Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Who Knew What When?


This is something I really need to know. You really need to know it, too, if you're honest with yourself. Who the hell in power were complicit in the insurrection of January 6? This is the question that was asked by more than one Capital Hill police officer yesterday before a House select committee. This is probably why so many politicians who are allied with that disgusting party are so hell-bent on downplaying what happened on completely weird day. What many of these people don't understand is that one cannot hide from history. The truth will be known one way or the other - the sooner the better.

You've got to wonder about some people, you know?  So many are trying to portray what happened on January 6, 2021 as "business as usual" or trying to make us believe that the mob was merely a normal group of D.C. tourists. The fact that they repeat these nonsenses with straight faces makes the whole thing all-the-more surreal. Donald Trump himself has talked about all of the "love" exhibited that day by the same folks who wanted to hang Mike Pence. Aren't politics a hoot?

What happened on that day set so many nasty precedents that it's hard to know where to begin. For the first time in American history there was not a peaceful transfer of power. Even during the civil war America managed to avoid violence in the streets of Washington. People were revved up by propaganda from every direction thanks to right wing media. The FCC needs to come down hard on these news channels that spread misinformation like poison lollipops. I watched once again the George Clooney film, Goodnight and Good Luck about the legendary CBS newsman, Edward R. Murrow. One can only imagine the horror and embarrassment that Murrow would have felt at the wreckage of the American media landscape in July 2021. He once described television as potentially "nothing more than wires and lights in a box". That's kind of where we've gone. 

Tom Degan​
Goshen, NY


Murrow (1986)

This made-for-TV biography on the great man is worth your time:

He was as good as they get.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Hearings Commence

The hearings to try to uncover who was really behind the attack on the Capital - and who instigated that attack - commenced this morning with testimony by members of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department who were first-hand eye witnesses to the carnage of that day of infamy. I drove around the back roads on the area that I live in, absorbing every word.

One thing that struck me more than anything else, was the officers' insistence that the politicians use every means possible to determine which members of the House and Senate were involved in that conspiracy. There are more-than-a-few people who conspired to pervert our democratic process on the sixth of January. There is no more excuse to defend this disgusting party. They're beyond redemption. Is anybody home???

We cannot continue down this trail any longer. We're almost at the point of no return, dangling at the precipice. If you're stupid enough to believe that this is merely business a usual, and that what we are experiencing is nothing more than a blip on the radar, you might as well go back to sleep. 

America is imploding - more than any time since the Civil War. Wake the fuck up, folks.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY

Friday, July 23, 2021


This will be mercifully brief, I promise.

Just when we have pacified ourselves into believing that the worst of the hideous epidemic that crippled this country and the world for sixteen months is behind us, we're being told that the infection rates are beginning to spike once again at a rate of thirty percent daily due to a new variant of the COVID virus that has appeared particularly (although not exclusively) in areas of the country more susceptible to the kind of misinformation/propaganda that oozes daily from various right wing "news" sites across America on any given day - and every given night. It's gratifying to see that even the chuckleheads on Fox and Friends are starting to take this a bit more seriously than they have previously. Tucker Carlson, on the other hand, has yet to get with the program. Why is he still on the air? My guess is that by year's end, he will be long gone. Wishful thinking, I know. Fox Nooz - and a few other nooz entities - need to have their broadcast licenses permanently revoked. The bodies of nearly a million of our fellow citizens lay at their feet.

With the exception of a small handful of silly trolls, I suspect that most of you who bother to read this site (and I thank you for that - trolls and all!) have already received your vaccines. I would only ask that you copy the link to this piece and forward it to anyone you may personally know, be it friends or family members, and implore them with the seriousness of this situation. I saw an interview on CBS This Morning with some nitwit hooked up to a ventilator who said (with a straight face) that he doesn't regret not getting the vaccination and has no plans on getting one if he recovers (and I pray that he does - Seriously!) A woman whose name I cannot remember - who received national attention due to her opposition to the vaccine - died a few days ago. These are just two examples of thousands. 

Where have you gone, Herman Cain?

It would seem to Yours Truly that they don't have these problems in most other countries. What the heck is it about these silly Americans?

Tell everyone you know that they need to get vaccinated, and refuse to associate with them unless and until they do. That'll learn 'em!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is an interview that was broadcast a couple of hours ago with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on MSNBC's Morning Joe:

An ounce of prevention, as they say....

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Treasonous Little Thugs

I cannot even refer to them as the "Republican Party" any longer, because that would imply that they are still the  party of Abraham Lincoln. They aren't. As I said on the first piece I ever wrote for this site over fifteen years ago, "Abraham Lincoln's influence on the Republican Party ended at 7:22 on the morning of April 15,1865 when he breathed his last breath."

They aren't the party of Theodore Roosevelt. They aren't the party of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Hell, they aren't even the party of Dick Nixon any longer. This is a criminal syndicate that for four very long years was run by an organized crime boss who enjoyed almost universal support by Republicans in the House and the Senate. The congress these days reeks with the overwhelming stench of fried elephant shit.

The most repulsive chiefs executives in our history are starting to look like dainty little cherubs. Ain't that something? These are interesting times to say the least.

The extreme right wing conservatives in the congress are attempting to prevent a thorough and broad investigation into the worst attack on the capitol since 1814. They obviously don't want us to learn who instigated the tragedy that occurred on January 6, 2021, another day that will live in infamy. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a sincere effort to put together a bi-partisan panel of the select committee refuses to put Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana on that committee. One of the reasons for this is the fact that the two of these guys are the most disruptive Trump stooges in that body; but I suspect that there might be another reason for this. It is my feeling that Nancy may have some hard intelligence that either one - or both of them - may be culpable in what happened on that day.

I never dreamed that I would live to hear me write these words, but thank God for Liz Cheney.

The hearings will commence next week regardless of the effort that House minority leader Kevin McCarthy makes to put the old kibosh on it. Don't these fools understand that you cannot run away from history? Sixty years ago, I am sure that Jack Kennedy never dreamed that, all of these decades later, we would have an encyclopedic knowledge of his reckless philandering and inside ties with the Mob....WE KNOW ALL (or most) ABOUT IT. Do these knuckleheads within the GOP believe that they will fare any better? Apparently they do.

Pay attention to what happens in Washington for the next two or three months. This is going to get interesting.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Two nights ago I got into an altercation with a boiling hot bowl of Campbell's Creamy Tomato Soup. The boiling hot bowl of Campbell's Creamy Tomato Soup won that altercation.

I usually need a cane to walk these days, but I figured since the distance between the stove and the kitchen table is only two steps - three steps tops - I would have no problem. Bad move! I lost my balance and went crashing to the floor. The bowl of Campbell's Creamy Tomato soup hit the edge of the table and a good deal of it poured onto the palm and back of my left hand, burning myself pretty badly in the process. As I don't have a cell phone camera at the moment, I am unable to show you the extent of my injuries. You might want to consider this a blessing.


Thanks to the nice folks at Horizon Medical Group of Florida, NY for dressing my wounds and mending me up!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Uber Brothers


I feel kind of sorry for Junior and Eric - in a weird and ironic sort of you understand. They're no longer above the law as they were for four whole years when their unhinged dad lived in the White House. Dear old Dad no longer has the power to protect them from the justice that most of the rest of us are subjected to if our behavior gets too naughty for society to tolerate. Unless your name is Barron, currently it positively sucks to be a son of Donald Trump. Donnie (the dumb one) and Eric (the even dumber one) cannot expect a pardon from Joe Biden - that ain't gonna happen, boys and girls. Trump should have listened to Matt Gaetz and issued a blank pardon all across the board. Matt's strategy is embarrassingly obvious. He was obviously anticipating the investigation of him for child sex trafficking. That's neither here nor there; Trump would have possibly avoided many headaches had he listened to Gaetz.

The whole affair is as embarrassing as can be imagined. The fact that Donald Trump was able to make me look back upon the Bush 43 era with a sense of teary-eyes nostalgia tells you how impossibly low the bar has been set with respect to chiefs executive. 

I'm not sure what (if anything) the boys are guilty, but it's obvious to everyone that they're not acting the way innocent people usually do - and that goes for their father as well. He reminds me more and more of John Gotti these days. And the Gotti comparison is more apt than some people might realize. Between 2017 and 2021, the United States of America was being operated by an organized crime family. That is not a reckless exaggeration; that is a non-deniable fact. It can also be argued that unless the GOP is seized very soon by the people out there with IQs above a half-eaten box of Milk Duds (I know they're out there) it will disappear from America's political map. If it exists at all, it will only be as a fringe group. Dwight Eisenhower wouldn't recognize it in its present incarnation.

I would imagine at this moment that Donald J. Trump would cite running for president as the single worst mistake of his life.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY


YouTube's "Legal Eagle" breaks down the Trump/Weisselberg indictment to its bare essentials:

Diving Deep into the Trump/Weisselberg Indictment - YouTube 


In remembrance:

Sixty nine years ago today, Mom and Dad were married at St. Matthew's Catholic Church in South Bend, Indiana.

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Persecution of Hervis Rogers


I've never asked this before, but please, share this with as many people as possible. The word needs to be out there.

Remember the name "Hervis Rogers". I have a feeling that he just may very well turn out to be this year's George Floyd. Fortunately, although incarcerated in a Texas jail at this hour, he is alive to tell his story - unlike Floyd - who was murdered in cold blood by some sadistic police officer in Minneapolis last year. In March of 2020, sixteen months ago, Mr. Rogers, a resident of Houston, Texas, went down to his local polling place to cast his ballot in the Super Tuesday primary. 

