Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: The Worst of The Rant

Me and cousin Madeline
This is it, yet again: another year-end round up of the worst that this doomed nation has to offer. I wish I could tell you all that this is a joke - or a bad dream - but this is the reality of our lives. This is where we have come.
Idiot Nation.
January 4:

This was my theory a year before the catastrophic election of 2016 -  and you did indeed read it here first, folks! Trump never had any intention of becoming president of the United States. He was merely intending to "up his brand", so to speak. As we all know by now, his scheme backfired in ways that the hideous old bastard never dreamed possible. He should have heeded the advice of that great muckraker from a bygone era, H.L. Mencken. Donald Trump's lethal error was overestimating the intelligence of the American people. This is black comedy at its finest; and the funniest thing of all is the fact that it's all too deliciously true!

January 7:

Let's take a good look at what is now happening: the president of the United States is determined to send a former political opponent to prison. Now ask yourselves the following question: When was the last time something like that happened in this country? The simple answer is that it has never happened. In nearly two-and-a-third-centuries of presidential politics in the dark and strange history of Idiot Nation, not once has the victor in a national election ever sought to bring trumped-up charges (pun intended) against the person who ran against him. The campaign of 1800 between incumbent-President John Adams and Thomas Jefferson was the dirtiest, most bitter political battle in American history. Although the two men wouldn't correspond for many years after, I'm sure it never occurred to Jefferson to send his former friend and ally to the slammer. Old Tom had a helluva lot more class than that.

January 14:

With the passing of each interminable hour it seems, the sick joke that is the disgusting administration of Donald Trump just keeps getting sicker and sicker - a feat in itself when you think about it.  Are you looking for a convincing argument for obliterating the electoral college? Look no further. As long as that institution exists in what is supposed to be a democracy, imbeciles like Trump and George W. Bush are inevitable.

January 22:

I just had the most deliciously ironic thought: Germany is now the leader of the free world. The country that eighty years ago gave rise to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis - the nation that the United States saved the world from - is today our moral superior. Who would have thought? Our day on the mountaintop is over. The world will never trust us again. Can't say that I blame them much. Can you?

February 4:

Somewhere, I am almost certain, Oliver Hardy is laughing. Donald J. Trump has gotten himself in to another fine mess. There are too many Republicans in both the house and the senate who know that their chances of being re-elected in November are a fraction less than zero. As a result a whole helluva lot of them are retiring - "to spend more time with their families". Of course they are. And now that tooting the idiotic party line is no longer beneficial to their reputations, they're speaking their minds - to the utter detriment of Trump. One of these soon-to-be retirees is Trey Gowdy, an excitable right wing congressman from South Carolina. He will be bolting the congress next January after serving eight years. He said in no uncertain terms yesterday that that release of Devin Nunes' pathetic little memo should have no bearing on the Mueller investigation, and that the Feds were correct in their decision to peruse the Steele dossier. He's not the only one speaking his mind. Trump's political fortunes are devaluating by the day. Isn't this oodles of fun to watch?

February 16:

Here's a tasty little morsel of fact to munch on with your morning coffee: Since the massacre of twenty little girls and boys - and the six women whose job it was to educate and protect them - inside the Sandy Hook Elementary school on December 14, 2012, there have been over sixteen hundred mass shootings in the United States of America. Since that time over three-hundred shootings took place on the campuses of public schools. Ain't that a riot? On the day that the mutilated bodies of twenty little children - all barely out of infancy - became acceptable "collateral damage" to the House of Reprehensibles, the Senate and the National Rifle Association, this doomed country hurled itself - head first and smiling - straight into the pit of hell.

February 21:

Fifty years ago it was the college students of America that shook this country up and turned it around. This new revolution will be waged by mere teenagers in high school. They're standing up and are refusing to be sacrificed on the altars of political expediency, corporate greed and human stupidity. After sixteen students and one faculty member in their Parkland, Florida school were slaughtered last week by some homicidal psychotic who was able to obtain a rapid-fire weapon that, in a civilized country, he never would have had access to, the survivors of the massacre are determined that they are not going to live in a country where that sort of tragedy has become the new norm. They have decided that the politicians in Washington who are there merely to serve as handmaidens to the National Rifle Association are going to finally do the right thing by the children of this country or they're going to disappear forever.
These kids are pissed, Buster. You'd better believe it.

February 25:

Let's just get it out in the open: while requiring the teachers of our children to carry a weapon may be a hysterically funny thing to even visualize (no argument there) it is also an appallingly bad idea. If you had told me on the day I started this site that in less than twelve years I would be writing about such things, I probably would have felt your forehead. Show me a president that is taking seriously the idea of turning our nation's schools into armed camps and I'll show you a president who has lost his fucking mind. Of course I have known this unsettling fact about Donald Trump for over three decades. Many of you had to find out the hard way. Life can be funny that way, you know?


The implosion is occurring before our eyes. Scores of administration officials have been fleeing like rats from this sinking ship. Vladimir Putin may be many things, but he's not an idiot. His goal was to weaken America by placing in the White House  a genuine idiot - and quite possibly a paid agent in the service of his government. If I'm correct in my suspicions (and I believe that I am) this is the worst possible nightmare we could ever have dreamed of  encountering. I'm not an advocate of the death penalty - and nothing is ever going to change that - but I think it is worth taking note of the fact that, sixty-five years ago in June, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were strapped into the electric chair and executed for far less than (what it is becoming more-and-more apparent with each passing day) the president of the United States of America is culpable of. No misdemeanors here, kiddies. These are the highest of crimes.

March 15:

It was a thrilling time to be alive. Being born in 1958, I could see the change. The clouds were ascending. I really believed that things would eventually turn for the better. I was barely old enough to remember the America of segregation and Jim Crow. In spite of the elevation of a failed, feeble-minded "B" movie actor, I never - for a moment - doubted that America would move forward. Even the arrival on the scene of George W. Bush was not enough to dim my essential optimism for the future of this country. By contrast with what we have now, Bush is starting to look presidential. And Reagan? He's starting to look like George Freakin' Washington! That was then. This is now. As far as my worthless generation is concerned, the party's over. It's time to call it a day. Our generation was handed a nation, that while not perfect, was functional. And what have we handed over to our descendants? A shithole. What a legacy!

March 25:

This week I am more optimistic for the future of this country than I've been since I can remember - perhaps more than I've ever been. Think about it: In November, kids who were born in the year 2000 will be voting for the first time. They are determined to be part of the process and they're pissed - you'd better believe it, Buster. Theirs is the generation that is going to save this nation, and they began to make their presence known during the March For Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, 2018 - a day that will be remembered in history. They will continue to be heard on Election Day in November. Theirs is the generation that is going to tear this country down and turn it around. 

March 29:

Ask yourselves the following question: If Donald Trump is as innocent as he claims to be, why has he been wasting so much of his precious POTUS time attempting to throw one wrench after another into the Mueller investigation's finely-oiled machine? As a fellow Republican remarked recently, if the president is innocent, he should act like he's innocent. In spite of all this, a report yesterday tells us that the man's polling numbers are up this week - by seven points - thirty-five to forty-two percent! When I first read these numbers my only thought was, what in the hell is the matter with these nutty Americans? Is it something in the Kool-Aid? Are the tin-foil hats wrapped around their little minds a tad too tight? Why are so many of us so easily deceived? To paraphrase Lyndon Johnson, I may not be a gourmet, but I can tell the difference between chicken salad and chicken shit. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

April 22:

There was no doubt about it: the office of the speaker of the House was not a bit happy back in November when the Chaplain of that body offered a gentle prayer that the tax law which was being debated at that very moment be fair to everyone. Not an hour had gone by when one of Ryan's toadies made his way into the good father's office and let him know that he should focus his prayers on something a little less specific. Adhering to the philosophy of Jesus Christ was something that good Christians just don't do - not as far as the modern-day Republican party is concerned. All pretense of theirs being "the party of Christian values" should have gone out of the window and into the trash bin decades ago. This isn't a political party, it's a cult.

May 10:

A day no longer needs to pass. With the passing of each hour the scope and depth of the current administration's complete corruption astounds. Had you bothered to pay attention during the sense-crippling campaign of 2016, one knew in one's heart, with the announcement of Donald Trump’s victory in November, that this was going to end badly. The question is: who could possibly have anticipated that the catastrophe would be this pronounced? Who would have dreamed, sixteen months into this disgusting president’s reign of error and stupidity, that some of us would be nostalgic for George W. Bush? The most gratifying thing of all is the fact that even the stooges at Fox Noise (some of them anyway) are beginning to figure this out. These are incredible things to be able to bear witness to.

May 24:

Today just might turn out to be the day that the constitutional shit hits the old fan. In an unprecedented move that has legal scholars baffled (if not horrified) the Department of Justice caved in this week to the demands of the Republicans - with backing from the White House, of course - to allow Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy, two unabashed supporters of the common pervert currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, access to the evidence that the Mueller team has, thus far, been able to accumulate on Trump and his cohorts. Naturally and not unreasonably, the Democrats have called "FOUL!". Although it is unheard of that a prosecutor would allow a prospective defendant's team to investigate evidence before an indictment is even issued, the Dems' argument is that it should be the bi-partisan "Gang of Eight" that should be the ones to review what Mueller has. White House spokes-stooge, Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters yesterday (with what I must assume was a straight face) that the reason the loyal opposition  won't be allowed into the process is because they haven't requested to be there.

June 16:
Why is this man smiling?

The heat just got turned up ten notches for Donald Trump. It's a fairly safe bet that, at this hour, the poor old geezer is in double freak out mode - screaming obscenities at the television in the middle of the night; gorging himself on cheeseburgers and ice cream; standing half naked in the dark on the Truman Balcony, cursing at fate, how it could have allowed him to be caught in the middle of the atrocious mess he now finds himself in. He's now at the point where he could easily be envious of Dick Nixon during the worst days of Watergate. That affair was nothing - a mere blip on the proverbial scandal screen. Treason is serious stuff. Has anyone reminded him that Tuesday will mark the sixty-fifth anniversary of the day that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in the electric chair for that very crime? Has it dawned on him the irony that it was his mentor, Roy Cohen, who prosecuted the two of him and sent them to their deaths? It must not be much fun being Donald Trump these days. Call it an educated guess.

June 18:

Donald Trump is what we have become, folks. He is everything, wrapped up into one repulsive human being that the rest of this tired planet has come to view in the American character with a sense of revulsion and alarm. We should have seen this self-inflicted catastrophe coming from ten-thousand miles down the road. We didn't. Idiot Nation.
Around five years ago I wrote on this site that in a generation or so, we who call ourselves "white" would no longer be in the majority, and that the big story of the first half of the twenty-first century would be how we reacted to this new reality. This week we were all given a nasty preview of how ugly this new change is going to be.

June 26:

Remember the good old days when Donald Trump was merely a goldmine-source of unintentional comedy? That's not to say that the guy is no longer ripe for satire and dark humor; he is. The problem is that what has happened to America is no longer particularly funny. I've been saying for nearly eighteen months, "This is going to end badly". The word "bad" can be read in many different ways. I fell down a flight of stairs in my house a couple of months back, and while this not a good thing it certainly wasn't "tragic". The administration of Donald J. Trump is going to end tragically - and not just for him, his associates and his family. This administration is going to end tragically for all of us. The writing is on the wall, folks - minus the errors of grammar, spelling and punctuation.

July 18:

Imagine....just imagine....if Barack Obama, standing next to the president of the former Soviet Union, had sold out his country as blatantly and as shamelessly as Donald Trump did two days ago at the Helsinki "summit" between himself and Vladimir Putin. Can you even imagine the howl of unanimous, righteous indignation that would have exploded from the conservatives within congress and without? Fox Noise and the right wing SCREAM MACHINE would have blown their collective gaskets; The House Judiciary Committee would not have bothered  waiting for the niceties of the impeachment process. They would have lynched him on the spot. There are a different set of rules in our society for men with dark skin. Don't you forget it, Bubba.

