Friday, April 29, 2011

Damn the Facts - FULL SPEED AHEAD!

Well! Heavens to Betsy and thank goodness! It's all over! The proof is right there! Finally we can put this whole nasty question of the geography of Barack Obama's birth behind us and get on with the business at hand, right? Right???

Oh, ye of
such abundant faith.

We have had the evidence in the palms of our hands since the day Barack Obama announced his candidacy four years ago: There was the standard, state-issued birth certificate - which should have settled the issue right then and there. Then there was the August 9, 1961 edition of the Honolulu Advertiser, clearly announcing the birth - in Honolulu (which as we all know is part of the United States) - of the future president of the United States. Finally the other day the president threw up his hands and released the "certificate.of live birth" (as opposed to the perfectly legitimate "long form" version). This was the document that was signed by the doctor and certified by the state of Hawaii within minutes of baby Barack's birth. You would think that this would be enough to convince these nitwits, wouldn't you? As a matter of pathetic fact, you would think that this would be more than enough - that the matter could now be mercifully put to rest once and for all.

Think again.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, of the candidates from the two major political parties, only one of them was born in the United States of America - Barack Oba
ma. John McCain was born in Panama. Do you find it as curious as I do that it is the black guy who has had his citizenship called into question? I'm sure that that's just a coincidence though. I'm sure that the man's race has not a thing to do with it.

I just made a twenty dollar bet with myself that I could write that last sentence and keep a straight face. I lost.

There was Orly Taitz, the so-called "Queen of the birthers", on MSNBC's The Last word with Laurence O'Donnell, desperately trying to keep the lie alive. O'Donnell gave this idiotic woman a chance to show some real class by admitting that, yes, the certificate is official; Barack Obama was born in the USA. And yet she just couldn't bring herself to do it. Oily Orly has made quite a bitchin' bundle of cash in the last two years from her persecution of the tru
th. As someone once noted, it's easy for people not to understand the obvious when their paychecks depend upon them not understanding it.

Not that it makes a damned bit of difference, but Orly Taitz (the supposed "expert" on what it takes to be a honest-to-goodness, true-blue American) was born in Russia and raised in Israel - not that that makes any difference.

A cottage industry has risen from the depths of our otherwise screwed economy. This is an industry that caters to the "birther" movement. On her MSNBC program the other night (I like MSNBC - can you tell?) Rachel Maddow took amusing note of the right wing website, "World Net Daily". One of their links is called the "World Net Daily Super Store" which offers for purchase scads of really neat stuff - books, videos, bumper stickers, cocktail napkins, tea cozies - that cater to the proposition that our president is actually a foreign born A-Rab Kenyan. They definitely have a vested interest in keeping the lie's flame burning brightly. Let it shine.

What I wonder is how the release of the certificate of live birth is going to effect the opinio
ns of regular people who are registered to vote as Republicans. At last count, a depressingly huge number of them - nearly two thirds - either don't believe that President Obama was born here or they're just not sure. In my neck of the woods even Republicans (a bare majority of them anyway) are smart and reasonable people. I imagine this latest news will settle the matter for most of them. I'm not quite as optimistic as far as other regions of the country are concerned. I suspect that it will continue to be business-as-usual in states like Texas, South Carolina and Mississippi. Those places are beyond hope. That is as it should be. We need the laughs. We really do.

Of every Republican politician I've seen interviewed thus far, although none of them have come out and said "I am not convinced", not one of these bastards has had the basic decency to say "I am". They're not going to let go. The implication that the president of the United States is not a citizen of those United States - as far as they're concerned - shall remain. They don't give a shit about what's good for America. They never have.

This should be interesting.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


While I've been writing this, the Morning Joe program has been covering the wedding of William and Kate. I've never been a "Royal Watcher"; I've always been indifferent to them. But I'm forced to admit that this is hard to ignore. They seem like nice kids. Ooooooh! They just kissed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace! I'M POSITIVELY GIDDY!!! Back to the real world....


The River of Doubt
by Candice Millard

In the late winter of 1914 former President Theodore Roosevelt signed on to take part in an expedition, the purpose of which was to map an uncharted river that snaked its way through the Amazon jungle. He almost never made it back alive. When he emerged from the jungle's interior four months later, he had lost a quarter of his body weight and was suffering from malaria. It is believed that the experience took years off his life. He died less than five years later on January 6, 1919 at age sixty. This is an absolutely riveting book that I could not put down. If your local Library has it on its shelves, grab it.

BREAKING NEWS, 5/2/11: Osama bin Laden has been killed.

President Barack Obama ordered the military action to proceed that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden yesterday. It will be interesting to see how the uber right wing will attempt to deflect any credit this president deserves for getting the job done. This should also bring Obama's approval rating up a notch or two. The conservatives media machine will be working overtime in the weeks to come bringing it back down again.

Here's something you can take to the bank:

Within less than a week, a whole new cottage industry will arise from our otherwise screwed economy that will deny that Osama bin Laden has been killed; that the president manufactured this whole thing to bring his approval ratings up; that Osama was actually killed by the Bush administration four - five - whatever - years ago. I can just hear them now:



Fasten your seat belts, boys and girls! Here come the Deathers!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Inside Job

Our government....teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."

-Louis D. Brandeis

Two DVD reviews in one week. Hollywood, here I come. I won't be doing this all the time; this second review being a coincidence of necessity. I'm not planning on becoming the Left's answer to Rex Reed, I promise.

Now that you've laid out your bread for The Ernie Kovacs Collection (At least I sure hope you did!) I'm going to plead with you to make one more financial sacrifice. This one you will be able to pick up for under twenty bucks. It is a wise investment, too. "Inside Job", a recent film by Charles Ferguson, is the most important documentary ever to be let loose on the public. Buy it now - and show it to everyone you know. Arrange a public showing at your local library. If enough people see this film there will be revolution in this country. Count on it.

Then again, maybe not. Americans have become fat with apathy. Who am I kidding? Never mind.

If you are naive enough to believe that this country is still a democratic republic, Inside Job will set you straight. America has been overthrown by the Plutocracy. Thanks to three decades of deregulation, trillions of dollars have been stolen from the American people. And what no one has mentioned is the fact that the damage that has been done to our economy by these thugs is probably insurmountable. This is the way it's going to be forever. Although there is still room on the economic coffin to hammer in a few more nails. Go for it.

What is incredible about this very important film is that a few of the perpetrators of this incalculable theft arrogantly sat down with the makers of the film for interviews that are as jaw-dropping as they are outrageous. Within minutes they realize that Mr. Ferguson has his facts in hand, and they quickly become helpless deer in the headlights of his inquisition. One of them even indignantly terminates the interview. It truly is a beautiful thing to behold.

And still our downward spiral continues....

It's not bloody-well
likely that Inside Job will be seen by many - despite the fact that it received the Academy Award for best documentary of 2010. Then again, a nation force-fed the daily mush provided by FOX Noise is not very likely to fully understand the implications of what is presented in this film. Let's face it - The American people have been led to the cliff and they're cheerfully plunging into the abyss. The policies put into place by a feeble-minded reactionary named Ronald Reagan three decades ago sealed their collective fates - and yet they still revere the disgusting old Bastard. Puzzling. Puzzling. Puzzling.

A people as heartbreakingly stupid as these deserve everything that happens to them. Seriously.

Here is all the proof you need that the uber wealthy have overthrown our government: After decades of economic plunder, they were able to get we-the-taxpayers to bail them out, and not one of them - with one exception - has gone to prison. The exception is, of course, Bernie Madoff. You see, he didn't make his fortune looting the pensions of regular working people. His victims were exclusively the rich and powerful. The message could not be any clearer. Too big to fail? These people are too big to jail.

I cannot recommend this film enough.

Tom Degan

If it's not available from your friendly, independently-owned video store (Like they really exist anymore) here is a link to order it on


FULL DISCLOSURE: I do not receive financial compensation from Amazon for anything sold on their site that is linked from here. Honest!


Recently, I wrote about my friend Donna Cusano. She is an extraordinarily talented artist who just yesterday morning started a blog about being an artist and how it corresponds to being a human being and living a life filled with mountaintops of ecstasy and deep valleys of despair. She's also very funny. Here is a link to her site:

Art and Soul: Colorful Ingredients


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Celebrating Ernie Kovacs

"There's a standard formula for success in the entertainment medium, and that is 'Beat it to death if it succeeds.'"

- Ernie Kovacs

It isn't often that I stray from the subject of the train-wreck of our political discourse and drift into the field of American popular culture. But I'm almost certain you wil
l forgive me if I make an exception for Ernie Kovacs.

We all came together at the Paley Center in New York City on April 12, 2011 - one week ago tonight - to pay tribute to a man who has been called (with no exaggeration) "Television's Original Genius". The event, which was hosted by Keith Olbermann was set to herald the release today of a six-DVD retrospective of the tragically-brief career of this extraordinary talent. The release of The Ernie Kovacs Collection is reason to celebrate - and I'm celebrating - trust me.

As anyone who reads this site with any degree of regularity must have figured out by now, I am a huge fan of Keith Olbermann. During his eight-year run as host of MSNBC's Countdown, I rarely missed a broadcast. Yet when the evening was over and the participants in the discussion were mulling about underneath the giant video screen in front of the stage, I walked right past the guy. No offense, Keith, but I just had to introduce myself to Jolene Brand (photo on the left). She was there with her husband, the producer (and creator of Laugh In) George Schlatter - or as we inhabitants of Kovacsland fondly refer to him, "Mr. Jolene Brand". It can be said that Jolene was Edna Purviance to Ernie's Charlie Chaplin, and a vital presence on the Kovacs program for the last three years of his life. Fifty years later, she is still a heart breaker - and a lovely human being. She promised me that she would read this review. HI, JOLENE!

The one palpable absence from the evening's festivities (besides Ernie of course) was Edie Adams who passed away three years ago. She was the woman who stuck by Ernie through thick and gaunt, and who saved the videotapes and kinescopes in this beautiful collection from being destroyed by foolish network executives. Had it not been for this smart and savvy woman, it is doubtful that Ernie's legacy would have survived at all. Incredibly, a few years after he died, in an effort to make space in a Manhattan film storage facility, untold hours of films from Ernie's Dumont Network period were dumped into the East River. Can you imagine?

I spoke to Edie on the telephone one night in 1986. She was playing in the King Cole Room at the Fairmont Hotel and graciously took my call. I told her that Ernie's NBC special from May 1959, "Kovacs on Music", was beyond brilliant. I remember practically begging her to release it on video.
She told me, "I will someday, Tom, I promise you". That program is contained in this DVD collection. Thanks, Edie! Give Ernie a hug for me, will you?

"He played with the medium of television in a way no one ever had before."

Jack Lemmon

In the early 1950s an article was written called, "Kovacs Hates TV". This doesn't surprise me in the least. Radicals are seldom satisfied with things as they are - and Ernie was about as radical as they come. He changed everything. At a time when no one knew what to do with the new invention of videotape, Ernie Kovacs made it sing and dance. He was no mere, run-of-the-mill, fifties television comedian. He was in fact the world's very first video artist - incredible when you consider the fact that the term "video art" did not come into existence until 1966, four years after his passing. Even now, despite a half-century of video's technological evolution, Ernie's work still astounds.

What is also astonishing is that - in his time - he was not a resounding success. Although the television and film audiences of the 1950s liked Ernie Kovacs (How could anyone not like Ernie Kovacs?) they were somewhat puzzled by him. About ten years ago his work was featured on a cable television series whose title speaks volumes: "Brilliant But Canceled". As hard as this might be to believe, it is the absolute truth: During his lifetime he was never as popular with the public as Milton Berle....Milton Berle! Can you believe that? (I am sorely tempted here to make an analogy to anyone who ever lost an election to George W. Bush, but I'll resist). It would take decades of hindsight for the public to truly appreciate how unique Ernie was. Sadly, that appreciation would be posthumous.

Late on the rainy night of Janu
ary 13, 1962, Ernie Kovacs was returning home from a party when he lost control of the Corvair station wagon he was driving and crashed it, wrapping the driver's side of the vehicle around the concrete base of a utility pole. He was killed instantly. Ten days later, on what would have been his forty-third birthday, ABC Television aired Ernie's last program which he had been working on right up until the night he died. Of the entire series of monthly half-hour specials he had been doing in the last year of his life, this final program was one of the best. At the end of the broadcast, the reverend who presided over Ernie's funeral was quoted:

"We loved this man. He brought joy, gaiety and laughter to the world. He was a rugged individualist and a creative genius. But he was always ready to listen, and slow to judge

Ernie K
ovacs was a visionary. He was the first to realize that great art could be created within the nineteen-inch confines of an ugly box with a glass tube at its center. Unfortunately for humanity, he's gone and he's not coming back. Thank God for Edie Adams. Because she had the foresight to save her husband's work, we now have these kinescopes and videotapes to gently remind us what once was. Ernie's world was a delightful, wondrous and riotous place to enter. Someone once remarked, "In an ocean of noise, this island of quiet genius was typical of Ernie Kovacs." Indeed it was.

Early in his career, he would close his programs by telling the audience at home, "It's been real!", a phrase he coined. He was a bit of a paradox in that respect. Ernie Kovacs was the real deal alright - and television's first surrealist. Go figure.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Just in case I didn't make it abundantly clear in this piece, I highly recommend the Ernie Kovacs Collection. The set is being distributed by The Shout Factory. If you order it from their website, you will receive a seventh, bonus DVD absolutely free (How cool is that???) Here's a link to order:


A special tip of the hat to Ben Model - the noted pianist and scorer of silent cinema - for compiling this collection of Ernie's brilliant work - and also to Josh Mills. He's Edie Adams' son and the one who stands guard outside of the Kovacs vault. Well done, gents!


Ode to Stanley's Pussycat
by Percy Dovetonsils

One more thing....

Ernie Kovacs literally invented the music video. Although primarily remembered as a comedian, his work in this realm could often be serious - haunting even. A case in point: Here is a link to a piece from his last program. It is a street scene that he scored to Bela Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra". The beautiful woman in black is Jolene Brand.

The Ernie Kovacs Show, 23 January 1962


by Diana Rico

This excellent biography of Ernie Kovacs is available from Here's a link to order it:


It's been real!

For more postings on this hideous, French-loving, latte swirling, Commie blog, kindly go to the following link:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan


Shh! They're working on it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lovely Self-Destruction

I meet an awful lot of people via Facebook. One of them is a gifted artist from Media, Pennsylvania named Donna Cusano (photo on the left). Late last night she posted on her page the following eye-opener:

"The homeless go without eating. The elderly go without medicine. The mentally ill go without treatment. Troops go without proper equipment. Veterans go without benefits that were promised to them. Yet we give billions in tax breaks to the wealthiest 2% of Americans -- those who need it least. Only 1% of Facebook users will re-post this message. I am in that 1% — what about you?"

Count me
in as a one percenter, Donna!

I've never been one for electronic chain letters (and neither, for that matter, has Donna Cusano) but this was a message that needed to be spread. She inspired me to write the little ditty you are now reading. Read on.

The pistol finally went off yesterday in the game of Russian roulette that the Republican party has been playing for the last decade. I knew it would happen sooner or later. It was only a matter of time. In an act of political suicide, the House Republicans effectively voted to end Medicare as we know it. It was a move that made no sense whatsoever - unless they plan on forcing through a constitutional amendment between now and November 2012 that limits the voting age to sixty-five and under - You just never know with these jackasses. But other than that....

What the hell were these nutty people thinking? Did they get the silly notion in their clueless heads that every senior citizen in the United States is going to die between now and Election Day 2012? True, a lot of them will shuffle off to eternity between now and then - no question about it. The logistical problem is the fact that there are a whole lot more on deck waiting to replace them. You see, old people
- like the poor - will always be with us.

If you're elderly and middle class (or lower), the Republican party wants you to die. You see, there will be less of a strain on the system if more of them just keel over. This isn't terribly difficult to figure out.

One can understand why the handmaidens for the plutocracy might seem a little more sure of themselves this year than in years past. After all, they now have that atrocious Citizens United vs, FEC ruling behind them. This was the Supreme Court dec
ision (the worst since 1896's Plessy vs. Ferguson) that gave corporations - domestic and foreign - the right to pervert the American electoral process by means of unlimited amounts of cash. The five justices who voted in favor of this judicial atrocity were all Republican appointees. You're not surprised by that, are you? I didn't think you would be. By now it is almost a law of nature:

The moon will rise in the east.

The sun will set in the west.

ative justices will behave like assholes.

In an opinion piece in this morning's New York Times, the columnist Charles Blow summed things up quite nicely in the following paragraph:

"Under the guise of deficit reduction, the Republicans are proposing to not only make the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy permanent, but to reduce their taxes even more — cutting the top individual rate from 35 percent to 25 percent to “promote growth and job creation.” And they plan to pay for this by taking a buzz saw to programs that benefit the poor, elderly and otherwise vulnerable."

Mr. Blow goes on to point out the fact that cutting taxes on a class of people who have more money than they'll possibly spend in a lifetime will not "promote growth and job creation". It hasn't thus far. In fact, as Blow also points out, there's no documentation in history of such a scheme ever producing very much economic growth - and fe
wer jobs. Why would anyone in his or her right mind believe that things will be any different this time around? How on earth do they think they're going to be able to pull this off? They must think the American people are mighty stupid....oh, wait a minute....That's how they plan on pulling this off. Never mind.

Just when you think these silly bastards and bitches have gone as low as anyone - or anything - can possibly go, they cheerfully break precedents that were thought to be unbreakable. Twenty years ago I thought Pat Buchanan to be the epitome of right wing craziness. Today he is a model of reason compared to the rest of them (Truth be told, old Pat has grown on me in a weird and convoluted sort of way). As they continue to lower the bar of decency, the further they alienate the people who describe themselves as "moderate" - which is most Americans I think.

Like rabid little myna birds on an LSD binge, they continue to chirp away about how Barack Obama is going to be a one-term president. They had better think again. Just take a good look at the pathetic GOP contenders for the job! Whom do you think is their front-runner at this stage of the game? If your answer is "Mitt Romney" you're fired. That's right, boys and girls, the leader of the pack at this moment is none other than Donald Trump! Is that a hoot or what? Watch with glee as they devour themselves during the primaries. This is gonna be beautiful!

The message the Republicans sent to the American people the other day is the same one they've been sending since the administration of Ulysses S Grant nearly a century-and-a-half ago. Unlike times past however, this time the message was not cloaked in subtlet
y. It was as clear as can be:

"Fuck you people. You don't matter. You never have. You never will. We own you. Die for all we care."

There was nothing subliminal about it. We just aren't on their radar. And to make matters merrier, they are now concocting legislation in many swing/purple states that will make it difficult - in some cases impossible - for certain people to vote: the poor, minorities, the young - You know! The people more likely to vote for a left-leaning candidate. Look at what these animals have done to our country....No offense to animals.

No doubt about it: Obama has been a huge disappointment. But considering all of the crap he has had to contend with, it's a miracle he's been able to perform the job at all. Maybe with a Democratically controlled House and Senate behind him he might be able to rev up his progressive mojo we saw three years ago during the campaign. Maybe not. We shall see.

Tom Degan


To see for yourself the beautiful work of Donna Cusano, Please go to the following link:

The art and soul of Donna Cusano

The gal plays a pretty mean brush.


Smile tho
ugh your heart is aching
Smile even th
ough it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by

The singer is
the late Michael Jackson. The composer is the never-to-be-forgotten Charlie Chaplin, who was born in London, England on April 16, 1889 - one-hundred and twenty-two years ago today. In the final scene from his 1940 film The Great Dictator, he sends us this message from across the decades:

"You the people have the power....The power to create happiness! The power to make this life free and beautiful - to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power....Let us fight for a new world - a decent world - that will give men a chance to work; that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves and they enslave the people. Now let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to the happiness of us all....Look up...."

What the heck. Let's have a go at it:

Smile....and remember.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I'm sorry, folks, but I've gone over to the other side. Let's face it: There's a helluva lot more cash to be made there. Listen, I'm not stupid! If there's a buck to be made, I'm gonna make it. As my friend Bob Miller just reminded me on my Facebook page: "It's easier to argue that side. You don't need any facts....just instill fear." Damned right, Mr. Bob! Why the hell didn't I think of this years ago? Just think of all those nasty hours I'll save by not having to do a bit of research! I think I'm going to go out now and join a country club - white Christians only of course!

I am
now a "birther". I now unabashedly question the geography of where the president was born, Dag nap it! If it's good enough for Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, it's good enough for me!

This evil, subversive plot has been in the making for damned near a half-century! By all evidence, since the moment of Obama's birth! Here is a question that all good and decent Americans should demand an immediate answer to: Was the newspaper, the Honolulu Advertiser, in on the scheme when they printed little Barack's bogus birth announcement on August 9, 1961? Just where the hell does that paper lean editorially? To the hard Left, I strongly suspect. Wouldn't that just figure!

The NAACP, in collusion with the American Communist Party, Democracy NOW and Ed Asner, concocted this insidious plot deep in the basement of Noam Chomsky's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the midst of a week-long peyote mushroom binge. The elevation of this dangerous and subversive man to the highest office in this grand and glorious land of ours is only the first step in their dastardly plan. Their next objective will be to force our daughters - our little personifications of patriotism and purity - to court and co-mingle with NEGROES.


Before very long our children - your children - will be physically forced to memorize verbatim whole chapters of James Baldwin's "Native Son" and "The Autobiography Of Malcolm X". Trust me, it's only a matter of time.

They must be stopped. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the country that we all hold so dear to our freedom-loving hearts. America is falling; victimized by forces who would put a foreign-born A-Rab in the seat that was once held by the sainted Ronald Reagan - RONALD REAGAN, I TELLS YA!

My friends, now is not the time for the faint-of-heart. It is a time for boldness and stoutness of mind and spirit. Only our collective intestinal fortitude will defeat the Liberal cabal - those nattering nabobs of negativism - who would burn our beloved country down. The time has come to give America back to the real Americans. My fellow citizens, you ignore me at your own peril....

And one more thing we must never ever forget: Barack and Michelle Obama named their two daughters, "Sasha" and "Malia". What's up with that???

But seriously, folks....

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Photograph at the top of this piece was taken in merrie olde England last May during our journey to the Abbey Road studios. It was somewhere in London but I can't remember the exact location (It was that kind of trip). Do any of my British friends recognize it?

Cheerio! Pip! Pip!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


"Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle."

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

The government shutdown might happen this Friday - and let me emphasize the word "
might". It's quite clear that the assholes who act as spokesmen for the "party of Abraham Lincoln" haven't yet made up their minds whether or not a shutdown will benefit them politically. It didn't in 1994, but they seem to think that it might work this time around. Back in '94 there was little publicity involving what was about to happen. Seventeen years later they're not being as clumsy. They're out there on the talk show circuit in droves this morning, bracing the public for the storm on the horizon, chanting their silly mantra:

"How can the Democrats allow this to happen?"

We'll know soon enough if the propaganda has the desired effect. My guess is that, like in '94, this is going to blow up in their clueless faces. I certainly hope so. Watching the utter implosion of the Republican party is an absolute joy that is difficult to put into words. I can barely contain myself.

I hate to be seen as a cheerleader for the Democrats, I really do. I often feel like
I'm in a restaurant and the waiter is asking me, "Would you like a nice cool glass of donkey piss to wash down that juicy plate of elephant shit you've ordered, sir?" Our choices these days are sparse - no question about it. But when everything has been sliced and diced, I feel that am left with no choice but to side with the Dems. The alternatives are too depressing too even think about. "Stick with Tweedle-dee", I tell myself, "Tweedle-dum is brain-damaged." He's also a bit of a pervert.

Or think of it this way:

"Hmm....Which record shall I put on the ol' turntable - "Go Away, Little Girl" by Donny Osmond, or "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies?"

The choice is very easy, but hardly satisfying - While "Sugar Suga
r" may rock - barely - it's not going to send me into the clouds. Unfortunately, those are the kind of choices we're faced with these days.

Nobody told me there'd be days like these
Strange days indeed
Most peculiar, Mama!

-John Lennon

At least the Democrats - some of them - still understand the truism that we're never going to get our "fiscal house in order" until the people and corporations who have more money that they know what to do with are taxed at the rate they should be. The economy will never recover as long as the tax burden is placed on the back of the poor and middle classes. And please, don't shoot back at me that tired old myth that the poor do not pay taxes. Everyone pays taxes. Remember that the next time you pay $4.31 for a $3.99 pint of Nicolai Vodka.


I paid more in taxes last year than General Electric. You did, too.

And th
en there's that nasty subject of defense spending. Do you want to know why I love Bernie Sanders? Because he seems to be the only human being in Washington with the guts to say (or the sense to say) the unspeakable truth that no one else has the courage to say: We spend way-too-much of our national treasure on weapons of mass destruction. You know! Those things we took out Saddam Hussein for possessing that he never even possessed? If our representatives only had the foresight to understand this, a lot of the problems that plague the body politic would vanish. Not only that, we could reinvest in our infrastructure - and that would translate into jobs - lots and lots of them. It would also mean a long overdue renaissance for the middle class. But that's never going to happen. The chances are pretty good that your congressman or woman is bought and paid for by the military industrial complex.

Instead, the conservatives of both parties would rather privatize Medicare and Social Security. Instead of investing in our badly neglected infrastructure, they want tax breaks for the obscenely wealthy. Good luck, America.

The Republicans are telling us that they wish to "restore fiscal sanity in Washington". The only problem is that their proposals are beyond insane. The lunatics have not only taken over the asylum, they're writing the fucking prescriptions. Line up for your medications, boys and girls!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


This excellent article by Robert Reich was posted this morning on that horribly subversive, commie-loving website AlterNet:

Why We Must Raise Taxes on the Rich, ASAP!

Just one of many reasons why I love this site!