Sunday, December 04, 2022

Here Comes the 118th


 

Seventy-four years ago, during the still-incredible campaign of 1948, incumbent candidate Harry S. Truman got a lot of political milage criticizing "that good fer nothin' 80th Congress". That particular congressional body, which had been sworn in in January of 1947, produced enough screaming lunatics whose names and images still dominate our national discussion down through the ages. They were a varied lot, too; everyone from Democrat John F. Kennedy to Republicans Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy. The extremist right wingers in that crowd gave poor old Harry more headaches than any normal person should endure - and they weren't all members of the GOP either. 1948 was the year that a Southern Democrat named Strom Thurmond bolted the party and formed the Dixiecrats. A civil rights amendment added to the platform at their Philadelphia convention that year was too much for some of the racist dingbats to handle.

This has got me to thinking about just what might be in store for Joe Biden in the months and years that follow. As weird as "the party of Abraham Lincoln" was three/quarters of a century ago, they still had grownups in the room back in the day. While Joe McCarthy might have stood out in his insanity (searching for communists under each rock and behind each bush) he was still - thankfully -the exception to the rule. Most Republicans at that time in our history a fairly reasonable (albeit somewhat goofy) lot.

That is no longer the case.

In 1948, most Republicans serving in both houses of congress were faithful servants of their constituents. Today the GOP is an organized criminal enterprise. That is not to imply that there are no GOP politicians left dedicated to doing good and honest work in the House of Reprehensibles - there are. The difference is simply that today they are the exception. In 1948 they were the rule.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

On December 13, 1963, Judy Garland sang this on her CBS television program. She did not announce it as a tribute to the recently assassinated president.


She didn't need to.

Have a grand week, folks.

BREAKING NEWS, 12/5/22. 11:51 PM:

Trump has called for termination of the Constitution. More on this later.

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Georgia's on my Mind


 

This is the kind of election that staggers the imagination. Bearing in mind that the people of Georgia less than two weeks ago sent back to Washington an unstable imbecile like Marjorie Taylor Greene anything is possible at this time. Consider the choices they have down there: A capable and articulate incumbent senator who is also the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Atlanta that was once run by Martin Luther King - or a former football star with the intelligence of a rancid bag of moldy doorknobs who is incapable of putting a coherent sentence together. You would think that this would be an easy one for Georgia, wouldn't you? Yeah, so would I. Unfortunately, it's not. At this moment in time, the pastor and the putz are running neck-and-neck in the polls. We should have just let the silly bastards secede in 1861.

If on Tuesday evening, we are talking about Senator-elect Herschel Walker, then, we all might as well start chanting, "Bye bye, America". This is not the way it's supposed to be in a place that some people still refer to as "the greatest country on earth". I cannot believe that we have fallen this low. I'm speechless. In the 1979 film, Where The Buffalo Roam, Bill Murray - as Hunter Thompson - said, "It still hasn't gotten weird enough for me". Trust me on this one, folks: it's gotten weird enough for me. I'm going back to bed.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWWING:

No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen

Brian Tyler Cohen is one of the sharpest political commentators out there at present. Here is a link to catch his take on the train-wreck that is Herschel Walker:

(31) Obama becomes Herschel Walker's worst nightmare with line of the year - YouTube

Check out his YouTube channel some time. The guy is great.


AFTERTHOUGHT, 3 December 2022, 11:31 PM

Here is an interesting little film. It was filmed in January of 1914 at a go-cart race in Venice, California - totally improvised. Charlie Chaplin had never appeared in his tramp outfit prior to this - and no one in the crowd recognizes him. This was one-hundred and nine years ago. Can you beat that?

https://youtu.be/-nUptPWbE88

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Vote


 

Well, hey there! It is now 1:12 AM, 8 November 2022 - the most crucial, existential Election Day of our lifetimes; one that is right up there with 1932 and 1864. We could lose everything by the time the polls close tonight - and some people a lot smarter than I am are predicting that we might - some are even predicting that we will. Say what you will about the weird times we are living through, they sure as hell aren't boring, Anything but. By this time tomorrow morning we could all be humming a requiem for America. I'm going to keep a harmonica handy just to be on the safe side. We shall see.

