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....


At 8:47 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

I agree, Tom. Americans, overall, are such an ignorant and stupid people. Assuming any sense of history, whatsoever, is going out on a limb. Basic, very basic, history is negligible. It's certainly a hindrance to providing logical and prudent civic duty (i.e., voting intelligently).

Who knows what's in store for the financial markets today, after the nosedive yesterday. It's just how it happened in 1929, just prior to Black Friday. The market took some pretty good drops in the days prior to The Crash. Is our generation's Black Friday only days away? I certainly hope not, because unlike 1929 the societal constraints are not there anymore. Massive social "unrest" would certainly ensue.

Hope for the best. It seems to be all we have left.

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a second. Gidget?

To me she projects more of an Avon lady persona.

Just imagine: A pink presidential limo.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Seventy-six years ago, the government and its voting "base" (as in the lowliest of low) were not determined by the "confirmation" of WWJD politics.

Now we have James Dobson and the "moral" heathens TELLING their flocks (think CHICKENS) whom to vote for on criteria as thin as their morals; Pro-life = support of the Death Penalty? = support of cutting welfare for the disadvantaged? = giving the Social Security System to Wall Street? = killing innocents abroad and destabilizing emerging nations whose political leanings you disagree with (i.e. Bolivia)?

And then someone NEEDS to explain, to the idiots voting Republican, WHY the global community quit giving a hot God-Damn about the USA after it squandered ANY support of it after the terrorist attacks of 2001?

You get the government you deserve, unfortunately, those that fought for a better living for ALL Americans, and not just those too stupid to deserve to vote, will have to live under their "me first!" philosophy of voting.

I long ago stopped encouraging everyone to vote. There exist people too stupid to even be franchised with this important, globally influential "right."

Watching from North of the Border, and having listened to commentary from around the world, particularly the one I posted from Radio Sweden two columns ago, this country is too racist to "allow" a black man to govern them back to a healthy, return to global respectability and try to raise it above indicators that place it in competition with Cuba and third world nations for health, education, economic stability and economic stability for the citizenry.

Chickens come home to roost. Sure, but don't they need someplace stable to do so?

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

You reminded me of something prarie waif:

So many people vote for the GOP for no other reason that the pro life issue. They don't understand that Reagan and both Bushes never gave a damn about abortion, one way or the other.

It was Ronald Reagan, after all who made abortion legal in California in 1967 - a full five-and-a-half years before Roe v Wade!

When George W. Bush first ran for public office in 1977, he ran as a pro-choice Republican.

When King George the elder ran against Reagan in 1980 in the primaries, he ran as a pro-choice Republican.

It was only when the three of them realized that one must tow the extreme right's line to get anywhere in the GOP that they changed their positions.

Tom Degan

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...


You reminded me of something: I loathe single issue voters (usually the pro-natalists who claim to be pro-LIFE).


At 2:08 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight . . . Bob Davis

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."

If you grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're a quintessential American story.


If your name is Barack, you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

If you name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.


If you graduate from Harvard law School and be President of the Law Review, you are unstable.

If you attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.


If you spend 3 years as a community organizer, create a voter registration drive that regist ers
150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a
State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state
Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate
representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign
Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real
leadership experience.

If your total resume is local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of
a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people,
then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.


If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all
within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress
the next month, you're a Christian.


If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control,
you're eroding the fiber of society.

If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your
state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.


If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work
for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's
values don't represent America's.

If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DUI conviction and no college education,
who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the
secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.


OK, much clearer now.


At 2:30 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

That wan a hoot, Charles - and so true! Thanks! My dear friend, Cynthia O'Connor Chapman sent me the link a few minutes after you did. Who is this Bob Davis anyway?

Tom Degan

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...

Remembering Reagan

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


Thank you so much for that!

I would urge everyone to click on to Avram's link directly above this post. It is enlightening and an absolute scream to boot!



At 3:35 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

In January 1981, when Reagan assumed office, he declared the federal budget to be "out of control". The deficit had reached almost $74 billion, the federal debt $930 billion. Within two years, the deficit was $208 billion. The debt by 1988 totaled $2.6 trillion. In those eight years, the United States moved from being the world's largest international creditor to the largest debtor nation.

This bears repeating: In the eight years of Ronald Reagan's presidency, this country shifted from being the world's largest provider of credit...the largest...to the most debt-ridden nation on earth. We moved, folks, from being flush with cash and having plenty of money in our pockets...and lending to most everyone who needed a loan...to carrying strictly credit cards and paying-down on the interest, only, each month.

Is this what John McCain means when he declares that America "must return to the fiscal responsibility of the Reagan era"?

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Ex Glacies said...

Great post, Tom. Obama's next major speech should consist solely of Charles' comment.

Now that the Republicans have begun the now-traditional voter purge (with no visible pushback), is it too much to expect a little claw and fang come out on the Democrats' side? Really, who is running this campaign - the spirit of Mr Rogers?

When is someone going to challenge Howard Dean's leadership on this? As the erstwhile chair of the DNC, can

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Ex Glacies said...

oh bugger. Anyway, can we not expect, you know, a real strategy by now?

Given what we've seen so far, I think my question is already answered.

It's clear that this election is in the process of being stolen. We are not apparently going to get any proactive assistance, so the only option left for We The People is reactive. If they are going to steal the election, we need to at least expose the theft!

Thus, I would urge every Democratic voter to make it known far and wide how they cast their vote, via exit polls, blog posting, local newscast, sworn affadavit, billboard, lawn sign, ass tattoo, whatever.

They've gotten away with at least two election thefts because the exit polling was fairly close, close enough that the vote reversals (thanks, Diebold!) wasn't that manifestly criminal. Imagine what would happen if, say, exit polling indicated 67% of the vote went to Dems, but the vote count said only about 47% The bigger the gap between exit polling and vote count, the more questions will be asked. At a certain point, the fraud will just be too blatant to explain away or sweep under the carpet.

I can't do much but shout from the sidelines because I'm not a citizen or resident. Hell, I don't even live in the same hemisphere! But I care and shout because we all have to live on this ball of rock.

At 1:14 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

So, it's going to take at least a trillion dollars of taxpayer money to bail the capitalist bastards out of the hole they've created for themselves? $1,000,000,000,000? That's a ton of zeros, folks, and I'm not sure how that's supposed to happen. Do we start sending in our checks today, or do we wait for the statement to come in the mail?

Can we just put it on layaway?

At 4:57 PM, Blogger HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

Not only did I think your article was very well written and great fun to read (fun only in terms of the words you chose to express yourself - not fun when we have to address the truth as you did), but I liked all 13 comments equally well.

To me, I think of Palin as that loud-mouthed PTA member who never is happy (or silent) about anything that's proposed or accomplished.

She knows how to 'clean up' to go around the neighborhood as she bangs on your door asking you to sign some damned petition, and then she pulls out her latest catalog from Avon. Once she's slapped the catalog in your face, she'll then remind you she also has just made direct distributor for Amway, and now you can pick up your dish detergent out of the back of her 3-car garage.

As she leaves, she'll tell you that she almost tripped over your door-mat, and that would have cost you a bunch of money when she sued you for breaking her nose. She'll point to your windows and tell you that she's got just the right stuff to get those clean without leaving streaks.

She'll shout at you from her car as she steps in to drive away; 'Your gate doesn't have a lock on it, and you'd better get one so your pit-bull doesn't get out and chew up some kid....'

Again, a great article and I do agree that Reagan just never got his hands on the American public like he really wanted to.

Frankly, I think truth be told, he was a Nazi at heart but had great acting skills that allowed him to gain our confidence while putting a knife in our back - we're lucky we didn't bleed more, but I still think we are bleeding for what he created that is still biting in the butt.

Take care - Diane

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Great comment! You have Sarah Palin nailed - absolutely uncanny!
All the best,
Tom Degan

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Tom. As a fellow Goshenite, I've heard some of the most appalling comments from friends and neighbors about this financial mess. Of course, I've had to take a crash course in economics, since it wasn't taught in school. I wonder why that was...hmmmm? Was it to keep the population dumbed-down in preparation for this economic 9-11? Hate to sound so paranoid, but this past 7 1/2 years have been a real eye-opener. Keep ranting!

At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Uncle Tom,
I don't know that you can reasonably comment that most "right-wingers" are historically unintelligent. Ignorance is not determined by political affiliation.
Much Love- Your niece, Katie

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Dearest Katie....
I refer only to the EXTREME right wing. Not to thoughtful consevatives like yourself, my dear. That goes without saying.

Love and Peace,

Uncle Tom

At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once I built a railroad
Made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a ralroad
Now it's done
Brother can you spare a dime?


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