Saturday, June 12, 2021

One More Insurrection for the Road


Just a brief note to update you on the latest saga in the complete craziness of Donald John Trump, our former president:

The deluded and silly twit still believes that he is going to be "reinstalled" as the chef-executive of our government in less than two months. The incredible thing is the unsettling fact that a full one/third of the American people believe the same thing. We've had a handful of nutty presidents in the colorful history of this country, but not one of them was quite this bat-shit insane - my apologies to bat-shit.

What worries more than anything is the prospect of a couple hundred thousand MAGA-maniacs rolling into D.C., armed to the teeth and ready to do battle with the armed forces. Some of these folks are insane enough to believe that they can take on the might of the United States military with their puny AK-47s. This is the kind of dark comedy that Paddy Chayefsky and Kurt Vonnegut never would have even considered as a a plot line in all of their wildest dreams. If this worst-case-scenario does transpire, he possibility of blood in the streets of the capital is real, and should not be dismissed lightly.

If ever there was a time to reserve the Rubber Room in the closest psychiatric center to Mar-a-lago, this would probably be as good a time as any, ay? And while we're on the subject, Donald Jr. and Eric might be admitted overnight - just for observation, you understand. As an ex-drug abuser, I can tell another user from ten miles away. And while I am hesitant to pass judgment against anyone, there is something within the countenance within those two boys that has me wondering and asking some serious questions. They cannot possibly be of their right minds. This might be the golden opportunity for these two scions of wealth and privilege to plea insanity-due-to-acute-drug-intoxication if and when the moment comes for the both of them to face some serious legal music within the halls of justice. I'm not really expecting that to happen, but hey, I can dream, can't I?

I never dreamed that we would come to this point. Even during the darkest days of George W. Bush and Richard Nixon, I never lost faith in the essential promise of America. When, during the climax of the Watergate nightmare, the overwhelming majority of the people of this country came to their senses and rejected The Trickster outright, as young as I was (a week before my 16th birthday), I knew that we were in a good place. When he left the White House in August of 1974, his ratings were in the proverbial toilet. In the twenty years of life left to him, he never had chance for a comeback. Trump has a very good chance. 

And as far as King George the Second is concerned, when it comes to the point that I am actually nostalgic for the guy, you know we've hit a low that is difficult - if not impossible - to climb out of.

Again, I can't emphasize this enough, kiddies: keep your eyes on Washington for the next month-and-a-half. Only Donald Trump can prevent a bloodbath worse than the one that occurred five months and one week ago in the hallowed temple of democracy. Let's all hope and pray that the old freak is, somehow, overtaken by the better angels of his nature.

Good luck with that one.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

New York City
by John Lennon and The Elephant's Memory Band.

This is Lennon's most crankingest rocker:


Que pasa, New York. Hey! Hey!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

POST #1022: Random Observations


This is just a series of randomly collected thoughts that I had posted here and there on the internet. 


1. Take His Comeback Seriously:

This is a portion of an editorial that appeared two days ago in the Washington Post:

"[While] Trump is not a serious person, he is a serious threat to our democracy - and we make a grave mistake if we dismiss him as a punch line. What has made dictators and demagogues so dangerous is their ability to pull vast numbers of people into their personal delusions - to turn their paranoid fantasies and megalomaniacal dreams into a harsh reality for millions."

Yeah, barring being sentenced to a very long stretch in federal prison between now and then (or of him dying), Trump has every intention of checking back into the White House on January 20, 2025. This would make him the first president to serve two non-consecutive terms of office in one-hundred and thirty years (Grover Cleveland being the the first and last one). Progressives need to work diligently and overtime to assure that this potential atrocity does not happen. As things stand at present in the GOP, he has a better than even chance at receiving the nomination and about a 50/50 chance of being reelected. It's going to be an excruciatingly long three-and-a-half years, boys and girls.

2. Gaetz- Gate:

Florida congressman Matt Gaetz just keeps sinking deeper into it. Allegedly Gaetz attempted to coerce a woman who was scheduled to testify against him not to cooperate with the Feds. This on top of an investigation into whether or not this good, conservative man is guilty of sex-trafficking underage girls. While Gaetz should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, there is way too much smoke to deny that, somewhere, a fire is raging - a fire that will presumably incinerate Gaetz' political career. He is someone whom I have never been failed to be fascinated by: a man so transparently phony that he invites lampooning. His photographic images don't even look human; he reminds me of a computer-generated characterization of a used car salesman. I have spent enough time in the state of Florida to know that the place is not quite infested with geniuses, but even I would be stunned were Matt Gaetz to be reelected next year - assuming he is not in prison by then. Hey, you never know.

4. Red-Handed Rudy:


A forty minute audiotape has just been uncovered by CNN that specifically exposes Rudy Giuliani extorting an unnamed Ukrainian government official into opening up an investigation into Joe Biden and his hapless son, Hunter. He should immediately be disbarred by the New York Bar. It is further proof that anyone even vaguely associated with Donald Trump walks away permanently tainted. As I wrote on this site back in April:

"It reminds me somewhat of the recent travails of Prince Andrew. When the Duke of York's obituary is published years from now, the photograph at the top will not be of him wearing that silly military garb that he loves to parade around in; it will be of him with a lecherous arm around the waste of a seventeen-year-old Virginia Roberts at a private party in 2001. He must know this and it must drive him crazy. I suspect that Rudy Giuliani might be having similar thoughts at this moment."

 Rudolph Giuliani's historical reputation has been similarly damaged.

No doubt about it: these are strange times to be a citizen of Idiot Nation.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTGED VIEWING:

My brother Jeff posted this YouTube video early this morning of Elvis Costello performing at the Obama White House. Paul McCartney is in the audience;


Fantastic.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Back in August?


The unsettling thing about people who are severely mentally disturbed is that they tend to gravitate toward people who tell them things that they want to hear. Such is the case with the ex-president of the United States. He likes to keep disgusting yes-people like Stephen Miller, Sidney Powell as close at hand as is humanly possible. They gently whisper sweet unrealities into his gnarled little ears and everyone is happy. Donald Trump, as most of us who pay attention to these things have come to understand, is about as crazy as a mattress full of demented bed bugs. What the people around him have been telling him of late is that the results of the 2020 election will soon be reversed and that he will be back in the White House in August. When this occurs. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be expected to promptly pack up their offices and leave - just like that.

I know what you're thinking and I agree: it just doesn't get any weirder than this. Isn't this a wonderful and interesting time to be a citizen of Idiot Nation?

To make matters crazier, now most of the Donald's half-witted MAGA-millions believe the same idiotic thing, that Adolf von BabyBrains will again be the chief-executive in a mere two months time, leading the beloved ship of state with a firm grip and orange gaze. 

Said Bess Levin six days ago in Vanity Fair:


"While some people see Trump is an unhinged has-been whose delusions should be ignored, others think treating “evidence of a possible seditious conspiracy as mere loose talk from an addled man” is dangerous, and that we should pay very close attention to what Trump is reportedly telling people."

Thankfully, the Trump Mob have not set an exact date of his reinstallation, so no plans are in the works (I hope) to schedule the massive bus convoys to swarm into Washington at any particular time. If such a date is, in fact, announced, you may expect a shit storm of the kind that occurred in D.C. on the sixth of January last. This could get as ugly as we've seen it since the 1860s. Hang on to your hats, campers.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Midnight in Manhattan (from the BBC)

Excellent documentary on the publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and its influence on literature.


Highly recommended!

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Black Lives Matter in Goshen, NY - One Year Later

 


One year ago yesterday I was lucky enough to attend a Black Lives Matter demonstration in the town where I live, Goshen, NY. The following day I published a piece about the event on this site. I've decided to repeat it on the first anniversary of its posting - which is something I have never done before. I only do it now because I believe it to be one of the better things that I have written in the fifteen years (to the day) since I started The Rant.

Happy reading, Campers!

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

When I moved back to my home town of Goshen, NY in the nineties after living away for almost twenty years, my original plan was to be gone in four months. Yesterday I was reminded why I don't regret sticking around for a whole lot longer than that.
 
The day after Martin Luther King was murdered in April of 1968, I took part in a rally and march that commenced at the iconic Presbyterian church park in the center of the village. I was only nine-years-old at the time but I had a strong feeling that, by being there, somehow, I was taking part in history.
 
Exactly fifty-two years and two months later the people from Goshen and the surrounding community came together again to express their solidarity and dismay for the murder of George Floyd by some sadistic police officer in Minneapolis a week and a half earlier. For over an hour the people marched and cheered and talked and sang. Like the overwhelming majority of the rallies across America in the last week, this one was peaceful and beautiful. To the best of my knowledge, the village police weren't there, but they didn't need to be. They know the character of the people of the Hudson Valley all too well. They probably figured we'd be well behaved, and we were - HONEST!

The only ugly moment of the event came at the very beginning. The first speaker was a senior from my old alma mater, Goshen High School. She graduated with honors. I dropped out at the start of my junior year. My hat is tipped to her. As she was beginning her talk on what it's like being a young black woman in America today, an angry white man with a smug look of privilege splattered across his kisser, barged onto the podium. Sticking an iPhone into her face he demanded, "Read that!" The poor kid was shocked and confused. When one of the organizers gently informed her that she didn't have to read it if she felt it wasn't appropriate. She went on with her talk, and the angry white man stormed off muttering, "So you won't read it, huh?"

There are oodles of angry white men out there, have you ever noticed that? I have to confess to you that I am one of them - but at least I'm angry for all the right reasons, dag nap it!

It was a perfectly beautiful day to hold such a beautiful event. What struck me was the crowd. Most of them were very young - and a lot of them were quite white. You've got to give a standing ovation to the millennials of all sizes and colors.  As I've written on this site before, I have nothing but awe and admiration for these kids. My generation was handed the strongest, economically sound nation in the history of the world. And what do we bequeath them? A socioeconomic and ideological cesspool. I have no doubt that it is the people who were born in the last decade of the twentieth and the first two decades of the twenty-first centuries who are going to turn this damaged planet around and shake it up in a way that it's never been shaken up before. I long ago stopped holding my breath waiting for my generation to get with the program. That ain't gonna happen, campers. I don't trust anyone over thirty. Sorry.

By mid-afternoon yesterday I was quite ready to hit the sack. I had been awake since before midnight the previous evening and, by the time I arrived for the festivities at just before 4 o'clock, I was having difficulty keeping my eyes open. That all changed the moment the event got under way. What happened yesterday charged me up in a way I haven't been charged in a very long time. Since I was old enough to form my own opinions on complicated matters, I've been a skeptic with regard to the future of the relation between the races in America. That defeatist attitude on my part is beginning to fade away. The cold-blooded-murder of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis on May 25 may very well prove to be the tipping point. People with dark skin (and most people whose skin is not-so-dark) are mad as hell and they're not gonna take it any more. So be it.

Yesterday, once again, I had the honor of being an eyewitness to history. Life is good.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT:

It's ironic. In the early years of the twentieth century, the newly formed NAACP conducted a survey on the best and worst places for "negroes" to live in New York State. My home town of Goshen placed at the dead-bottom of that list. The reason for this, I surmise, is due to the fact that, in those bad old days, Goshen was a seasonal trot racing town, many of whose residents were transplanted southerners who owned and raced trotting horses. If only the old bastards could have come back from the dead and gotten a good look at their beloved church park yesterday! Wouldn't that have been a hoot-and-a-half? In 1920, black lives didn't matter much in Goshen, NY. In 2020 they do matter - big time. You'd better believe it, Buster! 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

George Floyd One Year Later

 





A year ago today, George Floyd was murdered in cold blood on the streets of Minneapolis  by some sadistic twit named Derek Chauvin. That is the last time I will ever mention his name on this site. He needs to be tossed upon history's eternal shit pile. George begged for his life; pleaded that he could not breathe; called for his recently deceased mother - utterly to no avail. The officer in question wanted to prove what a badass he was. He wanted to prove that he had the power over whether George would live or die. He chose the latter. He has been found guilty of George's murder and will be sentenced in June. I hope they throw the book at him.

Not since 1963 has such a ugly mirror been thrust into the face of white America. To say that the brutal murder of this (by every account) decent and gentle man forced the people of the United Stated to examine their consciences is an understatement. We were forced to confront a bleak reality too disturbing to articulate. But still, there are those among us (right wing politicians and commentators for the most part) who still insist on equating the Black Lives Matter movement with an anti-American terrorist organization; they call "Antifa" (which is merely a label, not an organization) a conspiracy to destroy America. While this has been going on, they have made near-herculean strides to deny people the right to vote, claiming that their goal is to protect the electorate from "voter fraud". The problem isn't "voter fraud". Voter fraud doesn't exist. The problem is that too many people with dark skin are casting their ballots.

Six days after George Floyd died, I wrote a piece on this  site attempting to make sense of such a senseless killing. I ended it this way:

"A number of years ago when I lived in New York City, there was a bar on Eighth Avenue (between 34th and 35th Streets) that I used to stop by every day for a beer on my way home from work. One of the patrons that I struck up an acquaintance with was a member of the NYPD who would also stop for a libation after he got off duty. Late one afternoon we were discussing his line of work when he said something that completely floored me. To this day, I've not been able to erase it from my memory:
 
"I'm not gonna consider my career complete until I've killed at least one nigger."
 
This conversation did not take place in Shit-For-Brains, Mississippi; it took place in Manhattan, one of the most sophisticated spots on the planet.
 
The problem exists, and, unless we're not vigilant, will persist."

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

Indeed, and to continue to deny that there is not a very real problem in America is to continue to hide our head in the sands like demented ostriches. This is a wrong that needs to be righted pretty damned quick - if only for our children. Let's get this right.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race riot that left at least three-hundred people dead. Yesterday, CBSN did a report on it. Watch it and share it.



As the old adage says, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Bob Dylan at Eighty



May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the light surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Bob Dylan

I'm going to be honest here; I never spent much time intellectualizing over the words and music of Bob Dylan. All that I ever knew since I started to seriously collect his music when I was fifteen is that I loved how he sounded and I loved what he said - even though I never always understood exactly what he was saying. His lyrics always sent my imagination into the clouds.

"Just to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free."

Something that beautiful was bound to appeal to a teenaged pothead. 

I attempt to make no cerebral analysis of the man's work. That would be a lesson in futility. This posting is only meant to acknowledge the eightieth anniversary of the birth of this extraordinary composer, whose art encompasses two centuries now. Cole Porter, George Gershwin Irving Berlin and Rodgers and Hart can't make that claim. Even in what are undoubtedly his waning years, Bob Dylan's music remains astonishing.

Happy birthday, Uncle Bobby. You still rock with ease, Buster!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

1. Blood on the Tracks (1975)
by Bob Dylan


Trying to determine his greatest LP is also a lesson in futility. This is certainly one of them.

2. Forever Young (1974)
by Bob Dylan


Stay forever young, Bob!

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Critical Race Theory

The political movement that consistently clings to the jolly fiction that they are not racists are proving their racism once again. This time it involves a herculean effort to keep something called "Critical Race Theory" out of American schools. This so-called "theory" teaches that (among other things) race - or better still "Race baiting" - has been a factor in American politics and policies since the founding of the republic. This phenomenon of altering the history of this country can primarily be found in (but is not limited to) dear ol' Dixie. They are claiming that critical race theory is prejudiced against white people. Some of these clowns are even demanding that the teaching of slavery be outlawed altogether.

Where do I begin?

Since the brutal murder of George Floyd by some half-witted sadist on the streets of Minneapolis a year ago this Tuesday (My Heavens, where does the time go?) America has been having a long-overdue discussion on this topic as it hasn't had since 1963. And at a time when the voting rights of people with dark skin are imperiled in a way they haven't been since the time I was in kindergarten, what better time to get the discussion flowing again, ay?

Nine years ago on this hideous site, I wrote a piece called "Message To My Fellow White People". In the closing paragraph I wrote the following:

"It's sad that people who are not white need to wait until they are no longer "minorities" in order to receive equal protection under the law (At present they don't have that protection - and you're kidding yourselves if you think that they do. Just look at the prison population). But as long as they have waited, I don't think they'll have to wait much longer. As uncle Bobby said, 'The old world is rapidly fading. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand'. Or as Sam Cooke sang nearly fifty years ago, 'a change is gonna come'. Sam didn't live to see that change. Bob Dylan probably will live to see it. In fact, we're damned-near there. We have no other choice but to accept it. The history of the next century will primarily be the story of how well (or badly) white America dealt with that inevitable change. Deal with it well, my friends. History will smile upon you."

For many years I have believed that if you don't have a serious knowledge and understanding of the history of the struggle of African Americans in America, then you don't have knowledge and understanding of American history. Our story hinges on the struggle of our black brothers and sisters. This is something that we need to understand if we are to move forward. Although I strongly suspect that the generation born between the last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first already understands this. They are the ones who are going to save this place. My generation was handed the most prosperous nation in the history of anything you want to mention. And what have we bequeathed them? A ideological cesspool. Best of luck, kiddies!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
`
SUGGESTED VIEWING:
`

Ten-Year Lunch; Wits & Legends of the Algonquin Round Table 



This is a period and people that I love reading about. Highly recommended.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Safely Under the Rug

 


What is happening this week in D.C. is barely fathomable. It was my naïve belief  that when the former president and future federal inmate finally blew town on January 20, things might lighten up jus a bit and we might all be able to experience a vague semblance of "normality" (like, say, the way things were when Dubya occupied the executive mansion). As seriously twisted as that time was, I found myself at times feeling a sense of teary-eyed nostalgia for the Age of Bush 43. All bets were off when the Trump clown car arrived in town.

This week a resolution was passed in the House to form a bipartisan committee to investigate what actually led up to the violent insurrection on January 6 that resulted in the deaths of five people. Unfortunately this proposal has yet to pass the senate, which needs a two/thirds majority to go through; and since the Dems only hold that body by the slimmest of majorities (vice-President Kamala Harris being the tie-breaking vote) it's not bloody likely to pass. The Republicans don't want the American people to know the truth of what happened on that day of infamy. This only tells me that some of them - and perhaps a whole lot of them - were in on the scheme. The fact that so many of these jackasses came equip with certain devices (like plastic hand cuffs for instance) tells me that this was a major conspiracy on a grand order. What gives?

Why is the GOP spending so much energy and credibility expressing their loyalty to the likes of Donald Trump? Are they not thinking
long term? Are they not able to understand that he - and three of his offspring - are being investigated by the Southern District of New York for serious criminal financial fraud? Has it not penetrated their soft little minds that, four years from today, Donald Trump may very well be waking up each morning in a federal prison cell - and that the political careers of every man and woman who were stupid enough to attach their wagons onto his clown car will be permanently destroyed? This makes me wonder if they don't give a damn about the answers to those questions, and that they have a far more sinister plan for holding on to power. Paranoia on my part? Perhaps. Perhaps not. We'll see.

What these knuckleheads fail to comprehend is that the truth will come out eventually. And when I say that, I don't mean in fifty years time, I mean very soon. Every investigative body of our government is looking into this matter with a finely- tuned microscope. The sun is gonna shine, baby! Lawyer up, kiddies.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

The Peter Sellers Story: I Am not a Funny Man


People who make their names acting funny tend to be a troubled lot. Peter Sellers was the most disturbed of them all. A brilliant and tragic comic actor.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Liz Cheney's Mountaintop Moment

 


Liz Cheney will stand out in history as a profile in courage.

I cannot believe that I just wrote that last sentence.

I'm not going to lie to you: I detest the Cheneys with a passion that I'm barely able to articulate. Her father should be permanently incarcerated at Leavenworth as a war criminal. His company, Halliburton, made billions of dollars from the war in Iraq that Papa Cheney was instrumental in starting nearly twenty years ago. The number of people who were killed because of that needless and stupid conflict has never been adequately counted. Some believe that the number is over a million souls. I wouldn't doubt it. Fuck Dick Cheney.

The daughter, on the other hand, at least deserves a tip of the hat this week for doing something that very few within that disgusting party have had the courage to do by standing up to Donald Trump and exposing an obvious lie that only those willfully blind can ignore: The former Psychopath-in-Chief did not win the 2020 election; and it was not stolen from him. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won that contest fairly and squarely. In spite of the fact that there is a movement underway to have her stripped of her position as the third ranking Republican in the House of Reprehensibles, the woman is sticking to her guns. I can only admire and applaud her for doing this.

On the comments section of this piece, someone who calls himself Dave Dubya has remarked that the reasoning behind her stand may be more Machiavellian than noble. This would not surprise me in the least, but - for the time being anyway - I am willing to give Liz Cheney the benefit of the doubt. She and Mitt Romney (and a small handful of others) are showing some true guts. We need to give credit where credit is due. We may never have this chance again with these people.

And now we have a movement afoot to recount the votes that has already been officially confirmed in some states. Trump sincerely believes that this effort will put him back in the White House - and I don't mean in 2024, I mean today! This is the psychological state of the dangerous and dirty old dingbat we're dealing with here, folks. Is he capable of raising another army of clueless nitwits to storm the White House as he did at the capitol on January 6? My guess is, if he has the desire to do so, yes. He can tell them that they'll all receive a pardon when he's back in powers and, of course, a lot of them will be dumb enough to fall for it. There's all matter of stupidity out there in Idiot Nation.

It's a cinch that few of the dunces who are today in confederacy against Liz Cheney have no real grasp of history. Do they not understand when historians a century from today are writing the history of the very strange times in which we live they will all look like a babbling flock of incompetent sheep, while Liz will be standing on the mountaintop? I really do not think that they do. This is a fairly clueless lot.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Read more »

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

The Party of Crazy People


  • I was watching on YouTube this morning an installment of the old game show, What's My Line, which was hosted by the legendary CBS  News reporter, John Charles Daly. Every week they would have a mystery celebrity guest; The panelists would blindfold themselves and would have to guess who the celebrity was. On this particular program the mystery guest was the iconic Senate Minority leader (1959-1969), Everett Dirksen of Illinois. Dirksen was the type of Republican that long ago ceased to exist; although essentially a conservative, he was not an extremist by any rational argument. He was perfectly capable of reaching across the aisle in order to come up with a reasonable compromise. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would not have been passed without him. Although they were of different parties, his relationship with Democratic president Lyndon Johnson was close and amiable. They might have publically bickered at times, but they're "feud" was more akin to a Jack Benny/Fred Allen radio routine.
Watching that program made me wistful for the time (which I am barely old enough to remember) when that party was inhabited by the likes of Millicent Fenwick, Margaret Chase Smith and Barry Goldwater. Yes, I said "Barry Goldwater". As undoubtedly conservative as old Barry was, he could not be elected today as the Yuma, Arizona sewage inspector within the toxic atmosphere today's Republican Party. Things have gotten that weird.

If you are one of the few people who've been reading this site from the its inception, you know that back in the George W. Bush years, I had nothing but utter contempt for #43. At the time, I thought that the executive branch of our government could not sink any lower or get more extreme. I was wrong, of course. Eight years after leaving the White House, along came Donald Trump. 

This morning I was reading a piece on the internet where Dubya warned  his fellow party members that "G.O.P" does is not an acronym for "White Anglo Saxton Protestan". His stark warning was that the party of Abraham Lincoln will never again win a national election until it gets it act together and cleanses itself of the imbeciles and criminals that have hijacked it in recent years. I never dreamed the day would come where old George would become one of the few voices of reason among the Republicans. His place in history is a little less tarnished this morning.

Addressing a gathering of Republicans the other day. Mitt Romney was literally jeered off of the podium. At this moment, the right wing extremists in the House of Reprehensibles are attempting to destroy the political career of Liz Cheney. Their crimes? They refused deny the undeniable fact that the 2020 election was won (quite fairly and quite squarely) by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. That is a party that should make even those of us with a below average IQ tremble in fear and loathing. That is a party that needs to disappear forever.

A party crazy enough to nominate for the office of president of the United States an incoherent fool and sociopath like Donald Trump is capable of just about anything. This isn't even remotely funny any longer, folks. This is serious. 

Where have you gone Everett Dirksen?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

MANDITORY VIEWING:

Yesterday, CNN's Jim Acosta skewered FOX Noise for its constant dissemination of propaganda and lies. This is a segment that must be seen and shared by all. He promises that - from this day forward - he will refer to it as "THE BULLSHIT FACTORY". 

 Here is a link to watch his remarkable commentary on YouTube:


Bravo, sir.

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Gallant Men
by Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen

This is a record that Senator Dirksen cut on Capitol Records in the 1960s, a few years before he passed away:


Listen to that voice! His detractors used to refer to him as "the wizard of ooze". Other than the president, his was the most recognizable voice in American politics in his time.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Rudy's Spectacular Fail

 


It must be a perfectly awful thing to be Rudy Giuliani these days. I say that without a molecule of schadenfreude. He wasn't the best mayor my adopted town of New York City ever had, but he was far from the worst. And although he accomplished a lot of good during his tenure at Gracie Mansion, his relationship with minority communities always left much to be desired. I had the chance to meet him when I was still living in the Big Apple on the corner of Madison and West 86th Street and he seemed like a thoroughly decent guy - in spite of the fact that many people proclaim him to be a horrible human being.

When the Feds raided his office and apartment in merrie olde Manhattan the other day, it looked to be that Rudy's chickens were about to come home to roost with a vengeance. For them to be able to enter the premises of an attorney with his power and influence tells us that the G-men have much evidence to make such a raid relatively easy as far as getting the proper warrants were concerned. I am told by people more scholarly than I that getting the permission to sift through Attorney/Client communications is all-but-impossible. Yeah, it must really suck to be Rudy these days.

Rudy is proof that getting involved with the likes of Donald Trump will always come back to haunt you. Why could he not have left the mayor's office in early 2002 and quietly retired? His legacy today would be as secure as stone. In the months following the tragedy of September 11, 2001, he was arguably the most beloved politician in America. "America's mayor", remember that? But the man's insatiable quest for power knew (and knows) no boundary. If he indeed committed any crime, and if the government is able to prove that he did, he will be placed in history's Hall of Infamy as just another in a long list of disgraced and corrupt politicians. It's not a place where anyone with a knowledge of history wants to be found.

Giuliani told Tucker Carlson last night that he offered the agents inside his office two laptops that he claimed had evidence of crimes committed by Hunter Biden, the president's son, and that they refused to accept them. This cannot be true. They were ordered to seize all computer devices. They most certainly would not have left to laptops behind. I'm sorry, but that one just doesn't pass the smell test.

It reminds me somewhat of the recent travails of Prince Andrew. When the Duke of York's obituary is published years from now, the photograph at the top will not be of him wearing that silly military garb that he loves to parade around in; it will be of him with a lecherous arm around the waste of a seventeen-year-old Virginia Roberts at a private party in 2001. He must know this and it must drive him crazy. I suspect that Rudy Giuliani might be having similar thoughts at this moment.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


SUGGESTED VIEWING:

The film is called The Time of Their Lives. This is Abbott and Costello's masterpiece. Even if Bud and Lou are not your cup of tea, you might like this one. IT takes place in the Revolutionary War. Here is a link to watch it on YouTube:

Abbott and Costello - The Time of Their Lives(1946) - YouTube

Lots of fun!

Monday, April 26, 2021

A Bad Idea

The Supremes in 1937, the year FDR attempted to pack the court.

Don't get me wrong; I think that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are doing a fairly good job at their respective jobs. Although I supported neither of them in the primaries last year, I'm awfully relieved they won the 2020 election. I'm quite sure I don't need to explain to you my reasoning. You get the idea, I'm sure. 

That being said, someone with a bit of influence with the president really ought to have a word with Joe about the fact that he has his people studying the possibly of raising the number of justices on the Supreme Court. This is a terrible idea that is surely likely to blow up in Joe's face - just as it did with Franklin Delano Roosevelt eighty-four years ago.

Yeah, that's right. This has been attempted before.

You see, in 1937 Roosevelt had the same headache that the POTUS is having today - a judicial branch of the government that was packed to the rafters with a cabal of right wing extremists who were hell-bent on curtailing human and social progress. After winning reelection in a resounding landslide in 1936, FDR put his plan into motion. The last straw for the Frankster was when the Supremes declared the National Recovery Act unconstitutional a couple of years before. After his second inauguration was behind him he put his plan into action. Although he had support from the progressive diehards in the congress, most of them - even a sizable number of members from his own party - were aghast at the idea. Franklin Roosevelt was handed the worst political defeat of his twelve year presidency.

Within a year of his scheme, one of the old codgers on the court retired and FDR was able to appoint William O. Douglas to the court. More vacancies soon followed, and by the end of his term in 1945, he pretty much had the Supremes locked up.

It might take a few years, but the balance on that court will favor the progressives again someday. An attempt to "pack" the court in 2021 would only set a bad precedent. Who's to predict that the Republicans don't attempt to try the same thing if they ever get back into power?

Please note that I said "if they ever get back into power.

If President Biden is seriously considering going down this path, he really needs to rethink it.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

MATTYGATE



It is something I cannot even
attempt to conceal. I despise Matt Gaetz. Matt Gaetz is the epitome and personification of what is wrong with conservatism in America in general and the Republican Party in particular. The guy is such an obvious boorish buffoon that it would take an awful lot of research to come up with an example in American history of anyone as thoroughly reprehensible as our boy Matt. Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin is one of the most discredited politicians in American history, but, according to most of his contemporaries, old Joe was a fairly likable fellow - he even counted Massachusetts senator Jack Kennedy as one of his closest friends. It's a different scenario in this narrative. EVERYBODY IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS LOATHES MATT GAETZ!

I knew from the moment he walked onto the national stage a few short years ago that he would eventually fall of his own weight; what startled me was how quickly it took for this implosion to occur. It seemed as if he crashed and burned before he barely got his feet off the ground. It's something that is so much fun to watch, I can barely conjure up the words. Life is very good indeed.

It is not a good thing to be Matt Gaetz these days, that's for sure. When a close associate named Joel Greenberg was nabbed in a case that involved the trafficking of underage girls (among many other things too numerous to mention) it became a point of interest among the feds that the distinguished congressman from the great state of Florida may have had a hand in the festivities. If Greenberg cops to a plea deal by telling them everything that Gaetz may potentially  have been involved in, not only is his political career kaput. He's also looking at many years in the slammer.

Poor old Matt Gaetz must be shitting purple yo-yos these days. No, it's not a good thing to be Matt Gaetz at all, not anymore.

If Gaetz has an attorney at his disposal, he's obvious not taking his or her advice. Every good lawyer (and most bad lawyers, I imagine) will tell a client to keep quiet, but Matt can't keep his mouth shut over the matter! He even went on the Tucker Carlson program to remind the host of a dinner date they had that Carlson denied ever even happened. Later Tucker called it the "weirdest" interview he had ever conducted. One thing that has become incredibly and pathetically clear since he was elected  to congress: Matt Gaetz is not the brightest bulb in the House.

A curious thing happened after the election of 2020: Matt started appearing on the right wing news shows publically insisting that former president Trump issue a blanket pardon to all Republicans in the House and Senate. This way, he surmised, they would be able to dodge the scores of illegal persecutions that would come along once those evil liberal Democrats were back in control. Was he aware then that he was the target of a Department of Justice investigation? My bet is that he was. Matt Gaetz if the most clumsy and transparent politician of my lifetime.

Matt Gaetz will be gone soon, and that's a good thing, too. He has been a stain on American democracy since the moment he stepped out into the national spotlight. Seventy years ago there was only one Joe McCarthy. Today, the political stage is literally infested with oodles of Joe-wannabes. We can do better than this. We must do better than this. It's our only hope.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Sunday, March 28, 2021

POST #1010: Random Observations



Here is an unrelated doodling of various comments I've made here and there, in my notebook -or out in the cybersphere. Any similarities to any persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.

1: Georgia On My Mind....

What is happening in Georgia is beyond disgusting. That fucking party needs to disappear forever. Their problem isn't with voter fraud. Their problem is that too many black people
are voting. Jim Crow is back in the south.
`
2: The Unimportance of being FOCKS NOISE....

Anyone who gets their news and information from Focks Noooz has consigned his or herself to perpetual idiocy. That channel is beyond redemption. I know it should go away, but then again, I know that it will be around for a very long time. Focks Noise is poisoning the American dialogue. Walter Cronkite is dead. Walter Lippmann is dead. They're gone, and they're not coming back, folks.

3: QUOTE OF THE DAY....

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

Groucho Marx

4: Something to remember...

"In the very end, civilizations perish because the people listen to their politicians - and not their poets."

Jonas Mekas

That was just a quick one. I'm really too ill to write.

LATER!

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY

Friday, March 26, 2021

MEME MADNESS



One of my biggest regrets is the fact that I cannot draw to save my life. I would give up any other talent I have in order to do so. I always thought that I would have made an ace political cartoonist. About two years ago I acquired the technology to create memes - which is not as good but they're much fun nonetheless. Here are some recent ones:


















So that's about it for the  time being. I haven't been posting on this site as prolifically as I've been dealing with a couple of minor health issues. I'll be back as fit as ever in a couple of days. By the way, last week I received my first COVID vaccine. Ain't that a hoot?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY