Thursday, January 03, 2019

Here Comes the 116th

I haven't been a Democrat in almost twenty-one years. That being said, I could not be happier over the fact that they will be controlling the House of Representatives starting today. Donald Trump cannot be a bit happy regarding this latest turn of events, that's for damned sure. 2019 promises to be the most tumultuous year in Washington in a very long time. It will be many things but won't be boring.
Nancy Pelosi is the first speaker of the House since Sam Rayburn to regain the speaker's gavel after having lost it. The prospect of her in such a position of leadership doesn't necessarily fill me with any degree of joy. It's because of politicians like her that I left the Democratic Party in 1998. I had great hope when the first African American took the oath of office ten years ago this month. That hope was short-lived. Barack Obama is a good man and turned out to be a mostly successful and capable president, but he hardly turned out to be the progressive firebrand that I've been waiting all of my sixty years for. The fact of the matter is - for my purposes at least - the man turned out to be a bit of a dud. The Democrats desperately need to wake up and remember that they are supposed to be the party of FDR. It's something they forgot a long time ago.
I may be going out on limb here, but my prediction is that, by this time next year, Donald Trump will no longer be president. I'm not saying that he will be impeached (not by this senate - are you kidding me?) but my gut instinct tells me that he will be forced to resign. That will leave us with Mike Pence as the commander-in-chief - a depressing prospect, I know, but something we'll just have to deal with when we cross that road. Perhaps Trump's thinking when he selected Pence as his running mate that he would be insurance against impeachment, much like Spiro Agnew was for Richard Nixon - until he was forced to resign in disgrace in October of 1973. When he was replaced by Gerry Ford, Nixon's presidency was living on borrowed time. By the winter of 2019, Congress will be so desperate for Trump's exit that they'll be thrilled to have even a hopeless imbecile like Mike Pence as president. It's that kind of time in America.

As completely off the rails as 2018 turned out to be, 2019 promises to be even weirder. With a real existential threat to his administration in the House, this president will begin to disintegrate under the pressure.  Shutting down the government didn't curtail the Mueller investigation and it seems to be going in a very bad direction as far as Trump and even his children are concerned. The presidency of Donald Trump can only end catastrophically. This is an interesting time to be alive.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Fahrenheit 11/9
a film by Michael Moore.

I received in the mail yesterday the DVD of this important documentary. Here's a link to order it off of

A keeper to be sure.


At 11:56 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Venezuela’s Lessons for American Socialists

Noah Smith Bloomberg

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s hard to overstate how disastrous the reign of Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro has been for Venezuela. A recent series of Bloomberg articles vividly depicts the hellish, never-ending struggle for survival in Caracas, the country’s capital. Hungry children roam the streets, people are fleeing the country, health care is almost nonexistent, violence is endemic, even water is scarce. Chavez’s so-called Bolivarian revolution took a peaceful, middle-income country and transformed it into a nightmare that puts the ruinous Soviet Union of the 1980s to shame.

It’s important for other countries — including wealthy ones like the U.S. — not to ignore Venezuela, but to use it as a cautionary tale. Politicians like Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have embraced socialism, as have many young Americans. But what are the lessons of Venezuela? Why did the country become such a basket case?

The Bolivarian revolution’s defenders often make excuses for the Chavez-Maduro regime by claiming that the country’s penury is the result of outside forces. For example, some argue that it was the fall in oil prices in late 2014 and 2015 that sunk the country. Venezuela is a petrostate — petroleum products constituted about 95 percent of the country’s exports in 2014, so the price decline was naturally a blow.

But although lower oil prices undoubtedly made things harder for Venezuela, they can’t be the primary culprit in the collapse. Venezuela stopped releasing many of its economic numbers in 2014. But other petrostates — Saudi Arabia, Russia, Nigeria, Angola and Kuwait — saw their incomes stagnate or even fall after 2014, but they didn’t experience anything remotely like the devastation that has hit Venezuela

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

"Barack Obama is a good man and turned out to be a mostly successful and capable president, but he hardly turned out to be the progressive firebrand that I've been waiting all of my sixty years for." ~~ Tom Degan

Economically, Obama was handed a toad and expected to create a prince. He handled the situation somewhat admirably, although a true "firebrand" progressive would have been FDR-like and allocated more funding for "shovel-ready" projects to create and enhance, for example, green technologies and infrastructure.

Obama, like Clinton who preceded him, was/is a corporate-Democrat - wholly altering the image of the Democratic Party and enhancing that party's culpability in spreading neoliberalism around the globe.

This, I feel, contributed to the rise of populism globally and the barrage of demogagues and authoritarian strongmen in recent years, and ultimately resulted in the defeat of another corporate-Democrat - also named Clinton.

IN OTHER NEWS: Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib isn’t backing down from her remark Thursday that “we’re going to impeach the motherf**ker”, referring to Donald Trump, I suppose.

Her office responded in a statement: “Congresswoman Tlaib was elected to shake up Washington, not continue the status quo.”

As expected, the GOP feigns indignation and offense. Honestly, I'm not sure whether they're upset about assuming impeachment, which should wait for Mueller's final report, or that she called Trump a motherf**ker - which he most assuredly is. ;-)

It looks like a "shake 'em up" 2019 is in-store.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Rep. Hank Johnson (D., Ga.) on Tuesday compared President Donald Trump’s travel ban to Japanese internment in World War II and used the word “orientals” while describing how authorities mistreated them.

He apparently doesn’t get that that Democrat FDR was the one who put Japanese-Americans in the camps. And no, they didn’t put random Asian people in the camps. But good on Johnson for calling out the Democrats’ racism.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

"Venezuela has really become the poster child for how the combination of corruption, economic mismanagement, and undemocratic governance can lead to widespread suffering"." ~~ The Brookings Institute, "The Venezuelan Refugee Crisis", 4/13/2018

Vern, it looks like the recipe for disaster is just what the mobster-in-chief is cookin' up.

Nowhere is "socialism" mentioned as the cause.

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Hey Vern, did you also read today's Noah Smith article (dated 1/4/2019) titled Saudi Arabia’s Great Run Seems Headed for Trouble - Falling oil revenue, a restive young population and climate change will make a volatile mix?

Looks like their problems are eerily similar.

Tell me, don't you ever get tired of playing the same "Venezuelan socialist card" - over and over again?

You're growing even more stale and irrelevant. Have you considered new material? ;-)

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"Russia, if you're listening..."

Vern is using Venezuela to distract us. He wants the US to be more like Russia, as in under Putin. Mission accomplished.

Trump spilled top secret info to Russians in the Oval Office, something Hillary would never have done.

Trump has also been regurgitating Russian propaganda about "aggressive" Poland and Montenegro. The Big MAGAt rudely pushed the PM of Montenegro aside at the NATO conference. Putin's Puppet is following orders.

Sheesh. You'd think bending the knee to kiss Putin's ass in Helsinki was enough.

Everything in the dreaded "Dossier" is proving to be true.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Hey Jeffy, still backing the failed socialism of Bernie Sanders as found in Venezuela?

Without capitalism socialism would have nothing to redistribute. Just like Cuba and your dream country Venezuela is proving every day.

"Tell me, don't you ever get tired of playing the same "Venezuelan socialist card" - over and over again? "

Deflection noted.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Venezuela's problem is not socialism. It is the US sanctions, and stupid, corrupt, greedy leaders with inflated egos.

It's not liberals who want to be like Venezuela. The Trumpist far-Right is just as greedy, stupid and corrupt.

What could possibly go wrong?

At 8:10 PM, Blogger woodenman1954 said...

Of course Chuck has to completely ignore the fact that the US has been doing everything it can to undermine and destroy Venezuela for years now.

Then again Chuck never had much use for the truth when it goes against his Conservative propaganda.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

"Deflection noted."

Yes...your own.

Venezuela was never a topic of Tom's post -- not even remotely. Yet, you accuse me of deflection.

You're an idiot - in the image of your pathetic president.

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Could it be because that’s exactly who they are?

“The visuals of new House should send a shiver through anyone who cares about future of Rep. Party. One side looks like America & our future, the other looks like Board meeting of 1950’s corporation. A basic law of politics: be for the future not past. There’s more of it.” – Republican strategist Stuart Stevens

And how very white of them!

At 11:00 PM, Blogger woodenman1954 said...

Tom, I do not know why you still feel you have to moderate the comments as only five people ever post any thing here anymore. Every one has been on their best behavior for a long time if you have not noticed.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

If RBG cannot fulfill her duties because of her health then she needs she need to step down from SCOTUS so someone else can be appointed.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Jeffy, you are perfect rectum.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Of course Chuck has to completely ignore the fact that the US has been doing everything it can to undermine and destroy Venezuela for years now.

Like what? Or are you admitting for socialism to prosper there must be capitalism?

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Socialist always blame someone else for their failures, don't they.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Clucky, what is it about batshit conservatives an "Venezuala" ? LOL

Is that the only "Socialist" country you can find that ISN'T successful? (They are actually fascist, but who cares about facts eh?)

You obsess on that bullshit as much as you keep brining up "Benghazi" or E-mails. We just laugh at you, you know.

Your boy is done. No wall (none needed) and no money for anything he wants. The House controls the MONEY and better yet, INVESTIGATORY power.

Now he's going to the "border" to subject us to another embarrassing word salad.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...


Still backing the socialist failure in Venezuela?


At 9:15 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Hey Liberals! How many more illegal immigrants do you want to enter the USA to go with the 10 -12 million already here.

At 4:11 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

He has to moderate because otherwise Clucky ( "Just the facts", among others) would spam the thing with his 22 different names.

As it is every time I read his posts I have to go watch 3 episodes of "Cosmos" just to get the brain cells back I lost.

Anyone watch the "address" last night? LOL. Trump outdid himself with bullshit.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

"Anyone watch the "address" last night? LOL. Trump outdid himself with bullshit."~~ Mozart1220

Yes, I did, and it was interesting to see the liar-in-chief's Pinocio-nose grow even longer.

Going to have to buy an even bigger big-screen TV to see his full profile now.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Hey Conservatives, how many more lies does trump have to tell before you finally give up? There is no "emergency" at the border, no one is talking about the WHITE "Illegals (like Milania and her family" that are in this country, and over 70% of Americans oppose the wall.

Why wasn't the thing authourized and built when the GOP controlled all three houses?

If Trump can "close the border" as he threatened to do, why does he NEED a wall?

Ad a wall will be useless as long as people fly over, tunnel under or come in from any number of other ways.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

In 2006, Biden, Schumer, Feinman, Clinton and Obama voted for a wall along the southern border.

What changed?

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Obama's fmr. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan: "I was briefed every single day about the men and women who are risking their lives every day and they’re apprehending murderers, rapists, pedophiles, other violent offenders, and gang members. That is not manufactured, that is real".
Oops, this sure doesn't fit the crazy left's narrative about the southern border, but Mozart and other crazed liberal and leftist will deflect from by blaming Trump.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

"No, and I also support giving funds to repair it because all these structures require maintenance. That's why I have repeatedly said I could consider a wall/fence in some other places in the context of a larger immigration bill. But we can't do this in a shutdown."

— Ted Lieu (D)

Democrats talking themselves into ridiculous pretzels because they have no real argument.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Example of what the Dems think is more important than our border security.

‣ $10M to studying dog tail wagging
‣ $325,000 to build a robot squirrel

At 5:30 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, I suspect "Just the Facts!" may be going through a total meltdown due to Trump's shutdown.

Could it be because of his foodstamps getting cutoff?...or his medication being delayed? Maybe he's desparate to receive his tax refund quickly?

Poor boy never realized it would affect him!...not Trumpists!


At 3:19 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2018 congressional campaign was fined by the state of New York for failing to provide the proper workers’ compensation coverage to campaign staffers. How very "socialist" of her.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger TB3 said...

"How very "socialist" of her."

It's funny when "Right-Wingers" grasp desperately to try and point out hypocrisy. Honestly, I think it's less damning of her "socialist" label and more indicative of how she was a first time candidate.

Nice deflection, though. How do you feel about the Trump Campaign's FEC violations? Or the President's personal lawyer pleading guilty to campaign violations?


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