Friday, March 15, 2019

Note to the Dems: CHILL!

I have to take a moment here to, once again, explain why I left the Democratic party nearly twenty-one years ago, As I have explained too many times to count. I'm not comfortable with any political party with a genius for taking a bottle of finely aged wine and turning it into a worthless jug of donkey piss. I'm sorry, but I just can't go there.

Hillary Clinton has announced that she will not be a candidate in 2020. This is a wise move on her part. I hope and believe that the next president will be a woman - just not that woman. For the life of me, I cannot fathom the likes of Hillary - a tired and stale old plutocrat - guiding the ship of state. We desperately need someone with a bit more gravitas at the helm.

The Democrats are in the process of destroying themselves.


AFTERTHOUGHT, 25 March, 11:20 AM:

I should have finished this piece ten days ago. While I was working on it, I fell and gashed my forehead. A couple of days later I fell again and broke my right arm at the shoulder.

I've been having balancing issues in the last couple of years, just in case you wanted to know.

Time to vent:

Having turned sixty at the end of last summer, my initial plan was not to get old for another fifteen years. That plan has gone just a tad awry. I can remember a time, not too many years ago, when it was oodles of fun being Tom Degan. It positively sucks now. I'm probably at the dawn of the final fade out. Men in my family tend not to live too far into their sixties. I'm not going to be the exception to that rule - trust me. I've already lived longer than my father, my grandfather, and three of my uncles. When I was in my teens and twenties, I never thought I'd live to see my thirtieth birthday. I have survived for twice as long. In August I will be turning sixty-one. Boy, do I feel stupid!

That's fine. I've had a very interesting life, and, while it was not always happy, it was never boring - not for a moment.

Seriously, I can truthfully say that I've had a supremely good run. One of the secrets of never getting bored is to always have a good book at the ready. Timely tip.

Even my dreams have always been beautiful. Writers are notorious for having nightmares. In this case I am the exception to the rule. Most of my dreams are happy. About a year ago I dreamed I was walking through a park late at night. The park, which might have been New York's Central, was sparsely lit by strategically placed lamps and a glorious full moon. All of the sudden I was approached in the darkness by a beloved and lost friend. We talked and laughed and, as we went our separate ways, we hugged. It was the loveliest dream I ever had. I believe she was reaching out to me from beyond that eternal and unknowable void. She says"hi!".

Just some thoughts that I wanted to share. And, no, I'm not checking out today or this month - or even this year....I think. 


Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

The CPAC Follies of 2019

As has been the case for too many years to count, on the first weekend of March this year, the right wing met up in Maryland for their annual love-fest of craziness. The highlight of the event was the address given by Donald Trump. It was yet another undeniable example that the chief-executive has gone off the deep end is not-at-all a stable man. Considering that this is the guy in possession of the nuclear codes, this ought to really scare you. After it was over, so many commentators seemed completely taken aback by the fact that the president of the United States used the word "bullshit" twice. This seemed kind of strange to me. Weren't they paying attention during the campaign of 2016?
"You motherfuckers, we're gonna tax the shit outta you!"
That wasn't the case of being zinged by a hot mic. He made that statement at a campaign rally in front of a crowd of thousands and with the media present. To make matters worse, he was referring to the nation of China when he made it. At the time it was reported quite widely at the time - except by Rupert Murdoch's media empire of course. My own local paper, The Times-Herald Record of Middletown New York, quoted the line unexpurgated. That really shocked me more than the line itself.
It was quite an unusual gathering to say the least. According to one of these clowns, the liberals will be coming after your cows (or hamburgers) before very long. But the biggest treat of the weekend was, of course, the Donald's Speech. It was the longest speech he has yet made since checking into the Executive Mansion a little over two years ago; clocking in at just a shade over two hours. It was a little unsettling to realize that no one there seemed appalled by what was coming out of the president's mouth and mind. according to the people who check these things, Trump uttered over one-hundred falsehoods during the course of the speech. I hesitate these days to call them "lies". I'm at appoint where I'm starting to think that he's so bat-shit crazy, he actually believes the nonsense flying out of his mouth.

It jars the senses to think that we'll have to deal with this madness for another twenty-two VERY LONG months. I'm not optimistic that he will be removed through the impeachment process. The GOP in the senate don't give a damn about the country they profess to love so much. Maybe the results of the Mueller report will jar them into reality - but I doubt it. This will end up being the longest national emergency since the Civil War.

Isn't this amusing?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here's a YouTube link to view the most extraordinary speech made by an American politician since Andrew Johnson's address at Lincoln's second inauguration on March 4, 1965. It was more unhinged than even I've come to expect. Watch as much of it as you are able to stomach:

An absolute scream fest.

Friday, March 01, 2019

A Bad Day for Trump and the GOP

"I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is  racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat."
Michael Cohen, 2/27/19

Jordon, Cohen and Meadows
The testimony of Michael Cohen on Wednesday lowered the bar even further for a political party whose credibility is practically nonexistent. Just yesterday on his MSNBC program, former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough proclaimed that his party was headed for political oblivion. The behavior during the hearings of these people - particularly Jim Jordon of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina - was imbecilic at best. Both men our now in the process of recommending that the Department of Justice file more perjury charges against Trump's one-time attorney. Cohen had everything to lose and nothing to gain by coming before these people and lying. Far be it from me to want to make a hero out of this fellow, but I believe what he had to say.

Throughout the entire fiasco (which lasted almost seven hours by the way) the Republicans did not seem interested a bit in trying to ask serious questions. All they did for the entire time was insult and slander Cohen. They're so hell-bent on protecting Trump that the question is screaming to be posed: Do they fully understand the eventual and lasting damage that they are doing to their political careers - not to mention their historical legacies? Is Donald Trump really worth it? This is something that every one of them should sit down and think long and hard about. If I had been a member of the body, I would want to be remembered for something noble - not for shielding an unhinged and corrupt knucklehead like The Donald.

Hats off and a raising of the glass to Congressman Elijah Cummings, the man who chaired the festivities. He was somehow able to keep things moving along despite the attempts of Jordon and Meadows to sabotage the hearings early on. He reminded me of  the teacher of a class of first graders dealing with rowdy children. Next time you're surfing YouTube, do a search for the Army/McCarthy hearings of 1954. Sixty-five years later and the behavior of Joe McCarthy and his assistant Roy Cohen (Trump's mentor) is at the same time laughable and obscene. Are these modern-day politicians aware of the fact that their antics on Wednesday are now a permanent part of America's audio/visual record? Do they understand that in the year 2084 their buffoonery will be just as accessible and appalling to generations unborn? Do they honestly believe that their heirs will be showing these clips to their friends and bragging, "Hey, check out my great-grandpa!" I rather doubt it. I am a descendant of Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the Dred Scott decision. It's not something I've spent much time bragging about - trust me. 

Historical parallels aside, each of these people will be up for reelection in November of 2020. It was obvious by the performances they gave that they were "playing to the base". The problem they face - whether they realize it or not - is that twenty long months from now, Donald Trump's reputation will certainly be in the toilet, even among their constituencies. How will they explain to the voters their defense of the most corrupt and incompetent president in the history of corruption and incompetency? There won't be any way for them to avoid their roles in this. 2020 promises to be on heck of an interesting political year - we'll just leave it at that.

I'm almost at the point of feeling pity for Donald J. Trump. This hasn't been a particularly good week for the poor old bugger, that's for sure. His summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Vietnam fizzled out before it was off the ground. He couldn't walk away a molecule of good news. Not that it would have made much of a difference. I watched the entire hearings on the tube and not once did they cut to the two goofy sociopaths with the bad haircuts. We can only imagine what must be going through Trump's mind at this point. With his life (and the lives of certain members of his family) about to implode, he must be looking back on his decision to seek the office of the presidency as the worst blunder of his entire life. If only I could turn the clock back, he must be thinking. Yeah, a lot of us wish that Trump had never gone down this road. But the fact of the matter is that he did, and now everyone needs to deal with the consequences - especially Donald Trump.

2019 is turning out to be the most tumultuous political year of my life - and we're only two months into it. Ain't that something?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Elijah Cumming's closing remarks on Wednesday: 

It was the most memorable part of the day.