Thursday, July 26, 2007

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS


Get yourselves ready, children! The fat lady's about to sing!

Do mine eyes deceive me - or are the Democrats FINALLY starting to show some long, lost courage? Is this but a dream from which I have yet to awaken? Can it be? Can it really be? Oh, heart of mine, be still!!

The decision last week by White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House Council Harriet Miers to ignore a congressional subpoena (they were ordered by Bush to do so) is utterly, without precedent. If you'll be kind enough to remember, during the Watergate Hearings in the long ago summer of 1973, when summoned to appear before that very same committee, the Nixon Gang (for all their faults) honored that summons. Maybe it was pure arrogance on their part; maybe they actually believed that they could pull one over on the Ervin Committee. Who knows? The key players in that drama took their secrets with them to their graves. Like Ms. Miers, John Ehrlichman and H.R. "Bob" Halderman were former employees of the White House - having left the administration in disgrace the previous April. As cunning and devious as Dick Nixon was, I'm sure it never even occurred to the old bastard that he could simply order two ex-aides to ignore something as serious as a congressional subpoena. And even had he done so, it is an absolute certainty that Halderman and Ehrlichman - unlike Harriet Miers - would not have been stupid enough to comply with his demands. Say what you may about Bobby and Johnny, they were two fairly astute guys.

Late last year, in an OP-ED piece in the New York Times, Paul Krugman stated that in the final two years of the Bush presidency, the American people should expect, "a rolling constitutional crisis." Talk about understatement! What you have here is George W. Bush vs The Founding Fathers: a battle between the selfish whims of a disgusting, inarticulate, half-witted frat boy who somehow (as a result of his father's connections) managed to get himself elected president - against the philosophy of checks and balances put forward as the law of the land over two hundred years ago by the men who founded this country - men like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Question: who are YOU rooting for??

FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:
"White House Council Fred Fielding has said Miers, Bolten and other top presidential aides are immune from congressional subpoenas. The Justice Department [umm, that would be the Gonzalez Justice Department] told the committee that any House-passed contempt citation that might be forwarded to the U.S. attorney would not be allowed to proceed."

In other words,
"FUCK THE CONSTITUTION. FUCK THE SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES. FUCK THE FOUNDING FATHERS. FUCK THE LAW - WE ARE THE LAW! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT"???

Here's what we're gonna do about it:

We are going to make sure that George W. Bush and the the tidal wave of walking excrement that comprises this nightmare of an administration are punished for the crimes they have committed against the people (That's "people" as in, "WE THE..."). We are going to make sure that a dangerous precedent is not set wherein those at the pinnacle of power are immune from being punished and imprisoned for breaking the law. We (you and I) are going to make damned good and sure that justice is done, baby!

That's what we're gonna do about it.

Do those words sound like the insane ramblings of a dangerous, left wing extremist? It's a fair question. I always tell people in "the movement", "If you only knew how conservative I really am, you'd be surprised and maybe even even a little appalled." The best way to describe myself would be as a meat and potatoes, New Deal Progressive (We can't use the term "Liberal" anymore. In the last twenty-five years, we've allowed the right wing to turn that once-honored word into an expletive). In other words, by the standards of today, I am an ever-so-slightly, left-of-center Moderate. One does not have to be a Nation-subscribing Lefty to be outraged and offended at the crimes that have been committed by the most corrupt administration in the history of human stupidity. (FULL DISCLOSURE: My favorite singer is Bing Crosby. Now honestly, how dangerous can I really be?)

In the mean time, the performance of Alberto Gonzalez during his July 24th testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was nothing short of pathetic. In a poignant effort to correct the obvious contradictions with reality that his previous testimony had revealed, the Attorney General merely succeeded in creating more doubt and distrust of his corrupt management of the Department of Justice. It is obvious to everyone paying attention (including, I might add, a number of Republicans) that he perjured himself on several occasions and there is now serious talk of bringing him up on charges of lying to Congress. Are there any loose cannons at Justice who have the courage and fortitude to buck the system and prosecute the hideous little twit solely on the constitutional merits of the case? It could very well happen - only time will tell. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont was brutally frank, telling Gonzalez, "I am not willing to accept a simple statement of 'trust us'. I don't trust you."

