Thursday, October 27, 2011

Time to Get Moving

"Now we're in the midst of not just advocating for change, not just calling for change - we're doing the grinding, sometimes frustrating work of delivering change - inch by inch, day by day."

Barack Obama

Yeah, but change I can believe in?

First of all let me emphasize from the outset that this president has been a disappointment in too many areas to count. When Barack Obama was inaugurated as the forty-fourth president on 20 January 2009, what I had envisioned for this troubled country was a radical, progressive firebrand, the likes of which we had not seen since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It's been too long since we've had that kind of leadership in this country. Consider this: When FDR entered the White House in March of 1933, my late father was not quite two-and-a-half years old. Today would have been his eighty-first birthday. Too long indeed.

But we didn't get a liberal. Au contraire, mon frere. What we got instead was a cautious and timid moderate - sound asleep in the middle of the road. Not the place to find oneself in times of national crisis. It soon became apparent that Barack Obama did not have the stomach for the good fight; a key attribute contained within the character of every successful politician in history. That appears to be changing however. I never agreed with Barry Goldwater when he famously said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice", but I totally concur with the next line of that speech: "Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." It would seem to me in recent weeks that President Obama's week-kneed moderation is starting to give way to a bit of moxie. This has been welcome news indeed. This guy needs to engage in some serious political ass whupping. We shall see.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Paul Josef Goebbels 1897-1945
Hitler's Minister of Propaganda

Well, now! I have an idea where these people might have gotten their playbook. Call it a hunch. And speaking of the Big Lie....

One of the most incredible things of the last two-and-a-half-years was witnessing the conservative medi
a's scream machine attempting to portray this president as a far-left socialist. What was even more incredible than that was the spectacle of so many Americans stupidly falling for the propaganda. They've heard the Big Lie - repeated over and over. They've swallowed the Kool-Aid. Show me a person who seriously believes Obama to be a left wing radical and I'll show you a person without the most basic, remedial grasp of American history. I can almost hear Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt giggling from beyond the void.

My theory (and I hope I'm right about this) is that Obama has been sailing cautiously with the wind in this first term, paving the way for an easy re-election, and that he's saving his best tunes for Act Two of this silly operetta. Maybe the reason he is not waiting until after Election Day to show some long-overdue chutzpah is due to the pathetic cast of characters that now comprises the Republican contenders for the nomination. It is becoming more clear with each passing day, that defeating any of this group of unintentional comedians will be as easy as shooting a school of half-witted fish in a leaky barrel.

Think abo
ut it for a minute. Jon Huntsman is the most impressive candidate for the GOP nomination to come around in over a century - since that other Roosevelt (Theodore). He's smart, articulate, relatively moderate - and he's barely registering in the polls with these knuckleheads! Although I would never vote for him, he's the only member of this insane clown posse that I wouldn't lose much sleep over if he were to be elected. Huntsman's "problem" is that he's the only one of these nitwits with an IQ higher than room temperature. He also seems to be relatively sane. Intelligence and sanity don't really play too well with the Tea party crowd as I'm sure you've noticed. This is an organization of crazy people - and they now control the same party which one-hundred and fifty-one years ago nominated Abraham Lincoln!

I need a good dose of Demerol.

Needless to say, it is essential that the "base" of the Democratic party not engage in another mass hissy
fit and stay home in a snit as they foolishly did on Election Day 2010. They have nothing to gain by doing so, and everything to lose. We won't be able to save this country if there's nothing left of it to save. It's time to get out there and make damned sure that Obama is re-elected next year.

It seems to me that our Republican friends have lost what was left of their small, incurious minds. It's no surprise that that disgusting party has been bending over backwards to see that the American people suffer in order that they achieve their radical agenda. What IS surprising is the fact that their efforts in the last year have become so overt. They're not even trying to hide it anymore. I guess they assume that as long as so many Americans continue to watch FOX Noise and listen to Rush Limbaugh for their news and information, they can work out in the open.

And as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the one, surefire issue that the Democrats are stupidly ignoring is that of the Supreme Court. If the next president is a Republican and is able to appoint even one more half-witted, right wing extrem
ist to that bench, we might just-as-well blow a fond, farewell kiss to the United States of America. The wounds will be mortal.

But of course if the prez is reelected and the house and the senate wind up in the hands of the Republican party, his success at the polls won't amount to a damned thing. The Democrats need to understand that they have got to stop nominating these pathetic, conse
rvative Blue Dogs. Conservatism is not he way to go if we're to get this once-great nation moving again. That's been proven time and again throughout history. As I've said on this site too many times to count, I left the Democrats in 1998 and never looked back. It became obvious to me then that they had forgotten that they are (or were) the party of FDR. Thirteen years later my opinion has not changed. If America is to be saved it needs to take a hard turn to the left - just as it did in 1932. Otherwise get used to living in a country in ruins.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


As I said, my dad Jack Degan (photo left) was born eighty-one years ago today in Brooklyn, NY. Someone recently said to me that she was sure that he and his dear friend and Notre Dame classmate Bob O'Connor went straight to Heaven. I had to gently disagree with her on this point. Knowing those two, they probably stopped in Purgatory for a drink.

Happy birthday, Dad. A tip of the hat and a raising of the glass to you and the Bobster!


The Roosevelts: An American Saga
by Peter Collier and David Horowitz

I'm right in the middle of this one and can't put the damned thing down. A remarkable book that traces the roots of this more-than-remarkable American family. I cannot recommend it enough.


Today is
also the one-hundred and fifty-third anniversary of the birth of Theodore Roosevelt. I'm just sayin'. Here is a link to a piece I wrote nearly four years ago commemorating the life of this extraordinary American:

They just don't make Republicans like that anymore. Come to think about it they don't make Democrats like that anymore either.


At 9:29 AM, Anonymous James said...

It seems to me that Obama pursues a Liberal agenda with the same enthusiasm as a white defense lawyer defending a black man of rape in a small Mississippi town in 1950.

I have felt for a long time that Republicans who disparage Obama and Liberals who support him are either ill informed or just too partisan. The idea that he gets out maneuvered by the Repubs is not reality based.

The Repubs knew if they deprived 10 million people of their unemployment checks to get tax cuts for the wealthy, they would be hiding in their basements with the National Guard out side.

Obama not only reinstated the Bush tax cuts, he threw in hundreds of billions in estate tax cuts also. I am sure after every Republican victory, he and Baynor exchange winks as they go their respectful ways.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous James said...

Given the actions of these two men, that was a wildly inappropriate typo, it should have been respective instead of respectful!

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Rain said...

You said it all but you know they all want simple and simple-minded is what they support to get it... It'll be interesting, if they should happen to win in 2012 how 'simple' works out for them!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Balanced, beautiful and perceptive. It's hard to limit myself to just one or two of your well-made points that resonate with me, but I think maybe the warning about Democrats having another hissy fit in 2012 and staying home and getting rid of the Blue Dawgs are at the top of the list.

I'll just add that I've heard more than one authority on the subject claim that anytime you hear or see the word "reality" in a statement, you can safely assume it is coming from a Leftbagger. The irony is, of course, that they wouldn't know reality if it slapped them in the face.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous annengima said...

Is that Obama campaign logo a paid product placement? It wouldn't surprise me one bit, with that billion dollar campaign war chest, Obama can afford to pay every blogger in America to make excuses for him.

Sorry but this piece doesn't even sound like you, and it certainly does not reflect reality. Did your rantability drown in some bottle of Demerol or booze? It really sounds like the product of an anesthetized mind. You are missing a huge piece of reality.

Obama is a timid moderate? Are you talking about our Assassinator-In-Chief, the guy who has never broken a promise to Wall St. but has broken them all to his base?

I hope you can get back to Reality soon. We miss you, Tom!

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Oops! There's that reality word again. The needle must be stuck.

At 1:16 PM, Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...


With that attitude, you will guarantee a Republican president and Congress, and then you may have time to reflect on what Mr. Obama HAS done, while you're waiting in line at the soup kitchen.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Knowzy said...

That is Reality with a capital R, not 'reality' as in whatever your lying Congressmen and President want you to think it is.

Example: reality = Obama is keeping his campaign promise to get us out of Iraq by the end of the year. Reality = The SOFA of 2008 under Bush set this date. It was a result of Iraqi outrage and demands related to massacres of civilians by the US. Reality = Obama tried repeatedly all year to keep our forces there and only when he FAILED did he announced he was 'keeping his promise'.

Big difference.

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous annenigma said...

This isn't your grandfather's Democratic Party anymore, so wake up and smell the money, honey.

I've got my soup, so don't worry about me. I've got some cabbage too. What I don't have is any faith in an overly ambitious egotistical politician who is vested in winning over the love and money of father figures on Wall Street and the Republican (Daddy) Party.

Not only do I not fear a Republican in the White House, I welcome it. It will bring out more lazy loyalist Democrats to finally protest the conditions that exist now and will still be around then, because the same forces will be running the country.

Hope is hard to give up, but a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Dr Don Sharpe said...

This expresses what I have been saying since the early months of the Obama administration.
Obama the Socialist? Would that he were...

Eugene V. Debs, where are you now that we need you...

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Dr Don Sharpe said...

You have perfectly expressed the view I have held since the early months of the Obama Presidency. Obama the Socialist? Would that he were! Where is Eugene Debs now that we need him?
One thing I have noticed, since the Occupy Wall St. demonstrations started, is that there is a greater willingness to actually criticize Capitalism without fear.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous James said...

Right on Knowzy! Me and my brother had tears in our eyes when Obama was elected, and we are middle aged white guys. That is why I get so pissed off when his name comes up nowadays.

Here are a few more items to ponder.
This summer Obama gave Monsanto unrestricted use for all of their GMO crops, against the advise of scientist in and out of the government. This has the potential for problems of epic proportions down the road.

Obama is backing a 1 trillion dollar upgrade to our nuclear arsenal. New warheads, 12 new nuclear attack submarines and so on.

As you all know, Obama did not appoint Elizabeth Warren to the new consumer protection agency.But he also severely weakened it by having outside government groups have veto power over it. Very pro-business groups at that.

Obama's people are working hard to get an agreement to stay in Afghanistan till 2024.

I could type all damn day about Obama's shitty Conservative agenda. The Repubs are winning the battle and the war. We lose if Obama gets 4 more years and we lose if a Repub gets in.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Soup kitchens aside, one must vote ( or decide not to vote ) with one's conscience. Just because Amerika is now so dysfunctional that DOES NOT negate one's need to vote with their conscience. Maybe progressive change can only happen over the course of decades. Maybe things have to get so bad for so many that with nothing to lose WE THE PEOPLE will revolt violently as we saw in Libya and other places. Voting the lesser evil does nothing to change the dysfunctional nature of our government. Maybe tyranny has to take its natural course. We are seeing the start of peaceful revolt with the OWS movements. If this dissent ends up falling on deaf ears the next step is not being so nice and peaceful about it. That's the way it always has been and honestly I don't see that changing any time soon. Death and destruction are all that the establishment understands so in the end that may just be inevitable. So if you want to vote for a guy who has already proven to be a liar and an establishment hack go right ahead. I just cannot in good conscience vote for Obama again even if it will result in my eventual standing on line in a soup kitchen. At least I will stand there in good conscience !!!

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

You bring up some interesting, hard-to-debate points, James. It's hard to argue with the argument that we lose whomever is elected next November. But I can say this without a shred of doubt: We lose a helluva lot more if the GOP takes back the executive.

I refuse to give up on this president until he is a month into his second term. By then, if things have not changed in the way he conducts his administration, I'll know I was duped. Until then....

Tom Degan

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Tom, why do you think Obama might change in a second term ?? His actions ( and inactions ) in his current term do not stem from fear of not getting re-elected. They stem from a fear for his life ( the guy is obviously chickenshit ) and from his philosophical mindset which unfortunately has been warped by his Ivy League brainwashing. So giving him 4 more years to disappoint his voters will only result in delaying meaningful change. WE THE PEOPLE are the only ones who can change Amerika and most likely NOT through the dysfunctional political process.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Catharine said...

Ellis -- Obama might change his tactics in his 2nd term because most presidents due, when they no longer have anything but a legacy to lose (GWB was an exception to this, as he was to nearly all rules about all things presidential).

We'll see if the 2nd term "presidents gone wild" rule applies to Obama. He might just be someone who so desperately needs approval that he can't bring himself to risk being hated.

We'll see.

If he does nothing more than implement mortgage and student loan relief, I'll consider him successful.


At 3:45 PM, Blogger Catharine said...

Did I just type "due" for "do" in the above post?

Curse you, God of Homonyms!!!!!


At 4:04 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Maube you're onto something, Ellis. Sometimes I think that another four - or eight - years of an extremist right winger in the White House might be just the amphetamine this country needs to wake itself up.

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

What so many are overlooking here is Tom's comment about getting rid of certain Congressional reps. A poll is out that the approval rating for Congress is at an all-time low of just 9%.

We the People pay these bastards $174.000 per year, and now Boehner and Cantor have the temerity to suggest that they only meet 109 days per year.

Worse, the idiots joke about their low rating.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Why is everyone so sure this is a two party race ?? Oh that's right, only two parties have the money to try to buy an election through propaganda and lies. My bad !! It all seems to go back to Public Campaign Financing and taking the influence of money out of politics, doesn't it ?? Catharine, I understand that a second term President is free from the consequence of not being re-elected. But Obama will still be in fear of the wrath of the 1 percenters who could easily pay to have him killed. Don't put that past them, I'm sure Obama doesn't !!

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Knowzy said...

If I wave a magic wand, will you all come out of your Obama spell? Poof! Snap! Are you awake yet?

Obama is making the most minimal effort, actually 'just words', to win Democrats over. He is more concerned with actions to win over Independents and Republicans.

If he is re-elected, he won't even need Democratic voters anymore. And since the Democrats in Congress are bought and paid for too, that means you will be totally unrepresented. Kind of like now! And his legacy? That's the notches on his Assassinator-in-Chief belt which will be displayed alongside his Nobel Peace Prize in his Presidential Palace, I mean Library.

Didn't you hear him in South Carolina? He told the crowd he is not the Democratic President. Too bad he didn't mention that at the Democratic convention. Hillary would have been thrilled to hear that. Maybe he wouldn't have stolen the nomination from her under the false pretense that he was a Democrat. He even stole all her positions to make him seem just like her, except he was Hope and Change. (disclaimer - I voted for him in both Primary and General and donated beaucoups bucks).

And haven't you noticed he doesn't even spout Democratic principles? Show me where he even talks about poverty or uses the word poor, just to give one example.

The Democratic Party was his vehicle which he has since driven it into the ditch. You might have gotten some warning of that in 2010. There is no riding on his coattails. The emperor has no clothes! The Democrats are sunk unless they ditch him and run someone else. But because he holds the big money bag, that isn't going to happen. Money rules.

The only solution is for We the People to declare OUR independence from this undemocratic, unrepresentative and corrupt system and form a new government, of, by, and for the People. We should no longer legitimize or recognize the current corporate owned government as the official government of the United States.

Hey, the US and NATO set the example when they decided to recognize the Libyan transitional authority as being the only legitimate government of Libya while Gaddafy was still in power. Obama hadn't even attempted to assassinate him yet! Talk about jumping the gun.

Peaceful Revolutions have succeeded before, even against brutal regimes. Watch or look up The Singing Revolution, about Estonia's independence movement from the USSR. Sadly, it'll strike a familiar chord.

We are Americans. We can do it. Yes, We Can! We Can''t Wait!

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous shermrob said...

I can only say (as Tom said) if the repukes win the majority in the House and Senate, that any Democrat who might win the presidency will end up just twiddling his thumbs while the repukes run/ruin the country. The worst thing about a repuke winning the presidency is they get to appoint more repukes to the SCOTUS. If that happens it will take more than 4 years to overcome that obstacle!

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Why would anyone cheer student loan relief – it encourages further ill-advised borrowing and the creation of more unsecured, junk debt. Do you want to hurry along the bursting of the next bubble (student loans) and the next round of bad-debt fueled financial crisis? In the same way government policy incentivized bad mortgage debt (which at least was secured), this policy will continue to further incentivize toxic, unsecured student loan debt. And, as result, the cost of secondary education has and will continue to rise disproportionately (as did the housing market) until the bubble bursts. This is macro-economics 101 – it’s not “if” – it’s “when”.

As for the person who mentioned the Monsanto thing – I whole-heartedly agree. Perhaps one of the biggest issues facing us that few pay attention to is the ownership of our food supply by a handful of corporations (Monsanto being the key) and the Cartesian view of agriculture it promotes – we force nature to act unnaturally and I fear it is going to bite us someday. Also, modern farming represents probably the largest environmental burden but it goes unnoticed largely. The way food has become industrialized and the demise of the small, local farmer grieves me.

I just wish we could focus on the things that matter. It seems party politics will continue to rule the day, though. And, the problems will continue.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

It has dawned on me that I am working myself to an early grave. I would be better off not working and getting all the stuff that govt. currently gives along with what Obama promises to give me if reelected and what the liberals who post here want to have govt give me.

Such as:

Free health care
Unlimited unemployment.
Food stamps or what ever it's called now.
My mortgage forgiven.
If I still can't pay my mortgage, affordable govt. provided housing.
Go back to school and pay my tuition with forgiven student loans.
Free food if I camp out with the Occupy crowd.

I'm sure Ive missed a few items and hope they could be listed for me.

Seriously, why should I continue to work? After deductions, 24% of my income is taken from me by the federal govt, plus 18% before deductions by Social Security, 1% by the city I work in but do not live in, my state takes 10% of my after deductions income from me. Then there is state and local sales tax, energy tax on gasoline and that energy which I use to heat, cool and power my house, property tax on my home that I am trying to pay off the mortgage and own. Not even gonna bring up medicare taxes.

Why should I work every day to earn enough money to pay all these taxes, when I really don't need to any more if I just vote and become liberal? It's no longer worth it to me, I have only so much time on this earth so why should I waste it working?
Like the song "Me and Bobby McGee" said, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"! Hope not to many people grab on to this, cause if they do, who's gonna pay for all my govt. provided free stuff?

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Knowzy said...

@Just the Facts

Don't forget the $6 tax (or whatever it is now) on the phone bill. I think it's called Universal Access Fee or something like that (I only have a prepaid cell). That UAF pays for internet service and cell phones for the poor. They don't even have to pay monthly charges to yakettyyak. The cell phone companies love it, as they should. They paid for it to be passed.

Ok, then there's a hidden fee on your car or home insurance that pays for terrorism claims. I had an insurance company owner tell me about that one way back after 9/11. Congress passed that so that we would pay the insurance companies up front for their costs. It's a huge fund by now and I'm not sure where they have that money invested. I don't even know what the patriotic name they have for it is, mainly because they try to hide it. Another scam on the taxpayer which helped insurance companies become now financial giants as well. They paid for that one to be passed in Congress as well.

@Harley A

You're right. It used to be that one would simply call oneself a consultant if unemployed, but kids nowdays have found a much better gig. They call themselves 'students'. They discovered that they can borrow unlimited amounts of money as student loans. The banks love it due to Congress exempting those loans from discharge in bankruptcy. The only thing better is government guarantee of payment, as in bailout.

Too many students sign up for classes, sign the loan check, then drop the classes. They buy new cars, new furniture, take vacations, pay the rent, etc. with that money. That's the real reason why they owe so much individually, and explains why the aggregate amount is greater than all the debt on credit cards nationally.

So it's definitely not just the high tuitions causing this massive debt. Those for-profit schools that 'help' students with their loan paperwork know what they're doing too. Everyone is in on the scam: schools, government, banks, students. Those lobbyists have all earned their keep.

We don't have capitalism. We have institutionalized criminalism.

It's our right to declare independence from a corrupt system that doesn't even represent us. We don't just have taxation without representation, we have elections and 'representatives' without representation!

I won't even go into kickbacks, bribes, and crony capitalism. Suffice to say the system is so corrupted that it cannot be fixed, and certainly not by the very people who created and benefit from it. It should be abolished.

Revolution is not just our right, it is our duty.

At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

To Just the Facts,

We have sparred here in the past, but I commend your grasp of the tax burden on the working middle class. Well, except for the 18% take for Social Security and Medicare. It is "only" 15.3% on the first $106,800 earned each year (indexed for inflation).

Too bad you did not join the 1% by being a wildly successful hedge fund manager. Then you would only pay a maximum of 15% income tax. As to Social Security and Medicare taxes, with $106.800 as the cap your and your millions in earnings that bite will hardly be noticed.

Alternatively you could have inherited a huge fortune and sat back and collected millions in dividends (only 15% maximum income tax and no Social Security and Medicare for those with no "earned" income.

That way you could really enjoy all that socialist stuff you see coming out of Washington.

At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts? said...

But Ron, why would I have wanted to become a hedge manager? It's still working and having large amounts of the fruits of my labor taxed from me. Why have all that stress in my life working, trying to improve my life, when I can support liberalism and if they win in the 2012 elections I can get stuff free?
Have I missed anything that is being demanded now that I can expect to be given later? Why should I work any longer? WIIFM (whats in it for me?) Why should I have any income? Who needs it? Why work? I can go back to college, get a student loan that will be forgiven, live in govt housing near the school, use my "loan" to buy what ever food my food stamps don't cover and maybe even a down payment for a house that I cant afford, but the govt will take care of that for me as well. You know with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

What a fool I have been to have wasted so much of my life by working for the American dream. I could have had it all along and let someone else work for it.

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous James said...

I just found out about a situation my nephew is in a few months ago. He is 42 and he graduated 22 years ago with 20,000 in student loans. As an art major he never made a lot of money, he has worked in Pathmark for 23 years straight! And various banks and Home Depot at the same time, always 2 jobs at once.

In spite of that, he fell behind several times with his 250.00 a month loan. The bank sold his loan to a collection agency and he fell behind paying them several times also. They hit him with late fees, 5000.00 at a time so after paying his loan for 22 years he still owes...........$18000.00 How is that for getting shit for free?

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Rita said...

Hi there. Great article. I think President Obama was inaugurated in 2008, though. A President is elected every four years, remember? Next time around is 2012.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Nance said...

"...what I had envisioned for this troubled country was a radical, progressive firebrand." That vision and about $6.50 will get you a Venti latte at Starbucks.

Since the beginning of 2010, I've been thinking that this President is, primarily, a law professor and a scholarly ideologue. His ideology is not really an -ism (progressivism, centrism, etc.), but the notion that the POTUS's job is to represent Americans...all of them...and to stay dedicated to the ideal of democracy. I think he believed that, if he could just stay true to his understanding of democracy, he could outlast the forces that warp it and it would flower in the best interests of America. (Not to say he was actually able to DO that, but I think that's what he shot for). And I believe he thought the American people saw his agenda and approved it.

When it didn't work and we didn't see and we didn't approve, he seemed to say, "Aw, hell, let's just get in the game, then."

If re-elected, I think he'll have one awesome year to get some stuff done before his administration lames out. I'm hopeful about that one year. The alternative is the scariest thing I've seen since Spiro Agnew.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

I must vehemently disagree with you on one point, Nance.

Considering where that disgusting party has gone in the last forty years, Spiro Agnew is starting to look pretty good in hindsight.



At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read your post. I'm responding to your comment on Charles Blow's NYT article. You wrote about getting used to living in a country in ruins. Messages like that are why people are repulsed by the left. They whine and snivel and talk about leaving the country. Please do. You aren't helping anyone. These messages are just as bad as the lies put out by the right. They lead to hopelessness and despair. Why don't you take some damn responsibility and do some work to improve thing? Sharing your opinion doesn't count.

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what a shameless capitalist does? He creates a blog as a venue for corporate advertisers, then leaves ads for it at the end of comments in the national media, for instance NYT. Then when more hits come in, more advertisers and income will too.

Of course there is nothing really wrong with that, except if you notice the substance of what these capitalist bloggers express. There is none! For example, go to NYT, Charles Blow's piece today, and read comments #171 and #198, just in case you think Mr. Degan has something worthy to say. He thinks so - twice even! Incredible waste of space when someone else could have shared their intelligent thoughts.

That's the other component of capitalism - selfishness.

Every click on this site brings money to yet another empty capitalist posing as a Democrat. Or maybe I repeat myself?

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Sheria said...

I'm a fan of FDR and I don't challenge that he moved the country forward through a very difficult time. However, he didn't walk on water. No president ever has. We have this need to mythologize the past and no one in the present can ever measure up in comparison.

FDR had to deal with the southern Democrats, the Dixiecrats. They and a great deal of the country opposed anything that even vaguely resembled civil rights for black Americans. FDR failed to support proposed federal anti-lynching legislation. Lynching was a family sport that was ever growing in the South during FDR's administration but he refused to get behind efforts by blacks and white civil rights advocates efforts to pass federal anti-lynching legislation. FDR also refused to integrate the armed forces, leaving that to Truman to begin the integration of the armed forces in 1946. Blacks fought for this country but weren't allowed to train on the white military bases nor to interact with their white counterparts. When they came home, it was to return to the same segregation and Jim Crow laws that they faced prior to joining the military. FDR sold out black Americans in order to push through his New Deal.

It was also FDR's administration that interred Japanese Americans in camps during WWII. FDR made nine appointments to the Supreme Court and eight of those nine justices supported the administrations's decision to strip Japanese Americans of property and homes, and place them in confinement in Korematsu v. United States (1944).

Then there were the provisions of the New Deal, great intentions but not always realized.
The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to inflate prices by reducing farm acreage. This meant white farm owners (it was 1933 blacks were sharecroppers, not farm owners) were paid to let their fields lie fallow, which often resulted in the eviction of sharecroppers and tenant farmers, a significant number of whom were African Americans. In addition, the Department of Agriculture, paid farmers to destroy crops and slaughter livestock while millions of Americans went hungry.

Then were was the cornerstone of the New Deal, the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) which created the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The NIRA also authorized the National Recovery Administration (NRA), which organized cartels, fixed wages and prices, and, under section 7(a), established the practice of collective bargaining, whereby a union selected by a majority of employees exclusively represented all employees. Sounds like a good idea but many of these compulsory unions closed their doors to black workers. If you weren't a member of the union, you couldn't work in that particular industry. The NIRA was in effect from June 1933 until May 1935 when the Supreme Court found it to be unconstitutional.

My point is that when one starts talking about remembering history, it's important to remember all of it. My point is that every president has had his less than stellar moments because politics has always been about compromise. For every gain, you surrender something. It's a balancing act; you hope that what you get is worth what you give up.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Sheria said...

My comment was too long for a single post.

I think that all of the expressed disappointment in Obama is unmerited and I'm particular tired of the dismissal of Obama as fearful of not being liked or being a coward. Have you ever been the first person of your race to enter into a position that has always been held by another race? I have and it is the most difficult step that a person can take. You have to deal with your own people expecting that their interests will take priority, those of the other race who feel that you don't deserve the position, and those of the other race who mythologized you into the archetype of nobility and are disappointed to find out that you are only human and don't walk on water. In the mean time, you actually have to carry out the duties of your job and remain civil and calm while not only you are being attacked, but in Obama's case, his wife is the object of ridicule, compared to various members of the simian family in right wing publications on a fairly regular basis.

The courage that it took for Obama to run for president is phenomenal in a country where assassination is not unheard of and it was less than 60 years ago when lynching of black men and women was public entertainment, documented in photographs of the crowds of men women and children in attendance. When Billie sang about southern trees bearing strange fruit, she wasn't merely being metaphorical.

I'm tired of whites who supported Obama in 2008 acting as if they did him a favor and righteously declaring their indignant disappointment. Enjoy your right to be critical of anyone but don't expect me to like it and I'm exercising my right to say so. The man has worked within the confines of republicans who have publicly declared that their goal is to ensure that he is not re-elected. That has been their stated goal since his inauguration. Instead of bitching about what he hasn't done or disagreement with what he has, take a look at what he has accomplished in spite of having a rock equivalent to that of Sisyphus to continually push up the hill.

I cried when Obama won. I cried for the years when the signs over the water fountains said white and colored. I cried for the stores in which I couldn't sit and the lunch counters that my mother grabbed me away from lest someone take offense. I cried for the time my mother entered the wrong door at the clinic because my knee was bleeding profusely and she was confused, and she was met at the door by a white woman who told her to go to the colored entrance. I cried because of the job my mother quit because the KKK threaten to kill me and my brother and sister if she didn't. I cried for my father who went to Korea and had to ride in the back of the bus to go to boot camp. I'm proud of the President and what he has accomplished and he has done a far better job than this country deserves.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


I only make money from any advertisements from google if something is actually purchased. If you merely click on the site I don't get as much as a cent. Otherwise I'd be reloading it all day long.


At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts? said...


My advise for your nephew would be to vote for Obama in 2012 so he can have his over twenty year student loan forgiven! Didn't say he is getting "shit" free now James, but he would if Obama was reelected.
I know that's what I'm gonna do and if he wins, I'm gonna quit work and start living the easy life!!

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

It should be said in FDR's favor that during the campaign of 1936 he tried to purge the senate of the racist Dixiecrats by supporting progressives in the southern primaries. It was an utter failure on his part.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous James said...

Hey JTFs, Even if my nephew stopped paying today, he already paid 54 on 20 thou. Thats not loan forgiveness to me.

Obama's plan only affects loans up to three years old.And only lowers the payments, not the principle. Somebody in trouble to day has to wait 17 years for loan forgiveness.

If you have any other subjects where you do not have a clue, weather they be political, environmental or even sexual, let me know and I will enlighten you.

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...


Are you your nephews financial adviser?

Where did your nephew get his student loan? A loan shark? It wasn't the govt was it? If not, that was his first mistake, he should have borrowed from the govt, that way if he cant pay it back then the govt will make it all right.

I would tell your nephew to not worry but to vote Obama back in and then demand the govt take care of his needs like I am gonna do. Obama is promising to make life easy for us if he gets voted in and if liberals get control of the House and Senate. No more working the 55 hours for the "MAN" anymore for me! I bet your nephew pays a lot of income tax as well, right? If he didn't have to pay so much he may have been able to pay off his non govt loans.. He needs to go with the flow and let Uncle Sam carry his load for a while. That's what I'm gonna do!

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Knowzy –

Just to be clear, I feel the loans (billions in “free” flowing money) are driving the cost of education and not vice-versa. True, it is a symbiotic death spiral, but I feel the ultimate causation trail is the easy money driving the cost of the education. The money is flowing for the same reason the spigot was opened up in the housing market over the past couple decades – our politicians on both sides of the aisle want to please the masses, whether the policy is good for them or not. And, you are right, a whole vulture industry has sprung up based on this easy money.

James –

Your nephew is the type of unfortunate case I think we, as a society, need to avoid. And, his case is rather mild compared to some I’ve heard. I think this system of easy money is taking many folks victim to its allure. Just on its face, loaning $20K for an art degree is probably not a good bet (and my own daughter may pursue this field). We need to teach them to work for as much of the tuition as possible DURING their time in college and shut off the spigots. Over 5-10 years the cost of secondary education would come back to earth.

The problem with simple loan forgiveness (or assistance) is that banks have these debts on their books as assets, so you are simply pushing the economic problem down the line to their books. You can say “heck with the banks” but you know as well as I, when they get in trouble, it hurts us. No easy solutions available - only good “horse sense” will solve this problem. Of that, we seem to be woefully deficient.

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Will Shirley said...

"Just the Facts"...I'm betting that factual information is the furthest from their minds when they write opinions. My daughter has recently been hired after about 2 years of no income other than some unemployment and what we could scrape out of our retirement money. I keep hearing about these lazy kids living high on the hog getting all kinds of expensive left-wing perks coming out of our taxes. Yet when we visit the child she seems to be living in a large closet only affordable by having lots of room mates who are also either slightly employed or not at all. I recall back in the 60's when I was "on the road" and begging for food and a place that was safe to sleep in. I was unable to get enough food to live on, even when begging for work! Things have not gotten any better for the poor in spite of what the moneyed interests might say. They seem to fear that the poor might actually be taken care of somehow, might have beds to sleep in, a sandwich or something to eat, and I don't know what they fear about. Well-fed homeless people?? Saddest of all is the fact that 99% of the people who feel we are actually taking care of the poor, as if it were a bad thing to do, are Republicrats who vote the Party Line every time as if it would change things.

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Just the Fact! said...

Glad your daughter found a job, now the taxes she pays will replace the ones I was paying!

You see that's why I'm voting for Obama in 2012. He's gonna take the money from the moneyed interests and give some to me. I cant hardly wait until after the 2012 election when Obama will start taking care of the poor by taxing the rich more.
Please, everybody who reads this blog, vote for Obama in 2012 and the most liberal person running for any office you can vote for. That is the only way the soon to be poor like me, will be able to get more stuff from the government.
Gonna be nice to have someone else carry my load!

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey JTFs why don't you suck a wet fart out of my ass!

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like JG is at it again.

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous James said...

I thought I posted with my name as I never use anonymous, any way after reading JTFs bullshit I generously offered JTFs to do what he does best!

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

What's bullshit, voting for Obama and the most liberal candidate running for office, or expecting the plans of Obama to provide for me what he promised?

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Middle Molly said...

Hi Tom.. I just came across your blog, and I read this article about Obama. Fundamentally, I agree with you.

We have to remember something when we compare FDR (or even JFK or LBJ) with Obama: All of those men had huge, huge Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress when New Deal/Great Society/civil rights legislation was proposed and passed. Obama has had no such luck. He had a supermajority in the Senate (necessary to override a filibuster) for all of four months, and that was only if the Blue Dogs and the Independents voted with the Dems. It's been negotiation, compromise, with hostage-takers every day. Obama is not perfect, but he is heads and shoulders above any of these other "candidates". The Dems aren't perfect, but they are "workable" and they will support the people. Can't say any of that about most Repubs. But ultimately, until we Get Money Out, we're not going to have the government that "we the people"
need and deserve.


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