Thursday, November 21, 2019

Disconnection


It's amazing, while surfing through the Facebooksphere, encountering the number of my friends, all of whom identifying themselves as professed conservatives, who are stating that the testimonies of the various career officers are complete vindication of the criminal enterprise which now occupies the White House.
 
You can't make this stuff up, folks.
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

"It's Crazy"

 
 
It's devastating. It's over.
 
Over? That's an overstated, wishful thinking on my part. Only a miracle - or a mass mental earthquake on the part of the right wing in the senate - will stop the organized criminal enterprise that we know as the Republican party from removing the disorganized criminal who now sits at the president's desk in the oval room in the west wing of the executive mansion. The testimony this morning of acting U.S. Ambassador Bill Taylor is at this morning is now underway. The opening statement of deputy assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasian affairs George Kent ended less than an hour ago. The statements of  both men are more nails in the coffin of an administration that is unprecedented in the scope of its corruption and incompetence. Again, the term "final nail" is being overly optimistic on my part.
 
Bear in mind that, twenty years ago, more-than-a-few of the same assholes defending Donald Trump today, were ready to remove a sitting president from office for lying about a cheap affair with a half-witted White House intern. Isn't that amusing? At that time, many thinking people paying attention were appalled by the legal calisthenics the GOP went through to get to that point. Imagine, if you will, the national uproar that would have resulted had the Dems had gone from Russia collusion to Stormy Daniels in the same investigation? I'll wait for your reply.  

Taylor and Kent can hardly be accused of being cheap, Democrat hacks. Both men have decades of experience as diplomats in the administrations of Democratic and Republican administrations. As I write these words Representative Nunes of California is pathetically attempting  to defend this disgusting cabal. You have to be living in a monastery to miss the implications of what is being exposed here. You need to be represented in tour democracy. You need to keep your eyes wide. We are living in extraordinary times.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT, 11/14/19:

It's over. The Trump administration effectively ended yesterday. It's over. It's over. It's fucking over.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Monumentally Unfit



 
You are about to witness just a few highlights from the new book, "The Warning". If this does net seriously alarm you. you're not paying attention. The man with the keys to the nuclear code is monumentally unfit for the office he holds. This is something that those of us who bother to pay attention to these things have known since the day he announced his candidacy in June of 2015. The book was written anonymously by someone who works in the Trump White House. It will be released to the public later this week. Here are just a few of the eye-popping goodies contained within:

“You’re stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time. Only your uncle probably wouldn’t do it every single day, his words aren’t broadcast to the public, and he doesn’t have to lead the US government once he puts his pants on.”

I have decided to publish this anonymously because this debate is not about me,” the author writes. “It is about us. It is about how we want the presidency to reflect our country, and that is where the discussion should center. Some will call this ‘cowardice.’ My feelings are not hurt by the accusation. Nor am I unprepared to attach my name to criticism of President Trump. I may do so, in due course.”

“I was wrong about the ‘quiet resistance’ inside the Trump administration. Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is.”

“It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him,”

“I’ve sat and listened in uncomfortable silence as he talks about a woman’s appearance or performance, He comments on makeup. He makes jokes about weight. He critiques clothing. He questions the toughness of women in and around his orbit. He uses words like ‘sweetie’ and ‘honey’ to address accomplished professionals. This is precisely the way a boss shouldn’t act in the work environment.”

[Regarding the President's maniacal Twitter tweets]:

“It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him. You’re stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time. Only your uncle probably wouldn’t do it every single day, his words aren’t broadcast to the public, and he doesn’t have to lead the US government once he puts his pants on.”

This can't be allowed to go on for another VERY LONG fourteen months, folks. The sooner this unhinged lunatic is permanently sent a'packing (preferably to Leavenworth) the better. The only thing that could possibly come from this disgusting president staying in office would be the complete destruction of the party that has spent the last three years enabling him. But even that rosy little scenario is not worth the severe damage that has already been done to this country. Some Republican politicians have a golden chance to be honored in history as heroes - just as we honor Howard Baker and Barry Goldwater today for their behavior during the Watergate mess forty-five years ago. It's strange that none of their 2019 counterpart are stepping up to the plate. Strange and sad.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

Rachel Maddow covered this in full last night. Here's a link to watch it on YouTube:

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

It really needs to be seen and shared by all.
 

Monday, November 04, 2019

What's the Matter with Rudy?


 
You've gotta wonder about Rudy Giuliani. You really do! I met the man once. It was at the north east corner of Madison Avenue 86th Street. At the time no alarm bells went off in my mind regarding his personal, psychological condition - as if any could. It was a brief hello on my part and a "Good to see you, pal" on his. Of course, I was not his "pal", nor was he mine. I had never seen him before and I haven't seen him since. We were two ships passing in the night - although it was around midday. My knowledge of the man comprises solely from what I read in the papers or watch on YouTube. But I've got to tell you that my history as a Rudy watcher goes back nearly forty years, which is an awfully long time by any measurement, and I must force myself to acknowledge the fact that old Rudy has lost more-than-a-few marbles in the last ten years or so. I'm imagining this. You're not imagining it either.

 
I first got wind of the fact that poor old Rudy might not be all there early on when I read a brief, biographical sketch on his life, and found out that his first wife was his second cousin. That little gem of wisdom raised a bit of a red flag with me. Maybe, I rationalized, if they had not known each other previously and had met and fell in love, that might be acceptable. But according to what I've been able to come up with, the two had known each other since childhood. But who was I to judge? If they made each other happy it was no concern of mine....except that they didn't make each other happy at all. The union ended after fourteen years. It was the first of Rudy's three marriages.
 
The last eighteen years have been an unending train-wreck of bad choices for Rudy Giuliani. Of course the truth could be said of me, too; less the pot be caught calling the kettle "black". But at least all of my bad choices were made out of the glare of the media spotlight. We all make mistakes and his mistakes are a little more visible. But on the day the man threw in his lot with the likes of Donald Trump, I knew that his lack of judgment might be pathological. That was also the moment I knew and predicted that Trump would eventually bring Giuliani down - as he eventually does to everybody unfortunate enough to come into his orbit. It is a sick fact about Trump that most of the American people, I think, have yet to fully understand: everything and everybody he touches eventually turns to shit.

His day of reckoning is sooner than he imagines. The chickens will be coming home with a vengeance. We'll just leave it at that for now. tick...tock...

Street cred?
Rudy's appearances of the talking head circuit have been something indeed to behold. This is not the Rudolph Giuliani of yore that I remember so well from the days when he was the head attorney from the Southern. District of New York, or the Associate Attorney General for the first two years of the Reagan presidency. He was always sort of goofy, no doubt; like the time he and former senator Al D'Amato dressed undercover to make a drug bust. The "hip" clothes they chose to wear on this occasion were positively laughable. but goofiness aside, Rudy was usually a lucid and thoughtful sort of guy - a rarity for any Republican politician. But in recent years he seems to have become totally unglued. He's sort of like Donald Trump in that respect. Although it's been obvious to everyone paying attention from day one that The Donald was dumber than dog-shit, there was never any serious proof that he was stone-cold crazy. Things change.

And now it would seem that Giuliani is within days of being indicted for crimes committed at the direction of Trump. These sure are interesting times.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED READING:

Orson Welles
By Barbara Leaming

I first read this biography of Orson over thirty years ago. I couldn't put it down then. Upon rereading it this week I couldn't put it down still.


Sunday, November 03, 2019

Thoughts for November

 

April 12 of next year we will (or at least I will) be observing the seventy-fifth anniversary of the unexpected passing of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. I'd like to believe that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania will have been sent a'packing by that time, but that's probably wishful thinking on my part. For those of us who are somewhat steeped in the history of America, April 12, 2020 will be a day of serious reflection. Although three-quarters-of-a-century may seem like a very long time to we mortals, in terms of the long arch of time it's a comparative flash of an instant. I can only imagine that, on that day, my mind will be pouring over the jagged irony that, in a historical instant, we've gone from Franklin Delano Roosevelt  to Donald Fucking Trump. How does something that horrible even happen? Mercy!

We really need to come to grips with the unsettling fact that the damage that is now being done to America will be felt for generations. The fact is, for those of us of a certain age, we'll be living with the reverberations of the Trump Age for the rest of our lives. I believe that fifty years from now, the president of the United States (who has probably not even been born yet) will still be dealing - on a daily basis - with the damage that this imbecile did to his country so many decades before. When one experiences a really bad dream, our subconscious knows that it is, in fact, only a dream - and that we will wake up from it in short order. We're not going to wake up tomorrow morning only to discover that the disgusting presidency of Donald Trump was just a harmless nightmare. This ain't no dream, kiddies. This is the real thing. Are you amused yet?

PREDICTION: Donald Trump will be remembered as the first chief-executive of the United States of America to die in federal custody. Does that sound like  preposterous prophecy on my part? We'll see.

Liz!
In this morning's New York Daily News, former-Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman wrote that, at the very least, the administration of Donald Trump is as bad as Dick Nixon's. She's a great public servant and a gracious woman (I had the honor of meeting her once), but she was as wrong on that score as she's ever been in her life. The fact of the matter is the scandals of The Donald pale in comparison to those of The Trickster. As I've said on this site too many times to count, Watergate was a paper-cut. This is a goddamned bloodbath. I imagine that Nixon's heirs have been breathing a profound sigh of relief these days. His reign as the most improbably corrupt president in the history of this doomed republic has come to a swift and merciful end. In fact (and I cannot believe I'm writing this) the hideous old bastard is starting to look pretty good. There are profoundly weird times.

In the meantime, the next few weeks promises to be as vile as any period we've witnessed in a long time. The justice department of Bill Barr is hell-bent on acting as Trump's private law firm. We really are living in heart-wrenchingly weird and interesting times. Dick Nixon resigned in complete and utter disgrace exactly one week before my sixteenth birthday, so I'm old enough to remember the entire period as clear as yesterday. I remember remarking to a friend at the time that the Watergate affair was the Grand Prix of political scandals, and that American politics would never again get that unhinged. I was wrong. Be sure to pay attention to everything that happens in the coming weeks and months. We are living through an extraordinary period in American history.

Cha! Cha! Cha!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Tactics of Despots


I think therefore I rant.
 
If Donald Trump has incredibly made me nostalgic for the likes of Dick Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Attorney General Bill Barr has made me nostalgic for John Mitchell and Ed Meese. Indeed, Barr has turned into such a corrupt errand boy for The Donald that his total sycophancy induces feelings of genuine pathos. Three years ago, by means of electronic mischief and other form of skullduggery, a hostile foreign nation interfered with - and may very well have altered - the American election. Naturally, the FBI launched an investigation. Fast forward three years and we learn that the attorney general, at Trump's behest, has launched his own criminal investigation - into the investigators! You know you have stepped one foot into totalitarianism when this sort of thing happens.
 
The very fact that this is occurring in the United States of America at the dawn of the third decade of the twenty-first century would under normal circumstances be shocking. But it's not shocking. As a matter of fact, three years ago in one of his debates with Hillary Clinton, he openly threatened to send her to jail if elected. On what charges he was somewhat vague on. Perhaps it was the crime of being Hillary Clinton that so offended the common pervert and tweeting twit who now resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Only last summer he attempted to extort the president of Ukraine into manufacturing a criminal case against the son of the man whom, in all likelihood, will be the Democratic nominee a year from now. This is an abuse of power that is so monumentally blatant that it should outrage and offend every American. Still, alarmingly, his approval rating stands at roughly forty percent.

Idiot Nation.

One must wonder if Bill Barr ever ponders his historical legacy. Does he understand that posterity will view him with utter contempt? Or are they planning to issue in the future state-approved "official" history books? Don't put it past these hideous bastards and bitches. They've already dipped their toes in that rancid water with high school history texts that equate Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis on the same moral plane. Ain't that something?

Eighty years ago the writer Sinclair Lewis wrote a tale of a fascist takeover on the USA. The book was called, "It Can't Happen Here", the overall message was that it could very well happen here. Look out upon America's political landscape. It's happening - with a prescient vengeance. I can just about hear Mr. Lewis doing somersaults in his grave. It's all too strange for words.  

Pay close attention to the doings of your representatives in the next twelve months - and by that I mean TURN OFF FOX NOISE. These are unfathomable and extraordinary moments in history we are now witnessing. Not even during those dark and depressing days of Watergate did things get quite this weird. The bright side is that, for every inch of rope he is given by his enablers, Donald Trump continues the process of publically hanging himself. That very fact alone is more-than-worth the price of the ticket.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Afterthought:

Since writing the last piece in this blog, I was distraught to learn on the passing of Elijah Cummings. When the history of our time is written, he will be remembered as one of the heroes. It just keeps getting darker.

 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Dark Days Indeed

 
 
Let's work out a deal! You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy - and I will.
 
Donald Trump, in a letter to the president of Turkey
 
When that letter was first released to the public yesterday, news outlets across the nation for White House confirmation of its authenticity. Many believed it to be a joke or some kind of satire from The Onion. It couldn't possibly be real. It was.
 
 Waking up to the news of the unexpected passing of Elijah Cummings makes this morning a particularly gloomy one in what can only be described as dark times. The Baltimore congressman was one of the dwindling number of shining lights in the House of Reprehensibles. Since coming to Washington nearly twenty-four years ago, few members of congress impressed m half as much as this undeniably great man. To say that he will be deeply missed almost sounds cliché. They don't get any better than Elijah Cummings.
 
It is becoming more undeniable with the passing of each day that the president of the United States is a paid agent of a hostile foreign power. Abandoning the Kurds in Syria only benefits Vladimir Putin and his allies in the region. Even the Republicans (most of them anyway) realize what a monstrously stupid and reckless idea this is. Congress has voted overwhelmingly to condemn the move. The GOP is finally waking up to the idea that standing by this jackass will eventually prove to be political suicide. This is more-than-likely the dawn of the final and fatal decline. My prediction is that by Thanksgiving, this disgusting administration will no longer be sustainable. We shall see.
 
We must also come to terms with another, equally undeniable fact: The president of the United States is insane. His meeting with the Democrats at the White House yesterday seems to have been another example of his precarious grip on reality. Afterwards, in an impromptu press briefing, both Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi seemed genuinely alarmed by Trump's unhinged behavior, calling it "a meltdown". The damage that he is doing to the United States is, without any doubt, catastrophic. His shameless cow-towing to the whims of Putin is the ultimate nightmare in  very real time. This is day one-thousand of the Trump presidency. It cannot be allowed to continue for another fifteen months and three days. I used to be of the belief that impeaching The Donald and installing an imbecile like Mike Pence in the oval office was futile. I'm no longer of that opinion. Trump is an existential danger to the world. He needs to be removed from office as soon as legally possible - by federal gunpoint if necessary. 
 
How can it be reasonable people could not see this disaster coming when they cast their votes for this unhinged sociopath on Election Day 2016? I'm not talking about the morons in Shit-For-Brains, Mississippi, I'm referring to otherwise intelligent people - neighbors and friends of mine! - who somehow, incredibly believed that sending Donald Trump to the White House would be a really neat idea. And, please, don't give me the argument that he lost the popular vote. This should have been a landslide.
 
I'll say it again: this is going to end very badly.
 
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 
SUGGESTED VIEWING:
 
The latest from the incomparable Randy Rainbow:
 
 
The man is the perfect tonic for the troubling times we live in.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Post #872: Random Observations


 
There is no excuse for going nearly two weeks without a single post - other than to say that my heart hasn't really been in it lately. The age of Donald Trump is light years past the point of being comically amusing. That this hideous sociopath and common pervert has plans to completely subvert the Constitution is not merely obvious, it's happening before our eyes. Ordering his underlings not to submit to congressional scrutiny is displaying an authoritarian bent that has never been seen in this country. Not even under Dick Nixon did things get this weird. The next year-and-a-half is going to be quite interesting. We'll just leave it at that. Some thoughts:
 
1. "My Great and Unmatched Wisdom"
 
In case you missed it that was Trump a few days ago referring to his own judgment. When the hell was the last time you heard and leader of a democracy refer to himself in such away? That was a trick question. You haven't! You need to go back to Saddam Hussein for that kind of self-praise. It's bad enough that by now it is painfully obvious to anyone paying even scant attention that the president of the United States is a fucking idiot, but he's nuttier than any despot to come down the pike since Idi Amin. This rolling constitutional crisis has fifteen months to play itself out. Unless and until he is forcibly removed from office, we've no other choice but to ride this catastrophe out. Hang in there, folks!
 
2. Abandoning the Kurds
 
This week we had another stark example presented to us (as if any more examples were really needed) that Donald J. Trump is a paid asset of a hostile foreign power. Conceding the fate of the Kurdish people to the hands of ISIS is as reckless and cruel an act of diplomacy that has ever been committed by an American president. The only human being on the planet that this benefits is Vladimir Putin. Where I come from it's called "treason". Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were put to death for as much sixty-five years ago. I'm just putting the idea out there.
 
3. Shut up, Rudy
 
Someone really ought to check Rudy Giuliani's calendar. It is a perfect illustration of Trump's judgment that he has chosen the former New York mayor to be his legal representative on the talk show circuit. Like Trump, when one views interviews with Rudy recorded three-or-more decades ago, it is pathetically apparent that something has gone seriously haywire between his ears between then and now. The man's reputation would have been better off if, after having left office in the months after September 11, 2001, he had gone into quiet retirement and written his memoirs. As it stands, his historical reputation will be eternally soiled for the way he has conducted himself. It's all pretty pathetic.

5. FLASHBACK (10/11/19):

The impeachment of Dick Nixon only reached the 51 percent number about a week before he was forced to resign. As of today, the number of Americans supporting Trump's impeachment is at 52 percent. It's time to get the ball rolling.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Friday, September 27, 2019

Stand with Greta Thunberg

 
 
"My message is that we'll be watching you. This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. Yet I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering."
 
Greta Thunberg
 
I've fallen head-over-heels for a sixteen-year-old girl. A little over a week ago I only had a vague idea of who Greta Thunberg is. Now she is a permanent part of my life. Greta is trying to save the world; and the funny thing is, I think that she just may succeed. Kids.

Beast and the Beauty
Greta is a schoolgirl from Sweden who is in the process of shaking up the consciousness of the world by her outrage toward the apathy of so many members of the human race - particularly those in power - by what is happening to the fragile planet we all call home. It is thought by some scientists that in a mere eighty years the planet could very well become uninhabitable. Most of us will be long dead when that unthinkable day dawns. Greta is just young enough to know that she might live to see the end of the world.

In her home country she decided to stage a strike against attending school in protest against lax environmental laws. Her passion caught on. Soon, a wave of her fellow school-kids across Sweden were joining her. She is an environmentalist without a hint of hypocrisy. She only wears discarded clothes, travels only by public transportation, and is a strict vegan. When she set off for her first visit to the United States earlier in the summer, she came here via a sail boat. This young lady is the real deal - you'd better believe it, Buster.
 
"Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago."
 
Greta in Poland, 12/4/18
` 

My biggest kick out of the entire phenomena of Gretamania is the way she drives the right-wing climate deniers to distraction - some even stooping as low as to compare her to the models that Nazi propagandists would use to portray their version of pure Aryan beauty. Two days ago, some fusty old fart in the New York Daily News wrote in a condescending column:
 
"A common refrain from Thunberg is that we should "listen to the science". I wholeheartedly agree. The science suggests that despite some environmental challenges, human beings across the planet are better off than ever before, and the future is not unremittingly bleak."
 
The writer's name is Adam Kalkstein. I have a strong suspicion that in a few decades, when the environmental shit-hammer comes crashing down, old Adam will also be long gone.
 
"Why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future?"
 
12/4/18 

Keep your eyes on Greta Thunberg. She's here to stay.
 
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 
SUGGESTED VIEWING:
 
Greta at the U.N.
 
 
Greta is the real deal.
 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Whistleblower Blues

Zelensky and Trump

James Maguire
Acting Intel Director James Maguire's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee began a little over an hour ago. The man's excuses for going to the White House with the thus-far anonymous whistleblower's information about the nefarious doings of Donald Trump are pretty pathetic, but we're still early in to this. Anything can happen between now and when this thing is over in a few hours. It's quite possible, that by day's end, the trillion dollar shit-hammer may hit the fan. Last night on MSNBC's Rachel  Maddow program, Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California said that she had seen the still-classified "whistleblower memo" and called them "explosive". She went on to say that their content is much worst than the synopsis of the telephone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky released to the press a couple of days ago - which was bad enough. That other memo is being released this afternoon. We shall see. 
 
To say that the political climate of Washington has been turned on its head in the last twenty-four hours is an understatement. It would appear at first glance that the president of the United States was engaged in an extortion scheme against the president of the Ukraine, withholding military aid in an effort to get dirt on the man who may very well run against him next year - and his son. If this is true, it's all over for Trump. My feeling is that there is something coming that's going to shake America to its foundation between now and the end of the year. My suggestion to everyone would be to stand back and contemplate this extraordinary moment in American history. Forty-six years ago today, this country was wallowing in the depth of Watergate. I was fifteen at the time. On September 26, 2019 I thought that it would never get that weird again. I was wrong, of course. The Nixon Gang are starting to look like a loft of Cherubic choirboys by comparison. The Age of Trump is something else indeed.

Sean Maloney
In an exchange just now with Congressman Sean Maloney (who represents my home turf of the Hudson Valley, by the way) Maguire has refused to state weather or not he ever spoke to Trump regarding the Ukraine situation, he refused to answer the question, saying that his conversations with the president are "privileged". He could easily have answered the question without revealing the content of his conversation. He's trying to avoid a perjury trap. This guy is part of the cover-up - no doubt about it. He was not obliged to take his information to the White House or the Department of Justice. He was obligated to take it direct to Congress. He didn't. This is getting more interesting by the moment.

OBSERVATION: Deven Nunes is an asshole - but I repeat myself.

Chairman Adam Schiff just now adjourned the proceedings. It did not go well for poor old Jim Maguire. As of now I have more questions than answers. The rest of the day should be explosive indeed.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY