Saturday, December 29, 2012

This Was the Year that Wasn't

 We're about to go over the fiscal Cliff! WHEEEEEEEEE!

"Do you think that the next year will not possibly get any weirder than the one which is now mercifully ending? I wouldn't take that bet for anything."

From "The Rant"
30 December 2011

When I was fifty-three, it was a very weird year....
Well, I called that one, didn't I? That is a bet I definitely would not have taken. 2012 was a whole lot weirder than 2011. My prediction for 2013 is that it will blaze new trails in weirdness. Life is quite interesting....and very weird.

Mister Rick
And while it may not have been a year that future historians will look back upon with envy toward we the people who lived through it, there will be a goldmine of unintentional giggles that they will have at their disposal to sift through. From Herman Cain's mantra of "nine-nine-nine", to Rick Perry's helpless confusion during the GOP primary debates; from Mitt Romney's dismissal of forty-seven percent of the American people as beggars and thieves, to Todd Akin's description of "legitimate rape" - 2012 was a year in which political humorists thrived. That's the reason why so many of us want to be Jon Stewart when we grow up. I can't wait for 2013. 

And so we end the year teetering at the edge of the "fiscal cliff". The Republican party would rather send this once-great nation hurling into the economic abyss, than raise the tax rate one-thin-dime on a class of people who already have more money than they'll possibly be able to spend in three lifetimes. This is why in less than a decade they will have ceased to exist. 

And PLEASE, do not accuse me of being a shrill mouthpiece of the Democratic party. As I've said so many times on this site, I left the Democrats almost fifteen years ago and I'll never re-register with them again - or at least until they reform themselves - which is not very likely. Any political party that has someone like Wall Street Stooge, Chuck Schumer, as their most visible spokesmen isn't worth working overtime for. The donkey needs to be either nursed back to health, or put out of its misery. We shall see.

As of this writing, however, there still is a smidgeon of hope for the Dems - unlike the GOP, which is utterly beyond hope and redemption. This is a party that has lost all reason. It's only a matter of time before they are stamped out like the fading embers of a Chesterfield cigarette on a damp pavement. They will very soon be put out to the pasture of historical irrelevance. You'll understand what I'm talking about during the midterm elections of 2014. The elephant is at death's door. I'm gonna miss them when they're gone - in a warped, twisted kind of way of course.  

That's a pretty good way to wrap up the strangest twelve months in political memory. Have a grand 2013, everyone. And if you're out partying on Monday night, be safe. Since a very close call on New Year's Eve 1976, I have always partied no more than walking distance from where I sleep. It's a pretty good rule too. Of course I haven't been awake for the midnight toast in a few years. I've mellowed a bit, you know?

Happy New Year, everybody!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY  


Happy New Year
by Spike Jones and his City Slickers

What better way to ring in the new year than with Spike and the gang. I ask you! This is from 1948.


Let's Celebrake!

It's New Year's Eve 1936, and Popeye, Olive and Bluto are out on the town hooting it up! This is one of my all-time-favorite cartoon shorts; a real gem.

AFTERTHOUGHT, 12/30/12, 4 AM:

An anonymous correspondent asked me early this morning where I would most like to be if I could transport myself there ala Star Trek. Here was my answer:

It is a place deep in the woods in the middle of a blizzard. It looks to all the world like an ugly cinder block warehouse. But inside it's beautiful - with all of the comforts of home; with a complete library of books, music and films. It's a place of laughter and thought; joy and contemplation. On the outside of the door and beyond the woods, the world is going mad. Inside there is peace and serenity.

If I could find such a place I'd probably never leave.


At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Jeff Jachens said...

Happy New Year to you as well.

At 6:36 PM, Anonymous James said...

It is always nice to be positive going into the New Year but my wide ranging and extensive reading lead me to believe that our problems are just starting.

The shift to legalizing pot is is the of the very few positive trends in this country. If politicians were required to smoke pot on a daily basis this country would be the Garden of Edan.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous James said...


At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Tom, with the reported death of the GOP, it looks your "former" party has all the cards. It will be interesting to see what they turn us into over the next four years. Also be interesting to see how long you blame the GOP for your former party's failures, as the GOP is not the party of choice of the majority of voting Americans.

Nor is the GOP in control, with Obama issuing Executive orders and Senator Reid refusing anything coming out of the House, there is no compromise possible. Even when the GOP House offered the President the same tax increase package as Polosi presented in April, the Senate said no. Tough to blame that on the GOP.

Nov. 2012 election showed us that voting Americans were ok with the last four years and wanted four more of the same..Enjoy!

BTW, Happy New Year to you, I wish you all the happiness that you can afford to buy!

At 7:13 PM, Blogger edwin_ said...

Happy New Year to you as well Tom. Thanks for the insightful posts. The Repubs did provide entertainment in 2012 along with the trolls that post on your blog

At 1:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you kept all my posts, cause with the Dems in charge, you're gonna need them to have something to smile about..
Four More Years, and the Repubs cant stop anything the progressives want to do, yippee!!...Enjoy, your side won.

At 2:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, called the critics’ (of The Journal News’ decision to publish the names and addresses of legal gun permit owners) response childish and petulant.

“It doesn’t move the issue of gun control to the level of intelligent public discussion,” he said. “Instead, it transforms what should be a rational public debate on a contentious issue into ugly gutter fighting.”

Good said the information about permit holders was public and, if presented in context, served a legitimate interest.

Publishing the names and addresses of law-abiding citizens that happen to own a gun is part of intelligent discussion? Why? How? What is the motive behind it? What is the desired outcome?

If you’d like to try and have an intelligent discussion with a moron, call this guy – Howard Good-

75 South Manheim Blvd.
New Paltz, New York 12561
Phone: 845-257-3454 or 257-3450
Fax: 845-257-3461

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Brick1101 said...

A Happy Safe New Year to you Tom.
Please keep up your insightful writing; you have greatly enriched my worldview along with the comments left on your blog.
After the election results I'm guardedly optimistic....

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Patricia said...

Happy New Year Tom, can't wait for the Repubbies extinction. Can't come soon enough.

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous James said...

Some people are dreaming here, the Republicans are not going anywhere. Even when they are losing they are still winning. Obama has all the cards and he will still fold, it is what he does.He will concede big time on the fiscal cliff and will again on the debt ceiling.And he will keep on conceding for the next four years.

With Obama as president the lower and middle classes are screwed.

If Obama holds firm and goes over the cliff I will send a check to Tom for 50.00 bucks.

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

edwin_ said..

James is a troll

At 1:35 PM, Blogger edwin_ said...

anon, I never said that James was a troll . He makes a good point that when we think that the repubs are losing they make a comeback .

A few examples were when Obama won his 1st election everyone thought the dems were in contol but the tea party won in the midterm election . Same with Clinton and the gingrich contract with America.

It will be interesting to see how this plays-out

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Does anyone really think any man in the White House can save us from the impending financial collapse? The fiscal cliff is smoke screen - a real issue - but a smoke screen. The truly scary issue, though, is that the Federal Reserve, not the US gov't, runs the show. We have an unconstitutional monetary system. We are sitting atop trillions upon trillions of fiat currency that the entire world is pegged to and we don't control it - a handful of world bankers do. The western reserve banks are working hard to artificially prop up the dollar against gold. They are keeping Wall St. propped up through ongoing "Quantitative Easing" (which sounds like a term out of 1984 - it's money printing). And, printing money literally out of thin air. Our currency is being debased every day. All the while, I suspect those in power are prepping themselves. The ride is almost over. As I read somewhere recently (can't recall source) - " the next few years, people are going to understand the difference between currency and money."

2013-15 will be truly interesting times. Wishing all a blessed New Year and that I'm horribly off-base...

At 6:41 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, it was an entertaining year in politics and lots of ways. Adding greatly to it was your wonderful rants. Happy New Year to you and all of your readers, even the trolls.

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

James is a troll that makes good points.

At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NEVADA): We have been negotiating now for 36 hours or thereabouts. We did have conversations last night that ended late in the evening between staffs. This morning, we have been trying to come up with some counteroffer to my friend’s [Mitch McConnell] proposal. We have been unable to do that.

I have had a number of conversations with the president, and at this stage we’re not able to make a counteroffer. The Republican leader has told me that — and he’s just said here — that he’s working with the vice president, and he and the vice president, I wish them well.

In the meantime, I will continue to try to come up with something. But at this stage, I don’t have a counteroffer to make. Perhaps as the day wears on, I will be able to. I will say this, I think that the Republican leader has shown absolutely good faith. It’s just that we are apart on some pretty big issues.

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tommy Boy,

Another fake set back for your boy Hillary? That family lies more than the current Imam.

Bob in Beirut

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

The Republicans are not going anywhere. They are the party of the Rich and will always have money to undermine democracy and the will of the American people.

The good news is democracy lingers, as exemplified by the sane and kind folks who understand a having a harmless plant should not be a crime.

The not-so-good news is the Democrats will continue to be the Republican-lite party, as they too serve their Military Industrial Complex and Wall Street bosses.

The war on democracy continues.

Happy New Year!

At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Republicans are not going anywhere. They are the party of the Rich and will always have money to undermine democracy and the will of the American people."

Rich equals evil in this socialist's mind. The will of the American people has spoken, we get four more years just like the last four years!! We raised taxes on everyone with an income over $400,000 and didn't have to make any cuts to our social spending.
Watch our economy turn around now. Watch those out sourced jobs return. Watch our unemployment rate drop like a rock. Watch as our budget becomes balanced. Watch as we pay off our debt. Watch as we reduce our defense spending how that the rest of the world loves us even more. Watch as terrorists stop hating us. It's all coming cause of the recent election and raising taxes on the rich.
Hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray, the rich are going have to pay!!
Be happy DD, the world is better because of you and the others who support the policy's of our president.

At 12:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And from Pravda:

Americans never give up your guns.

These days, there are few few things to admire about the socialist, bankrupt and culturally degenerating USA, but at least so far, one thing remains: the right to bare arms and use deadly force to defend one's self and possessions.

This will probably come as a total shock to most of my Western readers, but at one point, Russia was one of the most heavily armed societies on earth. This was, of course, when we were free under the Tsar. Weapons, from swords and spears to pistols, rifles and shotguns were everywhere, common items. People carried them concealed, they carried them holstered. Fighting knives were a prominent part of many traditional attires and those little tubes criss crossing on the costumes of Cossacks and various Caucasian peoples? Well those are bullet holders for rifles.

Various armies, such as the Poles, during the Смута (Times of Troubles), or Napoleon, or the Germans even as the Tsarist state collapsed under the weight of WW1 and Wall Street monies, found that holding Russian lands was much much harder than taking them and taking was no easy walk in the park but a blood bath all its own. In holding, one faced an extremely well armed and aggressive population Hell bent on exterminating or driving out the aggressor.

This well armed population was what allowed the various White factions to rise up, no matter how disorganized politically and militarily they were in 1918 and wage a savage civil war against the Reds. It should be noted that many of these armies were armed peasants, villagers, farmers and merchants, protecting their own. If it had not been for Washington's clandestine support of and for the Reds, history would have gone quite differently.

Moscow fell, for example, not from a lack of weapons to defend it, but from the lieing guile of the Reds. Ten thousand Reds took Moscow and were opposed only by some few hundreds of officer cadets and their instructors. Even then the battle was fierce and losses high. However, in the city alone, at that time, lived over 30,000 military officers (both active and retired), all with their own issued weapons and ammunition, plus tens of thousands of other citizens who were armed. The Soviets promised to leave them all alone if they did not intervene. They did not and for that were asked afterwards to come register themselves and their weapons: where they were promptly shot.

Stanislav Mishin

At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part Two from Pravda

Of course being savages, murderers and liars does not mean being stupid and the Reds learned from their Civil War experience. One of the first things they did was to disarm the population. From that point, mass repression, mass arrests, mass deportations, mass murder, mass starvation were all a safe game for the powers that were. The worst they had to fear was a pitchfork in the guts or a knife in the back or the occasional hunting rifle. Not much for soldiers.

To this day, with the Soviet Union now dead 21 years, with a whole generation born and raised to adulthood without the SU, we are still denied our basic and traditional rights to self defense. Why? We are told that everyone would just start shooting each other and crime would be everywhere....but criminals are still armed and still murdering and to often, especially in the far regions, those criminals wear the uniforms of the police. The fact that everyone would start shooting is also laughable when statistics are examined.

While President Putin pushes through reforms, the local authorities, especially in our vast hinterland, do not feel they need to act like they work for the people. They do as they please, a tyrannical class who knows they have absolutely nothing to fear from a relatively unarmed population. This in turn breeds not respect but absolute contempt and often enough, criminal abuse.

For those of us fighting for our traditional rights, the US 2nd Amendment is a rare light in an ever darkening room. Governments will use the excuse of trying to protect the people from maniacs and crime, but are in reality, it is the bureaucrats protecting their power and position. In all cases where guns are banned, gun crime continues and often increases. As for maniacs, be it nuts with cars (NYC, Chapel Hill NC), swords (Japan), knives (China) or home made bombs (everywhere), insane people strike. They throw acid (Pakistan, UK), they throw fire bombs (France), they attack. What is worse, is, that the best way to stop a maniac is not psychology or jail or "talking to them", it is a bullet in the head, that is why they are a maniac, because they are incapable of living in reality or stopping themselves.

The excuse that people will start shooting each other is also plain and silly. So it is our politicians saying that our society is full of incapable adolescents who can never be trusted? Then, please explain how we can trust them or the police, who themselves grew up and came from the same culture?

No it is about power and a total power over the people. There is a lot of desire to bad mouth the Tsar, particularly by the Communists, who claim he was a tyrant, and yet under him we were armed and under the progressives disarmed. Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns. Oh, no, they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves and do not obey without question. They hate guns in those whom they have slated for a barrel to the back of the ear.

So, do not fall for the false promises and do not extinguish the light that is left to allow humanity a measure of self respect

At 5:09 AM, Anonymous Larivière said...

Bonne et Heureuse nouvelle Année,Tom Degan !
En France nous avons aussi nos petites "drôleries" politiques pour nous distraire de la morosité ambiante...
I love reading your posts,anyway, as they provide me with an inner meaning of US politics and history.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Motorists in the U.S. paid record high prices for gasoline in 2012, as severe weather and political tensions drove up the cost of fuel.

The national average price of gasoline in 2012 was $3.60 a gallon, nine cents more than the previous annual record set last year, said Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, the nation’s largest motoring group.

Blame Bush, it worked in the past, why not try it for the next four years?

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Brick1101 said...

Anonymous @ 1:37.
Please watch Fox news... they pretty much explained how and why we pay what we do for gas back in 2008. If it was on Fox, you know it is the truth.

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

The Senate’s decision not to reverse a scheduled increase in the payroll tax that finances Social Security, while widely expected, still means that about 77 percent of households would pay a larger share of income to the federal government this year, according to the center’s analysis.

The tax this year would increase by two percentage points, to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent, on all earned income up to $113,700.

Elections have consequences.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Anon 9:23PM -
Which is ironic since payroll taxes shouldn't generally affect the "budget" or the "fiscal cliff". I mean, that revenue funds our social insurance accounts, right? Oops! Nope - those are robbed from us and trasferred into the general fund to be spent at their whim. Thieves and crooks - and we want them to take MORE from us? Insanity.

DD -
The 10 wealthiest counties in America leaned strongly Obama. Not a definitive statistic, but interesting...

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Yes, and interestingly, Romney did better with poor white Southerners.

These stats don't change who the GOP really represents, though.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

James said -
"If politicians were required to smoke pot on a daily basis this country would be the Garden of Eden"

Been watching the news lately? I think maybe they are doing something much harder than pot...

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over-state and ramble much? Did it ever cross your mind most folks become distinctively disinterested after the first paragraph and skip the rest? Jeez dude...

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part two...You must be kiddin.' Do you have a day job...or any job for that matter? Part two...reallllllly?

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Over-state and ramble much? Did it ever cross your mind most folks become distinctively disinterested after the first paragraph and skip the rest? Jeez dude..."

Whats the matter dude, forget to take your Ritalin today and can't concentrate more that a sentience or two?


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