Saturday, February 25, 2012

The 2012 Clown Car Race

"It was while watching the debates last night that it finally hit me: This is justice. What we have here are chickens coming home to roost. It's as if all of the American public's bad habits and perverse obsessions are all coming back to haunt Republican voters in this race: The lack of attention span, the constant demand for instant gratification, the abject hunger for negativity, the utter lack of backbone or constancy (we change our loyalties at the drop of a hat, all it takes is a clever TV ad): these things are all major factors in the spiraling Republican disaster."

Matt Taibbi
From this week's Rolling Stone

When Hunter Thompson passed away five years ago, I remember saying that no one would ever take his place - and no one has. But Matt Taibbi comes pretty damned close. It rarely gets as good as this guy. Hats off to him.

On the morning of June 6, 2006 I received a nice e-mail from a woman in Missouri whose name I have since lost. Shame on me. I owe her so much. She had been reading my comments for a couple of years on the deliciously subversive website AlterNet.
"You're not a half bad writer" said she, "You should start your own blog." Not being as computer-savvy as my nieces or nephews (I'm still not), I asked her how the heck that would be possible for a non-geek/geek like myself. "Just go to" was her reply, "It's easy. They'll walk you right though it."
It really was easy. So easy, in fact, that within a half hour, not only did I have The Rant up-and-running, I had published my first article. It was a short piece - nothing much, only four paragraphs. But I ended it with somewhat of a bold prediction:

"George W. Bush will be remembered in history, primarily, as the first (pray last) former chief executive to go to federal prison. Sound crazy? Stay tuned."

As we all know by now, that never happened. And it looks as though it never will. The right wing craziness that today runs rampant throughout Washington would probably make such an action politically impossible anyhow. If Dubya is ever to be prosecuted for his crimes against the human race, it won't be in this country. That's why he and Rumsfeld and Cheney don't do too much traveling abroad since they left the White House three years ago. Why risk it? But another eye-opening prophecy I made that morning was in the title of that first piece:
"George W. Bush - The Last Republican President"

At the time I was just thinking wishfully as it were. Now I'm not too sure that it was as bold an idea as I had believed it to be at the time. In fact I am now almost certain that it wasn't. If that party doesn't exorcise from its spirit the kooks, criminals and ha
lfwits who have hijacked it - George W. Bush will be remembered as the last Republican president.

They have s
pent the last thirty years trying to appeal to the kind of people who historically were not too interested in the political process: insanity junkies. And all of their efforts have payed off quite well for them - a little too well as it turns out. The "party of Abraham Lincoln" has devolved into the party of Uncle Fester. That demographic that the political scientists refer to as "moderates" (I call them "purple agitators" myself) have taken a good look at what the GOP has become and they're headin' for the hills. And many of the so-called "Reagan Democrats" are disillusioned to say the least. It's almost as if they got all decked-up for that dream date with Marilyn Monroe, but when the door opened, standing there to greet them was Typhoid Mary in her loveliest party dress.

And now the invisible
movers and shakers within the gland (No, that wasn't a typo) old party are desperate for a moderate who will lead them out of this wilderness and into the Candyland of their most twisted fantasies. Are you ready for the punch line?


I am remin
ded of my old congressman, Benjamin Gilman. For thirty years he represented the district where I reside. A real gent of a man and the picture of moderation - a bit conservative on this issue, a bit liberal on that issue - in other words, the type of Republican that is now extinct. I always voted for Ben in spite of the fact that he would at times drive me crazy with his Hamlet-like indecision. Whenever my fellow Democrats (I used to be a Democrat) would ask me how I could vote for a Republican, my answer was always the same, "As soon as the Dems nominate someone better than Gilman, I'll vote for him." They never did.

Here is yet another example of that idiotic party cutting off their hideous noses to spite their clueless faces. Gilman was never one to tote the extremist, party line. As the 2002 midterms were getting near, the GOP had had enough of the kind of "Republicanism" that was personified in the figure of Ben Gilman. In a move that was cooked up by Dick Cheney and then-New York Governor George Pataki, they arranged for the congressman's congressional seat to be gerrymandered out of existence. The result was the end of Gilman's career - and two new Democratic congressmen! Between the November election and the swearing in of the new congress in January of 2003, the Republicans treated this good and d
ecent man like dirt. They kicked him out of his office and placed him and his staff in a virtual closet in the basement of the capital building. How's that for class?

Ben Gilman was the last Republican I ever cast my ballot for. I will never again trust a political party that would allow itself to seep so far down into the ideological cesspool.

The Republicans

That epitaph is not as farfetched as you might think. The wounds that the Republicans have inflicted upon themselves could very well prove to be mortal. When they created and then embraced the so-called Tea party three years ago, it was akin to French-kissing a viper. The lethal venom has been slowly circulating through their system ever since.
The GOP is now paralyzed and barely clinging to life. It is only a matter of time before it closes its eyes forever and the agony is no more.What we are now in the process of gleefully witnessing are the death throes of the party where Theodore Roosevelt once made his political home. He wouldn't recognize it today - much in the same way that his distant cousin Franklin would not recognize the Democrats. The two-party system in this country needs to be done away with, Not overhauled, mind you - completely destroyed. It's not supposed to be about political parties, boys and girls. It's supposed to be about....

"....government of the people, by the people, for the people."

It's not about the people any longer. It's all about the Republican and Democratic parties. Fuck the parties. Power to the people. That's the way it was meant to be. I'm just sayin'.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Spank the Donkey
by Matt Taibbi


Just for old time's sake, here is a link to the first piece I wrote six years ago on this electronic cesspool of bad taste and commie propaganda:

Those were the days, my friend....Which reminds me!

Love that tune!


At 3:25 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...


Which party are you talking about? Who are the moderates in the Democrat Party?

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

No moderates among the Democrats? Are you joking???

They have forgotten that they are the party of FDR. No moderates??? What do you call that HUGE coalition of so-called "Blue Dogs"? Are you saying that any one of them are even close to being flaming lefties???

A lot of you people come on here with your FOX NOISE talking points and you quite often end up looking a bit ridiculous. The Democrats are infested with conservatives and moderates. I'd suggest you do a bit of research before commenting.


Tom Degan

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

I think conservative, moderate, liberal, etc. have come to be meaningless terms in Washington.

I think it is more accurate to say there are precious few ideologues, precious few men of conviction (of any stripe) to be found in Washington. We have professional politicians.

I believe their goal is to keep the people divided and fighting amongst themselves, else we might pay attention and throw them ALL out.

At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Cornbread Jones said...

"Power to the people. That's the way it was meant to be. I'm just sayin'."

Tom Degan, you (and JG) always tell the truth!

i say power to the people who run the plantation and send me the free fish! FDR would have made me work for my free fish, but thanks to progress, i don't have to work at all!

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the "Blue Dogs" have a lot of bark but no bite.

they almost always end up voting with the democratic party (sometimes they have to be bought off like the ObamaCare vote).

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Re read my post Tom before you blow a head gasket. It wasn't my claim, it was yours that there were no more moderates.
GOP moderate, Richard Luger is still in office, he wasn't driven out years ago.

Harley A's point is worth thinking about.

At 7:25 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Richard Luger? A moderate? That would depend upon your definition. And I find it interesting that he is the only example you're able to muster. Let me help you out. There is also Olympia Snow and Susan Collins - THAT'S IT.

But you said - and here is the direct quotation:

"Which party are you talking about? Who are the moderates in the Democrat Party?"

There are too many moderates and conservatives in the Democratic party to even think about.

You have just proven - beyond any shadow of any doubt - that you know not a fucking thing of what you're talking about. Please, stop wasting my time.

As sincerely as ever,

Tom Degan

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous James said...

Tom, you seem like a great guy but you are hopelessly optimistic. These batshit crazy Jim Jonesers are not going away so easily. They will push their agenda until the bottom falls out and even that will not stop them.

One third of the Dems are DINOS and the rest are sitting on their hands afraid to make a move.

The only hope I see is for the OWS movement to grow into the tens of millions to change our suicidal political policies.

At 11:45 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Gee Tom Didn't you forget to sign off

What I am trying to get you see is moderate just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That's all.

At 12:18 AM, Anonymous John said...

>>It's not about the people any longer. It's all about these fucking political parties.

Nice quote. Here is mine. I was hoping it would catch on:

'Political Parties Suck'
'...your money to the one percent'

Zuccotti Park sign. Autumn 2011.
Yours Truly,

At 1:00 AM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Time magazine’s Joe Klein on the GOP field: “I got to say, this is Jonestown. These guys have all drunk this Kool-Aid that spews from places like the Rush Limbaugh program and certain things on Fox." said on this weeks Chris Matthews program.

James, said "crazy Jim Jonesers are not going away so easily". on 2.25.2012 at 10:06 p.m.

But I thought it was only the 'Reich wing nuts" who got their talking points from the media, never the always correct, always original thing, brighter than most, left wing?

How could I have been wrong all these years?

At 3:50 AM, Anonymous Good Luck Charlie said...

Because you're not very bright. Now leave here and don't come back troll

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous James said...

JTFs, I do not read Time magazine or watch the news much but I do read Truthout, Salon, Alternet and the most far left radical site on the internet, Enenews.

I was quite pleased with myself for coming up with such a aptly descriptive phrase to describe the Conservatives and I do not like that you are insinuating I am a copy cat.

Here is a short list the JJ group is trying to eliminate. All social services, the EPA, to allow unlimited pollution, the U.S.Post office,the Board of Ed. and the teachers union, all child labor laws and the minimum wage, a free internet,all organic foods and home gardening, all small home farms, and to repeal the 1964 Voting Act.

With an agenda like this, it is no wonder that your party is getting compared to Jim Jones by rational people.

At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Tom Joad said...

With the labor participation rate around 64%, this reminds me of a long time ago when FDR was President and I was living at the Weedpatch Commune in California.

If we had elected Hilary instead of the Moderate we have now in the White House, we wouldn't be having so many people on government assistance and skyrocketing gas and food prices.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Good Luck Charlie said...

"A123 Systems, an electric car battery company once touted as a stimulus "success story" by former Gov. Jennifer Granhom, D-Mich., has laid off 125 employees since receiving $390 million in government subsidies -- but is still handing out big pay raises to company executives."

Here's the question, is this an example of a liberal, moderate or conservative economic policy failure?

Next, what would FDR have done differently if this happened, or would have done differently to prevent this from happening?

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

James, RE yours of 8:44

I am starting to wonder if the issue at hand here is the painting with dirty paint brush those we don agree with or understand.

I understand why you believe as you do when you shared your sources of information. (p.s. sorry if I offended you with my statement about talking points, etc, I take that back.)
Before u throw your hands up in despair over what follows, please read and think it through.

It is quite possible that both you, Tom and Harley are on to something. Instead of group titles lets try this. Statism (French; étatisme) is a term used by political scientists to describe the belief that, for whatever reason, a government should control either economic or social policy or both to some degree. Statism is effectively the opposite of anarchism.
I argue that our federal govt is Statism. The Constitution proves for USPS. The Constitution does not provide for the establishment of federal agency's that enforce law's on the states without providing federal funding. IE: fiat taxation.

Acknowledging that we operate in a Statism environment, in some examples within the Constitution, in other outside, should we define ourselves as Liberal, moderate, conservative Statism?

And within this trio of pigeon holes, there are social liberal/fiscal moderate Statists.
In your case it sounds like you are a pure Liberal Statists. In mine case , most likely a mix but leaning more conservative on issue by issue.

Allow me to go down your list of what you state are the JJ (all conservatives?) plans and mine.

All social services, nope not all but I sure hate the duplication of services and the fraud and the effect on the rights of the States under the 10th Amendment that some bring about. Too many special interest voting blocks, too political vs service driven.

the EPA, Needs to be reigned in, it has been a political arm instead of the guardian of our environment.
Too many special interest voting blocks, too political vs service driven.

the Board of Ed. and the teachers union, not sure what you're talking about, need clarification as I don't want t0 assume something that not.

all child labor laws, I am against removal as designed. But help me here, is this federal or state laws we are talking about.

minimum wage, is way too low, I feel it should be $50.00 plus retirement, two weeks vacation, etc. If current wage is too low, lets make it something so high, any one short of being disabled will have no reason to not work!

free internet, clarification, do you mean without govt intrusion or price is free? I do not what Govt intrusion, period. But if cost free means no ads allowed, then I am against.

all organic foods and home gardening, all small home farms
You really believe that conservatives aren't interested in eating healthy food?
I'm all for all organic foods and home gardening, in the free market, but I am against statism mandated protecting or demanding this industry over another. I also would ask if having a home garden should be allowed where the local laws forbid them. That's a local issue and should be treated as such.

repeal the 1964 Voting Act. Not this Conservative Statist, nor anyone I would vote for. As far as you know James, I may have benefited from the 1964 Voting Act.
However, I feel that early voting and not requiring photo ID to vote is wrong. I agree with election dates be changed at all levels to a Saturday, so to make voting easier and more accessible to the employed.

So how far apart are we really?

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Ken Nemeth said...


While I agree with you that we are watching in real time the disintegration of the Republican Party, I think you are conveniently forgetting that a 2 (and very occasionally 3) party system has existed in the United States since the first contested Presidential election in 1796. While the Party names did not always stay the same, it was usually 2 parties slogging it out.

So to say that it's really about "for the people by the people etc.", is being either a bit disingenuous or ignoring history. The statement is also disingenous in the sense that the Founding Fathers were rich, landowning white dudes. The idea that a woman or person of color would be able to vote and participate in government would have been inconceivable to them. My point is that I think you are ascribing things to our rich political history that never really occurred.

What's really happening is that in the 1990's the Republicans decided to simply take their ball and go home. They didn't compromise. They didn't cooperate. Bi-partisanship became a dirty word. The Democrats as a party became an enemy, really THE enemy. The 2012 Republican Presidential Primary has become is the inevitable endpoint of this strategy. They are now being obstructionist and hateful amongst themselves, applying the same strategies against their opponents that they used to apply to the Democrats.

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Earl Degan said...

As a young man, Obama was mentored by people who hate America.

As an adult, Obama took spiritual guidance from a hateful racist who hates America.

As President, Obama seeks counsel from those who would cripple the masses with higher gas prices.

If you love your country, pass this article on because unfortunately, the welfare queens and America haters will still be supporting him in November.

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earl Degan,

Are you related to Tom Degan? If so, how?

At 3:39 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

May I propose a change of pace from the rancor and gotcha's that appear too often in the comments.

I followed your link to "those were the days." I had never heard that sung by Mary Hopkin, and it unleashed a flood of thoughts and memories. I am age 77 and thirteen years ago survived cancer, and five years ago I had a quadruple bypass. Lately I have had symptoms of heart failure, so yes, those really were the days.

I almost cried, but I remembered that about 1938 (age 4) I learned that boys (and men) never cry.

Thank you for all you do.

At 4:31 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thank you for that, Ron. Hang in there, pal. I'll keep my fingers crossed and my hands folded for for you.


Tom Degan

At 8:41 AM, Blogger Patricia said...

FDR's Four Freedoms
Freedom of speech
Freedom of worship
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear
Oh, the good old days, when a member of the 1% actually cared about the 99%. When being a Democrat actually meant you supported unions, so we could all be free of economic fear. Those days are long gone. The system is broken. We have two parties representing corporations.

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swing states poll: Health care law hurts Obama in 2012

WASHINGTON – The health care overhaul that President Obama intended to be the signature achievement of his first term instead has become a significant problem in his bid for a second one, uniting Republicans in opposition and eroding his standing among independents.

In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation's dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill's passage "a bad thing" and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do.

"Mandating that you have to buy the insurance rubs me the wrong way altogether," says Fred Harrison, 62, a horse trainer from York County, Pa., who was among those surveyed and supports repeal even though he likes some provisions of the law. "It should be my own choice."

At 1:22 PM, Blogger finefroghair said...

The problem is not the Republican party the problem is the supporters of that party the ignorant rabble that forgo their own economic interests and allow the rape and pillage of their own country all for the sake of three simple principles Guns,God, and Gays here in Michigan the Rep primary ads are as repugnant as any I have never seen they border on the surreal as if SNL were making commercials the political process in this country is now beyond farce it has entered realms that may even define description but please Tom keep trying someone must help us sort through the madness.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Mack Lyons said...

I look at the GOP and I see a party of puppets. From the Tea Partiers to the crisis and fear-addled conservatives drunk on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, they're all being had. The sheer amount of crazy being projected is all an act to keep folks from seeing the strings and in turn, the hands holding those strings.

"Here is a short list the JJ group is trying to eliminate. All social services, the EPA, to allow unlimited pollution, the U.S.Post office,the Board of Ed. and the teachers union, all child labor laws and the minimum wage, a free internet,all organic foods and home gardening, all small home farms, and to repeal the 1964 Voting Act.

With an agenda like this, it is no wonder that your party is getting compared to Jim Jones by rational people."

It's not the Jim Jonesers who're doing this, at least not by their own agency. Remember, they're puppets. They won't benefit from not having to pay into social services, being unencumbered by regulation, putting an end to education for all and easy access to a wealth of knowledge, healthy food and the land to which its grown on and, last but not least, the ability for everyone to have an equal vote. They're the ones who'll get hurt the most by this, but they can't see it (or don't want to). They're too busy dreaming of being wealthy and powerful while driving railroad spikes into the skulls of anyone who either looks, thinks or acts differently than they do or represents a threat to their "temporarily embarrassed millionaire" daydream.

No, it's the actual wealthy who's doing holding the strings. And not just any wealthy -- these are people who hold immense amounts of money and political power, and they've held it for decades, centuries even. These people are genuinely upset over the U.S. transitioning into a country where their money and power no longer matters, and where the "little people" will no longer be in awe of their wealth or scrambling to their beck and call, because they won't have to be thanks to improved social services. These people are also upset over how the children of the little people may actually compete with their high-born. At this point, I really want to call them "landed gentry", because that's the entire attitude they remind me of.

I have a feeling that these people, would rather see America revert back to a pre-1850 existence combined with 1920s avarice. They don't want a monarchy, but they don't mind a hereditary nobility that sees 95 to 99% of all wealth and resources locked up in their hands. The landed gentry have no concept of how the rest of America would feel about such a plan -- the rest of America does not exist to them, aside from the butlers and maids they regularly call and send away. All they know is that they can't have these paupers and peasants competing with them or worse, making all of their gains, their wealth, their trappings, utterly inconsequential.

The landed gentry want their status carved in stone for time immemorial. The GOP and their merry band of simpletons are merely tools for that trade.

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Tom V. said...

Conventional wisdom is saying that if Romney loses Michigan today that the party leaders should ask him to leave the race. My wisdom tells me they should ask the other three to leave as well and write 2012 off as a very bad attempt at joking around.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Michigan has an open primary system (it's also known as "cross filing"). You don't have to be registered to vote with the GOP in order to vote in Republican primaries. A lot of Democrats are voting for Santorum just to screw up Mitt's chances there. I'd be tempted to do so myself if I were a Democrat living in Michigan. There's just one little problem with that scenario. A few minutes ago Thom Hartmann made an interesting point on his excellent radio program:

There is no way Santorum is going to get the nomination. If he wins enough primaries you could get a brokered convention. The ticket of Mitt Romney and [FILL IN THE BLANK] is very beatable. The ticket of Chris Christie and Marco Rubio is not.

Something to think about.

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


Note to Just the Facts:

Sorry I lost my head with you. It was in the evening. I had had a few.


At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Cornbread Jones said...

Mack Lyon,

sheeeeet, all i care about is a smooth running plantation that sends me the free fish!

i do get a little jealous about what cars and homes the career liberals running the plantation have, though.

do you agree?

At 4:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck the parties. Power to the people. That's the way it was meant to be. I'm just sayin'.

So what ARE you saying?

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...


I understand, I accept. Thanks for your site, thanks for allowing me to post. We often disagree, but you are a gentlemen who I respect.


At 11:15 AM, Blogger Lou said...

Fox News has so distorted the concept of "news" that it's rare to get an actual objective news source any more. Fox News is the Big Brother of our Orwellian age. They represent the 1%; they are the tail that wags the dog of the U.S. government.

It is very sad to see so many people being duped by Fox News and the other conservative overlord media outlets. The U.S. needs blogs like this one. Thanks Tom for not giving up the good fight.

I try to do my part as well with my blog:

When lots of free speech happens on blogs like this one and mine, eventually the truth becomes manifested. Ever notice that when Communist or other non Democratic countries want to shut down protests, they immediately shut down access to the Internet (or try to at least.) That's because they can't control the flow of information on the Internet, like they can with their state controlled media.

Fox News is the equivalent of state controlled media for the 1% that pulls most of the strings on our political puppets.

Thanks for allowing free speech on your blog.


At 12:37 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thanks, Lou. That is more appreciated than you'll ever know.

All the best,



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