Sunday, January 14, 2018

People Who Live In Glass Shithouses....


With the passing of each interminable hour it seems, the sick joke that is the disgusting administration of Donald Trump just keeps getting sicker and sicker - a feat in itself when you think about it.  Are you looking for a convincing argument for obliterating the electoral college? Look no further. As long as that institution exists in what is supposed to be a democracy, imbeciles like Trump and George W. Bush are inevitable.
 
The latest travesty in the continuing tragicomic saga of this White House is Trump referring to Haiti and the nations of Africa as "shit countries". He wondered aloud at a bi-partisan meeting with lawmakers in the cabinet room why the USA is not receiving more refugees from lily-white Norway. Was there someone on hand to remind this perpetual fool that in that country, the people have access to free education and health care; that the crime rate is almost nonexistent; and that the standard of living for the average citizen is pretty high - higher, in fact, than it is here in the states. If there are any Norwegians stupid enough to want to relocate the United States, they have yet to make themselves known.

I'm not going to waste too much time on this fine Sunday afternoon on this latest, totally predictable gaffe from the esteemed common pervert who now - unbelievably - finds himself residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This is whom we are stuck with for at least another year. Someone working in the West Wing has described him as "a clown surrounded by idiots" - or was it "an idiot surrounded by clowns"? It really doesn't matter, does it. Both description are apropos. To pick on the people of Haiti, in particular, is so disturbing that it's difficult to find the exact words to describe something this completely vile. No country in this hemisphere has suffered more completely in recent decades than the poor people of that island/nation. I've noticed that so many Haitians I have been fortunate enough to encounter in my travels and interactions seem to be blessed by the common denominator of kindness and gentleness. Too many of them to adequately count have made priceless contributions to American society and arts. See the link at the bottom of this piece to get a better understanding of what I'm talking about.

The president of the United States is inarguably the most unhinged racist to occupy the Executive Mansion since - at the very least - Woodrow Wilson. It took one-hundred years for the inmates of Idiot Nation to puke up something comparable. That is another feat that takes quite a bit of doing. Another one worth taking note of.

From the moment he announced his candidacy in June of 2015 it was clear to everyone but the idiots who get their news and information from Fox Noise that this was a deeply disturbed, uninformed man. When he referred to the Chinese government on live television as "you motherfuckers", that should have been the end of his campaign. It wasn't. The damage that this insufferable moron will do to America between now and the moment he is impeached next year will be so immense, it is impossible to predict at this early date.

To my friends who were foolish enough to vote for this asshole: Don't you dare say I didn't warn you.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Here’s who — and what — America wouldn’t have had without Haitians
by David Von Drehle

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/heres-who--and-what--america-wouldnt-have-had-without-haitians/2018/01/12/c7bc3576-f7d0-11e7-b34a-b85626af34ef_story.html?utm_term=.986b49576de9&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

This excellent piece appeared two days ago in the Washington Post. It tells you all you need to know. "Shithole nation" indeed.

SUGGESTED READING:

Fire and Fury
by Michael Wolff

I read the book that everybody is talking about this weekend. If you read nothing else for the rest of the year, read this book. I'll only say that the situation is worse than even I dared to predict. Here is a link to order it off of amazon.com:

https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Fury-Michael-Wolff/dp/1408711400/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515954612&sr=1-1&keywords=fire+and+fury+by+michael+wolff

We really are living through extraordinary times. 'Nuff said?

Sunday, January 07, 2018

The Persecution of Hillary Clinton



First they came for Hillary Clinton, but I was not Hillary Clinton - so I said nothing....

This is an avenue I rarely travel down. Coming to the defense of Hillary Clinton is not something I am used to (or even comfortable) doing. Although I did support her once she received the nomination from those perpetually clueless Democrats; and although I did manage to make my way to my local polling place to cast my ballot for her on Election Day 2016, it was more a matter of necessity than anything else. I had supported Bernie Sanders during the primaries. The Dems had been offered the most visionary candidate to come their way in eighty years and - true to form - they blew it. They chose to cast their lot with a tired and stale old plutocrat. To this day many of them are still blaming Bernie for Ms. Clinton's loss. Back in August, when I posted on my Facebook page that she was the worst nominee since Mike Dukakis in 1988, I was "unfriended" by over one-hundred people before the sun went down.
 
Show me a candidate who is unable to defeat an unhinged,  common pervert like Donald Trump, and I'll show you a bad candidate.
 
This week, under pressure no doubt from Trump and the usual suspects in the house and senate, the Department of Justice has decided to reopen the investigation into Hillary's emails. Although it was proven over a year ago that she was careless with regard to the handling of certain classified documents, former Attorney General James Comey concluded that she had, in fact, done nothing criminal. This unpleasant fact is hardly satisfactory for the Trump Mob.
 
Let's take a good look at what is now happening: the president of the United States is determined to send a former political opponent to prison. Now ask yourselves the following question: When was the last time something like that happened in this country? The simple answer is that it has never happened. In nearly two-and-a-third-centuries of presidential politics in the dark and strange history of Idiot Nation, not once has the victor in a national election ever sought to bring trumped-up charges (pun intended) against the person who ran against him. The campaign of 1800 between incumbent-President John Adams and Thomas Jefferson was the dirtiest, most bitter political battle in American history. Although the two men wouldn't correspond for many years after, I'm sure it never occurred to Jefferson to send his former friend and ally to the slammer. Old Tom had a helluva lot more class than that.
 
Not even Dick Nixon ever dared something as atrocious as what is now being attempted by the Donald and Company. Oh, sure, the Trickster was perfectly capable of instructing the IRS to audit the taxes of his "enemies" (the old bastard had enemies everywhere) but he stopped decidedly short of having any of them hauled off to Leavenworth. For all Nixon's flaws, he was no Donald Trump.

The precedent that is apparently about to be established is ominous and deeply disturbing. This is the sort of thing that happens in banana republics; this is the type of behavior to be expected of Orwellian despots.  If these people have their way, it will soon become the accepted behavior of the American president. Isn't that something? Has the thought occurred to you yet that a lot of us might have been on to something in 2016 when we warned our fellow countrymen and women that sending Donald Trump to the White House might not be a terribly neat idea? I knew this administration would be an ongoing constitutional  debacle, but not even I was prepared for the scope of its incompetence and corruption. Quite frankly, it boggles the mind.  

As it stands, we'll have at least another year to deal with this out-of-control ignoramus as our commander-in-chief. Don't expect the Republicans to do their patriotic  duty by removing Donald Trump. In the meantime, the damage that he will do to the people of the United States is impossible to assess. This much is beyond a smidgeon of a doubt: 2018 is going to be an extremely interesting year. Brace yourselves.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READNG:

Alice
by Stacy A. Cordery

This is the third biography I've read on the life of Alice Roosevelt Longworth (TR's daughter) and it is by far the best. Sometimes arch-conservative, sometimes flaming liberal, during her long life the only consistent thing about Princess Alice was the fact that she did not give a damn what people thought about her. In this respect she truly was one of the fist modern women. Her father once said to a friend, "I can be president of the United States, or I can manage Alice. I cannot possibly do both."

Here is a link to order it off of amazon.com:

https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Roosevelt-Longworth-Princess-Washington/dp/0143114271/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515344046&sr=1-1&keywords=Alice+by+Stacy+Cordery

I've always said that Alice's life is a Broadway musical waiting to happen!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Clash of the Extremists

 


"Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn't become president, could return to inconspicuous lunching."

From the forthcoming book
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
by Michael Wolff
As reported in this morning's NY Daily News

This was my theory a year before the catastrophic election of 2016 -  and you did indeed read it here first, folks! Trump never had any intention of becoming president of the United States. He was merely intending to "up his brand", so to speak. As we all know by now, his scheme backfired in ways that the hideous old bastard never dreamed possible. He should have heeded the advice of that great muckraker from a bygone era, H.L. Mencken. Donald Trump's lethal error was overestimating the intelligence of the American people. This is black comedy at its finest; and the funniest thing of all is the fact that it's all too deliciously true!
 
The vicious back-and-forth this week between the Donald and former chief strategist, Steve  Bannon, reminds me all-too-well of the petty squabbling that went on between Josef Goebbels and Hermann Goering throughout the entire mercifully brief reign of Adolf Hitler eighty years ago. Extremists will always eventually devour one another. Reading William L Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich two years ago was a double edged sword: While the "rise" part was thoroughly depressing, the "fall" chapters were just oodles of fun to read about! It's sort of a similar feeling I get while watching the utter disintegration of the most corrupt and disgusting administration in the history of this weird nation.
 
Won't you come home George Dubya? Won't you come home? 

The new book by Michael Wolff quoted above has been dismissed by the Trump Mob as nothing less than a tome filled with lies that should not to be taken seriously by anyone. If that is, indeed, the case, why are the president's lawyers working overtime at the moment trying to prevent its publication next week? It is rather more likely that Mr. Wolff has revealed a few nasty truths that Trump would rather be kept in the dark. The man is so completely arrogant that he went into this thing seriously believing that he would never be accountable to history. Despots are always prone to believe such nonsense. That's the reason they always fall of their own weight. According to the Daily News, another juicy detail being revealed by Fire and Fury is this side-splitting nugget:

Daughter Ivanka Trump planned on using her old man's failed candidacy as a springboard for her own run in the future. It was she - not Hillary Clinton - who was going to be remembered in history as the first woman chief-executive. By the way, by all accounts darling Ivanka is dumber than a box of moldy, purple yo-yos. I swear I'm not making this up.

I LIKE IKE!
Don't be surprised that this dimwitted debutante really believed that she had what it takes to handle a job as intellectually taxing as the presidency. And don't think that something as completely improbable as an Ivanka Trump administration might not have happened someday. We live in Idiot Nation. Anything is possible. Anticipate the absurd. It is not even feasible to ask the voters of this country to look back on a Republican president - Dwight Eisenhower for instance - and remind them that "the party of Abraham Lincoln" has morphed into something else entirely. Old Ike might not have been perfect; much of his foreign policy was just a hair short of incompetent, but at least Americans of that generation knew that he was a dignified gent whose heart was in the right place. A political party that devolves from the hero of D Day to Donald Fucking Trump has no right to exist; not here - not in the United States. We're better than that....or, at least, we used to be....Never mind.

I really doubt that Trump's legal eagles will have any luck suppressing the Wolff book. It has jumped to the top of my reading list - a book that we're going to be discussing for many years.

This is all quite too good to be true.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

ADVISORY:

The Eastern United States is about to be slammed with the coldest weather in living memory. They are saying that in the next few days, some parts of the country will be colder than the planet Mars. Please stay inside. And if you have to travel, be sure that you have a fully-charged cell phone in your possession. Stepping outdoors for less than a half-a-minute late last night to get something out of my vehicle (without a coat!) I was immediately taken aback by the brutality of the chill in the Northeast air. I don't think I have ever experienced such cold weather - and it's supposed to get worse! These are nights that are potentially lethal. Please, be safe, folks.

It is sad and unsettling to know that there are homeless people out there. Those of us sleeping under a roof and in a warm bed have much to be thankful for tonight.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: The Worst of The Rant


Last photograph of 2017

Well now, wasn't that a year.  The following are highlights of 2017 as viewed from this site.  Show me a year in which one starts to look back upon the administration of George W. Bush with a sense of teary-eyed nostalgia, and I'll show you a very bad year.
 
2017 sucked.

***********************
 
January 7:
 
It's no longer a debatable point: Yesterday, Donald Trump was given an Intel briefing at his throne inside Trump Tower in New York City. The heads of every major intelligence agency in America confronted him with the incontrovertible evidence that he is only headed for the White House on January 20 because he was installed (via the hacking of the DNC computers) by the ruler of the former Soviet Union. Can you even imagine the mass freak out that would have ensued had Barak Obama entered into the presidency under similar circumstances? They would have lynched him on the spot.
 
January 13:

Do you have a thirteen-year-old daughter? Did you support and vote for Donald Trump? Are you perfectly content with the fact that she is within five years of going out - alone - into Donald Trump's America? If your answer is "yes", then what the hell is the matter with you? You're either a pervert or a fool. Give me some time to figure out which.
 
January 19:
 
Every day, the ramifications of this electoral catastrophe become clearer and clearer. I am no longer comfortable living in a country so civically irresponsible that it would send a man as horrifically corrupt, unhinged and unqualified as Donald Trump to the White House. I am so utterly depressed tonight I can barely articulate myself. And to think what we might have been....
 
January 31:
 
So there you have it, World. I hope you've been paying attention to the mass outrage that has been exhibited in the last eleven days - particularly by the women of America. This is all the evidence you need that the United States is not without hope (I think). I'm optimistic enough to believe that this tired old planet will eventually be saved, but it's only going to be saved by the women. We men have fucked things up so utterly and completely, that we have no right to ever expect to be taken seriously again. The twenty-first will be remembered as the century of the woman. This is as it should be. Get the heck out of the way, fellas!
 
February 7:
 
Is the damage done already irreparable? Possibly. It's difficult to imagine the world ever again looking at America through the same lenses when so huge a segment of the voters were unwise enough to elect the Donald on November 8. And it is not a salve on the national consciousness to attempt to rationalize this electoral catastrophe by reminding ourselves that Hillary Clinton did, in fact, win the popular vote. That doesn't matter. It should have been the biggest landslide in the history of the republic - bigger than Dick Nixon's still inexcusable victory over George McGovern in 1972 when he won every state but Massachusetts and the District of You-Know-Where.

This one should have been a no-brainer, kids.
 
February 11:
 
Elizabeth Warren is a godsend for many reasons - and one of those reasons is the fact that she drives the right wing in this country completely nuts. She was, in fact, my choice to be the Dem's nominee in 2016. Not to my surprise, that idiotic party blew it - yet again. Had she or Bernie Sanders been nominated last summer, either one of them would have destroyed Donald Trump at the polls on Election Day. Instead, they chose to cast their lot with Hillary Clinton, a candidate so inherently flawed, she was unable to defeat a common pervert like Donald Trump.
 
February 14:
 
Every day - in every way - the magnitude of the mass electoral blunder committed by the American electorate on Election Day 2016 compounds itself. If Watergate was a paper cut, this scandal will prove to be a bloodbath. The new administration is comprised of a collection of stooges, representing the interests of a hostile foreign government. This going to end very badly, campers - catastrophically so. Remember, you read it here. Our worst nightmare has come to fruition. The takeover of the American government by a cabal of deranged fascists, envisioned by Sinclair Lewis in his 1936 novel, It Can't Happen Here, has happened here.
 
February 17:
 
When Donald J. Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency nearly two years ago, no one with an IQ higher than a box of moldy Milk Duds (myself included) believed that the voters in this broken nation would ever send someone this obviously unhinged to the White House. We had lived through the eight-year trauma of George W. Bush's reign of madness, but there was never any serious doubt that we would survive him. The Donald was something else indeed. Throughout the primaries and campaign of 2016, the very idea of someone this deranged getting within a mile of the Oval Office was enough to send the most stouthearted of us into complete despair. When, in the days leading up to the election, it became clear that Hillary was not gaining an insurmountable lead against him, that despair turned into resigned depression. Early in the morning of November 9 it was all over.
 
February 28:
 
Did you ever think you would live to see the day when we would be looking back at George W. Bush with a feeling of tender nostalgia? At the Trump inaugural last month, Dubya seemed to be a man almost giddy in his cheerfulness. And why wouldn't he seem that way? His reign as the most corrupt, incompetent chief executive in the history of human mediocrity has come to an end. I'd be pretty damned cheerful, too, were I in his shoes.
 
March 6:
 
About a month ago my prediction was that we would have to wait two years for the Dems to take control again for this bat-shit-crazy thug to be removed via the impeachment process. Now I'm not so sure. There is no way in hell that this travesty can continue for any great length of time. It would seem that Trump's insurance against impeachment is Mike Pence. No one in his or her right mind would sleep very soundly at night knowing that someone possessing his perverted ideology was calling the shots. My only comfort in this scenario is that, although old Mike may be dumber than a box of dead snails, he's not insane....or at least, I don't think he's insane. Let me get back to you on that.
 
March 14:
 
I knew that this administration would end up as a rolling disaster (and constitutional crisis) but even I was unprepared for the speed with which it would come crashing down. The way I figured, it would take until the late spring or early summer for the unraveling to commence. Not at all, kind and gentle reader! Less than two months in and the administration of Donald Trump is falling apart - utterly so.  This is the darkest of comedies. For a politics/news junkie such as I, these are dandy times to be alive. 
 
March 17:

A few minutes ago the joint press conference in the East Room of the White House with Trump and Germany's Angela Merkel came to a merciful end. The tension between the two was fairly apparent. Merkel was probably wondering what the hell she was doing being seen on the same podium as this putz. The Donald was twice asked by German reporters about his wiretapping charge against Barack Obama. He denied making the charge and blamed it on Fox News. At an Oval Office photo-op, when asked by a photographer to shake hands with each other, both of them ignored the question. It was so awkward and uproariously funny. Say what you will about this president, he never fails to provide the unintentional comedy. In this respect he makes George W. Bush look like an amateur.
 
March 24:
 
The last week has been a breathtaking thing to behold. Not since Watergate over four decades ago has the American political situation gotten this strange and ominous. I'm ambivalent about it all. On the one hand, for someone like me who is known for no other reason than the fact that I get my jollies commenting on this stuff, it sure is an interesting time to be alive. On the other hand - Jeez Louise - it doesn't give me a particularly warm and fuzzy feeling to contemplate that the country I live in has been overtaken by a confederacy of people who not only aren't very bright, they're crazy to boot - a lethal combination that usually foreshadows catastrophe. Check the history books.
 
April 2:

I am in a unique position to say that I was able to witness to a few of America's years on the mountaintop. I really do feel sorrow for the kids who were born post-Reagan-Revolution. A lot of them are now coming into adulthood, most of them poignantly unaware of what it was like to be an American in the days when our infrastructure was second-to-none. We really did stand for something noble. Those days are gone. Long gone. Who personifies us now? Donald Trump.

Get used to living in a nation in ruins.
 
April 8:
 
There aren't any solutions to humanity's descent into chaos and barbarism; or at least there are no easy solutions. As long as men stubbornly continue to make  their earthly fortunes by mass-producing weapons designed to murder the innocent, this dilemma will continue to confound. It's unsetting to observe that, as far as I can tell, there has been little mention in the electronic or print media that two days ago marked the centennial of America's entrance into World War One (or "The Great War" a it was known then and for a generation thereafter. No one then ever dreamed that a second cataclysm of such magnitude would again occur). Donald Trump - and most of the people who comprise his inner circle - are just reckless and foolish enough to ignite a third planetary conflict.
 
April 18:
 
The people should demand that the House of Reprehensibles subpoena the  Internal Revenue Service and make those returns known immediately. It is within their power to do this legally. If there is nothing there - as so many of them are implying - then just let it all hang out and be done with it. If there is nothing there, show us. Those of us who lean leftwards have been freaking out about Trump's taxes for over a year. This is the perfect opportunity to shut us up and also make us look quite foolish in the process. It would be such a political score for him that he would be foolish not to do so. That's how I am certain that he is covering something up. He could have made us all look like a mob of pompous crybabies months ago! Why didn't he? Think about it, kids.
 
April 25:
 
Idiot Nation
Not to my surprise, recent polling shows us that only about two-to-four percent of the people who were naïve enough to cast their ballots for this unhinged and blithering twit regret their choice. I suspect that by year's end, that number will rise somewhat - but not too much. These statistics are a sad reflection of what America has become. There is no longer "an informed citizenry", cognizant of the issues and their own interests.  We're just a nation with enough unhinged and blithering twits to keep us in a perpetual state of ruin for generations unseen. Fold up the chairs, strike the tent and go home.
 
Crappy Days are Here Again.
 
April 29:
 
Let me state for the record that in most cases, the Trump administration's lack of success has been a very good thing for the country. The only thing they have been successful at is keeping the public's attention diverted from what is gradually evolving into the worst political scandal in the history of this country; I am referring, of course, to the covert collusion with a hostile foreign power during the 2016 presidential campaign. That affair is metastasizing by the day. The problem is that we'll have to wait until the GOP no longer controls both houses of congress in 2019 for this maniac to be removed from office via the impeachment process - that's assuming they'll be defeated on Election Day 2018. You never know.
 
May 3:
 
Over the past weekend it has become clear to the most casual observers that there is something seriously, psychologically wrong with Donald Trump. This has been obvious for decades to people who have studied this guy. But his scattered thought and speech patterns have become even more alarming than usual. Donald Trump personifies what we've allowed ourselves to become as a nation. He is the roadmap to where we are heading. I've got a little hint for you: It's not a good place.
 
May 9:
 
You have to wonder why Trump would appoint someone like Flynn (who, after all, was so tight with Putin) to be his national security advisor. Why would he appoint someone like Rex Tillerson (who, after all, was so tight with Putin) to be his secretary of state? Do you see a pattern here? Could it be that these two guys were picked for no other reason than the possibility that they may have been Putin's choices? If that is case, what I want know is simply: How many others in this disgusting administration were vetted by Vlad?
 
May 10:
 
I was of two minds yesterday when I got the breaking news over the car radio that Mein Trumph had fired FBI director, James Comey. It was his bungling back in October that was more responsible than anything for this disgusting administration's very existence. Ten days before the election, when he made known that there was a new (nonexistent as it turned out) angle to Hillary Clinton's e-mail probe, a lot of people in middle America got severely spooked. But by all accounts he appeared to be sincere (or as sincere as it is possible to appear in Washington) in his desire to investigate what, if any, connection the 2016 Trump campaign had with agents of a hostile foreign government in influencing the outcome of the election. I think it is interesting to note here that the three independent players who have been investigating this president (Comey, Sally Yates, and Preet Bharara) have all been fired by him. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.
 
May 17:
 
Trump is black comedy personified. I'm almost at the point of feeling sorry for the poor bastard. His week got off to a rather deplorable start a few days ago when he hosted a press event in the oval office that was covered exclusively by the Russian news/propaganda service, Tass. The American press was barred from the event. To make matters worse for the Imbecile-in-Chief, it was later reported that, at this very moment, he revealed classified intelligence to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister. In his own defense, Donald sought to put our minds at ease by informing the country that, if a president declassifies anything, it is no longer classified. I feel so relieved. How 'bout you? The info he handed over to the two Russians pertained to Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu is not amused.
 
May 20:
 
No, I can't get too worked up over the death of Roger Ailes. The damage the old bugger did to the country he professed to love so well is too immense to be catalogued in this limited space. Fourteen years ago, at a time when an appalling number of Americans believed Saddam Hussein to be responsible for the carnage of September 11, 2001, polls proved conclusively that around seventy-five present of the citizenry who believed such nonsense described themselves as habitual viewers of Fox Noise. In addition to Dick Nixon's, Roger Ailes - more than anyone - may take credit for the administrations of George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump. He is not solely responsible for the atrocious dumbing-down of this doomed nation in the last fifty years, but he at least deserves a dishonorary mention. All of us today find ourselves stewing in the juices of Roger's sick vision. His success was due primarily to the fact that his entire career depended upon his appealing to the most appalling angels of the American nature. That's some legacy, huh?
 
June 6:

Incredible as it may seem (at least for my purposes) the administration of Donald J. Trump has been a mixed blessing. While I'm fully aware that this is the worst thing that could have happened to a country as comically dysfunctional as the United States, it also has been oodles of fun to watch the clown car bursting into flames. It's no longer being discussed in whispers behind closed doors. Today on the Morning Joe program on MSNBC, more than one talking head was openly discussing the president's obvious "mental illness" and "instability" - something that has been apparent to me for decades. You could not have possibly missed it if you were paying attention. I was paying attention. You were, too, I'm sure.
 
June 10:
 
One of my many guilty little pleasures is my daily check on what is happening over at Fox Noise. I equate it to watching an episode of Three's Company. It's so mind-bendingly awful that it can be an amusing experience - as it was on the morning after Jim Comey's riveting testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Not to my astonishment, the hosts of that fest of misinformation and mediocrity were besides themselves over Trump's "vindication" (a word they actually used). It shouldn't surprise anyone the complete and utter cluelessness of so huge a segment of Idiot Nation when so many of them rely on Fox as their principle source of news and information.
 
June 22:
 
In the days leading up to the unveiling of the GOP's secret healthcare plan, Mitch McConnell refused to meet with representatives of the American Medical Association or any accredited group that is dedicated to the humane care of and treatment for people who are seriously or mortally ill. True to form, old Mitch had plenty of time for lobbyists for the pharmaceutical  companies.
 
June 28
 

The right wing politicians that currently pollute the halls of congress are always surprising me. Whenever I come to the conclusion that they couldn't sink any further into the depths of the ideological sewer than they already have, they cheerfully lower the bar even further just for my benefit. Isn't that nice of them? Their current healthcare bill - which I don't think is going to pass, by the way - is nothing less than a scheme to be rid of Medicare and to provide a tax break for a class of people whom already possess more cash than they'll be able to possibly spend in three lifetimes. Most of them profess to be good and decent Christians, but I'm not buying that for a minute. In fact I think that most of them are atheists. It's obvious to me that not one of them have a fear of eternal damnation.
 
July 1:
 
In seventy-two years we've gone from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Donald Trump. Darwin was wrong. And for the record, it is the height of folly for Donald Trump, the most physically repulsive chief executive since Andrew Johnson, to make crude remarks about the appearance of  anyone. Mika Brzezinski (who I think is beautiful, by the way) showed perfect grace and poise when she stated on the air yesterday that, with the recent passing of her father and the death of her daughter's best friend, she has more important things to worry about than the chaotic ramblings of an obviously disturbed despot. She was a bit more dignified in her wording than I am here, but you get the idea, I'm sure.
 
July7:

And why shouldn't people like me get some serious schadenfreude out of this perfectly beautiful political catastrophe. We were laughed at and mocked, publicly and privately, in the months leading up to Election Day 2016 when we vainly tried to warn our more conservative contemporaries the utter disaster that would befall this doomed nation if the people were naïve enough to elevate Putin's stooge to the presidency. An acquaintance of mine, in making an excuse for his support of Trump a year ago, recently said to me: "No one could have foreseen this". My response: "You obviously weren't reading my blog." I'm not going to lie to you; that sure felt good. I had no idea gloating could feel so good. It's oodles of fun being me these days. It really is.
 
July 20:
 
We have stupidly saddled ourselves with a president who is not only an agent of a hostile foreign government, he has financial ties to the Russian mafia that go back at least two decades. Does that sound a tad extreme? It's already been revealed. The story is unfolding bit by bit, day by day. You've missed it? Turn off Fox Noise. It'll do you a world of good.
 
August 5:
 
The bells of doom are being tolled by Special Council Bob Mueller. When it came to light a couple of days ago that he had impaneled a grand jury, I knew then and there that it was the beginning of the end. Son-in-law Jared Kushner no longer bears the serene disposition of a choirboy on opioids. He is a man tormented and desperate. Daughter Ivanka Trump has been keeping to herself in recent days. One wonders if she is terrified that Jared is going to turn on Daddy in order to ingratiate himself to Mueller and company in return for  bit of leniency. That would make for an awkward Thanksgiving dinner, no doubt about it. It's almost a given that, with their elite educations, they have studied Shakespearian tragedy to a degree that eludes the rumpled and filthy masses. I wonder if they aren't being bogged down by the analogies at this very moment. Can  you even imagine? It's a safe bet that it couldn't be much fun being Jared and Ivanka these days.
 
August 19:
 
There are no statues of Hitler anywhere on this troubled planet, and yet our historical knowledge of him has not been "washed away". We know about him today just as they will know about Robert E. Lee a century from now. A statue is not a history lesson. It is a remembrance of honor. Lee was an officer in the United States army, educated at West Point, who led a counter army in war against the government he had sworn allegiance to. In that ensuing war, 624,000 human beings were slaughtered. Where I come from, Bobby Lee would be labeled "a terrorist"; Where I come from, he would be disparaged as "a traitor". He killed more people at Gettysburg than Osama bin laden killed on September 11, 2001.
 
September 1:

Darwin was wrong

There is no way this unacceptable situation can possibly continue until New Years Day - let alone January 20, 2021. The damage that this mentally ill knucklehead is doing to this country might be irreparable before we know it. It's almost beyond the point of being unintentionally funny - although it's still a scream. Every morning for the last eight months and twelve days has been like waking up and finding one's self deep within a Paddy Chayefsky satire. However, as amusing as these times are, they're also ominous in a way that's hard to describe. The fact of the matter is that Donald Trump's very presence in the house that was once the home of John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, both Roosevelts and Harry S Truman is a fairly accurate reflection of what America has become. It used to amaze me when people would say that they voted for Trump "because he's one of us". Today I understand it perfectly. He really is one of us - in ways that are too unsettling and weird to articulate. Donald Trump is America. If that very fact doesn't depress the bleeding mortal shit out of you, then you might as well go back to sleep. I'll wake you when it's over.
 
September 18:
 
The tragedy of 2016 is simply that Bernie Sanders was offering the voters of this doomed country the type of a historical vision that they had not been offered since the second campaign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936. Four years earlier, during the '32 campaign, FDR kept his cards close to his vest, revealing very little of the broad and drastic changes he would make in regards to the American peoples' relationship with their government. The difference between then and last year is that Bernie had the courage to represent himself, at the starting gate, as the true progressive he really is. Bernie Sanders is a radical. At a time when radical change is desperately needed, that's not such a bad thing. I'm a radical. If you examined your soul close enough, you'll probably find that you are, too!
 
October 8:
 
In the meantime, the damage that these clowns are doing will probably take untold years to undo. We'll have a lot of difficult days to endure for the simple reason that too many people in this country are not informed enough to make the right decision at their polling places....Did I say "Right"? I beg your pardon, I meant to say, the "Correct" decision. There are too many of us who can be accurately compared to Pavlov's dogs, salivating at the right wing scream machine's bells of impending doom that progressives would unleash on the poor and helpless inmates of Idiot Nation.These sure are interesting times to be alive, you'd better believe it.
 
October 16:
 
To be honest with you, I'm not sure that Donald Trump's presidency is survivable. I do hope it is, but I'm not absolutely certain of that. It will take a long time to recover from what right wing governance has done - and is doing - to this once-great nation. There's room for optimism. In the life-span of people who still walk among us, Germany endured twelve years of Hitler and the Nazis. Today they survive as one of the most stable and thriving nations on this troubled planet. It might take years; some of us might not be around to see the ultimate transformation, that "new birth of freedom". Still, as the adage says where there's life there's hope, ay?
 
October 19:

Donald J. Trump, on the other tiny hand, is....umm....let me be as polite and as gentle as possible here....Incurious? Every day, it is becoming more-an-more painfully obvious that Trump is completely out-of-his league intellectually and psychologically. In fact (the hell with politeness) if Trump is not the dumbest president in history, he's a cinch to be tied with Andrew Johnson - who served a century-and-a-half ago. In 2016, the American people (or enough of them to turn the tide) wanted to "experiment" with a "different" kind of president. Well, I think that by now it's apparent to everyone that their little experiment failed disastrously. Each day that this unhinged jackass and common pervert remains in power is a day that further seals the fate of that other "experiment" known as "democratic governance". Trump needs to be removed. The sooner the better. If nothing else, think of your children.
 
October 30:
 
News accounts emanating out of the District-of-You-Know-Where are informing us that the Donald is staying away from the Oval Office today, and is keeping himself hunkered-down in the family living quarters of the White House. Apparently he is monitoring the rapidly expanding implosion of his administration from there. That's probably just as well, I suppose. The fewer the eye-witnesses the better. For the many decades I've been following this knucklehead, I always got the strong feeling that he was having oodles of fun being Donald Trump. He can't be having that much fun any longer. In fact, I can easily imagine that being Donald Trump these days is a complete drag. It was never supposed to get this weird. He must be tearing his hair out at this very moment. Sad.
 
November 9:
 
It was easy to predict one year ago today that this was going to end badly. A tip of the hat to Fox Noise for conning so many people into believing that a Trump administration would be a grand thing for this utterly fucked republic. The damage that that network has done to this country can barely be assessed. The very fact that it is still thriving is ominous and disturbing. It won't be going away any time soon, and the harm it will continue to inflict upon our national political conversation is incalculable. One can only speculate that they would have made Josef Goebbels proud. The only positive thing I can say at this point is that Roger Ailes is gone and he's not coming back.

November 22:

Some of us are wondering out loud, "How could something as vile and  as disgusting as this be happening in the United States"? You shouldn't wonder at all. Donald Trump is us. He is who we have become as a nation. The handwriting is on the wall. It is as clear as can be and you have to be blind and illiterate not to be able to read it. The American people deserve Donald Trump. The people of Alabama deserve Roy Moore. They deserve no better. They deserve no less.

December 3:

The Donald is starting to see the handwriting on the wall. For someone who has never scored particularly high in the self-awareness department, this is a monumental moment to be sure. Mike Flynn is covering Bob Mueller's evidence table with a truckload of rancid beans he is spilling to the detriment of an administration that was self-destructing at the starting gate. As someone who has been studying this disgusting and corrupt mob of incompetents very closely for the better part of three years, this complete implosion was a foregone conclusion - in fact, it was predicted on this site many times before the election and inauguration. But even I was taken aback by the speed with which they hurled themselves - headfirst and smiling - into the proverbial toilet. If I hadn't seen it all with my own eyes, you would not have been able to convince me that it was anything but fiction....Cheep, tawdry fiction.
 
December 13:
 
I come from the Hudson Valley, sixty miles north of Manhattan. Having lived all over America, I don’t think I could ever again move away from here - at least not permanently. Although there are counties in northern and western New York state that can be described as somewhat “”backwards” (there were an awful lot of “Trump for President” signs in the region during the 2016 campaign) my neck of the woods is a fairly enlightened place when compared to a lot of other parts of this doomed republic. Where I come from, someone as utterly unhinged and as damaged as Roy Moore could not even have received the GOP nomination. Even conservative Republicans have a bit more sense than that - at least here in New York. I can’t remember in my lifetime when someone as overtly racist as Roy Moore was even nominated by either of the two political parties in these parts. Too many people in Alabama would rather elect a child molester than a moderately liberal Democrat. What the hell is the mater with them?
 
December 25:
 
Santa Claus has not sent me a single thing in forty-nine years. Late on the night of Christmas Eve 1968, when I left the traditional milk and cookies for him, I spiked the milk with Old Granddad bourbon. Santa, although being a rather large person, apparently doesn't handle his liquor too well - in fact he doesn't handle it well at all. He took off from our rooftop and proceeded to crash into the Finkle home across the street. Four of his eight tiny reindeer were permanently paralyzed - horrible carnage. Since that ill-fated Christmas Eve, regardless of how naughty or nice I may have been during any given year, I’ve been permanently consigned to Santa’s “naughty” list. My intent that year was not at all malicious. I sincerely believed that I was doing the man a favor. Christmas Eve 1968 was a cold night, and I thought the dude might need a little something to warm himself up. So much for good deeds.
 
December 28:
 
Race is an illusion. There is no such thing as "race division"; it is something else entirely. It's simply the conscious effort of wealthy white men (and a few wealthy white women) to paralyze us into fearing each other. This comes at a time when the American chief-executive is the most polarizing leader since before the Civil War when it comes to the subject of cultures and skin color. We should not let him win that argument. The future of our race - the human race - is in the balance. Resist.
 
Happy New Year, everybody!

*************************

Indeed. 2017 is not a year we'll be forgetting any time soon.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

We Must Preserve Our Race

That's America to me....


Here's a grand thought on which to end the weirdest year of my lifetime: I've seen too may video clips to count in recent weeks (most notably emanating out of the studios of Fox Noise) calling for white people to have more babies. House Speaker Paul Ryan recently stated in a public forum that he had done his part by siring a brood of perfectly adorable little Aryans, and that the time has come for the rest of the white race to do their duty as well. This is a subject close to the hearts of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Riley - and any right wing commentator you care to mention - or at least the white ones. This is a subject that  even House Negroes like Armstrong Williams will wisely steer clear of, I'm sure.
 
BREAKING NEWS: We should not be concerned about the possibility of the white race dying off. Why? Because there is no such thing as a "white race". There is only the human race. Let's all just take a deep breath here.
 
There is something that my fellow human beings with light-colored skin need to desperately come to terms with: Our descendants (yours and mine) will probably look more like Dorothy Dandridge than Doris Day. Are you ready for the punch-line? I'm perfectly okay with that. You should be perfectly okay with that, too.
 
The mistake that so many "human beings" are making is promoting the discussion of the preservation of one race at the expense of another. Modern technology enables people more mobility than was even remotely possible a mere one-hundred years ago. People are assimilating at a rate that is breathtaking. The United States - more that any other country on the face of the globe - has made this modern assimilation possible. We are, after all, the great "melting pot", aren't we? More than anything else we need to be promoting love, diversity and unity. As Charlie Chaplin once said, "Without these qualities life will be violent and all will be lost". The Little Tramp was onto something, I think.

Simmer down. White people will always be with us. They just won't be pulling most of the levers of power at a time in the not-too-distant future. This is part of an inevitable sociological evolution that is as unavoidable as a rising sun on a sweet spring morn. Welcome the dawn. 
 
Race is an illusion. There is no such thing as "race division"; it is something else entirely. It's simply the conscious effort of wealthy white men (and a few wealthy white women) to paralyze us into fearing each other. This comes at a time when the American chief-executive is the most polarizing leader since before the Civil War when it comes to the subject of cultures and skin color. We should not let him win that argument. The future of our race - the human race - is in the balance. Resist.
 
Happy New Year, everybody!
 
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGESSTED LISTENING:

The House I Live In
By Frank Sinatra

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgvfTXixjDI

Here is The Frankster on the mountaintop. This 1945 recording sums it all up very nicely.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Twelfth Christmas Message

\
Christmas in My Hometown
 
 
I realize that this is not particularly the time and place to admit this, but I have come to completely despise the Christmas holidays. 'Tis the season to be jolly? Nonsense. It's not merely the cheap and cynical exploitation of the day that sends me into an utter funk every late December, it's the reminder of lost lives, shattered friendships and fractured families. Nostalgia is not always a pleasant thing; in fact it can be a bit of a bummer, you know? And although nothing will ever be able to top the 2013 Christmas season for sheer heartache and misery, the day is still a major drag for me. Pondering the fact that the president of the United States of America is certifiably insane also does not make for a particularly holly jolly Christmas. And given the deplorable state of my health, there isn't any reason to doubt that this won't be my last Christmas on earth. As Fats Waller once said, "One never knows, do one?

The older I get, the more I can relate to Ebenezer Scrooge. The old bugger is becoming more of a folk hero to me with the passing of each year. Bah, humbug indeed.

And then there is my major problem with Jolly old Saint Nick:

Santa Claus has not sent me a single thing in forty-nine years. Late on the night of Christmas Eve 1968, when I left the traditional milk and cookies for him, I spiked the milk with Old Granddad bourbon. Santa, although being a rather large person, apparently doesn't handle his liquor too well - in fact he doesn't handle it well at all. He took off from our rooftop and proceeded to crash into the Finkle home across the street. Four of his eight tiny reindeer were permanently paralyzed - horrible carnage. Since that ill-fated Christmas Eve, regardless of how naughty or nice I may have been during any given year, I’ve been permanently consigned to Santa’s “naughty” list. My intent that year was not at all malicious. I sincerely believed that I was doing the man a favor. Christmas Eve 1968 was a cold night, and I thought the dude might need a little something to warm himself up. So much for good deeds.

Now that I've got things off on that cheerful start....

But seriously, I do hope that you all are having a wondrous and beautiful time with your friends and families today; just don't look to this grumpy curmudgeon for inspiration. Perhaps I should sit down and put on a Bing Crosby record or It's A Wonderful Life. Or maybe I'll just gaze in awe at this:


Yeah, that works.

Happy Christmas, everybody!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Adeste Fideles
by the Montovani Orchestra

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qqV7jWTLYY

This recording from 1958 was my father's favorite Christmas record. It always reminds me of him when I hear it. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Disgusting President


 
Five days ago marked the fifth anniversary of the day that some homicidal little geek walked into an elementary school classroom in Newtown, Connecticut and systematically slaughtered a room full of twenty little boys and girls - all barely out of infancy. Six staff members of the Sandy Hook School (all women) were also murdered. So how do you think the common pervert who now sits in the Oval Office marked this particularly grim milestone? By whooping it up with chief NRA spokesman, Wayne LaPierre, at the annual White House Christmas party!
 
There are no words....but I'll give it the old college try.
 
What does this tell you about the insensitivity of this disgusting bag-of-shit and the people he surrounds himself with? What kind of message does something as completely disturbing as that send to the mothers, fathers and families of the twenty-six human beings who lost their precious lives on that horrible day? What does this say about John Kelly, the chief-of-staff who was supposed to bring reason and an adult façade to this unhinged administration? The fact that he didn't resign his position tells us all we need to know about the man: He's just as irresponsible and incompetent as the worst of them. Trump knew goddamned well that LaPierre's presence at the Executive Mansion would be a kick in the face toward all of the people who suffered that day - and are still suffering. This sociopath, this cold-hearted bastard has completely soiled the office that was once held by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This should be fiction; it's not.
 
And, Dubya, I miss you
And I'm feelin' blue
I've lost all of my senses
I'm nostalgic for you....
 
Can you imagine the backlash if Barack Obama had sent a message to the American people as vile and as contemptible as this? I can almost hear the White Wing Scream Machine's shrill howls of outraged condemnation as I write these words. Obama would have been run out of town on a fucking rail for any of the offences that the Donald commits daily, as a matter of policy. Hell, even George W. Bush would have had more class than this - a lot more. A decade ago I would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat at the reminder that Bush was commander-in-chief of the United States Military. I only wish he was president today. Yeah, things have gotten that completely bent. When one has gotten to the point of nostalgia for the halfwit from Crawford, Texas, the time has come for a steady diet of stimulants to blur the mind. It is my experience that vodka aids in the process quite handily. That's just a suggestion  on my part.

On the morning after the 2016 election, I predicted on this site that this was going to end very badly for America. It was hardly a bold prediction. Anyone paying scant attention (and not relying on Fox Noise) could easily have foreseen the catastrophic train-wreck that was heading down the track. But to think that an American president could host at the White House the man at whose feet - more than anyone else's - may be placed the blame for the carnage that took place on December 14, 2012 defies any sense of decency and compassion. And don't forget the unpleasant fact that since October, over eighty Americans were killed in two separate mass shootings. A very hard rain is falling, baby.

One can only pray that Robert Mueller's investigation into these traitorous thugs will not be derailed by this disgusting president. My fear is that he will fire Mueller on the Friday before Christmas, the time when the least amount of people are paying attention in a nation where a whole lot of people tend not to pay attention on the best of days. We shall see soon enough.

Enjoy the coming shit-storm

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY