Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fun with Dick and Liz


The subject of this piece is not, in fact, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, but that other infamous Dick and Liz - Cheney. The only reason I place the legendary couple's photograph at the top of this piece is because, for all of their excesses of flamboyance and wealth, Dick and Liz Burton/Taylor are (let's be honest here) a hell of a lot nicer to look at. Also it must be conceded that they did make some undeniable contributions to American culture. The 1964 film, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, is, in my humble opinion, one of the twenty-five greatest movies ever made. Dick and Liz Cheney's positive contributions to the country they seem intent on destroying is virtually nonexistent.

Not that I believe everything I hear on television (I don't - Honest!) but the other day I heard it said on the tube that Dick Cheney's poll numbers have gone from the dismal, single digit level of January when he left office, to about thirty-six percentage points.

That can't possibly be true, can it? The American people (even 36% of them) couldn't possibly be that idiotic, could they? Can it be that so many of them are actually swallowing the propaganda blitz of spin, smoke and mirrors that Cheney and his lovely daughter (Keep a straight face, Degan!) have been unfurling on an unsuspecting public in recent months? Please, say it ain't so, Morning Joe!

The real motivation behind the Dick and Liz First Farewell Tour is now pitifully obvious. They know damned well that the quadrillion dollar shit hammer is about to hit the fan and they desperately need to take preemptive action. For months, it seemed, you could not turn the channel without seeing one or the other of these two chanting their mantra du jour:

"The Democrats are a danger to our security."

"We kept you safe for eight years." (That's assuming the Bush administration began on September 12, 2001)

"No laws were broken by our administration."

"Torture works. Try it! You'll like it!"

At the time, my theory - and fear - was that Cheney, because of his security clearance, had received intelligence that another major terrorist attack was just around the corner and was attempting to score major political points by saying, "See? I told you so!" I've never been happier to be so wrong about an initial assumption of mine. As it turns out, this is about something a bit more complicated. From the New York Times, 7/14/09 (Reported by Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane):

"Since 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency has developed plans to dispatch small teams overseas to kill senior Quaeda terrorists, according to current and former government officials. The plans remained vague and were never carried out, the officials said, and Leon E. Panetta, the CIA director, canceled the program last month."

On the face of it, most people won't find anything inherently wrong with wanting to go out and waste a bunch of lunatics who are hell-bent on killing as many Americans as possible. After all, we are at war - I guess. Personally, I am a pacifist and a Christian; I am against all killing. "Blessed are the peace makers....", you know what I'm saying? That being said, when Dick and Liz Cheney try to sell you on the idea that the Bush Mob were only trying to protect the American people from another terrorist attack, that argument ignores a crucial point. According to sources, Cheney - the man who put the vice in the vice-presidency - ordered the CIA to keep the existence of this program hidden from the Congress. That, as I don't need to remind you, is a crime.

Another problem I have with the Times report is this: Why, pray tell, would anyone feel the need to go through all the trouble of putting a stop to a "vague plan"? If you think about it, that makes no sense whatsoever.

I once concocted a vague plan to fire bomb the home of my Sophomore science teacher. There were drawbacks to my little scheme to be sure. At the time, my father was president of the local School Board. Had I been caught, the resulting scandal would not have done him a damned bit of good - politically speaking, that is. It's a fairly safe bet that something as weird as that would have put a bit of a kink in his reelection strategy.

But it must be emphasized that this was just a passing daydream on my part. It came. It went. And while I left high school over three decades ago, my plan to become a teenage terrorist was so incredibly vague, I never really felt the need to go to the trouble of "canceling the program", so to speak. Although this particular teacher moved out of the area back in the seventies (He may even be dead for all I know), that plan is technically still on the table.
It goes without saying that I never made an effort to carry it out and have no plans, conscious or otherwise, to do so. But just to be on the safe side, if you're still out there, you might want to keep your night light on, Mr. Roukov. Just a suggestion.

There's something else that's been bugging me. According to the Constitution, the vice-President has only two responsibilities:

1. Breaking a tie vote in the Senate.

2. Assuming the duties as chief-executive should the president die or become mentally incapacitated.

While there is little doubt that historians will be debating the mental capacities of George W. Bush for generations to come, the question is just begging to be asked:

Who (or what) gave Dick Cheney the authority to order the CIA to do (or not do) anything? What's wrong with this picture?

If these reports are true, Cheney was acting way beyond his constitutional authority. Questions abound: Why didn't the spooks at Langley headquarters tell the Veep to go stuff himself? Why didn't the CIA lodge a complaint with the President? Or did they? Who was really in charge of that administration? Is our children learning? Are these latest revelations merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg?

The answer to that last question is, undoubtedly, yes. When Cheney and Daughter went out on the talk show circuit back in March, there seemed to me to be an air of desperation about them. What is this all about, I wondered aloud. Cheney never gave a hoot in hell about the security of the American people! Why this sudden change? What the hell is going on here? Now I know. Now we all know.

As the months transpire and the juicy tidbits of information continue to be made public, the depth of the hole that Cheney has dug for himself will become apparent to all but the most habitual viewers of FOX and Friends. After their "vague plans" were revealed the other day, Dick has apparently taken a vow of silence and has left Liz with the responsibility of "catapulting the propaganda". Poor kid. She has one hell of a task before her. This hole is just too damned deep.

Oh, and by the way! Yesterday on MSNBC, Liz Cheney announced that her future plans include running for public office! Isn't life wonderful?

Tom Degan
Goshen, New York


A few months ago, Google began advertising on this site. This was a vain hope that I might be able to earn a little extra cash in exchange for the hours of toil and torment I spend each week putting out "The Rant". (Truth be told, it's a lot of fun). If you've noticed, occasionally they will post ads for Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin's political action committee. Don't ask me why they do this. I am now in the process of trying to correct the situation. Be sure to tune into the Rush Limbaugh Show at Noon. (just kidding)


At 12:34 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Hi Tom,

I have a feeling that like Sarah Palin walking away from office, we will never know the real reason for Cheney's suddenly deciding to leave his hidey-hole and talk. Isn't it ironic that while he was in office there were times that you had to wonder if the old bastard was still alive, and now you can't shut him up.

Theories abound - he is promoting himself looking for a book deal, he is talking himself up to cover his ass when everything comes out and the poop hits the cooling machine, or perhaps most frightening; he really believes this crap.

Hopefully things regarding his criminal involvement will continue to come to light and he will be exposed for the manipulator that he really was. I am very willing to bet that any incriminating documentation he might have possessed has been destroyed and he is leaving no paper trail.

The sad and really frightening irony is that Dubya is just damned dumb and was willing to step back and LET Cheney run the ship. Cheney is simply evil, and I do not say that lightly; he is evil bordering on the demonic, willing to stop at absolutely nothing to achieve his goals. And there are probably more goals than we will ever be aware of. I have a feeling that this runs much deeper than we will ever know. Our only hope is that some day, enough will come to light so that we can get his sorry ass put away.

As for the rise in his rating, he has done nothing but slam the Obama administration constantly and that resonates with the Great Unwashed who see "evil" at work in Obama's administration. The sad and frightening thing is the large number of hate groups springing up and buying into Cheney's rantings. They feel powerless and disenfranchised and think that Cheney is god and Obama is the devil. They listen to Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Beck and think they are speaking the truth.

As for Liz; god help us. Can you see her on a ticket with Jeb Bush?


At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great rant and as usual, I have had many the same thoughts. What are these people really up to?

Hey Charles,

If Liz and Jeb run, all those Bush/Cheney bumper stickers can be recycled! How environmental! (I really don't want to immigrate to another country- so PLEASE let this remain a joke between all of us!)

Peace to all,

Jo in AZ

At 11:42 PM, Blogger Rady Ananda said...

beats the heck outa me why he went on the talk show circuit. I can venture a guess as to why he's not on it anymore tho...

seems Panetta may truly be after him.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous boden said...

I think Liz Cheney's motivation to defend her father is very simple: she loves her Daddy and doesn't want people saying mean things against "Daddy." She is an idealistic daughter her believes what ever "Daddy" tells her regardless of how unrealistic that is. My daughter used to be like that but then she grew up and realized Santa Claus was just a myth. The truth behind the myth was that her parents love her and like to shower her with gifts every year. The truth behind Cheney is that he fears there are "evildoers" out there and that his job is to find them regardless of the Bill of Rights he was sworn to protect. Liz needs to grow up and stop believing whatever "Daddy" tells her.
Keep up the good work Tom.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger jasondylan said...


Good one! Great pictures. Burton and Taylor, classic. The Cheneys look squirmy and slimy.

I know we all hope that there is some justice to be served but I am not holding my breathe.

I am interested to hear what your thoughts are about the new legal definitions of "conspiracy" are.

It seems now that you can get brought up on conspiracy charges just by talking about committing a crime.

The idea of 'Thought Crime' seems to be right around the corner.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


Here's what I think:

On second thought....Never mind.


Tom Degan

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...


I have learned, from experience, the "new" definition of conspiracy is: Anyone thinking who isn't a Republican meeting Anyone thinking who isn't a Republican.

Anyone thinks.
Anyone isn't a Republican
Republicans do not think.


At 4:45 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, your story about Mr. Roukov had me laughing my ass off. Thanks for ending my long week with a chuckle. (I'm still laughing.)

As far as Dick and Liz, you're absolutely right. The bloodhounds are on his trail and he's on the run.

Have a great weekend!

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thanks, Mr. Frank!

I wonder whatever became of Mr. Roukov? His first name was Lynn but a "google" search reveals nothing. He wasn't all that bad and, as I remember it, he had a pretty good sense of humor. He didn't care for me only because I was such a lousy student.

Again, the fire-bombing idea was just a passing fantasy in a moment of anger. I hope the old bugger's doing well.


At 12:10 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, with a first name of "Lynn", I suppose Mr. Roukov had to have a good sense of humor. Sort of like Johnny Cash's A Boy Named Sue. Was he of Russian or eastern European descent, and was he born here or had he immigrated?

You're a great writer and missed your calling. You could have written for any of the great comedians of our time. Carlin would have had 'em rollin' in the aisles. Still laugh every time I read that passage. It's a classic. :-)

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Joel said...

Hi Tom,

It is my understanding that the directive to kill Al Qaeda leaders was authorized by Congress, and just the details of the plans were kept from Congress, as reported by AP news for what it’s worth. I’m guessing this was to provide the Congress with deniability for political reasons.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


I think you might be on to something here; in fact, I think you might have hit the nail on the head.

Why are the Dems so hesitant to get to the bottom of this? Because they did sign off on a lot of these "enhanced interrogation" programs . Every time I ask myself why I left that joke of a party over a decade ago, they always cheerfully remind me.

My opinion? Commission a special prosecutor and let the chips fall where they may.



At 3:04 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Man, Cheney is a joke!! To be over the committee to find a vice-presidential candidate and wake up and look I am going to put myself in that position is by far funnier than Adam Sandler could ever create! They got the wrong stars for the movie "FUNNY PEOPLE"!! They should have put old wrinkled up DICK and his wife on the advertisement! That would have put Harry Potters records to shame!!!

At 3:06 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Oh my bad that is his daughter sitting there with him! Hahahaha!

At 1:28 AM, Blogger One Ronin said...

Google "turned to the dark side" several years ago. That's why you see the ads you mentioned. You should see the other stuff they're doing now.


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