"Senator Herschel Walker". Can you imagine? Anything is possible in Idiot Nation. Fasten your seatbelts, kiddies.

A number of years ago, I wrote on this site a piece called "A Message to My Fellow White People". In it, I noted that the shade of America's skin tone was darkening to such a degree that, for the rest of the twenty-first century, the biggest story would be how people who are white reacted to this unavoidable inevitability. All of the craziness that we are currently witnessing throughout the American landscape is about race. It has always been about race in this country. That is the crucial thing you need to understand. Right wing politicians have always needed the boogie man of race to keep white people deathly afraid when they go to the polls on any given Election Day in any given year. The problem for them is this: in a few short years, white people will no longer be the majority in this country. Ain't that something?

I'm not-at-all optimistic about the results of today's election. In recent years, fat and lazy white politicians have seen to it that them darkies will have as difficult time as possible in casting their votes. Even a reprehensible Uncle Tom House Negro on the Supreme Court named Clarence Thomas is making it nearly impossible for democracy to flourish in the United States these days.

I cannot emphasize this enough: if you're a progressive, get out there and vote today like your life depends upon it. Bring as many like-minded friends of yours to the polls with you if you are able to. It you are a conservative: never mind.

It's now a little after three in the morning. The polls  open in less than four hours. Vote.

Strange days indeed.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT, 8:50 AM:

I finally managed to cast my ballot. They changed the location of my usual polling place and it took me two hours to find it - but I voted, dag nap it! If you haven't managed to already, get out there and vote. This is a big one, folks!

SUGGESTED READING:

A Message to My Fellow White People, July 2012:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan: Message to My Fellow White People 

Here's a link to the piece I mentioned above that I wrote a decade ago. Happy reading, campers!

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Post #1,092: Random Observations

With Megan Cullen and Jill Degan a few years ago

The following are a few unconnected observations regarding our national trainwreck. Any similarities to any persons, living or dead, are purely intentional.

1. Herschel Walker:

"It’s possible that Herschel Walker is the worst candidate the modern Republican party has ever run for national office, and in an era of conspiracy theorists, Christian nationalists and Donald Trump, that’s saying a lot."

From The Guardian

It's ironic (although hardly surprising) that I was thinking the same thing about two hours before I read the article quoted above. In my life, I have encountered inarticulate twelve-year-olds who possessed better grammatical skills than Herschal Walker. The guy makes George W. Bush and Donald Trump sound as if they're reciting Shakespeare. He's a textbook example of how badly the Grand Old Party has lowered the bar in recent years with respect to what passes for qualified statesmen and women. His opponent, Senator Raphael Warnock is so superior to him that the race appears to be a contest between Abraham Lincoln and Bobo the Simpleminded. At this moment, Warnock is ahead of Walker by a mere two percentage points. This is astounding to me. It should be a landslide. It won't be. If Walker winds up representing the people of Georgia come January, something is terribly wrong.

AFTERTHOUGHT, 11/1/2022:

In the sixteen and-a-half years that I've been writing this thing, this is the first time that I haven't the time nor the energy to complete a post. The truth is, i have lost the inclination to bring this thing to a conclusion. Sorry about that, folks. My health is not what it once was. Give me a week or so to get my act together.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY

Friday, October 14, 2022

Requiem For a Knucklehead


 

In a stunning bit of news that even shocked the likes of me (I've become somewhat unshockable these days) Donald Trump was subpoenaed yesterday to testify under oath before the January 6 committee. Watch again as this deranged piece-of-shit attempts to prove to the people of America that he is above the law. I was tempted at first to name this piece "Requiem for a Deranged Piece-of-Shit" but thought better of it at the last moment. My bad.

