Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Nation in Ruins

It looks like it might happen. In ten days - if present trends continue - we just might be looking at the dawn of four years (EIGHT YEARS???) of the age of Romney/Ryan. It would appear that the people of this doomed nation (or the ones who vote anyway) were sound asleep during the years 2001-2009. I've been bracing myself all week for this possibility. Give me a bushel of nasty-tasting lemons and I'll whip you up a couple of pitchers of the juiciest, sweetest-tasting lemonade it's ever been your pleasure to sip. For someone like me, the very idea of Mitt Romney in the White House is irresistible - all of those delectable morsels of unintentional comedy offered up for the taking on a silver platter! For those of us who make our names chronicling the utter catastrophe of American politics, this is something to look forward to indeed.

Then there is the schadenfreude aspect. There will no doubt be a certain element of shameful glee on my part witnessing the people who choose once again to go down this idiotic road getting everything they deserve. I know more-than-a-few people who were economically pulverized during the reign of George W. Bush, who plan on voting for Mitt Romney on November the sixth. It really is an amusing thing to behold. Some people just aren't very careful about what they wish for, are they.

And then there is the man on whom we pin all of our hopes. My first reaction to the president's troubles is to shout out, "I TOLD YOU SO!" but that would probably be a lesson in utter futility. Call it a hunch on my part but he probably doesn't read my blog (He should, you know, he really should). 

But it's not too much of a stretch to conclude that he does read Paul Krugman (photo on left). The moment the details of the administration's stimulus package was announced in the early months of 2009, Krugman wrote that it will help the economy - but not enough. As it turns out he was absolutely prescient. Mr. Paul said from day one that the package just wasn't big enough. He said a huge mistake was being made in allowing a bunch of politicians to put it together. I've said this too many times to count: we ignore Paul Krugman to our own detriment. If you look at his columns going back ten years, hindsight will tell you that he has been right about ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. If it had been me being inaugurated on 20 January 2009, the first words out of my mouth upon taking the oath of office would have been these:

"Get Krugman here - STAT." 

As I write these words, rumors are rampant that there will be a major role for Paul Krugman to play in Obama's second term - if there is a second term. Do not abandon all faith. 

We should never lose sight of the fact that although Barack Obama did get a lot wrong, he got a helluva lot more right. When he was handed the keys to the White House nearly four years ago, around 750,000 jobs a month were being swept away into the economic abyss. He has successfully stemmed the tide and reversed it. We are now at thirty-three months of straight employment growth, and November's numbers promise to be more encouraging than usual. How can it possibly be that we seem set to go back to the policies that brought on this calamity in the first place? Are we really that freaked out about having a black guy living in the Executive Mansion? It sure is weird.  


I know what you're thinking and I can relate. Barack Obama has not been what I would call "a progressive's dream". But aside from that, it must be said that at least he's been trying to do the right thing....I think. We can pray all we want that in his next term (Please, God) he'll become the reincarnation of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and we can hope that when he no longer has a reelection to worry about he will become the fighting liberal that we know he is to his core. These are not by any means unreasonable expectations. But four more years of Barack Obama - in any capacity - are light years more preferable than one minute of Mitt Romney in the White House. Time to get out the vote. 

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY 

The Ernie Kovacs Collection Volume Two 

Eighteen months ago I wrote a review on this site for a DVD box set called "The Ernie Kovacs Collection". Just last week the Shout Factory released volume two. It's every bit as good (although not quite as comprehensive) as Volume One. Kovacs was one of the twentieth century's most visionary comedians. On top of that, the man was a scream. Sadly, his importance as a visual artist was not fully appreciated until decades after his death in a 1962 automobile accident.  This set is essential viewing for any self-respecting fan of Ernie Kovacs. If you order it off of Shout's website, you will receive a bonus disc not available in the stores, eight installments of Ernie's absudist game show, Take a Good Look. Think of it as What's My Line meets Dada: Here's a link to purchase it:
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.


At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Jim said...

Lovely. Simply LOVELY!

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

The problem with a democracy is it depends on educated voters and one side of our country has been doing all they can to dumb down citizens. This will only grow worse if that side gets more power to further devastate public education. If people want the information now, it's out there. Instead they want the slick soundbite because of the entertainment they watch-- things like Survivor where rooting for a liar is acceptable and rewarded. The answer is better public education but some are doing all they can to decimate it. It's a worrisome time because we have seen how much damage can be done in a few years, how many rights can be taken. With the modern voting machine, no paper trail, we could reach a time where some make sure there is no voting that counts. If Americans don't value their right to vote, so many stay home, if they don't educate themselves as to the issues at stake, they will lose what they have had, what others fought to make our heritage. It's sickening right now that lies are working :(

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The problem with a democracy is it depends on educated voters and one side of our country has been doing all they can to dumb down citizens."

Very True and it explains why the teachers unions have supported liberalism for years, it helps their cause to not be held accountable for the product they produce in the classroom.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger charles moore said...

First of all, it is too close to call and no point in getting needlessly bothered about it at this point.

Second, there is the huge possibility of manipulated voting machines to screw things up so that the actual choice of the people will not matter. And as Rain so correctly points out there are so many people who don't bother to educate themselves that they will deserve whatever they get

Finally this country is so divided with no sense of cooperation among our elected "officials", actually assholes, in both parties that it doesn't matter much one way or the other who wins. America gets screwed.

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous tom V said...

Hi Tom,

I have always believed, particularly after the most recent election in 2008 that there is a huge uninformed voter factor out there and the question in mind mind has always been how does one fix stupid on either side of the political spectrum? Perhaps its like tasting wine, theres no bad wine just different palates.

All the best in the coming election,

Tom V.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

As we the people lose more, someone always gains. Corporate profits are up and the wealthy are doing swell. The winners are enjoying a rigged game.

The national corporate media are also such winners. Corporate media has done its job. Instead of reporting pertinent information for the public good, it’s all about sensationalism, ratings, spinning a close election, and scooping up campaign advertising dollars. They never come out and report the fact that one side is deceptive more than the other. It’s always a “Both sides do it” kind of false, but equal, “fairness” for the wrong as well as the right.

Appearances mean everything in this neurotic, attention deficit afflicted culture. As Clinton said, "When people are insecure, they'd rather have somebody who is strong and wrong than someone who's weak and right".

People don’t deserve what we get from politicians. We don’t deserve a no compromise party exclusively in service to Big Money, and we don’t deserve a neutered “opposition party” that must also depend on corporate approval and support from wealthy interests.

What we deserve are news programs serving the public interest on our public owned broadcast spectrum. We deserve uncorrupted public funded campaigns, hard copy ballots, and politicians who represent the people, rather than Big Money and powerful special interests.

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For this one time, I grant you the power of being King of America. How would you change all the things you listed in your post?

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous, in response to Dave Dubya: "How would you change all the things you listed in your post?"

Gee, I thought Dave did a succinct job of characterizing these changes in his last paragraph.

Tell me, when you hit your head in the Bush economic crash, was there also cognitive damage? You appear to have comprehension problems.

At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Get a life of your own.

At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a few examples of why America under Obama is already a Nation in Ruins.

ALTA LOMA (CBS) — A case of campaign vandalism is under investigation Friday in Alta Loma.

Someone keyed the word “Obama” into two cars and slashed seats in another outside a residence that had Mitt Romney campaign signs.

CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Rob Schmitt spoke to Ken Slown, owner of one of the keyed vehicles.

Slown actually supports President Obama!

He explained to Schmitt that he and his wife — both currently unemployed — are staying with her parents and it’s her parents who support Romney.

“I don’t know if they were trying to get a point across, to vote for Obama,” said Slown, “but to do something like this is not going to get the point across.”

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) - A viewer used Report !t to send our sister station WANE pictures of the sign in front of the South Broadway Church of Christ in Huntington on Friday.

One side of the sign read “Christ voted Democrat” and the other read “Romney hates women”.

Luke Jackson, the pastor of the church, said the statements on the sign were vandalism and that the authorities had been contacted.

"I had about eight missed calls from church members and people from the community," Jackson said.

He said the sign must have been changed late Thursday night, but not by anyone associated with the church. The sign was still up Friday morning, but Jackson said an elder with the church came in and changed it.

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another example of our Nation in ruins, NOW.

"Just one day after President Obama went on television saying that politics had nothing to do with the now bankrupt Abound Solar receiving a taxpayer-backed loan guarantee from the Energy Department, emails have surfaced that contradict these claims and suggest White House involvement in the company receiving the loan.

“And these are decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics,” President Obama told KUSA’s Kyle Clark.

However, emails obtained by COMPLETECOLORADO.COM suggest that the White House was involved in the Energy Department awarding Abound Solar a $400 million loan gurantee, contradicting the President’s claim.

The emails also suggest that the loan guarantee was political payback to Democratic benefactor Pat Stryker.

In one email, DOE loan executive Jonathan Silver tells DOE credit advisor Jim McCrea that, “You better [let] him know the [White House] wants to move Abound forward,” referring to Treasury Advisor Ian Samuels who wasn’t moving fast enough on scheduling calls regarding Abound."

At 12:26 AM, Anonymous JFG said...

Hello again Tom,

You've inspired me to do my own blog and as of late words have failed me. Like you, I've been bracing for a Romney Presidency. For me, it isn't so much that I "fear" Romney, I feel what his election will bring.

For four years, we've watched the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox News, and an assortment of lesser known whack jobs, sabotage this Presidency. They have preyed upon the stupdiest of us.

We still have people who actually believe Obama is a Muslim and a Kenyan. We still have people who believe any number of the lies and half-truths given to them: from over-sexed college student who supposedly want tax payers to pay for contraception to "Obama phones" to lies about our oil production to ...the list goes on.

A Romney election validates and emboldens the stupid people in this country--who are both dangerous and ignorant. A Romney election sends the message that we as a Nation no longer care about one another. We'll be an a la carte nation. If you don't have the cash for it, you're outta luck.

You can't appeal to these supposed conservatives. They don't listen to reason or logic. Show them documentation of how Romney and/or the GOP is lying to them and it's dismissed as "liberal propaganda." This is how strong the half--perhaps more--of our country has latched onto the GOP lies.

They claim "Obama lies" and yet Romney has been caught in so many himself! Yet they don't care. They watch Ryan cleaning already clean pots & pans, while taking credit for "helping." What do they take away from that? Romney talked to a few homeless guys.

They couldn't care if the poor eat. If a pregnancy will endanger the life of the mother. They dismiss gay teen suicide deaths. The gloss over the deaths of the dozens of people that have died in the gun violence of Aurora, the Sikh Temple, Giffords... Why? Because the Constitution says we need a 'milita.'

Yet, we're supposed to believe with all this dispassion they espouse, that they are traumatized over the Benghazi incident. Liars. They could care less.

But half the country is thinking like this. Half the country has embraced this irrational hate of Obama. Half the country is willing to vote for slogans over substance.

Really, the Paul Ryan washing-clean-pots-that-were-already-clean is a metaphor for the Romney campaign.

There is a 'sick & twisted' part of me that will enjoy a Romney Presidency. It will feel great to laugh loud and long at the Conservatives as they begin to realize how badly they've been lied to.

Then again...they may not realize it at all.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom Degan: "It looks like it might happen. In ten days - if present trends continue - we just might be looking at the dawn of four years (EIGHT YEARS???) of the age of Romney/Ryan."

Stop fretting and worrying, Tom (unless it's about Sandy), Obama's in. I've mentioned on this blog several times that "it's going to be a squeaker", but when the "counting" is through, he gets his four more years. The "powers that be" already have selected their puppet. Obama has performed admirably for them so far. In their [collective] mind, there's no reason to change horses in midstream. And as much of a pain-in-the-ass as your Citizen Troll has been on this blog, Anonymous is right when he says there is hardly a campaign promise from 2008 that Obama has not broken.

As Chris Hedges laments, "this list includes his pledges to support the public option in health care, close Guantanamo, raise the minimum wage, regulate Wall Street, support labor unions in their struggles with employers, reform the Patriot Act, negotiate an equitable peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, curb our imperial expansion in the Middle East, stop torture, protect reproductive rights, carry out a comprehensive immigration reform, cut the deficit by half, create 5 million new energy jobs and halt home foreclosures."

It seems to me that the Romney campaign served two purposes. Obviously, there had to be an opponent, for surely there's always one in every democracy -- or at least the appearance of one; and secondly, it served as a "coming-out party" for Paul Ryan. Representative Ryan wasn't exactly a household name prior to August 11th, just as Barack Obama wasn't prior to the 2004 Democratic Convention. He's now in the national spotlight.

Paul Ryan is the heir apparent to Obama in 2016. He'll carry on the legacy of Bush and Obama, and every president since Eisenhower's eternal warning of permanent war. He'll most certainly double-down on the statutes of The Patriot Act, and the total dismantling of Medicare and Social Security.

Depending upon the extent of the damage Obama inflicts upon the middle- and working-classes in the next four years, which begins in earnest with the "fiscal cliff" on January 1st, Ryan will then be the designated "terminator" to finish the kill. I figure we have four-to-five years, maximum, before the final curtain falls on the play we've known so admirably as the United States of America. By then it will be apparent to all that a new play has begun...and it'll be too late to get up and walk away.

Best of luck to all who are in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Be prepared and stay safe.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What we deserve are news programs serving the public interest on our public owned broadcast spectrum. We deserve uncorrupted public funded campaigns, hard copy ballots, and politicians who represent the people, rather than Big Money and powerful special interests."

I agree Dave 100%. Lets also save Big Bird as he has become so dependent on free bird food from the people running the Plantation that I don't believe he could survive foraging for food in the private sector like most birds do.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous to Dave Dubya: "I agree Dave 100%."

Gee, Anonymous, after a second (third?!) reading it looks like you finally found Dave's remedy on what should be done. Did you do that on your own, or did someone have to read for you?

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous James said...

That was a good post JG. I see we think alike, I wonder when the 30,000 drones that are scheduled to be deployed in the U.S. airspace will start getting armed. And what year in Obama's term will a civilian be Droned for lets say growing pot?

Year 12 in the self inflicted demise of this country.

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I want to know is what Obama did when he got the information about the attack on our Ambassador in Libya?

At 7:44 PM, Blogger Steve said...

We get and deserve what we vote for.
I have learned to live as a political minority for decades.
My fears have come true, the Republicans have almost bankrupted America, continue to push their religious morals on a secular society, wage unnecessary war, and divide the American people.
We will be the first generation to leave an America worse off than it was left to us.
I won't be around to pay the consequences, and I have done what my one voice (more than voting) will allow.
Whether or not Romney wins (a distinct possibility) history will not be kind to the Republican party, their leadership over the last 40 years, and the mess they left America.
Being proven correct, is no substitute for a healthy, progressing society.
I'm thankful to my parents and the rest of the WW II generation who built a great society, which I have lived most of my life.
It has been sad to see it all crumble within my lifetime.

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hurricane Sandy is just another example of those evil rich Republicans suppressing Democratic voters. Blame Bush

Hurricane Sandy is an inside job!!

At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Picard said...


"The "powers that be" already have selected their puppet. Obama has performed admirably for them so far."

which "powers" anyone specific? Are you implying the election is rigged?

At 3:19 AM, Blogger Clay said...

I wonder if Richard Mourdock would say this if there are many deaths caused by Sandy?

"Even in such a horrible situation as being swept away by a hurricane, I feel that it's something that God intended."

Hey, that's what Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell said after Katrina - that God put the kibosh on them for their sinful ways. Anyways, hang on, Hoboken!

And Tom, you sound depressed and pessimistic. I've got a $100 bet with my neighbor that Obama will not only win, but he'll win by 300 electoral votes, effectively giving him a 30-point spread. I'm not worried.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

James: "I see we think alike..."

Yes, we apparently see a reality that's not so easily recognized by the majority of advanced-thinking people, and certainly invisible by all conservatives.

"Year 12 in the self inflicted demise of this country."

It started a lot longer ago, but I agree that the acceleration into fourth gear occurred under the George Bush regime -- and the RPMs are getting higher under the current administration. Once Ryan takes the wheel in 2016, the shift into the highest gear will be very apparent.

Be sure to read Hedges' latest piece this morning. It's for these reasons that I refuse to play the game that they expect us to play. Doing so only makes me complicit in the hijacking of our nation, and an accessory to the crime.

At 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jefferson&39; makes really good points. I'm also impressed with this whole blogm Thanks Tom, good work man.

At 12:31 AM, Blogger A Plain Observer said...

I really like the way you ended this post: "four more years of Barack Obama - in any capacity - are light years more preferable than one minute of Mitt Romney in the White House"
When Sarah Palin was running for VP and remained totally unable to memorize what the functions of that job were, I was surprised to see that people would actually praise her and vote for her. The woman can't tide her shoes without making a mistake and they would stand the chance of that freak becoming president in the event of the death of McKean? phew!


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