Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Complete Craziness

It stuns the senses to consider that over a third of the American people are so heart-breakingly naïve that they are under the impression that this common pervert, blundering asshole and psychopath is doing a dandy job as commander-in-chief. That he is now demanding the release of classified material pertaining to the conspiracy with a hostile foreign power that could easily put the lives of foreign sources of intelligence at risk is the final line to be crossed as far as far as many of his subordinates are concerned. Some are saying that we're on the verge of a full-tilt constitutional crisis. They're mistaken. We've been in crisis mode since January 20, 2017. It amazes me that so many of them took this long to notice. Did you have a nice nap, kiddies?

It all comes down to this: the president of the United States is seriously - dangerously - disturbed. This situation (amusing as it is) cannot continue. It is obvious that Donald J. Trump is a paid agent on a hostile foreign government. Vladimir Putin put the bastard in office for the sole purpose of doing as much damage to America's political infrastructure as is possible to do - and Trump is cheerfully complying. As things stand now, that damage will take a generation or more to be undone. If he is allowed to complete this first term, or, Heaven forbid, be elected to a second, we will be long past the point of no return. This is an emergency. Calling all cars.

Seriously, during the weirdest years of George W. Bush's reign of error, terror and stupidity, I never dreamed that I would be writing these words. I miss the hideous little thug. His dad is starting to look like Abraham Lincoln. Ronald Reagan is starting to look like Jesus. Someone shoot me please.

I don't know if Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be elevated to the Supreme Court. My guess is that he probably will be - despite the fact that he has been accused of sexually assaulting a fifteen-year-old girl in the nineteen eighties. She is not, today, a hopeless dimwit on skid row. She is a highly respected law professor. Here's what the GOP needs to deal with: if it is proven that The Donald conspired with Putin to subvert our national election (and I believe that he did) all of Trump's appointments to the Supreme Court must immediately be impeached. We need to wash away the legacy of this disgusting and hideous piece-of-shit from our national reputation. We'll never be able to erase him from our historical reputation, but at least we'll be able to tell our children and grandchildren that - eventually - we woke the fuck up and did the right thing. We won't ever be able to bequeath to them a Trump-free heritage, but it'll be better than nothing. We seriously need to get moving on this.

The Republicans have a chance to save themselves. They can either stand up to this menace to democracy - or they can sink into the abyss. They have no other choice. Aren't these interesting times?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Donald J. Trump Memorial WHAT???

 I live less than forty miles from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York. It is the place where he was born in 1882 and was his home all of his life. As I've stated on this site too many times to count, I go there often. It's a place where, no matter how desperate our national affairs may look at any given moment, I always walk away from feeling a little better about my country. Roosevelt was a flawed man and  not always a foresighted leader, but you knew in your heart that the man  always strived to do what was best for most Americans (citizens of Japanese ancestry would rightfully beg to differ I'm sure). Still, the legacy which FDR left this country reverberates nearly three-quarters-of-a-century after his sudden death, in office, in April of 1945. There are more than a few memorials to this great man in cities and towns all across the United States. In 2018 he continues to make a difference in our lives. If you or a loved one receives a monthly check from Social Security, you have Mr. Roosevelt to thank for that.
Recently while visiting the place, I was standing quietly before the two graves in the rose garden where Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt today sleep side by side. While I stood there, the thought occurred to me about the possibility of a Donald J. Trump Memorial Library and Museum. What would it look like? I imagined that the entranceway would be a tacky facsimile of the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. How would the rangers who give the guided tours explain the Donald to happless sightseers? And how would the pencil-pushers who administer the joint be able to put a smiley-face on the most incompetent, unhinged and dangerously corrupt president in American history? After a few short minutes of speculation, it hit me that such pondering was a lesson in futilely. There won't be any memorials to the memory of Donald Trump. 
There will be no Donald J. Trump Schools - public or private. There will be no Donald J. Trump Memorial Highways. There will be no Donald J. Trump National Parks. There will be no Donald J. Trump Airports. There will be no Donald J. Trump Hospitals. There will be no Donald J. Trump Centers for the Arts. There will be no statues erected to the memory of Donald J. Trump. There will be no Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Museum.
There's never going to be a Donald J. Trump Memorial Anything. Okay, I'll compromise: perhaps they might one day dedicate a Donald J. Trump Memorial Rest Area in the center of the Long Island Expressway; a place where weary motorists might stop to relieve themselves. Yeah, that would possibly work; but other than that....

And as for the presidential papers of Donald J. Trump? I suspect that they will be eternally stored in some windowless room deep within the bowels of the National Archives, where scholars, biographers and historians might go to scratch their heads in wonder and amusement.

November 1963
I imagine that when death finally comes to Donald J. Trump (as it must come to all men - and most women I'm told) he will not be interred in some ornate sarcophagus stately mounted on a marble pedestal surrounded by fountains of running water - like Martin Luther King. I don't believe that his body will lie in some serene, private mausoleum at the end of a majestic, marble-lined hallway - like President James A. Garfield. I don't even think he will be placed in a public cemetery next to the final resting place of his parents. What I suspect will happen is that the earthly remains of Donald J. Trump will be put into a secret and unmarked grave - The Tomb of the Unknown Donald. Either that or he'll be cremated with his ashes scattered into the East River off of Queens where he was raised; or maybe they'll be scattered on the grounds of the New York Military Academy in Cornwall, NY where he attended high school - and which is less than twenty miles from where I live - that is, if the faculty of that institution will allow it (which is doubtful. Those military types don't look too kindly on traitors). I only hope that the guy doesn't die in office. The last thing our national consciousness needs is to send this bloviating jackass off into eternity with a grand military funeral - ala Jack Kennedy. Spare us please.

Within a year or two, there will be a telephone poll of a broad cross-section of the American people, asking one question: For whom did you cast your precious ballot for on Election Day 2016? I'll bet the freakin' farm that close to eighty percent of the respondents will answer, "Hillary Clinton". Although Trump's poll numbers are down this week (37% according to the latest count) I don't expect them to get much lower - not in the foreseeable future anyway. It's going to take an earth-shattering event of seismic proportions for these silly Americans to lift their heads out of the sands of indifference and finally wake the hell up.

No, most Americans will not one day be stricken with a sense of collective, teary-eyed nostalgia for the reign of this unexplainable president - as they are now for the era of Barack Obama - and even George W. Bush (somebody shoot me please). There will never be an annual Donald Trump National Holiday, where the masses are bequeathed a nifty excuse for unlimited orgies of barbequed chicken and reckless inebriation during a three day weekend. The companies that manufacture those posters which portray the portraits of our presidents that are placed in school rooms across the land, will more-than-likely be forced portray Donald J. Trump as a blacked-out silhouette. When impressionable students of future generations innocently ask why this is so, the embarrassed teachers of future generations will have to awkwardly answer that question. I don't envy them one bit. No sir.

We won't ever be able to erase the Donald from our national memory bank. He's here to stay and we're going to have to deal with the embarrassment as best we can: that a so-called "civilized" people were deluded into believing that elevating so unqualified a man to the presidency was a noble idea. Perhaps the people have finally learned a lesson they should have learned over a century ago, but I really doubt it.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


I'm on my way to the post office to pick up my copy of "Fear" by Bob Woodward. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into that one!


The Woodward book wasn't there. Two days too late. Damn you,!

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Resistance Anonymous

"It's not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall. The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations".
The latest parlor game is Washington is trying to figure out who it was that penned the op ed that appeared Thursday in the New York Times....that is, I am assuming it's the latest parlor game. To be frank with you, I don't think I ever stepped for inside a Washington parlor. Do they even still play parlor games in that city? Someone get back to me.
I am of mixed feelings about the piece. Although it wasn't a very courageous act on the part of the person who wrote it, I think that it demonstrates that the president of the United States is imploding. You would think that no further proof would be necessary - but you'd be mighty wrong, pardner! A full one third of the citizens of this place couldn't be happier knowing that someone as completely corrupt and unhinged as the Donald is eating gallons of ice cream in the Oval Office with his gnarled little fingers just inches away from the nuclear football. We should expect his poll numbers to drop a little further in the months to follow, but not too much lower. There are a lot of people of voting age in this country who are just as twisted and delusional as Trump.

As I write these words, the president (according to multiple sources) is in a blind, barfing rage. Many are using the word "volcanic" to describe his wrath. I would think so. The First Twit went a'twitterin' yesterday, demanding that the Times reveal the name of this treasonous letch and that he or she (more-than-likely a he) ne handed over to "the government" for performing this unpardonable act of "TREASON" - his exact word, upper case). Since treason is a crime that one could conceivably be executed for (remember Julius and Ethel Rosenberg?) we must reasonably assume that Trump's authoritarian tendencies have just slammed into overdrive. Last I checked, writing an op ed to any paper was not yet a capital offence. But they're working on it I'm sure. Of that I have no doubt.

My guess is that the author of the piece was Chief of Staff John Kelly or National Intelligence chief Dan Coates. Whomever it was, I thought it was wickedly tricky how they inserted the word "lodestar" in there. An obscure word that is used - a lot - by Mike Pence. It would be just like some of these clowns to deflect attention to poor old, pathetic Mike. He seems to be the one a lot of people are pointing the finger od suspicion at, but I don't believe if for a minute. First of all it was too well-written to have been composed by Mike - and secondly: The writer was implying that we should all just hang in there; that the "resistance" will continue to keep Trump from blowing up the world. I'm almost certain that if Mike Pence had written the piece the message would have been:


That would have been more Pence's style. He's got the most to gain from the complete disintegration of the Trump administration. And if you've noticed lately, he's even starting to look presidential - that is, the president as portrayed in any Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie.

From the same op ed:

"Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright."
That particular paragraph is revealing. It explains the GOP's strategy for dealing with the fallout from when this disgusting administration finally destroys the American economy. You see where if says that Trump, "shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives". When the shit finally hits the fan, they'll accuse Trump of being "a secret liberal Democrat". Just you wait.

With all the events happening from day to eye-popping, jaw-dropping day, you must admit that these sure are interesting times to be alive.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a link to read the anonymous op ed piece from Thursday's Times in its entirety?

Strange days indeed.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Divorced From Reality

One has to seriously wonder what the people in his inner circle are thinking these days. Are they walking on cracked egg shells? My suspicion is that they're telling this president everything he wants to hear. Those are the types of people Donald Trump has always surrounded himself with. That's why this disgusting administration was doomed for failure. Jack Kennedy, Barack Obama and Dwight Eisenhower always had advisors on hand who would let them know when they were blowing it. Not Trump. All he's ever known in his career are blubbering sycophants, yessing him to his heart's content. Now the silly dingbat is cornered with nowhere to flee to. Bobby Mueller and company are zeroing in and the Donald is desperate. This is ending very badly.
It was a something none of us, I'm sure, will ever forget: There stood Meghan McCain, passionately eulogizing her  late dad. At the same moment Trump, trying to deflect attention from the final tribute to the Arizona senator, unleashed a Twitter-storm that - it would be too generous to call it juvenile - it was completely infantile, not to mention idiotic. But there was something else that would have been clear to even the most casual observers: the president of the United States has lost whatever precious reason he came into this job with.

Andy Johnson
This would be poignantly amusing if the stakes weren't so high. This is a situation that is unprecedented in the history of the United States. Sure we've had chiefs executive who were a tad unhinged every now and again. Lincoln suffered from what was then termed "melancholia"; his successor, Andrew Johnson was definitely unstable (if you want to know what I'm talking about look up the transcript of his remarks at old Abe's second inaugural); during the final stages of the Watergate scandal that consumed his presidency, Dick Nixon was prone to staying up late at night, drinking heavily and talking to portraits of his dead predecessors. But Donald Trump is something else indeed. Never before have we been forced to deal with a president who was as crazy as a freaking bed bug. With the midterms elections fast approaching and the Mueller investigation closing in, it's an easy guess that Trump is on the verge of doing something drastic. We're at the edge of the worst constitutional crisis we've ever experienced. This is going to get quite interesting.

