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.


At 5:42 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

You took this convoluted mess and gave it clarity for me. I thank you.

ach, what a time this is.....

At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Tom V said...

Good morning Tom,

I read your latest story with interest as always and the only thing that bothers me about your take on it is the imposing of Executive Privilege by Obama. If what you and the administration says were true that this is nothing but a witch hunt, which btw I don't totally disagree with, one would think the administration would put all the facts out there for the American public to see and show us all just how stupid this thing is but somehow I don't think that’s exactly what’s going to put this administration in the best light before the upcoming election.

Make no mistake I do believe this whole sordid operation was put in place by the prior administration and perhaps even before that but I also think that no administration can possibly know every operation that is going on within its own 4 or 8 years in office BUT I do think once a situation such as this comes to light corrective actions need to be taken and complete day light needs to be shed upon it. Its with my last statement in mind that I believe this administration failed miserably. Lets not forget the old saying if it happens on your watch its your problem. I don't blame this administration for starting this but I do blame them for the bungling of it since its discovery.

All the best,

Tom V.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Yellowstone said...

Didn't President Bush previously invoke executive privilege during his administration in response to a subpoena of internal DOJ documents on the ATF's gun running program?

What disturbs me most is there are trusted(?) elected and paid representatives of the people that spew this convoluted logic.

It ought to be a crime . . .

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Michael Stivic said...

hey Tom,

I've been thinking and since excuses are like assholes (everybody has one), do you think when Obama loses on Nov 6, we should allow him to blame it on Bush?

At 1:04 PM, Blogger De_Bill said...

It seems the Republicans have conveniently forgotten Operation Fast and Furious was started around 2006, and grew out of Project Gunrunner that started in 2005.

You can fault Holder (and Obama) for not shutting it down sooner (I know I do), but at least they saw it was a bad idea, and shut it down (eventually). The Republicans apparently thought it was a great idea when they were in charge.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could Obama have shut something down he claims he knew nothing about?

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Mack Lyons said...

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.

Imagine the blood-curdling screams you'd hear if the Obama administration even so much as glanced in the general direction of going after the Bush admin. They didn't just want to "remain above it all" -- they didn't want any part of the shitstorm that'd ensue as a result.

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


That is not what the facts of this issue show to have happened.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Classof65 said...

I hope to hell you are wrong about the coming election. If you happen to be correct, what in the world are we going to do?

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there was no communications between the President and Holder what is being privileged?

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

I don't know, Anonymous. Why don't you ask GW Bush and Reagan?

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why don't you worry about the enforcement of Canadian law since you seem to believe Bush is till in the White House.

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A shocking majority of likely voters believes President Obama has exercised his executive power inappropriately — particularly in blocking the release of documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, according to a new poll for The Hill. 56% t0 29%

Proof once again how out of touch Obama and his supporters are with the vast majority of Americans. The best part of this is how offended Liberals become when Obama is called a liberal, yet at these same time, these self-proclaimed liberals rush to defend Obama.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the GOP Conservatives are so Concerned for One Agent who Lost his Life because there wasn't Gun Control via the Fast & Furious Program

Meanwhile they are so in Bed with the NRA who desires "No Gun Control" what so Ever

And How many Lives are Lost Yearly because of the Tied position the GOP has with the NRA !!!

I Call this an Oxymoron !!!

--> It's All Political !!!

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @3:00

NRA has nothing to do with the Fast and Furious operation, so what's your point in bringing them up, if you have one? great example of typical liberal moral relativism: The view that what is morally right or wrong depends on what someone thinks. Not what they do.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

I love your satire, Tom, but I wonder if, when you are laughing on the outside, are you crying on the inside? I sure am.

This witch hunt by Issa is a manufactured crisis to get rid of Holder, who is cracking down on their pet project of voter suppression and also to make Obama look like he has something to hide. The only thing he is hiding are the records that he cannot legally give to the committee and well Issa knows it.

Issa has refused to call a single witness from when this whole fiasco started because they were part of the Bush administration. Ergo, he isn't really seeking the truth. Issa has finally found an issue to bolster his image with the right-wing. Shades of Joe McCarthy.

If Issa really cared a fig about the country he would be spending the taxpayers money and the committee's time in trying to find out where the jobs are.

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"spending the taxpayers money" is the LAST thing we need more of!

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four years later and still blaming the Bush Admin is getting old.....The only reason it works is because you are talking to fellow liberals who believe anything another liberal says. After all, it is what they want to hear. Obama and his admin have to take responsibility at some point. Let's not forget Brian Terry who was killed in this debacle. Haven't heard much from you on that...I read your blog because it is amusing. Eric Holder knew damn well what was happening and I believe Obama did, as well. Of course they did. To think otherwise would be naive.

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

A bit of advice to the author: if you want people to believe you when you lie, you occasionally need to throw against the grain as evidence of the ability to tell the truth.

To, in any way, write in support of this excrement is an insult to you and your readers.

First with Holder, go through the list of pardons he pushed by Clinton (Marc Rich, Puerto Rican Terrorists, etc.). Listen to the families of the dead border guards. Live in Arizona where there is not immigration but an invasion. Try to be a white person attempting to vote in Philadelphia. Of course, I could go on and on.

This man morphed a well tracked program from the Bush administration. Without Mexican involvement or knowledge, he passed assault weapons to cartels that kill countless people on both sides of the border daily. These particular weapons have killed Mexicans and Americans alike.

Like the bitch that he is, he ran to Jug Ears for cover. You know that Ears and Holder planned to use this program for political benefit. What rational exists for F&F besides trying to create carnage with guns that originated in the united states to help the Brady clan and others in their attempt to attack the 2nd amendment.

A government that provides everything to you has the power to take everything from you. We are on approach to this reality as a country. That is why the 2nd Amendment is the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. If you and your ilk dont' like it, the constitution has a process for amendment. We shouldn't sacrifice border guards in a backdoor attempt.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Suzan said...

and the weird turn pro?

It will get weirder you know.

I still think Rmoney can't win and will be brokered out (ha ha) at the Convention.

Then we'll get a taste of the really weird.

But you remember my previous prediction.



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.

At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Vanessa said...

Looks like some of the DemocRats are jumping off Obama's ship which looks like it will hit an iceberg Nov 6th lol!

Claire wants to keep her job with its power and control over the plantatation. Looks like she is throwing Obama under the bus:

Claire McCaskill to skip Democratic National Convention

By Rachel Rose Hartman

June 26, 2012

Sen. Claire McCaskill, vulnerable in her reelection bid, reportedly joined a growing faction of Democrats begging off this summer's Democratic National Convention.

The Missouri senator made the decision Tuesday to skip the national convention, which takes place Sept. 3-6, Pema Levy first reported for Talking Points Memo. The convention is where President Barack Obama will formally receive his party's nomination.

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Jody Garceau said...


Great blog once again. I share your concerns about the coming election. The American people have become very stupid and the Obama Administration is not slapping down the lies for what they are.

Only through some bizarre variation of the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" can the GOP make Fast & Furious into a 2nd Amendment issue.

I honestly don't know what is more disgusting: the GOPs spin on these issues or the unfettered acceptance of these talking points by their idiot electorate.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Obama Administration is not slapping down the lies."

What lies?

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Leaning Forward Wagon Puller said...

To Be or Not to Be a Fat Cat?

Culturally, Obama might at least have played the Jimmy Carter populist and eschewed the elite world that had so mesmerized Bill Clinton. Instead, Obama proved a counterfeit populist and became enthralled with the high life of rich friends, celebrities, high-priced fundraisers, and family getaways to Martha’s Vineyard or Costa del Sol. He somehow has set records both in the number of meet-and-greet campaign fundraisers and the number of golf rounds played. As Obama damned the fat cats and corporate jet owners, he courted them in preparation to joining them post-officium. It simply is unsustainable for a Hawaii prep-schooled president to talk down to black audiences in a fake black patois in warning about “them,” only to put on his polo shirt, shades and golf garb to court “them” on the links

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...


At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous2 said...

Ain't lookin good for ObamaCare tomorrow. Too bad for the skinny big eared president whose only skill is blowing smoke up our asses!

Tom, time to come up with another racist rant about Uncle Thomas! I bet you are working on it right now.

I also bet Uncle Thomas read what is in the bill and will vote it down as Unconstitutional.

Jody Garceau, listening recently to Obama at the G-20 summit talking about the problems of the US and world economy was a fu*king joke. The clown has not ever had a real job and couldn't run a lemonade stand.

At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how MO the Canadian sticks his f#cking nose into our business, post after post. Ignore the idiot, maybe he will dry out and blow away

At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Liberals Are Sexy said...


Anonymous does not care for foreigners showing him up with knowledge. If you're not from the good old USA don't pester him with facts. He likes it in his little world.

I have traveled for many years for my job. I live in the US. I travel all over the US, Europe, and Canada for my job but have traveled to many other places for enjoyment. Being able to see other places and people in the world is a wonderful experience.

What I've found is that people everywhere know and want to know more about the US. I've found that lots of people are much more aware of US politics than people who actually live here. Many people feel that we have gone off the rails here. It's not quite the shining star that it used to be.

Maybe I'll be attacked for saying this, but it's true. There's a whole big world out there and we're all tied together in so many ways.

Please keep your posts coming in from the north. I, and I'm sure others, truly enjoy your wit & knowledge.

At 8:15 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

L A S,

Defending MO isn't sexy.

I think MO comes here because everyone in Canada is too SMART to converse with him.

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MO needs to fix the racism Canada has towards Asians before he tells us what we should do.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"Many people feel that we have gone off the rails here. It's not quite the shining star that it used to be."

Yeah, I've travelled all over Europe as well. I've found that they THINK they know more about America than they actually do a lot of the time.

I find it ironic to think a European would be claiming the US is going off the rails.

Actually, Canada is a pretty good example for us to look to in some respects. They saw their debt-to-GDP problem in the 90's and took reasonable "austerity" measures to correct, not the least of which was to curb gov't spending. Granted, not nearly the scale of the US economy, but kudos to them nonetheless. We are, in the meantime, spending ourselves into oblivion.

It would apppear to the casual observer that our government exists to provide entertainment factor on the new rather than seriously consider our problems. I honestly am claiming "no confidence". I really don't think they are body of men and women capable of governing (or willing to govern) a great country. That's the sad truth. We are on the brink of disaster and they are nowhere to be found.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Harley A. "Actually, Canada is a pretty good example for us to look to in some respects. They saw their debt-to-GDP problem in the 90's and took reasonable 'austerity' measures to correct, not the least of which was to curb gov't spending. Granted, not nearly the scale of the US economy, but kudos to them nonetheless."
Weird that the nominally liberal party is better with money than the nominally conservative one is, isn't it?

"We are, in the meantime, spending ourselves into oblivion."
The issue is less that the US is in deficit now, but that it's always in deficit. It got close, but then pissed near-surplus all away for tax cuts, two wars and the consequences of banking deregulation (the last of which, admittedly, took during the previous administration).
Austerity during recession just makes recession worse.
The Fed under Obama is more worried about inflation than unemployment, so that's not helping, the Stimulus only temporarily helped take the load off the states, and the GOP (via Ryan) plan is to "spread the pain" by gutting social programs and cutting taxes on the rich.

"It would apppear to the casual observer that our government exists to provide entertainment factor on the new rather than seriously consider our problems."
From the outside it looks like you've got a two party system where one party would rather burn the place down if they aren't in charge (to the point that they'll vote against or fillibuster things now that they used to be for) and the other is rife with a general coating of sweaty fecklessness.
On the plus side it will be interesting to watch the Corporate Citizens go after each other's lunches once they're done eating yours. So that something, right?

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Clay said...

I'm worried that other people can't see (as I do), that Romney simply has no character. Who was it that called him a "highly lubricated weather-vane"? The guy was right about that, at least. He's now dead-set against many positions that he "championed" 20 years ago.

I believe that leading up to the convention (or during), Romney will stick his foot so far down his throat that he will CHOKE, (figuratively, of course), and none of his spin-doctors will be able to make any sense of it. His gigantic faux-pas will lie there like a steaming turd, and Repubs will stay away from the polls in droves.

They'll all start to rally around Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor, and start dreaming about 2016.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Clay said...

Heck, I don't even think anyone will want to be on Romney's ticket. The only one I can think of who has absolutely nothing to lose would be ol' Fred Thompson. He just might be persuaded to give up his role as Spokesman for a reverse-mortgage company to do a brief but well-paid stint as VEEP candidate. ;-)

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

You might be onto something there, Clay. That would be just like old Fred!

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boltok destroyed this entire article, but every liberal here is too dumb to get it.

as usual...

At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey tom this all about whos going to win the next election or your view ? my view is that Obama has no chance of winning the upcoming election because there are no new democrats no bush factor no one that voted republican last go around will vote democrat this round plus millions and millions of democrats for romney / ryan bush factor no mcain - palin equals no obama !


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