media, though, do have plenty of downsides. They become primary conveyers of falsehoods, conspiracy theories … those kinds of things. They also reveal to me who out there are our friends.

Here is where I want to make an admission. I have valued many friendships with individuals of varying political persuasions. Then came social media and and I admit to losing some of those friends because of our varying, um, political leanings. Dang, that just makes me want to spit … you know?

I am not proud to acknowledge that the end of those relationships means I’ve been suckered into placing far more value in them than the other party. One of them recently severed a social media relationship after being an actual friend for more than 30 years. He never told me why he was cutting me loose; he just did it. I am left to presume it was our different world views, as we had jousted in recent years about political matters.

Whatever. It’s done. I will continue to use social media to distribute this blog. I enjoy using the various media platforms. I reckon I need to view the relationships I have with others in a more critical light and avoid overvaluing them.

I’m a grownup. I know how these matters play out.

Twitter set to make a move

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Twitter has made it official.

Effective on Jan. 20, Twitter is going to switch its @POTUS address from Donald Trump to the new president, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Does this diminish Donald Trump’s Twitter presence? Oh, probably not. The switch does signal to me that if a leading social medium recognizes Joe Biden as the next president, then it must be true!

Now, if only Donald Trump and his GOP toadies/suck ups/sycophants would follow suit.


Remain silent, Mr. POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If you put your ear to the ground and demand complete silence around you, then you’re likely to hear something quite pleasant.

That would be the absence of any yammering from the White House.

You see, Donald John Trump is a lame-duck president who has remained quiet as the world watches President-elect Joseph Biden Jr. begin preparing for the biggest job on Earth.

Why is this worth mentioning? Because I am sick, tired and disgusted beyond measure with the incessant bitching, griping and insult from Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

I grew weary early on with his daily appearances in the White House press room in which he would misstate the pandemic crisis that continues to kill Americans every single day.

He’s not doing that these days. Trump is busying himself with lawsuits that alleged “widespread voter fraud” in states he lost to Biden. The litigation will go nowhere. Then the 45th president will be on  his way back to Mar-a-Lago, turning the White House over to No. 46, who can begin to repair the damage that Trump has brought to the presidency.

For now I intend to relish the silence from Donald Trump.