If you were silly enough to support this unhinged twit during the campaign two years ago, you will forgive those of us who warned you from gloating, I'm sure. We saw this catastrophe coming from ten thousand miles down the road. Perhaps America has finally learned the lesson it should have learned over a century ago. Perhaps not. I won't be holding my breath.

One thing I have to admit about Donald Trump: he sure as hell isn't boring.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


I can remember when the New York Daily News was one of the best papers in the country, with hard-hitting columnists like Jimmy Breslin, Bob Herbert and Mike Royko, powerful editorials and a standard of reporting that that was almost without peer. Those days are long gone. This morning's edition was the worst I've ever seen. A full third of today's edition was devoted to sports, and for the third day in a row, there was not a word devoted to the political catastrophe that is compounding daily inside the Executive Mansion. They have fallen about as hard as a newspaper can fall.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

John McCain at Twilight

"I’ve tried to serve our country honorably. I’ve made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them. I’ve often observed that I am the luckiest person on Earth. I feel that way even now, as I prepare for the end of my life. I’ve loved my life, all of it. I’ve had experiences, adventures, friendships, enough for 10 satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life in good or bad times for the best day of anybody else’s."
John McCain, from his final message to the American people
I have to tell you, I always liked John McCain for this reason: you never were really sure which way the man would tilt on any given vote in the senate. His was not a knee that jerked. And although, yes, the man was perfectly capable of making me tear my hair out on most days. He always had a sense of profound decency about him that was more-than-likely purified by the unimaginable suffering he encountered between the five long years of 1968 and 1973 when he was a prisoner of war at the infamous Hanoi Hilton. Then there was the wit. The Arizona senator was one of the microscopic few Republicans in Washington whose comedy was truly intentional. And he could laugh heartily at himself  - a trait that is truly rare among conservative and liberal politicians alike. He would go on some CBS News program and tell the moderator how nice it was to be back on the "Communist Broadcasting System" and no one at the network would be offended. How could anyone not like John McCain? Seriously!

I didn't agree with John McCain on a heck of a lot of things with regard to domestic and international affairs, but the term that was applied to him by the media, "maverick" was well-earned. He wasn't the last Republican for whom the term "right wing crazy" could not be applied, but - my goodness - they're fewer and further between than they used to be, that's for sure. Moderate Republicans used to be a dime a dozen. When I was a teenager, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a few. Now they are rarer than 8-Track tape players. Susan Collins of Maine comes to mind; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is another - both women. Give me an hour and I might be able to name for you one or two others. That he was disappointed in the direction his party had taken in the last quarter century there can be no doubt. 

He once said that one of the biggest thrills of his young life was when President Eisenhower addressed his graduating class at Annapolis Naval College in the fifties. I haven't any doubt that old Ike would have been just as appalled as McCain was at where the GOP has gone in the twenty-first century. I'm just as certain that Franklin Roosevelt would be deeply disappointed at the modern-day Democrats.

When McCain first sought the presidency in 2000, he beat George W. Bush early on in the New Hampshire primaries. Next on the trail was South Carolina. The Bush Mob went into that state with a nicely revamped version of the so-called "Southern Strategy" used so effectively by Dick Nixon during the campaign of 1968. In a series of "robo-calls" that bombarded that state, a recorded voice asked potential voters a series of questions. One of those questions was "How would you react if you were to learn that Senator John McCain had fathered a child with a black prostitute?" A few years earlier, John and his wife, Cindy, had adopted a dark-skinned baby, orphaned in South Asia. Bush and his henchmen knew damned well that South Carolinians would see campaign photographs of the McCain family and put two-and-two together. It was the most despicable political dirty trick in modern times: exploiting the love that this couple offered a homeless little girl in order to bring into existence the most corrupt administration in the history of this republic - up to that time.

I would not have voted for John McCain in 2000. Like so many of us who leaned leftward in that period, my heart belonged to Ralph Nader. I lived in New York and I knew for certain that Al Gore would carry it easily. What I hadn't counted on was the corruption of Governor Jeb Bush's Florida. The Nader vote allowed them to easily steal the election in that state. Had John McCain won the 2000 South Carolina primaries and, subsequently, the presidency, I would have been disappointed for sure, but I know I would not have lost a minute of sleep (as I did during the Bush years) knowing that he was at the helm of the ship of state.

The MEGGA-DOWNER for John McCain came eight years later. He was able to win the 2008 GOP primaries quite handily as I recall. At the convention he had wanted Joe Lieberman (the most conservative Northeastern politician as could be contrived in fiction) to run second on the ticket. The maniacs and halfwits who now controlled the Republican Party would have none of it. Lieberman had two things going against him as far as these clowns were concerned: he was a former Democrat - and a Jew HEAVENS TO BETSY!  

Instead they shoved down his throat Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, a woman so shockingly uninformed and incurious, she doomed the campaign from the get-go. Still, McCain campaigned honorably. When a woman at a rally somewhere in the Midwest accused Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, of being "an Arab", McCain gently grabbed the microphone from her hand and explained that, no, Obama was a good and decent family man with whom he had some major disagreements on policy. Class act, that McCain. Donald Trump would have egged the old biddy on I'm sure.

McCain's last class act as a statesman was recently when he gave a very public thumbs down to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

I thought it predictable how Donald Trump behaved yesterday in the hours following McCain's passing. You can't expect dignity from this president and he didn't disappoint. Instead of a statement in the White House pressroom, he "tweeted" his curt condolences to the family. That's what he does. He tweets. As a final insult to the man he had openly despised ("I like heroes who weren't captured") he raised the flag above the White House from half mast after only one day. The howl of public outrage was so shrill, he was forced to raise it back up. Knowing John McCain's love of dark comedy, I'm sure he would have been mightily amused.

George W. Bush and Barack Obama, his two past political rivals, will be delivering the eulogies at the funeral. Donald Trump has been asked to stay away. It's that kind of time in the United States.

McCain's reputation will be mixed. That's okay. Even the best of them are only allotted mixed reputations in the end. His passing is almost perfectly timed. The party he represented for nearly forty years will soon be going away as well. They won't have John McCain around anymore to give them that little bit of desperately-needed substance.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a link to read John McCain's final message to the American people:

"I lived and died a proud American".
John McCain

Saturday, August 25, 2018

POST #800: Random Observations

Here are a collection of thoughts that have no relation with one another. They should be taken seriously or with a grain of salt - as one deems fit. 

1. McCain

John McCain is in the last stages of a fatal disease, the same one that killed my father, that is going to end his life. Please remember that he (along with Susan Collins) is the last Republican politician who can be declared a "moderate". This will, indeed, be the end of an era.

2. Promises Promises

During the campaign of 2016, Donald J. Trump promised us that he would do for America what he did for the Trump "brand". It was the only promise he kept.
3. Fascistbook
My "friends" on Facebook come in many different flavors - not all of them delicious. Occasionally I'll see a posting that begins: "I am not a racist, but...."
Please be on notice from now on that when I read those words, what one is really saying to me is this: "I am a racist because...." So there!

4. Enquiring "Minds"

We now know that the National Enquirer has been operating an extortion ring for decades. Their "Catch And Kill" program, which kept scandalous stories off of their pages for many years, is beyond any doubt the most corrupt kind of journalism anyone's ever encountered probably. They should not be allowed to be continue this assault upon American journalism. The Enquirer is just one of many reasons why Weeda Peepole have become so dumbed down. The entire institution should be taken out of business - permanently. Of course, these idiotic Americans will continue to read the publication, in droves.

5. Mikey and Pauley

With the conviction of Paul Manafort and the guilty plea of Michael Cohen the other day, it's a good bet that the administration of Donald J. Trump is about to go the way of the Dodo bird. This is the beginning of the end, kids. You should have seen this catastrophe coming from one-hundred miles down the road, as those of us who were paying attention, saw it coming from ten-thousand miles down the road. This was a complete, and utter no-brainer. I'm sorry. I'm venting. Pay it no mind.

6. The Problem

Donald Trump's biggest problem (aside from his personality) is the fact that he never had any advisors. For his entire career he has only surrounded himself with sycophantic "yes men" who told him only what he wanted to hear - not what he desperately needed to know. That is why he is in so much deep trouble today. It's a cinch that he will end up in federal custody one day in the not-too distant future, escorted out of the Executive Mansion in hand cuffs.

7. I Don't Know What Else to say

2018 has been one of those kind of years. I'm rendered speechless.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

This is going to end badly....but I repeat myself.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Trump's Nightmare

Don McGahn is not a guy I've paid much attention to in the last nineteen months. Compared to the collection of complete maniacs and morons that comprise the administration of Donald Trump, the guy doesn't really stand out. In dong a bit of research on him I was pleased to discover that, like my father and too many uncles to count, he's a graduate of Notre Dame. That is a nice thing to learn. In my experience graduates of old ND tend to be fairly decent and honest. It is obvious that McGahn knows a lot of really bad secrets regarding the president. The reason for that was the Twitter freak-out exhibited by Trump when it was revealed this week that McGahn, a White House Lawyer, sat down for thirty hours of testimony with the Mueller investigation. According to everyone who knows him, Don McGahn is telling the truth, the whole truth, and then some.
This is not good.

Okay, I'll fess up: this is the best news I've heard since this disgusting administration began on January 20, 2017. I knew from the moment I learned that this unhinged jackass had been elected to the presidency that his administration would end prematurely and disastrously. It was a foregone conclusion. Donald Trump was an openly and publically corrupt businessman who had been flaunting his incompetence on the public stage for nearly forty years. It was predicted by everyone who others to pay attention. What we are in the midst of is nothing less than an ongoing constitutional crisis that will continue to play out as long as he is president.

With the conviction of Paul Manafort a lot of things can happen now. Is he counting on a pardon from the Donald? Is a pardon forthcoming? Has some kind of shady deal been made? I kind of doubt that Paulie is going to fall on his sword like a good soldier and go gently into the night. If he really has something completely damaging on the president I imagine he's stalling for time waiting for his sentencing. His problem (and it's a big one) is that the second trial involves the state of New York, where a presidential pardon is not applicable. When that trial is over my theory is that Trump will issue a pardon.

"Instant Karma's gonna get you
It's gonna knock you on the head".
John Lennon

You'd better get yourself together, Donald.

Whatever the case, it can't be a lot of fun being president these days. Donald Trump used to give the distinct impression that he was having a really good time being Donald Trump. That isn't even close to being the case anymore. The fact is, the man seems to be on the verge of losing touch completely - if he hasn't already. It's a safe bet that he regrets deeply winning the campaign of 2016. He thought the job would be so easy. Isn't that a riot? Now look at him.

Instant karma indeed.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Forgive me for taking three days for writing this. I've been a bit out of it. Perhaps turning sixty last week has slowed me down! When I was in my twenties I never thought I would live to be thirty. Now I'm twice that age. Go figure.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

My Memes

One of my greatest disappointments is the fact that I have never been able to draw. I have always believed that I would have been a pretty good political cartoonist had I been blessed with that talent. Technology has changed all of that. The ability to create "memes" has lifted some of us from our artistic inabilities. We may now go into the clouds. Here are a few humdingers I've been able to create in the last couple of years.
So there you have it. We really do live in interesting times.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY