Saturday, August 08, 2020

You're Time is Up, Wayne

The Nerd from Hell

Rivers of blood. Broken bodies. Broken hearts. This is the new reality. Come to think about it, this reality is not very "new" in the least. In fact, it is now as common  as a full moon in the morning sky. It almost amazes me that most of us still are stunned when an event of this magnitude occurs. It barely fazed me. When the news came over the television yesterday morning I did not so-much-as bat an eye. You see, I long ago adjusted to living in  this America.
From The Rant, 12/15/12

There are few - if any - public figures more completely contemptible then the head of the National Riffle Association, Wayne LaPierre. If there is anyone out there who more personifies evil than old Wayne I'd sure as hell would like to know about it. I thought that the hideous old jackass would go into hiding after the unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. Talk about chutzpa. Not only did he not slither under a rock, he actually held a press conference - well, sort of. The press were not allowed to ask any questions. This was the infamous moment when he stupidly declared: "The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun". Apparently he felt that one or all of the first graders killed on that horrible day should have been armed.
It all has come crashing down for Wayne LaPierre. Yesterday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed suit against the NRA to dissolve that organization. It was a civil action but criminal charges will no-doubt follow in a matter of time. According to this morning's New York Daily News, Wayne and three other executives have "used tens of millions of NRA dollars for multiple vacations, private jets, expensive meals and other luxury items". Eight-hundred-thousand bucks were stolen by this corrupt fool for eight vacations to the Bahamas. Can you imagine that?
We knew that something was stinking in the breeze a few years ago when NRA board member Oliver North tried to sound the alarm regarding LaPierre's corruption. He was forced out of the organization for his efforts. Viewing uber right-winger North as a hero, even for a short period of time, was quite the novelty.
Letitia James
I've been waiting for this moment for over twenty years. I knew that, eventually, this evil and disgusting piece-of-shit would get his comeuppance; I just can't believe that it took this long. For decades he and the NRA have been lining the pockets of corrupt and amoral politicians, perfectly willing to sacrifice the lives of our children on the blood-stained alter of political expediency. This is a nation with blood on its hands. If you are unable to perceive the moral bankruptcy of the American experiment there is no hope left for you. There are too many ways to count our dysfunction, more-than-enough ways to catalogue our collapse as a society; but I'm willing to bet you anything that that the worst is yet to come. This is going to get as weird as it's ever been.

One thing I found out today which I had never realized before is that the National Rifle Association is a "charity", existing tax-free off of the sweat of the American people. This is a situation which should not be allowed to continue. Wayne LaPierre and his organization have reaped untold-millions of-dollars off of the corpses of thousands of people in the last twenty-plus years. Wayne LaPierre and his associates need to be put in federal custody for a very long time.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Massacre in Newtown
from The Rant by Tom Degan

I wrote this one on the morning after the Newtown massacre in December of 2014.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Please, Mr. Postman

He's clinically insane. Admit it already.
 "Absentee ballots are fine because you have to go through a precise process to get your voting privilege. Not so with Mail-Ins. Rigged Election!!!
A Tweet from our beloved Psychopath-in-Chief
Since American history is hardly taught in American schools any longer, I suppose that a little lesson on that subject might definitely be in order here.
TR Senior
First of all (and I'm stunned that this needs to be explained to some people) absentee ballots and mail-in ballots are the same damned thing. They're not mutually exclusive. They've been around since the Civil War when President Lincoln - at the urging of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (father of the future president) decided that it would be a good thing if the Union boys, fighting on battlefields all across the confederacy, should be able exert their right to have their precious ballots cast. It was a brave thing for old Abe to do. Many of those soldiers were not too happy about being away from their homes and families, facing death at every minute on almost every day, and it was not-at-all certain that they would support the commander-in-chief. They did. Lincoln would not have won reelection in 1864 without them.

So there you have it, class: mail-in/absentee ballots have been around for one-hundred and fifty-six years. The tradition has never been a problem before. Why all of the sudden has it become a problem in the year 2020? The truth of the matter is that  Donald Trump regularly casts his ballot by mail from Maralago, his private club in Florida - or wherever-the-hell in the world he happens to be on any given Election Day. In fact, the only time the demented old freak ever voted at a regular polling place was in 2016 when he was a candidate for president (photo-op, you know?) He doesn't usually lower himself to participate in democracy by getting in line with  the common and filthy masses. This is a man with privilege. Would one of his apologists please explain to me why voting-by-mail is  okay for him but not for the rest of us? It's called Hypocrisy on Parade.

Trump has been saying that if the mail-in process is allowed to go through, it will be months - maybe even years - before the result of the November election is known. He seems to be implying that he won't be able to vacate the White House - unless and until - the matter is settled. What this idiot is unaware of is the fact that - according to the Constitution of the United States - regardless of when the final tally comes in, if there is no clear winner on the scheduled day of the election, the office of the presidency is automatically turned over to the speaker of the House of Representatives on the day of the inauguration. It's as clear and as simple as that. And although I have more-than-a-few issues with her, I'll be able to sleep quite soundly at night knowing that President Pelosi is at the helm of the ship-of-state. Whatever happens as a result of the corruption of the process on a national level, I'm almost certain that it won't be quite so chaotic in her state of California. Call it a gut feeling if you will.

The Donald tells us that, thanks to the able brilliance of Governor Ron Desantis, Florida will be the only state in the union where mail-in ballots will be reliable. This tells me that the Sunshine State has already been thoroughly corrupted and that the fix is in - just as it was twenty years ago when the election was stolen from Al Gore by Governor Jeb Bush and the presidency was seized by his half-witted, frat boy brother from Crawford, Texas. Remember how nicely that worked out?

The current postmaster general is a political hack and Trump fundraiser named Louis DeJoy. His stated goal has been to do away with the American postal system as we know it and turn it over to private industry. That's what Trump has been doing since his first day in office: putting people at the head of government agencies whose sole purpose is to destroy those very agencies. This is what can only be described as conflicts-of-interest-on-steroids. These corrupt and incompetent bastards have already slowed our mail service down to a trickle of what it was before the Common-Pervert-from-Queens took office a mere three-and-a-half years ago. Don't be the least bit surprised if, by Election Day, they make an attempt to shut the entire postal system down completely. The day that the United States Post Office goes into private ownership will be the day the American Experiment is over. Keep voting Republican.

This is as bad as it's been since Abraham Lincoln sought to extent the voting franchise to servicemen fighting to preserve a union that seemed to be in the process of complete self-destruction. Even during the darkest days of Dubya, I never thought we'd come this close to totalitarianism. In fact, we're already there. On Election Day 2020, we can expect Trump's operatives to stage "incidents" in swing-state cities with heavy black populations that will give him an excuse to send his own private brown-shirts into those cities to crack down with violence and mandatory curfews. That's what Portland was all about: a grim harbinger of even nastier things to come. Keep your eyes open.

This is bad, folks.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Gee, wasn't this a really neat idea?
I'm sorry, I'll stop.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

The Worst in History

Katherine Eban
What I read early this morning in the latest issue of Vanity Fair literally took my breath away (and you'll be happy to learn that I eventually got it back after much effort). The article, written by Katherine Eban, was enough even to startle the likes of me - and I have become quite jaded on the topic of all-things-Trump as you might imagine. The Trump White House put out a statement saying that her reporting is completely false. Perhaps. But if it is true, this will turn out to be the most disgusting political scandal in American history - maybe world history. Certainly it will make Watergate look like a clerical error. Ms. Eban is standing by her story. Judging by Trump's past behavior, I'm inclined to believe her.
The Vanity Fair piece is called "How Jared Kushner's Secret Testing Plan 'Went POOF Into Thin Air' ". According to her, in April The Donald's "brilliant" son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had a team in place for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The members of the group contained other filthy rich scions of society  - including his college roommate - with not a jot of medical experience between the lot of them. When by mid-April it was apparent that the area of the country getting hit the hardest was in the Northeast "blue" states, someone decided to let the virus take its course and that the excess of death and disease in those places could be used as a weapon against the Democratic governors who run them. According to Katherine Eban, the Trump Mob was ready to let thousands of people die in order to press forward in their political ambitions. Whether-or-not Donald Trump himself was behind this decision is unclear. We'll know eventually.

The premise behind this investigation is so horrible that I was inclined to cast suspicion at first (At first). Then I remembered that it was announced in late March that Jared had indeed been charged with putting together a coronavirus task force that never materialized. Why? What was he doing between that time and today that was more important than the worst pandemic to hit these shores in over a century? It was seen at the dawn of Trump's time in office that the presence of Jared and his silly wife in the oval office would act as a "restraining" factor, protecting Daddy from his own worst instincts; protecting the demented old freak from himself. In reality the two of them have turned  out to be the biggest screw-ups in the entire administration. This is unreal!

I cannot believe this, but I find myself longing for the relative competence and sanity of the Bush White House - and I'm not referring to the old man - I'm talking about freaking the son! What is certain is that the next five months are going to be the longest of our national lives. These extreme bitches and bastards are going to go through extraordinary measures to steal the election in November. The most dangerous period will be the two-and-a-half months following the election. If he loses, Donald J. Trump will spend all that remaining time in office getting even with the American people. Watch your back.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Here's a link to read Katherine Eban's article in the July 30 issue of Vanity air:

It almost defies belief....almost.

Keith and Cindy

My old pal Keith Barron and his partner Cindy Diskin have created this gem called, Pocketful of Hope. The singer is an enigmatic young lady who goes by the name “RZ”. This is really beautiful, hypnotic even....
A lovely tune.

Monday, July 27, 2020

POST #950: Random Observations

My seventh shameless selffie  in as many years
As you might imagine, 2020 has been a prolific year for anyone who makes his or her name by commenting on the complete train wreck that is the era of Donald Trump. I've written more pieces since the new year than I do most years combined. Everyone paying attention in 2016 knew that this administration was going to be a rolling catastrophe, but I don't think any of us could have predicted with any degree of accuracy the scope of the disaster without looking like extremist lunatics. And the irony is that the worst is yet to come. Isn't that something?
1. Rethinking the School Openings: 

Is the opening up of American schools in September a safe thing to do? At the moment, no, it is not. What these silly politicians fail to realize is that, sure, a child's chance of dying is far less than an adult's. But many of those children will be exposed to the virus, and they will come home and expose their parents, siblings and grandparents, more than a few of whom will die, not to mention some of the children themselves. And is it fair to put the lives of their teachers at risk? Is it realistic to expect these kids to come home and be isolated from their moms and dads? If this catastrophic pandemic has not improved by September or - Heaven forbid - if it's worse, opening up the schools will be an act of unprecedented irresponsibility.

2. All Lives Matter?

Well, yeah! But the reason for emphasizing "Black Lives Matter" is that it has been a given for America's entire two-hundred and forty-four history that white lives do, indeed, matter. It has not always been such an obvious thing with regard to people whose skin is a shade darker than mine. When Thomas Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he wrote. "all men are created equal". He was referring to white men only. In fact, he wasn't even referring to white women. When James Madison wrote, "We the people" in the preamble to the Constitution in 1789, what he really meant was, "We the white people". When Theodore Roosevelt famously wrote of "the man in the arena", I have a sneaky suspicion that he was referring to some white guy. And call it a silly little hunch on my part, but I don't think that black lives mattered all too much to the sadistic police officer who murdered George Floyd in cold blood on the streets of Minneapolis on May 15. White America has over two centuries of fixing up to do.

Black Lives Matter. Say it.

3. On to Seattle:

Not content with making a bad situation intolerable in Portland, Donald Trump and Bill Barr have decided to send their army of jack-booted Brown Shirts to Seattle, Washington. Where they show up next is anyone's guess, but I will make a bet with anyone who's willing to take it: there is no way those unmarked thugs are going to show their faces in New York City. Can you even imagine a spectacle such as that? The Big Apple is a town not to fucked with. But I have no doubt that what is happening at this moment in the Northwest is merely a harbinger of worse to come. They're planning on an attempt to overthrow the government of the United States. That attempt will fail miserably. The next six months are going to be the weirdest of our lives. Fasten your seat belts, boys and girls!

4. Paraphrasing TR:

"The credit belongs to the man [or woman] who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself [or herself] in a worthy cause; who at best, if he [or she] wins, knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he [or she] fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his [or her] place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt


His sister Bamie could have said it, too.

5. John Lewis Goes Home:

John Lewis has  had the widest-ranged funeral I think anybody's ever seen: from Washington to Selma, Alabama, back to Washington, then on to Georgia where he will be laid to rest. Yesterday provided the most moving scene I've witnessed in a long while. A simple wagon drawn by two horses, carried his body across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. In the spot where John was nearly beaten to death on Bloody Sunday fifty-five years ago, rose petals were scattered about the road.

The flags of the nation should today be at half mast. They're not, of course. It's one more shame in a litany too vast to count.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Battle Hymn of the Republic
by Herbie Mann

I dedicate this to the memory of John Lewis. It's impossible to listen to this beautiful recording and not think of him.

His truth is marching on, baby!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

AOC: Kicking Serious Butt in DC

"My mother got to see Mr. Yoho's disrespect on the floor of this House towards me on television, and I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter, and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men."
Congresswoman Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez

It amazes me that someone with the serious gravitas and grace of an Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez was born in 1989, the year my father died and two months after my thirty-first birthday. These events in my life seem to have happened only a few weeks ago. I thought that we would have to wait generations for someone like her to come along - but here we are and there she is! She is my hero, or in the parlance of the times in which we live: my she-ro. She could very well be the first woman president of the United States. She is only thirty, and has another five years before she is even eligible for the damned job. But it could happen. She fills me with more hope than I've come to expect from the American Dream in a very long time. I awaken most mornings these days with an optimism that has been deceased in me for years. It's coming back to life, bit by bit. AOC is one of the reasons for that.
She made history the other day - well, sort of  - by being the first person to have the dreaded "F" word read into the congressional record. I only wish that Lenny Bruce might have lived to see that moment. Let me explain:
The Yoho Man
You see, there is this silly little congressman from the state of Florida (SURPRISE!) who I was only vaguely aware of named Ted Yoho. On the steps of the U.S. capitol - and in front of reporters - Yoho pointed his finger into the congresswoman's face and called her "disgusting", "crazy" and "dangerous". I have to admit that he makes a good point with the third characterization. Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez is dangerous; in fact, she's the most dangerous congressperson to come along in my lifetime - and I was born when Eisenhower was president! But there is good danger, and there is bad danger. The type of danger as personified by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is as good as danger can possibly get. She is a danger to the way the system operates  - and she is determined to be one of the people who changes that system forever. Certainly she is a danger to Ted Yoho and other silly little people just like him.
After her initial confrontation with Yoho, she entered the building to cast a vote. When she walked back outside and was confronted again by this blithering twit, she calmly chastised him for being "rude", and he responded by calling her "a fucking bitch". The next day he apologized for the "misunderstanding"  - not to Alexandrea - but to his fellow members of the House of Reprehensibles. That was all she could stand 'cause she couldn't stand no more! When she rose to speak, she related to her colleagues exactly what had transpired between herself and Yoho and quoted him verbatim. I wish I could have been there to witness it. What she had to say at that historic moment should be etched in stone. Someone please find me a chisel:
“When you do that to any woman—what Mr. Yoho did was give permission to other men to do that to his daughters. In using the language in front of the press, he gave permission to use that language against his wife, his daughters, women in his community, and I am here to say that is not acceptable.”
She pointed out that she was two years younger than the youngest of Ted's two daughters. She then went on:

"And so, what I believe is, having a daughter does not make a man decent; having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. And when a decent man messes up - as we all are bound to do - he tries his best and does apologize, not to save face, not to win a vote; he apologizes, genuinely, to repair and acknowledge the harm done, so that we can all move on".
I was reminded of the moment in 1954 when an obscure New England attorney named Joseph Welsh confronted an unhinged demagogue of another era, Joe McCarthy.
"At long last, sir, have you no sense of decency?"
McCarthy's political career was destroyed on that day. Congressman Yoho's career was likely destroyed this past Thursday. As we still watch on film Welsh's condemnation of McCarthy sixty-six years ago, people generations yet-to-be-born will still bear witness to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez standing up for women sixty-six years from now.
To tell you the truth I feel kind of sorry for Ted Yoho. When his miserable life on earth is at its end, all the poor old bastard will be remembered for will be the brief encounter he had on the steps of our nation's capitol with the junior congresswoman from New York City - that's it. That will be the first paragraph of his pitifully short obituary. When they're writing biographies of Alexandrea Ocosio-Cortez, he'll only be a pathetic little footnote in her storySomeday, there will  be a statue erected in her honor. There will be no statue for Ted - nothing. Really, it's all rather sad when you think about it.

As stated earlier, I have no doubt that, if she so desires, she will one day be president. In fact there is a movement under way for her to turn thirty-five so she can get on with it and be nominated at next month's convention. Since that's not bloody likely to happen, we'll have to wait until October 13, 2024, her thirty-fifth birthday. It will come just in the nick of time for the election that year. I mean, how cool is that???

She is truly a historical figure, and she walks among us.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a link to view Congresswoman Alexandrea Ocosio-Cortez's historic speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday, July 23, 2020. It really is something to behold and to savor. She's here to stay and I could not be happier for that fact.



Friday, July 24, 2020

"I Wish Her Well"

Decidedly happier days.
"I haven’t really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly. I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach, and I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well, whatever it is.”
President Trump on accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell
He hasn't been following the biggest scandal ever? Really? Donald J. Trump's favorite newspaper (probably the only one he reads -  like every other uninformed New Yorker I know) is the New York Post Toasties - which has been covering this story more than any paper in the country. I cannot believe that he has not been "following it too much".
It was his first coronavirus news briefing since April. His staff, I am sure, were behind the scenes, alternately folding their hands and biting their fingernails, praying that the silly twit wouldn't go off script and say something incredibly stupid, as he is prone to doing. Everything seemed to be going well (or as well as one might expect from this idiotic president). Then someone asked him about the ongoing Ghislaine Maxwell/Jeffrey Epstein scandal. Jeffrey, as you know, took his own life - allegedly - last year in a Manhattan jail cell; Ghislaine has survived to bear the brunt of the public's well-placed anger. Think about that: yesterday in the White House press briefing room, the president of the United States of America bid a cheerful salutation to an accused trafficker of underage girls. Can you imagine the shit-storm of far-righteous indignation that would have exploded had Barack Obama done something as reckless and as stupid as that? No, me neither.

Why was the Don Rickles of chiefs-executive so subdued in his comments toward Ms. Maxwell? The guy usually has something insulting to say about anyone who comes into his crosshairs. Why didn't he say something encouraging to her scores of victims? Is he attempting to send her a subtle message? I've heard rumors that Trump might be one of the filthy rich who benefited from Epstein's harem of children that he allegedly supplied over the years to the rich and powerful. I've always taken those rumors with a grain of salt. That's why you never saw it reported on this site - I just could not be sure. Yesterday I became convinced that Trump is up to his ears in this thing. In a 2006 magazine interview he joked how he and Epstein both loved beautiful women and that Jeff liked them "on the younger side". He obviously knew what was happening. In 2016, a woman who went by the name of "Katie Johnson" described in an videotaped statement being violently raped by the future president of the United States at one of Epstein's properties a number of years ago. There will be a link to view that statement at the bottom of this piece. It now rings truer now than it ever did.

No sooner had Trump stuck his foot squarely in his mouth than Geraldo Rivera had to join in the festivities. The press conference had barely ended when Geraldo tweeted out this gem of illiterate prose:
“When asked @realDonaldTrump said he wished #GhislaineMaxwell well. With media mob eager to see her lynched it was brave to weigh in. Fact: cases vs her are for crimes allegedly committed more than 25 years ago. She deserved bail & got solitary confinement: woke politics.”
Way back in 1972 (when he was a "liberal"), Geraldo got together with John Lennon to hold a musical benefit for a decrepit mental institution on Long Island called Willowbrook. I imagine if John hadn't been taken from us so young, he would today be ashamed and embarrassed that he was ever associated with this putz. 
What puzzles me is the way Rivera wrote out his tweet. He wrote Maxwell's name with a hashtag attached to it. My understanding is that a hashtag is used when the writer wants the subject to see it. I'm not sure if she has access to the internet in the Brooklyn facility where she is currently incarcerated, but is Geraldo hoping that one of her attorneys will send his message to her? Is it possible that Ghislaine has some dirt on Geraldo? This is going to get a lot more interesting before it gets boring.

And how 'bout Bubba???

By all accounts, Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein were as thick as freakin' thieves. He has flown on Epstein's private plane (dubbed The Lolita Express) twenty-seven times and has visited his private island on several occasions. Is Bill vomiting in his sleep these days? I'd love to know the answer to that one.

The gang's all here!
The possible scope of this scandal promises to be bigger than anything in the history of western civilization. It has already ensnared one of the Royal Family. I'm told that the Duke of York - Prince Andrew - loves spending time in America. The last time he boarded a jet home from these shores, I  do hope he took a long look from the plane's window at the receding American landscape. It's a safe bet that he was seeing the United States for the last time. There is no way on earth that he is ever again going to be able to set foot in this country. Did you happen to check out his sit-down interview with the BBC's News Night back in November? Someone described the spectacle as a freight train crashing into a fuel truck. That's a bit of an understatement, but I'll accept it because I can't come up with a better description at the moment. His alleged victim, Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre) has sat for a number of interviews; she has a story that is lucid and credible. Given his turn, however, Andrew stuttered and stammered like a deranged little schoolboy caught steeling candy.

The one person I feel bad for is his mum, the Queen. I'm not a huge fan of royalty, but I always liked the old gal. Her majesty's a pretty nice girl but she doesn't have a lot to say. I have nothing but compassion for her when I think that she has to live out the final days of her long and distinguished life  witnessing the complete disgrace of a man who is described by all of her intimates as "her favorite son". It's too sad for words.

Keep your eyes on this one, campers. This is going to be devastating. Let's just hope that Ghislaine Maxwell doesn't "commit suicide" while in federal custody. I'm just sayin'.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is the video statement referenced above of "Katie Johnson" telling of her alleged, violent encounter with Donald Trump. I need to warn you; some of her descriptions of our president's behavior is quite graphic.

When I first saw this a couple of years ago, I didn't know what to think. I believe her.


Here is a link to watch the BBC interview with Prince Andrew. To describe it as awkward is being generous.

He's about to disappear forever from public view.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Bill Barr's Department of Injustice


"In the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls."
Lenny Bruce 
Michael Cohen is back in solitary confinement. After serving about a year of his sentence for perjury, the president's ex-lawyer and fixer was released from the prison in Otisville, NY (less than ten miles from where sit). Authorities were concerned that he might acquire the coronavirus. He was set free and ordered to confine himself to his residence. When word got out that he was writing his memoirs about his years with The Donald, memoirs that were set to be released before the election, the "justice" department of Bill Barr lured him to the probation officer assigned to his case. Once there, federal agents cuffed him and dragged him back to Otisville, where he sits today in solitary for twenty-three and-a-half hours a day. 

In the meantime, Trump's buddies, Paul Manifort and Roger Stone, both of whom are also guilty of serious offenses, are walking as free as a pair of demented birdies. They remained loyal to Trump, covered up his crimes and didn't sing. That is what justice looks like in the era of Donald Trump and Bill Barr.

This should not come as any surprise. Decades ago Barr, serving as attorney general for George H.W. Bush, made his name by sweeping the misdeeds of that administration's involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal under the rug. The late president's buddies - all of whom could have implicated him in a plea deal - were able to avoid serving time in prison due to Barr's nefarious machinations. I cannot say for certain if Billy Barr is the most corrupt attorney general in history, but he is - without a doubt - the most corrupt one of my lifetime. He makes me nostalgic for John Mitchell and Ed Meese. Please tell me, how sick is that?

We are just two days shy of six months left on the clock until this corrupt and disgusting administration is thrown onto History's shit pile. We have no other choice but to ride it out and hope that the unhinged, orange sociopath in the oval office doesn't blow us all into a bazillion itty bitty pieces.  And not one of us should be complacent enough to think that Joe Biden has got this thing wrapped up like a Christmas present. He doesn't. We need to do everything as humanly possible to ensure that Donald Trump is not reelected on the third of November. If he is able to retain another four years - whether de does it legally or illegally - this country is doomed. Do you really think I'm exaggerating? Stay tuned.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

BREAKING NEWS, 7/23/20, 2:35 PM:

Michael Cohen will be freed from the Otisville slammer tomorrow. A federal judge called the move "retaliatory". Cohen will be free to publish his memoirs before Election Day.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

My Letters from the Trumps

One of the joys of my vocation is the idiotic emails I receive from all over the world. A few months ago, some joker put me on the Trump campaign's mailing list. Whether this was done in a humorous vain or out of pure spite is hard to tell. Whatever the reason, I do get a kick out of reading them. One thing that is revealed is the contempt that these clowns have for the intelligence of their base of supporters. The fact that anyone with an IQ above fifty would fall for such utter nonsense is puzzling. Here are a few choice examples:

From Donald Trump:

I just saw our new Trump-Reagan Commemorative Coin Sets and WOW, these coins are beautiful - I took one look and immediately knew that I wanted YOU to have a set.
These aren’t any ordinary coins, Tom. They symbolize an important time in our Nation. This year, in addition to being re-elected as YOUR President, it also marks the 40th anniversary of our Nation’s 40th President, Ronald Reagan.
Unfortunately, we already sold out of the first batch we had in stock. But I liked these coins so much that I asked my team to rush order another batch for my TOP SUPPORTERS ONLY.
I’ve authorized a very limited production of these iconic coins, which is why I’m ONLY offering them to our top supporters, like YOU.

This offer is NOT available to the general public, so please, do NOT share this email with anyone.
Dear Donald,
It'll be our little secret.
From Junior:

Why haven’t you accepted my Father’s invitation to join the Official Trump VIP Club?
 The Trump VIP Club is a highly exclusive, invite-only group of my father’s most trusted supporters. So, when he asked me who I thought we should invite to join, I immediately thought of Tom from New York.
You’ve always been one of the President’s most loyal allies, which is why, for a short time, when you make your next contribution, you’ll automatically reach VIP Status and cement your name in history as a member of the Trump VIP Club.
This offer is only valid until 11:59 PM TONIGHT. If you fail to join, you might not get another chance.
Donald Trump, Jr.
Dear, Junior,

Honestly, dude, I've got better things to waste my Time on and spend my money on. Nice try, though.

From son Eric:
This is your FINAL NOTICE, Tom.
So far, we've emailed you 4 times inviting you to join the Trump Presidential Honor Roll. Team Trump emailed you, my wife Lara emailed you, my brother Don Jr. emailed you, AND President Trump emailed you.
We’ve done everything we can to get you to join this prestigious group, and now I’m reaching out to let you know that this is your LAST CHANCE.
I’m holding your spot for the NEXT 3 hours. After that, your offer will permanently EXPIRE and you will no longer be considered for a spot on the Honor Roll.
My father is counting on YOU, Tom. Don’t let him down.

Sure, Eric. The check is in the mail.


From Lara Trump (Eric's wife):

Tom, Where have you been?

I just found out that you STILL haven’t accepted your invitation to join the Trump 100 Club and I wanted to reach out to give you one more chance to join.

Because you’ve always been such a loyal Patriot in the past, I’ve been authorized to EXTEND your offer until 11:59 PM TONIGHT.

After tonight, your offer may be given to the next supporter in line who’s ready to fight for their President.

My husband, Eric, joined, Don Jr. joined, and so did Alex from Wisconsin! We’re just waiting on you now, Tom.


Dear Lara,

You have  seriously weird taste in men. Are you aware of that?

I got another, rather testy email from Eric Trump this morning:
This isn't like you, Tom. How do you want to be remembered?
As a Patriot who fought to Keep America Great? Or as an un-American Liberal who stood idly by as Radical Democrats ripped our Nation apart?
Team Trump just informed me that you haven’t accepted my father’s offer to join the Trump 100 Club, and I have to admit, I’m pretty disappointed.
Trump 100 Club Members are going to be the ones President Trump relies on when he needs the advice of REAL Americans. He’ll be counting on YOUR feedback to represent the views of millions of voters.
I will hold your spot open until 11:59 PM TONIGHT before it is PERMANENTLY RESCINDED.
Eric Trump
Dear Eric,
I would prefer to be remembered as an un-American Liberal who stood idly by as Radical Democrats ripped our Nation apart.
Tom Degan


Please bear in mind that all of these emails arrived in my inbox in the last forty-eight hours. Each of them came with a demand for donations. My life has gotten quite interesting.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Monday, July 20, 2020

Donald Trump is a Traitor

We need to come face to face with a few uncomfortable questions: Why is Donald Trump acting at every turn in ways that can only be adequately described as "not in the best interests of the United States"? Why, during the worst pandemic in over a century, is he doing so much to encourage the American people not to wear face masks? Why is he holding mass campaign rallies against the advice of every expert on infectious disease? Why is he keeping Dr. Anthony Fauci under wraps, allowing him to appear only rarely on television? Why is he demanding that America open its school doors in September, in spite of all the health risks that such a move would entail? Why is he doing all of these insane things with an election coming in less than four months?
The president of the United States of America is a traitor. I don't believe that he has any intention of removing himself from the White House six months from today, January 20, 2021. 

It is obvious to a lot of us that Trump is more than a mere ally of Vladimir Putin's; he was put where he is by the machinations of Russian intelligence and is there to do Putin's bidding, which is to destroy the United States as completely and as effectively as possible. Given his purpose, his presidency has not been a failure at all. In fact, he's been wildly successful. Trump has told us, "Nobody's been tougher on Russia than me". That's not even close to being true. Every chance he's had to do damage in service to Putin he's done that damage spectacularly - including making NATO weaker and threatening to pull American troops out of Western Europe, two of the Russian dictator's fondest dreams.

It's going to take the American people a generation or more to repair the horrendous damage that this mad man and common pervert has done to our country. There's also no getting around the fact that, when these idiotic Americans who describe themselves as his "base" finally awaken to the damage that he has done, the Republican party will go spiraling into the garbage heap of history. Conservatism, as a viable political force in the United States, is about to disappear from this country forever. When this nightmare is finally - mercifully - behind us, we will be a progressive nation once again. Remember, you read it here, folks.

It is 11:25 AM as I write these words. In six months, the final half hour of the Trump presidency will be ebbing away. To say that I don't envy the task before Joe Biden is to put it mildly. Hopefully he will have someone strong and intelligent by his side to make the task a bit easier (I'm banking on Kamala Harris). The next president will face burdens not faced by any chief executive since Franklin Roosevelt three-quarters-of-a-century ago. Joe will have his work cut out for him. We'll just leave it at that.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Bahamas has closed its borders to all visitors from the USA. He has not only made us the laughingstock of the world, we are now international pariahs.
A Change is Gonna Come
by Sam Cooke
This song needs no explanation from the likes of me. The change that Sam Cooke longed for in 1963, one year before his untimely death is finally upon us. Get the hell out of the way.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

John Lewis 1940-2020

He was a living icon. I always thought it strange and kind of sad that someone with the qualities and the grace of John Lewis would be forced, day by day, to  associate on the floor of congress with such an assortment of fools, kooks and criminals that comprise so much of the House of Reprehensibles. The man was a flower among the weeds; a king among the knaves. My favorite photograph of him is the mug-shot above, taken in Jackson, Mississippi in May of 1962. There he stood in a hostile land that was not his home. He was within moments of being thrown into a jail notorious for its cruel treatment on African American inmates. Look at his face in that photograph. John Lewis is not afraid. John Lewis is content. John Lewis is at peace with himself and the universe.

Reading his memoirs about two years ago, I was struck by the fact that there was so much of his story that I had been unfamiliar with. Before reading that incredible book, I had always been impressed by him, but I always thought that the dude took everything just a bit too seriously. Why doesn't he ever seem to smile? I used to think. After reading his autobiography, which is called "Walking With the Wind" I understood better the seriousness of John Lewis. His mission in life involved a lot more than fixing potholes for his constituents. His reason for being on this troubled planet was sacred. He was as holy as any American ever born. I'm am not exaggerating.

I understand that he was eighty-years-old and that it's never a complete shock when someone that age passes into eternity, but losing John Lewis is a hard thing to accept on too many levels to count. To call him irreplaceable would be an understatement: It cannot be stated in words what a loss his death means to America - whether the people realize it or not. It makes it all-the-more bitter that we lose him in this time of chaos and confusion, violence and corruption. America needs his wisdom more than ever before, and it's now hard to imagine our public life without his forceful but gentle presence in it.

In March of 1965, John Lewis, along with hundreds of other people, was beaten senseless by the Alabama state police as they tried to march peacefully across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. John suffered a fractured skull on that dark day and almost didn't survive. For the past couple of weeks there has been a petition going around to take the name of the old confederate racist down from that bridge and rename the structure for John Lewis. Humble as always, Lewis objected to the idea. The fact is, he's no longer around to complain. It should be forever known as The John Lewis Bridge. Considering the time we're living through, the symbolism behind such a move would be incalculable. The city fathers and mothers of Selma should know that the time to do this is now.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is a YouTube link to view John Lewis' speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in August of 1963. Bear in mind that he was a mere twenty-three at the time. This was the moment that he was thrust into America' consciousness. He has never left it. He never will. 

He may be gone, but he won't be going away any time soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

A Grim Prologue in Portland

Keep your eyes wide on what is in the process of happening in Portland, Oregon. Our psychopathic little half-wit-in-chief has sent a mystery army of unmarked troops into that city in order to stifle the protests that have been going on there since the sadistic murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police on May 25. These "troops" were not requested by Kate Brown, the governor of that state; nor were they requested by Ted Wheeler, the mayor of that city. They just breezed into town, invited by Trump to go on in and knock some heads together - and knock they did. One young protester, who was merely holding a boom-box/radio over his head was shot in the face with a rubber bullet by one of these assholes. His skull was fractured and his face needs to be surgically reconstructed. The city and the state have said that these troops sent in by der Donald are making a bad situation intolerably worse and have been requested to leave. They're not going anywhere.
Here is what I believe is occurring in Portland:

Betsy DeVos
What we are witnessing is a sick dress rehearsal for some serious violence come the autumn. Why has the disgusting little piece-of-shit bunkered down in the White House been so insistent that people go back to work during the worst pandemic since 1918? Why is education secretary Betsy DeVos so crazy to send little children back to school during this dangerous time? Why is Mike Pence so set on people congregating in large crowds? It is laughably obvious to me that they are trying to get as many people infected as is humanly possible. When the shit hits the fan in the autumn (as it inarguably will) they will use the chaos as an excuse to cancel the November elections. When the protests hit the streets nationwide, Trump's personal SS - the same mob of jack-booted twits we are seeing on the streets of Portland today - will take their weird act on tour all over the land. That is Donald Trump's plan. Count on it.

The unmarked, unnamed mystery troops that have invaded Portland are a sick harbinger of what is in store for the rest of the country in the coming months. Trump is planning a series of these incursions in other cities that are run by Democrats. The hideous little thug is planning on using his very own Secret Police to spread chaos and disorder "from California to the New York mountains".

And consider this rancid-tasting little morsel if you will:

Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Airlines, once relayed the details of a conversation he once had with Donald Trump. Over a private dinner, Trump told Branson that what he relished more than anything else was getting even with someone who has crossed him. If he loses the election on November the third, he will have two months, two weeks and three days to "get even" with the American people. When one considers that we have a paid agent of Vladimir Putin sitting behind the Resolute Desk at the moment, this is an ominous and terrifying thing to contemplate.

We should not assume that Donald Trump will be defeated on Election Day next - after all, we still live in Idiot Nation, and that depressing fact is not going to change anytime soon. We need to prepare for the assault on democracy that will inevitably come our way in the next half year. This is as bad as it's ever been or is ever going to be. This is four times as bad as anyone dared to predict four years ago - myself included. Donald Trump has effectively done the bidding of his master, Vladimir Putin.

He has done Putin's bidding well. Get used to living in a nation in ruins.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

The governor of Oklahoma, who attended Trump's rally in Tulsa three weeks ago, just tested positive for COVID-19. Isn't that a hoot?


John Lewis has died. C.T. Vivian, who attended seminary school with Lewis and was also a superstar of the civil rights movement, has passed away on the same day. They were the last survivors of that historical struggle. Forgive the cliché, but this is, indeed, the end of an era.