Thursday, January 28, 2010

The view from my front door....

....and ten other twisted observations.

The following are a series of random observations that I had posted on other websites or scribbled down in my note book.


I live in Orange County in a town exactly sixty miles north of New York City's Lincoln Tunnel. The town, Goshen, is arguably the finest in the county (It is in serious competition with Warwick for that title). I grew up here and moved back eighteen years ago. Unfortunately I live in the lousiest area of the nicest town - on a busy two-lane highway, smack dab across from a tattoo parlor and an "adult" book store. Lovely.

Here's how bad the area is: I moved into the neighborhood and property values actually went
up! Still, the house is beautiful - a lot nicer than my previous residence. That place once made the front cover of Better Homes and Atrocities. My new landlord, whose name is Cliff Ryan, is a real gent. Despite the location, if I keep the blinds shut, I could be in my chalet on Lake Geneva for all I know. But I have a roof over my head, plenty of food in the fridge and all the water I can drink. There's more than enough room in this house for gratitude, thank you very much.


From "The Rant", Sunday, January 27, 2008....

"Am I missing something here? What the hell is wrong with the Democrats? For the first time since George McGovern thirty-six years ago, we have a Democratic candidate for the presidency who actually sounds like a Democrat. There's nothing vague about John Edwards' message - you know where he stands on every issue of any importance to average Americans. Unlike Barack Obama, whose heart is in the right place but who talks in poetic generalities, and Hillary Clinton - who is heartless - John Edwards has a definite, tangible vision of the new direction he wants to take America. Why isn't he catching on? Why are the American people so easily led - like sheep - by the corporate media? What in tarnations is goin' on here?"

Someone please shoot me.


Did you know that Adolf Hitler was a Liberal? So was Joe Stalin! In fact, these guys have more in common with Al Franken and Russ Feingold than you might expect. This bit of historical nonsense comes to you courtesy of Glenn Beck in his new FOX Noise "documentary", Revolutionary Holocaust.

The very idea that a half-witted little Thought Nazi like Beck is able to hijack this country's political dialogue is indicative of the speed of our downward spiral as a culture. The right wing's attempts to rewrite history in the last thirty years was at first amusing. Then it became ludicrous. Now it is merely riotously funny. More on this subject on my next posting. I already have the title for it - Adolf Hitler: The Fightin' Liberal.


The entire country is focusing it's attention this morning on President Obama's State of the Union address last night. I have nothing original to add to the discussion other than my view that it seems the prez is trying to jump start his faltering administration. A lot of "the experts" are at the moment dismissing this White House as dead in the water. If they had any concept of history they would know better. Many presidents in the past got off to a bad start. If George W. Bush were judged only on his first year in office, he would today be remembered as one of the worst Chiefs Executive in American history....


Okay, maybe that's not a good example. Let me try again....

Jack Kennedy had a fairly shaky start in his first year (Remember the Bay of Pigs?) and yet he turned out to be pretty good at the job. A year from now will find us at the half way point of Obama's first (I hope) term. Let's see what happens between now and then. NOTE TO THE LIBERALS: To abandon all faith in this president now would not only be foolish, it would be a half-step away from insanity. Chill!


Last week the voters of Massachusetts told pollster after pollster that they gave the late Ted Kennedy's seat to Republican Scott Brown because they wanted to send a clear, unmistakable message to Washington. Well now! They certainly did that, did they not? Their message has been received loud and clear:


Good for you, Massachusetts!


With all of the jabbering going on out there about ways to cut spending, only Bernie Sanders of Vermont (God bless him!) has had the common sense to state what should be blatantly obvious: We need to make drastic slashes in military spending.

"In the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of power, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties and democratic processes."

Dwight D. Eisenhower
January 17, 1961

We could cut our military budget in half and still have enough really cool bombs in our arsenal to destroy the world three times over - and then some. The Cold War is over, folks. Why on earth are we still pissing away our national treasure on these military contractors? Could it possibly be that our very economic survival depends on our stockpiling the entire planet with weapons of mass destruction? That is the question we all should be asking.

"Blessed are the peacemakers;
for they shall be called sons of God."

Jesus of Nazareth


This is not really an observation but a question - Could Michelle Bachmann possibly get any stupider?


Historically speaking, the party of an incumbent president almost always loses in the mid-term election. The pundits are telling us that 2010 will be no exception. I wouldn't be too sure of that. The Tea Party jackasses are already claiming responsibility for last week's Massachusetts upset and have every intention charting the GOP's future course. When the powers-that-be within the RNC deny them the ability to set the agenda, they'll splinter off into third and fourth party uprisings.

How can I be so sure of this? It's quite simple, really. These people are not only crazy, they're also dumber than doggy dung - and, thus, very easy to predict. It's only a matter of time before their mad house of cards comes crashing down.

The ten months between now and Election Day will only see the continued implosion of the "party of Lincoln". Count on it.


Regarding Harold Ford's quest for a senate seat from the state of New York....I like Ford. I really hope he will be able to pull this off - but I think he may have gotten in over his head. There are so many powerful forces aligned against him (particularly Chuckles Schumer) that getting the nomination will be a herculean effort. But if anyone can do it, he can. He's a smart guy and a good one.

Carpetbagger? New York has a bit of a history there - Bobby Kennedy, Hillary Clinton - I really don't think it's that big a deal. Is he merely a corporate shill as some are implying? We shall see.


Real, meaningful health care - for the foreseeable future anyway - is dead as a doornail. The Republicans will only continue to obstruct and the Democrats are impotent cowards. Someday we'll have it. Someday the people will rise up and demand it - but they need to wake up first. Until then....

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and say a prayer that I don't get sick. Cheerio! Pip! Pip!

Tom Degan
From my home across the road from ye ole pornography shoppe


A People's History of the United States
by Howard Zinn

Howard died suddenly last night of a heart attack in California where he was visiting. This was a good life, well lived. We're a better country because of him.

Photograph at the top of the page by Chris Pennings.


At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom, good column. Here are some of my observations on your observations:

#1. Don't think of it as the lousiest section of town or a terrible view out your window. Think of it as a small business taking the first steps towards entrepenurial success.

#2. John Edwards: he fooled me too.

#5. The election in Massachusetts: having grown up in Massachusetts, I can assure that not all good citizens there are Democrats, liberal, or fans of the Kennedy family. (I also predict that Scott Brown is a one-term senator....fingers crossed.)

Mary Eman

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Suzan said...



Someone should be saying this every few minutes on the MSM.

From your lips . . . .

And I still think Edwards the best candidate. How does his personal history differ so egregiously from that of Hillary or any of the Rethugs who didn't have a spouse with terminal cancer and all the heartache that that must have entailed? Or Obama's grooming by the people who brought him to our attention?

His policies would have brought us an entirely different country (or exposed the impossibility of that a lot sooner).

Maybe I'm too easy on the best liberal in the race.

But that's just me being me.


The very idea that a half-witted little Thought Nazi like Beck is able to hijack this country's political dialogue is indicative of the speed of our downward spiral as a culture.

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Bennett in Vermont said...

Great stuff Tom, and thanks for providing a few wry smiles to those who are fortunate enough to read your blog.

NO NO NO no no no! Hitler was a Jew! (I heard it on the radio)

Do they have $.25 movie booths at the shoppe across the street? I remember those from my tender childhood ("why's the floor sticky?" I wondered)

Yeah, Bernie is our man and we'll keep sending him to Washington to sorta balance out the stupidity...


(nice photo of you btw)

At 3:23 PM, Blogger SJ said...


If this were Italy, John Edwards wouldn't be finished because he was a lousy, unfaithful husband. None of what you said about him is false my friend. I had such high hopes for him, Eliot Spitzer, and Russ Feingold... (who for reasons I don't understand is not a political juggernaut in America- no embarrassing indiscetions there.)

...Then again, if this were italy?
Rupert Murdoch would be President, since Berluconi's media ownership doesn't seem to trouble enough of the electorate over there.

Gotta take "the crooked with the straight" I suppose.


At 4:41 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Observation 4......well for now I will no longer call the President " Obummer ". I will now refer to him as " O ". He won me back for now when he chastised the U.S. Supreme Court Justices right to their faces for the misguided decision in the Citizens United case. That took some balls and I hope he continues to call everyone to the carpet when they act in a manner detrimental to our citizens best interests !!

At 9:26 PM, Blogger finefroghair said...

Obama"s excoriation of SCOTUS was uplifting but then beseeching congress to do an end run around the decision well I was flummoxed. That was the type of inspirational leadership for which he was elected if only he would alter some of his other positions well maybe there's hope down the road..
I heard it said the last presisdent to publically rebuke the SCOTUS was FDR thats what I am talking about.

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Miss Bankrupt said...

Make friends with your neighbors, Mr. Degan. You may get a discount on...something.

If the damn Mayan calendar weren't running out in 2012, I'd nominate Mr. Tom D. for prez.

Love your blog...

At 12:52 AM, Blogger Clay said...

Great blog, Tom, we seem to agree on everything. I'm taking another whack at the Supreme Court decision again today. It really burns me that just 5 men can turn our elections into auctions.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger mark hoback said...

Could Michelle Bachman get any dumber? Yes, she has yet to reach Palinesque depths. At least Bachman had the sense to pull out of the Teabag Convention.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Phil said...

A couple of observations of my own:


That property values went up after you moved there actually speaks well of your character, Tom.


There's something definitely wrong with the Democrats, and I'm pretty sure that whatever it is can't be fixed.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

I just hope you are right about the mid-term elections. We could use a little good news now.

At 3:46 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

Great post. I absolutely agree with you on #4.

Almost lost it when ai read your earlier post about John Edwards and your follow-up comment. So funny. What a mess he is.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Clark B said...

OK, once again, (and a little nicer this time), on a political compass, Stalin is on the far left and also way up on the statist part of the scale. Hitler is way up on the statist end and just right of center. Instead of doing the whole "kool aid drinker" pejorative, listen to the words I am saying. This is not "spin" that is being brought by anyone, but a reality as to their position politically. Do you hate people on the right so much that you can't even understand when someone is stating a fact?

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

You've swallowed the concoction whole, Clark.

They are now trying to say that Hitler and Stalin were "Progressives" and you are buying it.

Do you even have a vague conception as to how pathetic you seem?

ADOLF HITLER: The fightin' Liberal

Please, Clark....Have another sip.


Tom Degan

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Clark B said...

And again, Tom. I understand this is your blog, so you will always get the last word, but do you understand how pathetic YOU sound while constantly referring to someone as a "kool aid drinker" and never attempting to refute their argument?

I have not said that they were progressives, nor have I insinuated that Hitler would be a "Fightin' Liberal."

You put arguments into people's mouths so that you can attempt to disprove a point they did not make. It's called a straw man and that, dear sir, is truly pathetic.

I told you exactly where they stood on their political ideology and you never attempt to refute that. Just because you say that they are "on the right" does not make it so, especially in Stalin's case.

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Hotrod said...

John Edwards, I supported him against my gut instinct telling me he was sleazy. Sometimes the gut feeling is right.

You've got to be kidding about Ford-as bad as Rahm Emanuel, if not worse. A corporate stooge if there ever was one. What on Earth would he do for any of us working peons?

At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Dan said...

Having voted for Obama I'm am still deeply disappointed in him. I've listened to the wonderful speeches and its way past time for something with more substance. I will continue to believe he is a corporate shill until he delivers something, anything of value.

He has failed to deliver health care. He has failed to investigate the previous administration for their numerous crimes. He has failed to roll back the many attacks on our Bill of Rights vis-a-vis the patriot acts. Gitmo, Rendition, ect...Oh never mind.

Somebody tell me what he's accomplished beyond finger wagging and fancy speech's? Anything of value for the working class?

Tom, you are a good man and I know your heart is in the right place but come on! Obama is a Corporate whore with a knack for speeches.

For the record, I'm a Tattoo Artist and I ask you; Who would you rather have living across the street, me or Dick Cheney?

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Teresa said...

Eliott Spitzer, from what I have heard, is a good man. He helped my mother-in-law out when no other peroson/politician would. he is now starting up some kind of women's help group now.

I didn't like any of the Dmocrat's candidates.

I actually don't think that Bush was a bad President. He kept both the unemployment low and the stock market high for about 6 years. Plus, there was 9/11 and its aftermath, that I believe he handled very well.

I don't underestimate this President and his administration since it is obvious they are willing to resort to any underhanded, dirty trick to pass health care "reform." Obama is a far leftist radical and not a pragmatist or a centrist, like Bill Clinton. And, none of the Dems health care proposals solve, or even begin to solve the problems of affordability and accessability with health care.

Are you angry at Beck because he knows his history? And, has been successful at making this administration recoil and look bad? If you read his book, Arguing with Idiots, he backs up everything with fact. Hitler was a socialist. Obama and liberals are socialists. So, they do have some things in common.

The tattoo shop does look like a sucky view.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Whoa! Dan! Good point!

No question about it. I would much rather live across from you. Nothing personal, but I have never warmed up to the idea of tattoos. I guess I'm turning into a fuss budget in many respects.


Thanks for the more civil tone. The fact that you chose to remove the first posting (I never remove them) shows a good spirit. Sorry if I sounded a tad hostile on my end. We'll just have to agree to disagree, pal.

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Teeluck said...

Nice Blog Bro, I will definitely drop by...

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Reaganite Republican said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog to gloat about the O'Keefe case... just the kind of diversion libs love so much... so we don't think about Obama's close involvement with the appalling corrupt ACORN.

Truth is, O'Keefe exposed federally-funded fraud and encouragement of illegal activities... so why-o- why would anyone be so anxious to string him up?

And you're dreaming anyway- this is case is nothing like you'd wish it to be- maybe you haven't been keeping up on it-

So thanks for your input, but with all due respect it's hard to listen to... if we'd have followed your advice in the past, we'd have President Edwards and his baby-momma in the White House now, LOL- at least you're man enough to admit your mistakes, but from what I've heard from you so far, they'll be plenty more of the same to come...

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


Touche, Reaganite Republican!

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Oooh. You are neighbors of some of my favorite people. Granted they are all Warwick lol. One Tuxedo Park (Goshen doesnt hold a candle to that particular area), my sister and my niece nephew and wonderful BIL Greenwood Lake (In a new development on top of some seriously scary hills that you cant see over when you are driving up), and my best friend in Warwick proper (though for years I thought she was in Pine Island).

That said, I agree with you completely, Obama needs a chance, and I think the SOTU address was pathetic. Not on Obama's side, but the GOP's. They think if they just kill him on healthcare (hello commenter up there, it ISNT his fault that it hasnt passed yet)

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Teresa said...

The Democrats had a supermajority in the Senate and a majority, maybe even a supermajority in the House, so the Republicans couldn't have blocked a single piece of legislation that the Dems proposed. It is the fact that the Dems are in comflict amongst themselves. Obama didn't take a leadership role to make sure his health care "reform" bill passed. It is the majority of the American people who have shown that they don't want the Dems version of health care reform. They need to go back to the drawing tables and include the GOP in the process instead of shutting them out like they did from the very beginning, and actually display the negotiations on C-Span as Obama promised during his campaign.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Agreed Theresa. When did I say it wasnt the Dems fault as well? I said it wasnt Obama's fault. The Dems are being asshat's too. They thought that because they had the majority that compromise was not something conceivable to them.

They need to work together, and they are all just sticking their tongues out at each other. It is ridiculous.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Teresa said...

You suggesting that the GOP were pathetic because of SOTU, a speech in which was solely laid on Obama's shoulders, is kind of puzzling and nonsensical to me since the speech was all his and the GOP had no responsibility involved with relation to the SOTU. That seemed to me that you are laying the onus on the GOP when the Dems are the ones that have the votes to pass pretty much anything. But, I do think that both the Dems and GOP need to work together to pass health care reform, a common sense reform and not a government takeover, or a health care revolution.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

They were beyond disrespectful. So yes, I am suggesting that.

And agreed.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Teresa said...

The GOP sat through the speech like everyone else. I don't see how that is disrespectful. Was Harry Reid and others pretty much falling asleep disrespectful?

Obama was disrespectful the way he attacked unprecedentedly another branch of the government during the SOTU. That was classless. He was attacking free speech because he knows more likely than not he will not reap the benefits from corporate free speech. Plus, he hasn't apologized about being wrong about foreign companies being able to donate to campaigns. What he said is false. No person living in a foreign country and who is not a U.S. citizen cannot donate to any political campaign.

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Teresa, not big on political debates. I KNOW this blog is not the place to be for this. I was just agreeing with Tom.

You can go your merry way and declare defeat against me. Even though you are wrong lol.

I was more interested in where Tom lived than debating his detractors to be honest.

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Another scintillating piece Tom - and one to rattle the cages and the selective amnesia of the conservatives.

Speaking of whom... a quick note as the condition known as 'Republican':

The Full Measure of Republican Neuroses



At 12:43 AM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Oops - sorry, nearly forgot about O'Keefe: Reaganite Republican's homage to the man just reminded me.

Apologies for the link, Tom, but we can't allow unbridled worship of the man after what he's done (and to think - not so much as an "extraordinary rendition" plane in sight to whisk him off to Gimto, for a summary waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" - which of course are not torture, unless of course we're dealing with internationally accepted legal definitions of the term... outside the Republican movement).

But anyway - hope you like this wee rebuttal:

TeaBugger O’Keefe: Liberate the Tapes!! (No, Not THOSE Tapes!)



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At 10:55 AM, Blogger Dee said...

I saw your comment re: O'Keefe on the las vegas examiner website. You were "right on"! O'Keefe will face Justice! I hope you write more about the case in months ahead.

I also like your blog. I used to live in Mass. I remember the very dreary skies in winter. I have since moved to Texas. I love the sun, heat and wide open spaces of this state. Both places have their pluses and minuses. I agree.

I also agree with you re: Edwards. I was a believer in 2008. Now, as I look back, I do get angry at the thought of how he hurt his wife and family. I can only imagine how cruel and ugly the Republicans would be right now if we had elected him. I'm glad we have Obama in office even though the Republicans are still being cruel and ugly about him.

Keep up the good work and I am going to add you to my blogroll.

My blog is:
Immigration Talk with a Mexican American.

Take Care and I wish you the Best!

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Professor Chaos said...

Hear, Hear! Couldn't agree more.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Thank you, Dee. And you, too, Professor Chaos. Those comments are nice to wake up to.

All the best,


At 1:35 PM, Blogger Kevin Kelley said...

I'm surprised the right wing don't cite Eisenhower more as a reason to cut military spending... after all, he was a war hero and a Republican...

It is like everything our nation does. We spend more then any other nation in the world on things such as the military, education, and health care, but the benefits rarely show. We are lagging in education and health care and education, but we just like to throw money at the problem. America can have a more efficient military, but we opt for higher expenses because the cries from the right perceive this to make the nation stronger and more prepared.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Beth said...

It seems the wheels are already falling off the ol' Tea Party Express. Plenty of infighting amongst the hordes, Bachmann and Blackburn pulling out...and of course, Palin is hangin' in there, doncha know, because she just loves those patriots! I'm looking forward to the comedy show. >:]

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Clay said...

Beth said:
"I'm looking forward to the comedy show. >:]"

Me also too! You betcha!

At 1:29 AM, Blogger carol said...

Hi Tom,
What a great blog! I loved this post. I nearly choked on my hot chocolate when I read [LONG, AWKWARD PAUSE]

I'm your neighbor in rockland county. Glad to know there are some libruls up in Goshen. I'd been losing sleep!


At 8:44 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Hello, Carol!

There are a couple progressives up here in Rock-Ribbed Republican Orange County - and if you give me a day or two I just may be able to find one.

Thanks for the note!

All the best,


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At 3:01 PM, Blogger Clay said...

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I did retire last year, 4 years early because 1. I can, and 2. It would be just my luck to retire in July of 2012 and then something happens that knocks everything into a cocked hat! I want the time to enjoy things as they are now.

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At 4:51 PM, Blogger Clay said...


At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there Tom! Sadly I guess our building is a little drab looking. We're thinking of getting some nice plants out there, once its warm enough. Oh and also we've got some lookers over here at the shop so once spring has'll notice some cute artists out there lol...Oh and also fun blog sir.

Jen Lee

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good day everyone, I just signed up on this brilliant forum and wished to say hello there! Have a tremendous day!

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Well, thank you very much for dropping by. Do come again!

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 3:45 PM, Blogger pooorpeddler said...

Regaining our moral compass
Once upon a time in an era long long ago Democratic leaders enacted social programs that enhanced the lives of all Americans.
Flash forward 75 years and once again it took the ideals of Democrats to eliminate the inequities in the America’s health care system. Over Republican objection almost identical to what FDR encountered President Obama and congress achieved what has eluded presidents since Teddy Roosevelt.

I was extremely disappointed in right wing constituents and special interest. The Health Care Bill is deficit neutral according to the Congressional Budget Office and the phony lies of deficit spending fall on deft ears when examing the spending habits of Republicans from 1981 to 2009.

This legislative battle also reminded me of the Civil Right battle of the 1960’s. The right dug in to deny equality and the left was just as committed to including all in our democracy. The party of no’s hollow protest of loosing individual freedom and states rights was without merit. Republicans say they love America but vote as if they hate Americans I rarely see them help the working class. They practice hypocrisy on a grand scale. Yesterday they cut unemployment and COBRA insurance for the unemployed in retaliation for the Democratic HCB. Does anyone need additional proof that Republicans work for Corporate America?

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Perfect comment, Poor Peddler!

However, I would take slight exception with one line: FDR never experienced opposition nearly as vile as the type Obama is experiencing today.

Thanks again for an excellent posting!

Tom Degan


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