July 28:

I'm not implying that der Donald would shoot his former "fixer" out in the middle of New York City for all the world to behold, but Cohen must sleep a little uneasy these days knowing about the character of the man he worked for at one time. Given the fact that Vladimir Putin has made quite an investment in the very existence of a Trump administration, and taking into consideration that THE VLAD is not unknown for sending hired assassins out on little "errands" - in other countries even - poor old Michael must be just a bit nervous these mornings when he puts the keys in his ignition.

August 7:

What the hell is going on here? Why on earth would the Donald stupidly go on Twitter and admit that, yes, his "wonderful son" Donald Jr. did, in fact, meet with operatives of the Putin government inside of Trump Tower in June of 2016 in order to obtain intelligence ("dirt") on Hillary Clinton, but that it was merely politics as usual and that everybody does it. Nothing to see here, folks! Break it up, the show's over! Everybody just move along!

August 21:

With the conviction of Paul Manafort a lot of things can happen now. Is he counting on a pardon from the Donald? Is a pardon forthcoming? Has some kind of shady deal been made? I kind of doubt that Paulie is going to fall on his sword like a good soldier and go gently into the night. If he really has something completely damaging on the president I imagine he's stalling for time waiting for his sentencing. His problem (and it's a big one) is that the second trial involves the state of New York, where a presidential pardon is not applicable. When that trial is over my theory is that Trump will issue a pardon.

August 28:
When McCain first sought the presidency in 2000, he beat George W. Bush early on in the New Hampshire primaries. Next on the trail was South Carolina. The Bush Mob went into that state with a nicely revamped version of the so-called "Southern Strategy" used so effectively by Dick Nixon during the campaign of 1968. In a series of "robo-calls" that bombarded that state, a recorded voice asked potential voters a series of questions. One of those questions was "How would you react if you were to learn that Senator John McCain had fathered a child with a black prostitute?" A few years earlier, John and his wife, Cindy, had adopted a dark-skinned baby, orphaned in South Asia. Bush and his henchmen knew damned well that South Carolinians would see campaign photographs of the McCain family and put two-and-two together. It was the most despicable political dirty trick in modern times: exploiting the love that this couple offered a homeless little girl in order to bring into existence the most corrupt administration in the history of this republic - up to that time.

September 3:

One has to seriously wonder what the people in his inner circle are thinking these days. Are they walking on cracked egg shells? My suspicion is that they're telling this president everything he wants to hear. Those are the types of people Donald Trump has always surrounded himself with. That's why this disgusting administration was doomed for failure. Jack Kennedy, Barack Obama and Dwight Eisenhower always had advisors on hand who would let them know when they were blowing it. Not Trump. All he's ever known in his career are blubbering sycophants, yessing him to his heart's content. Now the silly dingbat is cornered with nowhere to flee to. Bobby Mueller and company are zeroing in and the Donald is desperate. This is ending very badly.

September 12:
There will be no Donald J. Trump Schools - public or private. There will be no Donald J. Trump Memorial Highways. There will be no Donald J. Trump National Parks. There will be no Donald J. Trump Airports. There will be no Donald J. Trump Hospitals. There will be no Donald J. Trump Centers for the Arts. There will be no statues erected to the memory of Donald J. Trump. There will be no Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Museum.
There's never going to be a Donald J. Trump Memorial Anything. Okay, I'll compromise: perhaps they might one day dedicate a Donald J. Trump Memorial Rest Area in the center of the Long Island Expressway; a place where weary motorists might stop to relieve themselves. Yeah, that would possibly work; but other than that....

September 19:

It all comes down to this: the president of the United States is seriously - dangerously - disturbed. This situation (amusing as it is) cannot continue. It is obvious that Donald J. Trump is a paid agent on a hostile foreign government. Vladimir Putin put the bastard in office for the sole purpose of doing as much damage to America's political infrastructure as is possible to do - and Trump is cheerfully complying. As things stand now, that damage will take a generation or more to be undone. If he is allowed to complete this first term, or, Heaven forbid, be elected to a second, we will be long past the point of no return. This is an emergency. Calling all cars.

October 5:

This cannot be emphasized enough: A president who is now under criminal investigation for possible treason should not be nominating anyone to the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh is on record for having stated that a president has the constitutional right to pardon himself for any high crimes and misdemeanors committed while in office. When asked if he still believed this nonsense last week during his confirmation hearings (which seems like a hundred years ago) the judge refused to answer the question. It is for this reason alone, I believe, that he was Donald Trump's choice. When he was filtered by the Trump Mob for the nomination, was he asked if he still believed that a president had a license to break the law? My bet is that he was - and that his answer was a resounding "YES". If it is proved that the president of the United States conspired with a hostile foreign power to subvert the results of a national election, then all of his judicial appointments should be impeached.


Something occurred this week that hasn't happened in over a century and a half - Friday April 14, 1865 to be precise: a mass assassination attempt. That was the night when Johnny Booth and his band of misfit conspirators attempted to murder President Abraham Lincoln, Vice-President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Henry Seward. Lincoln, as we all know, didn't survive the night. Seward was seriously wounded while Johnson's assailant got cold feet at the last moment. When America woke up to the news of the attacks on the following morning, Saturday April 15, it began one of the darkest periods of morning in the history of the United States up to that point. Those were some pretty strange days in America. These are some pretty strange days in America, too. Strange days indeed.

November 15:

It didn't take der Donald very long to fire Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Anyone paying even moderate attention knew that the dirty old psychopath would do the deed after the midterms were over; but even as blatant a cynic as I was surprised at the speed with which it was carried out. Scarcely a day after the polls closed across Idiot Nation, poor old Jefferson Beauregard was sent a'packin. Trump never attempted to conceal his reasoning: Sessions had recused himself from oversight of Robert Mueller's investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign's possible conspiracy with a hostile foreign government to subvert the election process. Trump saw this as an act of disloyalty. Had he been smart (which, of course, he isn't) he could have saved himself a wee bit of face by saying that he gave Sessions the old heave ho because he is, in non-debatable fact, the most incompetent, racist attorney general in a century or more. He didn't. I guess he couldn't bring himself to even feign compassion for any minority.

