Saturday, December 16, 2006

The 109th Congress 2005-2007

There are people a lot smarter than I (MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, for instance) who have called it "the worst congress in American history". The "good for nothin' 80th Congress", as the session of 1947-1949 was constantly referred to by President Truman, was a model of legislative statesmanship by comparison. From the scenes of Bill Frist diagnosing the condition of the tragic Terri Schiavo from a distance of almost a thousand miles away, to the semi-comic implosion of the political career of the now thoroughly disgraced congressman from Texas, Tom DeLay, the incompetence and corruption of the One-hundred and ninth Congress of 2005-2007 is one for the Halls of Infamy. We can only hope and pray that their record is never surpassed.

Honestly, Did you ever, in your wildest, apocalyptic dreams, think that your once-great nation would sink as low as it has??? So help me, Mitch Miller, I never even dreamed it! Witnessing Bush try to function in any public forum these days is getting to be more and more uncomfortable to watch. At a meeting with the press last week where he was discussing the findings of the Iraq Study Group, he was audibly slurring his words. Randi Rhodes replayed it twice on her Air America Radio program and there was little doubt that something was wrong - seriously wrong. Is the hideous little bastard back on the sauce? As luck would have it, I have spent many years in scholarly pursuit of this very subject (so to speak) - I can spot another drunk a mile away - and my own considerable expert opinion tells me that this would, indeed, be the case. I was actually starting to feel some degree of sympathy for the man until I remembered the dead - at least half a million Iraqi men, women and little children - and I was quickly bought back to earth - Genocide has a nasty little tendency of doing that. George W. Bush deserves many things - no argument from me in that department - but sympathy is not one of them. He deserves only our utter contempt.

One can only speculate as to the conclusions historians will come to a century from now. Of this you may be reasonably certain: their verdict will not be kind to us, the American people. This disgraceful state of affairs would not have come into being but for the fact that the the citizens of this country were so jaw-droppingly ignorant with respect to affairs of state. That more of us voted for the American Idol than for the American President speaks volumes as to our shameful indifference and lack of basic knowledge pertaining to our government. Think about it: Condoleeza Rice is the most visible Secretary of State since Henry Kissinger's term during the Nixon administration almost forty years ago - she's also the first African American woman to ever hold that job! - And yet poll after poll after poll shows that a majority of Americans not only don't even know who she is, they're blissfully ignorant of the outright damage she has done to the USA's standing within the international community of nations. If that very fact is not enough to make you want to bang your head against a brick wall, your inner fortitude is much stronger than mine - or maybe you're just living in total ignorance - either way, take a bow.

Has it really come to this? In the thirties, Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel about the facsist overthrow of America called, It Can't Happen Here. The implication behind the title was that it damn well could happen here and that, given the extremist nature of America's political conversation at the moment, it very well might! As has been said before: if you're not alarmed, you're not paying attention.

As of today (December 16, 2006) there are exactly two years, one month and four days left of this absolute nightmare of an administration. No question about it: we cannot allow this situation to continue. In a piece published this week, former White House counsel John Dean speculated that the impeachment of Bush and Cheney is out of the question. His reasoning was that there are so many reactionary, half-witted, right wing loonies polluting the chambers of the House and Senate, the removal of these hideous war criminals is not even a viable option. While his point is well taken, I must respectfully disagree. My belief is that by next summer, ideology won't matter any longer. The people - WE, THE PEOPLE - will demand that the Bush administration be held to account for their crimes against humanity. Lord help any foolish politician who stands in our way.
As for the one-hundred and ninth Congress? Don't let the door hit you on your way out.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Tom, I am always amazed at your grasp of history and impassioned writing. I wish I had that gift. Though you told me once you ran for local office, I think you should try again. It is a good time for progressive-green candidates to run for local offices. That is the only way we can really build other parties up. There is legislation in congress to make sure only those candidates with majority able to win. There are several states who already have this type of voting laws. This could do away with the two party rule. Maybe some sanity could rein long enough to change that law to national elections too. When the New York Times and Washington Post discuss our messed up elections this past Nov, it is time TV also should take up this cry.

My father hated Truman for not winning in Korea. He fought in WWII and did not understand why we did not win. There are many Americans who still do not understand why we cannot win in Iraq. It really is the same question, just a different mind set. Iraq over shadows so much corruption here at home and has helped to pass so many unconstitutional laws. We have to keep pounding on those newly elected democrats to carry out our will. Impeachment may still be possible, when the truth really comes out in hearings. Thanks for your log, I look for it each time I log on and also on AlterNet too. You make my day many times

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Tom. Correct me if I am wrong but Madeleine Albright was the first woman Secretary Of State during Bill Clinton's presidency.

