Friday, July 28, 2017

The Fun in Dysfunction

Anyone who had bothered to pay attention during last year's campaign could easily have predicted that this was going to end badly. It was a foregone conclusion. On this site, on the morning after, it was clear to me the immensity of what America had done to itself:
For the last three-and-a-half decades, the United States of America has held the proverbial loaded pistol, pointed at its own collective, clueless head. Last night it pulled the trigger. According to the "experts" who are desperately attempting to put a smiley face on yesterday's electoral catastrophe, the American people were merely trying to send a message. Of course they were. And that message has been received loud and clear:

The curse had been irrevocably cast. We were all in for one hellacious four years. The ultimate irony is simply that most of us had not even come close to predicting the scope of the catastrophe that would be the administration of Donald J. Trump. My prediction was simply that it would be a lot worse than the reign of Bush 42. As things turned out, that turned out to be a gross understatement. In hindsight, Dubya is starting to look like Abraham Lincoln. We've got to face the unpleasant truth that the president of the United States of America - and most of the people that comprise his inner circle - are out of their minds. This is still an amusing, quite funny spectacle to behold, no doubt about it, but in the eight days since I last posted, the farce has gotten darker and darker.
"What I want to do is I want to fucking kill all the leakers and I want to get the president's agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people."
Anthony Scaramucci

Nicely put. Just when you think the black comedy had reached its peak, the Common Pervert-in Chief rolls out his new "Communications Director", Anthony Scaramucci; a billionaire so loaded down with conflicts of interest that he really is made-to-order for this bunch. In the week since he took the post, he has handled his new job so ineptly that it's a cinch that he'll be forced to head for the hills before the administration meets its one year anniversary. In recent interviews his comments regarding Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus have been laced with so much profanity that one wonders just what kind of message he's supposed to be "communicating". Of Bannon, Scaramucci said that "he can go fuck himself". Of Priebus he said, "Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac". Is it my imagination or is this stuff unprecedented?
Back at the Department of Justice, Jeff Sessions is becoming a hero, which is the last thing I ever dreamed would ever happen. He has become such a needling thorn in the Donald's side, first by recusing himself from the investigation into Russian collusion, and secondly, by refusing to resign his position as Attorney General. He is apparently blocking Trump's wish to install a useful idiot to put the old kibosh on the inquiry, and is refusing to fire Special Council Bob Mueller. Were Trump to fire Sessions, he is well aware that he would precipitate a constitutional crisis that would spell the beginning of the end of his administration. It can't be much fun to be Donald Trump these days - and it shows. The poor old bugger is unraveling before our very eyes.
Keep your eyes on the circus. By year's end this is going to be quite the show - if it lasts that long - which is highly doubtful.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Trump's ties to the Russian mafia are exposed.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Six Eternal Months

 "Heaven help us, look where we are. We have a president - commander-in-chief of the armed forces, ostensibly the leader of the free world - whose every word is suspect. President Trump is an inveterate liar. He dismisses provable facts as "fake news" and invents faux facts of his own that bear no relationship with the truth. He simply cannot be trusted."
Eugene Robinson
The Washington Post

Today is July 20, 2017, six months in to what is undoubtedly the most mind-bendingly corrupt, unhinged and disgusting administration in American history - with forty-two very long months left to pass before it's all over. This unprecedented political catastrophe cannot possibly continue for that length of time; in fact, I'm more convinced than ever that it will not last. Incredibly, thanks to the current extreme makeup on the House of Reprehensibles, we will be forced to endure - at the very least  -  another twenty full months of this nightmare. This is what happens when you send a psychologically deranged sociopath and  common pervert to the executive mansion. Are you the least bit surprised by what is happening to this once great country? You shouldn't be.

