Tag Archives: White House

Customs thrown aside

Presidential custom is a big part of the nation’s highest office, particularly when the occupants of that office depart.

One of those customs is to see former POTUSes lock arms for common causes. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama recently did a public service announcement seeking to rally the nation against the COVID pandemic. I saw the ad and wondered — get ready for it — where was Donald Trump? I mean, the pandemic exploded on Trump’s watch!

We see these kinds of dramas play out from time to time.

The same can be said of former first ladies. Michelle Obama and Laura Bush have shared the spotlight to talk about their time in the White House. Melania Trump? She, too, has been absent from any sort of public appearances with her colleagues.

Donald Trump left office an angry and bitter individual. His animus toward President Biden remains visceral. Same for how he explodes at the mention of Barack Obama’s name, or George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton.

We once boasted in this country about how presidencies transfer from one to another, across party lines, and without rancor. We once referred to the “seamless transition of power.” It wasn’t that way when Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden in 2020. We are still feeling the pain of that horrible hand-off from one administration to the next one.

Along the way, we are watching feel-good presidential customs torn apart. What an utter shame.


Trump flushes records? Hah!

I cannot stop shaking my head over reports that Donald J. Trump, in an effort to keep the public’s prying eyes off his presidential records, flushed many of the documents down a White House toilet.

Of all the baloney associated with the former Dips**t in Chief, this one kinda/sorta takes the proverbial cake.

It’s not only illegal for him to have (allegedly) flushed these papers down the crapper, it speaks to a sort of ignorance that the rest of us have known since we were old enough to know damn near anything. It is that you don’t flush anything other than toilet tissue down a toilet … for criminy sakes!

The Presidential Records Act requires those who serve as president to keep all official records for storage in the National Archives. It’s part of our national history that these individuals must preserve for historians to pore through. Donald Trump broke the law! He should be punished not only for breaking it, but also for being a total dumbass.

Do you think The Donald was trying to hide something?

Huh … do ya?


Bring in the insurrectionists, too!

President Biden said Thursday he intends to consult with members of the U.S. Senate from both political parties on who he should nominate to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

It occurs to me: Wouldn’t it be cool if the president were to include in those sessions members of the GOP caucus who voted to obstruct the certification of the 2020 presidential election results because of those phony claims of “widespread voter fraud”? 

I believe he should invite the likes of Sens. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and perhaps even the nuttiest of ’em all, Ron Johnson to the White House. The media covering the meeting could put the clowns on the record on what they might have told the president on their feelings of who he should pick.

Stephen Breyer is retiring from the court soon. Joe Biden has pledged to nominate a black woman to succeed Justice Breyer. He already is getting resistance from some quarters of the far-right wing of the GOP caucus. I believe it is imperative for the president, therefore, to bring some of those fruitcakes into the White House, hear them out — along with members of the Democratic Party caucus — on what they think and why they think it.

Of course, it is likely be merely a symbolic gesture. The president is no rookie when it comes to vetting judicial nominees; he served for several years as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, so he knows his way around the judicial pea patch.

However, if Biden is intent on seeking bipartisan consultation — and I believe he is — the president ought to go all the way.

Bring in the nut jobs, too, Mr. President!


We do not need POTUS 45 in office

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have believed this for some time, but it needs to be said anyway.

U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Amarillo, is out of his fu**ing mind! He is nuts. Bonkers, Loony. Certifiably nuts.

He pushed out a Twitter note this morning in which he said that the 45th president of the U.S. of A. “needs to return to the White House.”

Umm. No. He doesn’t. He needs to be committed, sent away, banished from the halls of power.

POTUS 45 is an existential threat to the government of the country he once led. He is a liar, an insurrectionist, a seditionist, a morally bankrupt con man.

But he’s got his friends in Congress. One of them is Rep. Jackson, who now represents the congressional district where I once lived.

These idiots deserve each other.

Why support this POTUS?

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

No one has asked for my opinion on this matter, but I feel the need to offer it anyway.

Pollsters overlook our household when asking Americans this question: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of President Biden?

Here’s my answer in the event someone would ask: I have a highly favorable opinion of the leadership he is providing this country.

Do you want to know why? Here it is.

President Biden has restored dignity, decorum and a sense of normal behavior to the White House. He has signed a number of executive orders that have sought to reverse some bone-headed policies enacted by his predecessor. He has shown an ability to perform a sort of two-track function while working his Republican colleagues in Congress: He talks to ’em, listens to ’em and then if they don’t see things his way, he turns to his more dependable Democratic allies to move legislation forward.

Joe Biden was able to send us payments in a COVID relief package over the objections of his GOP friends in Congress. I appreciated the cash, just as I appreciated what came to us in the final year of POTUS 45’s tenure in office.

What I have learned to appreciate most of all, though, has been the restoration of the presidency as an office with dignity. President Biden vowed to restore our “national soul” when he ran for the office. I am not yet sure whether our soul has been brought back to life as we knew it just yet.

I do know, though, that the president no longer denigrates war heroes. Nor does he stiff our nation’s allies. The president no longer scolds public officials for certain policies while their cities and states are fighting nature’s wrath. The president now is able to step into his role as consoler in chief and he performs that role flawlessly.

Has the 46th president had a hiccup-free entry? Of course not. The crisis on our southern border needs to be called as such and it needs to come from President Biden.

I am willing to give this individual my support because — and this is critical — he is willing to conduct himself with the dignity that his high office demands from him.

That is why I believe we are heading in the right direction under President Biden’s leadership.

When will GOP wake up?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What in the name of all that is holy is it going to take to get the Republican members of Congress to realize that they took an oath to defend the nation, not to defend the reputation of a disgraced former GOP president?

Some of the GOP congressional honchos traipse down to Mar-a-Lago to tee it up with Donald Trump. Meanwhile, back at their place of employment — Washington, D.C. — the man who succeeded Trump, President Joe Biden, is trying to craft a legislative agenda that works for the nation he was elected to govern.

Biden took office wanting to unify the country gripped in the throes of a killer pandemic. Drug companies have developed vaccines and now are flooding pharmacies and government mega-vaccination centers with tens of millions of doses of vaccine to inoculate Americans.

Democrats are on board with President Biden. Republicans aren’t. They continue to spew the crap that comes from Donald Trump’s pie hole, speaking for the disgraced ex-president as if whatever he says is actually relevant. It isn’t. He isn’t relevant.

It frustrates me to no end to watch the president cobble together alliances within his own party but falling short in his efforts to bridge the still-gaping divide between the Democratic and Republican parties. All the while there is that chatter about Trump wanting to retain some position of power and influence within the Republican Party.

Let me be among those who hold a contrary view of Donald Trump’s future. He is toast. I am getting that nagging feeling in my gut that there might be an indictment or three in Donald Trump’s future. The men and women who continue to march to No. 45’s cadence will have to look elsewhere for actual political leadership.

They won’t have to look far. It resides in the White House.

It’s no ‘waste of time’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A fellow who once served on the Amarillo City Council believes the investigation into Rep. Ronny Jackson’s past as White House physician is a “waste of time.”

We need to “quit looking back and move forward,” said Randy Burkett in a brief Facebook post.

I beg to differ. We gotta look back, if only to find out the truth behind a scathing report issued by a non-partisan watchdog outfit.

The Pentagon inspector general has issued a report that alleges that Jackson, who was elected to the 13th Congressional District of Texas, engaged in bad behavior while serving as White House physician. He drank on the job, he overprescribed medication and bullied and sexually harassed employees, the IG report said.

There needs to be a thorough investigation of what Jackson (allegedly) did and whether he should be removed from the House of Representatives.

As for “moving forward,” perhaps Randy Burkett would like to explain why Republicans haven’t yet been able to move forward from investigating matters involving, oh, Hillary Rodham Clinton or the 2020 presidential election’s phony allegations of vote fraud.

It is no “waste of time” to ensure that the people elected to the legislative branch of government, the folks who make laws we all must obey are trustworthy and are of high moral standing.

That kind of investigation is especially relevant when it involves someone such as Rep./Dr. Jackson, who keeps popping off about his political foes, suggesting — among many other things — that President Biden was elected this past year on the basis of electoral theft.

Waste of time? We should move on? Get real. Let’s find out what happened when Ronny Jackson was working as the Doctor in Our House.

Boorishness goes bipartisan

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Well now, what are we to make of this item?

