Monday, February 28, 2011

Half-Wits and Crazy People

The fact that we live in interesting times is an understatement. The death of the America you and I grew up in - the America our grandkids will never even know - may be a grim and depressing thing to contemplate, but witnessing the demise of this once-great nation sure as hell ain't boring. Truth be told, it has been quite entertaining! Thanks to television and the internet, we can all have a front row seat as we behold the spectacle of the United States of America being completely and utterly destroyed from within. Isn't technology neat?

Welcome to the United States of China.

The bottom line is this: Your country is doomed. And the sad fact that everyone (with the exception of yours truly) is ignoring
is that there is no realistic way out of the proverbial hole we have dug ourselves into. Add that to the fact that the plutocracy has purchased the media, all of the Republican party, most of the Democratic party - and the Supreme Court. They now control not only the the message but the electorate as well. The right wing propaganda machine rings the bell and the people salivate like Pavlov's dogs. Take this to the bank: Americans will continue to stupidly vote against their own best interests, and the implosion will only continue to compound itself - year after year.

WE'RE SPIRALING DOWNWARD! WHEEEEEEEEEEE!

And do you want to hear the punch line? I'm okay with it. There is a certain kind of schadenfreude that comes with seeing a people getting exactly what they deserve, and I imagine that I'm going to love every minute of it. It's also a much better thing to come to terms with the shit storm that is just around the corner than to delude oneself into believing that some nameless secular messiah is going to lead us all to the beloved Candy Land of our fantasies. A lot of us (myself included) made that mistake with Barack Obama and our hopes exploded right in our faces. It's almost like anticipating that knock-knock-knocking sound to be Winston Churchill - only to open the door to find Neville Chamberlain standing there - utterly clueless and befuddled. And unless Obama is challenged in the primaries by the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt, I'm afraid we're stuck with him.

In times such as these I have seriously considered heroin addiction but it's just too damned expensive.

The few pockets of hope on the horizon shouldn't deceive us into thinking that things might change for the better any time soon. Yes, Glenn Beck's ratings are tanking and he's probably months away from being canceled. Incredibly his act has gotten too weird for Rupert Murdoch even. Yes, the people are rising up in Wisconsin against the
rape of worker's rights, but the GOP is hell-bent on destroying the Union Movement and I'm betting that they'll probably succeed in the end. Yes, Sarah Palin is self-destructing before our very eyes, but there are a hundred or more other half-witted extremists ready to take her place once she exits the national stage.

Let's not allow these little gifts to distract our attention from the larger picture, okay? The nasty truth of the matter is that Corporate America overthrew our government a long time ago - and I'll prove it to you:

A relative handful of high rollers in the banking and investment industries made billions in the last decade looting the pensions of regular, working class Americans. Why is it that Bernie Madoff is the only one of these hideous bastards to go to
prison thus far? The answer is so obvious it boarders on hilarity: He was the only one of the bunch whose victims were exclusively the rich and powerful. They're sending us a none-too-subtle message here:

FUCK THE PEOPLE - BUT DON'T YOU DARE MESS WITH YOUR CORPORATE MASTERS - CAPISH?

Yeah, our government got overthrown a long time ago. Stop kidding yourselves. And if the movement that is now growing in Wisconsin decides to take its act on a nationwide tour, watch how fiercely and violently Corporate Power reacts to it. As Lenny Bruce would say, "There's gonna be a lot of dues, Jim." Yeah. A lot of dues and a lot of blood. When Governor Walker of Wisconsin was busted last week in the g
reatest political prank of the decade, he told a person pretending to be one of the uber right wing Koch Brothers that they had "talked about" sending hired goons into the crowd to stir up some violence. It's only a matter of time before mere words are transformed into deeds.

The plutocrats are determined to eradicate the rights of working peo
ple - and if that means the murder of two-thousand or more innocent human beings - tough shit, baby. If you're naive enough to believe that something that atrocious could never happen in this country, think again. If you think I'm talking like a crazy person here, it's obvious that you don't know a blessed thing about the history of the American Labor Movement. Mass murder committed on the orders of "the captains of industry" Is not really a new concept. It has happened before and if the rabble forget their place, it will happen again. Watch your ass, Bubbah.

Just look what's happening at this very moment! After thirty years of economic plunder by the richest one percent, whom are we now being told is responsible for the financial carnage that resulted - the very people who are in fact responsible for it??? Nah! That would be way too easy. Then who's to be held accountable for the hard times? Hold onto your sides: It's the unions. That's right! The teacher's union in particular. The people who are educating your kids are trying to destroy this grand and glorious land of ours! They're Communists! CAN I GET A WITNESS???

But seriously, folks....

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

- Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

BAD NEWS:

Justice Brandeis is dead and he's not coming back. Organized criminals rule America. This is the way it's going to be from now on. Get used to living in a country in ruins. On that happy note....

Tom Degan
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED READING:

If you don't re
ad another thing all week long, read Matt Taibbi's latest piece in Rolling Stone Magazine. If you are not in a blind fucking rage after reading it, you can't possibly be human - or a good American - or both. Here's a link:

Why Isn't Wall Street In Jail?

Although I think Taibbi is as good as they get, it's a bad title. "Jail" is where you go when you've had one-too-many on a Saturday night and you accidentally back your car into the plate glass window of the local delicatessen.

Why Isn't Wall Street In a Maximum Security Federal Prison?

Much better.

America the beautiful. It was nice while it lasted.

BREAKING NEWS - 10:20AM

It has just been announced that Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War One has died of natural causes at his home in Charles Town, West Virginia. He was 110 years old. This, my friends, is the end of an era. The "war to end all wars" is no longer a living memory:

Real all about it.

AFTERTHOUGHT, 3/1/11, 5:10AM:

My brother Jeff just posted this on his Facebook page via the nice folks over at MoveOn.Org:

"A public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO sit at a table with a dozen cookies on a plate. The CEO reaches across, takes eleven of the cookies, looks at the tea partier and says, 'Watch out for that Union guy: He wants a piece of your cookie.'"

Well now! That sums it up fairly neatly, does it not?

Monday, February 21, 2011

"So This Is America?"


"McGOVERN IS BEATEN"

That is the headline from Election Day 1972, I know, but it's also today's headline on das RANT. Listen, there's nothing wrong with recycling old headlines. Please get in touch with me if you hear of anyone named Lincoln getting shot, okay?

Today's headline refers to Ray McGovern. Ray is an acquaintance of my old pal Kevin Swanwick (photo left). I was introduced to Ray by Kevin a couple of years ago and you could not meet a more decent, gentle gem of a man. He happened to be attending a speech that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was giving last week at George Washington University. He was wearing a T-shirt which bore the image of a dove - not a bat, mind you (That would have been more my style!) - but a dove. He quietly got on his feet and turned his back toward Ms. Clinton. He didn't say a word. He didn't lunge toward her in any menacing way, He certainly didn't hurl a shoe toward her face. He just stood there. It was merely a silent protest against the Obama administration's disastrous policies in Afghanistan. He was then summarily hustled out of the place by a police officer and some guy in plainclothes.

While in custody he was bloodied up pretty good - as the photograph at the top of this piece clearly shows. At the moment he was seized, Clinton was criticizing the foreign leaders who would dare to oppress dissent. As he was being hauled away like a common criminal, he called out for all to hear, a rhetorical question which should resonate throughout the centuries"


"THIS IS AMERICA???"

Well, it was. Ray is seventy-one-years-old. I'm not making this up. From his Wikipedia biography:

"McGovern was a mid-level officer in the CIA in the 1960s where his focus was analysis of Soviet policy toward Vietnam. McGovern was one of President Ronald Reagan's intelligence briefers from 1981–85; he was in charge of preparing daily security briefs for Reagan, Vice President George H.W. Bush, the National Security Advisor, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Cabinet. Later, McGovern was one of several senior CIA analysts who prepared the President's Daily Brief (PDB) during the first Bush administration."

Hardly the makings of a left wing extremist, huh? As Swanwick remarked on his Facebook page the other day, "The guys who beat him probably have no idea what they owe him." Indeed. So what the hell, you may well ask, happened to the man that would turn him against the very government that he served so long, so well and so loyally? Simply put, Ray McGovern has seen the light. Maybe he found Jesus, who knows? This much is certain: the light he has seen he is now shining on a few uncomfortable truths.

And to anyone who wants to accuse him of being a partisan stooge, Ray's activism started during the Clinton administration. So there!

Ray was quoted three days ago on the website Press TV:

“There was no heckler. I was the person there. I said not a word. I stood silently with my back to the secretary, lest she get the idea that everyone in that whole auditorium agreed with her war mongering policies....I was standing silently, and I was jumped on by a man in a regular suit and then another person in a police uniform. I still don't know who jumped me, but I was taken outside where nobody was watching....For Hillary Clinton to be talking about peaceful means of protest in the same speech which she continued as she watched me directly in front of her being pounced upon and violated, is a little too much to take."

A little too much, alright. If the Secret Service were as on-their-toes as we are always led to believe, they must have been aware of McGovern's presence in the auditorium. Was it really necessary for them to rough up a man who is not only well known, but is a former military adviser to several chiefs executive? What the hell is wrong with these people?
Ray's first major national exposure was five years ago when he confronted war criminal Donald Rumsfeld regarding America's illegal invasion of Iraq. Here is a transcript of that exchange which needs to be quoted in its entirety. It comes to us courtesy of the good folks at Democracy Now....Okay, I cut and pasted it without their permission. So sue me.

RAY McGOVERN: And so, I would like to ask you to be up front with the American people. Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary and that has caused these kinds of casualties? Why?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Well, first of all, I haven’t lied. I did not lie then. Colin Powell didn’t lie. He spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence Agency people and prepared a presentation that I know he believed was accurate, and he presented that to the United Nations. The President spent weeks and weeks with the Central Intelligence people, and he went to the American people and made a presentation. I’m not in the intelligence business. They gave the world their honest opinion. It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

RAY McGOVERN: You said you knew where they were?

DONALD RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were, and we were—

RAY McGOVERN: You said you knew where they were, "near Tikrit, near Baghdad, and northeast, south and west of there." Those were your words.

DONALD RUMSFELD: My words—my words were—no, no, no, wait a minute! Let him stay one second. Just a second.

RAY McGOVERN: This is America, huh? Go ahead.

DONALD RUMSFELD: You’re getting plenty of play, sir.

RAY McGOVERN: I’d just like an honest answer.

DONALD RUMSFELD: I’m giving it to you.

RAY McGOVERN: We’re talking about lies and your allegation that there was bulletproof evidence of ties between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Was that a lie or were you misled?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Zarqawi was in Baghdad during the prewar period. That is a fact.

RAY McGOVERN: Zarqawi, he was in the north of Iraq, in a place where Saddam Hussein had no rule. That’s where he was.

DONALD RUMSFELD: He was also in Baghdad.

RAY McGOVERN: Yeah, when he needed to go to the hospital. Come on, these people aren’t idiots. They know the story.

DONALD RUMSFELD: You are—let me give you an example. It’s easy for you to make a charge, but why do you think that the men and women in uniform every day, when they came out of Kuwait and went into Iraq, put on chemical weapon protective suits? Because they liked the style? They honestly believed that there were chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons on his own people previously. He had used them on his neighbor, the Iranians. And they believed he had those weapons. We believed he had those weapons.

RAY McGOVERN: That’s what we call a non-sequitur. It doesn’t matter what the troops believe. It matters what you believe.

Don't tell Amy Goodman, okay?

Please
, if you're looking for an authentic American hero, you need search no further than Ray McGovern. He is holding up a mirror for all to see. Obviously there are some who don't quite care for what is being reflected. Who could blame them?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Speaking Freely, Vol. 3: Ray McGovern on the Corruption of U.S. Intelligence

If the DVD is unavailable from your friendly neighborhood video store (Are there even any left???) here's a link to order it off Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Speaking-Freely-Vol-Corruption-Intelligence/dp/B000VN76IA/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1298308948&sr=1-1

AFTERTHOUGHT:

A friend of mine who goes by the pseudonym "Jefferson's Guardian" started a blog in July called, "No Corporate Rule". It's a must-read. Here's a link

NO CORPORATE RULE!!!

AFTERTHOUGHT - 2/23/11, 2:01 PM:

WHOA! Did anyone hear the conversation between Scott Walker and the guy from the "Buffalo Beast" posing as David Koch??? PRICELESS!!!! Here is a link to listen on AlterNet:

Governor Walker Spills the Beans

Don'cha just love AlterNet? I sure do!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Buckle Down, Wisconsin!

Buckle down, Wisconsin, buckle down
You can win, Wisconsin, if you knuckle down!

And so was born the Madison Revolution....

I was going to call this little ditty "Is Wisconsin Our Egypt?" but I was beaten to the punch by the lovably subversive website, AlterNet. I hate when that happens.

I would als
o hate to be Wisconsin governor Scott Walker today. One of the most annoying developments of recent years is how Republican lawmakers have started to use people whose incomes are paid by the public as scapegoats for all that is wrong with America. This is a despicable effort to divert our attention from the tsunami of American jobs that have gone overseas because of the idiotic actions of conservative politicians of both parties. It's all the fault of the public workers - THESE GODDAMNED BUREAUCRATS! - with their cushy jobs and their sweet pensions. It would be political suicide to demagogue police and firefighters, so they attack the less visible and more vulnerable ones: teachers, government workers, highway departments, tax collectors - especially tax collectors. They tell us that this country is going to hell in a hand basket because these people are little more than paid parasites. My goodness!

Back in the day, the political extremists used African Americans as scapegoats. Today it is the moderately paid people who work for the public. The more things change, the more they stay the same. To their credit they're a tad more subtle about their contempt for black people these days. That's progress....I guess.

The good people of the state of Wisconsin are taking this crisis lying down - quite literally! Scores of them camped out in the rotunda of the state capital last night; so determined are they to read their elected representatives the riot act. I learned that something was brewing days before the main stream media caught onto the story. On February 13, I received an e-mail from the very youngest of my many cousins - Amy Clements. That is her in the photo on the left. Said she:

"Hey cousin Tom. I'm looking for advice from the wise: Scott Walker is crazy. Advice?! What would you do if you were me, living in the state capitol? There's a rally at his mansion today. I'll start there. Perhaps you have other ideas?.. :) xo"

You need no ideas or advice from me, Cousin. You and your friends have awakened the nation! How the heck do you do th
at?

Amy and her compatriots are right there in the thick of things, standing up for America's core principals that were articulated by Abraham Lincoln on the blood-drenched fields of Gettysburg in 1863: "....government of the people; by the people, for the people." Governor Walker would be wise to avoid pissing off Cousin Amy any further than he already has.
Heaven help the poor, clueless bastard if he is forced to spar with her. Seriously.

Could this be the beginning of a revolution that might spread nationwide? I'm hopeful. Unlike the clueless tea party types, the good people of the state of Wisconsin realize that the blame for the problem lies not with those naughty, bleeding heart Liberals, but with the plutocrats and greed heads who long ago hijacked not only our government, but both political parties - including the one that Lincoln helped found in 1856. Bob Dylan once said, "A hard rain's gonna fall." Indeed. I hope you have an umbrella at the ready. The shit storm has arrived.

What I'm curious about is how dah man is going tp try to suppress this revolt before it spreads - and it will spread. Count on it. Sooner or later he will have to understand that (again, to quote Dylan) "the times, they are a'changin'" They had better not even try to stand in the way of the mass sense of outrage and the desire of millions for a remedy to the econom
ic injustices they have been forced to live with for decades. They might as well try to keep the sun from setting in the west this evening. It would be a lot easier.

Dick Gregor
y once made a beautiful analogy comparing revolution to a coffee pot. The pot makes a whistling noise to warn us that it is boiling. (Boiling mad, in this case). If an attempt is made to ignore that noise by plugging up the hole, sooner or later that coffee pot is going to explode - burning everyone in the room. Can you hear that whistling noise, Governor Walker? That's the people of your state sending you a little message. You would be smart to listen to them. You would also be wise to pick up a couple Dick Gregory albums. The gem of wisdom paraphrased above is from the LP "Dick Gregory at Kent State". You can probably find it on ebay.

In the city's melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden as the walls were tightening
As the e
cho of the wedding bells before the blowing rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned and forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burning constantly at stake
As we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

-Bob Dylan

Honestly, you can't go wrong with Uncle Bobby. You really can't! That was from the song "Chimes of Freedom". Might I suggest to the workers of Wisconsin that they use it as their
anthem? Springsteen once did a great, kick-ass cover of it. Just a thought.

If present trends continue, the second decade of the twenty-first century promises to be one of positive change for people all over the world. As the call for revolution in Egypt seems to be spreading throughout the Arab world, so, too, should the Madison Revolution be a cry to the American people to wake up and demand what is rightfully theirs. How fitting that this new American revolution was born in a city named for one of the framers of the Constitution.

Now is the
time to brush up on our Gandhi and our Dr. King. We have the power to turn this country around, and we can do it non-violently. It happened in India in the 1940s and again in this country in the 1960s. Let's make it happen again.

Wish I could be there with you, Amy! You make us all proud to call you family. Love ya!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED READING:


Letter from a Birmingham Jail
by Marti
n Luther King, Jr.

Here's a link to read it in its entirety:

http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

It really is a humdinger.

Here's a link to Amy Clements' Facebook page. You can view the video she shot on the floor of the rotunda in Madison:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=492966527451&comments#!/video/video.php?v=492966527451&comments

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stand up for the Prez

If you've been reading this site with any degree of regularity in the last year you probably have already figured out that I am just a tad disappointed with the performance of President Obama thus far. Twenty-three days past the halfway point of his first term finds the man with a mixed record. He called his autobiography "The Audacity of Hope". During the campaign of 2008, he spoke of change we can believe in. Many of us were hoping for radical change. We didn't get it - or at least, we haven't gotten it yet. I am tempted to believe that for purely expedient political reasons, Barack Obama is saving his best routines for act two. Maybe I'm kidding myself. Maybe not. We shall see what we shall see.

FOR THE RECORD: As disappointed as I may be with the performance of this president to date, I still thank goodness each and every day that John McCain is not sleeping in the Oval Office at this very moment and that Fascist Barbie is not a seventy-two-year-old heart beat away from the presidency. Can you even imagine?

As far as his political horizons are concerned, the president is in an enviable position. A cursory glance at the insane clown posse that passes for "the loyal opposition" these days tells me that defeating the GOP on Election Day 2012 will be as easy as shooting a goldfish bowl with a 12 gauge shotgun. Just have a gander at their front runners: The only one of the lot with an IQ above room temperature is Mitt Romney. A Mormon as Republican standard bearer? That ain't NEVER gonna happen baby! The religious bigots and extremists who have hijacked that disgusting party will see to that.

No doubt about it; as of this writing anyway, it looks to me that the prez is going to have a relatively easy time of it during the campaign next year - that is unless he is challenged in the primaries by one of his own. Keep your eyes glued on Evan Bayh of Indiana. I predicted two months into Obama's term that Bayh might very well go for it in 2012. Two years later my suspicions are only heightened. Why do you think he chose not to run for re-election last year? He knows damned well that these days it is much easier to run as "an outsider". One of the things he says he's working on these days is moving the Democratic party more to the "center". I translate that as meaning "more toward the right than it already is". I can't trust the guy as far as I can throw him.

My message today is for the Liberal base of the Democratic party.

Listen, folks, a lot of you engaged in a mass, nationwide hissy fit by staying home on Election Day last - and what the hell did it get you? The House of Representatives is now controlled by half-wits and crazy people. The only reason the Democrats were able to retain the senate is because the Republicans were kind enough to nominate too many certifiable head cases to count (Thank you, Sharon Angle). As I said, Obama will have an easy time of it next time around - but not without your wholehearted support. We have to get to work to make sure that he is re-elected in 2012.

I know what you're thinking and I agree. He has been somewhat of a let down. To be perfectly honest with you, I'm just mild about Barry. Giving in to tax cuts for the plutocracy was beyond idiotic. Did he really believe he would gain any leverage with these assholes by appeasing them? Who the hell knows what he was thinking. His most significant legislative accomplishment - health care reform - is not much to celebrate. The American people will still be at the mercy of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and they will continue to die an average of two years earlier than their cousins in Europe. And, most frustrating of all, he seems blind to the futility of continuing to wage the longest war in American history - a war that cannot - and will not - be won. The president would be wise to heed the advice Senator Akin of Vermont gave Lyndon Johnson as Vietnam was immolating his presidency: "Declare victory and get the hell out of there!"

But there are a number of reasons to be hopeful about Barack Obama's second term (I hope). Let's go over some of them.

On February 27, 1951 the Republicans in congress insulted the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the only man in history to be elected to more than two terms. When the 22nd Amendment to the Unites States Constitution was ratified, it insured that no person could ever again be elected to more than two terms as president. This means Obama will be free to more vigorously pursue progressive legislation simply because he won't have to worry about re-election. While no president is ever completely free of the political consequences of the decisions he makes (There's always the damned party to think of) the chief-executive who does not have to worry about the coming election has much less of a burden to carry.

In a second term Obama might very well kick out the jams and become the progressive Superman we all thought he was capable of being. Of course this will only happen if his party takes back both houses of congress. Otherwise all that he will be able to do in his final term will be to keep the right wing tide at bay. That's why it is so important that the base re-energizes itself in the coming year.

Another thing to take into consideration is the man's personal character. For all his flaws it is clear that he is an essentially decent guy with good intentions. The same cannot be said of the contenders for the job. As president, Obama has been bombarded with obstruction, slander - and overt racism - by the "party of Abraham Lincoln". They have been dedicated to the proposition that he fail - utterly and completely. The fact that he has been able to accomplish anything is testament to the man's fortitude. A second term for Barack Obama could be very successful - but that success will not happen if you silly Liberals stay home again on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Something to ponder.

Then there is the sticky little problem of world opinion, and the esteem in which President Obama is held by the rest of the planet. Do you remember the headline that Britain's Daily Mail ran the day after Dubya was re-elected?

"HOW CAN 59,054,087 PEOPLE BE SO DUMB?"

How indeed? Given the nauseous atmosphere at any Republican gathering nowadays, it's not likely that the world will tip their hats in admiration if any of these jackasses are sent to Washington two years from now. In fact, sending another incurious extremist to the White House will - to put it mildly - complicate international relations.

And finally there are the GOP contenders to consider. Look at them! THEY'RE BRAIN-DAMAGED! Did you happen to check out that silly CPAC convention this week? Extremism in the defense of Librium. Michele Bachmann told the crowd, "And the all -important, must-have of 2012 is this: making Barack Obama a one-term president." - and then she did something I've never seen a public speaker do in my entire life. This imbecile actually pleaded with her audience to give her a standing ovation:

"STAND UP! STAND UP! STAND UP!"

It was all caught on videotape, folks. I'm not making any of this up, I swear. With the exception of Romney - who is the only one of the lot who does not have little birdies flying out of his ears - I can only pray that one of the current crop of idiots gets the nomination, assuring an Obama victory. But that's probably wishful thinking on my part. Would the people who vote in Republican primaries be asinine enough to go with any of these chuckleheads? That all depends on the state of course. While a candidate like Sarah Palin would be a cinch in South Carolina, it's doubtful her act would sell many tickets in Vermont.

They'll probably wind up going with Marc Rubio, the newly elected (and popular) senator from Florida. I can see it now:

"Just like Obama, folks! Rubio came out of nowhere but he's a conservative - AND HE'S WHITE!"

He's also Hispanic - a growing and important demographic. And, like Romney, he seems to have an IQ higher than your average half-eaten box of Milk Duds.

A lot can happen in the twenty-one months between now and the election. We just can't afford to sit around twiddling our thumbs. Barack Obama may not be a Progressive's dream, but like it or not, he's the man many of us have invested our hopes in - and a third party uprising is out of the question. Don't even go there. The GOP is beyond redemption. If that party is ever again given control of the legislative and the executive branch of our government, you can kiss this country goodbye.

Tom Degan
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

AFTERTHOUGHT:

If the people over at Spell Check had their way, the president's name would be, "Bareback Alabama".
Honestly.

Here's a link to Michele Bachmann's nutty speech two days ago at the Conservative Political Action Conference two days ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k87YqiPD9Wk

It has to be seen to be believed. The gal is a scream!

For more recent postings on this cesspool of PINKO PROPAGANDA, kindly go to the following link:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Ronnie at One-Hundred



I am proud to say that I am not one of the many who foolishly succumbed to the phenomena I used to refer to as "Ronniemania". I was never naive enough to fall for that cheap "aw shucks" persona that the guy exuded like the smell of horseshit. And for the life of me I've never been able to understand this country's dysfunctional love affair with this corrupt and feeble-minded old fool. At a time in his life when he should have been tucked snugly away in an assisted living program somewhere, being spoon-fed oatmeal, Ronald Reagan was living in the Executive Mansion. Having made myself clear on this subject however, I might as well come clean:

I voted for Ronal
d Reagan in 1980.

This is not to imply that thirty years ago (Great googly moogly! Where has the time gone!) I was ideologically in tune with Reagan and that in subseq
uent years I have seen the light. The sad, pathetic truth of the matter is that on the evening of Tuesday, November 4, 1980 I got so falling-down intoxicated, I voted for the man just as a joke. A failed, "B" movie actor in the White House? That ought to be good for a nice, long chuckle, I thought. When I was twenty-two I took nothing seriously. Three decades later, I'm not laughing.

On that ominous night, I was a cub reporter for a community radio station that has since been Clear Channeled out of existence, W-ALL of Middletown, NY. I had been assigned the task of covering the Republicans. But by the time I arrived at their headquarters at six PM, the results were a foregone conclusion and the place was empty. They had all skipped out of town to celebrate "this great victory for the American people" at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. I had no other choice but to walk across the street
with my recording gear in hand to the restaurant where the Democrats were holding what can only be described as the political equivalent of an Irish wake. I was more than happy to participate in their joyful, drunken mourning. At exactly 8:45 PM, with fifteen minutes left before the polls closed, I staggered one/tenth of a mile to the Town Hall and voted. It was in that condition that I cast my precious ballot for the likes of Ronald Reagan. Four years later I was alert enough to vote for Walter Mondale. I've been stone-cold sober every Election Day since.

Mother
s Against Drunk Voters. Does such an organization even exist? It should, you know. It really should.

The economic catastrophe that we are now faced with may be laid directly at Reagan's grave. Thirty years of Reaganomics - which in some ways were aided and abetted by Bill Clinton - have resulted in the decimation of a country that used to be a nice place in which to live. And here's the dirty little secret that, as far as I can tell, no one is talking about: The type of vigorous reinvestment in this country's infrastructure that is now so desperately needed - the kind initiate
d by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in the nineteen-thirties - is now practically impossible because of the debt we owe - much of it to Communist China. Here's another nasty little fact that everyone is ignoring: That debt is more than likely insurmountable. Isn't that a hoot?

He to
ld us that government wasn't the answer to our problems - it was the problem. He told us that instead of improving the government we should shrink it down to the size where, in the words of Grover Norquist, "it could be strangled in the bathtub". He told us that the tax cuts he planned for a class of people who already had more money than they knew what to do with would "trickle down" to the rest of us. His rival for the 1980 Republican nomination, George H-Dubya Bush, called it "voodoo economics". It was one of the few accurate things ever uttered by the senior Bush. I'm impressed.

Tax cuts for the rich and inflated spending on the military industrial complex. Reagan promised his clueless countrymen and women that he would do both while simultaneously balancing the budget. It never happened - or at least the balanced budget part never did. Today your country is in economic ruins. You can thank der gipper. The damage that this dirty old dingbat did to this once-great nation is so immense it will never be accurately assessed - it is incalculable.

And see the debt how big it's grown
but friends it hasn't been too long it wasn't big
In early nineteen eighty-one
the debt that's now a redwood tree was just a twig
And Nixon I miss you,
and I'm feeling blue
I've lost all of my senses
I'm nostalgic for you....

-To be sung to the tune of Bobby Goldsboro's maudlin classic, "Honey"

And in spite of all this, most of the American people, including some of us smart enough to know better (ATTENTION: CHRIS MATTHEWS) are still blind to his damaged legacy. A few months ago on the Morning Joe program I was shocked as I watched the distinguished historian Douglas Brinkley refer to Reagan as one of our "great" presidents - right up there with Lincoln and the two Roosevelts. If someone as smart as Brinkley doesn't get it, it's unlikely that most of the rest of us will be "getting it" any time soon.

There is at least one segment of our society where Ronald Reagan's poll numbers are in the single digits - among black people of course. How can that possibly be? That was a rhetorical question in case you were wondering.

Ronald Reagan was the most vehemently racist president since Woodrow Wilson. This is not merely my opinion, this is a fact that cannot be contested. It can be proven by a cursory examination of a quarter century of the man's misdeeds.

When Reagan was first vomited onto America's political stage in 1964, it was as a spokesman for Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign of that year. His two main talking points (aside from Medicaid and Medicare - or as he called them "socialized medicine") were Lyndon Johnson's proposed voting and civil rights acts. Reagan's subliminal message to the American people in 1964 was that he was against equal rights for all Americans.

Fast forward to the day in 1980 when he announced his candidacy for the presidency. Of all the thousands of places in the nation where he could have made that announcement, he chose Philadelphia - and I am not referring to the city of brotherly love where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 - I am referring to a tiny stain on the map called Philadelphia, Mississippi; the town whose ONLY claim to fame was the brutal murder of three civil rights workers sixteen years earlier. Reagan couldn't overtly wage an "anti-nigger" campaign. He had to be a lot more subtle than that. If there was one thing that Ronnie and his henchmen were good at, it was subtlety. Without actually coming out and saying it, Reagan let the bigots know that Jim Crow would be given the red carpet treatment in his White House. It was an extension of Nixon's 1968 Southern Strategy - and it worked like a rancid breeze.

At this moment in history our previous president's popularity is as low as any ex-president since Herbert Hoover left office in 1933. This is as it should be. But why all the teary-eyed nostalgia for Reagan? People need to understand that everything George W. Bush did to us, Ronald Reagan tried to do to us - and would have done to us had his party controlled both house of congress. Fortunately that never happened. For eight long years people like Tip O'Neil and Ted Kennedy were able to keep much of Reagan's domestic craziness in check. I really miss those two.

As I said on this site a couple of years ago, what needs to be remembered is that Ronald Reagan was essentially a mask, with a twinkle in its eye and a fine Irish smile. Remove that mask and what is revealed is the twisted, hideous smirk of George W. Bush. That is the real face of the so-called "Reagan Revolution".

On February 6, 1911, one-hundred years ago today, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois. Unlike most of the country however, I won't be spending this day looking back on his presidency with any degree of nostalgia - trust me. I'm not celebrating the life of Ronald Reagan. I hold the hideous old bastard in complete and utter contempt.

Tom Degan
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED READING:

The Acting President
by Bob Schieffer

AFTERTHOUGHT, 2/7/11:

This link was sent to me by a reader named Henry (Thank you, Henry!) It is a very good assessment of Reagan's awful legacy. It was published by a website that takes the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth very seriously. Here's a link:

http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/about/Reagan.html

And still we canonize him. Incredible.

To view more recent postings on this hideous site, please go to the following link:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Shameful, commie propaganda. there oughtta be a law! There will be soon I'm sure.