Saturday, December 15, 2018

POST #823: Random Observations

A few years ago at Franklin D. Roosevelt's lifelong home
`
The following are a collection of disjointed, unrelated and unhinged (if you prefer) that I had scribbled on the backs of various envelopes or out on the internet.
 
1. A Half-hearted prophecy:
 
I posted this on the NY Times website nearly a year before the election of Donald Trump. Although at the time I viewed his presidency as improbable, I didn't dismiss the possibility outright. After all, I was a citizen of Indiot Nation.
 
Trump is merely sucking up the most oxygen i...n the clown tent. I really don't believe that he will be nominated at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Then again, that's what I said thirty-five years ago regarding a feeble-minded, washed-up "B" movie star; I said the same thing twenty years later about a half-witted frat boy from Crawford, Texas. I had better check myself. With the United States as seriously dumbed-down as it has become during the last four decades, it's probably a good rule of thumb not to dismiss the possibility of something that at one time would have been seen as impossible - or at least highly improbable. Expect the unexpected; foresee the unforeseeable. Yeah, American politics has gotten that weird. They're coming to take us away. HA! HA! HEE! HEE!
 
Donald Trump has thrown a nasty little monkey wrench into the electoral process to be sure. A half century ago, no one in his or her right mind would have taken a Trump candidacy seriously. It's a different world. Trump is the price that the GOP is forcibly paying for spending the last forty years pandering to a constituency of extremists, imbeciles and crazy people. The chickens have come home to roost - with a vengeance, baby!
 
2. Good Old Joe Biden
 
I heard on CBS News Radio in New York City this morning that Joe Biden is asking close confidants if they think he will be too old to run for the presidency in 2020.
 
Dear Joe,
 
I wish you had gone for the Big Prize during the primaries two years ago. You stepped aside, I'm sure, because you knew that the very real possibility of a woman being elected as chief-executive was too big a thing to stand in the way of. It was an honorable thing you did, and you have to be admired for that completely selfless act. As things unfortunately turned out, Hillary Clinton turned out to be the worst nominee the Democrats coughed up since Mike Dukakis thirty years ago. I mean, she couldn't beat Donald Trump! That is an achievement in itself if you think about it for a minute. Had you decided to run then, I have no doubt you would have received the nomination and that you would have gone on to easily clean Donald Trump's clock.

That being said, you will be seventy-eight on Inauguration Day 2021. Should you be re-elected in 2424, you'll be eighty-six when your second term expires on January 20, 2029. If you decide to run in two years and you are able to get the nomination, I'll support you with everything I've got; but I think you should reconsider. You had thirty-six years as a successful senator from Delaware - and,  on top of that, another eight years as vice-president. Think it over, Joe.

Gee, I hope Joe Biden reads this blog.

3. Something's Gotta Give

At this moment in Washington, Robert Mueller's courtroom has been completely cleared of any spectators for what is being described as "a secret grand jury hearing". Not only has the courtroom been emptied, the entire floor has been sealed air-tight.

The proverbial substance is about to hit the fan; mark my words, girls and boys. And just in time for the holiday, too!

4. All American Dictatorships:

Although the recent election in Wisconsin saw more of the citizens of hat state voting Democratic, thanks to shameless gerrymandering, more republicans were elected to the statehouse. And although key state offices had been taken by the Dems, outgoing governor Scott Walker has just passed a bunch of laws that severely restrict the power of the new governor. This is just the sort of thing we should have suspected Walker would try to pull off. From the beginning of his political career, the guy has proven himself to be as corrupt as the nights are long.

Something similar is also happening in the state of Michigan. What's been happening for the last forty years is that our freedoms have been chiseled away from the rock of what used to be  a fairly robust democracy at such a glacial pace that very few people have been  aware enough to take notice of it. Wisconsin and Michigan are merely laboratories of the authoritarian future that these clowns have in store for all of us.

Buddy Clark
5. Chill on the "Cold Outside"

There is now a movement to have Baby, It's Cold Outside banned forever from America's airwaves. The tune was written seventy-plus years ago by Frank Loesser. It was first recorded in 1949 as a duet by the singers Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark. Some are today implying that the lyrics are about date rape. It's not. Although it has never been one my favorites, it never translated to me to mean something as vile as that. I believe that it would not have been such a big hit on American airwaves if that had been the case. It's just a mediocre little ditty from a completely different time. Chill.

6. And in Conclusion....

The Trump Administration has been a rolling constitutional crisis since 12 noon on January 20, 2017. We're in for the worst of it yet. The Donald's babbling Tweet storms (a total of seven yesterday alone) are proof that the man is losing whatever slender hold on reality he may have already had. I've said this so many times that it's become a catchphrase with me. Forgive me, but I need to repeat myself:

This is going to end badly.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Baby, It's Cold Outside
by Buddy Clark and Dinah Shore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XTDzgKdHAY

Seriously, I think some folks are overreacting.
 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Another Day Deeper

Our esteemed president didn't do himself any favors the other day when he sat down for a photo-op with his political opposition in the Oval Office. It was quite a scene to be sure. Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were quite animated throughout the event. Mike Pence, on the other hand, looked for all the world as if he was auditioning for the lead role in the sequel of Weekend At Bernie's. It was something to behold.

For each day that passes, it is clearer that The Donald is digging himself deeper and deeper. It's no longer a case of "if" (it never was a case of "if" as far as I was concerned), it is only a matter of "when". He's already looking at two felony raps with potentially more closing in. Already questions are being asked about his 2017 inaugural festivities. People are starting to question why it was the most expensive inauguration in history when it didn't have much of a bang for its buck....many millions of them to be exact. His party  cost more than twice as much as Obama's bash in 2009, and yet many more people attended that event - in spite of Trump's denials.

MESSAGE TO REGISTERED REPUBLICANS: YOUR PARTY HAS LOST ITS FUCKING MIND. GET OUT WHILE THE GETTING IS GOOD.

This used to be "the party of Abraham Lincoln". It's not anymore. Lincoln's influence on the GOP ended at 7:22 on the morning of April 15, 1865 when he breathed his final breath. Wake up and smell the elephant shit.

I've just met a girl named Maria
And as if all of these things weren't bad enough to begin with, the feds have convinced a Russian operative, Maria Butina, to "flip". Should Trump really be concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. As a spy she seemed rather low rent for no other reason than the fact that she stood out so loudly. Before her nefarious deeds came to light I was aware of her - and, in hindsight, I think it was just a bit unusual that, very early in the campaign, Trump took a question from her despite the fact that I don't believe she had substantial press credentials. The Butina Affair may turn out to be a false alarm. Trump has not said much in public about her since her arrest in August, so this fact tells me that he's not much worried about it. I'm sure you've noticed that it’s only those cases that he publicly freaks out about where you know damned well he's got a whole lot to hide. We shall see.

Anyone bothering to pay attention from the time that Trump won the election in November of 2016 knew beyond a doubt that this was going to end badly. I said as much on this site at the moment that the disgusting piece of shit made his concession speech. But even I never dreamed it would turn out as bad as this.

AND THE KIDS?

As corrupt and despicable as the Nixon Gang was, as thoroughly depraved as the Bush Mob was, one could never say a disparaging thing against their kids. Julie and Trisha were as good as gold. Jenna and Barbara were the salt of the earth. On the other hand, it would appear to me that Trump's three oldest children are going to end up doing some SERIOUS time. All of them are ensnared in the web of circumstances and there's no getting around it. This is why I'm unable to scarcely fathom the complete and utter mess this doomed nation has found itself in. We should have seen this complete and utter catastrophe coming, folks. We didn't. We won't have to live with the outcome of out stupidity. We'll  all be dead in ten years.

But our children....Not even George W. Bush and Dick Nixon would have wished this upon us.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT:

With the implosion coming out of the White House, I have yet to hear of the fact that today is the sixth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Massacre. Here's what I wrote about it at the time:

https://tomdegan.blogspot.com/2012/12/massacre-in-newtown.html

Sick memories.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Poppy Revisited



I can remember the night of the 1992 election vividly. At that time I was a very active Democrat (a malady that I've since completely recovered from). I had only recently moved back to my home town after living all over the country for thirteen years. On that night a small crowd of us were gathered around a television set at the Democratic Headquarters in Goshen. When the news of the election of Bill Clinton was announced late into the evening, I was the happiest guy in town. When the soon-to-be ex-president made his emotional concession speech at around 11:30, I let out a hearty, "Fuck You, George!" My friend, the recently deceased Pat O'Dwyer, rightfully chastised me for my insensitive comment. I was definitely a sore winner on Election Night 1992. If I know me (as vaguely do) I was probably a bit intoxicated as well.
 
Hindsight is a strange thing. I really do wish Bush 41 had been reelected then. Had that happened I would probably (but not certainly) still be a Democrat. The damage that Bill (and Hillary) Clinton did to that party by moving it rightward was a shame that I'm still dealing with over a quarter of a century later. After five years of Clinton I reregistered as a member of the Green Party. When I started this blog in 2006 I became a Blank. I thought it best to have no party affiliations whatsoever.

George and "Bar"
Since the passing of George H.W. Bush on November 30, a lot of misty-eyed nostalgia has been directed at the one term he served as chief executive. It's true that he was genuinely loved by many and for good reason: he was obviously a kind and decent man  who inspired much devotion among his friends and family. It is quite easy to look fondly at his time as president because, since his administration ceased to be on January 20, 1993, the bar has been set so low that it's easy to look back on his presidency positively. The fact of the matter is that the legacy of the elder Bush is not all positive.

I really don't enjoy vomiting into the punch bowl during this otherwise lovely party, but in this morning's paper, the Associated Press took note of the fact that there are very few African Americans filing past the late president's coffin in the rotunda. There's a jolly good reason for that.

Bush, like every other Republican president since Dick Nixon, had been perfectly willing and eager to give a gentle nudge-nudge and wink-wink to white American racists. This can be traced to the 1988 campaign he waged against Massachusetts governor Mike Dukakis (whatever became of that guy?) During that run Bush approved a television ad that showed scores of prisoners - most of them black - walking through a revolving door. Superimposed over this scene was the dark and menacing face of Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who, inexplicably, had been allowed to participate in a prison furlough program. He escaped and, before he was captured, he raped a woman and nearly killed her husband. The fact that the practice had been initiated by Dukakis' predecessor - and the fact that he had put an end to the furlough program - didn't matter a bit to the Bush campaign. Although the ad was quickly yanked it had done its job: it scared the shit out of white America.

That is not to imply that Willie Horton sealed the fate of Mike Dukakis; his fate was firmly sealed on the night he was nominated by the Democrats as their standard-bearer for 1988. The truth is simply that he was a terrible candidate, almost as bad as Hillary Clinton would prove to be twenty-eight years later. He was a good person (as was Bush and Clinton I'm sure) but I don't believe that he would have been all-that-great a chief executive. Had he been inaugurated in 1989 I might very well have left that useless party years before I did. One never knows, does one.

One of the worst scandals in American political history was Iran Contra. That some real, consequential crimes were committed is beyond dispute. Bush saw to it that no one connected to it was ever punished for their crimes. When he took office, he issued enough pardons to sweep the matter under the rug of history.

Then there were Poppy's economic policies. Like Ronald Reagan before him, his treatment of the poor and working  classes were (and I'll be polite in choosing my words) misguided. What used to annoy me more than anything was his positive obsession with doing away with the capitol gains tax for a class of people (like himself) who already had more money than they could possibly spend in three lifetimes.

But George H.W. Bush's most lasting and harmful legacy was his numbskull kid. On the night George W. Bush was elected in 2000, I thought that America had hit rock bottom. I was wrong. Apparently, "rock bottom" has a ten-level cellar. Although it is unfair to personally blame the father for the real and lasting damage that the son did to this once-great nation, the fact of the matter is that if he hadn't been elected in 1988 - or, paradoxically, had he been reelected in '92 - George W. Bush might this afternoon be merely a footnote in his father's obituary.

I remember a few years into his son's presidency, Poppy was giving an address to a group somewhere when he started to talk about his son, Jeb. Without warning, the old man became emotional and started to sob. I knew then and there what he was thinking. This was about four years into the Iraq War, and by then it was obvious that it was the worst foreign policy blunder in American history. It was tragically apparent (to me at least) that the father was haunted by the thought that Jeb should have been the son to have been elected to the presidency; that the Bush name would be tarnished throughout all history by young George's corruption and incompetence. It was a gut-wrenching thing to behold. For the first time in my life I felt a sincere sense of compassion and sympathy for George H.W. Bush. 

In late 2015, when it seemed certain that Jeb Bush would be the Republican nominee for president the following year, I wrote a piece on this site decrying what a dreadful thing something like a third Bush administration would be for the United States. What a difference three years makes. I would move Heaven and Earth to have Jeb in the Oval Office at this moment.

Let's give President Bush his due: Newsweek's infamous "Wimp Factor" headline from 1988 was inappropriate at all levels. The man enlisted in the Navy on June 12, 1942, his eighteenth birthday, and flew quite a number of dangerous missions; getting shot down and almost killed at one time. He only survived by the astronomically improbable fact that a nearby American submarine took him in. Agree with him or not, he was a dedicated public servant who might have spent the rest of his life holed up at his pad in Kennebunkport getting richer still. One more thing needs not to be overlooked. During the GOP convention of 1988 he famously said: 

READ MY LIPS; NO NEW TAXES!
 
The economic mess he inherited from Ronald Reagan forced him to break that pledge two years into his presidency. It was a brave thing to do, and it more-than-likely cost him the election in 1992. Because of this, Clinton inherited the first economic surplus in decades. Did the JFK Library ever tender to Bush 41 their annual Profiles In Courage Award? I hope they did. He deserved it.

I don't think that George H.W. Bush was a "great" president. Like all chiefs executive he leaves behind a mixed record. But he was underappreciated (at least by me) during his time on this earth, and he deserves, at the very least, a tip of the hat. Compared to what's come along in the thirty years he left Washington, he's starting to look pretty good.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Kevin Kelly
January 4, 1957 - November 17, 2018 

When I was in grade school I was fortunate enough to meet a kid called Kevin Kelly. Kevin inspired me by his love of the beauty of the printed word, the English language and the joy and wonder of knowledge and learning. Kevin also exposed me to the brilliance of the great practitioners of the lost art of radio comedy’s golden age - particularly Fred Allen and Jack Benny. He instilled in me my passion for history. No one, I think, had a greater influence on my early life and the direction I would take as a writer than he. Kevin Kelly passed away at 2:30 PM, November 17, 2018, at his home in Vinton, Ohio. He is survived by his wife of twenty years, Beth.

Give me some time to adjust to this.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Cool Hand Bob

 
The comparisons are irresistible: on the one hand we have Team Mueller - noses to the grindstone, determined and dedicated, steely-eyed and serious professionals. On the other hand there are Donald Trump and Paul Manafort - stumbling about with one foot in the grave and the other foot on a banana peel. For every clever legal "maneuver" they seem to be digging themselves deeper. It goes without saying that the two of these clowns have met their match in Bob Mueller, and it sure is an amusing to behold. With the passing of each day - of each hour - this scandal gets more and more intriguing.  
 
Somewhere beyond that mysterious and unknowable void, I am one-hundred percent certain that Richard Nixon is laughing his ass off. By comparison to this, Nixon's press secretary, Ron Ziegler, was correct when he dismissed the Watergate break-in as "a third rate burglary". Trying to obtain intelligence on the "loyal opposition" in the course of a domestic, political campaign is one thing - this is something else entirely.
 
Did Robert Mueller ever seriously play poker? It would not surprise me to find out that this is the case. The guy has got the steadiest poker face I've ever seen on anyone. I've never played the game in my life, but I can tell you that I wouldn't want to find him staring me down from behind a deck of cards on the other side of any table. I've said from the beginning that when this thing is over and done, the biggest hero to emerge out of the whole mess will be a Republican. I'm banking on Bob Mueller. I can't wait until he shows his hand.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED READING:

One More Time
A Collection of Columns by Mike Royko

Royko was as good as they get. No more needs to be said. It's not up for debate so don't even bother.

 I met him once, in 1985 - in Chicago, of course. It was one of the high marks of my life.

Mike
 


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

TPN: Big Brother TV

 
"Throughout the world, CNN has a powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way. Something has to be done, including the possibility of the United States starting our own Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!"
 
The latest tweet from the First Twit
 
A state run propaganda television network run by Donald Trump? Call it a silly hunch on my part but I don't think that this is a particularly good idea. State TV is something usually associated with Russia or China - not the United States of America. Having said that, I do hope that it does indeed comes to fruition. Let's face it, folks, something like that would be an absolute howl, and would only offer volumes of material for people like me. Can you imagine? Watching grownups trying to put a smiley face on the carcass of a decomposing pig is always oodles of fun. That's what makes Fox Noise (Sean Hannity and Fox and Friends in particular) such a scream to watch. This morning woman named Clara Wilson from Bloomington, Indiana made an excellent suggestion in a comment on my Facebook page. She said that such an entity be called "TPN" (Trump Propaganda Network). Good one, Clara!

State TV in America? What the hell! He's already has the imbeciles over at Fox doing his idiotic bidding 24/7. Voice of America has been around for seventy-six years and they're broadcast reaches the entire planet earth. I have to wonder if this isn't merely the first step toward their goal of crushing every other broadcast organization that provides news and information (with the exception of Fox, of course) to the American people. Am I being paranoid? Perhaps I am. It sure will be interesting to see what this country will look like after eight years - or more of a Trump administration. I am tempted here to say that his reelection in 2020 is never going to happen but I need to check myself. As late as September of 2016 I said that the election of Donald Trump to the office of the presidency was "never going to happen". I know now better. We all know better.
 
A face in the misty light
If TPN does indeed come into existence, will Jared and Ivanka have their own wake up show? I certainly hope so. Morning Jared - I can see it now. The screaming right wing's answer to Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski (whom, in case you haven't heard the news, were married this past weekend. Save me a piece of the wedding cake, kids!) Laura Ingraham would be well advised to leave Fox for the new TPN. Laura, as you might already know, has had a mountain of trouble in the past year with sponsors bailing out on her by the boatful because of her ignorant comments on race in America. State Television, I presume, would have no advertising and she'd be free to kick out all the jams. "Laura Ingraham Unplugged". That would be something to behold! Would she let loose from time to time with the N word? Don't put it past her.

If The Donald is really serious about getting his proposed state propaganda network going, he'd better get cracking - and fast! In a little over a month the House will be back in control of the Democratic party and there is no way in hell they're going to vote to fund such a completely moronic, and possibly unconstitutional idea. The First Amendment mentions nothing about the right of the government to spew political propaganda. I just thought I would point that out. 

I never dreamed that Idiot Nation, doomed as it undoubtedly was, would sink to this level of depravity . I was wrong on too many levels to count. We've waked into the gas chambers and happily breathed-in the Zyklon B. We have sealed our fates. At one time it was a proud thing to be a citizen of this country. Now it's embarrassing. What the fuck were we thinking?

Tom Degan
Goshen, New York

SUGGESTED READING:

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
By Hunter Thompson

The best book on an American election ever written.

I had my last drink today.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Anything But Ordinary Times

The Don, Fredo, Connie and Fredo
 
I started the last piece on this site by quoting Eleanor Roosevelt. At the 1940 Democratic Convention in Chicago there was a brawl among the gathered delegates over Franklin Roosevelt's choice of a running mate that year. His former vice-president, John Nance Garner of Texas (known far and wide by his colorful nickname "Cactus Jack") was adamantly opposed to the very idea of a third term and had refused to be on the ticket. FDR wanted his Agriculture Secretary, Henry Wallace, to be named as his running mate. The movers and shakers among the Democratic Party would have none of it. For one thing, Wallace was a former Republican, and secondly, he was seen as too leftwing for main stream politics. The president held his ground. They were going to accept Wallace or he would refuse the nomination.
 
Eleanor was sent on a plane from her home in Hyde Park, NY to the site of the convention. With another world war looming on the horizon, she told the convention that 1940 was "no ordinary time", implying that unconventional choices were inevitable. The delegates relented and Roosevelt went on to win a third - and then a fourth - term. Many decades later, the noted biographer, Doris Kearns-Goodwin, would use the words "No Ordinary Time" as the title of the best book ever written on the Roosevelt White House.

That little preamble has nothing to do with what is presently happening in America, only with regard to the fact these are - most definitely - not ordinary times. In 1940, the gathering storm was occurring in foreign lands  from which two oceans buffered the United States. Seventy-eight years later, the existential threat hovering above the American landscape is not emanating from Berlin or Tokyo or Rome. Over eighty years ago the writer Sinclair Lewis wrote the novel he is most remembered for. It was called, "It Can't Happen Here". It was about a Fascist overthrow of the good ol' USA. What Lewis was clearly hinting at in the book's title was that it can happen here. It has

These days I am at the point where I don't even like leaving my house. There's too much transpiring on an hourly basis to distract one's attention from the computer screen - and I've misplaced the damned cellphone! This black comedy has taken on a new meaning with an ominous plot-shift. The time it took for this country to get to this point was at such a glacial-nails-pace that, if you weren't paying attention between 1981 and now, you didn't notice the change. That's one of my most debilitating curses: I make it a point to pay attention to these kinds of things. I'm nostalgic for Ronald Reagan. George W. Bush is starting to look like Theodore Roosevelt. I can scarcely believe that I wrote those last two sentences. The damage that American politicians have done to this doomed nation is going to take generations to undo - if it is ever undone at all.  The United States of America has become too unhinged to be taken seriously any longer. All bets are off. This is the way it's going to be from now on.

It's become a freaking mantra for me: Get used to living in a nation in ruins.

Between now and the new year promises to be one of the most interesting (and suspenseful) periods of our lives as far as domestic politics are concerned. The Trump administration is determined that the Mueller probe be thwarted and that the findings hidden from the American people forever. I believe it is their contention that by firing Robert Mueller between now and when the Democrats retake the House in January they will be able to pull this off. I don't think that they will succeed. Light will prevail. Just you wait.

By then, hopefully, most of us will be able to finally comprehend the damage that was done to us. We are accomplices in that damage. Don't you dare ever forget that.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

No Ordinary Time
by Doris Kearns-Goodwin

As mentioned above, this is the best book ever written about the White House years of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. It's still in print and is a must for history junkies.

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Black Klansman
a film by Spike Lee

I saw this one last night. Certainly not a masterpiece but very well done. Some of it was really funny - and it was all based on a true story. Recommended!


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Them ol' Whitaker Blues

SEIG HEIL, MEIN TRUMPH!
`
"These are no ordinary times."
 
Eleanor Roosevelt

It didn't take der Donald very long to fire Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Anyone paying even moderate attention knew that the dirty old psychopath would do the deed after the midterms were over; but even as blatant a cynic as I was surprised at the speed with which it was carried out. Scarcely a day after the polls closed across Idiot Nation, poor old Jefferson Beauregard was sent a'packin. Trump never attempted to conceal his reasoning: Sessions had recused himself from oversight of Robert Mueller's investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign's possible conspiracy with a hostile foreign government to subvert the election process. Trump saw this as an act of disloyalty. Had he been smart (which, of course, he isn't) he could have saved himself a wee bit of face by saying that he gave Sessions the old heave ho because he is, in non-debatable fact, the most incompetent, racist attorney general in a century or more. He didn't. I guess he couldn't bring himself to even feign compassion for any minority.

Which brings us to Mathew Whitaker. For the past fourteen months he has been serving in the Department of Justice as Sessions' chief-of-staff. During that same period he's been unethically putting himself out in the public as a regular contributor to CNN. Several times he has come out publicly, not only on television, but in print against the Bob Mueller inquiry, at times referring to it as "a witch hunt". This is not something a paid employee of the justice department should be doing. He has already made his hostility to the investigation into the 2016 campaign quite public. The very fact that he's been chosen to replace Sessions is, in itself, an act of obstruction of Justice on Trump's part. It's the same reason he appointed a hapless stooge like Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Brett had said in an article he wrote for some law review that a president has the right to pardon himself. His selection was a foregone conclusion - as was Whitaker's.

There's a little problem with Whitaker’s “appointment” and that is the constitutional fact that an attorney general just can't be installed willy-nilly by the chief executive. He or she needs to be approved by the senate - a fact that Trump has either forgotten, or is unconcerned with. Either scenario is a distinct possibility. By now it is embarrassingly apparent that the president of the United States could not pass a seventh grade civics class if his life depended on it. Or - and this is more likely - he doesn't give a shit about the United States Constitution. In the twenty-two months he's occupied the Executive Mansion, he’s made that fact abundantly clear too many times to count.

Whitaker potentially has the has the power to sweep the crimes of the Trump Mob under the historical rug for generations - although not forever (you can't escape the cold and objective judgment of history). It's being said that we have entered a constitutional crises. That's incorrect. We've been in a constitutional crises since twelve o'clock noon on January 20, 2017 when this unhinged jackass entered the house that was once occupied by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. The only difference is that this week, that crises went up a notch - a huge fucking notch.

Ain't this something?

Tom Degan

 
SUGESTED READING:
 
First Lady of the World
From The Rant, 11/14/12

This week marked the fifty-sixth anniversary of the passing of Eleanor Roosevelt. She shouldn't be forgotten. Sometimes I get the sinking feeling that she is. I wrote this one six years ago:

https://tomdegan.blogspot.com/2012/11/first-lady-of-world.html?fbclid=IwAR1G_vgVVhmhnECb6nNvtvUG7Elms6cVId8mAUKi0KlqFtieeWv-YAvbmdM

We let her go to our own detriment.
 

Thursday, November 08, 2018

The Crisis is Here



Whitaker
As was predicted by DAMNED NEAR EVRYBODY, Jeff Sessions was fired as Attorney General on the day after the 2018 midterm elections. It's one of those good news/bad news scenarios. The good news is the fact that poor old Jeff will be remembered as one of the worst AG's in the history of Idiot Nation - although, to be fair, he's got a lot of competition from John Mitchell and Ed Meese for the title. The bad news is that he has been replaced by a Trump loyalist named Matthew Whitaker who as gone on record as being against the Robert Mueller probe. His appointment - like Trump's appointment of Brett Cavanaugh to the Supreme Court (who has stated that a president has the right to pardon himself) is a naked attempt at obstruction of Justice.
 
Constitutional crisis here we come.
 
The next few months are going to be the most harrowing and extraordinary times for this doomed country in many years. I'm not saying that the times will get as strange as they were during the American Civil war - that would be a stretch. But I can say beyond a half-a-molecule of doubt if that what is about to happen in America is going to make the sixties look like the Children's Hour. Mein Trumph's base is armed and dangerous - not to mention dumber than dog-shit and bonkers as hell. Oh, yeah. This is going to get quite interesting. Quite interesting indeed. Isn't modern America a hoot? This is going to end very badly.
 
There’s a little hope on this dismal Thursday morn….very little but that's better that's better than none, ay? We’ve been experiencing a near-constitutional crisis since the moment that this nitwit was inaugurated nearly twenty-two months ago. We’re about to step into the full-tilt crisis mode. I thought it would never get weirder than Dick Nixon. I was as wrong as I’ve ever been in my life. Watergate was a paper cut. This is a freakin’ bloodbath. We have held up a mirror to the American face and twisted smirk of Donald Trump is what is being reflected. I’m nostalgic for George W. Bush. Somebody shoot me please.
 
As a lot of us predicted two years ago when the American people stupidly sent this maniac to the house that was once occupied by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, this is was no a good idea. I never dreamed that I would live to be witnessing these things. We sure do live in interesting times.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

The Constitution of the United States - you know, that document in the National Archives that Donald Trump promised to "preserve, protect and defend"? Yeah, that one! If you still support this fucking mad man, there is no hope for you.
 

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Some Gentle Advice on this Election Day


WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING WASTING YOUR PRECIOUS TIME READING THIS?
 
GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!!!
 
Love and Peace.
 
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Monday, November 05, 2018

VOTE, BABY, VOTE!


FDR VOTING,1936
"We must especially be aware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nests."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(Speaking words of wisdom)
 
To paraphrase John Lennon:

Will you remember? Remember?
THE SIXTH OF NOVEMBER!

Vote.
 
Vote with all of your heart and soul. Vote with all of the energy you possess. Vote for the future of your children. Vote for the well being of the great grandchildren who might never even know your name. Vote as if your life depends on it - because it probably does. Am I exaggerating when I bring your great grandkids into the equation? Not at all.
 
Think about it: On Tuesday, November 8, 1932 the American people went to the polls to cast their ballots for president. The candidates from the two major political parties were Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt and Republican Herbert Hoover. We all know the result of that election eighty-six years ago this week - or at least those of us who bother to learn our history know. Had Hoover won the day in 1932, this country would be an entirely different place in 2018. Had Hoover won the day all those years ago, the world would be a different place in 2018. Because of FDR, Hitler and the Nazis were ground up into mincemeat thirteen years after the election of 1932. Because of FDR our parents and grandparents are no longer driven into extreme poverty and despair when they are no longer able to work. Social Security is the most successful government program in the history of the world. As I write these words, a certain party is scheming to eliminate that very program. Guess which one?

We find ourselves in a situation today that no one could have dreamed of as recent as four years ago. American democracy is in serious danger of going the way of the Ford Edsel and the 8-Track Tape player. Unlike those products, I have a feeling that Americans will be quite nostalgic for their democratic institutions when they are gone. Call that a lucky guess on my part. In the last forty years, the Republican Party has been slowly but surely creeping toward the extreme fringes of political speech and philosophy. The pace of that movement has been at such a glacial snail's-pace that people who don't bother to pay attention to important current events (which is most Americans) were unable to notice the transformation. That someone like me could feel a sense of teary-eyed nostalgia for the likes of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan is telling. As much as I despised the Gipper and the Trickster, I'd give anything to have either one of them back in power. That's how weird things have become.

With or without the approval of Congress, in the next two years Donald Trump is going to do much harm to the United States. It is my belief that Vladimir Putin's dream was to completely destabilize this country, and that Trump was (and is) his willing agent of that destabilization. We cannot allow this unhinged maniac to have unchecked reign over our government. That is what he is seeking and that is what most Republicans will grant him if the voters of this country allows that disgusting party to retain both houses of congress tomorrow. Count on it.

Finally a little message to the young people of America: I don't blame you for not taking me or any of your elders seriously. When we came of age forty years ago, our parents handed us the most economically prosperous and stable democracy in the history of humanity. And what is our generation handing over to you kids? A dysfunctional shithole. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic here, but I don't believe that it's too late to change the future in your favor. Tomorrow is the most important, consequential Election Day since that long ago November 1932. The youngest person who voted on that day would today be 107 years old. Voter turnout in that year was massive among all demographics - the youth in particular. Their participation in democracy still reverberates all these decades later. Do you appreciate the fact that Granny receives a monthly Social Security check? You can thank the long-dead voters of 1932 for that!  The youngest person voting tomorrow was born in the year 2000. If you're between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, you need to understand that your future is in jeopardy. Vote - and get out the vote!

It's later than you think, kids.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY