Wednesday, February 11, 2009


And now a few words about the state of Kentucky....

I love Kentucky. I love Kentuckians. Perhaps I am a tad biased on this topic. You see, my ancestry is steeped in the history of that state. Many generations of my forebears called Kentucky home. My maternal grandfather was born in 1894 on a tobacco farm in the small town of Hodgenville. He and my grandmother Loretta Doran (this is the forty-fifth anniversary of her death ) today lie side by side in the small rural Catholic cemetery there.

That is the same town where the man whose bicentennial we'll be observing tomorrow was born in 1809. Right down the road from my family's ancestral home (which we still own by the way) is the Lincoln Marriage Cabin where Thomas Lincoln married Nancy Hanks
. If you ever get the chance to visit the place, check out the bronze plaque out in front. The words, to the best of my recollection (I haven't visited there since 1989) are these:

"Donated to the state of Kentucky by Walter L. Clements"

That was my grandfather. He and his father, Walter A. Clements, also donated the Lincoln Boyhood Cabin to the state of Kentucky. The land that the Lincoln family settled on was owned by my ancestors. Like my granddad (or "Paw Paw" as we called him) the Lincolns eventually moved to Indiana.

I don't think I can state it more clearly than I already have - l am just crazy about Kentucky and the nice people who reside there - Honest to goodness, I am! That being said, however, the question is just screaming to be asked:

Why do such good and decent people keep sending a flaming asshole like Mitch McConnell to Washington?

According to the nice people at Wikipedia, (we'll just have to take their word for it) on his office's official website it is stated that he was "Born on February 20, 1942, and raised in South Louisville". Not that it matters a dime but it neglects to mention the fact that he was born in Alabama. A politician who is not even honest about the circumstances of his own birth can't be expected to be honest about much else. Take Joe Biden for instance. Good ol' Joe has never felt the need to hide the fact that he was born and raised in Scranton, PA and only moved to Delaware as a teenager. Why the hell does Mitch McConnell feel compelled to be deceptive about even this meager item of his biography? What is the matter with him? Is the man a pathological liar? Inquiring minds want to know.

Interestingly, in 1944 at the age of two, our darling little Mitch was diagnosed with polio. In his own words:

"When I was two years old, I came down with an infection that felt a lot like the flu, But after the fever had passed, my left leg had gone lame. For two years my mother put me through a physical therapy regimen taught to her by the doctors at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, founded by President Roosevelt in Warm Springs, Georgia."

Wow! Mitch sure as hell must have been grateful to Franklin D. Roosevelt for helping to develop the method which would enable him on the road to recovery! And how do you think Mitch McConnell expressed that gratitude? He has spent a lifetime trying to destroy FDR's legacy. Talk about an ingrate!

Call it a hunch, but I get this funny feeling that Mitch has studied more than just President Roosevelt's groundbreaking work on the subject of infantile paralysis. Me thinks that he has also studied the effect the New Deal had on America and the political dividends that were paid out as a result of its effectiveness for generations - dividends that went primarily to the Democrats. In case you haven't noticed, Mitch is starting to rewrite history. He even did it the day before yesterday on the floor of the U.S Senate:

"And we know for sure that the big spending programs of the New Deal did not work. In 1940 unemployment was still at fifteen percent. And it's widely agreed among economists [although he is unable to mention one of these phantom "economists" by name] that what got us out of the doldrums that we were in during the Depression was the beginning of World War Two."

As Rachel Maddow pointed out, in 1933 unemployment was at twenty-five percent. Getting it down to fifteen percent is "technically a big improvement". Rachel also pointed out a fact that has previously been discussed on this site: Between 1933 and 1941, America's Gross Domestic Product rose substantially every year but one - 1937. That was the year Roosevelt got spooked by the Right Wing (within congress and without) and decided to put the old kibosh on stimulus spending. The result was a severe recession. FDR learned his lesson.

Mitch McConnell and those of his sleazy ilk despise the American people to such an astounding degree, they would see our economy implode for no other reason than cheap political expediency. They know that Roosevelt was so successful at saving American capitalism from its own excesses three-quarters-of-a-century ago, their party would not control the executive branch for a full twenty years after 1933. What these hideous bastards and bitches are attempting to do is to water down the stimulus package to such a degree that it is certainly doomed to fail. They will then be able to look the American people in the eye and say - with a straight face - "We told you so".

To my cousins in Kentucky: Is Mitch McConnell the best you folks can do? You're the state that produced Abraham Lincoln, Rosemary Clooney and (forgive me if I boast) the freakin' Clements family, for the love of Mike! You came so close to defeating him last time 'round! Now you're stuck with him for another six years - or unless he gets busted between now and then. That is not at all outside of the realm of possibilities; he is, after all, one of the most corrupt politicians living this side of a federal prison wall. Hopefully things might change between now and 2015. All I can say to you is this: Show me someone who thinks that sending this fool to the senate was a good idea and I'll show you someone who's been smoking blue grass.

Don't take your eyes off this guy. He's despicable.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


In memory of a great American
Ed Morley
August 10, 1960-February 7, 2009


I don't need to tell you how much I loved and admired Ed. He was an absolute flower among the weeds. All of us will be keeping you and your three remarkable children in our thoughts and prayers. Having all of you in my life has been like winning the lottery. Sometimes I have to pinch myself at my good fortune. Whatever you need, don't hesitate to ask.

"At the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet, silver song of a lark".

Love and Peace,


At 8:05 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Isn't it interesting that our Congress has no problem giving away the store, without much debate, when the money is being funneled to their banking friends (such as we saw with TARP last September), but when the check is being written to help ordinary, taxpaying, Americans, they quibble and dissect the bill for weeks on end?

Personally, I think the $789 billion stimulus bill they've agreed to is way too small. It needed to be double, at least, to incur the desired effects. There also was too much appropriated for tax-cuts. I don't think it's going to work. Down the line, I'm afraid the president's going to have to go begging for more, and you know how that'll turn out.

Tom, I'm sorry for your loss. Ed Morley sounded like a great friend. I'm sure he will be sorely missed. He left this world a relatively young man. My sympathies go out to all his family and friends.

At 8:13 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


Sometimes I wonder what this country would be like today had America not spent the last thirty years pissing away it's treasure and had invested in its people. What a different place it would be.

And, yes, Ed Morley was a great guy. His funeral was the largest I have ever seen in this town.. Larger than even my dad's who, by the way passed away twenty years ago today, February 12, 1989.


Tom Degan

At 11:55 AM, Blogger charles moore said...

Despicable is hardly the word to describe McConnell, and John Bonehead and all of the other Rethugs. I am so angry about their digging in of the heels and opposing Obama and the Democrats that I am almost speechless. These assholes do not realize that they lost the election; they do not realize that their stupid policies under the Jug Eared Jackass were complete and total failures; that America voted for a change; the people (for once) rejected them and their failed policies and want to go in a different direction. And yet they firmly unite, stalling and opposing wherever they can.

I would like to point out to your readers that it is very easy to go to the websites of these clowns and find contact information. It is extremely easy to email them. I am not stupid to think that McConnell or Bonehead actually read my rantings and ravings themselves, but I am sure that someone on their staff does and it makes me feel better to let loose with my venom against them.

Let us just hope that the American people finally realize who the real obstructionists are and sweep them out of office in the next election; all of them.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said... them out and replace them with ???? Seems to me that no matter how these politicians present themselves they are still members of the establishment. The salaries paid to our legislators, while not as obscene as the pay the Wall Street crooks receive, still serve to separate them from the average working class citizen. I realize most of these politicians were already quite wealthy but even ones who were not, once elected are no longer in the same boat as the rest of us. There have been comments in Alternet and Truthdig regarding why our people haven't protested or rioted like the Europeans.....if we take that path we damn well better be ready to die because the establishment has never had any qualms about killing us ( Kent State ). So let us just go along naive as ever fully trusting the evil people who could care less about us. Isn't that what Obama is really about ??

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some good, some not so much.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

After reading so many of your fine comments on The Rant and Alternet, I am a bit surprised that you are so cynical regarding the new Obama administration. I have no idea where you live, but here in Illinois in my suburb outside of Chicago, we have several elected members of the House who for years have had the best interest of the American people at heart and have fought against the misguided excesses of the Bush administration.

There are some good and decent people who have been and will continue to be elected to government and there will always be replacements for those who are only concerned with personal wealth and power at the expense of America.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Charles, I appreciate your inquiry as to my cynicism.....It began when I was in the 6th grade when my teacher a WASP staunch Nixon supporter tried to brainwash us with that Cold War shit. Instead of succeeding she turned me against the establishment and I happily joined the then growing counter-culture. So since 1968 at the ripe age of 11 I have watched capitalism create great inequities in our society. I don't doubt that there are SOME good people in our society but I'm not so sure Obama ( who I voted for ) is one of them !! Frankly, I've found his cabinet picks troubling and to me he is now coming off as more of an actor than Reagan !! I guess for my politics he is not far enough left to gain my trust. He is wrong about not wanting to go after the Bush administration criminals, wrong about not exploring drug regulation ( I don't support legalization I favor regulation though licensing, alcohol and tobacco included ) and wrong about Afghanistan and the role of our military in the world. I also don't think having gone to Columbia and Harvard helped any. Those Ivy leaguers tend to be too impressed with themselves. This leads to them thinking they have all the answers and as we can see from recent events, they are clueless as to how to fix the mess they created with their " brilliance ". I too have a college degree and a law degree yet I would go about solving our societal ills much differently. Now THAT would be change. The change Obama speaks of is minimal, it won't change who controls Amerika. Get it ??

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

I noticed a typo in my last comment....regarding drug regulation it should have read " I favor regulation THROUGH licensing ". I can't go back and fix my typos like Tom does :-) While on the subject I do want to mention that I advocate licensing people to use drugs only in NATURAL forms, not refined substances. But that's a topic for another day !!

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous John said...

Hey Ellis,

The pharmaceutical companies are just going to love your idea. You may have noticed that they only endorse using refined substances. You would also be amazed to find out the proportion of school kids on prozac and other mood altering prescriptions. ADD... they just make up a disease and start writing scripts.

p.s. I too would like be able to touch up my comments.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Ellis, you DO get a chance to edit your comment. You have the opportunity to PREVIEW it first for typos and such and then hit publish your comment.
Maybe if you were not in such a hurry to put in your two cents worth with someone you disagree with.....

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

This is off the wall and largely irrelevant, but where are McConnell's lips??

At 4:01 AM, Anonymous shaidrules said...

Anna Van Z.. you wanted to know where Mitch McConnell's lips are..they are planted firmly on Rush Limbarf's a$$hole.. sorry about your friend dying tom..he sounded like a good man

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, interesting story about your family. I realize Mitch is an evil republican, but he does have a reason to gripe when Chucky says stupid stuff like this:
I think Obama, Nan and Harry are going to take us deep into the poor house in the coming months, and probably years. A lot of what they are calling tax cuts in the current bill are actually hand outs to people who don’t pay federal income tax, handouts to retirees and the like, and other tax credits to low income families. It’s basically Obama fulfilling his campaign promise for wealth redistribution. I don’t care which side of the fence you’re on, let’s call it what it is. Joel

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Hotrod said...

You can vilify the Repugs all you want-they brilliantly represent their core constituencies. Our weak and pitiful Demos are a pathetic excuse for groveling dogs before the throne of real power. Reid and Pelosi are just the window dressing of the rest of these losers. Are they afraid or just lazy?

At 2:30 AM, Blogger larkrise said...

Is Elanie Chao married to Mitch McConnell? If so, what a miserable, corrupt, incompetent, scumbag pair those two make. That hateful,vicious piece of work, Chao, caused the deaths of countless workers by her total failure to enforce safety standards for workers. She is the essence of evil and greed. As for McConnell, every other word out of his mouth is a lie.The only words that are untainted are a,an, the. The rest is pure garbage. He should work for Rupert Murdoch. I am sure he must get donations from the Australian Ass. McConnell is the quintessential bipartisan poohbah. He doesnt give a rat's patootie about the country. He is like pondscum that chokes out all the life beneath it. The only people more despicable than McConnell are the fools and morons that vote for him. May they go into foreclosure, lose their jobs, and spend hours waiting for medical care in the emergency room.


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