Just as the political world is all agog over the troubles descending on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who stands accused of sexual harassment by three women, we hear about a Republican member of Congress who’s been accused of the same thing … plus of drinking and taking sleeping pills on the job.

I happen to believe Andrew Cuomo ought to resign and return to private life.

What about Rep. Ronny Jackson, the newly elected House member who represents the congressional district where I once lived?

It turns out that Jackson, a former Navy doctor who once served as White House physician for three presidents, has been accused of misbehaving badly while caring for commanders in chief George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Here is part of what CNN.com is reporting: The Department of Defense inspector general has issued a scathing review of Rep. Ronny Jackson during his time serving as the top White House physician, concluding that he made “sexual and denigrating” comments about a female subordinate, violated the policy for drinking alcohol while on a presidential trip and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that prompted concerns from his colleagues about his ability to provide proper care.

Well …

Rep. Ronny Jackson drank alcohol and took sleeping pills on job as top White House physician, watchdog finds – CNNPolitics

Jackson moved into the district in 2020 to run for the House seat that became vacant when GOP Rep. Mac Thornberry of Clarendon chose to retire from the House after serving for 25 years. His candidacy was fascinating from the get-go, given that he never lived in the 13th Congressional District. He was born in Levelland, Texas, but moved away to pursue a career in the Navy; he achieved the rank of rear admiral while also serving as physician to the three presidents.

None of this should surprise anyone, if you think about it. Donald Trump nominated Jackson to become secretary of veterans affairs, but then the fecal matter hit the fan when allegations surfaced of alcohol abuse on the job as well as his alleged habit of writing prescriptions for drugs that, um, weren’t necessarily for medicinal purposes.

Now the DOD inspector general is examining fresh allegations against this guy.

Nice …

‘Normal’ makes news?

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This is strange in my humble view.

What passes for “normal” in the White House has become the stuff of feature articles in magazines and newspapers. The Hill, which covers Capitol Hill, published an article this week that talks about how “normal” life has become in the White House since President Biden took over from, oh … you know.

It’s kinda bizarre.

Normal now includes daily presidential briefings, which Donald Trump couldn’t stand. Trump called them a waste of his time, which if you think about it, he probably was right; he needed that time to send out Twitter pronouncements and hurl insults at his foes.

As The Hill reported: “It’s so funny – I hear from friends on both sides of the aisle how cleansing it is to wake up in the morning without feeling that the day will be inflamed by a crazy tweet,” said former Rep. Steve Israel, who served as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the Obama era. “Even people who disagree with President Biden say that at least we’re back to normal.”

Biden doubles down on normal at White House | TheHill

President and Mrs. Biden attended church on their first Sunday living in the White House. That, too, is going to become part of the first couple’s routine. So, um, very normal.

What we are witnessing is the re-creation of an executive branch of government built on long-standing practices, procedures and principles that President Biden knows well, given his immense U.S. Senate and vice-presidential pedigree. Donald Trump entered the only public office he ever sought with no such experience or understanding and, oh brother, it showed.

I welcome the return of normal. I also look forward to the day when it no longer is newsworthy.

Always revere the office

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s no secret that I am delighted beyond measure to be rid of Donald Trump and I welcome a new president of the United States.

President Biden has taken a firm grip on the levers of power and for that I am grateful. However, I want to share a brief story that involves in a tangential way the man Biden succeeded as president.

My wife and I vacationed in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2017. We visited our niece and her husband. We spent several days walking around the city with them, enjoying the sights and sounds of our nation’s capital.

We were strolling through Georgetown when I heard a helicopter flying overhead. I looked up. It was Marine One, the military chopper that carries the president of the United States. Donald Trump had traveled somewhere and was returning at that moment aboard the helicopter to the White House.

I must acknowledge a certain thrill at seeing Marine One passing over us, even as it carried the detestable individual who had moved into the White House earlier that year.

This is my way of expressing my reverence for the presidency. I have expressed already in this forum my love of pageantry, of the pomp and circumstance that accompanies the office and the person who occupies it.

True story, but the thrill at seeing Marine One en route to the White House did not diminish one little bit on that lovely summer day.

This is my way of suggesting that the office is far larger and important than any individual who sits behind that big desk in the Oval Office.