Monday, September 29, 2008

Palin For President

Question: "How did you become king, then?"
King Arthur: The lady of the lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king."
Michael Palin: "Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses - not from some farcical equatic ceremony! You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"
from the film
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

A few days ago, in his excellent column in the New York Times, Bob Herbert, commenting on the positively weird performance Sarah Palin gave in her interview with CBS's Katie Couric, made what I thought to be a very astute observation (as Mr. Herbert has an uncanny tendency of doing). Said he:

"It was surreal, the kind of performance that would generate a hearty laugh if it were part of a Monty Python sketch. But this is real life, and the stakes couldn't be higher. As Ms. Palin was fumbling her way through the Couric interview, the largest bank failure in the history of the United States, the collapse of Washington Mutual, was occurring."

That's when it hit me. MONTY PYTHON??? The Republicans have nominated the wrong freaking Palin! I refer, of course, to Michael Palin, a member of the legendary British comedy group. Although a British subject (a tricky little problem which could be corrected by a simple Constitutional amendment) he is someone whom I know we can all count on to stand up for what's good and decent in this grand and glorious land of ours. My friends, of this you may be absolutely certain: Michael Palin will not only talk the silly talk, he will walk the silly walk.

That's it! As soon as I am finished writing this, I am heading down town to the Orange County Board of Elections to re-register as a proud member of the Silly Party.

Governor Palin has spent every day since she secured the nomination exploiting her image as a woman of the outdoors. But just look at the kinds of activities she engages in: Shooting wolves from a plane? Murdering meese? (I am referring to the accepted plural for moose in some quarters - not the former Attorney General). What the hell kind of an image is that? Quite frankly the woman comes off as a bit of a sociopath if you ask me.

Michael Palin, on the other hand, is a real outdoors man! He's a lumberjack and he's okay. He sleeps all night and he works all day. And while it is true that he might have some difficulty siphoning off the disgruntled Hillary Clinton voter given his gender, it should be remembered that he puts on women's clothing and hangs around in bars. As he himself has said numerous times in various public forums going back to 1969, "I wish I'd been a girlie just like my dear papa."

The man is a natural.

Vote Silly In '08

You can expect the epidemic of religious extremism that has polluted the American political system during the last three decades to disappear under a Palin administration. Michael has made himself quite clear on the subject:

"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition."
Michael Palin, 1969

Sure, it's kind of a vague statement but you can trust me on this one my fellow Americans; the man's heart is in the right place.

Believe me when I tell you that Michael Palin, unlike Sarah Palin, is our real future. And unlike Sarah, Michael has one very crucial thing going in his "favour" (that's how they spell it in merrie ol' England - what's up with that? ): At least we'll be able to take his candidacy seriously. Let's all sign up today! As luck would have it, I just happen to have the link to the site where you can register:

Register today and get a free fuzzy thing!

Unlike Democrats and Republicans, we proud and dedicated, members of the Silly Party make no pretense at being serious. You might say that our real genius is at being seriously silly. We represent truth, justice, righteousness, knickers, (sorry 'bout that) freedom and democracy. We can and will make a difference.

Always look on the bright side of life.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Around the World in Eighty Days
with Michael Palin

Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventures

The Complete Monty Python Collection


One night, in the mid 1980's, I received a phone call from my late father (he was still alive at the time, I promise). He informed me that he and my mother had been dining in the Rainbow Room, high atop the Rockefeller Center in New York City. Due to the size of the crowd, they had shared a table with a very nice man and his elderly mother. Dad told me that the man was a British comedian who was about to co-host the upcoming segment of Saturday Night Live. It was Michael Palin and his mum.

Friday, September 26, 2008


My goodness! Did you happen to catch that speech? So help me, it reminded me of a hostage tape! There was a certain surreal glaze in the First Fool's eyes that was disconcerting to say the very least. Is it possible that the hideous little bastard back on the stuff? As an ex-drug user I can tell you that it is a question that must be confronted head on. Even though I've been clean for slightly over thirty years, I can still spot another junkie a mile away. It takes a thief to catch a thief, you dig?
And yet, despite his strange, almost dream-like performance, the trademark Bushian arrogance was still there. The most casual observer could not have possibly missed it:
"It's mah way er the hah-way".
Put yourself in the position of one of our beleaguered lawmakers. There sat Henry Paulson, representing the most incompetent, corrupt administration in the history of this troubled country - an administration that lied the American people into an unnecessary war that has thus far led to the deaths of at least a million people; an administration that has subverted the Constitution; an administration which squandered an astronomical monetary surplus on a tax cut for a class of people who already had more money than they knew what to do with; an administration that tried to do away with habeas corpus; an administration that has engaged in political persecutions - and this asshole wants the congress to entrust him with three-quarters of a trillion dollars?
Gosh, we live in interesting times! We really do!
The irony is the fact that there are more than a few Democrats at whose doorstep the blame for the current economic meltdown may be properly laid - and I would include Bill Clinton in that mix. Although he did not create this deplorable situation, as president he could have put an end to the orgy of deregulation on Wall Street and yet merely enabled it. That is why Bubbah was such a deep disappointment as president. He had the intellectual ability to be one of the greatest presidents in American history but only squandered his eight years in office appeasing the right wing. He's just one of the many reasons I left that silly party years ago.
But Democratic culpability aside, when you go to the polls on Election Day to cast your precious ballot, don't you dare forget this one, undeniable, and avoidable fact:
It was the Republicans that did this to you. .
You would think that if the American taxpayers are expected to bail out the plutocracy from this generation's financial Titanic, those same taxpayers should expect a little piece of any potential profit that would result, wouldn't you? Wouldn't you?? Yeah, I would too. Think again.
Someone has accurately described it as privatized profit and socialized loss. How much more proof do the clueless American people need? The mask has been yanked away from the phantom of this stupid operetta and the real, ugly face of the so-called "Reagan Revolution" is revealed for all to behold. THEY are allowed to run roughshod through our social and economic infrastructure. WE are expected to clean up THEIR mess. THEY walk away from the economic carnage relatively unscathed, THEIR tax cuts, quarterly dividend checks and multi-million dollar severance packages still firmly in place, while WE are left to bear the burden of THEIR greed and recklessness. Fuck THEM!
"You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, we all want to change the world."
Question: Are you one/tenth as pissed off as I? If you are, you're pretty damned angry, pardner. You're at the end of your patience and your wits. You've had it up to here with the stupid and incompetent bastards and bitches who have spent the last thirty fucking years destroying a country that used to be a nice place in which to live. You feel like Peter Finch in the movie Network, when he stood out in front of his shell-shocked country and proclaimed, loudly as he could:
"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
Or maybe your style is a bit more cerebral. Maybe you feel a bit more like Thomas Jefferson in 1776, when he put quill to parchment and wrote:.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men [and Women!], deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right [and the duty!] of the People to alter or abolish it...."
Honestly, to whom do you think it would do us good to listen to: Thomas Jefferson - or George W. Bush? Just a little something to think about. There are an awful lot of angry Americans out there and we mean business, Buster. If we can't alter this government - make no mistake about it - we will abolish it. Democracy needs to be saved - but it won't be the elected officials of either party who will be doing the saving. It'll be WEEDA PEEPLE, BABY! Okay, I'll admit that this is wishful thinking on my part - most of the snoring bumpkins who comprise WalMart Nation have nary a clue as to what is happening to them. But then again, you can't blame a guy for dreaming, can you?
We can also save capitalism by doing what FDR did: "tempering it's excesses". Oh! And speaking of excesses....
From "The Rant", June 8, 2008:
"So desperate is the Bush Mob to forestall the inevitable, catastrophic economic collapse that is months - if not weeks away - they have resorted to sending checks in the amount of several hundred dollars to every taxpayer in the United States. Their intention is to keep the economy barely sustained just long enough to be able to get out of town while the getting is good and blame the coming, unavoidable meltdown on the next administration - an administration they have some reason to believe will be a Democratic one. What they are in the process of doing may very well serve as a temporary fix, but it will eventually only further deplete our already decimated national treasure. Seriously, has it dawned on you yet how utterly contemptible these people are? I was just wondering."
Aw, nuts! Their little scheme backfired. If the damned economy only could have held up a few months longer. Talk about bad timing! The truth is, early in the summer when Henry Paulson told reporters that the economy was doing well, he was lying. The economy was about to go over a cliff and the son-of-a-bitch knew it. Listen, Folks, I dropped out of High School at the beginning of the eleventh grade. I did a total year-and-a-half in an upstate New York community college. If it was obvious to me in June that the economy was "weeks if not months away" from tanking, of this you may be absolutely certain: it was obvious to the homicidal little thug in the Oval Office and the sycophants that surround him. Don't say I didn't warn you. By the way, Uncle Sam, I'm still waiting for my check.
In the meantime, the sheer desperation of Camp McCain has been a wonderful, laugh-riot to behold. The latest addition to the giggle fest was their pathetic attempt to prove that Gidget - I mean, Sarah Palin - has geo-political credentials. How were they able to do this, you may well ask? They sent the poor gal to the U.N. to be photographed with foreign leaders. I was once shown on CNN, shaking hands with the Irish politician Gerry Adams. It's a curious thing. After that event was televised, no one assumed that I was an expert on the diplomatic relationship between Ireland and the United States. It just shows what John McCain thinks about the intelligence of the American people. Come to think about it, I think the old bugger might be onto something.
As if that weren't weird enough, McCain has obviously come to the realization that he has no factual ground to stand on in a debate with Barack Obama. The other day when the Illinois senator attempted to get in touch with the McCain campaign to issue a joint statement in order not to politicize the crisis in Washington, John McCain then went on to politicize the crisis in Washington. He stood out in front of the press and said he was cancelling the debate scheduled for this evening and was heading back to DC to save America.
How touching. Where's my handkerchief?
The truth is, a proposed debate is a mere formality at this stage. Senator Obama doesn't even have to show up. Were McCain to debate an empty chair, the chair would win. These people are ideologically bankrupt. They can not win an election by talking about their ideas because their ideas are atrocious. Their only option is to divide, distort and distract - "Lipstick on a pig" - the old Lee Attwater/Karl Rove playbook. To paraphrase President Roosevelt, the only thing they have to offer is fear itself.
We must confront the ominous truth that what happened on Wall Street on September 15, 2008 was only the dawn of what I fear will prove to be years of hardship for the people of the United States and the world. You can take that to the bank....
....On second thought, stuff it under the mattress.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
The Declaration of Independence
There are one-hundred and fifteen days until the disgusting, corrupt incompetent, half-witted, murderous, foolish and inarticulate little piece of shit we spent eight long years laughingly referring to as the "commander-in-chief" is GONE FOREVER! Oh, man! January 20, 2009 just can't come soon enough for me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bush=Truman? Have Another Sip!

"The human animal cannot be trusted for anything good except en masse. The combined thought and action of the whole people of any race, creed or nationality, will always point in the right direction."

Harry S Truman
"Our system of free enterprise rests on the conviction that the federal government should interfere in the marketplace only when necessary."
George W. Bush
September 19, 2008

The stupid bastard. He still doesn't get it.

Charles Krauthammer is a disabled conservative columnist. I am referring not to his physical disabilities, but his intellectual ones. In a piece published yesterday in the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, NY, the perennially clueless Krauthammer wrote the following observational knee-slapper:

"In this respect, Bush is much like Truman, who developed the sinews of war for a new era (the Department of Defence, the CIA, the NSA), expanded the powers of the presidency, established a new doctrine for active intervention abroad, and ultimately engaged in a war (Korea) - also absent an attack on the U.S. - that proved highly unpopular. So unpopular that Truman left office disparaged and highly out of favor. History has reversed that verdict. I have little doubt that Bush will be the subject of a similar reconsideration."

To quote the recently deceased Margaret Truman, whom when told during the campaign of 1988 that George H.W. Bush was comparing himself to her father had only this to say:

"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
You've got to hand it to those Trumans. They really had a way of getting right to the heart of the matter.

Recent years have seen a curious transformation on the part of the GOP as far as the subject of Harry Truman is concerned. Once anathema to every thing the right wing stood for, Truman is now viewed by many of them as a kind of secular saint. On his radio program last week, Ed Schultz accurately described him as the Republican party's favorite Democratic president. And why wouldn't this be so? When he left the White House on January 20, 1953, Truman's approval ratings were hovering in the low 30's - not quite as low as George W. Bush's, but low enough to be sure.

His decision to invade Korea was not (as Krauthammer contends) "absent an attack". When North Korea crossed the thirty-eighth parallel in 1950 and invaded its neighbor to the south, President Truman committed American troops to a multilateral, United Nations counter invasion in order to force back the aggression. By January 1953, Korea seemed to be at a stalemate and Americans were growing weary of the "police action" (It wasn't officially a "war"). To makes matters worse, his decision to fire the insubordinate but wildly popular General Douglas MacArthur, only added to the public perception of Truman as a demagogue and a fool.

What a difference fifty-five years makes. When viewed through the subjective lens of 20/20, historical hindsight, Truman's administration stands out for the brave stands it took and and its progressive accomplishments. Whether you agree with his decision or not, America and its allies had committed themselves to defending any nation against Communist aggression. General MacArthur wanted to expand the Korean conflict by invading China - and seemed determined to do so regardless of the president's orders. Had that happened, it most certainly would have precipitated World War Three. Truman had no choice but to discharge him.