Yesterday's hearings proved - beyond a fraction of doubt - that Trump knew damned well that he had lost the election fair and square, but that he went on with his attempted coup regardless of the facts. Please bear in mind that virtually all of yesterday's damning testimony came from Republicans - Trump supporters who went to Washington in January of 2017 believing in Donald Trump. A small number of them may be accused of trying to save their own asses but all of them were credible. Donald J. Trump will be remembered in history, primarily, as the first former chief-executive to die in the custody of the federal authorities. 

QUESTION: Do I seriously believe that Trump should go to jail?

ANSWER: No.

EXPLANATION: "Jail" is where you go when you've had one-too-many on a Saturday night and you accidentally back your car into the plate glass window of the local pharmacy. Donald Trump needs to go to federal prison for the rest of his life.

So there.

Twenty years ago, I would find myself at times bolting up out of as dead sleep in the middle of the night and saying aloud: "My goodness! A half-witted frat boy from Crawford, Texas is president of the United States"! What a difference two decades makes. huh? George W. Bush is starting to look like George Washington. For all his flaws and utter incompetence, it must be grudgingly conceded that -
at the very least - Bush had some smart people behind him. That cannot be said about Donald Trump. That is all the argument you need for the abolition of the electoral college: the worst president (at the time) in living memory (Bush 43) and the worst president in American history (have a guess) lost the popular vote; Trump being the only president in history to lose the popular vote twice.

Fifty years from now the president of the United States, whomever he or she will be - whom in all likelihood hasn't even been born yet - will still, on a daily basis, be dealing with the damage that Trump did to his once great nation all of those decades before. What will the future generation of historians say about this generation of Americans who were foolish enough to send a so obviously unqualified a man to the White House? We can't sooth ourselves with the rationalization that at least he lost the popular vote in 2016. That doesn't cut it. It should have been a landslide. 

It's not certain if yesterday's hearing will be the last one. If Trump honors the subpoena it will probably be the first time in his life that the old dingbat ever does anything honorable. If he doesn't show up he should be charged with contempt of congress. Either way, the rest of 2022 promises to be mighty interesting.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY


Saturday, October 08, 2022

Take Back "The Party of Lincoln"

 


This country has gotten to a point where we have become so divided that it almost seems that some people will have nothing to do with others who might be ideologically opposed to their way of thinking. Bill Maher commented on this the other day on his Real Time program. This is not an option for me. If I felt that way, I would have to become a hermit. I live in an area of New York State that is still, in 2022, fairly rock ribbed. Here in Orange County we are directly across the river from Dutchess County - which is where Hyde Park, the lifetime home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is located. If you ever find yourselves in these parts, I highly recommend the FDR Library and Museum in that town. Think about this: the four times that Roosevelt ran for the White House, he lost Orange County - every single time. I'm almost embarrassed to tell you this. Orange County is where the West Point Military Academy is located. Although it's not quite as bad as it was in the Fabulous Forties, it's still pretty conservative.

And yet, as conservative as my home turf undoubtedly is, I don't know any rabid, violent and crazy MAGA/Trumpers in these parts. Oh, they're here alright, it's just that they're not as much of a force to be reckoned with as they are in other regions of the nation. There used to be such a thing as responsible and thoughtful Republican politicians. One of them was a guy named Ben Gilman (1922-2016) He was our congressman here in the Hudson Valley from 1973 to 2003. He lost his seat when it was gerrymandered out of existence by Dick Cheney and then-New York governor George Pataki. You see, Ben wasn't the kind of guy to mindlessly tow the Grand Old Party's line; he had to be done away with. For their troubles, Cheney and Pataki were delivered two Democratic congressmen -
Ben Gilman
one of whom was the first openly gay man elected to the House!
 Ain't that a hoot? Ben Gilman was a good man and a friend of my father's. He always got my vote. When the chairman of Orange County's Democratic Committe once expressed alarm that I had cast my vote for him I replied, "Nominate a better candidate than Ben Gilman and they'll have my vote.

Margaret Chase Smith
It's time to face the music and admit that we don't have Republican politicians like Ben Gilman anymore - or Margaret Chase-Smith (1897-1995). She was the GOP senator from Maine who could only be described as the Liz Cheney of her day. At a time when a reprehensible drunkard named Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee were running roughshod over the United States Constitution, ruining lives with accusations of communist collusion, Margaret Chase-Smith stood up to them on the floor of the senate. It was a brave thing for her to do as Joe McCarthy and HUAC were extremely popular in New England. Even Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy (you know, the guy who wrote "Profiles in Courage"?) didn't have the guts to stand up to them. At one point she had the chutzpa to seek the Republican nomination for the presidency. Are there any statues of her? There should be.

I could name others: Millicent Fenwick, Barry Goldwater, Everett Dirkson - not to mention Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and John McCain. Heck, even Ronald Reagan is starting to look reasonable.

I believe that something like a one-party-system wouldn't be a good thing for America. That's why I believe that, if you are registered to vote in Republican primaries, you should be alarmed at what the crazies are doing to the GOP. You need to get to work taking it back from the loonies who have hijacked it before it's too late - as it will be very soon.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTEN ING:

A Declaration of Conscience
by Margaret Chase Smith.

Here is a link to listen to a reenactment Margaret Chase Smith's speech on the floor of the senate on June 1, 1950. Unfortunately, it was not recorded.


It should be etched in stone. Where did I put my chisel?

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Uncle Clarence's Ginni Problem


 Clarence Thomas has a big problem. 

First of all, Judge Thomas has no business being on the Supreme Court. His presence is an embarrassment to anyone with an IQ above room temperature. We now know that he is as corrupt as anyone who has ever sat on that bench. How this pathetic Uncle Tom Negro is able to sleep at night is a question for the psychiatrists and not for me. 

And we now have absolute proof of his corruption: he has been caught red handed making decisions on cases in which his wife is involved. When a recent decision involving weather or not emails between Gini and Mark Meadows could be released to the January 6th committee, Thomas was the only one of the nine justices who voted NO. Did he believe that no one would notice blatant the conflict-of-interest? Who knows what the silly bastard is thinking on any given day.

As soon as the loyal party of opposition retakes the House and Senate in January (Oh please-Oh please-Oh please) he needs to be impeached at once. In fact, the removal of Clarence Thomas should be their first order of business in January of 2023. 

My knowledge of American history is quite broad and comprehensive. If there is any associate justice from our past who was as corrupt as Clarence, I'm not aware of it.  Even my ancestor, Roger Brook Taney, who illegally schemed with President James Buchanan to have the Dred Scott Decision passed into law, was not quite on the same level of corruption as Judge Thomas.

Almost exactly fifteen years ago, I wrote a piece about Clarence Thomas on this site. An Excerpt: 

According to [Judge] Thomas in his recently published memoir, My Grandfather's Son, when he received his diploma from Yale Law School, he put a "fifteen cents" sticker on it and relegated it to the basement of his home. You see, Clarence Thomas believes that it was the very existence of affirmative action that made his law degree all-but-worthless. To his way of thinking, he would have been much better off had he just pursued his dream of becoming a lawyer only on the merits of his talent and abilities and not relied on the good intentions of all those evil, white, liberal, do-gooders. In his mind, his place on the Supreme Court would today be all-the-more significant and he would be sitting on that revered bench free of the guilty conscience that obviously torments him to this very day. His place in the halls of justice would have meant so much more had all of those silly and stupid Great Society types not interfered with his ambitions.
.
Question: Just where do you think Clarence Thomas would be today had it not been for affirmative action?
.
Answer: He would be mounted on the front lawn of some beer distributor's home in Albany, Georgia, wearing a jockey uniform and holding a lamp.

FUN FACT: I believe that Anita Hill was telling the truth.

Yeah, Clarence Thomas has got to go - the sooner the better. We can no longer afford to have this unenlightened buffoon sitting on the highest court in the land. It's embarrassing.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

The Brethren 
by Bob Woodward

This look into the late seventies Supremes is well worth your time.

Hi ho.
.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lauren and Matty and Marge (Oh My!)


 

Here is a grim scenario that even some elected officials are putting out there as a possibility should the looney right wing take back control of the House of Reprehensibles in just a few short weeks:

Their first order of business would be to elect a new Speaker of the House. Since there is no set-in-stone rule that says the Speaker must be a sitting member of congress, they could choose anyone they please. There is talk about giving the gig to Donald Trump. Then they pull off a mock impeachment trial of Biden and Harris, remove them from office then send Trump back to the White House. Does that sound fantastically farfetched to you? Yeah, it does to me, too. But I guarantee you that they're contemplating such a despicable move as I write these words.

The fact that so many awing states are run by election-denying right-wing governors should give every thinking man and woman out there a knot in their stomachs. The plans are in the works for a good old fashioned American coup d'tat on Election Day, and later in January. Whether of not it will be successful is anyone's guess - but a full third of the inmates of Idiot Nation would support the plan. Most of the German people were not supporters of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in 1933, but that didn't stop the slimy little bastard from seizing power later on that year at the sudden death of Paul Hindenburg later on that year. Anything can happen between now and then.

The devolution of that party in the past forty years has really been something to behold. Long gone are the thoughtful and intelligent Republicans such as Millicent Fenwick and Margaret Chase-Smith. Hell, as much as I couldn't stand Ronald Reagan back in his day, the guy is starting to look like Thomas Jefferson. That's how far "the party of Abraham Lincoln" has fallen.

Strange days indeed.

Tom Degan- Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

100 years ago, the Flappers were a force to be reckoned with. They were the first of the "New Woman' movements. Today some of us may giggle at the image of the Flappers without much understanding them. When this documentary was filmed, a lot of them were able to sit down for interviews. That wouldn't be possible today. Sit back and hear their stories.

The Flapper Story - Roaring '20s Documentary - YouTube 

Happy viewing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

POST #1,087: Random Observations



Forgive the delay of nearly two weeks....Health issues. This getting old business is for the freakin' birds.

The following is a collection of unrelated observations made from being a correspondent inside the American train wreck. Any resemblances to any persons - living or dead - are purely intentional. Happy reading, campers!


1. More Worst, Less Better:

Smile now, Sonny Boy.

It's becoming more clearer by the day that the criminality of the previous administration was worse than any of us could have imagined. What was his need in taking so many files of Top Secret and Classified documents with him when he left the White House? The Feds ought to obtain a warrant for the closed circuit security cameras at his place in Florida, studying the faces of every person who walked into the joint between January of 2020 and September of 2022. My guess is that they'll be able to spot a few of Putin's top intelligence operatives in the mix. Study the records of every guest that who checked in. Do I think for a minute that Donald J. Trump would sell our valuable secrets to Vladimer Putin for a huge amount of cash? Absolutely I do. Someday, 
Trump will die. When that day comes, he will be in the custody of the federal authorities. Mark my words, kiddies.

2. A Far-Right World to Come:

Years ago in 1980, when I was attending college, a sociology professor named Dr. William Byrne, told his class of wide-eyed students that in the years to come, this country would move so far to the extreme right that, by the time the twenty-first century came along, we wouldn't recognize it. He saw the possible election of Ronald Reagan that year as a dark harbinger of things to come. A few months later, on Election night 1980, I happened to be seated next to Dr. Byrne inside Goshen, NY's old Orange Inn when it was announced on the television that Reagan would be the next president of the United States. He shook his head, gulped what was remaining of his beer, and walked out of the place. At the time I thought that he might be overreacting; that things wouldn't ever get as bad as he imagined. He was a very wise and prescient man.

3. Trump in '24?

Dr. Byrne's worst nightmares on steroids will be realized if Trump is reelected in two years' time. Trust me on this one, folks, this is not a road we want to travel down again. And yet every poll I read as either him or Ron DeSantis receiving the 2024 Republican nomination. By the way, Governor Ron is being investigated at this moment for sending a plane loaded with human beings to Martha's Vinyard. It's called "Human Trafficking". Of all of the placed in America he could have chosen for their destination, I'm sure he chose The Vinyard for its close association with the Kennedy family and liberalism. What an asshole.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Robert Costa is one of the best political reporters on the job these days. He was interviewed on PBS's Frontline two weeks ago. His observations on the former president are jaw dropping.

A journalistic legend in the making.

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Some Thoughts on Queen Elizabeth


 
Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl but she doesn't have a lot to say
Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl but she'll change from day to day
I wanna tell her that I love her a lot but I got to get a belly full of wine
Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, 
Some day I'm gonna make her mine, oh yeah
Someday I'm gonna make her mine.

Sir Paul McCartney

King Charles III
King Charles III
King Charles III


This is going to take some getting used to.
`
Truth be told, Until the year 2021 rolled around, I never spent that much time thinking about her majesty the queen. If I had been born a British subject, I would probably today be a Republican. I always admired the lady, and thought that she was a really class act, but I'm just not crazy about the idea of "royalty". I don't believe that any royal "highness" is any higher than me - or you. 

Here is something to ponder: Were you aware of the fact that I am in line for the title of King of England? That's right, folks! I am a direct descendant of Kings Edward the First and Second of Merrie Olde England. This got me to thinking that being the king of England would be a pretty good job. How many of my older male relatives would I need to bump off in order to get the gig? It was only when I realized that I would have to send my older brother Jack and my cousins Bill and John Barris off to permanent Dreamland that I thought better of the scheme. I have to sleep at night.

It wasn't until the insane antics of her son and grandson starting making headlines that even I was unable to ignore (I'm sure that I don't need to name any names here, do I?) that I became very compassionate in my feelings for her. As I opined on this site in an afterthought only a few months ago: "The poor woman is recently widowed, she just turned ninety-six - SHE DOESN'T NEED THIS!"

In case you haven't heard the news, Queen Elizabeth stepped gently into eternity early this morning. She had a nice long life, and although I think that it wasn't always happy, I believe that it was secure and comfortable. But it's hard to contemplate the fact that she has been on the throne for fourteen U.S. presidents (going back to Harry Truman) and sixteen British prime ministers (going back to Winston Churchill). It's amazing to me, born six years after her coronation, that she will no longer be a figure on the international stage. 

Even this incurable lefty is unable to forget that she did much good in her life and that her heart always seemed to be in the right place. Please, correct me if I am wrong. Rest her sweet soul.

God save the King and all that jazz.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

At a time when the Britiish people were being pulverized by the bombs of Nazi Germany, thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret took to the BBC airwaves to gently reassure the children of England that all would be well in the end. Here is a link to listen to that broadcast:


Hooray for the children of England!



Friday, September 02, 2022

Come Together Right Now Over Joe


 

"We are still an America that believes in honesty and decency and respect for others....We are still. at our core, a democracy."

Joe Biden

Joe Biden tried to do last night what few presidents in history have ever even attempted: He tried to bring the country together. I always suspected that the day would come when a president would be forced to give a speech such as the president gave last night, it's just that I never dreamed that it would happen in my lifetime. Strange days indeed.

To his eternal credit, Biden acknowledged that most people who are registered to vote in Republican primaries are decent and consciences people, but that a significant minority of them (my term) are out of their minds. They are no longer "The Party of Abraham Lincoln". They have become "The party of Donald Trump". If that last sentence doesn't give you something to think about, nothing will.

I am no longer able to vote in Democratic primaries. In 1998 I became an Independent, but I have always leaned with the Dems. The reason for my defection were the Clintons. They moved the party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt so far to the right, I figured that there was no longer a point in staying there. But honestly, The GOP has become so extreme that Bill Clinton is starting to look like Abraham Lincoln. It's gotten that weird, boys and girls.

To witness people like Chuck Grassley and Kevin McCarthy warning Americans that an army of 87,000 armed IRS agents will soon be showing up at their doors to kill them stuns the senses. This is the equivalent of putting a virtual bullseye on the back of people who work for the federal government. How completely sick and irresponsible is this?

Tome Degan Goshen, NY

AFETRTOUGHT, 9/4/22:

SUGGESTED VIEWING

Here is Joe Biden's speech from the other night. It  needs to be seen:

Full: Biden Addresses Threats To American Democracy In 'Soul Of The Nation' Address - YouTube

Watch this.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Keeping Up With the Alex Jones


 

One of the hallmarks of Idiot Nation is that an unhinged, bloviating gasbag like Alex Jones could be taken seriously by more than a small room-full of low-IQ hammerheads who are unable to access the outdoors or sharp objects. And yet he has been able to make millions of dollars in recent years exploiting the paranoia of a mass, insane clown posse with lots of money to spend and the right to vote. Since the death of Rush Limbaugh two-and-a-half years ago, Jones has been the king of right wing media.

All of that is about to change forever.

A mountain of acrimony and sweet vengeance is about to come crashing down, burying Alex Jones forever. He has spent the better part of nine years dismissing the tragedy as a hoax and dismissing the twenty little boys and girls who were slaughtered in a Connecticut schoolroom in December of 2012 as "actors". For years, the parents and victims of these families have suffered from verbal harassment and physical danger from the assholes who comprise Alex Jones' "base". The years of lies and accusations

thrust upon these families cost Jones nearly fifty million dollars in a Texas courtroom last week. More lawsuits ar scheduled in Connecticut in the weeks and months to come. 

Alex Jones is finished.

This is really a funny thing to behold. Watching him being


humbled and humiliated by a perfectly reasonable judge in an American courtroom must have been the ultimate got'cha moment for the families of the children and the six women whose job it was to educate and protect them. It's also a got'cha moment for the people of Newtown. After Donald Trump went to the White House in 2017, the Sandy Hook School Board, knowing of the close association between Jones and Trump, sent the president a letter imploring the president to tell Jones to stop slandering their school and town as he was doing real damage to both. The president never replied.

Alex Jones will soon be gone. So will Donald Trump. Bet the farm on it.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY

SUGGGESTED READING:

Massacre in Newtown, from The Rant, 15 December, 2012:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan: Massacre in Newtown 

I wrote this piece on the morning after the tragedy. I  knew from the first that these kids weren't acting.

AFTERTHOUGHT, 8/18/22, 4:38 PM:

Liz Cheney is a great American.

I can't believe that I just wrote that last sentence.

Two nights ago when she conceded her loss in the Wyoming congressional primary (which she lost to a dim-witted and reactionary House Negro named Hariett Hageman) she made what has to be one of the greatest political speeches of my lifetime (I just turned sixty-four on the 16th).

Over a year ago I said on this site that she should be nominated for the Profile in Courage Award that is given away by the Kennedy Library every year. I was delighted when she received the prize for 2022 (not that Caroline reads The Rant - I'm sure it was merely a coincidence). I have hardly ever agreed with her on anything, and I was sincerely alarmed a number of years ago when she announced that she was making a run for congress. My feeling at the time was that no good could come from any kid of Dick Cherey's. But it is hard not to admire her for the way she stood up to the right wing SCREAM MACHINE at a knowing cost to her political career. She is one of the very few Republican politicians currently holding national office who will stand like a rock in history.

Here is a link to view Liz's concession speech on CNN:

Watch what Cheney told supporters after losing Wyoming GOP primary - YouTube 

Somewhere, Jack Kennedy is smiling.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

A Heap of Trouble


 

I imagine that the heirs of Richard Milhaus Nixon will sleep a tad more soundly tonight. No longer will The Trickster be the standard by which presidential corruption is held up as an example. Donald Trump's lifetime of grift, theft and corruption are coming crashing down on his clueless little head. As I write these words, the chickens have come home to roost with a vengeance that he never - in his wildest and weirdest dreams - could have imagined. In the early evening hours of August 11, 2022, there is no doubt in my mind that Trump will be the first former chief-executive to die in the custody of the federal authorities. We can only pray that he is the last. 

The latest drama began two nights ago when the FBI served a search warrant on The Donald's gold-plated shithouse in Florida, Maril-ago. It seems that Trump had skipped town in January 2021 with a boat-load of extremely classified documents. The MAGA-brained extremists who constitute Trump's most devoted supporters have hit the roof. Steve Bannon has proclaimed that the Biden administration will try to have Trump assassinated; the right-wing SCREAM MACHINE has proclaimed the FBI to be the enemy of the people. In Ohio at 9:15 this morning, some demented little twit with not an ounce of common sense, opened fire on a local FBI field office with a nail gun and an AK-15. After leading the feds on a high speed chase, they were able to take him down.

Aren't these interesting times? Seriously!

This all started  forty-one years ago when the American people stupidly sent a feeble-minded, failed B movie actor to the White House whose mantra was "Government isn't the answer to our problem, government is the problem". It's a general rule of thumb that putting people in charge of government who don't believe in government is not a particularly good idea. Just a thought.

Tom Degan, Goshen. NY


AFTERTHOUGHT, 8/12/22

Stephen Colbert had Joe Biden's press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, on his program last night. She was an excellent guest. Here's a link to catch it on YouTube:

How Karine Jean-Pierre Feels When Her Boss Joe Biden Gets Dragged On Late Night TV - YouTube

I am completely in love with Karine Jean=Pierre. That's typical of me. I'm always falling in love with women who are totally inaccessible. They either live on the other side of the planet, they're lesbian - or they're dead.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Reset


 


In case you've noticed, this is the first piece I've written in slightly over a month. I didn't really intentionally abandon the blog, it's just that we're experiencing (as I'm certain you are) the longest heat wave in years - possibly ever. The upstairs office across the hall from the room that I sleep in has been so hot that one could roast a duck in it. I haven't attempted to do this because I'm rather fond of ducks. Another reason for my silence is simply because the January 6 hearings in June and early July left me speechless. The more I learn, the less I want to know.

And the more we learn, it's harder each day to avoid the ugly fact that the United States is teetering on the precipice of authoritarianism. When it was learned late last night that the feds had served a warrant on Trump's place in Florida in order to seize classified documents he removed  from the White House when he skipped town in 2021, the MAGA-brained crazies who claim him as their fearless leader went into a full tilt freakout mode. Many of them are now threatening civil war. 

Idiot Nation.

Although privately proclaiming total devotion to the half-witted sociopath and common pervert who served as the nation's 45th president for four EXTREMELY long years, more-than-a few Republican politicians are beginning to see the very blinding light. They see Trump as an albatross that needs to be removed from their midst between now and the 2024 primary season - the sooner the better. More and more Americans are starting to understand how completely unhinged and out- of-touch Donald Trump is with the sweet concepts of reality. The very fact that he was elected to begin with fills the rest of the world - once so respectful and envious of the United States - with dread, loathing and horror.

Keep your eyes wide open. It is my sincere belief that this deranged moron will start another violent insurrection given the opportunity. 

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

















AFTERTHOUGHT. 8/11/22, 5:30 PM:

Olivia Newton-John

To be perfectly honest with you, I never spent too much time listening to the recordings of Olivia Newton-John back in the day. Her style of song was never really my thing. I was (and still am) more of an FM kind of a guy. To the best of my recollection, the only record of her's that I ever purchased was a 45 RPM of Xanadu - which I loved. And yet, for reasons I cannot quite explain, the news of her passing made me quite depressed. Perhaps it was for the way she conducted herself throughout her life; always cheerful, optimistic and upbeat. That's something to be admired, especially in the modern world. Here is the song of her's that I loved the best:



The common denominator of everyone who has eulogized her has been an emphasis on her kindness and gentleness. God rest her sweet soul.