Friday, October 03, 2008

Weird Times in Mudville

This really has been a week for the history books - so much going down, it's difficult if not impossible to find the proper context in which to put everything. One thing is beyond any hint of a doubt, though: Two-and-a-half-weeks ago, the long-predicted deregulatory shit finally hit the economic fan. The people who bear most of the responsibility for this catastrophic meltdown (and we are in catastrophe mode here, folks - let's stop kidding ourselves) are stepping up to the video cameras and microphones - faces as straight as a two-by-four, I swear! - and are saying that no one could have foreseen this. Gee, I hate to keep tooting my own horn here. I did this exactly a week ago today but I've got to do it again - I'M SORRY BUT I JUST CAN'T HELP MYSELF! I promise you, this will be the very last time I ever bring this up. So help me Herbert Hoover!

From "The Rant" by Tom Degan, June 8, 2008:

At no other time since 1932 has the need to go in a radically new direction been as obvious as it is in this year. If we foolishly reject the Democratic candidate, we will deserve everything that happens to us. So desperate is the Bush Mob to forestall the 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.

Well their little scheme backfired on them. This afternoon the First Fool made a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House. Referring to the bail out of Wall Street as a "recovery plan" (where are you, George Orwell?) he informed his dying nation that he would sign the bill into law when it reached his desk early next week.
It was a curious and uncomfortable sight. At one point during the statement (which barely lasted three minutes - if that) his voice seemed to crack. For a moment, just one brief, shining moment, mind you, I started to feel a real degree of sympathy for the homicidal little thug. It was painfully obvious that the pressures of the job, and the certain realization that he will be remembered as the worst president in American history, were weighing in on his psyche in a very profound and disturbing way. I actually caught myself saying out loud, "The poor son-of-a-bitch". We're talking major pathos here, people.

My moment of sympathy for Bush ended in a flash. I started to think about the hundreds of millions of people who have suffered because of the greed and stupidity of this foolish, mediocre man. I started to think about the dead in Iraq, possibly a million or more men, women and little children; mostly innocent victims who were slaughtered in the name of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney's perverted lust for oil. The only reason for invading Iraq was so they could loot that country - much in the same way they have looted this one. The Bush Mob's only motivation was to seize the second or third largest oil reserves on the planet earth. I thought about the children of America, the living and generations yet unborn, who will never know the standard of living their antecedents knew - for no other reason than the fact that this generation of Americans never bothered to do their duties as citizens of this doomed country and study the positions and policies of the candidates for public office. A huge segment of them actually believed that sending this half-witted frat boy to the White House was a good idea.

In 2000, Al Gore was seen by the electorate as a know-it-all, policy wonk, smarty pants. George W. Bush was just your run-of-the-mill idiot that most of us would rather have a beer with. I think that it is almost touching that so huge a segment of the people would identify with him.

Think about that for a minute or two, will you? This generation inherited from their parents the strongest, most prosperous nation the world has ever known. And what will our heirs inherit from us? A social and ideological cesspool.

Go shopping, America.

In the meantime, the silliness on the campaign trail just keeps getting funnier by the minute. Last night's vice-presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis was quite the spectacle to be sure. Although poll after poll has declared that the people thought Joe Biden won the debate, the right wing media immediately proclaimed that Sarah Palin cleaned Senator Biden's clock. Their reasoning, I'm sure, has nothing to do with the fact that she scored zero on matters of substance and everything to do with the fact that she managed to get through the ninety minute event without saying anything monumentally stupid. The bar was set so low, all she had to do for a victory to be claimed was to walk away from the podium relatively unscathed. Style is everything with these people - substance be damned.

I don't know about you, but when I choose someone I want breaking tie votes in the senate (which is all, really, a vice-president is constitutionally required to do), there are certain, substantive qualities that I'm looking for. Call me a grouch but "cute 'n' perky" doesn't really cut the mustard with me. I don't know, I'm kind of old fashioned that way.

The biggest disappointment of the evening was moderator Gwen Ifill. In the hours leading up to the debate, it was reported that she has a upcoming book on the triumph of African American politicians in general and Barack Obama in particular, which is scheduled to be released on Inauguration Day. The Republican propaganda machine went apoplectic on learning this. So eager was Ms. Ifill to prove that she could be a fair and objective moderator, she allowed Sarah Palin to get away with murder. She was successfully coerced by the right wing. She should have excused herself.

At this moment in time, it is apparent that the McCain campaign is in a free fall. As I predicted on this site over two years ago (There I go again!) the people would eventually wake up from the right wing coma they've been slumbering under since that day in 1980 when they foolishly sent a feeble-minded, failed "B" movie actor named Ronald Reagan to the White House. We were warned for decades that the orgy of deregulation and "trickle down", "voodoo economics" would eventually come back to haunt us. Well, come back it has - with a vengeance too horrible to even contemplate.

As horrible as the last eighteen days have been, they were not without a small handful of significant blessings. Here's one of them: Ronald Wilson Reagan died on September 15, 2008. I realize full well that the dirty old dingbat physically shuffled off this mortal coil on June 5, 2005, but the so-called revolution which bares his name, is now deader than the Gipper himself. Good and grand riddance.

"Government isn't the answer to our problem. Government is the Problem."

Ronald Reagan
January 20, 1981

The events of the last two an-a-half weeks have proven, for all time and eternity, the utter fallacy of that statement. There will be times when government is the only answer.

It must never be forgotten that George W. Bush merely harvested the crop of America's economic suicide. It was Reagan who planted the seeds. Don't ever forget that. It's mourning in America. The coming years of hardship (which I fear will last a decade, possibly longer - possibly much longer) will be Ronald Reagan's biggest and longest lasting legacy.

To quote the great comic/philosopher, Stan Freberg, "Wake up Cratchett. It's later than you think!" Wake up, America.

The GOP have found themselves in an untenable situation. They are light years from the point when they could win a national election based upon the merits of their ideas. Think Dwight D. Eisenhower. Their only option at this stage in the game is fear. The next month will make the campaigns of 2000 and 2004 look like a freshman civics lecture. They have no other choice but to resort to the Karl Rove tactics that served them so well in those contests: Distract, Distort and Divide.

The McCain/Palin camp are going to go into the gutter from this point on. The only chance they'll have to win this thing in four weeks will be by scaring the hell out of middle America against voting for a black man. The irony here is that Bush was only able to win in 2000 because fifty-seven thousand African Americans were taken off of the list of registered voters in the state of Florida due to the illegal machinations of brother Jeb and Katherine Harris (Whatever happened to her anyway?) The campaign of 2008 will undoubtedly be remembered as the dirtiest in American history. Count on it.

This is going to get ugly, campers. Really, really ugly. Keep your fingers crossed and your hands folded.
Okay, just one more time (this is irresistible!) From "The Rant" by Tom Degan, December 30, 2007:
"2008 will be remembered as the year our entire economy collapsed. You can take that to the bank (so to speak)".
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Weapons of Mass Distraction
A film by Danny Schechter, "The News Dissector"


At 9:05 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

You are spot on with your prognostications.

John Mayer, the songwriter/musician, just sent out millions of REGISTER TO VOTE and just happens to be one of the people, along with John Legend and Sheryl Crowe, to be on Obama's "political" soundtrack.

So, all those swooning females may be running to and find out that voting for Alaska Barbie isn't so "cute."

I knew the guy was intelligent and not just a great lyricist and Mini-E.C.

Okay, I'm throwing out a problem for your for prognostication; will Canada be rescued from our "Conservative" nightmare?

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous ethical1 said...

Dear Tom,

Funny thing how you and I are so in tune!

Two things everyone should be doing now include:

Educate themselves on what's going down on the voting front. Both vote purging and electronic vote steeling are in the works. You cannot have a comlpletely secure and unhackable network and the code must be available for examination upon outcome disputes. We are refused examination of Ohio's systems because Diebold patented the software and claims proprietary ownership. Anomolies have occurred in Ohio votes in both 2004 and 2006 elections with electronic voting machines. In 2004, they are only set up in lower income districts and always returned wins for Bush while these same voters gave Democratic victories to the remaining positions on the ticket. Yet the people who are trying to press our Congress into an investigation of this has been ignored.

The second thing is to buy as much extra food as your budget will allow. It is quite likely that you may be able unable to afford to at some point in the next year. I suspect that the already overloaded non-pofit food pantries won't be able to meet demands and the States will cease assistance programs as their budgets continue to shrink.

Everybody's on their own. I've been saying for two years - stock up, establish a garden, learn how to live without utilities while you still have the time. The learning curve if you wait might be too steep and you will suffer greatly from starvation. It's ugly, and I'm sorry to be the bearer of such news, but it is what it is.

If McCain Palin win this election Tom, good people like those here are likely to be dealth with as traitors for speaking truth to power. Obama may not have a perfect record of consistently acting on the side of the people, at least I believe that if we people need to stand up, he would not unleash the force of our armies upon our heads.

While I am voting Obama as my president this election, our task has just begun. The American people must rise up and demand that the crooks across both party lines are booted out of our government and that we no longer allow decisions made for the sake of profit instead of the common good.










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At 10:44 PM, Anonymous ethical1 said...

Oh, and now that I've started...


Oh, and one last thought here...


Okay, little better now.

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Encourage all voters, especially those in a state where their are no paper trails on the machines, to take a photo of their vote with their CELL PHONE.

If enough people do this, statisticians can calculate the "error" programmed into the machines.

At 3:46 AM, Blogger Ex Glacies said...

Hey Waif, that's a great idea! I've been saying for months that they can't steal your vote when you tell the world what it is.

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

Hey waif, that's a great idea! I've been saying for months that they can't steal your vote when you tell the world what it is.

oh damn, now we're going to see partial hand searches and metal detectors at the polling station... us and our big mouths!

As to your ponderable problem, I suspect the answer is 'no' so long as the Liberals are headed up by the incoherent Dion. Sorry, he ain't gonna resonate west of Sudbury. And in a frustrating paradox, the Greens are only going to gain traction when the environment really starts to go downhill. By the time they form a government, it'll be Mad Max all over...

But until that comes to pass, the Oil Kings are gonna beat all over the Wheat Kings.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Ex Glacies

I suspect that Mad Max is already avoiding the marauding masses.

Wake me up when it's "Beyond Thunderdome;" I believe that is when the Wheat Kings will be more relevant that the "Soylent Green" that the Oil Kings will have become.


At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Georgette Orwell said...

Prairie waif, that's a *superb* idea. In Massachusetts we vote on paper ballots, but we need to share this idea widely in areas that are Diebold prey.

My Canadian friends and I spend a lot of time sharing war stories about our respective political nightmares. It's most definitely misery-loves-company time. Sadly, we all agree with ex-glacies.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous buzzwaffle said...

great rant! I like your thinking.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Laneman said...

Another great Tom, Thom Hartmann had been predicting this sort of thing for a while also. Of course once again the liberals have been proven right and the conservatives have been proven wrong whether about the war, the economy, Katrina, or anything else. How many more times do we have to actually live through the disasters of their making before we change our ways before it's too late? Ooops! It's too late! Thank you conservatives for ruining everything. Remember, being rich only means you're the last to starve.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Bikus Dickus said...

All you have to remember is this whole anti-populace bailout/rescue is a SCAM on the US & us. As did they in the novel “1984”, we now have ‘newspeak’ in the term Rescue Plan. More BS, it should be called "the losing party’s last chance at a massive…MASSIVE rip-off of the public". They want to grab all they can before their ilk are banned for the next several decades.

Doesn’t matter to them, they have done like the Steve Miller lyric says, “Ooh, woo, take the money & run”, and they have.

“The Treasury Department plans to tap Neel Kashkari, an assistant secretary of international affairs and a former Goldman Sachs banker, to oversee the government's $700 billion financial rescue program,”

What the hell is this? More foxes in the henhouse? We expected Paulson would tap some of his crony buddies who got us in to this mess in the first place, but we didn’t expect him to throw it blatantly in our faces so aggregiously, and without un-patriotic shame.

Don’t we have any power through the legislature or judicial to control this obvious conflict of interests, or abuse of power, by the executive? Have the American people sunk so low as to no longer control their government officials…or care?

Goldman paid Paulson a half to a billion dollars in compensation before he went to Secretary of Treasury about two years ago. Did he really leave their employ? It sure doesn’t look like it. Sachs stands to get billions off this deal.

On the other side of the coin is Bernanke, head of the FED. Quasi governmental in the public consciousness, it’s actually about a dozen-for profit-private banks. Do you believe they’re concerned about the national debt? Of course not, they’ll get their pound of flesh/interest/usury anyway…AND FIRST.

Like I said, foxes in the henhouse. How can we expect honesty from those with so obvious conflicts of interest?

AIG, which got bailed out a few weeks ago has already spent $61 of the $85 billion they were ‘gifted’ with, and will likely holding their hand out for more. Paulson, overheard in an interview, has agreed the cost could be even $1.3 trillion, so expect to see the hand extended again there, too.

Where does it stop? If we’re fooled by fools we’re double foolish, and in big doo doo unless we get involved & act with our weight of numbers.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger PaulMagillSmith said...

I have no idea why my post came up as 'bickus dickus' since I fear not using my own name or intimidation by ANY entity.

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous solrev said...

It is always darkest before the dawn. The conservative philosophy has just crashed and burned. Can liberals take advantage of the situation and take our country back? The bailout that every progressive seems to be whining about, as if another trillion in debt makes any difference, just saved America. We may not be able to leave the next generation any wealth but we can pass on something much more valuable, we can give them the American dream, which obviously can not be accumulating wealth. The bailout has put the ugly word socialism on the table. When one hears the words “provide for the common defense” or the words “promote the general welfare”, is that socialism? If we the people hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we can institute a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, which will secure these rights. Some may call that socialism, but me, I call that the American dream. Welcome to the revolution of 2012.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Sign me up, solrev!

You put it as perfectly as it can be. Will the revolution be televised? It's hard to figure out how they'll be able to ignore it.

Tom Degan

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Well, with the DOW down below 10,000 and foreign markets plummeting it sure looks like the bailout was a tremendous success !! NOT !! The stage is now set for the " Faal Plan " and martial law. Ethical1 says we should stock up on food......might not be a bad idea to stock up on WEAPONS too. Wow did I just say that ?? And to think I founded The Woodstock Nation Party !! It is a sad day in Mudville folks......put a fork in Amerika, it's done :-(

At 6:23 AM, Blogger johnsmith said...

Factoids are the gross natural product of what now passes for journalism in America, journalism driven not by newspapers, with their rigid insistence on confirming a claim or allegation before putting it in print, or even by radio or cable television with their less rigorous standards, but by the "citizen journalists" of the Internet who work down to the standard of beauty-shop gossips. Anybody with a computer and a keyboard can be a "citizen journalist," who may or may not be a "citizen" but who is rarely an actual "journalist." What makes "citizen journalism" work is sensation, imagination and speed.


At 6:40 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


Judging by what you wrote, I'm not too sure whether or not you appreciate "The Rant". If you do, thank you for the compliment. If not, I'll try harder.

Tom Degan

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom I LOVE Unable.
I have been unable to think of a fitting moniker except Winky. Change that to Winken as in Wynken Blynken and Nod.
McCain is McClone, McClown, or McShame
If these 2 get in we can kiss life as we know it goodbye as well as our freedoms and any shred of respect the rest of the world has for us.
There will likely be 2, possibly 3 Supreme Court vacancies to be filled in the next 4 years.
If McClone fills them who knows. Are there anymore judges as dumb. corrupt and for sale as Alito, Gonzo and Thomas?


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