Idiot Nation.

a number of weeks ago, Senator Elizabeth Warren joked that the era of Donald Trump seemed be passing by "in dog years". That wasn't an exaggeration. Yesterday, an anonymous friend of Trump's oldest son reported that Donald Jr. "can't wait for these four years to be over". He's not alone. We'll just leave it at that.
Expect the rest of this fucking maniac's tenure to be a continuing constitutional crisis. Yesterday, in a garbled and raving interview with the New York Times, the Oaf of Office hinted that if Special Council Robert Mueller, the man currently charged with getting to the bottom of the Trump/Putin scandal, tries to look into the Trump family's financial ties with the Russian government and the rampant organized crime that has swallowed up Russia and the Russian people, he will be discharged from his duties. Oh yeah! If that happens, Weeda Peeple will shut this place down. Expect the next six months to be very interesting; Very interesting indeed. I once believed that nothing could ever possibly outdo the utter madness of the Bush era. Isn't that ironic?
As it is everyday, the insanity of this president was on display in jolly abundance when he attended the first working session of his new "election commission" whose purpose is to investigate how that EVIL Hillary Clinton was able to steal all of those popular votes from the Donald during last year's campaign. The collection of pathetic sycophants that make up this committee have been tasked with the chore of getting to the bottom of this phantom "controversy" and coming up with "solutions" to the "problem". Who wants to make a little wager that those solutions will involve passing laws that will make it even harder than it already is for the traditional progressive constituency to cast their precious ballots on Election Day 2018? Who wants to further bet that those solutions will be upheld when challenged at the Supreme Court level? Citizens United was nothing compares to what these treasonous assholes have planned for us. Have an umbrella at the ready. The shit storm is about to descend. These are interesting times.

We have stupidly saddled ourselves with a president who is not only an agent of a hostile foreign government, he has financial ties to the Russian mafia that go back at least two decades. Does that sound a tad extreme? It's already been revealed. The story is unfolding bit by bit, day by day. You've missed it? Turn off Fox Noise. It'll do you a world of good.

In exactly six days Donny Jr. and Paul Manafort (the former head of the Trump campaign with a warehouse full of Russian ties of his own to contend with) are scheduled to appear before the Senate committee looking into this mess. To make matters even more interesting, both of them will be testifying under oath. I'd hate like hell to be in the shoes of either one of these knuckleheads. I'm sure that Junior has already been promised a pardon by dear old dad; I don't expect too much substance to be learned from his testimony. But Manafort is an entirely different story. He has no reason to be loyal to - or to expect loyalty from - a man who a year ago threw him under the bus for nothing more than reasons of gross political expediency. Why the hell would he have to display any kind of loyalty to Mein Trumph when his very existence as a free man is on the line? Maybe he'll surprise us. Maybe he won't. This crowd is very predictable in their unpredictability.
What we are living through is unprecedented. As troubled as Dick Nixon was; as heart-breakingly dumb as was George W. Bush - neither man was certifiably insane. Donald Trump is something else indeed. As I noted on this site on the day after the election, this is going to end very badly. If you didn't see this coming, you weren't paying attention. I was paying attention.


Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


This Country Deserves Much Better than Trump
By Eugene Robinson

Here is a link to read the piece that is quoted at the top of this one. The Pulitzer Prize winning Robinson is the best of the best. He can also be seen as a frequent commentator on MSNBC - that den of commie liberals.

The man is on a roll!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Little Donald's Big Mess

"Over the past week, one senior White House official and former top Trump campaign aide both independently and bluntly described the president's son as an 'idiot' - one who played a role in the campaign and Trump's political rise simply because he 'shares' the same DNA."
From The Daily Beast
It's never easy to be the president's kid. James Roosevelt was compared unfavorably to his father Franklin until the day of his death in 1990. That's also true of his five siblings. Until the moment of his own untimely death eighteen years ago this week (Where does the time go?) John F. Kennedy Jr. was the subject of so much media scrutiny you might have thought that his long-dead dad was still occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! To his credit, young John was a little more adept at life than the Roosevelt boys, all of whom were basically parasites feeding off the legacies of Franklin and Eleanor.

Donald Trump, Jr. is something else indeed. Eric Trump has got to be feeling giddy this afternoon. Of the two brothers he's always been thought of as the dumb one. After the revelations this week of the meeting he had on June 9, 2016 at Trump Tower, that was attended by various people connected with the government of Vladimir Putin - and his subsequent release of the emails leading up to that meeting - Eric is starting to look like Albert Einstein. None of this is surprising to the people with whom Junior has regular contact with. Around the White House he is called "Fredo", a reference to the middle, not-too-bright Corleone brother in the film, The Godfather. Donnie won't be the reason his father's presidency will crash and burn, he is merely the final straw that broke the back of an administration that was doomed to self-destruct at noon on January 20, 2017.

Also attending the meeting were the Donald's then-campaign manager Paul Manafort (a man with so many Putin connections, he was forced to resign late in the summer when certain journalists began to smell something quite foul with regard to the relationship between Trump and Russia) and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has now been exposed as having yet another covert meeting with Russians that he neglected to mention when he was being vetted for reasons of security prior to the inauguration. This morning it was reported by NBC News that one of the Russians present on this day was a "former" counter-intelligence officer who had also served in the army of the former Soviet Union.

Although the then president elect was in the building at the time, Junior says he knew nothing about the meeting. I'm willing to bet the farm that the hideous old freak was indeed present.

Uday and Qusay
Initially the reason given for this meeting was the adoption of Russian orphans. This claim has been forever debunked by the release of the emails, which clearly indicate that the whole purpose was to obtain some dirt on Hillary Clinton.

We're less than six months into this completely unhinged administration. Bad as things look this early, by January 20, 2017, it's not too difficult to foresee  Idiot Nation being bogged down in the most devastating constitutional crisis in its 241 year history. Maybe we're already there. Whatever the case, this situation cannot possibly continue for another three-and-a-half years. We have a choice of Donald Trump's tenure ending very badly - or catastrophically.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Monday, July 10, 2017


Stephanie Ruhle
My newest journalistic crush is MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle. She's on at 9:00 every weekday morning and again at 11:00 on a program she co-hosts with Ali Velshi. Remember her name. This is a woman who is going to be around for a very long time. She calmly - and with as much good cheer as is humanly possible these days - reports what is now happening to this country in such a thoughtful and detailed way that even someone of below average intelligence is able to understand it with little or no effort. This morning on the later program, she explained, chapter and verse, the events of the Trump campaign's nefarious dealings with certain representatives of the Putin government - from the late summer of 2016 to just before the election. Here it is as she laid it out:  
June 7: Trump and Clinton become the presumptive nominees for president.
June 9: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner & campaign chair Paul Manafort meet with Russia lawyer.
June 9: Trump tweets about 33,000 missing emails.
July 18: Day one of GOP convention, Trump campaign changed the GOP platform to ensure that it didn't call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russia.
July. 21: GOP concludes with Trump giving his speech accepting the Republican nomination.
July 22: WikiLeaks releases stolen emails from Democratic National Committee.
July 25: Democratic convention begins.
July 27: Trump asks Russia: "If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."
August 4: CIA Director John Brennan confronts his Russian counterpart about Russia's interference.
October 4: WikiLeaks says they will publish [missing] campaign emails.
October 7: Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence say Russia is interfering in the 2016 election.
October 7: WikiLeaks begins releasing Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta's emails.
October 31: Trump says "This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove."
November 4: Trump says "Boy, I love those WikiLeaks!"
I'm sure this is all a coincidence.

A couple of days ago, the "failing" New York Times revealed yet another previously undisclosed meeting between Jared Kushner and representatives of Vladimir Putin. Donald Trump Jr. was present for the shenanigans this time around. He is trying to explain it all away by saying that the meeting involved his family's concern for the orphans of Russia.  Sure. We are all by now familiar with that family’s reputation as great and selfless humanitarians. I was born very early in the morning - but it wasn’t this morning. For every hour that passes by, this thing keeps getting deeper and deeper. The funny thing is the very sight of the president; it’s very similar to Dick Nixon’s last, completely unhinged year as president. The Trickster knew he was screwed, and he completely fell apart as a result. The only difference between now and then (and it’s a huge difference) is that Nixon, for all his flaws, was not certifiably insane. Those of us who lived through those interesting times were relatively certain that he was not going to launch World War Three in an effort to divert our attention. Not so with the Donald. The man is every bit as unhinged as his chubby little North Korean counterpart. Ain't that a scream?

As anyone who has bothered to pay attention for the past eight months could have easily predicted: This is going to end catastrophically. We are no longer the leader of the free world. We are no longer the hope of humankind; We are no longer the country of progress and innovation; We are no longer the envy of those who yearn to be free....We're simply Idiot Nation.

Be sure to pick up some souvenirs while you're here!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Stephanie Ruhle Program

If you have the time to catch her, she's on every weekday morning, 9 Eastern, on MSNBC. We're talking essential viewing.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Right Winging It


Walter M. Shaub, Jr, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, has resigned. He felt that his job was pointless in the age of Donald Trump. As Mr. Shaub explained to the world in a written statement (that we might logically assume was pieced together by cutting out letters from various magazines and newspaper advertisements):
"There isn't much more I could accomplish at the Office of Government Ethics, given the current situation."

Gee, ya think? Last night I heard someone remark that the guy deserved combat pay having gone as long as he did. Hats off to you, Walter!
Is anyone aware of a betting pool that is taking wagers on when The Donald is going to pack up voluntarily or be impeached? I'd sure like to get in on that one. My best guess is that the demented little thug will be forced to resign in disgrace before the new year arrives. If not, it will take a year-and-a-half until the Democrats regain control of both houses of congress and they have enough votes to impeach him. If that is indeed the case, the next eighteen-plus months is going to seem to all of us like eighteen-plus years. I am convinced that - whatever the case - Trump is not going to serve four years. Then again, that could be wishful thinking on my part. In fact, conceivably he could be reelected and serve a complete, eight year stretch. We do live in Idiot Nation after all.

The Kiddies
Whichever scenario plays out, the fact that something as ludicrous as a Trump administration was allowed to occur at all spells out the knife in the heart of the American Dream. It might take us a generation or more to recover from the damage that conservatives have done (and are doing - and will continue to do) to a country that used to be a jolly nice place to live in. Every day the unprecedented political scandals seem to compound themselves. The corruption and conflicts of interest are numerous and impossible to dismiss outright. Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace one week before I turned sixteen. I sometimes get the feeling that I am witnessing Watergate trough the eyes of a grown up - only what is happening in the executive mansion at this moment in history is far worse than the misdeeds of Nixon's Gang. I almost wish that the slimy old bastard could have lived to see this. I know it would have given him a feeling of peace to know that, when the final pages of American history are written on some not-too-far-off day, his crimes against the people will seem almost quaint by comparison.

Oh yeah, this is bad, baby - and I'm loving every minute of it.

And why shouldn't people like me get some serious schadenfreude out of this perfectly beautiful political catastrophe. We were laughed at and mocked, publicly and privately, in the months leading up to Election Day 2016 when we vainly tried to warn our more conservative contemporaries the utter disaster that would befall this doomed nation if the people were naïve enough to elevate Putin's stooge to the presidency. An acquaintance of mine, in making an excuse for his support of Trump a year ago, recently said to me: "No one could have foreseen this". My response: "You obviously weren't reading my blog." I'm not going to lie to you; that sure felt good. I had no idea gloating could feel so good. It's oodles of fun being me these days. It really is.

Alcoholics Anonymous never worked for me. The spiritual core of AA is something called The Serenity Prayer. It instructs me to serenely "accept the things I cannot change". That is why I am still a drunk, I suppose. I will never accept the fact that this unhinged sociopath and common pervert has been elevated to the office of the presidency of the United States.


Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


When I was a boy, every classroom I attended had this poster on the wall - or a facsimile of it. Back then the list only went as far as the thirty-seventh president, Dick Nixon. It's bad enough that his face will adorn those posters from here to eternity, how the heck are we going to explain to the children of tomorrow the presence of a corrupt and unhinged maniac like Mein Trumpf? We've had a lot of bad presidents in our history, but none of whom were outright traitors. My suggestion is that when those posters are made for the classrooms of these yet-to-be born kids, Trump's face should be silhouetted.

Then again, the truth will probably set the little darlings free.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Donald's Mika Problem

"Then how come low I.Q. crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-A-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Years Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face lift. I said no!"
President Donald J. Trump
Somebody hand me my chisel.

I became a fan of the Morning Joe program ten years ago in spite of myself. It was my belief that MSNBC had made a huge mistake by cancelling the Imus in the Morning show. Crude humor aside, the I-Man gave a pretty good interview, and his guests were as diverse and interesting as they were entertaining. I even entered a protest on this site regarding his sacking in April of 2007. After five months of experimentation with possible replacements (including Stephanie Miller, whom I loved) the network settled on something in September called "Morning Joe".
This depressed me at first. Joe Scarborough was the former Republican congressman from the Florida panhandle who had previously hosted a nighttime talk show on that same network called "Scarborough Country". I thought him to be a pompous, bloviating gasbag of little compassion. What was wrong with the suits at MSNBC to think they could make this work, I wondered? What kept me watching was the more moderate (slightly-left-of-center) Mika Brzezinski. The only thing I knew about her was that her father, the recently deceased Zbigniew Brzezinski, had been Jimmy Carter's national security advisor. As it turned out, the two would prove to be a fairly decent combo. By the end of 2007, I had almost forgotten about Don Imus. Truth be told, over the course of a decade old Joe has kinda grown on me. He's still a bloviating bag of gas (Stop interrupting Mika, Joe!) but he has an interesting point-of-view and he's undeniably witty. He's also evolved into more of a moderate over the years. That's Mika's influence, I'm sure. She has a way about her.

I was thinking about all of this at 8:50 Thursday morning when our unhinged president exploded with yet another in a long stream of infamous Twitter tirades regarding "Crazy Mika" and "Psycho Joe". They should release a book of his nutty tweets. Christmas is less than six months away. It sure would make a dandy stocking-stuffer, don'cha think?.

You've got to wonder about the stability of a man with as much responsibility as the president of the United States who seems to have enough time on his hands to spew such hateful venom on a couple of morning talk show hosts. And consider that the man is not intelligent enough to foresee the firestorm of outrage that would surely result from such recklessness. That is weird enough, but this kind of brash impulsiveness is bound to explode on the international stage, where subtle diplomacy and nuance are so essential. I was pondering the catastrophic possibilities if some kind of time warp had resulted in this fool and his minions being in charge of things during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October of 1962. It makes the imagination tremble. Then again, knowing what we do about his involvement with Vladimir Putin, its easy to speculate that Donald Trump would have been in bed with Nikita Khrushchev.

"We're alright. The country isn't"
Joe Scarborough
In seventy-two years we've gone from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Donald Trump. Darwin was wrong. And for the record, it is the height of folly for Donald Trump, the most physically repulsive chief executive since Andrew Johnson, to make crude remarks about the appearance of  anyone. Mika Brzezinski (who I think is beautiful, by the way) showed perfect grace and poise when she stated on the air yesterday that, with the recent passing of her father and the death of her daughter's best friend, she has more important things to worry about than the chaotic ramblings of an obviously disturbed despot. She was a bit more dignified in her wording than I am here, but you get the idea, I'm sure.

As I do for a few minutes every day, I tuned into the useful idiots over at Fox and Friends to see what their take on this latest scandal would be. Not to my surprise, they were defending him for his stand against that evil liberal media. Everyone - even most Republicans - are appalled by what the president tweeted. Not Fox Noise! We live in such interesting times. We really do!

And now we are finding out courtesy of the Wall Street Journal and Scarborough himself, that Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner,  has been blackmailing Joe and Mika to publicly apologize to Trump and to revert to more positive coverage of this disgusting administration. If they complied, he promised them that Trump would kill a National Enquirer story that was about to expose their then-secret affair. To their eternal credit, they refused to be intimidated by these treacherous bastards. The two of them have since gone public and are now engaged. Congrats kids!


Blackmail is illegal. This is going to make one hell of a movie someday!

We are now only half way through a year that seems to be taking many years to pass. What is disturbingly obvious is that this cannot be allowed to continue for another three-and-a-half years. As the old Frank Sinatra song said, "Something's gotta give". The stress of the Trump White House on the body politic will likely result in a mass nervous breakdown sooner or later. With the State Department all-but-gutted and the daily unraveling of a man sitting in the most powerful office on the planet, predicting that this is going to end very badly is a no-brainer.

Remember, you read it here.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Incredibly, The Donald is at it again. From this morning's Tweeting tirade:

"Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!



The Trials of Lenny Bruce