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. The reason was their insatiable desire for self-destruction. I've stated too many times to count that 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.
 

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

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Post #838: Random Observations



The following are merely a series of random, unrelated observations that have not-a-freaking-thing to do with normal life. Normal life ended a couple of years ago. We now live in a new and unsettling reality. This is the new normality. Get used to it. America is fucked is beyond anyone's worst imagination.
`
1. FUCK SPIRO AGNEW
`
This is a bombshell. The Rachel Maddow team have unearthed documents which prove that, seven years after leaving office in disgrace, former vice-president Spiro Agnew sought financial aid from the royal family of Saudi Arabia (to the tune of $200,000 per year) to assist him in waging "war" on "the Jews" and "Zionists" in America who were trying to destroy America. We always knew that old Spiro was as contemptible a piece of shit as it was possible to scrape off the history books, but this nasty bit of information only further seals his reputation.

2. Another Step Into the Abyss

According to the NY Times, this disgusting administration is on the verge of providing Saudi Arabia with sensitive nuclear technology in strict violation of international law. That the Trump administration could do something  as insanely reckless as that shouldn't surprise anyone. The "government" of that country (such as it is) is one of the most corrupt on the planet and is almost as unstable. Don't forget that nineteen of the twenty hijackers on September 11, 2001 were from that country - and America we ended up invading Iraq. The possibility of someone from within going on a jihad to end all jihads is something that cannot be dismissed lightly. If the Times is correct (and they're usually fairly astute) This could lead to a king-hell nightmare somewhere down the line. Let's hope cooler hears prevail. Wishful thinking, I know.

Idiot Nation

3. Not Quite Mueller Time

This week we were being told that Bob Mueller and team were within days of releasing the report all of us have been waiting nearly two long years for. Now the "experts" are telling us that we might be waiting a few weeks - or even a couple of months - longer. That's fine and dandy with me. We want to know that Team Mueller is dotting every I and crossing every T. Also, we'll be able to roll our eyes in amusement when the right wing SCREAM MACHINE accuses them of rushing to judgment. And besides, for every day that this investigation goes on, the president of the United States becomes more and more unhinged - always a jolly fun thing to watch. Someone needs to publish a book containing every tweet Donald Trump has created since the time he announced his candidacy in June of 2015. Have it ready by the Christmas season. It'll be the biggest seller of the year.

Let Bob and company do what needs to be done. Thoroughness is next to godliness. you may quote me on that.

Take your sweet time, Mr. Mueller!

5.  Mike Pence Gets Humiliated

Mike Pence went to Germany this week to address the Munich Security Conference. It didn't go over very well. Apparently the veep thought he could score points with the boss by giving him a plug before a crowd that is, for reasons too numerous to mention, hostile to the Trump Mob. To hardly anyone's surprise, Pence's little ploy backfired spectacularly:

"[O]n behalf of a champion of freedom and of a strong national defense, I bring greeting from the forty-fifth president of the United States, President Donald Trump." 
Poor old Mike paused, obviously waiting for the applause he was stupidly certain of coming....NOTHING. You could almost hear the crickets chirping. It was the funniest thing this year thus far - a year that promises to deliver untold thousands of knee slappers. That's what I love about the vice-president: he never fails to deliver the goods.
`
Keep 'em coming, Mike!
`
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT:  

This is the first piece I've posted on this site in a little over two weeks. I apologize or the wait - I mean, that is if there's anyone out there who gives a damn. Aww, c'mon! There must be at least one of you! I've been having some health issues that sapped my strength - and, no, I am not dying - CHILL! Back to business as unusual!

In memory of Peter Tork
1942-2019
`
I make no apologies: I was (and still am) a stone-cold fan of The Monkees. When they came on the scene in the autumn of 1966, I was eight-years-old and ripe for the picking. While some of their music is quite dated, a lot of it holds up quite well across the decades. I had the pleasure of meeting him in March of 1980. his band was performing at a long-gone venue in Middletown, NY called The O & W Station. He was kind enough to sign my LP of The Monkees Greatest Hits.

To the Tom Deegan Expressway
`
Peter Tork
`
I didn't even mind that he spelled my name wrong. I introduced my date that night to the bartender. A year later they were married. John and Michele Bernieri are married still. They have Peter Tork to thank for that. God rest his soul.

Friday, February 08, 2019

State of Disunion


 "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation."

From Trump's 2019 SOTU Address
`
Someone hand me my chisel, please.

It took me a couple of days to get up the energy to even comment adequately on the State of the Union speech. It seems that a day doesn't go by in these weird times when one is not rendered speechless at least three times between consciousness and repose. Although the Watergate era is closing in on a half century, receding into the historical mist ever-so-slowly, for those of us who were old enough to understand and remember what was happening at that point in American history, the eras of the Trickster the Donald and are hardly comparable. Nixon was a thug and a thoroughly despicable human being, but - all in all - one never lost that much sleep knowing that the man was within a few feet of the so-called "nuclear football". As unhinged as Dick Nixon became in the final days of his administration (drunkenly talking to the portraits of his dead predecessors, for instance) he had around him enough people who were rational and fairly competent. I don't believe that is the case as far as Donald Trump is concerned. 
`
The highlight of the State of the Union Speech was when the cameras cut to the women in white. It was a reminder that this country is going through some significant changes, and it would do all of us bloated white guys good to sit back and roll with those inevitable changes. We have got to accept the fact that what is occurring now in America - and around the planet - is as natural as the sun rising in the eastern sky. This is a new morning, guys! The most important national story in the first half of the twenty-first century will be how we deal with this much needed change. So far, I'm sorry to say, we're not off to a particularly good start. This will be - this is - the century of the woman. Deal with this new reality. Aww, c'mon! It won't be so bad, I promise!

There is no way - in Heaven or on earth - that this disgusting president will be residing in the Executive Mansion on New Year's Day 2020. We're just weeks (days???) from seeing members of his immediate family being indicted by Team Mueller. This is as bad as it gets. This is as bad as it's ever been, or ever will be.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Wake the fuck up, folks. Seriously.

AFTERTHOUGHT:

On the day of Trump's inauguration, an old friend of mine posted on her Facebook page what a beautiful thing his presidency will be for the nation. My comment was, "Get used to living in a nation in ruins". This was her reply:

"I will get used to living in a nation that's not a laughing stock where we can be proud again and not be slaves to other nations. I will be happy to be self sufficient and have others respect us again. How quickly we forget 911 and how these people went to our schools and were our neighbors then murdered all people in walks of life. My grandparents were immigrants and came to this country with pride and love for America learned the language and worked hard through criticism and being spit on. You Tom Deagan were raised with a silver spoon in your mouth. If you don't like the president or respect him get out. See the rest of the world and how it lives."


Errors of grammar and punctuation notwithstanding, after forty years of friendship, she at least might have learned how to spell my name. With two years of hindsight, this note seems even more ridiculous than it did at the time. People are funny.
"If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation."

Please, hand me my chisel.



Tuesday, January 29, 2019

More Memes


One of the great disappointments of my life is that I do not posses the talent to draw. I have always thought that I would have made a pretty good political cartoonist, but I guess that was not meant to be. Since I acquired the technology for creating memes nearly two years ago, this problem has been partially solved. Last summer I shared a few on this site. Here are some recent ones:



There's gonna be a hot time in D.C. this year. Hold onto your hats.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Breakfast of Champions
By Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

This book changed my life.



Monday, January 21, 2019

HAPPY DR. KING DAY!

Paging Dr. King

I'm almost glad that Dr. King did not live to see his ninetieth birthday last week. The America of January 21, 2019 would have broken the good reverend's heart. Could he have imagined that, in the space of fifty years after his passing, we would go from Lyndon Johnson to Donald Trump? What would he have made of it all? It's a pretty safe bet that he would not have been pleased. The tumultuous times in which he lived are kind of low rent compared to today. I lived through both periods. As unsettling as things were to the ten-year-old boy that I was in 1968. I never thought for a second that I was witnessing the end times of America. Today I'm not so sure.

With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, commentators began to speak of "a post racial America". Within months of his inauguration that phrase all-but disappeared. The reaction by a significant minority of Americans to their first black president would have, I'm certain, broken Dr. King's heart. While we have come a long way in many respects, we haven't come very far at all. Trump's residency in the White House is all the proof we need to lay that fallacy low. The fact that a known white supremacist, Stephen Miller, is writing policy is all we need to know that the societal curse that Martin Luther King died fighting is still very much alive.


The memory of where I was the moment the news came over the car radio that Dr. King had been murdered in Memphis is as clear today as it was a week later. We were coming back from a long-defunct shopping center in Middletown, New York called Lloyds. My late mother was driving in the east-bound lane of Route 17 - known by locals as the "Quickway". We were just approaching Exit 122, the Fletcher Street exit where the local Catholic high school sits opposite. We were heading up the ramp when the announcement was flashed to the world. Being a mere nine-years old on April 4, 1968, I had only a vague knowledge of who Martin Luther King was. I would learn a lot more in the days that followed. This was the event that turned me into a newspaper reader. The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy two months later only hardened my resolve to try and stay on top of things. If you're not old enough to remember, 1968 was that kind of year in America - not terribly different from 2019. In fact, I'm willing to make the argument that these times are far worse. Back then, it was only an occasional politician or civil rights leader being gunned down. Today it's whole classrooms of kids.
 
"A nation that continues, year after year, to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
` 
Well, what the hey! It appears to me that the good doctor was onto something there! In fact, we're way beyond "approaching spiritual doom", we're there, baby! Take a good look around you. This ain't your father's America. It's not even close. Paging Dr. King indeed.

"If we assume that mankind has the right to exist, then we must find an alternative to war and destruction. In our day of space vehicles and guided ballistic missiles, the choice is either nonviolence or nonexistence."

That's what I love about this guy! American history is littered with "Christian" religious leaders. Try as you might, you can't escape them. The thing that sets the right, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. apart from most of these guys is the fact that he wasn't a hypocrite. He never tried to twist the words of Jesus of Nazareth into anything other than what they were - a call to love one another and for kindness and gentleness. The Trappist monk Thomas Merton is another celebrated American Christian who took the gospel seriously. So was Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker. Give me a week and I might be able to name one or two others, but at the moment none come to mind. Both Merton and King died in 1968. Dorothy Day left this veil of tears in 1980. They're gone and they're not coming back.

I'm going to celebrate today by getting hopelessly drunk. I'm an American. That's what we do!
 
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
`
And if America is to be a great nation, this must be true.
`
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire!
`
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York!
`
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
`
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!
`
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
`
But not only that -
`
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
`
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
`
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi!
`
From every mountainside, Let Freedom ring!

It doesn't get any better than that.

Happy Dr. King Day, everybody!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 
BREAKING NEWS!
The Trump White House has no events marking Dr. King Day. Of course, they need to appease "the base".
 
SUGGESTED READING:

Let the Trumpet Sound
by Stephen B. Oates

This is the only biography I have ever read about Dr. King, but it's a good one. Very much recommended.
  
The greatest Americans had mug shots!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Two Very Long Years


Those of us who have reached a certain age have noticed that, the older we get, the quicker time passes. By the time we reach our fifth decade we begin to understand how preciously short our time on earth really is That's the strange thing about living in the era of President Donald J. Trump. On January 20, 2017, time came nearly to a standstill. The inauguration of this corrupt and incompetent putz seems like a lifetime ago. Early this morning I came across something I posted on Facebook a couple of hours before The Donald was sworn in:
 
"Brace yourselves for the most unhinged administration
in American history."
 
Was that merely a lucky guess on my part? Nah! The simple fact of the matter is that I was paying attention. In fact, most of us were paying attention. But for the goddamned Electoral College, a constitutional snafu that was put in place over two-hundred years ago for no other reason than to appease the slave-holding states, this nightmare would have been avoided. We need to understand and come to terms with the fact that, as long as it continues to exist within America's voting process, imbeciles like George W. Bush and Donald Trump are virtually inevitable.

H.L Mencken
I only realized only a week before Election Day 2016 that a Trump administration was almost a foregone conclusion. Before that moment, I had been of the opinion that his victory over Hillary Clinton would never happen; that we would overcome this blight upon our political landscape. It was at that moment that I was reminded of this sage advice from the great journalist of the early twentieth century, H.L. Mencken:
 
 "NEVER underestimate the stupidity of the American public".

That was the moment I knew we were screwed. What made it all the more depressing was the fact that I knew a number of intelligent people - far smarter than I - who were conned into voting for this jackass. How could they not have seen this catastrophe coming? How could they not have perceived the chaos and turmoil that would undoubtedly have come to fruition? We now have - sitting in the White House - an agent of a hostile foreign government. Isn't this amusing?

Idiot Nation

I lost a few friends on Inauguration Day 2017. Three people, in particular, whom I had known and loved my entire life (and still do) gave me the old heave ho. That's okay as far as I'm concerned. What's the point of living if you can't risk alienating a few loved-ones? You've got to stand for something.

This is where we are. This is where we belong. The fact that we could possibly find ourselves in this mind-fuckingly, impossible situation is dark comedy at its finest. We should have seen this coming. We didn't. Shame on us. We should have known better.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Trump Must Be a Russian Agent. The Alternative is Too Awful:

From the Wired website

https://www.wired.com/story/president-trump-mueller-russia-agent-putin/?mbid=social_fb_onsiteshare&fbclid=IwAR3fmv0FgLHEncD4pYkz9DdpbUEwm4KyhqRWHjtZIa4bs3ZvZYnPjQ9fVSM

Friday, January 18, 2019

I Smell a Smocking Gun

 
 "President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation  of the matter."
 
According to BuzzFeed
 
Cut to the Dragnet theme.

Mr. Mueller shown laughing last
It's now all-but a foregone conclusion: There is no way on Heaven, Earth and Hades that Donald Trump will still be sleeping in the White House by year's end. If the BuzzFeed story is true, it is merely a trickle in a torrent of bad news that is at present consuming the administration of Donald J. Trump. And remember, as shocking as the things we know for certain are ("Known knowns" as Donald Rumsfeld once infamously called them) just imagine all of the information that Robert Mueller has inside his desk drawer that we're still in the dark about. Fasten your seatbelts, kids! And while you're at it, brace yourselves for the shit-storm that is about to commence. Our long national nightmare has only just begun. 2019 is going to be a year to reckon with as far as history is concerned. By the time this entire mess is over and done with, Watergate will be a mere blip on the scandal radar. I have no doubt that, at this very moment, Dick Nixon's descendants are giving themselves hearty high fives.

Can you imagine the good kicking that The Donald must be giving himself on this snowy winter's morn? The silly bastard wanted to be the most powerful dude on the planet earth in June of 2015 when he announced his candidacy - and in a mere four years - his dreams have been rendered ashes in the dirt. He had gotten away with fraud and theft all of his miserable life. He must have believed that the presidency would be more of the same; that - this time - he would be able to make the kill of all kills, the greatest heist in the history of uncommon thievery. He must have thought he would be able to do to the people of the United States what Putin and the oligarchs were able to do on such a huge scale to the people of Russia. Obviously the silly bastard miscalculated - BIG TIME!

What the Trump Mob failed to take into consideration was that, over here, we still have (for the most part) a robust free press. Unlike Russia, our leaders are still subject to be held to account for the crimes they commit against the people. Putin and his buddies have been able to rape their country's economy because, when a rare journalist has the courage to expose to the world the misdeeds of these thugs, that journalist often ends up dead. That's not the way things work here in America - or, at least, not yet. Don't be surprised to find out that, before this is all over, a handful of investigative reporters end up sleeping with the fishes. Does that sound a bit alarmist to you? It doesn't to me. I wouldn't, for a second, put it past these people. You shouldn't put it past them either. Seriously.

And yet in spite of everything, Trump's poll numbers continue to cling at, roughly, forty percentage points. Show me a nation with such a high percentage of the population so willfully ignorant, and I'll show you a country the composers need to start writing requiems for. In his latest film, Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore wondered aloud if, given all that it has become in the last forty years, America is even worth saving any longer. It's a question that has been on my mind for quite some time as well. Eric Sevareid once said of Edward R. Murrow, "He was pessimistic about tomorrow, but optimistic about the day after tomorrow. Since Murrow died over half a century ago, we must assume that we're still in the "tomorrow" that Sevareid was referring to. Not to appear impatient, but I sure wish "the day after" would get here quick.

Keep your eyes on the train-wreck. Remember, for all the stupidity that we have to deal with and digest at every turn and on every day, we are at a type of moment in history that few generations have the opportunity to bear witness to. That, alone, is worth the price of the ticket, ay?

Be vigilant, campers!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Trump's Showdown
from PBS's Frontline

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fcxSCcM-xw&feature=share

This was produced a few months ago and is well worth your time. It explains how we got to this pathetic point in out history. Please watch.