Wednesday, April 07, 2021

MATTGATE



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. Is Greenberg cops to a plea deal by telling them everything that Gaetz may potentially 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 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.

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

Monday, March 08, 2021

Jim Crow's Comeback Tour


This is the first posting on this site in a little over two weeks. Quite frankly I needed a break from the train wreck that the American political stage still is despite the exit of Donald Trump from the spotlight. To tell you the truth I was under the delusion that things might calm down a bit now that the loony right wing no longer controlled both the senate and the White House. Wishful thinking, I know. Now it is the governors and state legislatures that are causing serious trouble. Every now and then I need to check my calendar in the kitchen to remind myself that it is, indeed, 2021.

To put it in a nut shell, the problem is not voter fraud (an they never tire of reminding us. The problem is the simple fact that too many people with dark skin are exercising their precious right to cast their ballots. Republican politicians see the writing on the wall, and they're not particularly thrilled by what they're reading. These people know that, because of the ever changing demographics of the American political landscape - and given their extremist and racist policies - in a few short years they won't be able to win national elections and longer. Instead of adjusting their worldview to fit with this new and undeniable reality, they would have us turn back the clock to the bad old days when "those people" were not allowed at the ballot box.

This is a serious constitutional crisis, people; as serious as any we have faced in a very long while.

It started a few years ago when some of the geniuses on the Supreme Court watered down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in order to make voting more difficult to the traditional progressive constituency (minorities and young people). While they have not outright banned black people from voting (YET) they have made participating in the electoral process for them increasingly difficult and strenuous - as some cities with a high percentage of African Americans have decreased the amount of polling places drastically. In 2016 there were twenty-five of them in Milwaukee. In 2020 there were four. My belief is that had the last election been equally fair for minorities as it was for white people like me, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would have won by an even larger margin than they did.

This is not the way it's supposed to be in the United States of America. President Biden is proposing a new law (named for the late, great John Lewis) that would make our voting laws even stronger than they were before the Supremes gutted them a few years ago. America is shifting culturally - that is an undeniable fact. But while the change has been frustratingly slow, it will assume glacier proportions if the extreme right wing of this country has their way. We need to move forward - not backwards. That is why we call ourselves "progressives".

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Will Rogers and American Politics

This is a new documentary on a man whom I believe to be one of America's most important humorists. Americans don't know enough about Will Rogers. We should know a lot more. Here's a link to view it on YouTube:


"I never met a man I didn't like."

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Deep in the Bowels of Texas

 


A GENTLE REMINDER TO TEXAS:

Generally speaking, putting people in charge of government who do not believe in governance is not a particularly good idea. Just thought I would pass that along.

Few people who bother to pay attention to such things were surprised by the news that, during the worst environmental crisis Texas has seen in many-a-decade, Ted Cruz decided to skip town with his little family and haul ass to Cancun where the temperature currently is in the mid-eighties. He told reporters later on that he was only being a "good father" to appease the sensibilities of his two daughters who wanted to get out of town. His little girls are eight and twelve. What kind or man, do you suppose, throws his children under the bus for reasons of cheap, political expediency? He claims that he was merely chaperoning the girls and their mom overnight and that he planned on getting back into the thick of the action the following day - in spite of the fact that he was photographed at the airport with a rolling suitcase that seemed capable of supplying a week's worth of duds for one man.

In the meantime, the fiery and brilliant New York Congresswoman, Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez (someone who definitely believes in vigorous governance) moseyed on down to the Lone Star State to help out in any way she could - and in the process managed to raise 3.2 million dollars for the people under duress. Beto O'Rourke, who was defeated by Cruz in the last senatorial election, has been on the move across Texas since the onset of this disaster, making sure people get much-needed water, and personally checking on the welfare of the most vulnerable among his fellow Texans. 

The plight of Texas at the moment is as pathetic as we've witnessed in quite a long while. The managers of that place have been warned many times in the last three decades to modernize their energy grid. But of course, the pleas to do so have been ignored. The fact that the warnings that an environmental catastrophe such as this could come crashing down the pike unexpectedly - and at any time - fell on deaf ears and empty minds. Just the other day, former governor Rick Perry - the most monumentally stupid of men - stated that the good people of Texas would rather freeze for a few days than take any advice or accept any help from the government.

Compassionate conservatism. Don'cha just love it???

As if things haven't gotten weird enough down there, the energy companies of Texas are designed with a "supply and demand" kid of deal. This means that the households that have not lost power during this unspeakable ordeal will be forced to make up for the profits that were lost by the grid. Certain middle class families can expect a bill for seventeen-thousand big ones in next month's mail. Ain't that something? 

One would think that this latest right wing-fueled disaster would finally turn Texas blue - or at the very least purple - but, seriously, I'm not going to hold my breath. It will probably only take a man-made catastrophe of biblical proportions that will get them to finally wake up and smell the elephant shit. Until then, the rest of us will have to sit helplessly by while the voters of that state continue to send mediocre knuckleheads like Ted Cruz to Washington to represent them. Oy vey! 


Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT:

I wrote this about the newly-elected Senator Cruz on this  site eight years ago:


 Joe McCarthy
The thing about Cruz that tickles me more than anything is his obvious (and quite pathetic) idolization of the late Joe McCarthy. Although Tail Gunner Joe had been in the grave for almost fourteen years when Ted was born in December of 1970, the legacy of McCarthyism is alive and well in the man's persona. It is quite apparent that the senator from Texas has been channeling the long-dead senator from Wisconsin. He has so many McCarthy-like mannerisms that it's just a tad unsettling - such as the way he hunches over the microphone and tilts his head to the side. It really is something to behold. The weirdest thing about the times we live in is that in 1953 there was only one Joe McCarthy. Sixty years later it's a different story. Today the halls of Congress are polluted with scores of Joe-wannabes. As I said before, these sure are interesting times.

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Deep in the Heart of Texas
by Bing Crosby and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra


What the heck, let's end this on a cheerful note, ay?
  Read more »

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Final Thoughts on Rush Limbaugh

"In a healthy country populated with an intelligent, enlightened citizenry, Rush Limbaugh would today be standing on the bread line - right behind (or perhaps in front of) Sean Hannity, Michael "Savage" Wiener and Ann Coulter. He probably would have ended up as a used car salesman or a clerk in a liquor store. His opinion would not have been taken seriously by anyone except maybe a sympathetic bartender."

From The Rant, January 29, 2009

I'm not going to douse you all with schadenfreude at the passing into eternity yesterday of Rush Limbaugh. I know that he had friends and family that loved him and will treasure his memory. Back in December when I learned that he was too ill to broadcast any longer, I looked up his birth date on Google. It stated that he was born on January 12, 1951. I said a silent prayer for him that he would at least live to see his seventieth. He did. Good for him. 

That being said, American public discourse has become just a little bit less unhinged with his demise. For forty years he poisoned our national conversation with his own brand of right wing extremism and an overt and vile racism that he never even attempted to conceal. From the time he entered the public arena in the early eighties, it was obvious that the audience he was aiming for was disgruntled white men with beer bellies and bad breath. In the nearly-fifteen years I've been writing this site, I only wrote about Rush Limbaugh once. That was twelve years ago in the piece quoted at the top. Truth be told, I never thought about him much because he was hard to take seriously. Once in a blue Venus I would tune him in only to ponder his latest idiocy - just for my own amusement you understand. Other than that, old Rush was barely on my radar. In fact I'm surprised I remembered how to spell his name.

Rush Limbaugh is dead, but the damage he has done to American society and culture will be with us for a very long time. On the day of his death, the ex- president of the United States (You know whom I'm talking about) phoned in to a Focks Nooz program to proclaim that Rush will be "irreplaceable". My immediate reaction was: yeah, no one will ever replace him. That is a very good thing, indeed. But how do we set upon undoing the damage that he has done to America? That's the tricky part. In Joe McCarthy's day there was only one Joe. Today American politics is littered with McCarthy wannabes. It's the same thing in American media with respect to Limbaugh's imitators - they're everywhere. The results of this plague on the national discourse will be with us for a very long time, and it's anyone's guess as to whether or not we will even survive it. 

"We need to stop giving them coupons where they can go buy all kinds of junk. We just don't have the money. They're taking out, they put nothing in. And I'm sick and tired of playing the one phony game I've had to play and that is this so-called compassion for the poor. I don't have compassion for the poor."

Rush Limbaugh

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth"

Jesus of Nazareth

His masses of half-witted devotees happily referred to themselves as "ditto-heads". That sounds about right. Rush was the personified symbol of this country's willful stupidity. The damage that he has done will be with us for a very long time.

Here is how I ended the piece on Rush that I wrote in 2009:

"Rush Limbaugh is not unique to American history. Three quarters of a century ago the opinion media was polluted by the minds of people like Westbrook Pegler, George Sokolsky and Walter Winchell. While they were all able to enjoy great fame and treasure while they were alive, death would find the three of them consigned history's garbage heap, forgotten and disgraced. Indeed, during the thirties and forties Winchell was arguably the most famous man in America. And yet when he died in 1972, the only person who bothered to show up at his funeral was his estranged daughter (with whom he had not spoken in years). Do you remember the name Walter Winchell? Don't feel bad if you don't; not many people do.

Rush Limbaugh, too, will suffer posterity's indifference. Of that you may be completely certain."

So there.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Friday, February 12, 2021

Our National Identity


I have no illusions that the senate will convict this disgusting half-wit and common pervert for his crimes against democracy. I long ago lost any faith in the GOP to do the right thing. Where have we gone? How did we get to this place? How did the "party of Dwight D. Eisenhower" come to this? What the hell would he have thought about the devolution of the nation that he defeated Hitler and the Nazis over, or the party that he claimed as his own?

"THE JEWS WILL NOT REPLACE US!"

Sure. These are interesting times.

Why have we come to this place? What the hell has happened to America? To think that a GOP-controlled senate is about to acquit this hideous asshole is too weird to even contemplate. Where did we go wrong? 

We will never escape from the international stigma of Donald Trump. He will be a part of our national identity forever. The question is, how did this happen to the country that was once presided over by someone like Abraham Lincoln? Would someone please explain this to me? We have had idiotic presidents in the past - BUT DIONALD FREAKING TRUMP??? - What were the populace thinking???

How will we be able to explain this to generations yet to be be born? I don't think that we will be able to. Call it a silly hunch.

Tom  Degan
Goshen,  NY


Thursday, February 11, 2021

A Party Unhinged

 


Someone posted a wise observation on Facebook early this morning:

"An unpunished attempted coup becomes an instruction manual."

It's hard to fine fault with that one. And yet it would appear that the "party of Dwight D. Eisenhower" is prepared to let the former president off the hook for inciting last month the worst riot in the District of Columbia since the Brits attempted to burn the place to the ground over two-hundred years ago. While the management of the House attempted to school the senate the severity of what happened on January 6, most Republican senators chose to ignore the video carnage. One jackass propped his feet on his desk and casually read something. For years I've been saying that that disgusting party will one day revert to what it was when Ike was in the White House. I no longer believe that. On January 6, 2021, the Grand Old Party became eternally irredeemable.

So begins Day Three of Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. The Dems have eight hours to wrap up their case - and if today's proceedings are one half as devastating as yesterday, it promises to be an interesting event any way you slice it or dice it. A small handful of Republican politicians seem to have been ashamed into doing the right thing after watching yesterday's horrifying presentation - but whether they're able to get the needed seventeen votes in order to convict Trump is a dim hope. I'm hoping for a miracle. Those who would acquit Trump for his actions on the days leading up to and following January 6. 2021 are merely urinating on the grave of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Hill police officer killed in the insurrection. Those who stormed the capitol last month will know that they will be given the green light to do it again - if only in their own minds. In case you might not have noticed, most of them are not terribly bright. Oh, you've noticed that, too, huh?

A little over a month ago, the loony right wing of this troubled nation came within a hair of overthrowing the government of the United States. Trump needs to be thoroughly punished for his many sins against democracy. If that doesn't happen here and now, it will happen again and again. Does that sound like an incredible statement? Perhaps it is. I'll yell you what: Let's vote for the Republican nominee in 2024 and see what happens.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here's a link to watch Day Three of these incredible proceedings:


Interesting times indeed.

SAD AFTERTHOUGHT, 2:47 PM:

Late in the evening of February 9 marked the first moment that John Lennon has been gone from this planet longer than he walked it. I cannot even describe to you how unspeakably sad this revelation made me feel.

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Bring on the Lucie {Freda Peeple)
by John Lennon


Free the people now
Do it!
Do it!
Do it!
Do it!
Do it!
Do it!
NOW!

cha-cha-cha.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Impeachment: The Sequel


I wrote this paragraph on my blog on December 10, nearly a month before the events of January 6:
"The Donald and his silly minions are determined and hell-bent on subverting the democratic process on January 20, 2021. My biggest fear is that - for the first time in the history of this country - there will not be a peaceful transfer of power. If he calls for an army of his armed, MAGA-BRAINED followers to descend upon Washington to defend their leader, you can expect a very ugly and brutal scene on the streets of D.C. The question is: will he? Anything is possible with this deranged fool. I've been paying attention to this guy for nearly forty years. Four years ago I would tell anyone who listened that this was going to end badly. But even I never dreamed that things would quite get this weird. These are interesting times."
Nailed it.
`
The amazing thing is the fact that Trump's legal team during these proceedings are so pathetically inept that one can possibly wonder why anyone could understand how it could come to this. Of course it has come to this. No competent attorney worth his-or-her own life would align themselves with this moron. HELLO???
`
The first second impeachment in American history of a United States chief-executive is now underway. It's a wild thing to behold. The chances of seventeen Republicans in the senate of going for this are almost nil. But I have hope. What more do I have? One month and four days ago the sitting president of the United States attempted to violently overthrow the government of this nation. The fact that an imbecile as incompetent as Donald Trump came co close to succeeding should give every one of us pause - not to mention the dry heaves. At this moment, a potential American despot, with the IQ above a half-eaten box of Milk Duds, is watching very carefully. The next time they very well may succeed. God bless America.

You never thought it would come to this, did you. No, neither did I. 

And, please, forgive me for tooting my own horn here, but in the early morning hours of January 6, I posted the following on my Facebook page (Please forgive me, but I'm a tad intoxicated at the moment; I really need to rest on my laurels here. Sorry):

"Keep your eyes wide open for the next sixteen hours. January 6, 2021 is going to be one of the most interesting days of our lives. Mark my words, campers".

If you describe yourself as "a registered Republican", you need to get out while the getting is good. One day, your children and grandchildren will have the benefit of 20/20 historical hindsight. They will ask you on what side you stood during this troubling time in the history of the American nation. What will you answer be? Will you be proud? Hermann Goering has grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom today walk this planet. That is their right. They are many things. Proud they are not. I guarantee it.

Think about it, folks.

Let's all hope the GOP does the right thing. I won't be holding my breath.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY


Monday, February 08, 2021

According to Lincoln....

