Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Going Down

In the autumn of 1973, as young as I was (all of fifteen), it was evident to anyone paying attention that Dick Nixon was unraveling. I was paying attention - even then. You could see it in every press conference and at every public event the man attended. You certainly could see it the day he spun around his beleaguered press secretary, Ron Ziegler, and shoved him as hard as he could. It was captured by a 16mm film camera and the entire nation saw it. Ziegler was hardly a sympathetic figure - Heaven knows being a propagandist for somebody as supremely foul as Nixon was bound not to get him a treasured spot in the history books - but even I felt bad for him on that day. Ziegler passed away almost seventeen years ago. Nearly every one of his obituaries mentioned the incident. It was a perfectly vile thing for The Trickster to do.

Donald Trump doesn't have a Ron Ziegler to kick around forty-six years later. When Sarah Huckabee Sanders quit her job a few months ago, The Donald never really bothered to replace her. Press briefings these days are about as rare as a candle burning in a blizzard. And that's probably just as well. The news has been universally bad for this appalling administration since January 20, 2017. Why bother disseminating information to the so-called "fake news"? The only thing that's similar to 1973 is the very undeniable truth that Donald Trump, like Dick Nixon then, is coming apart at the seams.

One can't help but marvel at Trump's luck - or lack thereof. After all, he was never supposed to win this thing. That's why everyone up on stage on Election Night 2016 looked so stunned; his wife and kids in particular. They were probably not in denial over the fact that dear-old-Dad was not psychologically fit for a job as demanding as president of the United States of America. Three years later (it seems like three decades) their glum faces on that night have proven prescient. Donald Trump has become about twice as unhinged as he was on the night he won the election.

His original plan, I'm almost certain, was to "up his brand". As a former presidential candidate, his speaking fees would likely skyrocket - as would his salary for hosting The Apprentice. He could write his own ticket from there on; everything would be easy sailing. But that damned electoral college - and the heartbreaking ignorance of so many Americans - thwarted his plans. Now he needs to win reelection. There's an awful lot over covering up to be done and he needs the power of the presidency to keep him and his sons and daughter out of Leavenworth. That is the reason he and his underlings need to do everything possible - legality be damned - to be ensure that he is reelected in less than a year. In the meantime we can expect this disgusting chief executive to continue to lash out at any and all who may earn his wrath. It really is an interesting thing to be a witness to.

The next eleven months are going to be quite weird.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Monday, November 25, 2019



slight disclaimer:

I'm sure that all of what I just wrote is false. Perhaps it is. Perhaps it's not. I would like to give Congressman Nunes the benefit of the doubt. But it seems that Devin is on a crusade, suing everyone possible in the media who has offended him. He's even sued a fictional cartoon cow on Twitter who offended the poor schmuck's sensibilities. To tell you the truth, folks, ratings on this blog have been down recently. Three years ago, I was getting between 20 and 30 thousand hits per day. Yesterday I got under 200. Quite frankly, a lawsuit by Devin Nunes would be the best thing that ever happened to me. In the words of the disgusting president for whom I now (incredibly) feel nostalgic: "BRING IT ON!"

Devin Nunes is not the most corrupt piece-of-shit to slither through the halls of Congress in living memory but, beyond any doubt, he is at least tied with Mitch McConnell for the top dishonors. We now know that he travelled to Vienna in December of last year to meet with a disgraced Ukrainian prosecutor for no other reason than to dig up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden on a debunked theory that the father and son had sought to overthrow the security of the free world. Heaven forfend!

In the early days of Bob Mueller's investigation into Russian collusion, it is now certain - beyond another doubt - that Nunes had sneaked into the White House in the dead of night to supply Trump with the particulars of where the investigation was leading. This, alone, must be illegal. The fact that he has not yet been recused from this probe defies logic.

FUN FACT: Devin Nunes beats his wife.

After Fiona Hill (an expert on Russian affairs) specifically testified that the Ukrainian connection into the 2016 election meddling was a hoax - damaging to the interests of America -  Nunes continued to perpetuate the lie.

This disgusting human being should not be allowed within a thousand miles of any law that governs good and law-abiding human beings. This is a man who should spend his life within the confines of a federal prison. This is a man who is beyond redemption or repair. This is a man who is totally beyond earthly redemption. He's in the Lord's hands now. Can I get  witness?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Great 2019 Disconnection

Fiona Hill
It's amazing, while surfing through the Facebooksphere, encountering the number of my friends, all of whom identifying themselves as professed conservatives, who are stating that the testimonies of the various career officers are complete vindication of the criminal enterprise which now occupies the White House.
You can't make this stuff up, folks.

The testimonies of Alexander Vindman, Marie Yavanovich and Fiona Hill knocked those balls out of the park. Hill in particular was such an impressive and substantive witness that most of those right wing clowns couldn't bear to ask her any questions. Jim Jordon spent his entire time during his so-called cross examination with her making a bloviating, fact-challenged speech.

Speaking of Jim Jordon....

He is in serious competition with poor old Mitch McConnell for the title of the most hated human being on Capitol Hill. Here's a guy utterly lacking (obviously) in even a tenth of a milligram in historical perspective. Has he not ever seen any documentaries or read any books about the late Senator Joe McCarthy? Does he not understand that, nearly sixty-three years after his death McCarthy is almost universally renowned by historians and people with an IQ above room temperature as being a villain and the ultimate buffoon? Does Jim Jordon understand that there will be no statues erected to his memory; that there will be no elementary or high schools named in his memory? And - for the love of Mike - Can't this jackass see that he is never going to be president of the United States? Not in 2024 - not ever. Get a grip, Jimmy.

And yet, in spite of everything, more than a third of your fellow countrymen and women have been so shockingly dumbed down that they continue to wholeheartedly support what is, beyond any doubt, the most corrupt and incompetent administration in the entire history of human mediocrity.

An now we are learning that Rep. Devin Nunes, who has made such a sham of the entire process, may have been in cahoots with the very corrupt players in Ukraine in trying to get what everyone in-the-know agrees to be non-existent dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter. As John Oliver calls it, this is "Stupid Watergate". Only this is far worse than Watergate on its worst day. I imagine that at this late stage in the game, Donald Trump is envious of Dick Nixon. As much as they desperately try to edit the narrative of this complete fiasco to their own twisted benefit, there is no way out for theses schmucks. The day The Donald took the oath of office was the beginning of the end of his tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. You had to have been blind not to see this disaster coming from ten thousand miles down the road.

Life is interesting.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTOUGHT: I could not let this go without a full-sized photo of Marie Yavanovich:

The lady is cutting edge!


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

"It's Crazy"

It's devastating. It's over.
Over? That's an overstated, wishful thinking on my part. Only a miracle - or a mass mental earthquake on the part of the right wing in the senate - will stop the organized criminal enterprise that we know as the Republican party from removing the disorganized criminal who now sits at the president's desk in the oval room in the west wing of the executive mansion. The testimony this morning of acting U.S. Ambassador Bill Taylor is at this morning is now underway. The opening statement of deputy assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasian affairs George Kent ended less than an hour ago. The statements of  both men are more nails in the coffin of an administration that is unprecedented in the scope of its corruption and incompetence. Again, the term "final nail" is being overly optimistic on my part.
Bear in mind that, twenty years ago, more-than-a-few of the same assholes defending Donald Trump today, were ready to remove a sitting president from office for lying about a cheap affair with a half-witted White House intern. Isn't that amusing? At that time, many thinking people paying attention were appalled by the legal calisthenics the GOP went through to get to that point. Imagine, if you will, the national uproar that would have resulted had the Dems had gone from Russia collusion to Stormy Daniels in the same investigation? I'll wait for your reply.  

Taylor and Kent can hardly be accused of being cheap, Democrat hacks. Both men have decades of experience as diplomats in the administrations of Democratic and Republican administrations. As I write these words Representative Nunes of California is pathetically attempting  to defend this disgusting cabal. You have to be living in a monastery to miss the implications of what is being exposed here. You need to be represented in tour democracy. You need to keep your eyes wide. We are living in extraordinary times.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


It's over. The Trump administration effectively ended yesterday. It's over. It's over. It's fucking over.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Monumentally Unfit

You are about to witness just a few highlights from the new book, "The Warning". If this does net seriously alarm you. you're not paying attention. The man with the keys to the nuclear code is monumentally unfit for the office he holds. This is something that those of us who bother to pay attention to these things have known since the day he announced his candidacy in June of 2015. The book was written anonymously by someone who works in the Trump White House. It will be released to the public later this week. Here are just a few of the eye-popping goodies contained within:

“You’re stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time. Only your uncle probably wouldn’t do it every single day, his words aren’t broadcast to the public, and he doesn’t have to lead the US government once he puts his pants on.”

I have decided to publish this anonymously because this debate is not about me,” the author writes. “It is about us. It is about how we want the presidency to reflect our country, and that is where the discussion should center. Some will call this ‘cowardice.’ My feelings are not hurt by the accusation. Nor am I unprepared to attach my name to criticism of President Trump. I may do so, in due course.”

“I was wrong about the ‘quiet resistance’ inside the Trump administration. Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is.”

“It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him,”

“I’ve sat and listened in uncomfortable silence as he talks about a woman’s appearance or performance, He comments on makeup. He makes jokes about weight. He critiques clothing. He questions the toughness of women in and around his orbit. He uses words like ‘sweetie’ and ‘honey’ to address accomplished professionals. This is precisely the way a boss shouldn’t act in the work environment.”

[Regarding the President's maniacal Twitter tweets]:

“It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him. You’re stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time. Only your uncle probably wouldn’t do it every single day, his words aren’t broadcast to the public, and he doesn’t have to lead the US government once he puts his pants on.”

This can't be allowed to go on for another VERY LONG fourteen months, folks. The sooner this unhinged lunatic is permanently sent a'packing (preferably to Leavenworth) the better. The only thing that could possibly come from this disgusting president staying in office would be the complete destruction of the party that has spent the last three years enabling him. But even that rosy little scenario is not worth the severe damage that has already been done to this country. Some Republican politicians have a golden chance to be honored in history as heroes - just as we honor Howard Baker and Barry Goldwater today for their behavior during the Watergate mess forty-five years ago. It's strange that none of their 2019 counterpart are stepping up to the plate. Strange and sad.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Rachel Maddow covered this in full last night. Here's a link to watch it on YouTube:

It really needs to be seen and shared by all.

Monday, November 04, 2019

What's the Matter with Rudy?

You've gotta wonder about Rudy Giuliani. You really do! I met the man once. It was at the north east corner of Madison Avenue 86th Street. At the time no alarm bells went off in my mind regarding his personal, psychological condition - as if any could. It was a brief hello on my part and a "Good to see you, pal" on his. Of course, I was not his "pal", nor was he mine. I had never seen him before and I haven't seen him since. We were two ships passing in the night - although it was around midday. My knowledge of the man comprises solely from what I read in the papers or watch on YouTube. But I've got to tell you that my history as a Rudy watcher goes back nearly forty years, which is an awfully long time by any measurement, and I must force myself to acknowledge the fact that old Rudy has lost more-than-a-few marbles in the last ten years or so. I'm imagining this. You're not imagining it either.

I first got wind of the fact that poor old Rudy might not be all there early on when I read a brief, biographical sketch on his life, and found out that his first wife was his second cousin. That little gem of wisdom raised a bit of a red flag with me. Maybe, I rationalized, if they had not known each other previously and had met and fell in love, that might be acceptable. But according to what I've been able to come up with, the two had known each other since childhood. But who was I to judge? If they made each other happy it was no concern of mine....except that they didn't make each other happy at all. The union ended after fourteen years. It was the first of Rudy's three marriages.
The last eighteen years have been an unending train-wreck of bad choices for Rudy Giuliani. Of course the truth could be said of me, too; less the pot be caught calling the kettle "black". But at least all of my bad choices were made out of the glare of the media spotlight. We all make mistakes and his mistakes are a little more visible. But on the day the man threw in his lot with the likes of Donald Trump, I knew that his lack of judgment might be pathological. That was also the moment I knew and predicted that Trump would eventually bring Giuliani down - as he eventually does to everybody unfortunate enough to come into his orbit. It is a sick fact about Trump that most of the American people, I think, have yet to fully understand: everything and everybody he touches eventually turns to shit.

His day of reckoning is sooner than he imagines. The chickens will be coming home with a vengeance. We'll just leave it at that for now. tick...tock...

Street cred?
Rudy's appearances of the talking head circuit have been something indeed to behold. This is not the Rudolph Giuliani of yore that I remember so well from the days when he was the head attorney from the Southern. District of New York, or the Associate Attorney General for the first two years of the Reagan presidency. He was always sort of goofy, no doubt; like the time he and former senator Al D'Amato dressed undercover to make a drug bust. The "hip" clothes they chose to wear on this occasion were positively laughable. but goofiness aside, Rudy was usually a lucid and thoughtful sort of guy - a rarity for any Republican politician. But in recent years he seems to have become totally unglued. He's sort of like Donald Trump in that respect. Although it's been obvious to everyone paying attention from day one that The Donald was dumber than dog-shit, there was never any serious proof that he was stone-cold crazy. Things change.

And now it would seem that Giuliani is within days of being indicted for crimes committed at the direction of Trump. These sure are interesting times.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Orson Welles
By Barbara Leaming

I first read this biography of Orson over thirty years ago. I couldn't put it down then. Upon rereading it this week I couldn't put it down still.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Thoughts for November


April 12 of next year we will (or at least I will) be observing the seventy-fifth anniversary of the unexpected passing of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. I'd like to believe that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania will have been sent a'packing by that time, but that's probably wishful thinking on my part. For those of us who are somewhat steeped in the history of America, April 12, 2020 will be a day of serious reflection. Although three-quarters-of-a-century may seem like a very long time to we mortals, in terms of the long arch of time it's a comparative flash of an instant. I can only imagine that, on that day, my mind will be pouring over the jagged irony that, in a historical instant, we've gone from Franklin Delano Roosevelt  to Donald Fucking Trump. How does something that horrible even happen? Mercy!

We really need to come to grips with the unsettling fact that the damage that is now being done to America will be felt for generations. The fact is, for those of us of a certain age, we'll be living with the reverberations of the Trump Age for the rest of our lives. I believe that fifty years from now, the president of the United States (who has probably not even been born yet) will still be dealing - on a daily basis - with the damage that this imbecile did to his country so many decades before. When one experiences a really bad dream, our subconscious knows that it is, in fact, only a dream - and that we will wake up from it in short order. We're not going to wake up tomorrow morning only to discover that the disgusting presidency of Donald Trump was just a harmless nightmare. This ain't no dream, kiddies. This is the real thing. Are you amused yet?

PREDICTION: Donald Trump will be remembered as the first chief-executive of the United States of America to die in federal custody. Does that sound like  preposterous prophecy on my part? We'll see.

In this morning's New York Daily News, former-Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman wrote that, at the very least, the administration of Donald Trump is as bad as Dick Nixon's. She's a great public servant and a gracious woman (I had the honor of meeting her once), but she was as wrong on that score as she's ever been in her life. The fact of the matter is the scandals of The Donald pale in comparison to those of The Trickster. As I've said on this site too many times to count, Watergate was a paper-cut. This is a goddamned bloodbath. I imagine that Nixon's heirs have been breathing a profound sigh of relief these days. His reign as the most improbably corrupt president in the history of this doomed republic has come to a swift and merciful end. In fact (and I cannot believe I'm writing this) the hideous old bastard is starting to look pretty good. There are profoundly weird times.

In the meantime, the next few weeks promises to be as vile as any period we've witnessed in a long time. The justice department of Bill Barr is hell-bent on acting as Trump's private law firm. We really are living in heart-wrenchingly weird and interesting times. Dick Nixon resigned in complete and utter disgrace exactly one week before my sixteenth birthday, so I'm old enough to remember the entire period as clear as yesterday. I remember remarking to a friend at the time that the Watergate affair was the Grand Prix of political scandals, and that American politics would never again get that unhinged. I was wrong. Be sure to pay attention to everything that happens in the coming weeks and months. We are living through an extraordinary period in American history.

Cha! Cha! Cha!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY