Friday, June 29, 2012

Roberts? ROBERTS???

What Romney said:

"I will act to repeal Obamacare."

What Romney meant:

"I will act to repeal affordable health care for all."

What Romney should have said:

"I will act to repeal Romneycare."

You could have knocked me over with a kitten's whisker when I got the news. Having awoken stupidly early that morning (before two AM) I was taking a long, late morning's nap when the decision was announced. I didn't feel the need to be wide awake when that decision was revealed. I was certain of the outcome - or so I thought. Justice Anthony Kennedy would side with the right wing junta that has been dominating that court in recent years - as he usually does. Not to my surprise that is exactly what he did. But John Roberts turning to the left??? What gives? This morning he is a hero to the progressives, He's damned-near a hero to me! Life is funny, you know?

Some have speculated that Roberts is worried about the legacy of presiding over the worst body of Supreme Court Justices since the assholes who gave us "Plessy v Ferguson" over a century ago. There might very well be something to that. It must make him rip his pillow to shreds just thinking about it as he drifts off to dreamland every night. I would imagine that it gives him ulcers to even read about Chief Justice Roger Brook Taney, author of the Dred Scott decision and (I cringe as I write these words) a distant relative of mine. But who would have thought that John Roberts would pull an Earl Warren on us? Not me. Not in my wildest, weirdest dreams.

Warren was th
e reliably conservative, Republican governor of California who had served as Thomas Dewey's running mate in 1948. Four years later he went for the presidential nomination. When it became clear at the convention of 1952 that he was not going to get the big prize, he made a deal with Dwight Eisenhower. Warren would endorse the general on the condition that he get the first vacant Supreme Court appointment. Ike agreed. That vacancy came up in September of 1953 when Chief Justice Fred Vinson died suddenly of a heart attack. The president hesitated at giving him the top spot but Warren insisted. The agreement had been "the first" vacancy - and a deal was a deal. Ike relented - much to his eternal regret.

Earl Warren (to everyone's surprise) turned out to be one of the most progressive jurists in the history of that
body. Less than a year after being sworn in, he would gently but firmly guide the court toward the historic "Brown v Board of Education" decision which effectively outlawed school segregation in America forever. Many years later, Eisenhower (a border-state-southerner by birth) would call his appointment of Earl Warren "the biggest damned-fool mistake of my life".

Warren was h
ugely unpopular during his lifetime - especially (although not surprisingly) in the deep south. Anyone who is old enough to remember driving through that region of the country during the nineteen-fifties and sixties can vividly recall the "IMPEACH EARL WARREN" billboards that littered the landscape. Highly controversial then, history has been quite kind to Chief Justice Earl Warren. His legacy is deeply respected and secure.

I can't
help but wonder if Chief Justice John Roberts was thinking about his own place in history when he came out yesterday on the side of the angels. Is he worried that, a century into the future, his heirs will cringe at the mere mention of his name much in the same way my family cringes at the mention of the name "Roger B. Taney" nearly one-hundred and fifty years after his passing? That could possibly be the reason for his turnaround yesterday. This is just a theory of mine. Whatever the reason, I'm not complaining - trust me. Good for him for doing the right thing.

I can see the right wing billboards now:


Just you wait....

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional,”

-Rand Paul

NOTE TO RAND: The very fact that the Supreme Court says that something is constitutional does indeed make it so. At one point in our history, slavery was constitutional. For the record, just because something is constitutional does not necessarily make it right. Affordable health care for all people is right. This is such a no-brainer it's embarrassing to have to explain it to grown adults. This begs the question: Has Rand Paul ever sat through so-much-as-a remedial civics lesson? You've gotta wonder.

Leave it to the
Republicans to rain on this parade. Within two hours of this historic decision being made public, uber jackass and Buddy Holly lookalike, Eric Cantor, announced that on July 11, immediately following the Fourth of July recess, the House will vote to repeal "Obamacare". Poor old Eric ought to be careful what he wishes for. Very soon the American people will start to understand - in a way they haven't previously - exactly what the Affordable Healthcare Act (it's not "Obamacare") will mean for their economic security. If they succeed in killing this, it could very well explode in their faces, killing that disgusting party in the process - not that that would be a bad thing, you understand.

"Blessed are the merciful, for
they shall obtain mercy."

-Jesus of Nazareth

MEMO TO THE "CHRISTIAN" RIGHT: Affordable health care is quite merciful. One-hundred years ago in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt became the first, main stream American politician to propose national health insurance. This is one of the reasons (one of many) why the GOP today never even mentions his name in their campaign literature and propaganda. The type of enlightenment that was personified by TR has become anathema to the Grand OLD Party. It's almost inconceivable to me that a century later we're still having this discussion.

I've been a tad skeptical recently regarding Barack Obama's chances of being reelected come November. What with the Supreme Court's Citizens United debacle and the Vot
er ID laws being enacted in swing states all across the land, it seemed to me that the man had too much of an uphill climb to contend with. All bets are off. This might be the political victory he desperately needs that will give him enough momentum to beat Romney like a rancid egg. We shall see.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


a film by Michael Moore

This excellent documentary on America's diseased health care system was released to the theaters five-years-ago today. If you haven't seen it, you ought to. If you have seen it, it's time to watch it again. You can pick it up for under ten dollars. Here's a link to order it off of

Organize a showing of it at your local library if you can. This is a film that every American should see.


Do you want to check out some heavy duty political satire? Just have a look at Susie Sampson's Tea Party Report. Susie goes on location and just talks to people - and the people cooperate. The results are often shocking and always hilarious. Here's a link to her You Tube channel:

Onward, Susie Sampson!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Importance of Being Eric

"I always wanted to go into politics, but I was never light enough to make the team."

-Art Buchwald, 1971

I can't even begin to explain to you what a major drag it is to wake up this early (4:18 AM) on a Sunday morning to find myself forced to come to the defense of the likes of Eric Holder. But there's a job to be done and - dag nap it! - someone's gotta do it. If you could somehow put a face to my disappointment in the Obama White House thus far, Holder's would be the perfect image. That's not meant to imply that as Attorney General he has been worthless (Ed Meese he's not) it's just the unfortunate fact that there are scores of men from the previous administration who should be rotting in federal prison at this moment. That's never going to happen. One of the failures of Barack Obama and his team is that, from day one, they wanted to remain "above it all". It's doubtful that none of the Bush Mob will ever be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.

I guess Nixon was right in his famous interview
with David Frost: "When the president does it, it is not illegal". When Obama was inaugurated he reached out to the GOP by putting so many of them in his administration. It's now laughably obvious what a HUGE mistake that was. Let's hope he learns from that mistake. Wishful thinking I'm sure.

k Obama and Eric Holder (two dark-skinned guys) concocted a scheme that would have forced good white people everywhere to voluntarily give up their guns. The plan was to run MILLIONS of weapons into Mexico. The spread of violence as a result of all those firearms would surely spill over across the border onto American streets - resulting in the countless murders of innocent white children with red hair and freckles and names like "Rusty" and "Muffie". The result of the carnage would force the American people to demand a ban on all guns. It's an evil, liberal plot, you know.

The world has gone mad today
And good's bad today
And bla
ck's white today
And day's night today

-Cole Porter

This is the story that the Republicans are putting out there. The NRA and FOX Noise are also are also holding onto this fiction for dear life - with faces as straight as a warehouse full of two-by-fours. Congressman Darrell Issa has called Obama's "the most corrupt administration in American history". Where the hell was this guy between the years 2001 and 2009? Good's bad today. Day's night today.

A number of years ago the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms developed this nutty scheme that allowed American guns to go into Mexico. Once inside that country the feds would somehow be able to "track" the weapons. It went tragically wrong. To no one's surprise the guns in question got lost from view. One of them turned up in a skirmish in which a US border patrol agent named Brian Terry was killed. A congressional investigating committee headed by Representative Issa wants a partial investigation of the history of this program - from January 20, 2009 0nward - but not a single day before. You see, "Operation Fast and Furious" (as it is called) began during the administration of George W. Bush.

Eric Holder i
s being held in contempt of congress by a contemptible jackass like Darrell Issa. Isn't that funny? The House will be voting on the matter this week. You can guess which way they're going to go with this one. Holder does not want to handover to Issa documents he is legally forbidden to produce - applications for wiretaps and grand jury transcripts for instance. Holder won't budge and Obama is citing "Executive Privilege". "What are they hiding?" goes the cry. It's nothing more than a political witch hunt; a desperate attempt to discredit the Obama administration just in time for the November election. Are enough of the voters going to be stupid enough to swallow this bullshit without so-much as a chaser? Judging by their pathetic history the answer to that question is a resounding "YES".

"Neither Fast and Furious nor Issa’s fake fury justifies the looming crisis between the House of Representatives and the Obama administration. This politically inspired dispute diverts attention from issues of real consequence. That’s the shame of it all."

-Colbert I. King, Washington Post, 22 June 2012

For all that he lacks as a zealous prosecutor of political crimes, Eric Holder had been putting up a pretty good fight with respect to Wall Street corruption and voter suppression. And what has been the response of the plutocratic handmaidens who are supposed to be representing us in Washington? They're coming down on him - fast and furious. This is what is known as "Payback Time".
Anyone who even thinks about bringing justice to the thugs who have raped our economy is going to get stomped silly. Welcome to the new reality of American politics.

Did you ever - in your wildest and stupidest dreams - think that the fall of a civilization would be such a rib-tickling thing to behold? Not me! You can almost smell the rotten stink of America's decomposing, civic flesh. Why am I laughing? Because it's funny, that's why. It's too funny for words.

If I were to place a bet o
n who was going to win the Big Prize this November the sixth, I would be placing everything I had on Mitt Romney. That's what my gut instinct tells me from the vantage point of June 24, 2012 anyway. Who knows what will transpire between now and then. As they say, four months is a lifetime in politics, due in large part to the hideously low attention span of the American people. But of this I am beyond certain: the campaign of 2012 will be remembered as the weirdest in the history of American electoral politics. That's something we can all look forward to. To quote Bill Murray (or was it Hunter Thompson?) from the film, Where the Buffalo Roam, "It still hasn't gotten weird enough for me."

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY


The Declassified Eisenhower
By Blanche Wiesen Cook

Domestically, Eisenhower was one of our best presidents. As far as foreign policy is concerned he was one of the worst (second only to George W. Bush). Over a half century after he left the White House America is still paying a heavy price abroad for the grim foundations laid by Ike and his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. Ms. Cook lays it out in chapter and verse.


This is one of the earliest color videotapes known to survive. It is from May of 1958 and shows President Eisenhower at the opening of an NBC broadcasting facility in Washington. Here is a link to watch it on You Tube:

The signal is so clear and crisp that it looks like a live feed. It's staggers the imagination to think that it was shot slightly over fifty-four years ago - three months before I was even born!


One of the great comic character actors of the twentieth century died on June 18. His name was Victor Spinetti. He is best remembered for the parts he immortalized in three of the Beatles' films: the uptight director in "Hard Day's Night", the mad scientist in "Help", and the gibberish-spouting military man in Magical Mystery Tour". That's a photograph of him on the left, taken with John Lennon on the set of Help in 1965. Victor was as good (and as lovable) as they get. As fate would have it, he checked out on Paul McCartney's seventieth birthday. God rest his silly soul.

For every one that goes before me I fear it less and less.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reefer Madness

"Have a marijuana."

-David Peel

This morning I'll be taking some pot shots - quite literally. I am refering to America's mind-numblingly stupid laws with regard to the possession of marijuana....


I don't smoke pot. Nor do I advocate its usage - unless for medicinal purposes of course. I haven't touched the stuff since my nineteenth birthday - August 16, 1977 - which, coincidentally, was the day that Elvis Presley died. I always tell people that Elvis and I quit drugs at the very same moment, the only difference being that I did so voluntarily.

Having said that, let me say this:

Three-quarters-of-a-century after it was made illegal; a half-a-century after it was proven to be practically harmless - why is it still a crime to possess and smoke marijuana?

I have something for you to ponder: Here is a list of ten famous people - heavy smokers all - who died too soon of lung cancer or other diseases related to their addictions to nicotine:

Humphrey Bogart
Edward R. Murrow
Nat King Cole
George Harrison
John Huston
Noel Coward
Betty Grable
Walt Disney
Gary Cooper
Peter Jennings

Here is another list. Ten famous people who died from alcoholism:

Tennessee Williams
Jack Kerouac
Truman Capote
Lorenz Hart
Veronica Lake
Bix Beiderbecke
Montgomery Clift
Dylan Thomas
John Barrymore
Errol Flynn

Now I'm going to ask you to name for me one celebrity who has died from too much grass.

Go on, I'm waiting.....

You couldn't do it, could you? Don't feel bad, neither could I. Not only have I never heard of any famous person dying in that matter, I am not aware of it happening in all recorded human history! I never knew anybody who died from an "overdose" of marijuana. I have personally known at least three-hundred people who died from an excess of ciggies or booze - or both. And don't let anyone bring up the late Bob Marley as an example of a victim of the excesses of weed. I have heard this done more times than I care to remember. Here's the myth:


Here are the facts:

Bob Marley died from the exact same thing that my father died of - malignant melanoma that spread to his brain. Myth shattered.


The first time I ever got high was one night in February of 1974. I was in Stowe, Vermont on vacation. The two guys who first turned me on are today airline pilots. Isn't that a hoot? How do you think those friendly skies got so damned friendly anyway? On this particular evening the film, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" starring Cicily Tyson, made its debut on American television. That famous scene where the 110-year-old Miss Jane defiantly takes a sip from the "Whites Only" fountain had the entire nation d
eeply moved....Well, almost the entire nation. My brothers and sisters couldn't figure out what I found so funny about so touching a moment.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo recently proposed legislation that would greatly reduce the penalty for possession of an ounce of pot to a minimal fine. Finally a politician with guts. That's a good enough start. The same has been suggested by various state representatives in New Jersey. Chris Christie has said that he will veto the measure should it ever make it to his desk. Coward.

Marijuana should have never been made illegal in the first place. Why in 2012 are we still having this same, idiotic conversation?
Is it a "gateway drug" as they never tire of reminding us? Quite possibly an argument can be made there. But if it is a gateway drug, so is Miller High Life - the Champagne of Bottled Beer. Let's get a grip here.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

"The Beatles" (Also known as "The White Album")
Always a fun record to listen to after you've had a toke or two. Just a thought.

"Good night everybody, Everybody, everywhere. Good night."

-Ringo Starr

For more recent "rants", please go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rick Scott: Über Aryan

Rick Scott is one scary-looking son-of-a-bitch. He reminds me of the commandant of a Hitler Youth group circa 1933. Or maybe a mass murderer. He kinda has that psycho thing happening, you know what I'm talking about? The fact that enough voters inside the state of Florida though it perfectly reasonable to send this nitwit to the governor's mansion is pretty scary, too. I spent a lot of time in that place back it the eighties. You couldn't pay me enough to live there. As Lenny Bruce once said, "Geographically it's a groove. Politically it's a cancer". Lenny really had a way with words - and I'm not referring merely to the four-letter variety.

Rick has taken the playbook of another Florida governor and run with it. I'm referring of course to Jeb Bush. In case it's slipped from your memory, back in 2000, in a scheme in which he was assisted by former Secretary of State Katherine Harris, Jeb was able to remove 57,000 people (most of them black) from the voting rolls. Most of the purged voters would have voted for Al Gore. The result was the installation (I've never referred to it as an "election") of his brother George who - as most of us know by now - turned out to be the worst president in US history.

Twelve years ago Jebbie and Kathy had to be really quiet about what they were up to. Not so Scottie! You see, a precedent has been firmly established. Not just in Florida in 2000, but
in Ohio in 2004 as well. When the results were in and the crime had been exposed, the intellectually underfed American people just shrugged their shoulders and stuffed their clueless faces back into their Big Macs. We've gone from "E Pluribus Unum" to "What Me Worry"
Was this a great country or what!

Rick Scott is right out in the open. In fact, not only does he see no ethical problem with what he's doing, he's telling us that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is unconstitutional! Isn't that a scream? You see, although it's only been discussed behind closed doors, for the last three-and-a-half years a lot of very powerful white people have been asking themselves the following question:

"How the hell was a nigger able to get himself elected to the presidency of this grand and glorious land of ours?"

How indeed. Rick Scott and Republican governors all across this once-great nation have studied that question thoroughly, and they've come up with all the right answers. Barack Obama was elected president because all of the "wrong" people came out in force for him - the blacks, the young, the poor and the elderly. What was their solution to this "problem"? Just make it difficult for these disgusting people to cast their precious ballots. Th
eir guise? To combat the nonexistent "epidemic" of voter fraud.


There ar
e no secret cabals of illegal immigrants voting in presidential elections. The Black Panthers have no organized campaign in motion to defraud the American people by sending an army of militant socialists to Washington. There is no organization in existence that is registering the names of dead people who will vote in lockstep to the liberal line (not even in Chicago). Abbie Hoffman is not sending an army of disgruntled, dope-addled Yippees down to your local election board. Abbie Hoffman died twenty-three years ago. The American Communist party is not voting illegally. The American Communist Party has been dead longer than Abbie Hoffman. There is no epidemic of voter fraud. There is, however, a serious epidemic of election fraud. That was proven in 2000 and 2004 in Florida and Ohio respectively. Or didn't you notice.

FOR THE RECORD: I miss Abbie Hoffman.

By forcing people of modest (or worse) means to go out and purchase voter ID cards, by making it difficult for students and elderly people to cast absentee ballots, they are virtually ensuring that Mitt Romney will be the next president of the United States. What they have in store for 2012 is no less than an electoral coup d'etat. Are the American people just going to sit back and allow that to happen?
 Welcome to the United States of Indifference. Get used to living in a country in ruins.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
by Hunter S. Thompson

In this dismal election year we need to brush up on our Thompson. This is the finest (and funniest) book ever written about the American campaign process.

If you find yourself bored and have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE BETTER TO DO, join "das Rant" on Facebook:

What the heck.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Wisconsin Microcosm

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

- Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

I'm damned-near speechless - but hardly surprised. Could the election have been tampered with? We'll never know. Democracy is today at the mercy of easily hackable, computerized voting machines, not to mention unlimited money for paid propaganda and misinformation. A strange new world. It took 1984 twenty-eight years to finally get here.

Do you want to get a clearer picture of what the future has in store for the people of the Unit
ed States? Look toward Wisconsin. You say you want a revolution? Don't waste your time. The American people (or enough of them to make stealing the election easier) will be distracted by the pretty wrapping paper every time. Forget what's inside the package. Just look toward Wisconsin.

Do you have any idea the damage that the Supreme Court's disgusting Citizens United ruling of two years ago has done to your country? Would you like an example? Look toward Wisconsin.

Governor Walker and the Republicans attacked the unions by ending collective bargaining. They slash a billion dollars from public education. They lightened even further the tax burdens of huge corporations based in that state. They have effectively told the middle class to lay down and die. And yet yesterday, enough Wisconsin voters were lulled into complacency by the sweet sounding bells and the lovely whistles. In the recall election of June 5, 2012, an event that had political junkies across the globe riveted, Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee was soundly defeated. He was outspent seven-to-one, most of the cash coming from the out-of-state Billionaire's Club. He never had a chance.

The president of the United States was out there pitching for the candidate. His contribution to the discussion? A tweet. You could have gotten as much from your pet canary. On his Twitter account, in the 140 spaces that are allotted to him, he sent out a single message saying what a neat governor he thought Tom Barrett would be. Give 'em hell, Barry.

Scott Walker is shill for the plutocracy. He doesn't even try to hide that fact any longer. Over a year ago, in what has to be the greatest political prank of the last fifty years, someone claiming to be one of the Koch brothers was able to get Walker on the telephone. In a recorded phone conversation, the fake Koch told the very real governor that when all of the right wing agenda that he wanted passed in Wisconsin was finally the law in that state, he would fly him down to California and show him a good time. Scott Walker accepted the offer gratefully. Where I come from that is what is known as a bribe. Scott Walker will be sleeping in the governor's mansion for at least another two-and-a-half years.

June 5 usu
ally marks a sad anniversary for conservatives in this sick country. It was, after all, eight years ago yesterday that their beloved Gipper shuffled off this mortal coil. That date now has a new significance in their delightfully twisted history. It will forever mark the day that the right wing was reborn, revamped, renewed and rejuvenated. Some of their talking heads have already picked Walker as the presidential nominee for 2020 (after Mitt Romney's two terms are over of course). Yesterday, enough of the Wisconsin electorate proved for all time and eternity that substance is passe. Enlightenment and vision don't matter anymore. It's all about the money. Money-money-money.

There is room for a healthy dose of schadenfreude here. The nitwits who cast their lot with Scott Walker on June 5, 2012 are going to deserve everything that happens to them. When their public schools are turned over to private corporations, when their adult children are struggling to get by on barely a minimum wage, when that monthly Social Security check that they labored a lifetime to obtain is merely a shadow of a memory - it'll be oodles of fun to be witness to their complete and utter despair. Cheer up. At least we have something to look forward to.

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

Emily Dickinson

I have a bit of advice for the poor fools who decided yesterday to stick with Scott Walker. And since Wisconsin is a microcosm of America, I'll offer it to all of you. Always encourage your kids to grow by learning. Encourage them to read as much as they can about art, science, history and biography. Show them that there are indescriba
ble, personal rewards to be gained in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. Just don't bother sending them to college, okay? Don't waste their time. Don't waste your money. What's the point? Do you seriously believe that this recent epidemic of unemployed college graduates is merely a temporary, sociological fluke? You ought to rethink that one. If what happened yesterday is a grim harbinger of things to come, your children have no future. Keep your eyes on Wisconsin.

Every cloud
has a silver lining, right? Not necessarily. What happened yesterday is bad all around. I have a silly question for the people who voted for Scott Walker. Assuming you really were the majority (and that's open for debate) did you folks even pause to wonder what the motivations might have been for the tens-of-millions of dollars that were poured into his campaign by out-of-state billionaires - some of whom I'm sure have never even visited your state? Were you actually stupid enough to believe that it was merely a matter of civic duty on their part, and that they had your best interests at heart? You'll find out what their motivations were soon enough. They were making an investment - and they're expecting a return on that investment.

Just look toward Wisconsin.

And finally a messa
ge to my friend Jacqueline and my cousin Amy Clements (photo on left): the two of you were out in the thick of it, trying to warn your fellow Wisconsinites of the gathering storm. You did well. Remember what Theodore Roosevelt said. If you failed, at least you failed "daring greatly, so that [your] place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." Don't let the bastards bring you down.

After looking at a rough draft of what I had written, Jacqueline told me that there is still more room to believe that the election was rigged. She makes a good case:

he numbers do NOT make sense. There were NO exit polls that were made available. They are usually adjusted to match the "official" totals, but last night, For the first time ever, unprecedented really, the UNADJUSTED EXIT POLLS WERE NOT MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC....The electoral process is corrupted - the machines are riggable and the criminals go UNDETECTED. stolen elections are EATING democracy."

Jacqueline also informs me that the "liberal" media called the election before the polls had closed in three true blue counties. To be continued....

Say what you want about the times we live in, they sure as hell aren't boring. Anything but. Just look toward Wisconsin.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Democracy is Coming

Get the fuck out of the way.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Post #419: Six Years and Counting

Early on the morning of 2 June 2006, I received an e-mail from a woman who had read some of the comments I had been making on the deliciously subversive website AlterNet. She told me that my writing wasn't that bad and that I should start my own blog. I replied that I wasn't very computer savvy and that doing so might prove to be problematic (Truth be told, I wasn't even sure what the heck a "blog" was). She responded by telling me that it was easy. "Just go to", she told me, "They'll walk you right through it". I did. Within twenty minutes I had my first article posted, a little introductory salutation called, "George W. Bush: The Last Republican President". That woman's name has been forever lost to me. Pity. I owe the gal an awful lot.

On June 2, 2
006 I didn't really believe that Bush would be the last Republican president. That title was just a combination of cheekiness and wishful thinking on my part. Then, sometime last year, I began to believe it. That party has lost its mind, I thought to myself. They'll never sleep in the White House again. I believed it until the moment recently when GOP governors across the land simultaneously began to wage a phoney war on the non-existent plague of "voter fraud", disenfranchising the ballots of the traditional progressive constituency - blacks, Hispanics, city dwellers, the elderly, college students - the usual suspects.

I'm now almos
t convinced that Mitt Romney is going to be the next president of the United States. That's okay. The lower this doomed country sinks into the socio-economic/ideological cesspool, the higher my stock rises. Give me a bushel of nasty tasting lemons and I'll whip you up a pitcher of juicy lemonade.

So here we are
: six years into what started out as a lark and became - within a matter of days - a habit more powerful than heroin. This may sound a bit strange, but while the complete and utter destruction of this once-great nation has been a terrible thing to behold, it sure has been loads of fun to write about. So much unintentional humor! Sometimes these things virtually write themselves. There is an ambivalence in doing what I do that is impossible to put into words, so I won't even attempt to do so here. Why bother.

I'll just end this
little diatribe by saying that, while I always believed I could draw a handful of readers, the modest success of "The Rant" has been a pleasant surprise. Thanks for reading these spasmodic ramblings of mine for the last six years, folks. God willing, I'll be able to keep churning them out for another six years....Let me rephrase that....God willing, I won't be churning them out six years from now. Hopefully I won't need to. If the day ever arrives when human beings become polite, loving and generous toward one another, I'll have to start looking for real work. McDonald's perhaps.

In the meantime....

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


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The Last Word
by George Carlin and Tony Hendra

Carlin's posthumous memoirs. As only George could write them.