He made many other courageous decisions. It was President Truman who, on July 28, 1948, desegregated the armed forces of the United States in the face of near rabid opposition, particularly in the south. At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1948, Truman forced the delegates to accept a comprehensive civil rights platform. That was more than the southern delegation could handle - most of them walked out. Facing a fourth party uprising of Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats on the right and Henry Wallace and the Progressives on the left, everyone believed Harry Truman would be beaten senseless come November. Everyone, that is with the exception of one person - Harry Truman. On Election Day, to the shock of every political "expert" on the scene, he handily defeated Republican Thomas Dewey. As David McCullough wrote in the final sentence of his over one-thousand page biography of the man, "He stands like a rock in memory now." Indeed he does.

True, Harry Truman was not without flaws. This descendant of Scotch-Irish settlers could be stubborn to the point of absurdity - a trait characteristic of his forebears. Although honest to a flaw, his administration was tainted by small elements of corruption. However, to his credit, if an incident of official skulduggery came to his attention, the president would fire to the person or persons involved. To the best of my knowledge, not one of them ever received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His Supreme Court appointments were not particularly notable; and his habit of surrounding himself with cronies from Missouri - loyal men though they were - didn't do him much good in the long run.

But his imperfections aside, Harry S Truman was a good American and a great president - one of the greatest of the twentieth century. Comparing him to George W. Bush is the equivalent of comparing the Bald Eagle to a barnyard chicken.

More than anything, what jumped off of the page of Krauthammer's puff piece on Bush, was the first paragraph:

"For the last 150 years, most American war presidents - most notably Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt - have entered (or re-entered) office knowing war was looming. Not so George Bush."

Beg pardon?

It has been documented - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that the Bush Mob had the invasion on the sovereign nation of Iraq on the table from their very first cabinet meeting in January 2001. The arrogance of Charlie Krauthammer, that he can print as fact something that can be disproven with a modicum or research, is truly stunning. You can be sure that somewhere in the void, Westbrook Pegler is smiling.

"Harry S Truman and George W. Bush".

Wow! Even seeing both of their names printed out in the same sentence is disconcerting, to say the least. It's like comparing apples and rotten mangoes.

Harry S Truman spent his formative years working on his family's modest farm.

George W. Bush was born with "a silver foot in his mouth" (God bless you, Ann Richards).

Harry S Truman eagerly enlisted enlisted in the military at the onset of World War One in spite of the fact that that he was a farmer (a vital occupation during the two world wars) and his poor eyesight (He was technically blind in one eye).

George W. Bush did everything possible to avoid fighting in Vietnam. Once he was safely in place in the National Guard thanks to the connections of his congressman father, the cowardly little thug proceeded to go AWOL.

Harry S Truman believed that big business exists solely for the purpose of serving the American people.

George W. Bush believes the exact opposite. By now that should be obvious to all.

Harry S Truman had an astute understanding of American history and believed - to his core - in the principles put forward in the Constitution of the United States.

George W. Bush has soiled the Constitution.

Harry S Truman understood that government regulation of the marketplace is essential to a healthy economy.

George W. Bush doesn't have a clue (I would only remind you of the quote near the top of this piece). Had strict governmental regulation been in place to begin with and not systematically dismantled during the last twenty-eight years, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in at the moment.

Harry S Truman knew that a healthy and thriving middle class was the fuel that moved America forward.

George W. Bush spent his entire term of office destroying the middle class.

Harry S Truman believed in the promise of America and its people.

George W. Bush believes in George W. Bush.

Harry S Truman once said, "A president either is constantly on top of events or, if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him.

George W. Bush once said,"There's an old saying in Tennessee....I know it's in Texas....Probably in Tennessee, that says 'Fool me once [four second pause] shame on you [six second pause] Fool me....can't get fooled again".

The comparisons between the two men invite so many irresistible analogies: Fine wine and Thunderbird; chicken salad and chicken shit; Tchaikovsky and Lawrence Welk; Billie Holiday and Anita Bryant; Marilyn Monroe and Medusa; caviar and cotton candy; the Rolls Royce and the Hugo; Citizen Kane and Porkys III; Pavarotti and Patti Page; opera and vaudeville; champagne and shampoo; Albert Einstein and Bobo the simpleminded; Laurence Olivier and Larry the Cable Guy; Abraham Lincoln and....well....George W. Bush....I could literally go on for pages and pages.

Twenty-five years from now, historical hindsight will only reaffirm what those of us who bothered to pay attention all these years have known from the beginning: Sending Bush to the White House eight years ago was the worst electoral mistake in American history. Harry Truman he ain't. Give 'em hell, Georgie.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY


"Truman" by David McCullough


Oh! I almost forgot! There are one-hundred and eighteen days left to go until George W. Bush ("That good fer nothin' son-of-a-bitch" as Harry S Truman would no doubt have described him) is out of office and out of our lives forever!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Crappy Days are Here Again

Mr. Herbert Hoover
Says that now's the time to buy
So let's have another cup of coffee
And let's have another piece of pie!

From "The Rant", 30 December 2007:

"2008 will be remembered as the year our entire economy collapsed. Take that to the bank (so to speak)."

My! My! The looks I got when I wrote that line: "Ho! Ho! Oh, Tom! You're so eccentric! Ho! Ho! Isn't he amusing!"

In another posting earlier this year, I predicted that the great implosion was months, if not weeks away. My cousin Margaret used to work for A.I.G. until a couple of years ago when she went into business for herself. Message to Margaret: Good career move, kid.

The trillion dollar shit hammer hit the fan yesterday and I'm loving every minute it! How could that possibly be? Aside from feeling personally vindicated, I think that the events yesterday on Wall Street just might be the long-feared cataclysmic meltdown that will finally awaken the comatose American people from their twenty-eight year slumber. Wakey! Wakey, kiddies!

Seventy-six years ago, on the eve of the election that sent Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the White House, President Hoover received the following, very cheeky telegram from an unnamed citizen:


By that time, the Great Depression which was unleashing such economic horror across the American landscape was already three years old. It's not as if the stock market had crashed less than two months before. In the columns I have posted in the last few months, I have made many references to that campaign of 1932. Forgive me for sounding repetitive, but the parallels are too numerous to ignore. Analogies are literally screaming to be made.

With all that has happened in the last twenty-four hours, you would think that Senator Barack Obama receives a major boost in the polls. We shall see. Recent weeks have seen he and John McCain in a virtual dead heat. The so-called "pundits" have come up with scores of reasons why this would be so, totally ignoring the real and only reason: McCain is white. Obama is not. It's as simple as that.

"The economy is fundamentally sound"
Herbert Hoover 1932

"The fundamentals of the economy are strong"
John McCain 2008

Hmmm. Call in a hunch but I get this creepy feeling that when a politician in 2008 inadvertently paraphrases Hoover in 1932, it's generally a pretty good idea to fold up the tents and go home for a nice, long nap. I'm just waiting for the poor old bugger to proclaim that prosperity is just around the corner.

When some of the largest and oldest financial institutions in the country collapse overnight, like a house of marked cards, to even imply that one's economy is "fundamentally strong" reminds me of Hitler and Goebbles in April of 1945, rejoicing in the bunker on learning of the death of FDR - while the allies were pounding the hell out of the city of Berlin a mere one-hundred feet above their clueless heads - an awfully good time for a little reality check to say the least.

At this moment, McCain is being interviewed on Morning Joe on MSNBC. He just made the statement, "Wall Street has betrayed us". He's only half right. It was also Ronald Reagan who betrayed us. It was both Bushes who betrayed us. It was the Republicans (and more than a few Democrats) that betrayed us. And, most assuredly, it was also John McCain who betrayed us. It was the orgy of deregulation - supported and enabled by McCain from the moment he came to Congress in 1983 - that brought us to this point. Anyone who would deny as much hasn't been paying attention.

It's curious. People who tend to lean to the extreme right wing have absolutely no understanding of American history. None. I'll prove it to you. Ask any of your ultra right friends the following question: Who was president during World War One? That doesn't sound like a very difficult question, does it? We're talkin' History 101 here! I guarantee it - most, if not all of them, will be unable to answer that mind-numbingly simple question. Try it some time (For fans of FOX Noise: The answer is Woodrow Wilson).

Here's another question you can ask them (and this one is such a no-brainer, you might be embarrassed even asking it): What was the name of President McKinley's Assistant Secretary of the Navy who resigned his position, donned a uniform and went off to Cuba to lead a brigade in the Spanish American War? They won't know the answer. Give them this hint: He later served as McKinley's vice-president. They won't know the answer. Give them a third hint: He became president on McKinley's assassination in September of 1901. They won't know the answer. Give them a fourth hint: His face is on Mt. Rushmore. They won't know the answer. By this time you'll be tearing your hair out in utter exasperation, but give them this fifth and final hint: Within a quarter-of-a-century, his distant cousin would become the president of the United States. I guarantee it! Most of them will not be able to answer this unbelievably basic question of American history (Again, for you FOX fans: It was Theodore Roosevelt)

If our extremist brothers and sisters on both sides of the political spectrum had so much as a remedial knowledge of the history of their nation, they would know the answers to those questions. They would also know that every time the "plutocracy" (as the loony right wing was called in the good old days) were able to seize control of all three branches of their government, they ran this country right into an economic ditch. That is not just my opinion, folks - that is an undeniable historical fact! LOOK IT UP!

And now, to the surprise of no one with a freshman history major's understanding of the past, our monetary systems are once again falling apart. During the campaign of 1948, President Harry S Truman, referring to "that good fer nothin' [Republican] Eightieth Congress" pointedly asked his fellow countrymen the following, very pertinent question:

"How many times do you have to get hit over the head before you realize that you're getting hit over the head?"

Damned good question! Any takers?

The American people are now in the process of relearning a lesson they should have learned nearly a century and a half ago during the administration of Ulysses S Grant. That lesson is this: Conservative philosophy of governance does not work - PERIOD. It never has. It never will.

"But what about Ronald Reagan?", your conservative friend may ask, "The economy did great under Ronald Reagan!" As the late Lloyd Bensten once said, "You give me four trillion dollars in hot checks and I'll give you one hell of an illusion of prosperity. And yet, given all of the recklessness of the Reagan administration, John McCain was able to say yesterday (with a straight face - so help me Alan Greenspan!) that America "must return to the fiscal responsibility of the Reagan era". So reckless and irresponsible has the Bush Mob proven to be, McCain was able to make that incredibly stupid comment and no one, thus far (with the exception of yours truly, of course) has called him on it. .

As I said before, it was only when the right wing seized control of "all three branches" of the government that they were able to ruin the economy. Reagan never had a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and his party only had control of the senate for a few years during his reign of error. Back then, the Supreme Court was much more moderate than it is today. Had Reagan had the legislative freedom that the current president enjoyed for six long years, he would today be remembered as the worst president in history and the world would never have known the name, George W. Bush. Sooner or later, the people of this country are bound to recover from their positively dysfunctional love affair with the twisted legacy of the Gipper. The truth is, everything Bush has done to you, Ronald Reagan tried to do to you - and would have done to you - had he had control of both houses of congress.

As I wrote on this site over a year ago, what must be understood is that Ronald Reagan was essentially a mask, with a twinkle in its eye and a fine, Irish smile. Remove that mask and what is revealed is the hideous smirk of George W. Bush - That's the real face of the "Reagan Revolution". Wake up, America. We're about one half of a step away from the point of no return.

Well, now! Where do we find ourselves now? We have John McCain and Gidget asking (and expecting) the American electorate to commit economic suicide by sending to the White House the very people who are responsible for the mess we are in to begin with! Isn't that lovely? Just imagine what would have happened to this country had the people stupidly reelected Hoover in 1932. This would be a very different world today. You don't believe it? Remember it was the right wing who wanted to appease Hitler in the nineteen-thirties. "America Firsters", they were called. One of their head spokesmen was Charles A. Lindbergh. Can you imagine what this planet would have been like today had those assholes been in power in 1939? I get the dry heaves just thinking about it!

Do you or a loved one depend on a monthly Social Security check from the government? Now just whom do you think you have to thank for that? Newt Gingrich? It was the very liberal Roosevelt Administration. In 1935, when that program came into being, every single conservative commentator in the print and electronic media - without exception - predicted that it would result in the ruination of the United States. Honestly now, do we really want the ideological heirs of those jackasses to retain control of the executive branch of our government? As someone once said, be careful what you wish for.

While (as some are suggesting) this might merely be a temporary glitch in the market and that everything will be back to normal in a day or two, what happened on Wall Street yesterday is an ominous sign which should give every citizen of this troubled republic pause. As one of the numerous bumper stickers on the back of my van says:


We have no other choice. If you think I don't know what I'm talking about, then go ahead - vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin on Election Day. You'll deserve everything that happens to you.

So there!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Mike's Election Guide
by Michael Moore

There are one-hundred and twenty-five days until the disgusting, corrupt and incompetent administration of George W. Bush is gone forever. That is, of course, unless We The People elect McCalin/Pain. If that happens you can expect at least four more years of the same. On that happy note....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Ballad of McCain and Unable

Have you seen the bigger piggies in their starched, white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts

To play around in....
George Harrison

Consider this: The American economy is on the verge of collapse. Lives are being lost on a daily basis in a two-front war. Our infrastructure is coming apart. Hundreds of thousands of people all across this troubled land are losing their jobs not to mention their homes. As I write these words, the city of Houston, Texas is being destroyed by Hurricane Ike. With all this going on, what do you think these silly, half-witted Republicans have the entire country debating? Lipstick on a pig.
As the late, great Jack Parr used to say, "I kid you not".
In their sties with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need is a damned good whacking!
The "controversy" (if that's what you want to call it) revolves around Barack Obama's description earlier this week of John McCain's economic policies:
"You can put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig."
"SEXISM!" screamed the loony right wing, "That's a direct smear of the vice-presidential candidate! How cruel! How thoughtless! How could he? The poor woman! Oh, the poor, poor woman!"
I think that it reveals a lot about what they really think of their V.P. nominee. The moment the word "pig" escaped Obama's lips, the first thing that came to their minds was Sarah Palin. Very interesting indeed.
This is straight out of the Karl Rove Playbook: Distract, distort and divide. They obviously can't discuss "the issues", so to speak; they can't run on the basis of their ideas because their ideas (or, rather, their "ideology") is atrocious. So, what to do? Create a controversy out of think air. Ignore the fact that if you google the phrase, "lipstick on a pig", you will be able to find a score or more of Republican politicians using those words in the last year alone. Ignore the fact that the title of the book written by John McCain's former (and female) press secretary was "Lipstick on a Pig". Ignore the fact that when asked last year about Hillary Clinton's plan for health care, the Arizona senator himself inarticulately replied, "The latest proposal I see is putting lipstick on a pig".
Forget all of that. Just ignore it.
All that matters really matters is the fact that this BLACK man called our precious Sarah, our darlin' and delicate flower of the northwest - "a pig".
And what spastic vessel transported them to this weird island of twisted logic you may well ask? Don'cha see? Last week Sarah Palin said that the only difference between a soccer mom and a pit bull is lipstick. See? She said "lipstick". He said "lipstick". He called her a pig! See? See?
Yes....yes, I know what you're thinking. No, it doesn't get any stupider than this.
What we are witnessing here is pure desperation. It also reveals that Camp McCain knows damned well that there are a lot of Americans out there who are just stupid enough to fall for this bullshit (Attention, viewers of FOX and Friends). What it all boils down to is this: When the focus is on the issues, it's a good day for Senator Obama. When the focus is lipstick on a pig, it's a good day for Senator McCain. Chris Matthews of MSNBC put it perfectly when he called it "a brilliant distraction from eight years of Republican failure".
The lip rouge affair was soon overshadowed by our gal Sarah's interview on ABC News. When asked by Charlie Gibson what she thought of the Bush Doctrine, it was comically apparent she wasn't even able to define it. "In what respect, Charlie?" She didn't know. Nary a freaking clue. It really was a scream to watch! When asked about the Bush policy of preemptive strike against a sovereign nation, she said that a president had the absolute right to do anything if he or she believed that that nation was about to strike. The fact that Saddam Hussein had neither the intention nor the ability to "strike" at anything or anyone - and that the Bush Mob knew it - mercifully never came up.
When McCain first put forward the name of this twit to be second on the ticket, I damn near jumped with joy. "This election is over, baby!" I said out loud. Then I caught myself: J. Danforth Quayle. Remember him? Dan Quayle's historical image as an idiot has been somewhat softened in recent years. When compared to George W. Bush, the guy is starting to look like Einstein. But that doesn't take away from the fact that when George the elder chose Danny boy as his running mate twenty years ago, it was perfectly, laughably obvious that he could not have come up with a worse running mate if he had tried - and yet he won that election.
Just consider the criteria of the electorate! In 2000 and and 2004 George W. Bush was respectively able to defeat the far more qualified candidates, Al Gore and John Kerry, for no other reason than the fact that he was the one most people would prefer to have a beer with. That is what we are dealing with here. Actually, I have a confession to make: There is no other politician - living or dead - with whom I would rather have a beer than Bush - for no other reason than it would give me the golden opportunity to smash the hideous little bastard in the face with an unopened bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
.The sad fact of the matter is that the GOP can end up winning this thing despite having so deplorable a candidate as Governor Palin on the ticket. Watching the McCain campaign, particularly during the last four or five days, has been all-at-once funny and disturbing. Funny because (let's face some serious facts here, people) the gut-wrenching stupidity of the American people is always loads of fun to watch (SA-RAH! SA-RAH!) Disturbing because in the long run, the future of our children will be negatively effected by what could very well be the outcome of this election. By that I mean a McCain/Palin victory on Election Day.
My advice to the Obama Campaign would be as follows:
Please, folks, don't make the same mistake John Kerry made four years ago. When attacked from all sides, Kerry insisted on remaining "above it all". Bad move. The Democrats have got to get down - right into the gutter - with these despicable assholes. It's their only hope. As far as politics are concerned, they have to realize that they are now living in the Age of Rove. If there is any thing we have learned these past eight years, it is that the Republicans only know how to fight one way - DIRTY. The Dems have to give back as good (or as bad) as they get They have no other choice. None.
Can you remember the headline of London's Daily Mirror the day following the election of 2004?
Given all the damage that the Republicans have done to our beloved country these past fourteen years, I can just imagine what their headline will be if the electorate compounds the mistake of Sending the Bush Mob to the White House by electing the team of John McCain and Sarah Palin:
A very grim scenario any way you slice it or dice it. And then there is the very real possibility of election fraud. Don't forget all of those computerized, easily hackable Diebolt voting machines that have been conspicuously installed in all of the so-called "purple states", where a GOP Victory is not-at-all a foregone conclusion. Should the results on Election Day conflict with the exit polls (as they did in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004) a full-blown, national revolt will most definitely be in order. We cannot allow this country to be seized by people whose only motivation is the looting and plunder of our economy. That will be the cue for all of us who believe in the words of the Bill of Rights to screw the system by any means necessary - within the law and without. Raise hell! Refuse to pay taxes! And, most importantly, be heard. Be loud. Be very VERY LOUD. It's time for all of us to brush up on Dr. King's course of non-violent, passive resistance.
Everywhere there's lots of piggies, living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner with their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives
To eat their bacon
The Chinese have a blessing which is also a curse: "May you live in interesting times". Well, heck! While these may not be blessed times, they sure as hell are interesting!
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Good Night Bush
by Gan Golar and Erich Origen
This is a screamingly funny parody of the childhood classic, "Good Night, Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. My beloved niece Marieke Pennings (Hello, darling!) gave it to me for my birthday. It's an absolute hoot!
There are one-hundred and twenty-eight days until we are free of George W. Bush!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Barack Needs Our Help

About a week and a half ago, I told you about my positively un-American, younger brother, Jeffrey Rudd Degan ("Rudd" was my maternal great-grandmother's maiden name). He's the one who lives in Germany who married a French woman. You get the idea. This morning, I received an e-mail from the little commie thug, imploring me - threatening me - to make a donation to the Barack Obama/Joe Biden campaign.

"HA!", I replied with much, smug self-satisfaction, "Beat'cha to the punch by over a month! I sent him a check in early August."

But, noooo!!! That wasn't enough for Jeff. Was I only going to send him one measly little check? Wasn't I going to urge the readers of "The Rant" to do as much??? To make a long story short, he's not going to stop bugging me until I devote an entire column to making an appeal for the Obama campaign fund. Said he:

"Tell your readers that if they have not given yet, give now! I want to see a post about giving to Senator Obama - and I want to hear you say that you have sent out an e-mail to everyone on your mailing list, asking them to donate to the campaign today. Do it now. I am not going to stop harassing you. I know where you live."

Fine, Jeff. If it'll make you happy, I'll do it (pain in the neck)....

Here is a nasty fact of political life: it costs a hell of a lot of money in order to run for the office of president of the United States. The biggest cash killer is broadcast time. Buying air time costs a bloody fortune. This is a situation which should not exist on We the People's airwaves. The next president and congress should see to it that federal legislation is passed that will demand that every four years, all television stations across the country will be obliged - by law - to cover a certain amount of time every day to balanced coverage of the presidential election. Paid political advertising should be made illegal. Nothing is more responsible for the deplorable state America's knowledge (or lack thereof) of electoral politics and affairs of state. Nothing.

Just consider for a minute what is at stake. Here are ten, damned good reasons why electing John McCain would be a monumentally stupid idea:

1. The Supreme Court is on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. What you have at the moment are four right wing extremists against five moderates. The next president will make - at the very least - two appointments (possibly three). John McCain has already said, more than once, that as president he would appoint activist Conservatives to the bench. Read that to mean: REACTIONARY KOOKS (ala Scalia and Uncle Thomas).

2. John McCain is seventy-two years old and (let us face some serious facts here, kiddies) not in the best of shape. This might seem to many to be a cruel thing to say but if this situation calls for anything, it is brutal frankness: The law of averages absolutely forbids his not passing away between now and January 20, 2012. Keep saying it to yourself, over and over again: "President Sarah Palin". I can just picture the movie marquee. "GIDGET GOES TO WASHINGTON". Neat idea, huh? No, I didn't think so either.
3. No question about it, most of us are sick of the GOP. The 111th Congress is going to be overwhelmingly Democratic in both houses. If the American people are silly enough to elect the ticket of McCain/Palin to head the executive branch of their government, they can expect four years of stagnation and stalemate.
4. Today's Republican talking point is the word, "maverick". A senator who has voted a full ninety percent of the time on the side of the worst president in the history of this country can and should be called many things (I can think of one or two choice words myself) but "maverick" is not one of them. Yesterday, David Broder made the absurd statement that John McCain is "an anti-establishment reformer" and his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate only proves it. Have another sip, Dave. A generation ago, Broder was one of the best political writers out there; it almost seems as if he has sold his soul. McCain is pure Washington Beltway and David Broder knows it. Anti establishment? John McCain? Sarah Palin?? I need a drink.

5. McCain has seized the mantra of "CHANGE". How in the hell are we expected to believe that the Republican party is going to clean up the mess that they have made? The very idea of these people in charge of the military for another four years, after the catastrophic mistakes of the last seven-and-a-half-years, is too depressing to even contemplate. And don't forget that Senator McCain thought that invading Iraq - the worst military blunder in American history - was a perfectly fine idea. He has yet to admit his error. In December of 2002, a full three months before the invasion, Barck Obama was already on the record as being against it. And the Republicans want to talk about judgement?

6. This is my own theory but after years of careful study I believe I am onto something here: What has been going on for the last seven years is that the extreme right wing is purposely trying to bankrupt the American economy so they will have an excuse to do away with the social safety nets so many of our fellow Americans depend on, some of which have been in place for over seventy years ("See? Big government doesn't work!") Four more years of Republican "rule" (it's hard to refer to it as "leadership") might very well sound the death knell for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid - and Lord only knows what else. If you or a parent or grandparent depend on a monthly check from the government - from funds you have paying into your entire lives - you should be seriously alarmed. If you're not, you're not paying attention.

7. Forgive me for being repetitive but I just can't help myself: PRESIDENT SARAH PALIN???

8. Again, it might sound cruel to some but it must be said. John McCain, I don't believe, has the psychological temperament to be president. His explosive temper toward his colleagues (including threats of physical violence) is legendary. There have been times during this campaign when he has seemed to be on the verge of senility. And this is the guy we want negotiating with Vladamir Putin? The hell with the drink, I need some heroin.

10. Seriously folks! Look what the Bush Mob has done to this country! John McCain has said repeatedly that he has every intention of continuing their policies. How is it going to look to the rest of the world if we go down this road again? We're gonna look like a bunch of assholes!

As I've said more times than I can count, not since 1932 has the need for this nutty country to go in a new direction been as pitifully obvious as it is in this political year. Not to do so will be nothing more than a case of mass suicide.

Way the hell back on February 23, 2007, shortly after Senator Obama announced his candidacy, I suggested on this site that he adopt as his own, Bobby Kennedy's unofficial theme song from his ill-fated 1968 campaign, The Impossible Dream. Sung by the late Richard Kiley in the Broadway classic, Man of La Mancha, it was a beautiful piece of music that no one, it seems, even remembers anymore:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
This is my quest to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right - without question or pause
To be willing to march into hell for a Heavenly cause
And I know if I only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest
Alright. Maybe "glorious quest" is a tad over-the-top. But it cannot be denied that the man has one hell of an uphill battle ahead of him. As was once said, "Money is the mother's milk of politics". The Obama campaign will only be successful if they raise money - lots of it. Please give as generously as you possibly can. Our great grandchildren - who will never even know our names - are depending on us.

There, Jeff. Are you happy now? You're a creep, you know that?

Here is a link to make a donation to Obama/Biden '08:
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Rady Ananda is one of the finest young progressive writers currently walking among us. Here is a link to her excellent blog:

America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a
Transformative Presidency
by Robert Kuttner

There are one-hundred and thirty-two days to go until George W. Bush is gone from our lives forever!

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Black Republicans

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a fifty-year-old white guy. And while I am not at all qualified to criticize any race but my own, I do feel compelled to offer up for your reading pleasure a few choice thoughts regarding a small but growing trend within the microscopic, upper class, African American community that has me, to say the least, somewhat puzzled. These are the men and women whom, through either fortitude, dumb luck or affirmative action, have found themselves as members of the privileged class but who, for reasons known only to them, have sought to pull up the ladder to prevent other members of their own, disadvantaged race from achieving the same piece of the American dream. In polite society they might be known as "traitors to their race". Malcolm X called them "House Niggers".
I am referring to the parable Minister Malcolm used to tell about the House Nigger and the Field Negro. The House Nigger, who did light work inside the home, loved his Master. The Field Negro, who did the back breaking work out on the plantation, hated the old bastard. When you think about the House Nigger, picture Stephin Fetchit. When you think of the Field Negro, picture Ossie Davis. That puts it beautifully.
The underlying analogy here deals with people who have been able to obtain fame and treasure because of something called affirmative action. That was a program put forward around forty years ago by a nasty conspiracy of commie-loving, Karl Marx-reading, latte-swirling liberals, in order to level the playing field so that black persons would have more of a fighting chance at obtaining a middle class lifestyle - Clarence Thomas, for instance.
No one (with the possible exception of Antonin Scalia) gets as apoplectic as Justice Thomas at the mere mention of affirmative action! In his memoirs, "My Grandfather's Son", published late last year, Thomas wrote that when he received his diploma from Yale Law School, he slapped a "15 cents" sticker on it and relegated it to the basement of his home. You see, the good judge was ashamed and embarrassed that all of those silly and stupid Great Society types had helped him along his journey. By his twisted reasoning, his law degree would have had real meaning and his position on the Supreme Court would today be all-the-more legitimate had he merely gone it alone and not relied on the assistance of those goddamned, nosy, liberal do-gooders. Why can't those people just mind their own business?
Just where do you think Clarence Thomas would be today were it not for affirmative action?
He would be mounted on the front lawn of some beer distributor's home in Albany, Georgia, wearing a jockey uniform and holding a lamp.
At the time Judge Thomas came out with his book, Bill Maxwell, an African American writer for the Times of St. Petersburg, Florida and, like Clarence Thomas, an "affirmative action baby", wrote the following:
"Clarence Thomas' diploma may be worth fifteen cents to him. My degree from the University of Chicago is priceless."
Like any government program, affirmative action is not perfect. While it has done a great deal of good throughout the years, one of its glaring flaws is the fact that it occasionally allows someone of mediocre talent and intellect to rise to the top. Clarence Thomas' very presence on the Supreme Court is proof positive of that.
Excluding the guy on the Creme of Wheat box, forty years ago it was difficult - if not impossible - to find a person of color in this sick country spouting a right wing point of view. In recent years, however, they have been coming out of the freaking wood work: In addition to Clarence Thomas, there has been Condoleeza Rice, Tony Brown, Armstrong Williams, J.C. Watts, Michael Powell (Colin's half-witted kid) - and more than a few others.
Where the hell did these people come from? What do they want? Once upon a time, most black people were Republicans. It had not a thing to do with right-wing ideology and everything to do with the fact that the Grand Old Party was, after all, the party of the great emancipator, Abraham Lincoln (I must emphasize the word, "was". Old Abe wouldn't recognize his party today). Things began to change in the nineteen-thirties. By that time it became apparent that black people had a real friend in the White House in the person of the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. No one is more responsible than she for the great migration of blacks from the Republican to the Democratic party in the years during and after World War Two. In 1937, she made no apologies when she was vilified in the southern press after being photographed graciously accepting a bouquet of flowers from a little negro girl. It is no wonder that she was such an admired and beloved figure to the African Americans of her generation.
With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the "solid south" of bol weevil, conservative Democrats fled like frightened rats to the GOP within a matter of a few short years. The very concept of even acknowledging the equality of people with dark skin finally gave them enough motivation to join the party of "that bearded bastard who freed the slaves". When those two laws came into being, President Lyndon Baines Johnson told his aides Jack Valenti and Bill Moyers that the Democrats had lost the south for at least a generation. A generation and then some. The "solid south" has been solidly Republican ever since. The conservative line today, that the mass exodus of disaffected Dixiecrats was all about economics and had nothing to do with race, is pure, unadulterated bullshit. It was all about race. Let's stop kidding ourselves.
As a result of the legislative and judicial gains made in the quarter of a century following the Supreme Court's Brown vs Board of Education decision in 1954, by 1980 a black middle class - which had barely existed in the mid-fifties - was beginning to emerge. That progress came to a dead halt when Ronald Reagan became president in 1981. Nearly every study has found them losing ground in the years since.
Given all we know about the agenda of the right wing, why on earth would any descendant of a slave want to sleep with the devil, so to speak? It really isn't that hard to figure out if you think about it. Let's face some serious facts here, folks: Black faces at a Democratic gathering are a dime a dozen. What better way for an ambitious (devious) person to stand out than by joining the ranks of the GOP as a Black Republican? It is the perfect, quid pro quo scenario! It gives the black person in question a chance to be noticed and maybe even make a little extra bread on the side (as Armstrong Williams did when he was paid $250,000 in taxpayer money by the Bush Mob to promote their "No Child's Behind Left" scam). It also gives the Great White Father the opportunity to say to the rest of the country, "See? We really are the party of all the people." Black hand washes the white hand. You get the idea.
For years, whenever you scanned the pictures transmitting from any Republican convention, they always showed the same old faces - white faces. That was the case with the convention which mercifully concluded last night. There was hardly a black face to be found in the crowd. So where were all these newly recruited Black Republicans of which I speak? They were all up on the stage - EVERY FUCKING ONE OF THEM! You want to talk about a good old fashioned minstrel show? So help me Hattie McDaniel, I thought I was watching the "Tribute to Scatman Crothers" portion of the evening. Oh, Lawdy! Lawdy! Watchin' all dem smilin' 'n' slap-happy Uncle Toms shufflin' 'cross da podium - that was truly a funny thing to behold. The Great White Father had indeed pulled off another great trick. I can just imagine one of his hired, token Negroes congratulating him back stage:
"Hee! Hee! Oh, Mistah White Folks, You sho' is sly!"
Very funny....and unspeakably sad at the same time. You would think people like that would know better, wouldn't you? You would think that someone born (as all of them were) on the lowest rung of the economic ladder would want to make it possible for all the members of his or her oppressed race to take full advantage of the same government programs they so skillfully exploited in order to reach the heights to which they have been able to climb. Any black person who embraces the sick ideology of the extreme right wing - no question about it - needs to have his or her head examined. We're talkin' serious therapy here. They should also hang those heads in complete and utter shame.
You've got to hand it to Malcolm X's House Nigger, though. He had a pretty sweet deal inside the Master's home and he knew it. The last thing in the world he wanted was to have another servant move in on his territory, replacing him in Massah's affection. If he witnessed another slave stepping so much as an inch out of line, he made damned sure that the poor bastard was beaten senseless. He didn't want to give any of his black brothers and sisters the opportunity to enter Massah's comfortable house and share in Massah's treasure.

He has a whole hell of a lot in common with these modern day House Niggers, doesn't he?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
by Malcolm X with (Alex Haley)

To read more recent postings on this site, please click on this link:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan
There are one-hundred and thirty-six days until January 20, 2009!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The GOP: Partying like it's 1929!

"Fellow citizens, if the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain's resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the angry left never will."

George W. Bush
September 2, 2008

Oh, pahleeeez....

I'll have to admit it. I do get a certain amount of joy watching the professional Republican party in action. There is something indescribably fascinating about watching a gathering of corrupt hacks and hackettes - so completely, morally bankrupt - trying to portray themselves as the Party of Morality. The side-splitting, unintentional comedy emanating last night from the city of St. Paul, Minnesota was truly something wondrous and fun to behold! For instance, when Laura Bush stood up in front of the cheering multitudes and proclaimed that during his eight years in office, her husband, the president, had kept the American people "safe", the first words to come to my mind were the Presidential Daily Briefing of August 5, 2001 - over a month before the hideous attacks of September 11th:


How could any sane person with a sense of history and irony not scream with laughter at such an absurd contention? Oh, Laura! What (if anything) were you thinking when you fell in love with that jackass? Goodness gracious, me!
Another thing that struck the funny bone with a vengeance was the old man. After Dubya addressed the convention via satellite from the Oval office, the camera cut to George the elder. It was laughingly apparent that poor old Poppy was just as proud as a peacock at the performance of his half-witted kid. Obviously someone has been hiding the newspapers from the clueless old bastard these past seven-and-a-half years.

The convention got off to a shaky start. The GOP initially found themselves in a damned if they do-damned if they don't situation. Obviously the last thing in the world they needed was for the American people to be reminded of the last eight, nightmare years by having Bush and Cheney physically present at the convention. At the same time, however, the reason for their absence would have been obvious to everyone (even the viewers of FOX and Friends). What to do? Gustav to the rescue! Once it became clear that the hurricane was going to pound the shit out of the gulf coast, Dubya and the Dickster had the perfect excuse to stay away. Thus, they were able to avoid doing further damage to their already crippled party and look like a couple of hands on, in control kind of guys at the same time. It was the first time since Lyndon Johnson forty years ago that an incumbent president failed to show up at his own party's convention.
The theme of last night's festivities I found a mite curious....


Interesting. Is that supposed to mean "as opposed to the person he isn't"? What exactly are they trying to tell us here? Certainly they could not have been referring to the man's judgement, could they? That doesn't make a damned bit of sense! What does it say about his "judgement" when the first important decision of his campaign was his selection of a running mate? In the days since he introduced Alaska governor Sarah Palin in Dayton, Ohio, all sorts of juicy tidbits have been revealed about the woman's past.

I think that it is worth noting here that one of the founding fathers of the Republican party was Abraham Lincoln, a man who believed that no state has a constitutional right to secede from the union. What does it say about the Arizona senator's" judgement" when the person he chooses to be a "heartbeat away" from his seat in the Oval Office is a woman who in recent years was involved through her husband with an organization which advocated Alaskan secession?

What does it say about John McCain's "judgement" when one of his running mate's main selling points is that she was opposed to the infamous "bridge to nowhere" - and then we find out that not only was she not opposed to the bridge, she worked overtime to ensure that it would come into being?

What does it say about McCain's "judgement" when we learn that he allowed the person he chose to be the next vice-president (Heaven forbid) to be "vetted" not by responsible and trained investigators (as did Barack Obama in the case of Joe Biden - a man he has known for years), but by a handful of ideologues from the extreme, lunatic fringe of his already demonstrably nutty party? I sound like a comedy writer, don't I?
And forgive me for bringing this up - I'm not going to make an issue out of this but it is something which is just screaming to be addressed: What does it say about the "judgement" of John McCain when we learn that Sarah Palin's unmarried, seventeen-year-old daughter is expecting a child - and yet she still supports "abstinence only" sex education?

Don't you think at this point in time that it's gut-wrenchingly obvious that John McCain's "judgement" leaves just a tad to be desired? I sure do! All his life, the one thing McCain's peers remembered about him was his recklessness. His inexplicable choice of Sarah "Pale in Comparison" Palin to be on the ticket is but another example of that recklessness.

There were all sorts of moments last night that will linger in one's memory. I'm glad I thought to tape the whole thing. Fred Thompson's hate-filled tirade against Barach Obama was one for the history books. Joe Lieberman had his "Zell Miller moment". Although he refrained from challenging Chris Matthews to a duel immediately afterwards, his very presence there was enough of a reminder what a dreadful mistake it was for Al Gore to choose him as second on the ticket in 2000. His contention that Senator Obama has never worked with the opposition party to reach a consensus was a bald-faced lie and he knows it. Please, If there is a more despicable asshole than Joe Lieberman currently walking the halls of the United States Senate, I'd sure as hell like to know about it. Just drop me an e-mail.
But the absolutely hilarious, highlight of the evening was a stomach-turning, maudlin, sickening and screamingly funny (unintentionally so) tribute to the Gipper. Ronald Reagan is a textbook example as to how dumbed down the people of this doomed country have become in the last thirty years as far as governmental affairs are concerned. Think about it for a minute: The destruction of America's social and economic infrastructure began on that day in January of 1981 when Reagan stood on the steps on the U.S. Capital and said to the comatose American people, "Government isn't the answer to the problem. Government is the problem." Oh, really?

Almost twenty-eight years later, where has the so-called "Reagan Revolution" left us? America's tax burden has been laid on the backs of the poor and middle classes while the people who already had more money than they knew what to do with have had their taxes cut. Our educational system, once the envy of the planet, is in tatters. Bridges all over the country are in serious disrepair and in danger of collapse - I won't even drive on the 59th Street Bridge that connects Queens to the island of Manhattan. Which reminds me, why on earth did they choose to have their convention in St. Paul? Did they really want to remind people of their crumbling infrastructure and the catastrophic collapse last year of the bridge that connected that city with Minneapolis? Again, it's all a question of judgement.

One of the claims made by the narrator of the film was that "the media hated him". Beg pardon? In 1986, you'll remember, Reagan and company were caught red handed supplying arms to the Contras in Nicaragua in direct violation of the Boland Amendment. This little scheme was funded by selling offensive, hi-tech military weapons to the Iranian government of Ayatollah Khomeini - the same guy whose motto was "DEATH TO AMERICA". Nice! In all but a few cases the media gave old Ronnie a free pass. He should have been impeached and sent off to Leavenworth in a padded wagon.

Sooner or later the people are bound to wake up to the fact that Ronald Reagan was a doddering, senile old fool who would have been rendered helpless but for the invention of the teleprompter. It was he who planted the seeds of America's ultimate self-destruction, the bitter harvest of which we are only now starting to taste nearly two decades after his administration mercifully came to an end. And yet the citizens of this once-great nation still worship the dirty old dingbat with a reverence that borders on mental illness. We Americans are funny that way, aren't we?

It is a point of pride with me that I never - for an instant - succumbed to Ronniemania.
The Republican National Convention will continue this evening in all of its absurd and twisted merriment. Of this you may be absolutely certain: I'll be watching. How could I possibly miss such a spectacle? It is - no doubt about it - must see TV for anyone with a sick sense of humor. The "party of Lincoln" (I know! I know! I'm laughing too!) has been taken over not only by organized criminals but by a cabal of fools with the average IQ of a half-eaten box of Milk Duds. Is it any wonder that they're so much fun to watch? I'm sure gonna miss them when they're gone.

Tom Degan
Member in good standing of the "ANGRY LEFT"
Goshen, NY

Thanks to brother Jeff Degan for suggesting the title of this piece.

Happy Forty-ninth birthday to brother Pete Degan.

If you haven't yet checked out Hugh Scott's excellent new web site, "Unfit McCain", you really ought to. Here's a link:
Mike's Election Guide
by Michael Moore

There are one-hundred and thirty-eight days until George W. Bush is out of the White House and on his way to federal prison.