 


After nearly six years of this country being torn apart by Donald Trump, the American people need to be healed - the Reunited States of America. This is beyond my ability as a writer; so today I'm turning over The Rant to Abraham Lincoln. We need to look to his second inaugural address for inspiration. Sadly, one month and eleven days after delivering this masterpiece, Lincoln fell victim to an assassin's bullet.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY

Fellow-Countrymen:

At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Abraham Lincoln, 4 March 1865

Thursday, January 28, 2021

She Needs to be Expelled. She's Crazy.


Marjorie Taylor Greene is bat-shit crazy. She is the personification of the devolution of the Republican party, the party that was once the home of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. The fact that an intellectually deprived person of her caliber could be holding
any public office is too depressing for contemplation. To even consider that she is roaming the halls that were once occupied by the likes of John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay and Ben Gilman defies reason.

She needs to be expelled from the House of Reprehensibles. She is the most despicable member of that body that has come down the pike in my lifetime - and I was born when Ike was living in then White House. 

She has a history of mocking the murders of children in the mass shooting of children at the Parkland School a few years ago in Florida. She has been put on the House Education Committee. The GOP is perfectly fine with this. She mocks disabled people. She is an anti-Semite. She is a racist. Why is someone this monumentally stupid a congresswoman? The state of Georgia saved this country during the 2020 election by sending two progressive senators to Washington, giving control of the senate to the better angels of our nature. But what were the voters of her district thinking when they sent her to Washington? What is it about Southerners? 

Marjorie Taylor Greene is the type of fool not seen in Washington D.C. in many decades; she is on-the-record as supporting the idea that Democrats should be executed, or that Nancy Pelosi should receive a "bullet to the brain". This is not a person who should be a representative of decent people; this is a person who needs to be institutionalized. She's is an open and unapologetic supporter and advocate of the Q-anon movement - an "organization" so unhinged and extreme that they're in danger of falling off the face of the earth. She is of the opinion that the Sandy Hook massacre of twenty little boys and girls in December of 2012 is a hoax that never happened. 

It happened, folks. Please believe me, it happened. The extreme right wing is no longer on the extreme of the American political conversation; it has been embraced by a major political party. 

Wake up and smell the elephant shit. It's later than you think.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Here is a recent CNN report on Marjorie Taylor Greene. It really needs to be seen to be believed: 


Life is so interesting.

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Be My Baby
by The Ronettes


Phil Spector was responsible for so much beautiful music during his long life. It's unspeakably sad that he allowed himself to fall as low as he did. Schmuck.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

POST #1000: RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

 


Time has an funny way of slipping by, doesn't it? This is the 1000th piece I've composed on this site since I started it on June 6, 2006. I used to make a lot of comments under various articles on the left-leaning w website, Alternet. I would sign my name (no pseudonym) and my email address in case someone wanted to communicate. On that morning I received a note from a woman in Missouri who suggested that I start my own blog. Not being that computer savvy at the time (I've improved somewhat) I asked her how I could do it. She replied, "Go to Blogger.com, they'll walk you through it". I did. The rest is infamy.

Here are some recent observations:

1. The GOP's QAnon Crisis:

"QAnon is a disproved and discredited far right conspiracy theory alleging that a secret cabal of Satan-worshiping, cannibalistic pedophiles is running a global sex trafficking ring and plotting against former U.S. president Donald Trump. who has been fighting the cabal. According to U.S. prosecutors, Qanon is commonly referred to as a cult."

I don't think that it is really that much of a stretch of the imagination to conclude that the "party of Abraham Lincoln" has flipped its lid. These jokers are not relegated to the fringes of the GOP. On the last election day, two of its adherents were elected to congress. The time is long overdue that that party be consigned to the shit pile of history. Wishful thinking, I know.

2. Impeachment Revisited:

Two weeks from today, the former president of the United States will stand trial in the senate for inciting a bloody riot that cost five people their lives. This attempted coup d'etat is the worst presidential infraction since Andrew Jackson's horrific Trail of Tears (Look it up). Some are implying that impeaching a president who is no longer in office doesn't make any sense. In fact there is a precedent for it. In 1874, when Ulysses S. Grant's Secretary of War found out that he was about to be impeached by the House and Senate, he resigned his post in order to avoid the whole embarrassing debacle. He was impeached nonetheless.

Donald Trump needs to be held accountable for his crimes against the people of the United States. This is something that needs to be done as soon as humanly possible. If he stands acquitted when when this nightmare if finally behind us, the shame will be ours.

3. Oh, and speaking of Andrew Johnson....

By this time next year, his hideous mug will be wiped of our twenty dollar bill - to be replaced by the image of Harriet Tubman. Nice!

4. The New Normal:

For people like me who make their names commenting on the train-wreck of American politics, the age of Donald Trump was indeed a golden one. All of that craziness is behind us. Joe Biden is soooo boring - much in the same way that Barack Obama was soooo boring. Donald Trump was many things - "boring" was not one of them, but that's okay. After four long years of the complete insanity of the Trump regime, I think we could all use a little bit of well-earned boredom. Perhaps we might rely on Kamala Harris might raise a bit of ruckus every now and then.

5. Lennon Politically Corrected:

A couple of months ago the John Lennon estate, observing the fortieth anniversary of his passing, released a two-record-set of his most iconic recordings - newly remixed from the original multi-tracked, master tapes. To my great disappointment - in an obvious bow to political correctness, his greatest and most important recording, Woman is the Nigger of the world, was excluded from the collection. This is wrong in too many ways to count. When legendary activist Dick Gregory heard a low-fi demo of the song after it had just been written, he urged John to head to the studio pronto and put it out as a record. In 1972, it seemed, the only people offended by the track were a bunch of uptight white liberals.

Erasing our cultural history in order to appease certain sensibilities is always detrimental to freedom of expression. Despite the passage of nearly a half century, it is a song that still needs to be listened to and understood  - and enjoyed.

Woman is the nigger of the world. 

Think about it. 

Do something about it.

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

One thousand pieces in less than fifteen years. I never dreamed I could do it.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Woman is the Nigger of the World
by John Lennon


"We make her paint her face and dance."

Friday, January 22, 2021

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman


The United States of America has its first poet laureate. In the nearly fifteen years that I have been writing this blog, I have only twice turned it over to other writers. I need to do it again. Amanda Gorman's performance at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Wednesday completely sent me into the clouds, Keep your eyes on this young lady; she's here to stay!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

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

When day comes we ask ourselves,

where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry,

a sea we must wade.

We've braved the belly of the beast,

We've learned that quiet isn't always peace,

and the norms and notions

of what just is

isn't always just-ice.

And yet the dawn is ours

before we knew it.

Somehow we do it.

Somehow we've weathered and witnessed

a nation that isn't broken,

but simply unfinished.

We the successors of a country and a time

where a skinny Black girl

descended from slaves and raised by a single mother

can dream of becoming president

only to find herself reciting for one.

And yes we are far from polished.

Far from pristine.

But that doesn't mean we are

striving to form a union that is perfect.

We are striving to forge a union with purpose,

to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and

conditions of man.

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us,

but what stands before us.

We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,

we must first put our differences aside.

We lay down our arms

so we can reach out our arms

to one another.

We seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true,

that even as we grieved, we grew,

that even as we hurt, we hoped,

that even as we tired, we tried,

that we'll forever be tied together, victorious.

Not because we will never again know defeat,

but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision

that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree

and no one shall make them afraid.

If we're to live up to our own time,

then victory won't lie in the blade.

But in all the bridges we've made,

that is the promise to glade,

the hill we climb.

If only we dare.

It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,

it's the past we step into

and how we repair it.

We've seen a force that would shatter our nation

rather than share it.

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed,

it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth,

in this faith we trust.

For while we have our eyes on the future,

history has its eyes on us.

This is the era of just redemption

we feared at its inception.

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs

of such a terrifying hour

but within it we found the power

to author a new chapter.

To offer hope and laughter to ourselves.

So while once we asked,

how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?

Now we assert,

How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was,

but move to what shall be.

A country that is bruised but whole,

benevolent but bold,

fierce and free.

We will not be turned around

or interrupted by intimidation,

because we know our inaction and inertia

will be the inheritance of the next generation.

Our blunders become their burdens.

But one thing is certain,

If we merge mercy with might,

and might with right,

then love becomes our legacy,

and change our children's birthright.

So let us leave behind a country

better than the one we were left with.

Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,

we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.

We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west.

We will rise from the windswept northeast,

where our forefathers first realized revolution.

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.

We will rise from the sunbaked south.

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover.

And every known nook of our nation and

every corner called our country,

our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,

battered and beautiful.

When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid,

the new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light,

if only we're brave enough to see it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

THE END OF AN ERROR


"We did what we came to do - and so much more."

Donald J. Trump

Of that there can be no doubt.

Let the word go forth, from this time and place to friend and foe alike - that Donald Trump has passed the torch to a new generation of Americans. They took that torch and attempted to burn down our nation's Capitol. Ain't that something?

As I write these words there are exactly five hours left for this disgusting administration. At this moment a helicopter is parked out in front of the southern portico of the executive mansion, ready to whisk the soon-to-be former First Fool off to Andrews Air Force Base where a jet will send him hurling off to grim exile in Florida. There is a speaker is blaring a recording of Elton John's Funeral For a Friend. The president obviously chose the song. I wonder if the idiot even understands the irony.

Mike Pence is nowhere to be seen. He will be spending the better part of the day at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. For the first time since Andrew Johnson passed up attending Ulysses S. Grant's swearing-in ceremony over one-hundred and fifty years ago in 1869, Donald Trump will not be in attendance. Would he dare show his face? Honestly. Not even when Nixon skipped town in 1974 has a president been as humiliated as this.

He  has arrived at Andrews (8:34)

"We were not a regular administration." (8:47 AM)

Again, is this knucklehead even capable of perceiving irony?

"Goodbye, we love you. We'll be back in some form" (8:45)

He will never set foot in Washington again as long as he he lives (Count on it).

He is now aboard Air Force One (8:47 AM)

Hurry! Hurry!

He's airborne. He's gone. Good riddance. (9:00 AM)

Tonight Joe Biden will sleep in the White House. I sure as hell hope they have had the joint fumigated for the old guy.

I'm wondering how much damage he can do between now and high noon - even on board Air Force One. Does he still have access to the nuclear codes? Lordy, Lordy, I hope not! I can imagine the hideous old freak finally realizing the extent of his disgrace, spraying the pilots with mace, and sending the plane smashing onto the face of Lookout Mountain in Georgia. After four years of this craziness, nothing as weird as that would surprise me at all.

It will be years before we are able to overcome the sick and twisted era of Donald Trump. As I have said before, presidents yet-to-be born will still be dealing with the damage that this president has done to our once-great nation. The very fact that more people voted for him than had ever voted for a president (except Biden, of course) makes me uncomfortable living in a country with a population as civically dense as the citizens of Idiot Nation. Years ago, if I could have foreseen where we've ended up, I would have done what brothers Pete and Jeff did when they were younger: get the hell out of the USA while the getting was good. Since that is no longer an option for me (given my health), I might as well sit back and enjoy the clown show. The inaugurations of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris does not magically eliminate the nasty fact that there are some seriously crazy people slithering through the halls of congress. Keep your eyes open, your fingers crossed and your hands folded.

FUN FACT: The jackasses who follow the Q-Anon cult are saying that 12 Noon is Doomsday in the United States. Isn't that something?

Not since March 4, 1861 - which was the first inauguration of Abraham Lincoln - has DC been as on-edge as it is on January 20, 2021. Following the Trump-induced trashing of the the capitol two weeks ago today, the fringes of the extremely loony right wing have been rumbling that things could get extremely ugly today. The members of the 20,000 national guardsmen who have been shipped in for the festivities have all been vetted for fear that violent extremists have infiltrated their number. We can only hope their vetting was thorough and complete.

One of America's greatest and most enduring legacies has been the peaceful transference of power. For the first time in our history, we are not having a peaceful transfer of power. Of all of the negative legacies of Donald Trump, that one is the most shameful.

A tip of the hat to Joe Biden. Let's say a silent prayer for the man. He certainly has his work cut out for him.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT, 12:00 Noon:

Joseph Robinette Biden is now the 46the president of the United States of America. God bless us, every one of us.

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

God Bless America
Music by Irving Berlin
Vocal by Kate Smith


For the first time in a long while, I am happy.


Friday, January 15, 2021

Five Days Left

 


Twelve noon on January 20 2121 cannot come soon enough. The ticking time bomb in the oval office is hell-bent on doing as much damage to the republic that can possibly be done in less than a week. Washington today looks like an armed fortress as twenty thousand national guardsmen and women are patrolling the streets, on the lookout for the armed extremists that attempted to put an end to democracy in America one week and one day ago. I always knew we would come to this point; I was only not sure it would happen in my lifetime. Donald Trump is many, many things. One thing he is not is boring. Let's give credit where it's due.

There are now signs that what happened at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 might have been an inside job. The day before the incursion, several members of congress were seen giving a tour of the layout of the place to several different groups. This is something that had not been done since the shutdown due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus ten months ago. If there was incitement to this incursion by any elected representatives, the feds will find get to the bottom of it soon enough. Bear in mind that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for a lot less in 1953.

If  by now you re unable to understand what a danger that disgusting party is to freedom and democracy, you might as well turn of the lights and go back to sleep. This is not our parents Republican Party. It has been overtaken by a force so dark and dangerous that it needs to disappear forever into history's bottomless shithole. It's a party that, if it still exists a decade from now, should be relegated to the fringes of our national discussion. The "party of Abraham Lincoln" was represented within the capital building last week by seditionist thugs wearing sweatshirts that glorified the Nazis and carrying confederate flags. At least five people died - including one idiot rioter who accidentally electrocuted himself in the groin with a taser.

The specter of the assault on American democracy will be with us for the rest on the lives of everyone who will be old enough to remember it. For the first time in our history there was not a peaceful transfer of power. I can hardly believe that I am even writing these words. It is my belief that the entire presidency of Donald Trump should be annulled. I cannot imagine that ugly, orange face soiling the posters of American presidents that grace most elementary school classrooms throughout the country. How the hell are we going to explain this corrupt jackass to the children of tomorrow? It's going to be awkward, I promise you that.

I'm getting nostalgic for 2020, isn't that something? It's hard to believe that we have sunk as low as this.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Not Since 1861

 


It's never been this weird - not in our lifetimes at least. There was that little skirmish in 1861 that began as an extreme overreaction to the election of Abraham Lincoln, but that was all settled within four years. We can only hope and pray that the overreaction to the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris four days ago is not a harbinger of stranger days to come, and was a mere aberration. Call me a cockeyed optimist.

Forgive me, but I really need to give tip of the hat to old Mike Pence. I was certain that was he was going to give in to Trump's demand that he  invalidate the results of the electoral college. He didn't. For that alone he deserves our eternal thanks. I've never been a fan of the Vice-President (which is putting it as mildly as possible). History will be kind to him - if only for that reason. I promise that I will never again refer to him as an "imbecile". As far as I know, the rupture between him and The Donald has only one historical precedent: the relationship between Andrew Jackson and his VP, John Calhoun. At the end of his life, Jackson told someone that the single biggest regret of his entire career was not having Calhoun shot. I have no doubt that Trump is having similar feelings toward Pence today. Ain't politics a gas?

As the mob of dunces approached the capitol on Wednesday afternoon, many of them were chanting:

HANG MIKE PENCE!
HANG MIKE PENCE!
 
Some knucklehead actually constructed a gallows in the front of the building presumably for this very purpose. Not once did Trump phone the consistently loyal Pence during the siege to inquire on his well being. As a matter of chilling fact, he didn't phone anyone inside that chamber-under attack. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska says that he was informed by more-than-one high-level White House aide that Trump was actually "delighted" by the chaos that was transpiring under the capitol dome. They told him that the president was confused why some people were truly alarmed by what was happening. CNN has also obtained this information. That is the behavior of a sociopath, folks.
 
As the hours of this disgusting administration melt away, the movement to remove Donald Trump from the executive mansion is growing. It doesn't matter that he has only ten days left on his term. This sociopathic moron has his hands on the nuclear codes. There are even some Republicans who are clamoring for his removal. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is threatening to become a Democrat! The walls are closing in around Donald Trump. He's under the delusion that hell merely be able to pardon himself and walk away from the mess that he has created. Think about that! Andrew Johnson never considered a self-pardon; nor did Dick Nixon; not did Bill Clinton. The reason none of them went down that road was simply because each of them were smart enough to realize that it was a jaw-droppingly stupid idea (and please bear in mind that Andy Johnson was not the smartest knife in the drawer).
 
Keep your eyes wide on Washington in the next few days. This is the most incredible political crisis we'll ever experience as long as we live (I hope). Those of us who warned our fellow citizens in 2016 what a disaster four years of Donald Trump were going to be should stand proud. We knew what a goddamned mess he was going to make of our republic - and many of us were mocked by our peers. They're not laughing anymore, are they. 

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Friday, January 08, 2021

Trump Needs to Be Removed - NOW


It's bad enough that for the past four years we have been stuck with a president that has the IQ of a moldy bag of rancid lollipops, we have to finally admit that 
Donald Trump is criminally insane. He cannot be trusted to remain at the seat of power with the nuclear codes within reach of his gnarled little hands. Less than forty-eight hours ago he stirred up a crowd of screaming yahoos to assault the congress and loot the place. These people were so stupid that they really believed that they were going to take over the government of the United States by their insane action.  Video interviews with many of them prove it. Trump obviously believed it as well. All they ended up doing was traumatizing every thinking man and woman in the United States. 

The Trump administration has been a rolling constitutional crisis since January 20, 2017 when he vomited out what passed as an inaugural address. It's been downhill ever since. If Mike Pence and the cabinet don't have the courage to invoke the 25th amendment and forcibly remove this disgusting man from the house that was once home to Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, then the congress should do it instead. The only good thing about this nightmare of a presidency was the daily douses of unintentional humor they provided in abundance. This is not funny anymore, folks. This has devolved into a dangerous and deadly situation. He needs to be removed from that house immediately. Time is of the essence, as they say.

This needs to happen fast; technically it could be done in a matter of hours. According to the department of justice, a sitting president cannot be criminally prosecuted. That opinion is a remnant of the Watergate era when Special Prosecutor Leon Jawarski made that judgment. Personally I don't agree with it, but that's the way it is and I need to live with it. Trump and his dimwitted sons and son-in-law need to be criminally prosecuted and sent to federal prison for a very long time. The damage that the despicable punk has done to this nation will outlive most of you reading this. 

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Thursday, January 07, 2021

An Extremely Nasty Precedent


"This is going to end very, very badly. We'll just leave it at that."
`
From The Rant, November 2016
`
Gee, I really hate to say "I told you so, but....
`
The last time our nation's Capitol came under siege was during the war of 1812 when the British attempted to burn the place to the ground. They didn't succeed, obviously, but the damage the silly limeys were able to do was good enough. To put it in another context: at the time, Abraham Lincoln was a toddler.
`
For the first time in our nearly 245 year history, there will not be a peaceful transfer of power in the USA. If you are unable to gauge what a horrible precedent was set yesterday, then, you might as well go back to sleep. After addressing an audience of the babbling birdbrains he calls his "base" for over one hour, he exhorted them to head for the Capitol building. They did - and the result was disastrous. Yesterday afternoon, the president of the Unites States incited a violent insurrection against the seat of our government. 
`
This morning, the Washington Post is urging that Trump be removed from office immediately. To ask rhetorically, well, how much damage can the silly bastard do in thirteen days? is to miss the point entirely. Donald J. Trump is a psychologically unhinged man. To leave him for even an hour more with the nuclear codes is beyond reckless. The congress should impeach him, or Vice-president Pence and the cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment. Any one of these two scenarios could conceivably be done in a matter of hours. It needs to be done. The damage that this hideous twit can still do between now and January 20 is immense. We could very well regret any inaction by the government.
`
Like September 11, 2001, November 22, 1963 and December 7, 1981, January 6, 2021 will be remembered throughout American history as a grim milestone date. Never before has a chief-executive incited mob violence against the seat of the government. These extremist groups are not going to crawl back into the holes from which they came and sulk for eternity. Their plan is to fight another day. As Joe Biden pointed out a moment ago, these weren't protesters. These were insurrectionists. Those who can be identified who invaded and looted the Capitol yesterday should be arrested and charged with sedition. 
 
Amazingly, only four people died in yesterday's mayhem. One young woman was shot by someone unknown, and the other three died as the result of "medical emergencies". Seriously, there should be age limits for those attending such violent events. I cannot help but wonder the carnage that would have ensued had this been a Black Lives Matter crowd that had descended upon the Capitol Building. Can you even imagine? 
 
As the title of this piece suggests, on January 6, 2021, an extremely nasty precedent was set. It will be a very long time until this is not in the forefront of  our collective consciousness. When I started this blog nearly fifteen years ago, I never dreamed I would be writing about such things. In the film Where The Buffalo Roams, Bill Murray (as Hunter S. Thompson) ends the movie by saying, "It still hasn't gotten weird enough for me".
 
It's gotten plenty weird thank you very much.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 
SUGGESTED VIEWING:
 
Stephen Colbert's commentary on what occurred yesterday in Washington needs to be seen and heard by all.
 
 
He's right. He usually is.
 
SUGGESTED LISTENING:
 
God Bless America
Music by Irving Berlin, Vocal by Kate Smith
 
 
No comment from me is necessary.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

He's Out Of His Mind


Keep your eyes wide. On January 6, 2021, Washington D.C. might prove to be the most dangerous city in the entire western hemisphere.

As I write these words, the president of the United States is out in front of the southern portico of the White House, having a positively Hitleresque moment. Never before has the man appeared to be more disturbed and unhinged. Since he has invited untold numbers of angry yahoos to come into D.C. to raise some hell in protest of the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, he is covered by bullet-proof glass. You see, a lot of these assholes will be armed. You never know if one of them might get the bright idea that it might be a neat idea to make Donald a martyr for the MAGA cause. He would be the Martin Luther King of the extreme right. Sound crazy? Not really. Most of these folks are heartbreakingly dumb; Idiot Nation, you know.

Just now, he threatened Mike Pence in public, telling him that he'd better name Donald John Trump as the winner of the 2020 campaign when the numbers are officially tabulated later this afternoon (or possibly tomorrow). About a dozen senators and over one-hundred congressmen and women are threatening to contest the results - which should take many hours of debate. What is happening at this moment is an attempted coup. For the first time in our history, we probably won't have a peaceful transfer of power. Isn't that something? We are living through extraordinary times. We really are!

At the moment on the laptop monitor to my left, Trump has gotten the crowd whooped up into a maniacal frenzy. They're shouting in unison:

"WE WAN YOU! WE WANT YOU!"

He just now referred to the Democratic party as "an organized criminal enterprise", which is what I've been saying about the GOP for decades. A minute ago he said that he hopes that Mike Pence has the "courage" to do the right thing and thwart the will of the American people.

If you are unable to perceive what a damaging and dangerous precedent this contemptible thug is setting then you might as well go back to sleep.

FUN FACT: A good number of the jackasses currently attending this rally are not wearing face masks.

How nice! He just ended this rally by exhorting this crowd of extremists to march on the capital. This s going to end badly - but that is something I've been saying since Election Day 2016.

This has been the worst week of Donald Trump's presidency - which is an achievement in itself when you think about it. Only two days ago, the Washington Post released an hour-long tape of Trump attempting to extort the secretary of state of Georgia to "find" 11,780 votes (which is one vote more than he needs) in order to hand him a victory. At one point in the recording the president of the United States floats vague threats of criminal prosecution against the man for not complying with his demands. This is what is known as sedition - not to mention extortion.

At this moment Mitch McConnell is addressing the senate, vainly attempting his to convince his colleagues to accept the results of the election. He is actually the voice of reason in that party. A pig just flew by my window. Ain't politics a hoot?

When Trump addressed his silly masses only a few minutes ago, he spoke as a leader  (ruler) who will be living in the executive mansion for another four years. He is wrong, of course. He has lost sixty-two legal challenges. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be taking the oath in exactly two weeks. What is happening on the floor of the senate right now is the attempt of a handful of politicians to gain favor with "the base".  They only have their eyes on the 2024 campaign. They are doomed to fail and they know it.

What is happening to your once-great nation on January 6, 2021 is nothing short of disgusting.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

BREAKING NEWS, 2:00 PM: 
 
The protesters that Trump told to march on the capital yes than an hour ago are now trying to force their way in.
 
SUGGESTED READING:
 
Here is a link to watch the First Fool addressing the crowd of babbling masses, ending less than an hour ago:
 
 
It has to be seen to be believed.