Friday, May 24, 2019

President Tinhorn


I have little doubt that, in the years to come, historians will look back on the Age of Trump as the longest constitutional crisis in the history of the republic. That's the beautiful thing about the times in which we live. Say what you want about Donald Trump, I have to give the old bugger credit in one area only: he sure isn't boring. For a politics/news junkie like myself, this horrible administration is the gift that keeps giving. This week has been even more of a stunner than we've become accustomed to. This nation's infrastructure has suffered from nearly four decades of neglect, and has been crumbling at an alarming rate in recent years. Yesterday at the White House, Trump informed Nancy Pelosi and a handful of Democrats that the government will fork over the cash to repair our bridges and highways only if they cease and desist their investigation into the Trump Mob. Speaker Pelosi, to her credit, was having none of it. She went eyeball-to-eyeball with the man - and Donald Trump blinked.
 
He's holding all of us hostage for no other reason than to sweep his crimes under the rug. Ain't that something?

This week also brought the disturbing sight of the president of the United States promising to persecute his political enemies - in this case the FBI and certain members of the Justice Department. He's got his own personal lawyer, the attorney general for God's sake, working on that. These are the kind of actions that we would normally expect from tinhorn dictator. Even Dick Nixon, who was not unknown for dealing harshly with his "enemies" ever got this completely weird. If you think for a moment that this is merely Trump's quaint little way of blowing off some steam, you might want to rethink your position. We have yet to even scratch the surface in deciphering what this lunatic is capable of. 

President Who???
The Dems in the House are now becoming more vocal recently about impeaching this disturbed president. I get their reasoning, but impeachment would be a waste of time and money. There is no chance at all that the Republican controlled senate would vote to remove Trump - not at this time anyway. His poll ratings would have to go into the toilet before something that drastic happens. And let's remind ourselves what his removal from office would bring - President Mike Pence - who's dumber than the Donald and damned near as crazy. Let's just deal with him for the next twenty months and pray that he doesn't do anything too violent and crazy between now and then. Who was it that said, "Be careful what you wish for"?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Capote
by Gerald Clarke

Last week I recommended Mr. Clarke's biography of Judy Garland. The day I finished that one, I happened upon his bio of Truman Capote at the Thrall Library used book store in Middletown, NY. It is a masterpiece.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A Pox Upon Your Fox


"They're putting more Democrats on then you have Republicans. Something strange going on at Fox, folks. Something very strange is going on. Something very strange!"
 
Recent Tweet from the First Twit

Elizabeth Warren says she plans on boycotting Fox Noise. She has told us that she has no intention of giving that network a shred of respectability by appearing on it. She also said that a propaganda organization that makes its name by spreading fear and division among the voters has no right whatsoever to be taken seriously by anybody. Her intentions are honest - admirable even - and I totally respect her reasoning behind them. But she's mistaken. It's hard for me to find a grain of fault with a woman who is such a non-apologetic, decidedly left-of-center progressive. Warren is a breath of fresh air in a party that is bogged down by such a pathetic cabal of cowardly moderates. Should she win the nomination next year, voting for her on Election Day 2020 will be the easiest thing I ever did. A vote for Liz Warren next year would be the ultimate no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.
 
But the good senator from Massachusetts is as wrong on that point as she's ever been in her entire career in public service. If the nomination is indeed hers next summer, reaching out to the Fox crowd is essential for winning the election in the autumn. Beating Donald Trump will not be an easy thing - and anyone who believes otherwise - as Hillary Clinton believed three years ago - is mistaken. I hope she rethinks the Fox boycott. Knowing her, I believe that she will. I hope that she will.
 
Chris Wallace
First things first: Although I'm loathe to admit it, not everyone who watches Fox is a Nazi and a fascist. I know this from personal experience. In fact (hold onto your hats!) some very intelligent people of my acquaintance are regular viewers of the Fox News Channel. I'd even be willing to go out on a limb here and go on the record for all time and eternity by saying that it is my sincere belief that most of the people who watch that awful network are not idiots - although a significant minority of them are (and that cannot be denied). It is my sincere belief that the people who waste their precious time watching Fox (the smart ones anyway) do so for no other reason than mere force of habit. Those are the very people that liberals like Elizabeth Warren desperately need to reach out to. This only makes sense.

Another thing that progressives need not forget is the fact that not everyone over at Fox is Laura Ingraham - or Sean Hannity - or Tucker Carlson - or the halfwits over at Fox and Friends. You might find this hard to believe (and I always have to remind myself of this) but there are a few serious and sensible journalists there. Chris Wallace is worth mentioning. He has gone on the air recently to inform the viewers of his Sunday program that some of the "commentators" who spew their nonsense daily on the Fox Scream Machine should not be believed. Although he's no Edward R. Murrow (who is?) it took integrity for him to say that on the air.

Only last week, Wallace hosted a town hall with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in front of what we must assume was an audience packed with hundreds of Fox fans. Mister Pete pulled no punches and did not attempt to run away from his progressive beliefs - as so many Democrats are prone to do. When it was over the people in that hall gave him a heartfelt standing ovation!

Note to the Dems: You ignore the Fox audience to your own detriment. I'm just sayin'.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland
by Gerald Clarke

I always knew that Judy had a hard life, but I never knew the extent of her tragedy. Although I normally avoid Sow-biz bios, this one was so well-reviewed that I couldn't resist. It reads like great literature. The day after I finished reading it I happened upon his biography of Truman Capote. Again, I was unable to put it down. Gerald Clarke is one of the two best writers of non-fiction I've ever encountered. The other is Scott Berg (Charles Lindberg, Samuel Goldwyn and Katherine Hepburn).

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Nothing To See Here!

 
Donald Trump and his sycophants are really under the serious delusion that they will be able to sweep the crimes committed by this disgusting administration under the rug, to be forever concealed from the eyes of posterity. When Mitch (the plutocracy's bitch) McConnell announced yesterday on the floor of the United States Senate, "Case closed", with respect to Robert Mueller's investigation, it was the act of a man with a serious, almost pathological case of denial. Another example of the Grand Old Party's transformation during the last forty years into an organized criminal enterprise. The Kentucky senator - and everyone else - will soon learn that, far from going away, the worst political scandal in American history will be a constant irritant that will consume the party that at one time was the ideological home of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

While this utter festival of denial was occurring on Capitol Hill, a statement signed by over six-hundred former and current federal prosecutors stated that, after reading the Mueller report, they were unanimously in agreement that the president of the United States is guilty of multiple felonies. How these people believe that thinking Americans will merely shrug their shoulders and yawn in the face of the overt corruption of the Trump White House is puzzling. They appear to be unaware of the reality that is metastasizing  daily: that, far from going away anytime soon, the numerous scandals consuming the Trump Mob are the new reality of our national political conversation.

Congress wants to talk to Bob Mueller, and the tentative date for his testimony is May 15. The president and his attorney general, William Barr, after initially stating that neither would have a problem with his testifying, are now hinting that they will try to force him not to reply to a congressional subpoena; that his being an employee of the Department of Justice will allow them to do as much. Do they really believe that they can intimidate a man who once stared down the Viet Cong? Don't they understand that the former special prosecutor can simply resign his post? Do they seriously believe that they can force a private citizen from answering such a summons? That seems to be the case. Former White House Council, Don McGahn, is, in fact, now a private citizen. Barr has hinted that he won't "allow" McGahn to appear. The arrogance of these people stuns the senses. 

A hostile foreign power has subverted - and is still in the process of subverting - our voting processes. Why is ending this crime against Weeda Peeple not a priority for Trump, McConnell, and the rest of the Republicans? On more than one occasion recently they have voted down efforts by the Democrats to beef up electoral technology and security. Why??? If you are unable to figure this one out, folks, go back to sleep. 

This is going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets a half-a-molecule better. Did you ever dream we would find ourselves living through such times?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Saturday, May 04, 2019

"context, nature and substance"


Teddy and Taft
Until the contentious campaign of 1912, President William Howard Taft and Former President Theodore Roosevelt were the best of pals. That all changed when Roosevelt announced that he wanted to live in the White House again and launched a bitter campaign for the Republican nomination against the incumbent. The contest got so insanely nasty on both sides that Taft privately lamented to a reporter that is was hard to behold so devoted a friendship coming to pieces "like a rope of sand". He then broke down and wept. Although Roosevelt won the primaries, the GOP was able to steal the nomination from TR. He mounted a third party campaign and, by doing so, virtually handed the presidency over to Woodrow Wilson. In the years that followed, although both men professed to have let bygones be bygones, their close friendship never fully recovered.

It's hard not to take this historic example of a cindered friendship and place it in a modern context. Former Special Prosecutor and Attorney General Bill Barr have, by all accounts, a close friendship that goes back decades. Apparently, even their immediate families are close to one another. Keeping this in mind, it's hard not to imagine the next Labor Day cookout that the Muellers and the Barrs spend together might be just a tad....ahem....awkward? Like the Taft/Roosevelt friendship of so long ago, The Bob and Bill bromance has gone up in smoke, forever to be consigned to the ash-bin of history. Stuff happens, you know?

On the morning after Barr's May 1 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Rupert Murdoch's New York Post Toasties published an editorial claiming that the Democrats "completely struck out" during their questioning of the attorney general. There's no better example I can think of that would illustrate why the fools who rely on the Murdoch empire for their news and information are the least informed suckers on the planet earth. The fact is that Barr's performance was so inadequate and pathetic, even I felt sorry for the poor son-of-a-bitch. The interrogation he underwent from Senator Kamala Harris alone was so withering that you could see his cheeks begin to turn red. Look it up on YouTube if you think I exaggerate. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee called Barr's responses, "torturous". Indeed.

Barr in the hot seat
`
Were you able check out any of Barr's testimony? I watched the spectacle from start to finish. It was quite a touching thing to be sure. It was amusing to watch the man twist himself into semantic pretzels in his lame attempt to justify, not only his gross misrepresentation of the Mueller report, but the criminal behavior of Donald Trump. When asked a couple of weeks ago whether or not Mueller had objected to his characterization of the nearly two-year investigation into the Trump administration, Barr implied - under oath - that he had not. Now we learn that on March 24, Mueller sent a letter to the attorney general accusing him of misrepresenting the "context, nature and substance" of the four-hundred page report. Yesterday, after being subpoenaed to appear for questioning before the House, Barr arrogantly refused to even show up. It was the House's intention to have experienced lawyers question him on his behavior. He did not have the courage to face them. These are not times for profiles in courage.

Lawyers lie for their clients all the time. That's to be expected. We should expect a little more from attorneys general. Quaint, huh?

It is my belief that the attorney general is guilty of obstruction of justice, perjury and contempt of Congress. That's just my humble opinion. Pay it no mind.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here's a link to watch Senator Kamala Harris of California "striking out" while she questions the highest law enforcement official in the nation. It's quite funny on the part of Bill Barr - unintentionally so, that is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sak58M2Og8

Here's Senator Mazi Hirono "striking out" at the same hearing:

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

I've seen the moon at Bali Bali
And the moon over Wai Ki Ki
I'd give it all for just one ball game
And Mazie to see it with me....
`
There are extraordinary times.

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Ongoing Constitutional Crisis


 
As it now turns out, the Mueller Report didn't absolve The Donald from any wrongdoing. The special prosecutor left it up to the Congress to take matters into their own hands - to do what the law and the Constitution mandates them to do. I thought it was revealing that Trump's reaction to the results of the long-awaited findings went from "vindicated" last week to "total bullshit" this week. None of us who have bothered to pay attention to this train-wreck of an administration for these past two, very long years, should be a bit surprised by the schizophrenia of the White House's position on a day-by-day basis. This is precisely what we signed up for on Election Day 2016. The demented chickens have come home to roost.

And now we have the spectacle of the president of the United States - in flagrant violation of the Constitution - is ordering that members of his administration (current or former) ignore congressional subpoenas requiring them to testify about what they may or may not know regarding this administration's behavior since taking office. This would seem to me to be an impeachable offence in itself. After all, on January 20, 2017 Donald Trump took an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States".  This is all fairly straightforward as far as I'm concerned. What part of that oath are some people unable to comprehend?

Palmer
And while we're on the subject, if President Trump was as innocent as he and Attorney General Barr are implying he is, why were the two of them so determined to keep the non-redacted version of Team Mueller's report from the prying eyes of those nosey American people? When Barr held a press conference that coincided with the report's release, he proved himself to be Trump's willing stooge. That is how history will remember him. No matter what mountaintop accomplishments he is able to achieve with whatever life is left to him, he will never be able to shake this nasty incident from his historical reputation. As of this afternoon, J. Mitchell Palmer, John Mitchell and Ed Meese don't look quite as reprehensible as they once did. As they say, context is everything, you know?

The national train-wreck is still in motion. The untenable situation that the United States currently finds its poor self in is only going to get much worse before it gets half-a-molecule better. I often try to speculate how long-lasting the damage done by Donald Trump to this country will be. Coming as relatively soon as he did following the disastrous era of George W. Bush, between the two of these psycho-clowns, one would have to concede that the bitter fruits of their incompetence will still be felt generations from now. This is as it should be, I guess. The voters who sent these corrupt jackasses to the Executive Mansion will get what they deserve. It's their children that I feel bad for.

It's always the children. Have you ever noticed that?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

The Man Who Sold the World:
Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America
by William Kleinknecht

This excellent critique of the fiasco of the Reagan Revolution was first published ten years ago. How it possibly evaded my attention then is anybody's guess. As good a book on the subject as I've ever read. Here's a link to order it off of Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Sold-World-Kleinknecht/dp/B00CAYM6H4/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=The+Man+Who+Sold+the+World%3A+Ronald+Reagan+and+the+Betrayal+of+Main+Street+America&qid=1556298015&s=books&sr=1-2-fkmrnull

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Pete Buttigieg



[BACK TO THE GRIND....]

With spouse Chasten Glezmen
It is with more than a smidgeon of trepidation that I throw myself into the tank for the candidacy of the mayor of my late mother's home town, Pete Buttigieg. My hesitation has nothing to do with the man's sexuality. Twelve years ago when Barack Obama announced that he was exploring a possible run for the presidency in 2008, I was reminded of the song from Man of La Mancha, The Impossible Dream. Although I conceded that he had a chance to take home the big prize, I knew that it would be an uphill battle. A black man with a Muslim middle name sandwiched between two African names was going to face a few unique hurdles to be sure. Following the two disastrous terms of George W. Bush anything was possible. Today the possibility of being an eye witness to President Pete's inauguration in less than two years is not half as preposterous to some as it would have seemed only a decade ago. Following the worst president since the founding of the republic, the American electorate (historically not the most enlightened lot) are liable to send a gay progressive to the Executive Mansion for no other reason than an act of mass desperation.
`
My hesitation regarding the Buttigieg run has more to do with the man's appearance. Let's face some serious facts here, campers: the guy seems too good to be true. Although I have never regretted voting for Obama during the campaigns of 2008 and 2012, he turned out to be  bit of a disappointment in more-than-a-few instances. I don't want to appear to be the fawning admirer today as I was then. I'm a bit older and (I hope) a heck of a lot wiser. You grow, you know? 
`
Over There
As impressed as I was with Barack's credentials eleven years ago, Pete's resume is something else indeed: Harvard graduate, Rhodes scholar, Afghanistan veteran, concert pianist - and he's able to read seven languages and is fluent in four of them. Compare that to the current occupant of the White House who barely makes himself understood in English. When watching him being interviewed on television, his thoughts are articulate and precise, which is somewhat of a rarity these days. It is obvious that Pete Buttigieg is brilliant. That is not an exaggeration on my part. Look him up on YouTube if you think that it is.
`
It was my cousin, Margaret Clements, who first made me aware of this brilliant and innovative mayor about a year ago. She was on hand the other day when he threw his hat into the ring at South Bend's old Studebaker plant. My admiration for him has only increased in the ensuing months. Obviously the fact that Pete is gay is not going to go over too swimmingly in most (but not all) traditional red states. And yet I believe that when enough voters have a good look at the man, and listen to what he has to say, it's not to much of a stretch to think that enough of them will be able to put aside their pre-conceived notions to give him a chance at the presidency. On the surface, this Midwestern mayor is what can only be described as a "dream candidate". His devotion to Christianity is proof that the Religious left, as personified by people like Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, is reawakening from a long and troubled slumber.
`
"President Pete". It sounds good to me.
`
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT:

This is the first thing I've posted in over a month. I broke my arm and could barely raise it to the keyboard for the longest time. We're getting better all the time.

SUGGESTED READING:

One-hundred and thirty years ago today, Charlie Chaplin came into the world. Here's a link to a piece I wrote five years ago on the 100th anniversary of his entrance into the movies:

https://tomdegan.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-century-of-charlie-chaplin.html

Smile though your heart is breaking....

Friday, March 15, 2019

Note to the Dems: CHILL!


I have to take a moment here to, once again, explain why I left the Democratic party nearly twenty-one years ago, As I have explained too many times to count. I'm not comfortable with any political party with a genius for taking a bottle of finely aged wine and turning it into a worthless jug of donkey piss. I'm sorry, but I just can't go there.

Hillary Clinton has announced that she will not be a candidate in 2020. This is a wise move on her part. I hope and believe that the next president will be a woman - just not that woman. For the life of me, I cannot fathom the likes of Hillary - a tired and stale old plutocrat - guiding the ship of state. We desperately need someone with a bit more gravitas at the helm.

The Democrats are in the process of destroying themselves.

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

AFTERTHOUGHT, 25 March, 11:20 AM:

I should have finished this piece ten days ago. While I was working on it, I fell and gashed my forehead. A couple of days later I fell again and broke my right arm at the shoulder.

I've been having balancing issues in the last couple of years, just in case you wanted to know.

Time to vent:

Having turned sixty at the end of last summer, my initial plan was not to get old for another fifteen years. That plan has gone just a tad awry. I can remember a time, not too many years ago, when it was oodles of fun being Tom Degan. It positively sucks now. I'm probably at the dawn of the final fade out. Men in my family tend not to live too far into their sixties. I'm not going to be the exception to that rule - trust me. I've already lived longer than my father, my grandfather, and three of my uncles. When I was in my teens and twenties, I never thought I'd live to see my thirtieth birthday. I have survived for twice as long. In August I will be turning sixty-one. Boy, do I feel stupid!

That's fine. I've had a very interesting life, and, while it was not always happy, it was never boring - not for a moment.

Seriously, I can truthfully say that I've had a supremely good run. One of the secrets of never getting bored is to always have a good book at the ready. Timely tip.

Even my dreams have always been beautiful. Writers are notorious for having nightmares. In this case I am the exception to the rule. Most of my dreams are happy. About a year ago I dreamed I was walking through a park late at night. The park, which might have been New York's Central, was sparsely lit by strategically placed lamps and a glorious full moon. All of the sudden I was approached in the darkness by a beloved and lost friend. We talked and laughed and, as we went our separate ways, we hugged. It was the loveliest dream I ever had. I believe she was reaching out to me from beyond that eternal and unknowable void. She says"hi!".

Just some thoughts that I wanted to share. And, no, I'm not checking out today or this month - or even this year....I think. 

Chill.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

The CPAC Follies of 2019



As has been the case for too many years to count, on the first weekend of March this year, the right wing met up in Maryland for their annual love-fest of craziness. The highlight of the event was the address given by Donald Trump. It was yet another undeniable example that the chief-executive has gone off the deep end is not-at-all a stable man. Considering that this is the guy in possession of the nuclear codes, this ought to really scare you. After it was over, so many commentators seemed completely taken aback by the fact that the president of the United States used the word "bullshit" twice. This seemed kind of strange to me. Weren't they paying attention during the campaign of 2016?
`
"You motherfuckers, we're gonna tax the shit outta you!"
`
That wasn't the case of being zinged by a hot mic. He made that statement at a campaign rally in front of a crowd of thousands and with the media present. To make matters worse, he was referring to the nation of China when he made it. At the time it was reported quite widely at the time - except by Rupert Murdoch's media empire of course. My own local paper, The Times-Herald Record of Middletown New York, quoted the line unexpurgated. That really shocked me more than the line itself.
`
It was quite an unusual gathering to say the least. According to one of these clowns, the liberals will be coming after your cows (or hamburgers) before very long. But the biggest treat of the weekend was, of course, the Donald's Speech. It was the longest speech he has yet made since checking into the Executive Mansion a little over two years ago; clocking in at just a shade over two hours. It was a little unsettling to realize that no one there seemed appalled by what was coming out of the president's mouth and mind. according to the people who check these things, Trump uttered over one-hundred falsehoods during the course of the speech. I hesitate these days to call them "lies". I'm at appoint where I'm starting to think that he's so bat-shit crazy, he actually believes the nonsense flying out of his mouth.

It jars the senses to think that we'll have to deal with this madness for another twenty-two VERY LONG months. I'm not optimistic that he will be removed through the impeachment process. The GOP in the senate don't give a damn about the country they profess to love so much. Maybe the results of the Mueller report will jar them into reality - but I doubt it. This will end up being the longest national emergency since the Civil War.

Isn't this amusing?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here's a YouTube link to view the most extraordinary speech made by an American politician since Andrew Johnson's address at Lincoln's second inauguration on March 4, 1965. It was more unhinged than even I've come to expect. Watch as much of it as you are able to stomach:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I9J9IaZC7o&feature=share

An absolute scream fest.

Friday, March 01, 2019

A Bad Day for Trump and the GOP


 
"I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is  racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat."
 
Michael Cohen, 2/27/19

Jordon, Cohen and Meadows
`
The testimony of Michael Cohen on Wednesday lowered the bar even further for a political party whose credibility is practically nonexistent. Just yesterday on his MSNBC program, former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough proclaimed that his party was headed for political oblivion. The behavior during the hearings of these people - particularly Jim Jordon of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina - was imbecilic at best. Both men our now in the process of recommending that the Department of Justice file more perjury charges against Trump's one-time attorney. Cohen had everything to lose and nothing to gain by coming before these people and lying. Far be it from me to want to make a hero out of this fellow, but I believe what he had to say.

Throughout the entire fiasco (which lasted almost seven hours by the way) the Republicans did not seem interested a bit in trying to ask serious questions. All they did for the entire time was insult and slander Cohen. They're so hell-bent on protecting Trump that the question is screaming to be posed: Do they fully understand the eventual and lasting damage that they are doing to their political careers - not to mention their historical legacies? Is Donald Trump really worth it? This is something that every one of them should sit down and think long and hard about. If I had been a member of the body, I would want to be remembered for something noble - not for shielding an unhinged and corrupt knucklehead like The Donald.

Hats off and a raising of the glass to Congressman Elijah Cummings, the man who chaired the festivities. He was somehow able to keep things moving along despite the attempts of Jordon and Meadows to sabotage the hearings early on. He reminded me of  the teacher of a class of first graders dealing with rowdy children. Next time you're surfing YouTube, do a search for the Army/McCarthy hearings of 1954. Sixty-five years later and the behavior of Joe McCarthy and his assistant Roy Cohen (Trump's mentor) is at the same time laughable and obscene. Are these modern-day politicians aware of the fact that their antics on Wednesday are now a permanent part of America's audio/visual record? Do they understand that in the year 2084 their buffoonery will be just as accessible and appalling to generations unborn? Do they honestly believe that their heirs will be showing these clips to their friends and bragging, "Hey, check out my great-grandpa!" I rather doubt it. I am a descendant of Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the Dred Scott decision. It's not something I've spent much time bragging about - trust me. 

Historical parallels aside, each of these people will be up for reelection in November of 2020. It was obvious by the performances they gave that they were "playing to the base". The problem they face - whether they realize it or not - is that twenty long months from now, Donald Trump's reputation will certainly be in the toilet, even among their constituencies. How will they explain to the voters their defense of the most corrupt and incompetent president in the history of corruption and incompetency? There won't be any way for them to avoid their roles in this. 2020 promises to be on heck of an interesting political year - we'll just leave it at that.

I'm almost at the point of feeling pity for Donald J. Trump. This hasn't been a particularly good week for the poor old bugger, that's for sure. His summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Vietnam fizzled out before it was off the ground. He couldn't walk away a molecule of good news. Not that it would have made much of a difference. I watched the entire hearings on the tube and not once did they cut to the two goofy sociopaths with the bad haircuts. We can only imagine what must be going through Trump's mind at this point. With his life (and the lives of certain members of his family) about to implode, he must be looking back on his decision to seek the office of the presidency as the worst blunder of his entire life. If only I could turn the clock back, he must be thinking. Yeah, a lot of us wish that Trump had never gone down this road. But the fact of the matter is that he did, and now everyone needs to deal with the consequences - especially Donald Trump.

2019 is turning out to be the most tumultuous political year of my life - and we're only two months into it. Ain't that something?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Elijah Cumming's closing remarks on Wednesday:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72gy-LZ4UN0 

It was the most memorable part of the day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The End of the Beginning

“Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation – only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the ‘greatest infomercial in political history'".
`
Michael Cohen, 2/27/19
`
I suspected as much nearly four years ago, in June o0f 2015, when The Donald announced that he was a candidate for the presidency. He never seriously expected to win; it was all a scheme to "up his brand". But he did win, and now we're all stuck with the consequences of that still unexplainable victory on Election Day 2016. That's probably why, on Election Night, the Trump team (with the exception of Trump) himself) looked completely shell-shocked.
The hearings which are being chaired by Democrat Elijah Cummings just recessed a few minutes ago for an hour or so. It was quite an informative four-and-a-half-hours. Aside from expressing to Cohen that black people in American are "too stupid" to cast their ballots for an unhinged imbecile like Trump, he also expressed the opinion that every country on earth with a dark-skinned head of state was a "shithole" - a phrase we're more than familiar with.
It's clear that, if Michael Cohen's testimony is to be believed, that the president of the United States may very well have participated in felonious conspiracy. Cohen related to the committee that he was present in the summer of 2016 when Trump's administrative secretary informed him that he had an incoming call from Roger Stone. Trump turned on the speaker phone and Stone informed the president that Julian Assange was about to drop about 60,000 hacked emails from the Clinton campaign out into the public domain - something that Trump has always denied, but never under oath - at least not yet.

Cohen also informed the committee that Trump told him to "indirectly" lie to congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project. He also bragged about "cheating" the IRS and said that he couldn't believe how stupid the government was to give him a ten million dollar refund; a statement which I agree with wholeheartedly.

The Republicans were obviously desperate to save Trump by trying to tear down Michael Cohen's reputation at every level. Can't they see that, by protecting this president, they're only going to do serious damage to their reputations in the long run? Is it political courage or is it just plain old stupidity on their parts. Any takers?

This promises to go on for several more hours so I need to get back to the tube. This is truly an extraordinary thing to witness.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY