Sunday, December 26, 2021

Happy Boxing Day!

 

For the first time sicne stating this site nearly sixteen years ago, I didn't have anything to say on Christmas Day (or Christmas Eve). This is not to imply that any of you were waiting with breath (baited or otherwise) for any fruitful words of wisdom from the likes of me. The fact is you might have been better off mining a rerun of Desperate Housewives than seeking any insight from here. The truth is, with the state of America, being what it is at this incredibly depressing moment in history, I had no holly jolly optimism to offer you. This season also marked the sudden deaths of two old and beloved friends of mine. I'm just down in the depths this season. It's getting dark. Forgive me.

That being said, I took the liberty (and, last I checked, we still have liberty in this country) to take it upon myself to observe Boxing Day - which is still a big deal in merrie olde England. It is always celebrated the on the 26th of December, the day after Christmas.

I do hope that you all had a grand 'n' dandy time with your loved ones yesterday. I've nothing more, really, to offer you, except this Ghost of Christmas Past that I wrote on this site on Christmas Day 2006:

"Keep your eyes wide for the miracles all around you, and remember that there is more music to be found I the laughter of a single child than can be found in all of the symphonies ever composed by all of the composers who ever lived".

That works for me.

Tom Degan - Goshen, New York

 

 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Traitor Jim

 


At one time in my life, the name "Jim Jordan" meant nothing more to me than the name of an old-time radio actor who was one half of Fibber Magee and Molly, one of radio's first situation comedies back in the thirties. The name never had any sick or negative connotations for me - until a perverted little pol from Ohio stepped into the national spotlight. 

According to Jim Jordan, he never said that the election was stolen from Donald Trump - except when he did"I don't know how you can ever convince me that President Trump didn't actually win this thing based on all the things you see,"  What exactly "all the things" are he has yet to make clear. On the day of the January 6 insurrection, Jordan forwarded a message he received from a State Department inspector general to Trump's chief-of-staff, Mark Meadows:

"On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all."

What he was implying was "all electoral votes that he says are unconstitutional". In other words, judge enough votes unconstitutional to put Trump over the top. Jordan has been bitching over fact that Nancy Pelosi wouldn't put him on the select committee that has been investigating the insurrection. The reason for this is the simple fact that Jordan was obviously going to be called as a witness. Imagine, if you will, Lee Harvey Oswald on the Warren Commission.

I've been following American politics since before my tenth birthday (I was born in 1958). I am able to honestly tell you that - beyond one tenth of a molecule of doubt - Jim Jordan is the most depressingly disgusting politician I've ever encountered. Think about this: If the GOP is able to recapture the House next year (and most pundits are predicting as much), this corrupt and vile little man is on track to become one of the most powerful people in Washington. The fact that, less than a year ago, he played a part in the coup that attempted to overthrow democracy in this country is too depressing to even think about. I've spent enough time studying this hideous punk to render a few sound conclusions. I've also spent enough time in the state of Ohio to be perplexed. It's not Mississippi. Are its mostly sensible citizens going to be stupid enough to send Jimmy back to Washington next year? Please, tell me no.

Jim Jordan is not the only right wing extremist who committed a blaring act of treason on January 6, 2021. It's almost a given that none of them will be prosecuted for their crimes against democracy - not with sleepy old Merrick Garland running the Department of Justice. But to think that most of them will be rewarded with reelection is unacceptable. What we have now in Washington is multi-layered web of political and financial corruption that, I am certain, is unparalleled in the history of the United States. 

During his stint as a wrestling coach at some Ohio college a number of years ago, Jim Jordan turned a blind eye when the team's doctor was sexually abusing some of the kids. The victims of this abuse pleaded with Coach Jordan to have the man dismissed from the school, but Jim did nothing. This is the man whom the people of Ohio have foolishly chosen as their representative in Washington. Nice

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

CNN's Anderson Cooper had some choice comments on Jim Jordan last night. Here is a link to watch it on YouTube:


Gloria Vandebuilt, you raised that boy right.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

FOX News Needs to Be Abolished



Meadows
In the eleven months and ten days since the January 6 insurrection that attempted to overthrow democracy in America, the paid stooges at FOX Noise have been downplaying what went on that day. And yet we now know that, at the moment the shit was hitting the fan, some of the most visible hosts on that channel were furiously texting Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, imploring him to have Trump take to twitter with a video telling the rioters to go home. Brian Kilmeade actually telling him that the rioting was in danger of undoing all of the ex-president's "accomplishments". What exactly those "accomplishments" were he didn't make clear.

FOX needs to be completely destroyed. There is a damned good reason we have something called the Federal Communications Commission. One of the reasons it was created was in order to protect the American airwaves (which we own by the way) from dangerous propaganda and misinformation. FOX is responsible for the deaths of untold thousands of people due to the lies that they spread regarding the importance of receiving the COVID vaccine. Most of those folks relied on FOX Noise for their news and information. When FOX shows up to renew their license to broadcast, it should be denied them. Responsible cable TV companies across the land should refuse to carry FOX. This is what is called "a no-brainer", folks.

FOX News has been detrimental to public discourse since it was founded a quarter of a century ago. Those were the good old days. They've now become a danger to life the public health. For the good of the American people, it needs to be completely dismantled and abolished. Advertisers who fund it should be boycotted. This is a longshot, I know, but it is not-at-all beyond the scope of possibility. Every news entity is protected by the First Amendment, but they all have a responsibility to keep the public informed, Rupert Murdoch's media company long ago discarded that responsibility. 

"This instrument [Television] can teach, it can illuminate, yes, it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is nothing more than wires and lights in a box."

Edward R. Murrow, 1958. 

Murrow
Murrow died nearly fifty-seven years ago, but the man was prescient in many ways. One of his biggest fears was that television news would become what FOX News undeniably is. A propaganda arm for any political ideology. That in itself is not necessarily a completely bad thing. After all, MSNBC leans notably to the left. But FOX Noise is something else all together: Lights and wires in a box. Not to mention a serious danger to our democracy and the public well being. It needs to disappear forever.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Here is a link to listen to Murrow's October 1958 speech in its entirety:


The man was a prophet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Running Scared

 

With the passing of each day, we are learning more than we ever wanted to know about the criminality of Donald Trump and everyone within his circle of knaves and perverts. This week, the officers of Trump's former justice department are pleading the Fifth in droves. Isn't that something? As of now we're only at the tip of an exceedingly nasty iceberg. This is the proverbial roller coaster that isn't close to stopping. Fasten your seatbelts, boys and girls. Five years ago - two whole months before the hideous old bugger was even inaugurated - I predicted that The Donald would be remembered as the first former chief executive to be hauled off to federal prison. I'm sticking by that prediction.

The "Grand Old Party" has found itself in a predicament that is both awkward and precarious. They can see the future with clarity - and they're in a blind panic over what that future holds for them.  More and more people are registering to vote who aren't white people - the traditional constituency of the Republican party. To combat this irreversible trend, they've been losing sleep scheming to block minorities from casting their precious ballots to choose their representatives in Washington. Minorities tend not to vote conservatively. That's just a simple, unavoidable fact of life. If these right wing politicians are unable to overtly overthrow the government by sending a mob of stooges to stop the vote inside the House of Reprehensibles, they plan on doing it subtly at the ballot box. Their motives are as clear as glass.

The organized criminal enterprise that used to be the ideological home of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Theodore Roosevelt might very well regain both houses of Congress next year. There is a possibility that Donald Trump will once again be nominated by them in 2024. If both of these unhappy scenarios plays out, you can bet the farm that they will seize the executive branch on January 20 of that year - regardless of who the actual winner is. Is it fair to compare the modern GOP to the Nazis of 1938? Absolutely not. But to compare them to the Nazis of 1933 (the year that saw Hitler's rise to power) is not only fair, it is unavoidable. America has found itself in a very bad place that it needs to get out of - fast.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING: 

Here is a YouTube link to watch Seth Meyer's opening monologue last night where he brilliantly lays out the Trump Mob's attempted coup against our country:


We're not making this stuff up, folks.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Requiem for a Conservative with an IQ


Robert Dole has died. This was not unexpected. He was ninety-eight and has been battling Stage IV lung cancer since February. As someone once remarked, "Old people die - that's their job!" And still, it is difficult to let this moment pass without a bit of reflection on a life well lived.

I didn't vote for for Bob Dole when he ran for the presidency in 1996. My feeling at the time was that, after twelve years of Reagan and Bush, another conservative administration would be too much for the senses to take. I voted again for Bill Clinton that year - and I was not always sure if my vote was sound. Clinton was responsible for me leaving the Democrats forever. That was the year that they turned into Republican Lite. I bolted the party in May of 1998 and never looked back. I have never regretted my decision. 

Bob Dole was the last great Republican politician. He was as good as they get and the last of a kind. I can remember an era when conservatives - although a somewhat goofy lot - basically meant well. Sadly, that's no longer the case. They have become a satanic cult, as twisted and corrupt as any party in the history of the world. It is not at all unfair to compare them to the Nazis of the late twenties and early thirties. It has become that twisted and weird. I miss the good ol' days when they were merely a threat to our economic security - and not to life on this planet. The GOP was at one time the ideological home of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Would someone kindly explain to me just what the hell happened?

There used to be a congressman in my district named Ben Gilman (1922-2016). He was a Republican and I always cast my ballot for him. When I once told the chairman of the Orange County Democratic Committee that I had voted for him he asked me why. I told him that as soon as you guys nominate a better candidate, they'll have my vote. They never did. Ben Gilman, like Bob Dole, was the last of the moderate, thoughtful conservatives. They're all gone - and they're not coming back.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT:

I had a revelation yesterday morning. It's a good thing that I was lying in bed at the time, otherwise it would have knocked me off of my feet.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt was my age he had been dead for a month.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

In Support of Dr. Fauci

 


Matt and Gym
`
We all need to step up to the plate for Dr. Anthony Fauci. Last night on the Jimmy Kimmel program, Jimmy did just that. He let out a tirade of justified invective against the right-wing junta in congress that spend so much of their taxpayer-funded time in Washington slandering the name of this great and good man. Kimmel only pushed his punches. He stated that he was sick of these "scumbags" (his words - and well chosen) defiling the air of our national political conversation with calumny and misinformation. I speak of the usual suspects: Ted Cruz, Gym Jordan, Ayn Rand Paul, Josh Hawley, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene - and a cast of others too numerous to single out.

Here's something to ponder:

Seventy years after the nasty fact, we have easy access to film clips and newsreels of people like Joe McCarthy waxing idiotic on any subject that might have been relevant in their day -
and a whole lot of subjects that were not. How does old Joe look today when juxtaposed against someone like Edward R. Murrow, whom he infamously clashed with in a March 1954 episode of CBS's See It Now? The fact of the matter is that Murrow stands like a virtual Rock of Gibraltar in history while we perceive McCarthy as a blabbering, incoherent  clown. That's how Ted Cruz and the rest of them will look in comparison to someone like the esteemed Dr. Fauci in the year 2089. It's a sure bet that their unborn descendants will not be pointing with pride to and bragging about their familial connection to the likes of Teddy Boy or Gym. Historians will not be holding up this era in American history as an example of a time to be proud of. The moon landing it ain't.

Do these idiotic people even have a clue how buffoonish they will appear to future generations with only a smidgeon of 20/20 historical hindsight?

There will be no statues erected to honor the memories of Gym Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Josh Hawley or Ayn Rand Paul - I guarantee it. Somewhere there will be a statue honoring Anthony Fauci, probably in Brooklyn, and possibly on the grounds of the Surgeon General's office. The other horrendous bastards (and one hideous bitch) will be remembered alright, but in the same way we remember Joe McCarthy nearly sixty-five years after his death - as cautionary tales of bombastic idealogues gone awry. Every generation of politicians have people like this; but back in the day, there was only one Joe McCarthy. Today the halls of congress and the senate are literally crawling with hundreds of Joe wannabees. It really is quite disgusting when you think about it.

There will be no Gym Jordan Memorial High School - not in this lifetime or the next. There will be an Anthony Fauci High School before his long life on this planet has ended. Anyone care to make a little wager on this?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here is a link to the opening of the Kimmel program mentioned at the top of this piece:


Cheers and Peace!

Saturday, November 20, 2021

An Extremely Nasty Precedent


The verdict yesterday didn't come as much of a surprise to those of us who had been paying even scant attention to the Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin. For the past month the general consensus of opinion had been that the murderous little thug would end up walking. I, myself, never dreamed that he would be found not guilty on all four charges, My assumption was that they would convict him on at least one - just for show, you understand. The reason for the almost universal pessimism of so many people was because of the judge, Bruce Schroeder, an overbearing putz whose cell phone ring tone was "I'm Glad to be an American", the theme song of all of the  Donald Trump's rallies. It was obvious to me that duh judge has spent the last several weeks auditioning for a potential talk show on Fox Nooooz, Newsmax, or one of the other conservative propaganda outlets. Last night, the right wing SCREAM MACHINE was beside itself in joy and ecstasy. Kyle is the new golden boy of America's fascist crazies.

Last night in Kenosha there were no riots, no tangible outrage. Perhaps it was exhaustion.

Just in case it needs to be explained to you, what happened yesterday inside that Kenosha courtroom set a precedent that is dangerous and lethal on too many levels to adequately catalogue. I imagine that, somewhere out there in the basements of their mother's homes, are a whole boatload of Kyle wannabees who were emboldened by yesterday's verdict. I do hope I am wrong on this point, but I don't think that I am. America has become the sort of place that our worst nightmares never dared to imagine. When a babbling, incompetent halfwit like George W. Bush starts to look in hindsight like Theodore Roosevelt, you know your country is in one hell of a fix. Aren't these interesting times?

I need to go back to bed. Kyle is the right wing's newest cause. He'll probably be feted and celebrated, courted, wined and dined. The little twit's future is being mapped out by handlers and media managers. That's fine. As the old Doris Day song says, whatever will be will be. I hope that the surviving members of his victims' families (and the one survivor) move forward with a civil lawsuit that will seize any earnings he accumulates. They're entitled to the blood money. The Kenosha police department is liable, too. They stupidly allowed him to pass into a toxic riot zone while he was holding a rapid-fire killing machine, never even asking him for his I.D. Some of these assholes even thanked him for coming (it was captured on audio tape). He was obviously a minor and should never have been carrying such a lethal and dangerous weapon. And yet they allowed him to wander into a toxic riot zone. What were the silly bastards thinking?

These are the darkest days I've witnessed in my life. It's so depressing being a citizen of Idiot Nation that it defies definition. I may be depressed, but at least I'm not bored - far from it.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Put It There, Pal
by Bing Crosby and Bob Hope (1944)


When these two got together, something magical happened.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

ATTACK OF THE GOSAR


"Gosar". It sounds like the name of a monster in a grade Z science fiction film from the fifties. Or, perhaps, a villainous character from Tolkien's  The Lord of the Rings. It might have been Gollum's half-witted cousin. But the Gosar I speak of this morning (as I'm sure you figured out from the get-go) is not a character of fiction - science or any other. He is a human being (I think) that today walks the same floors that were once walked upon by the likes of Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams. He is the contemptible numbskull who just this week released on Twitter an animated video that depicted him murdering New York Congresswoman Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez and physically attacking President Joe Biden. Nice, huh? He is a congressman who represents Arizona's 4th congressional district. His unnerving habit of rolling his head around while he speaks publically gives me the impression of a man deeply disturbed. If you think I exaggerate, check him out on YouTube sometime. I'm not kidding: the dude is delightfully bonkers.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has been the subject of numerous death threats since she entered congress less than three years ago. Paul Gosar must know this. That very fact makes his actions this past week all-the-more inexcusable. He needs to be removed permanently from the House of Reprehensibles.

Unfortunately, violence under the great dome of the nation's capital is not a particularly new or unique idea. Students of history may recall the horrible incident of May 22, 1856 when Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner, a staunch abolitionist, was savagely attacked by slave-owning, South Carolina congressman Preston Brooks with a metal-edged walking stick. Sumner was wounded in the attack so badly that it was three years before he could return to his seat. Brooks was never prosecuted for his crime. In fact, in the deep south he was hailed as a hero. Sound familiar? By the time Sumner was able to resume his duties in 1859, Brooks was long gone, having died a horrible death eight months and five days after the attempted killing from an unexpected attack of what was known as "croup". I suppose it's a disease that modern anti-biotics  long-ago wiped out. According to a contemporary news account of Brooks' demise:  

"He died a horrid death, and suffered intensely. He endeavored to tear his own throat open to get breath."

Steadman and Thompson
Wow. The only artist in the world that I can imagine illustrating such a weird and grotesque scene is Ralph Steadman, the English artist responsible for the surreal visions in the books of Hunter Thompson. Can you imagine? Which reminds me, I sure wish Hunter was still around to report on the "bad craziness" of present-day Washington D.C. The only reason most progressive bloggers exist today, is simply because we no longer have Dr. Thompson around to kick out the verbal jams. Less than one month after George W. Bush's second inauguration,  he was in such complete despair over the state of the country he loved so much, that he put a gun to his head and ended it all. We who blog walk in the pioneering footsteps of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

Between the GOP's bat-shit insane rhetoric and the Democrats' timid ineptitude it's no-small-wonder that either party is still a viable commodity. I gave up my registration as a Democrat nearly twenty-four years ago. My opinion then (and still is) is that they long-ago forgot that they are (or were) the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt. But while there may still be a few pockets of hope among the Democrats (very few) the Republicans are beyond redemption. That is no longer a political party. That is a satanic cult. I miss the good old days when they were merely a threat to our economic security - and not to our freedom as Americans.

The Summit of Schmucks
Summit of Schmucks
Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez is (in my humble opinion - and for what it's worth) the most extraordinary new-comer to step into the national political spotlight in my lifetime - and I was born when Eisenhower was in office. That someone as decent and as undeniably brilliant as she is could be the subject of such cruel and vile invective from so many sides - including a few members of her own party - is inexcusable. Today, Preston Brooks is remembered for no other reason than his attempted murder of Charles Sumner one-hundred and sixty-five years ago. In 2021, Senator Sumner stands like a rock in American history. I imagine that, by the year 2186, Paul Gosar will be remembered (if at all), just as Preston Brooks is barely remembered today: as a vile clown who spent his meaningless career planting the seeds of political dysfunction and chaos across the American landscape. Like Brooks, Gosar will end up on history's shit-pile. In fact, he's already there.

In one-hundred and sixty-five years, there will be statues remembering AOC. Count on it! There will be no mass movement to tear them down. Anyone care to make a little wager on this point?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Bo Diddley
by Bo Diddley


From 1955, this is the greatest rock 'n' roll record ever made. The percussion is nothing short of hypnotic. 

Rock on, children!

SUGGESTED READING:

For a more complete update on recent postings on this naughty, left wing site. please go to the link below:


Enjoy!

Friday, November 05, 2021

The Bat-Shit Report

 


Has anybody there seen my old friend John John?

The answer to that question is, no. Nobody there saw John John - or his dad, for that matter. Both have shuffled off this mortal coil.

I don't know whether to fall on the floor laughing or to be seriously alarmed by what happened two days ago at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Some of the more noted and visible Qanon proponents within the internet put out the word that John F. Kennedy, Jr. faked his own death twenty-two years ago and that he (and, I assume, his wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette) are still alive and well; and that he (and his father, JFK, Sr.,) would be making an appearance this week at the sight of JFK's (alleged) assassination nearly fifty-eight years ago. They also announced that not only were both men planning on endorsing Trump's 2024 campaign on that day, but that Junior was planning on running second on the ticket with the former president. Vice President John John. Ain't that something? Strange days indeed. Most peculiar, Mama!

When Jack and John Jr. failed to show up at the appointed time, it was announced by some of the Qanon folks that the two of them would appear later on that night at a Rolling Stnes concert. Hopefully they would be bringing Charlie Watts and Brian Jones with them. Apparently, the four of them had other plans for the evening. No show again. Bummer.

Astonishingly, several hundred people turned up at the base of the old Texas School Book Depository to witness the anticipated event. As Jimmy Page (or was it Robert Plant?) once wrote:

"And it makes me wonder."

And speaking of wondering, I wonder if any of these knuckleheads bothered to do a simple bit of arithmetic: John F. Kennedy Sr. would be one-hundred and four years old if he were alive today. Geniuses. 

"Gym" Jordan
The fact that every one of the morons who showed up at this non-happening plan on voting in three years should scare the hell out of you. I know that it worries
me - but only slightly. Monitoring and recording the political craziness of 2021 America has become a beloved hobby of mine. The more unintentionally funny America's political conversation becomes with the passing of each week, the more interesting my life gets. Joe McCarthy died a year and three months before I was born. Ted Cruz and Jim Jordan are two of the most disgusting politicians that have come down the pike in my lifetime - and yet I'm sure gonna miss 'em when they're gone. I cannot even imagine my life without either of those assholes. I'm almost kind of sorry that I missed Joe McCarthy. Seriously.

As implied in the title of this piece, the conservative movement in this country has gone bat-shit crazy. That is not meant to say that everyone who leans to the right is bonkers, but that they do themselves (and their party) irreparable damage by turning a blind eye to the antics of Trump's MAGA base. Unfortunately, there are only a small handful of conservatives out there in the public arena with the courage to point out the damage that the MAGA-maniacs are doing to this country. Liz Cheney, Steve Schmitt and Joe Scarborough come immediately to mind. God bless them.

Did you ever get the feeling that you were living in the middle of an incredibly dark Paddy Chayefsky script? The next three years promise to get really interesting. Fasten your seat belts, boys and girls. This is gonna be weird.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Do you remember? Remember?? THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER???"

John Lennon

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Strange Days in D.C.


 
A reporter from Rolling Stone named Hunter Walker (I really wish it was Hunter Thompson) uncovered something this past week that is surely to explode in the weeks to come. Apparently, a number of lawmakers (and their staffs) were involved in the planning and execution of what went down in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021. I have a strong suspicion that the Rolling Stone report will end up  being the mere tip of an insanely nasty iceberg. These are definitely strange days in D.C. I never even dreamed I would live to see something as completely weird as this infect America's political conversation.  Here are some of the politicians named:

Paul Gosar
Lauren Boebert
Mo Brooks
Madison Cawthorn
Andy Biggs
Louie Gohmert

Or as Tuesday's New York Daily News referred to them, "the usual suspects".

As shocking as this was, here was the real bombshell: They're all Republicans. I'm just kidding you. Truth be told, their party affiliations weren't surprising at all. What would have been jolting would have been if any of the conspirators had occupied the other side of the aisle. More proof that the GOP is now an organized criminal enterprise. This is not to imply that the Democrats are saints, it's only that there are small pockets of hope within that idiotic party. The Republicans are beyond redemption.

As the investigations into the January 6 uprising continue, we're going to be finding out a lot about the loyalty of many of the people within congress (and a few without). They (and their ideological descendants have spent the last seventy years pompously lecturing us about "real Americans". What kind of "real American" would subvert and pervert the Constitution of the United States? The bad news for these people is that many of the nitwits who took part in the rioting are starting to sing. You can literally see the fear and panic in the eyes of a lot of folks on Capitol Hill. It really is an amusing thing to behold. It must be a horrible thing to contemplate the fact that, when the light is finally shown on their attempt to overthrow the Constitution, their disgrace will be eternal. I wonder if their kids will resort to changing their names. That would definitely be a suggestion for Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka, Tiffany and Barron. I'm just sayin'.

Keep your eyes glued on the insanity in D.C. This is going to get  really interesting, campers. To quote Bill Murray as Hunter S. Thompson from the 1979 film, "Where The Buffalo Roam": "It still hasn't got weird enough for me". It never will.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SPECIAL THOUGHT:

A gentle shout-out to my beloved friend, Elle Mhn, whom I just learned is in total remission after an almost two year fight with breast cancer. You had all of us praying like crazy people for you, Elle. I cannot tell you how grateful we all are, I am sure, that our prayers were answered. Brian Mohin would be proud of you. In fact, I'm sure he is.

Here is a link to listen to Elle talk about her experience overcoming this horrible disease. The lady is a complete inspiration.


Happy day, Elle!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

POST #1054: Random Observations

 

    The Gang's All Here

This is merely a collection of unrelated thoughts. 

1. Accountability Time For Steve Bannon:

Steve Bannon will very soon be finding out (the hard way) that his demented mentor, Donald Trump, no longer has the power of the pardon. That is what the silly bastard must have been assuming when he failed to honor a congressional subpoena this week. Does the guy seriously believe that the pardon that was issued to him by Trump late in his term covered crimes he may commit in the future? The man is in for a rude awakening. One can only imagine if he is aware of the case of Susan McDougal who spent eighteen months in the slammer during the Bill Clinton era. If Bannon is unaware what a serious charge contempt of congress is, he's about to find out.

2. Ultimate Irony:

My brother Jeff posted the following on his Facebook page early the other day:

"Irony: using a device that transmits an inordinate amount of complex information tens of thousands of miles through thin air - via antennas and satellites - to convey to others that you 'don't trust science' "

Genius abounds.

3. My Steve Doocy Problem:

My earliest memory of television is of watching the Danny Thomas program when my family lived in Ridgewood, New Jersey (180 Highland Avenue). I remember that I was sitting on a couch next to my brother Jack. The room was dark with only a small lamp in the corner of the room illuminating our surroundings. We moved from Ridgewood in the autumn of 1960. I'm almost embarrassed to admit to you that my televisual memories go back sixty-one years.

In all of that time, and  in all of those years, I can truthfully say - beyond one tenth of a molecule of doubt - that Steve Doocy is the stupidest human being that I have ever seen on a so-called "serious" news program. He is a complete and utter embarrassment. The capper occurred sometime a couple of years ago when some congressional investigators sought information regarding a private meeting that Attorney General Bill Barr had with Donald Trump. Doocy stupidly exclaimed, "Haven't they ever heard of attorney/Client privilege?"

The president of the United States is not the client of the attorney general. The attorney general is not the private lawyer of the president of the United States.

The man has the I.Q. of a half-eaten box of Milk Duds. We're talkin' dumber than dog shit here.

4. Four (eight?) More years:

Trump is hell-bent on seizing the executive mansion in three years. If he receives the GOP nomination in the summer of 2024 (which, given the current ideological state of that disgusting party) he will declare victory on election night three years from now - regardless if he loses. It is my belief that he will declare victory even if he loses the Republican primaries. If he lives long enough to run in 2024 (always a question for a man of his advanced age) the damage that he is capable of doing to democracy in America is immense. Are the voters of the United States capable of going down this sick and detestable road again? I believe they are. The next three years should be really interesting.

Tom Degan​
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here is proof why Fox Nooz should be permanently shut down:


News for morons.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

BEATLES ALERT!


And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on till tomorrow
Let it be.... 

The Beatles

 
I p
romise you, this will be very brief.

This is a small break from the train-wreck of current events and politics to take note of a major event in our culture. I was in kindergarten on the night The Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964. I can remember going to bed that evening with those incredible harmonies still ringing in my five-year-old ears. My beloved grandmother, Loretta Doran Clements, passed away unexpectedly two nights later. Despite our family's tragedy at that moment, I've been sold on The Fabulous Beatles ever since.

Yesterday, Apple Records released onto vinyl and CD, the remastered recordings of their final LP, Let It Be. This record has been, since the day it first appeared, regarded as one of their lesser efforts. I have never been able to figure out why this would be so.  While it may not be their best album, it has some of the finest recordings ever produced by any rock 'n' roll band. 

The new remix sounds better than it ever has. One thing that stands out is John Lennon's composition, Across The Universe. It sounds as if he's singing it from Heaven, a determined and silly ghost that refuses to fade into that mysterious and unknowable void. The box set contains the alternate Get Back LP that was set to be released in the Spring of 1968, which was later vetoed by all four members of the band and wound up languishing in the Apple vaults for over a half century. It also contains a two-LP set of outtakes from the many-hours of tracks that comprised the January 1969 sessions.

Whenever a "new" Beatles product is released to the public, I get as giddy as the day in 1967 when I furiously peddled my bicycle down to the local pharmacy to pick up a copy of the new Magical Mystery Tour album. I was nine-years-old at the time. At sixty-three, I still retain some grasp of my fading childhood  memories. As eternity beckons, this is a very comforting thing indeed. Shine on till tomorrow....

The Beatles have sold more records than any other band of the first two decades of the twenty-first century. This is a group that made their last recording fifty-one years ago - two of whose members are long dead. Think about that.

This recording is available on CD and vinyl. In case it isn't in stock at your friendly, independently-owned, neighborhood record store (Like they really exist anymore!) It can be purchased on Amazon.com. If you're a fan of The Beatles, you cannot afford to let this one pass you by. Shine on till tomorrow....but I repeat myself.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Let It Be
by The Beatles


When asked about this recording in one of the final interviews of his long life, Louis Armstrong smiled and said simply, "That's church music!"

Amen, Brother Satch! 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Bannon's Dilemma




Steve Bannon was subpoenaed yesterday to appear before a House select committee to answer questions about the attempted January 6 overthrow of the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. He refused to appear. Apparently, this impudent jackass believes that Donald Trump still has the power of the pardon. FUN FACT: He doesn't. Did Trump stupidly believe that he could issue pardons for crimes that would be committed post presidency? Given all that we know about the man, this is always a distinct possibility. Given all that we currently know about this bloviating jackass, anything is possible. Aren't American politics a riot?

Steve Bannon has privately (and publically) described himself as a "white supremacist". Really??? Take a good look at the photograph at the top of this page and compare it with one of, say, Lena Horne, Barack Obama, Van Jones or Eartha Kitt. White supremacist indeed. Truth be told, Bannon's claim to "white supremacy" is as ridiculous a claim as if I were to make it ( You should see me first thing in the morning....Honestly). 

Anyone refusing to reply a year ago to a congressional subpoena had the cloak of a Trump pardon hanging over his or her head. That is not the case any longer - way far from it. The brutal fact of the matter is that these craven assholes will be faced with months and years in the slammer. I would point them to the case of Susan McDougal, who did eighteen months in the can for her refusal to participate in Ken Starr's Whitewater scam. What went around is coming around....Food for thought, baby!

Steve Bannon (and everyone else who refuses to answer a congressional subpoena) needs to be thrown into federal prison as swiftly as possible. Remember that bit about "rule of law" and "checks and balances"? Yeah, so do I.  These bastards and bitches should not be allowed to get away with their assault upon our democracy. There's too much at stake. Way too much.

Is is as simple and as clear as this: Donald Trump needs to be thrown into federal prison for whatever is left of his sick and miserable life.

There, I've said it again,

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


SUGGESTED VIEWING:
This is Jacqueline Kennedy being interviewed by NBC's Sander Vanocur in March of 1961. On the night she passed away in May of 1994, I was walking past her apartment building on 5th Avenue in Manhattan when a reporter from CBS News Radio stuck a microphone in my face and asked me to comment on her death. "She was one classy broad", said I.



She certainly was.

Monday, October 11, 2021

White Executive Privilege

 



"Millions of Americans have been sold a fraud that the election was stolen. Republicans have the duty to tell the American people that this is not true. Perpetuating the Big Lie is an attack on the core of our constitutional republic."

Rep. Elizabeth Cheney

NOTE TO CAROLINE KENNEDY:

Liz deserves next year's Profiles in Courage Award. Just a suggestion.

Can you imagine the shit-storm of outraged political invective that would have hit the fan had Barack Obama claimed "executive privilege" post presidency? No, neither can I. The right wing SCREAM machine would have gone into convulsions of spastic apoplexy had something that unconstitutional transpired. Let's just understate the situation by saying that they would not have taken it too well, okay? Once they had come back into consciousness, they would have rightly pointed out that executive privilege only pertains to sitting presidents and that, once they are out of office, they're on their own. Can you see Jimmy Carter citing "executive privilege" after being out of office for nearly forty years? Then again, in my wildest and weirdest dreams, I cannot even imagine Jimmy attempting anything quite that ridiculous. The man has an abundance of common sense. Donald Trump - on the other hand - is ridiculous personified. 

Any hopes we might have had that Donald Trump would gently disappear into that good night of obscurity have been dashed. He has revived his role as the greatest cancer on our national political conversation, and he is apparently determined to stay there. He is back at the rally pulpit and has every intention of staying there until at least January 20, 2025. Aren't I lucky? For someone who thrives on political craziness and unintentional comedy, this is a great time to be alive, indeed.

Trump is demanding that the Biden White House not release any documents pertaining to his final months in office. NBC News has obtained a letter to the National Archives written by White House counsel Dana Remus:

"President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interest of the United States. and therefore is not justified as to any of the documents."

In effect, the Biden folks are telling Trump to go fuck himself -
in a nice and polite way, I'm sure. This is a gang that has much to hide, of that there can be not a molecule of doubt. My prediction over three years ago that Donald Trump will primarily be remembered as the first former president to go to federal prison still stands. Three former Trump administration workers (including Steve Bannon) are refusing to answer subpoenas to appear before a congressional investigating committee. Do these lamebrains understand that The Donald no longer possesses the power of the pardon? They're about to find out the hard way. Do they remember a woman by the name of Susan McDougal? In 1998 she refused to cooperate in Ken Starr's nutty Whitewater investigation. She wound up doing eighteen months in the slammer. Do Bannon and company beleieve that the punitive side of the law applies only to Democrats? This is going to be interesting.

What happened in Washington D.C. nine months and five days ago marked the first time in our two-hundred and forty-five year history that the USA did not have a peaceful transfer of power. We had a presidential election just prior to the outset of the American civil war - and one during it. Both transfers of power were peaceful. In 1861 and 1865, not a drop of blood was spilled on the streets of Washington. Not so in 2021. If it is revealed that the former president of the "United" States of America had prior knowledge of and took part in what went down on that infamous day, he needs to be prosecuted (as they say) "to the fullest extent of the law" and sent to prison for the rest of his miserable life - or whatever is left of it. It's called "sedition" kiddies. There's something for you to ponder.

Tom Degan​
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

This conversation took place yesterday morning on MSNBC' It really needs to be viewed by everyone in America:


Eugene Robinson is as good as they get.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Dense Pence - No Sense


"I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in January." 

Mike Pence

Do you remember Dan Quayle? Do you remember what a complete and utter laughingstock he was as George H.W. Bush's V.P.? It was always oodles of fun to watch him trying to communicate extemporaneously to the huddled masses. The poor slob never could get the hang of it. He always wound up falling flat on his face - like when he infamously corrected the spelling of a third-grader who had correctly spelled the word,  "potato". In hindsight, these things really shouldn't be held against him. I would be lost without Spell-Check. And although I write fairly well, I have never been particularly good at improvisational speaking. I'm as capable of emanating an  embarrassing gaffe as anyone. It's a blessing that my career in politics was brief - mercifully so.

Dan Quayle was never perceived by anyone as being particularly bright. I am not here to pass judgement on the man's intellectual abilities. The fact of the matter is, he must have had an above average intelligence to get to where he got. I just don't know the answer to that question. Here is what I know as a non-debatable fact: compared to Mike Pence, Quayle is starting to look like Albert Einstein. Seriously.

Back on January 6, I was sending kudos to Pence for doing the right thing by acknowledging the ballots in the electoral college that gave Joe Biden a decided victory over Donald Trump. We now know that Pence was encouraged by certain White House lawyers to overturn the results of a democratic election and that he - at first - had every intention of doing their (and Trump's) naughty bidding. The only thing that stopped him from committing an electoral atrocity was the fact that he was bombarded with private messages that it would be foolish and blatantly unconstitutional to go down that road. One of those messages was from former vice-president J. Danforth Quayle! (Yeah, that's really his name, folks).

Now, in order to get back into good favor with Trump and the MAGA-fools, Pence is tailoring his message to make us believe that what happened in Washington D.C. on January 6 of this year was nothing to get upset about and that congress is wasting  their time and our money by thoroughly investigating the events of that nasty day. Mike Pence is a thoroughly despicable political hack. He knows that if he can only receive the Republican nomination in three years, he will be able to seize the office of the presidency whether he gets the required votes or not. I'm tempted to say, "but that ain't ever gonna happen, folks". I said the same thing five years ago during the months and weeks leading up to Election Day 2016. Anything is possible in Idiot Nation. Anything.

FUN FACT: While the insurrection of January 6, 2021 was happening, and thousands of people outside the capital building were calling for Mike Pence to be hanged, Pence was inside that same building with his wife and family. Nice, huh?

We should do everything possible to ensure that no GOP politician wins the White House in 2024. If that disgusting, cult-of-a-party is ever able to take back the executive branch of our government or either house of congress, this country is through. Do you think that I am exaggerating? Keep voting Republican and let's see what happens.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Peril
by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

Costa is the new Bernstein.