Tag Archives: White House

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.

Waiting for ‘normal’ presidency

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As we Americans have come to learn to our dismay Donald Trump was anything but a “normal” president of the United States.

He led a chaotic, corrupt, incoherent administration. He governed that way and is governing that way to the very end of his tenure.

I never, ever thought I would say this but I am looking forward in just two days to the start of a “normal” presidential administration led by a man who knows how to govern, knows how government works and is capable of taking the time to learn what he doesn’t know already.

President Biden likely won’t set the world afire with soaring rhetoric. He pledges to seek unity as he takes the reins of power. He will take his oath of office on Wednesday and will start the unification process immediately.

He won’t blast out an incessant stream of Twitter messages. He won’t demand Cabinet officials demonstrate undying loyalty to him. Biden won’t pit Americans against each other, or pit this country against our neighbors to the north and south of us.

I doubt seriously we’re going to hear President Biden declare, if we are faced with the kind of violence we saw in 2017 when Klansmen and Nazis were lifted to the same moral equivalence as the people who were protesting against them.

No, all he’s going to do is govern the way presidents of the United States traditionally have governed. That he is succeeding an individual who never grasped the principle of compromise or ever understood the complexities of governing with two other co-equal branches of government only heightens the anxiousness many of us feel as return to a “normal” president.

These past four years have seemed like a lifetime to many of us who like following the twists and turns of government.

Normality? Bring it on!

Call him ‘Cool hand Joe’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Americans are getting an advance look at the difference in style between Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden.

Trump is leaving the presidency under an air of chaos, confusion, controversy. Biden is preparing to enter the presidency with a cool, calm, collected approach to governing.

Thus, I do believe we are going to be able to rest assured that President Biden will continue this approach as he takes the oath and gets to work on trying to grapple with the myriad problems that await him.

Trump never got his arms around the government. He never understood the compromise needed to legislate, or how to cajole those on the other side. He flew blindly the entire way. Trump used his now-defunct Twitter account to make key policy decisions, to fire Cabinet officials, to tell Americans directly what was on his mind in the moment.

Biden isn’t likely to use that social medium to the degree his immediate predecessor did. Which is fine by me!

What’s more, as Trump prepares to exit the White House, he does so as a two-time impeached president. Trump’s coterie of advisers is shrinking, frightened by his reportedly erratic and outrageous behavior.

Biden is preparing to grasp the reins of power like the cool customer he has taught himself to be. I mean, he has all those decades of government experience under his belt. President-elect Biden is a man of the U.S. Senate, where he worked for 36 years before becoming vice president during President Obama’s two successful terms in office.

Ahh, the difference is a joy to behold.

Waiting for a ‘presidential’ president

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

While the nation remains ensnared by the machinations of a president who cannot admit to losing an election, I find myself yearning for the moment the current president exits the stage and makes way for the guy who’s going to replace him.

At the crux of my yearning is a belief that the new fellow, Joseph Biden, will restore the term “presidential” to the office he inherits from Donald Trump.

You see, the sight of Trump continuing to insist that the election was an act of thievery performed by Biden and his  team is painful to the core. It shows the world that the United States of America, whose people like to think we live in an exceptional nation, is capable of behaving like a Third World banana republic. That is what Trump is providing the world: a glimpse into the dark side of politics and into the man that managed to get elected president of the United States.

He’s about to go away somewhere. Likely to Florida. He’ll play a lot of golf soon. He might form a new team  to plot a return to politics down the road. He’ll keep yammering about Biden, about the election, about whatever filters into his vacuous skull.

Through it all, we’ll get to watch a president actually act like the man who has walked into the world’s most visible and powerful office. Yes, a lot of it will be symbolic and not of much substance.

It will be important, though, to know that our president is in control of the situation and most of all in control of his own impulses. Joe Biden is going to become a “presidential” president.

I await that moment anxiously.

Hey, Mr. POTUS … just stay in Florida

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Mr. President, this is likely the final blog entry I will direct to you, but I have something I want to get off my chest.

I get that you and the first lady are in Florida enjoying the Christmas season. Good deal, but here is what I want to ask you: Why don’t you just stay there and not bother returning to the White House? 

You have left a mess in Washington. The COVID relief bill contains some help for Americans who need it; it also funds the military; it also keeps the government running. Yet you say you won’t sign it. You screwed this up royally with your surprise reversal after your team negotiated the deal that ended up on your desk.

The chaos we all predicted would be the lowlight of your tenure as president is coming home to roost. Thanks to you!

So, just stay away from Washington. You don’t do any work there anyway, other than concoct traitorous methods to overturn an election that you lost handily. Just don’t bother darkening the door of our house, OK?

Hey, just stay near a phone. Someone can call you in case an emergency arises. You’re still the president until Jan. 20. Just remain available to make a decision that only you can make. Movers can pack up your stuff and send it to you and the first lady. They’ll know where to find you.

Beyond that, we don’t need you any longer. President Biden will be ready to step in when he takes his oath of office. What’s more, he is certain to honor the oath, which you have failed miserably to do.

I’ve had enough of you in my house. Stay away.

Merry Christmas … numbskull.

Biden transition needs to function on all cylinders

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Oh, to be a fly on whatever walls surrounding the meetings that President-elect Biden is conducting as he prepares to become the next president.

The transition has begun officially. It was late getting started. Donald Trump, who lost the election to Joe Biden, dug in for too long after we learned that we had a new president waiting in the wings.

Then came the order from the General Services Administration, the agency that runs the transition: Start turning the wheels, the GSA said … undoubtedly on orders from Donald Trump.

I am heartened somewhat — but not totally — by the knowledge that President-elect Biden is a man of the Senate, that he knows how government works, that he has an enormous network of contacts throughout the legislative and executive branches of government.

Biden comes to the presidency being able to speak fluently in the language that bureaucrats speak to each other. There appears to be little on-the-job training for the new president. He served 36 years in the Senate, eight as vice president. He knows the ropes.

Contrast that with the absence of any exposure to government that Donald Trump brought to the job he inherited when he was elected in 2016. It showed from the get-go.

I do not expect the new president to make the kind of monumental hiring mistakes that Trump made. I could be wrong, of course. Indeed, I am wrong way more than I am right.

On this matter … I’ll stick with my assessment of the new president.