We do live in interesting times, don't we? We really do! Watching these despicable people literally self-destruct right before my very eyes is a joy that I can't even adequately put into words! Somebody pinch me! I must be dreaming!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bill Perry 1957-2007


Bill Perry was the greatest guitar player who ever walked the face of the earth. He was better than Jimi Hendrix. He was better than Eric Clapton. He was better than George Harrison and Pete Townshend combined. He could play circles around the likes of Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Mick Taylor. I'm going to go out on a limb here: He was better than Robert Johnson! Everyone who knew him (with the curious exception of Bill Perry himself) would agree with that assessment. Those of you who never saw or heard him perform might find those statements to be wild exaggerations. But those of you who saw him play with any degree of regularity - or even if you only caught his act once at some obscure club twenty-five years ago - you know exactly what I'm talking about. The man was without peer. Case closed.
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It was with deep sadness and sorrow that I learned of the passing of this gifted artist and friend of over thirty years on Tuesday, July 17, at the age of forty-nine. Bill had been swimming at the home of a friend in Sugar Loaf, NY when his great heart stopped beating. As is always the case when someone that young departs this vale of tears so unexpectedly, the mind instantly refuses to come to terms with it. And only when one gets to the point of half-hearted acceptance of the fact, do the memories come pouring back. In the case of Bill Perry, the memories come back in torrents
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Bill was born on Christmas Day 1957 in Goshen, NY. It was obvious from a very early age that he had a great future in music ahead of him. In the Autumn of 1974, I had been playing the guitar for a little more than a year and I honestly believed that I was going to be the next John Lennon - until the night I saw Billy, all of sixteen years old, plug in his amp in the backyard of his home in Chester, the small town in upstate New York in which he lived. Come to think of it, I should have been the next John Lennon - someone should have just shot me right then and there! Up until that moment, the guitar had been an all-consuming devotion with me. That night, Bill Perry transformed it into what it remains to this very day: just another one of my many hobbies. Aw, heck, I thought after listening to his flawless performance, Why bother?
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The single greatest thing that struck everyone who knew Bill was his gentleness and the almost saint-like humility with which he conducted himself - a humility that seemed to fly in the face of his jaw-dropping, otherworldly talent. He loved people - and people had no trouble reciprocating the feeling. In fact, it was impossible not to love the man! I'm sure that I would be writing these words had he gone into the insurance business or become a lawyer or the manager of a gas station somewhere. He was a beautiful guy - that's all there is to it. To paraphrase legendary jazz drummer Gene Krupa, referring to the late Bix Beiderbecke, another trail-blazing musician from a long ago, bygone era, "If you couldn't get along with Bill Perry, you couldn't get along".
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That he had a serious fan base, there is no denying. He was immensely popular particularly in Europe and Japan. And yet had he wanted it, he would have been an international superstar and household name. I once brought this subject up with him and I'll never forget his reply: "Nah, Tom, I love playing the clubs." He preferred the intimacy of a small room or performing as a warm up act for the legendary Richie Havens - which he did for many years. As mesmerizing as it is to listen to one of his recordings, to see him in action was an experience that is almost indescribable. He had a stage presence that can only be described as iconic. Knowing Bill Perry, he probably would have laughed himself silly at that description but - so help me - it is the truth! I am sure his many admirers will wholeheartedly agree with me. I can't stress this enough: the guy was brilliant. If you don't believe me, pick up one of his albums - they're all still in print.
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My favorite Bill Perry track was from his first solo LP, Love Scars. The song, titled "Smoky Joe", was a homage to a small barbecue grill which is sold in most American hardware stores. I have kept a Smokey Joe under my kitchen sink for years now. It is in its original box and has never been opened. My plan was to walk up to Bill onstage some night and have him autograph it as a joke. He would have gotten a big kick out of that! I can just see the expression on his face. Alas, it was not meant to be.
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Exactly seventy years and six days before Bill passed from this life, on July 11, 1937, the writer John O'Hara learned of the passing of his old and cherished friend, the composer George Gershwin. What O'Hara wrote that day about Gershwin may be said (with only slight rewording) for Bill:
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Bill Perry died on July 17, 2007. But I don't have to believe it if I don't want to.
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Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net
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SUGGESTED LISTENING....
THE ALBUMS OF BILL PERRY:
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Love Scars (1996)
Greycourt Lightning (1998)
High Octane: Live At Manny's Carwash (1999)
Fire It Up (2001)
Crazy Kind Of Life (2002)
Don't Know Nothin' About Love (2006)

For more recent postings on this disgusting, commie-loving, latte-swirling, french fry-eating site, please go to the following link:

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

peace....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hush! Hush! Sweet Harriet


Just when you thought the half-witted, homicidal little thug in the White House couldn't out-do himself in terms of sheer lawlessness, he lowers the bar yet again! Last week, the First Fool ordered his former council Harriet Miers to ignore a congressional summons to testify as to who was involved in the firings of federal prosecutors last year. Even if she had the legal argument behind her saying she could ignore such a subpoena (she most certainly does not) the fact remains that she is no longer in the employ of the White House - Bush has no right to order her to ignore anything! And yet this pathetic, imbecilic woman is such a mindless team player, she proves that Bush's every wish is her command, stupidly setting herself up for an inherent contempt citation in the process.

And this is the person whose nomination he put forth not two years ago to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court?
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What kind of Justice would she have made? Thankfully, we'll never know. As appallingly low as the standards of the right wing are (most of them still believing that George W. Bush is a great president) even these foolish and unenlightened people were able to detect the shallow incompetence of Harriet Miers. The Woman had never even written a single legal opinion in her entire career - not one! (Just take a look at the photo above: is that the very picture of cluelessness, or what?) As of today, a good deal of her published output appears to be what can only be described as gushing love letters to her idiot boss, written in the style of a simpleminded thirteen year old in the grip of a school girl crush:
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"Dear Governor GWB, You are the best Governor ever! -- Deserving of great respect"!
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"Hopefully Jenna and Barbara recognize that their parents are 'cool'. - as do the rest of us"
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"You're the best"!
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"All I hear is how great you and Laura are doing."
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"Thank you for all you and Laura do for the people of the state"!
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"You and Laura are the greatest"!
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How touching. In response to one of these notes, Bush scribbled to her, "No more public scatology." Indeed. I guess that's what constituted one's fitness for the Supreme Court in this disgusting administration: the extant of one's sycophantic relationship with the commander-in-chief. That her qualifications for so high a judicial position were non-existent, seemed to matter not a whit to Bush (who, let's face it, is fairly whitless). The only important thing is this: she was loyal to him - not to the laws of the land; not to the Constitution of the United States - but to him and him alone. Why has his term of office turned out to be such a dismal and embarrassing failure? For the same reason Warren G. Harding's horribly corrupt administration ended so disastrously eighty-four years ago: Harding, like Bush, filled the executive with cronies and hangers on who were (to put it kindly) ill prepared to deal with the complexities of governance. But as bad as Harding's "Ohio Gang" were (and they were pretty bad - make no mistake about it) compared to Bush and Company, they're starting to look like the Founding Fathers.
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From the Associated Press:
"Across the Capitol, meanwhile, former White House political director Sara Taylor found out what Miers may already have known: It's almost impossible to answer some committee questions but not others without breaching either the subpoena or Bush's claim of executive privilege."
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In other words, if she can't pick and choose the questions she can answer, she'd better not show up at all if she knows what's good for her. Is that beautiful? How much more evidence is needed to demonstrate the utter contempt this White House feels not only for the laws of the land, but for the Constitution itself - the very Constitution that George W. Bush swore to "preserve, protect and defend"? Of course, poor, pathetic little Harriet has nothing to be worried about. She won't be losing her license to practice law anytime soon, that's for sure. No doubt Dubya has promised her a full and unconditional pardon come what may. Scooter Libby's commutation is only the first of what will turn out to be hundreds and hundreds of pardons. And you thought Bill Clinton's eleventh hour pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich was outrageous? OH, BROTHER! Will Bush provoke yet another constitutional crisis during the final, death knell moments of his presidency by trying to pardon himself? Gee, I can't wait to find out.
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The current scandal involving the hideous mismanagement and corruption of the Department of Justice is but a tea cup when compared to the ethical torrent flooding this nightmare of an administration. And here's the amazing thing: we've only scratched the tip of this very nasty iceberg! Isn't that fantastic? We're going to learn so much more in the months and years to come regarding the murderous incompetence of this White House - particularly as the main players in this awful saga start to publish their memoirs. As I predicted on this site last year, 2007 is indeed turning out to be a political junkie's wildest dream. We're talkin' "the gift that keeps giving" here, folks! Watergate was a harmless schoolyard prank compared to what's been going on for the last six and a half years. Only hindsight has made Nixon Press Secretary Ron Ziegler's original description of "a third-rate burglary" seem somewhat apropos. When compared to the criminality of the Bush Mob, the Nixon Gang are now viewed - rightfully - as rank amateurs.
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How much more will the American people tolerate from this rogue's gallery of kooks, criminals and fools? My guess is not much. The faithful viewers of FOX News (just about the stupidest people in the Milky Way) are bound to remain in the fold - most of them anyway. But by summer's end, the overwhelming majority of the citizens of this once-great country will be demanding the impeachment and prosecution of not only the president of the United States - but his entire administration. As was once said, "we are a nation of laws and not of men". The people (as in, "WE THE...") are going to take this country back, baby! The trillion dollar shithammer is about to come a'crashing down on this despicable administration. Oh yeah... This is gonna get ugly, campers...really REALLY ugly. Fasten your seat belts!
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Swing low, sweet Harriet....
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Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

AFTERTHOUGHT:
This is slightly off topic but I just HAD to share it with you: Late this morning, some poor, misguided passer-by, who could not have missed the huge "IMPEACH BUSH" signs on each side of my van, left the following, hand written note on my driver seat:
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"Are you an American...or are you a Liberal?"
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Don'cha just love it?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

An Epidemic of STUPID PILLS

Take a good, close look at the photo above. Look into the faces of these poor people....Look hard: the glazed-over eyes, the fixed, robotic smiles... These are supporters of the administration of George W. Bush. These are people who think he is probably the greatest president in American history - or, at the very least, the greatest president since Ronald Reagan - who, as everybody knows, is really the greatest president in American history - Duh! (I can't believe I just wrote that last sentence with a straight face!) Look into their eyes. No question about it. The diagnosis is unavoidable: these pathetic, lost souls have been taking near lethal doses of Stupid Pills.

Make no mistake about it: the Stupid Pill epidemic is a grave and gathering threat to our beloved nation. It has not only overtaken the population in general (recent polls show that at least twenty-nine percent of the American people still think that this administration is doing a good job) it has also infiltrated the main stream media in the same way that steroids has overtaken the World Wrestling Association.

The other day on the radio, I was listening to a very stupid person from South Dakota who was filling in for another utterly stupid human being, the vacationing Sean Hannity (One of the more disagreeable aspects of my job is that I actually have to devote a certain amount of time each day to listening to these assholes.) This pathetic right wing shill (Where do they find these people?) actually made the following statement:

"Dick Cheney is the greatest vice-president in American history".

What other conclusion was I able to arrive at? This is a person who is on a mind melting Stupid Pill binge. The greatest vice president in American history??? Cheney's poll numbers are, at this writing, in the single digits! The poor bastard (whoever he is - I can't remember his name) must be experiencing some particularly weird hallucinations!

FULL DISCLOSURE: At one time, for a period of slightly less than a year, I was a fairly habitual user of LSD. And while I was occasionally treated to some fairly wild hallucinations, I never, ever got THAT bent out of shape! The very first time I ever tried acid was on the night of August 8, 1974, when Richard M. Nixon announced to the world that he would resign the presidency effective at noon the following day. As out of it as I admittedly was when Tricky Dick made that memorable speech (I was flyin', baby!) I at least had the presence of mind to know that it was probably the best thing for the country. Fortunately for me, Stupid Pills were unavailable in the summer of 1974. At the time, they were still in the "drawing board" stage, being cooked up in the laboratory of a young Grover Norquist. Had they been available, it is very possible that I would have been up for a little experimentation that night and might very well have ended up fire bombing the Headquarters of the Democratic National Committee.

The other media outlets where the Stupid Pill epidemic has taken a decided hold are FOX News and the EIB Radio Network, which is responsible for Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The letters E.I.B. stand for (get your little knee-slappers ready, kiddies!) "Excellence In Broadcasting"! Is that too funny, or what? Limbaugh's drug problems have been much publicized in recent years. One year ago this month he was actually caught red handed trying to smuggle a bottle of Viagra into the United States. What hasn't been openly talked about in the American news media is Rush's major Stupid Pill jones. Listening to his show on any day of the week, one cannot avoid all of the tell tale signs of a major Stupid Pill Junkie: unsubstantiated accusations, flights of delusional fancy and full blown paranoia. No question about it: Rush is not a passive, recreational user of Stupid Pills. This is a man on the verge of a complete, drug induced psychological collapse. He needs to be rehabbed as soon as possible.

In the beginning, Stupid Pills were available almost exclusively to the well-to-do. Recent years, however, have shown that the Stupid Pill epidemic has infiltrated those of moderate means. Why else would so many of them consistently vote against their own self interest by electing to power a party that is dedicated to eliminating the middle class? Why would so many of them embrace a party that has decimated their already modest means of making a living? What could possibly be the explanation? Here's the explanation: Stupid Pills. Lots and lots and lots and lots of them!

Last week, after some Doctors were arrested in England for being involved in a plot to kill thousands of British people, what do you think FOX News' take on the story was?

SOCIALIZED MEDICINE: DOES IT LEAD TO TERRORISM?

If I were Roger Ailes (General Manager of FOX News) I would demand that the person who came up with that mind-numbingly stupid headline have his or her blood tested immediately. My bet is that the person, whoever it is, has suffered a major overdose of Stupid Pills. Here is the big question: What were the ratings for that particular broadcast? What percentage of viewers were so drugged out due to Stupid Pill abuse that they actually took the program seriously? Fifty percent? Eighty percent? Ninety-five percent? It makes one shudder just to consider the possibilities!

Twice now, such a huge percentage of the electorate were under the influence of Stupid Pills, that they actually believed that sending a half-witted cowboy wannabe from Crawford, Texas to the White House was a neat idea! On election night 1980, I got so drunk, I actually cast my vote (just as a joke, mind you) for Ronald Reagan! Should there be mandatory sobriety and blood tests conducted at polling stations across the land? It's a question that needs to be explored.

Which brings me to the disturbing and yet unavoidable question: Is George W. Bush - the president of the United States, the leader of the (so-called) "free world" and the most powerful man on the planet - a Stupid Pill Junkie? The signs are all there, my friends. That being the case, the question needs to be asked: Who is his connection? Who has the clout to bypass the Secret Service and supply the First Fool with what is obviously a very dangerous drug? My hypothesis would be Dick Cheney. No one in this administration has benefited more from Bush's stupidity than the vice-president. A congressional investigation is in order.

Heed my warning, campers: the wide availability of this insidious drug has done near irreparable harm to our once-great nation's social and economic infrastructure. Right now, Stupid Pills are perfectly legal. Legislation must be passed at once that makes a person in possession of them subject to instant rehabilitation. This can only be described as a scourge upon our good, decent and wondrous land. Action must be taken.

Remember, kids:
"ONLY DOPES USE STUPID PILLS"
"JUST SAY 'NO' TO STUPID PILLS"....


No...That doesn't really work, does it? Is there anyone out there who can help me come up with another really dumb slogan?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Poor Laura!


What's going to happen to Laura Bush? This is a subject I've spent much time (too much time) brooding over lately. This is a woman with probably twenty to thirty (or more) years of life left to her. How is she going to live out the rest of her days with the shame hanging over her head? Sooner or later it's bound to dawn on her (if it hasn't already) that her homicidal/frat boy husband is one of the worst war criminals in all recorded human history - fourth in line only to Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. (That isn't mere speculation on my part; that is a proven and undeniable fact!) By now, he's even outdone Saddam Hussein in terms of sheer, murderous proficiency. Sooner or later, George will be spending his declining years rotting away at a prison in Leavenworth or the Hague. What will she do? Where will she go? The poor woman...the poor, poor woman.... I'm not trying to be funny here, folks (well, OK, maybe a little tongue in cheek!) But I do feel a very real sense of sympathy for Mrs. Bush and her two daughters, Barbara and Jenna. What will become of them?

I knew lots of girls like Laura Bush in High School and College: pretty - but jaw droppingly shallow gals who ended up marrying pretty - but jaw droppingly shallow guys. You remember them, don't you? They could be spotted in any school cafeteria. They were the Mary Poppins crowd: "Practically perfect in every way"; never a hair out of place and loathe to give even the time of day to the likes of me. I remember this girl named Cheryl - a Laura Bush type if there ever was one. She's probably working for the Republican National Committee at this very moment. One night in 1974 or 1975, me and three friends (John Harragin, Paul Scesa and Dan O'Brien - Hi guys!) decided to quietly crash a party she was giving at her home. I guess we had a reputation for being part of the druggie crowd. When she looked out her back door and saw the three of us mingling with her elite little group, she let out a scream - not a gasp, mind you, but a cold-blooded, terror-filled, Inner Sanctum style shriek:


"AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"

I never understood what her problem was. We even brought our own drugs with us.

I imagine that if I had gone to High School with Mrs. Bush, we wouldn't have done much hanging out together. I never would have been invited to one of her parties and she would not have been caught dead at one of mine:

"Try a hit of this Orange Sunshine, Laura. You'll be up for days!"

No. Scenes that weird have a tendency to stretch the imagination beyond the breaking point. FULL DISCLOSURE: I quit using on my nineteenth birthday - thirty years ago this August 16th and (coincidentally) the day Elvis Presley died - but that's another story for another day. Just say no to drugs, kids! There....I feel better already.

This fantastic speculation of mine is really kind of off the point. Laura Bush probably thought she had won the lottery the day she wed the half-witted son of a former congressman, Director of the CIA and Chairman of the Republican National Committee (Should anyone from that organization be reading this, say "hi" to Cheryl for me!) It was a match made in Heaven - or so she must have felt at the time: two horrifically mediocre and boring kids, utterly lacking in any kind of real substance or intellectual depth, bound for a bland yet privileged life of restricted country clubs, exclusive parties and the rubbing of elbows with some heavy duty power brokers. When her knucklehead of a father-in-law became the vice-president (and then the president!) she must have been on cloud nine.

Then came the day! On January 20, 2001, her husband - the man she must have given up on too many times to count due to his excessive drinking and drug use - became only the forty-second human being in two-hundred and twelve years to hold the title of President of the United States of America. Whoa! That must have been a heady moment, indeed! Of course the only way he had been able to pull it off was by stealing the election. You see, George was not the Bush who was supposed to follow his father into the White House. That expectation had been laid at the feet of his younger (and only somewhat smarter brother) John E. Bush. If Jeb was bitter by this turn of events, he didn't show it. In fact, just to prove what a good sport he was, as Governor of the State of Florida, he was able to concoct a scheme that removed fifty-seven thousand African Americans from the list of registered voters! (People of color tend to vote Democratic. Go figure.) The trick worked and as a result, Dubya was able to win that state - and, thus, the national election - by a hair.

Laura Bush must be aware that the ensuing years of her husband's "rule" (I can't force myself to use the word "leadership") have been calamitous for her country. What might she be thinking as she drifts off into what I'm sure must be a troubled night's sleep? Her taste in men aside, I never got the impression that the woman is totally clueless. In fact, it has always seemed that there is real, genuine goodness in her - a goodness that is non-existent in the idiot she married in 1977. What must be going through her mind? Surely she has to realize that her husband's administration is the most murderously corrupt and incompetent one in the history of this nation. Does she think about the dead? The 655,000-plus Iraqi men, women and little children? The 3,600-plus American servicemen and women? She must be absolutely tormented about all of these things and more! Does she realize that the two children she loves more than life itself will be remembered by history for nothing more than the fact that they were the offspring of this horrible and disgusting president? Can you imagine if Hitler had had kids? Just think how difficult their lives would have been! How does she live with it? Only a complete and utter sociopath could be unaffected by it all.

The rest of her life will be difficult - no question about it. It's easy to visualize her at the end of her days - a sad and reclusive woman imprisoned by events she really had no control over. An innocent bystander whose only crime was to fall in love with and marry a man who would ultimately prove to be a sadistic war monger. Of all the characters on the stage of this hideous play, she is, without question, its one sympathetic figure.

Maybe someday, Laura will open up and reveal what she really thought about her husband's reign of terror. Until that day arrives (if it ever arrives) we can only speculate. But of this we may be relatively certain: the rest of her life - and the lives of her two daughters - will be spent dealing with the shame and embarrassment of being a loved one of George W. Bush.

Can you even imagine?

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Something to think about on the Fourth of July


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Just a thought....

Happy Independence day, everyone!

Tom Degan
Descendant of
Declaration of Independence signer,
Charles Carroll

tomdegan@frontiernet.net

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

LIBBY'S OFF THE HOOK

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby will not be going to federal prison. As Claude Rains said in the classic 1942 film, Casablanca, "I'm shocked. Shocked"!

That the man would never see a single day in the slammer has been pretty much a foregone conclusion since the day he was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice late last winter. The Bush Mob has always seen itself as above the law and not subject to the same rules that you and I are forced to play by. But now their arrogance is coming back to haunt them - with a vengeance. This White House is, at this very moment, in the process of crumbling like a house of marked cards. If the summer of 2007 is remembered for anything, it will be the utter destruction of the Bush administration. Yippee!
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There is another reason - a very big reason - why Dick Cheney's former chief of staff won't be heading to the Big House: He knows where ALL of the bodies are buried! As politically explosive as the presidential commutation is, it belies the fact that Bush has dodged a particularly nasty bullet: Scooter Libby (for the time being, anyway) won't be talking. How convenient.
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From the First Fool's written statement:
"I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison".

How touching. Remember that this is the same George W. Bush who, as governor of Texas, refused to even consider the commutation of the sentences of even one of the one-hundred and fifty-two death row inmates who died under his watch - some of them whose guilt was questionable, and a number of whom were severely retarded. The 2000 presidential campaign was on the horizon and he just had to prove to the neanderthals who tend to vote in Republican primaries that he was "tough on crime". In a 1999 interview with Tucker Carlson, Bush mocked the recently executed Karla Faye Tucker. Quivering his lower lip he mimicked the poor woman, "Please don't kill me, Mr. Bush". Carlson, as he later noted, was appalled by the performance. Who wouldn't be?

And keep this in mind: of the slightly over one-thousand human beings who have been murdered by the state since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty thirty years ago, almost fifteen percent of those executions occurred in the state of Texas during the eight year period that George W. Bush served as governor. There's "compassionate conservatism" for ya!

Another no-brainer in this whole disgusting affair is the fact that Libby was covering up the misdeeds of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. It all began with the State of the Union speech that the village idiot of Crawford, Texas delivered to the American people in January of 2003. Those famous sixteen words should someday be etched into the marble of the future Operation Iraqi "Freedom" Memorial Wall:

" The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa".

It was a lie. Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction Program (such as it might have been at one time) was kaput and the administration knew it. Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson had been sent on a mission to Niger by Cheney's office to try and find out what (if anything) Saddam had tried to acquire. When he came back with a report that stated, unequivocally, that the reports had been bogus (citing alleged documents with the signatures of Nigerian officials who had been out of office for over a decade) he was ignored. They were determined - come what may - to seize what is generally regarded to be the second or third largest oil reserves on the planet consequences be damned.

Six months after Bush's infamous sixteen words, and four months following the stupidest foreign policy blunder in American history (the invasion of - like it or not - the sovereign nation of Iraq), Wilson wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times called, "What I Didn't Find in Niger", which exposed the administration's Iraq policy for what it was: a scam. So what did Cheney, Rove, Libby and company do? They did what all real men do when confronted with so intimidating a foe. They went after the guy's wife. Why on earth they believed that it would help their cause to expose the identity of covert CIA agent, Valerie Plaime Wilson, may forever remain a mystery of the ages. Was there some kind of strategic advantage to be gained by outting Ms. Wilson that most of us just aren't perceptive enough to see? Or might it be something as simple as the nagging suspicion that I have harbored from the outset: that these people are dumber than dog shit.

Just a friendly reminder: As of this morning the total number of dead American soldiers in the Neo-Conflict (my name for this stupid fucking war) is at 3,586. The number of dead Iraqi men, women and little children? At least half a million.

Undoubtedly Scooter Libby will eventually be given a full, complete and unconditional pardon by Bush. As the clock ticks away during the final hours of this disgusting administration, the man that so huge a segment of the American people were foolish enough to send to the White House will be pardoning every criminal in his employ. Every criminal - that is - with the exception of George W. Bush! A president, you see, is legally unable to pardon himself. I wonder if Alberto Gonzalez has even bothered to explain this to him yet?

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
(845) 294-5714
tomdegan@frontiernet.net
Special thanks to Kurt Hornick of Poughkeepsie, NY for the "Get Out of Jail Free" card.