At 1:42 AM, Blogger larkrise said...

Since Bush stole the first election, I have printed out and collected articles about his administration and the contemptible Congress that has enabled his particular form of insanity. I want my grandchildren and great-granchildren to have a record easily available to them that documents this utterly destructive time. I want them to learn from it. The attention span of far too many Americans is far too short to be measured. They would rather be entertained than informed. They Google Britney and Paris and ignore the real news of the day. One wag stated on another website that Bush could appear on HDTV eating babies and screwing a goat and he would still get a 20% approval rating. Meanwhile, Bush, his drummer boy, Mad Dog McCain, and Congress are getting ready to send more human cannon fodder to Iraq. They ignore the polls. They ignore the last election.They certainly ignore protests, action alerts, e-mails,petitions and the Study Group. They will throw dollars onto the burning funeral pyre that is Iraq, until there are none left. It is ineffective, irresponsible and insane. Operating in a state of unreality has become the rule of thumb, the order of the day. I fear a cataclysm, most likely an economic one, but others are possible, will be the only way to awaken many people,and cleanse us of the corrupt politicians who deface and defame what is left of our Democracy.

At 5:10 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Dear Wilma,
You are absolutley correct, my dear! I should have said, "first African American woman". The correction has been duly noted and put into place.

Sandra, I make YOUR day??? That little posting made my life!


At 5:21 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Note to Larkrise:
I could not have said it better if I tried. You write like a dream! Please do more of it!
Tom Degan

At 5:21 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:01 AM, Blogger Palooka's Revenge said...


I spent many years in miserable pursuit of whatever it was I was trying to find at the bottom of a bottle. 19 years ago I found a book titled "how to live with a problem drinker and SURVIVE." I was my own "problem drinker" and it had come almost impossible to live with myself anymore.

The book identified several "traits" of a problem drinker. They are...

Anxious: I had a history of anxiety attacks and had recently been hospitalized. It had, as is often the case, manifested as symptoms of heart attack.

Angry: I was full of rage that had escalated to the point that I could have the blame at the foot of the Godhead in 15 seconds.

Manipulative: I'll spare the gory details but suffice it to say damn anyone or anything that gets in my way!

Tyranical: I, or more correctly, the obsession, controled everything in my life in a way so as to have alcohol available to me 24/7

Self-deluding: aka denial.

Dependent: the obsession fits in here. I didn't realize the prison i was in until i got clean. Oh, the glorious feeling of freedom!

Depressed: it took a psychiatrist to convince me.

Irresponsible: who cares?

Immature: I woke up at 44 to realize i was 14.

Sexual problems: no comment

Bush certainly displays many of those traits. Some are certainly more visable to the observer than others.

As you know it is entirely possible to be what is called a dry drunk. One can not drink but, untreated, still display all the personality and behavioral traits. Bush does in spades.

I wasn't aware of the clip you refer to but it sounds very disturbing. It can be pretty hard to keep the horse in the barn when the shit hits the fan and, to the extent that he can know, the man knows he is in deep shit.

The brotherhood of the empty chalice shys away from calling another an alcoholic. But as it is also said there, it takes one to know one. And if someone displays all the personality and behavioral traits and isn't an alcoholic? Well then, they've missed a damn good chance!

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Palooka, in that whether the Jugeared Jackass is back on the bottle or not he is certainly acting like a dry drunk who has never taken responsibility for anything. Increasingly, I also feel that he is mentally unstable. He is not trying to find a solution for Iraq, he is looking for people who agree with him and who wil tell him he is doing the right thing.

One interesting tidbit that I read a week or so ago is that we may be seeing less and less of Cheney. Bushes Ship of State is sinking and Cheney is probably going to join the rest of the rats who are abandoning him. If Rumsfeld ever did anything admirable in his life, and that is questionable, it is going to be overshadowed in history by the arrogant, idiotic, bull headed mess he made in Iraq and Cheney is probably going to try and save his ass from the same fire in the pages of history.

I am not sure that impeachment would work at this point, but I have a feeling that you are correct, Tom when you say that given another year, the people of America will demand it, if they can get over their fascination with Paris Hilton and Tom Cruise. At that point Congress will have no other choice but to go through with it, but it is going to be up to us, the people to push for it.

This war is not only unwinnable, it is already lost and believe me, the Chinese are just sitting back ready and able to pull the rug out from under our economy when we finally go down in military defeat.


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