November 24:

These days I am at the point where I don't even like leaving my house. There's too much transpiring on an hourly basis to distract one's attention from the computer screen - and I've misplaced the damned cellphone! This black comedy has taken on a new meaning with an ominous plot-shift. The time it took for this country to get to this point was at such a glacial-nails-pace that, if you weren't paying attention between 1981 and now, you didn't notice the change. That's one of my most debilitating curses: I make it a point to pay attention to these kinds of things. I'm nostalgic for Ronald Reagan. George W. Bush is starting to look like Theodore Roosevelt. I can scarcely believe that I wrote those last two sentences. The damage that American politicians have done to this doomed nation is going to take generations to undo - if it is ever undone at all.  The United States of America has become too unhinged to be taken seriously any longer. All bets are off. This is the way it's going to be from now on.

It's become a freaking mantra for me: Get used to living in a nation in ruins.

November 27:

A state run propaganda television network run by Donald Trump? Call it a silly hunch on my part but I don't think that this is a particularly good idea. State TV is something usually associated with Russia or China - not the United States of America. Having said that, I do hope that it does indeed comes to fruition. Let's face it, folks, something like that would be an absolute howl, and would only offer volumes of material for people like me. Can you imagine? Watching grownups trying to put a smiley face on the carcass of a decomposing pig is always oodles of fun. That's what makes Fox Noise (Sean Hannity and Fox and Friends in particular) such a scream to watch.

November 29:

The comparisons are irresistible: on the one hand we have Team Mueller - noses to the grindstone, determined and dedicated, steely-eyed and serious professionals. On the other hand there are Donald Trump and Paul Manafort - stumbling about with one foot in the grave and the other foot on a banana peel. For every clever legal "maneuver" they seem to be digging themselves deeper. It goes without saying that the two of these clowns have met their match in Bob Mueller, and it sure is an amusing to behold. With the passing of each day - of each hour - this scandal gets more and more intriguing.  

December 14:

Our esteemed president didn't do himself any favors the other day when he sat down for a photo-op with his political opposition in the Oval Office. It was quite a scene to be sure. Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were quite animated throughout the event. Mike Pence, on the other hand, looked for all the world as if he was auditioning for the lead role in the sequel of Weekend At Bernie's

December 18:

If this president was not so blatantly transparent it would be a lot easier to take him seriously. We're now threatened with a government shutdown on Friday if Trump doesn't get his five billion for the wall on the border of Mexico. That money will not be forthcoming and it's a cinch to predict that the Christmas Shutdown of 2018 is going to happen. Why would the Donald do something so stupid and reckless? I'm sure I'm not the only person to have figured this out, but by shutting down the government Trump believes he will be able to shut down the investigation that is currently being done on the conspiracy to corrupt the election of 2016. This is what the despicable little thug is up to - count on it. It was something to behold.
December 29:

Donald Trump's shutdown last week of the government he's charged with overseeing was the icing on an extremely nasty tasting cake. The damage that this obviously demented old freak is doing to the nation that he doesn't even pretend to love will be lasting and (I'm starting to fear) irreparable. The experts tell us that it is unfair and wrong to diagnose mental illness in someone without a thorough examination of that person's psychological makeup. I disagree entirely. You don't need a doctorate in order to understand that the ragged man standing on the corner of West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue screaming obscenities at pigeons has got some serious issues. Such is the case with the president of the United States. It was obvious three-and-a-half years ago when he announced his candidacy. It was obvious for thirty years to anyone of us who bothered to pay even scant attention to this guy. Not enough people were paying attention during the campaign of 2016. They're starting to pay attention in the final days of 2018. Have you noticed that?


Wasn't that a time? 2018 is over. Good riddance.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Hopeless End to a Hopeless Year


What we have here is your classic good news/bad news scenario.

The good news: 2018 is almost over.
The bad news: It's not over yet.
Paging Dr. Freud
Donald Trump's shutdown last week of the government he's charged with overseeing was the icing on an extremely nasty tasting cake. The damage that this obviously demented old freak is doing to the nation that he doesn't even pretend to love will be lasting and (I'm starting to fear) irreparable. The experts tell us that it is unfair and wrong to diagnose mental illness in someone without a thorough examination of that person's psychological makeup. I disagree entirely. You don't need a doctorate in order to understand that the ragged man standing on the corner of West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue screaming obscenities at pigeons has got some serious issues. Such is the case with the president of the United States. It was obvious three-and-a-half years ago when he announced his candidacy. It was obvious for thirty years to anyone of us who bothered to pay even scant attention to this guy. Not enough people were paying attention during the campaign of 2016. They're starting to pay attention in the final days of 2018. Have you noticed that?
The predictions of everyone who warned us two years ago what a complete catastrophe the Trump administration was going to be have now borne rancid fruit. The wheels have come off the clown car. The pigeons of 8th Avenue have come to roost. And while the impeachment of this vile and disgusting president in the last two weeks has become an inevitability, that knowledge is tempered by the depressing fact that he will be replaced by an extremist imbecile named Mike Pence. We will still be forced to deal with complete incompetence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for another two years, three weeks and one day. Anyway you slice it or dice it, America is in the midst of a clusterfuck so immense we won't recognize ourselves on Inauguration Day 2021. One of many of my fears is that Trump will die in office. The last thing this diseased nation needs is to be force-fed images of the old bugger being given the sort of majestic military funeral we gave to Jack Kennedy fifty-five years ago last month. That is a scenario I don't even want to contemplate. Can you imagine? I can't. So help me Mitch Miller I just can't.

As a result of the government shutdown, around three-quarters-of-a-million American citizens are on furlough or are working without salary - all because Trump demands that congress provide the funds for an impractical wall on the Mexican border. And the only reason der Donald wanted that wall to begin with was to appease the halfwits and crybabies that comprise "the base" - which is roughly one/third of the population. I heard one talking-head on television the other night note that the most perplexing thing about Trump is that, once he was firmly bunkered down inside the Executive Mansion, he made no attempt whatsoever to reach out to the other sixty-six percent of the population. It's almost as if the rest of us don't exist. What he is attempting here is a cheap pandering to the racist core of too many Americans. That is the root of what is left of his support. Don't expect his poll numbers to drop too much further during what is left of his term. These people are hard core to a degree not seen in this country since the Civil War.

Another fear I have is that the Trump Mob is going to organize their own version of the Reichstag Fire that allowed Hitler to clamp down on all of the civil liberties of the German people in the early months of 1933. Given the extremism of these people it's not too far fetched a possibility. I've never held to the completely nutty idea that 9/11 was, somehow, an inside job. As thoroughly reprehensible as George W. Bush was (and probably still is) I don't believe that he was capable of something like that. Also, Bush was not bat-shit-crazy. Trump is another story. Call me a paranoid fool if you must, but I am of the opinion that this sociopathic knucklehead is capable of just about anything.

I never thought  would live to see the day when I would compare Dubya favorably to any other human being. A pig just flew by my window. Strange days indeed.

Cheers, Comrade Trump! 
So, deal with Donald we must. Deal with the Donald we will. As stated earlier, the damage is immense and probably irreparable - or at least for generations to come. There is a damned good reason why Vladimir Putin was so eager to install this treasonous dingbat in the White House. One wonders how many vital state secrets he has revealed to the Menace of Moscow. I don't doubt for a minute that, on the night Trump was elected, Putin scored the biggest intelligence coup in the history of Russia. I used to say regarding this administration that it was going to end badly. That was an unconscious understatement on my part that needs to be corrected immediately. This is going to end catastrophically.  

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

A Critical Look at Life in the Screen Age
 by T.J. Prosit

This is the most thought provoking book I’ve read in a very long time. Filled with wisdom, insight and plain old common sense, it is one man's examination of the fact that so many of our lives are only partially lived because of those bright, shiny objects, so prevalent in modern living, that keep our focus averted from the wondrous things that are within our reach; those miracles, big and small, that that have the potential of bringing real meaning to our lives. With a keen eye and gentle humor, he has tapped a little signpost into the ground that would help us all to take note of. I cannot recommend it enough. Here's a link to order it off of

A great read!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Time 2018

I'll be mercifully brief.
I've never been a huge fan of the salutation, "Merry Christmas". The English have a better way of doing it: They greet each other by saying "Happy Christmas". That works for me quite nicely. Drunks, junkies and the mentally ill are often quite "merry". They are seldom, if ever, "happy".
Happy Christmas everybody!
The fact is that, since I started this site twelve and-a-half years ago, I've never failed to post a message on Christmas Day or Eve. Last year I was in such a bitter funk, I just put together a compilation of all the previous messages. I wasn't in the "Christmas spirit" last year. I'm not in the "Christmas spirit" this year. The reason for my depression is not simply the mess that America finds itself in; much of it has also to do with the fact that I drink more than any human being with a  functioning pulse has any right to do. 

Instead of cursing the darkness, let's all light a candle tonight. Instead of praying for the president's failure, let's pray for his enlightenment.

Wishful thinking, I know, but at least we can give it the old college try, ay?

Sleep well, sweet dreams. I'm about to take a slug of my very last drink (I hope). Here goes....



Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Sunday, December 23, 2018

It's Ending

Fredo and Fredo
It would be easy to tell you that the bells of doom are tolling for the once-confident administration of Donald J. Trump - but that wouldn't be quite accurate. That description could also possibly be likened to the sweet tinkling of the bells of a little temple on the edge of the woods somewhere. Instead, think of the ominous tolling at the beginning of John Lennon's 1970 recording of Mother. That's more like it. Or possibly a shit-hammer on steroids crashing down on what is, beyond any historical doubt, the most corrupt and unhinged administration in the history of human mediocrity. In the days following that most embarrassing of elections two years ago, I predicted on this site that the Trump era would be a terrible thing for the United States to have to endure - a lot of people predicted as much. But I had no idea that things would get quite this weird. This is an amazing time to witness.

It's a fair bet that "The President" (it's taken me nearly two years to be able to refer to him by that title with a straight face - I'm jaded) is having the worst holiday season of his entire seventy-two years. And whom among us could blame the man? Not only do he and many in his administration find themselves in real legal jeopardy, but even his three eldest kids are possibly facing some serious time. The latest bombshell to hit is their "charitable organization" in New York that was run by the Trump family and has apparently been used for years as a private piggy bank for all concerned. God bless young Barron; he's the only member of the entire klan that can hold his head high. Keep it up, kid. You still have a future!

What is quite amusing about the whole mess is that some of his most fanatical supporters are still  in a blind, screaming denial about the trouble their hero and savior finds himself in these days. My own cousin from Georgia left a comment on something I posted on Facebook recently, chastising me for showing disrespect for the man who has done such a "good job" cleaning up the "mess" that he inherited from that evil negro, Barack Obama. Not all of my contacts on FB are left-leaning and I get this sort of lunacy every day. And the frustrating thing is that she's not an idiot by any stretch of he imagination; she's merely a textbook example as to how even the brightest of people are so heartbreakingly susceptible to propaganda. Or perhaps she has merely been down South too long. Yeah, that might explain volumes come to think about it.

Everywhere you turn, inside sources are describing to "the enemies of the people" a White House that is the scene of imploding chaos. The impending resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis was only the latest in a litany of embarrassments that The Donald is being forced to endure. When Trump declared  instant victory over ISIS in Syria a couple of days ago, and announced that he was bringing the troops home, that was the last straw. Mattis knew, I'm sure, that the only person on the planet who would benefit from such a move is Vladimir Putin. He must finally have figured out something any of us bothering to pay attention figured out a long time ago: Trump is Putin's stooge. Trump did not inform Secretary Mattis prior to making this announcement; he didn't even inform the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the impending news. He made the announcement over Twitter. Isn't that something? Within a matter of hours of this latest, unprecedented diplomatic fiasco, Mattis announced that he was resigning. 

"Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position."
James N. Mattis
Resignation letter to Trump

This is going to end badly, but I repeat myself.

Mr. Mueller
It's getting down to the wire as far as Bob Mueller and company are concerned. According to those whose job it is to keep tabs on these things, he's less than two months from dropping the BIG bombshell. When that happens, expect a constitutional crisis twice as revolting as the one we're currently experiencing. The fact needs to be faced honestly and fearlessly, folks: The president of the United States is nuts. As they say in AA, the first big step in confronting a problem is admitting you have a problem to begin with. We have to confront the fact that, with the exit of Mattis from Trump's rapidly sinking ship of state, the last cabinet member with the moxie to "tell it like it is" to this disgusting president has left the building. Trump is now surrounded solely by sniveling, sycophantic "YES" men. If you are blissfully unaware of the possibility for catastrophe that this appalling situation places this country in, you're going to find out soon enough, Buster. We'll just leave it at that.

Enjoy the shit-storm!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


It has just been announced that Jim Mattis won't be leaving on the last day of February as was originally planned. Trump has decided to kick him out the door immediately. You're not surprised, I'm sure. Neither am I.


A Long Ago Christmas Moon
from The Rant, 12/24/08

From 2008. I wrote this about that night, fifty Christmas Eves ago, when three human beings orbited the earth for the very first time.

Wasn't that a time?

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Have a Holly Jolly Shutdown

If this president was not so blatantly transparent it would be a lot easier to take him seriously. We're now threatened with a government shutdown on Friday if Trump doesn't get his five billion for the wall on the border of Mexico. That money will not be forthcoming and it's a cinch to predict that the Christmas Shutdown of 2018 is going to happen. Why would the Donald do something so stupid and reckless? I'm sure I'm not the only person to have figured this out, but by shutting down the government Trump believes he will be able to shut down the investigation that is currently being done on the conspiracy to corrupt the election of 2016. This is what the despicable little thug is up to - count on it.

Between now and New Year's Day, the rolling constitutional crisis, which has been growing since Inauguration Day 2017, is going to explode like nothing we've seen since the Saturday Night Massacre of October 1973. As gut-bustingly stupid as Donald Trump undoubtedly is, he at least was able to take away the example of Dick Nixon. He couldn't just fire the Robert Mueller team outright, he needed a sneaky and backhanded way of doing it. By shutting down the United States government - indefinitely - he has seemingly had all of his prayers answered in one fell swoop....or has he?

This is merely speculation on my part; but what do you think would happen if Robert Mueller continues his investigation in spite of der Donald's shutdown? What do you think might happen if - paychecks be danged - the Mueller team continues on its quest to expose the truth? My opinion is that we need to keep the light shining bright. They're trying to shut down this investigation. This is obstruction of justice. You have to be a fool not to see it. American democracy is at the edge. Wake the fuck up.
One thing is certain about Team Mueller: they are a disciplined and dedicated bunch. For the life of me, it is difficult to imagine them collectively an shrugging their shoulders on Friday and walking for the exit door. They know they are taking part in an extraordinary historical moment. Keep your eye on Washington. This is going to get interesting.

Tom Degan
Goshen, Y

Saturday, December 15, 2018

POST #823: Random Observations

A few years ago at Franklin D. Roosevelt's lifelong home
The following are a collection of disjointed, unrelated and unhinged (if you prefer) that I had scribbled on the backs of various envelopes or out on the internet.
1. A Half-hearted prophecy:
I posted this on the NY Times website nearly a year before the election of Donald Trump. Although at the time I viewed his presidency as improbable, I didn't dismiss the possibility outright. After all, I was a citizen of Indiot Nation.
Trump is merely sucking up the most oxygen i...n the clown tent. I really don't believe that he will be nominated at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Then again, that's what I said thirty-five years ago regarding a feeble-minded, washed-up "B" movie star; I said the same thing twenty years later about a half-witted frat boy from Crawford, Texas. I had better check myself. With the United States as seriously dumbed-down as it has become during the last four decades, it's probably a good rule of thumb not to dismiss the possibility of something that at one time would have been seen as impossible - or at least highly improbable. Expect the unexpected; foresee the unforeseeable. Yeah, American politics has gotten that weird. They're coming to take us away. HA! HA! HEE! HEE!
Donald Trump has thrown a nasty little monkey wrench into the electoral process to be sure. A half century ago, no one in his or her right mind would have taken a Trump candidacy seriously. It's a different world. Trump is the price that the GOP is forcibly paying for spending the last forty years pandering to a constituency of extremists, imbeciles and crazy people. The chickens have come home to roost - with a vengeance, baby!
2. Good Old Joe Biden
I heard on CBS News Radio in New York City this morning that Joe Biden is asking close confidants if they think he will be too old to run for the presidency in 2020.
Dear Joe,
I wish you had gone for the Big Prize during the primaries two years ago. You stepped aside, I'm sure, because you knew that the very real possibility of a woman being elected as chief-executive was too big a thing to stand in the way of. It was an honorable thing you did, and you have to be admired for that completely selfless act. As things unfortunately turned out, Hillary Clinton turned out to be the worst nominee the Democrats coughed up since Mike Dukakis thirty years ago. I mean, she couldn't beat Donald Trump! That is an achievement in itself if you think about it for a minute. Had you decided to run then, I have no doubt you would have received the nomination and that you would have gone on to easily clean Donald Trump's clock.

That being said, you will be seventy-eight on Inauguration Day 2021. Should you be re-elected in 2424, you'll be eighty-six when your second term expires on January 20, 2029. If you decide to run in two years and you are able to get the nomination, I'll support you with everything I've got; but I think you should reconsider. You had thirty-six years as a successful senator from Delaware - and,  on top of that, another eight years as vice-president. Think it over, Joe.

Gee, I hope Joe Biden reads this blog.

3. Something's Gotta Give

At this moment in Washington, Robert Mueller's courtroom has been completely cleared of any spectators for what is being described as "a secret grand jury hearing". Not only has the courtroom been emptied, the entire floor has been sealed air-tight.

The proverbial substance is about to hit the fan; mark my words, girls and boys. And just in time for the holiday, too!

4. All American Dictatorships:

Although the recent election in Wisconsin saw more of the citizens of hat state voting Democratic, thanks to shameless gerrymandering, more republicans were elected to the statehouse. And although key state offices had been taken by the Dems, outgoing governor Scott Walker has just passed a bunch of laws that severely restrict the power of the new governor. This is just the sort of thing we should have suspected Walker would try to pull off. From the beginning of his political career, the guy has proven himself to be as corrupt as the nights are long.

Something similar is also happening in the state of Michigan. What's been happening for the last forty years is that our freedoms have been chiseled away from the rock of what used to be  a fairly robust democracy at such a glacial pace that very few people have been  aware enough to take notice of it. Wisconsin and Michigan are merely laboratories of the authoritarian future that these clowns have in store for all of us.

Buddy Clark
5. Chill on the "Cold Outside"

There is now a movement to have Baby, It's Cold Outside banned forever from America's airwaves. The tune was written seventy-plus years ago by Frank Loesser. It was first recorded in 1949 as a duet by the singers Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark. Some are today implying that the lyrics are about date rape. It's not. Although it has never been one my favorites, it never translated to me to mean something as vile as that. I believe that it would not have been such a big hit on American airwaves if that had been the case. It's just a mediocre little ditty from a completely different time. Chill.

6. And in Conclusion....

The Trump Administration has been a rolling constitutional crisis since 12 noon on January 20, 2017. We're in for the worst of it yet. The Donald's babbling Tweet storms (a total of seven yesterday alone) are proof that the man is losing whatever slender hold on reality he may have already had. I've said this so many times that it's become a catchphrase with me. Forgive me, but I need to repeat myself:

This is going to end badly.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Baby, It's Cold Outside
by Buddy Clark and Dinah Shore

Seriously, I think some folks are overreacting.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Another Day Deeper

Our esteemed president didn't do himself any favors the other day when he sat down for a photo-op with his political opposition in the Oval Office. It was quite a scene to be sure. Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were quite animated throughout the event. Mike Pence, on the other hand, looked for all the world as if he was auditioning for the lead role in the sequel of Weekend At Bernie's. It was something to behold.

For each day that passes, it is clearer that The Donald is digging himself deeper and deeper. It's no longer a case of "if" (it never was a case of "if" as far as I was concerned), it is only a matter of "when". He's already looking at two felony raps with potentially more closing in. Already questions are being asked about his 2017 inaugural festivities. People are starting to question why it was the most expensive inauguration in history when it didn't have much of a bang for its buck....many millions of them to be exact. His party  cost more than twice as much as Obama's bash in 2009, and yet many more people attended that event - in spite of Trump's denials.


This used to be "the party of Abraham Lincoln". It's not anymore. Lincoln's influence on the GOP ended at 7:22 on the morning of April 15, 1865 when he breathed his final breath. Wake up and smell the elephant shit.

I've just met a girl named Maria
And as if all of these things weren't bad enough to begin with, the feds have convinced a Russian operative, Maria Butina, to "flip". Should Trump really be concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. As a spy she seemed rather low rent for no other reason than the fact that she stood out so loudly. Before her nefarious deeds came to light I was aware of her - and, in hindsight, I think it was just a bit unusual that, very early in the campaign, Trump took a question from her despite the fact that I don't believe she had substantial press credentials. The Butina Affair may turn out to be a false alarm. Trump has not said much in public about her since her arrest in August, so this fact tells me that he's not much worried about it. I'm sure you've noticed that it’s only those cases that he publicly freaks out about where you know damned well he's got a whole lot to hide. We shall see.

Anyone bothering to pay attention from the time that Trump won the election in November of 2016 knew beyond a doubt that this was going to end badly. I said as much on this site at the moment that the disgusting piece of shit made his concession speech. But even I never dreamed it would turn out as bad as this.


As corrupt and despicable as the Nixon Gang were, as thoroughly depraved as the Bush Mob was, one could never say a disparaging thing against their kids. Julie and Trisha were as good as gold. Jenna and Barbara were the salt of the earth. On the other hand, it would appear to me that Trump's three oldest children are going to end up doing some SERIOUS time. All of them are ensnared in the web of circumstances and there's no getting around it. This is why I'm unable to scarcely fathom the complete and utter mess this doomed nation has found itself in. We should have seen this catastrophe coming, folks. We didn't. It's our kids I worry about the most. We won't have to live with the outcome of our stupidity. They will. Most of us will be dead in twenty years. Isn't that a lovely thought?

But our children....Not even George W. Bush and Dick Nixon would have wished this upon them.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


With the implosion coming out of the White House, I have yet to hear of the fact that today is the sixth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Massacre. Here's what I wrote about it at the time:

Sick memories.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Poppy Revisited

I can remember the night of the 1992 election vividly. At that time I was a very active Democrat (a malady that I've since completely recovered from). I had only recently moved back to my home town after living all over the country for thirteen years. On that night a small crowd of us were gathered around a television set at the Democratic Headquarters in Goshen. When the news of the election of Bill Clinton was announced late into the evening, I was the happiest guy in town. When the soon-to-be ex-president made his emotional concession speech at around 11:30, I let out a hearty, "Fuck You, George!" My friend, the recently deceased Pat O'Dwyer, rightfully chastised me for my insensitive comment. I was definitely a sore winner on Election Night 1992. If I know me (as vaguely do) I was probably a bit intoxicated as well.
Hindsight is a strange thing. I really do wish Bush 41 had been reelected then. Had that happened I would probably (but not certainly) still be a Democrat. The damage that Bill (and Hillary) Clinton did to that party by moving it rightward was a shame that I'm still dealing with over a quarter of a century later. After five years of Clinton I reregistered as a member of the Green Party. When I started this blog in 2006 I became a Blank. I thought it best to have no party affiliations whatsoever.

George and "Bar"
Since the passing of George H.W. Bush on November 30, a lot of misty-eyed nostalgia has been directed at the one term he served as chief executive. It's true that he was genuinely loved by many and for good reason: he was obviously a kind and decent man  who inspired much devotion among his friends and family. It is quite easy to look fondly at his time as president because, since his administration ceased to be on January 20, 1993, the bar has been set so low that it's easy to look back on his presidency positively. The fact of the matter is that the legacy of the elder Bush is not all positive.

I really don't enjoy vomiting into the punch bowl during this otherwise lovely party, but in this morning's paper, the Associated Press took note of the fact that there are very few African Americans filing past the late president's coffin in the rotunda. There's a jolly good reason for that.

Bush, like every other Republican president since Dick Nixon, had been perfectly willing and eager to give a gentle nudge-nudge and wink-wink to white American racists. This can be traced to the 1988 campaign he waged against Massachusetts governor Mike Dukakis (whatever became of that guy?) During that run Bush approved a television ad that showed scores of prisoners - most of them black - walking through a revolving door. Superimposed over this scene was the dark and menacing face of Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who, inexplicably, had been allowed to participate in a prison furlough program. He escaped and, before he was captured, he raped a woman and nearly killed her husband. The fact that the practice had been initiated by Dukakis' predecessor - and the fact that he had put an end to the furlough program - didn't matter a bit to the Bush campaign. Although the ad was quickly yanked it had done its job: it scared the shit out of white America.

That is not to imply that Willie Horton sealed the fate of Mike Dukakis; his fate was firmly sealed on the night he was nominated by the Democrats as their standard-bearer for 1988. The truth is simply that he was a terrible candidate, almost as bad as Hillary Clinton would prove to be twenty-eight years later. He was a good person (as was Bush and Clinton I'm sure) but I don't believe that he would have been all-that-great a chief executive. Had he been inaugurated in 1989 I might very well have left that useless party years before I did. One never knows, does one.

One of the worst scandals in American political history was Iran Contra. That some real, consequential crimes were committed is beyond dispute. Bush saw to it that no one connected to it was ever punished for their crimes. When he took office, he issued enough pardons to sweep the matter under the rug of history.

Then there were Poppy's economic policies. Like Ronald Reagan before him, his treatment of the poor and working  classes were (and I'll be polite in choosing my words) misguided. What used to annoy me more than anything was his positive obsession with doing away with the capitol gains tax for a class of people (like himself) who already had more money than they could possibly spend in three lifetimes.

But George H.W. Bush's most lasting and harmful legacy was his numbskull kid. On the night George W. Bush was elected in 2000, I thought that America had hit rock bottom. I was wrong. Apparently, "rock bottom" has a ten-level cellar. Although it is unfair to personally blame the father for the real and lasting damage that the son did to this once-great nation, the fact of the matter is that if he hadn't been elected in 1988 - or, paradoxically, had he been reelected in '92 - George W. Bush might this afternoon be merely a footnote in his father's obituary.

I remember a few years into his son's presidency, Poppy was giving an address to a group somewhere when he started to talk about his son, Jeb. Without warning, the old man became emotional and started to sob. I knew then and there what he was thinking. This was about four years into the Iraq War, and by then it was obvious that it was the worst foreign policy blunder in American history. It was tragically apparent (to me at least) that the father was haunted by the thought that Jeb should have been the son to have been elected to the presidency; that the Bush name would be tarnished throughout all history by young George's corruption and incompetence. It was a gut-wrenching thing to behold. For the first time in my life I felt a sincere sense of compassion and sympathy for George H.W. Bush. 

In late 2015, when it seemed certain that Jeb Bush would be the Republican nominee for president the following year, I wrote a piece on this site decrying what a dreadful thing something like a third Bush administration would be for the United States. What a difference three years makes. I would move Heaven and Earth to have Jeb in the Oval Office at this moment.

Let's give President Bush his due: Newsweek's infamous "Wimp Factor" headline from 1988 was inappropriate at all levels. The man enlisted in the Navy on June 12, 1942, his eighteenth birthday, and flew quite a number of dangerous missions; getting shot down and almost killed at one time. He only survived by the astronomically improbable fact that a nearby American submarine took him in. Agree with him or not, he was a dedicated public servant who might have spent the rest of his life holed up at his pad in Kennebunkport getting richer still. One more thing needs not to be overlooked. During the GOP convention of 1988 he famously said: 

The economic mess he inherited from Ronald Reagan forced him to break that pledge two years into his presidency. It was a brave thing to do, and it more-than-likely cost him the election in 1992. Because of this, Clinton inherited the first economic surplus in decades. Did the JFK Library ever tender to Bush 41 their annual Profiles In Courage Award? I hope they did. He deserved it.

I don't think that George H.W. Bush was a "great" president. Like all chiefs executive he leaves behind a mixed record. But he was underappreciated (at least by me) during his time on this earth, and he deserves, at the very least, a tip of the hat. Compared to what's come along in the thirty years he left Washington, he's starting to look pretty good.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Kevin Kelly
January 4, 1957 - November 17, 2018 

When I was in grade school I was fortunate enough to meet a kid called Kevin Kelly. Kevin inspired me by his love of the beauty of the printed word, the English language and the joy and wonder of knowledge and learning. Kevin also exposed me to the brilliance of the great practitioners of the lost art of radio comedy’s golden age - particularly Fred Allen and Jack Benny. He instilled in me my passion for history. No one, I think, had a greater influence on my early life and the direction I would take as a writer than he. Kevin Kelly passed away at 2:30 PM, November 17, 2018, at his home in Vinton, Ohio. He is survived by his wife of twenty years, Beth.

Give me some time to adjust to this.