Although technically still out on parole because of a robbery he had been convicted of nearly thirty years previously, Hervis is being charged by the state of Texas with voter fraud; the fact that he is still a legally registered voter is irrelevant to that state's attorney general, Ken Paxton. He wants to make Mr. Rogers an example to the rest of these uppity darkies in Texas who would exercise their constitutional right to vote. Paxton, as you might guess, has been instrumental in trying to suppress the votes of dark-skinned people in recent years. The racial demographic of Texas is rapidly changing, and all over the United States, bigoted fools like Ken Paxton are determined that this new reality be rendered null and void.

On primary day last year, Hervis Earl Rogers stood in line for six solid hours in order to cast his precious ballot. The fact that it was believed that he was the last person in the state to vote that year, he made a bit of statewide (and even national) news. When approached by a television reporter and asked where he was off to, Hervis grinned and explained gently that he needed to get back to work. Despite the lateness of the hour, I strongly suspect that Hervis works more than one job in order to make ends meet. That's just a silly hunch on my part - pay it no mind.

A full sixteen months went by before Ken Paxton - or one of his lickspittles on the state payroll - looked into the record of Hervis Rogers. He was arrested, jailed, and is being held on $100,000 bail. If convicted of this "crime" against the United States, he is facing anywhere between two to ten years in prison. God bless America.


Ken Paxton is currently under indictment on three criminal charges, felonies all - including securities fraud. Several of his staff members have filed complaints against him for illegally using his office for improper purposes. 

Hervis Rogers is a resident of Harris County - which is one of the most racially diverse counties in that entire miserable state, but Paxton is charging Harris from the DA's office in Montgomery County - which is one of the least diverse. If you are unable to understand that Rogers is being persecuted in order to intimidate African Americans in Texas from voting, then you might as well go back to sleep. Sweet dreams.

Hervis is more-than-likely guilty of nothing more than an innocent mistake. His parole ended in June of last year, three months after he voted. The fact that his "crime" was committed out in the open and in full view of the media should tell us something. President Biden should issue a pardon immediately.

Get the word out fast. What is happening to Hervis Rogers is an illegal atrocity on so many levels that it is difficult to contemplate. The fools who run the professional Republican party in all of the states and territories are determined to turn this place into a banana republic without the bananas. We cannot let that happen, right?


Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Here is a report from the Rachel Maddow broadcast two nights ago that first made me aware of this atrocity:

Everyone needs to be aware of the persecution of Hervis Rogers. Everyone needs to be in a rage.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Daddy's Little Flipper

I always knew that one of the second generation would eventually flip on der Donald, but it was my opinion that the "flipper", so to speak, would be Jared Kushner or one of his two half-witted sons. As it turns out, Daddy's little girl might very well turn out to be the one who spills her guts to the prosecutors. There is talk going around that Ivanka Trump is within days of being indicted on major tax fraud. If this is true, the Trump family Thanksgiving dinner table will be an awkward place to be come November.

Whatever transpires in the long run, it cannot be denied that this is one horribly corrupt and dysfunctional family. It's been a laugh riot seeing the two eldest Trump sons (and Trump himself) stumbling around the country with their feet in their mouths, basically admitting to the crimes being alleged. Is this a sign of arrogance? Is it a sign of complete stupidity? I'm willing to bet the farm that it is a little bit (or a whole lot) of both. When F. Scott Fitzgerald once told Ernest Hemingway in a letter that the rich are "different", he could not have dreamed the Family Trump. These folks live in a separate universe where even, I suspect, the laws of gravity and physics do not apply to them. When reality does finally come crashing down on them in a matter of time, the shock of accountability will be too much for them to adequately understand and bear. The next year-or-so should be quite interesting. I imagine that the whole family will eventually flip on the old geezer, certainly Eric and Junior will - of this I have no doubt

We as a nation need to sit down and admit the ugly truth: that for four long years, the executive branch of our country was being run by an organized crime boss.
That nasty little truth is going to become all too clear in the months that follow. The previously unthinkable riot that occurred inside our temple of democracy six months and two days ago could very well happen again; such are the dark forces that have been unleashed upon this country by the likes of Donald J. Trump. The extreme right wing of the United States has always been a nuisance and a headache. It has become an existential threat to our existence. Keep on your feet.

I cannot say for certain whether or not Ivanka Trump is guilty of anything.  If  she is, then hopefully she'll have a nice little taste of the penalties that the rest of us are subjected to when we break the law. If she isn't, then I hope she has a nice life. 

We do live in interesting times.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Our 245th Anniversary

Good morning America, my love, and happy anniversary, darling. I know at times some folks accuse me of not loving you, but you know I do, darling, with all of my heart. As the great James Baldwin once said, "I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually." Is that good enough for you, my dear? 

In a mere four years we shall be at the quarter-of-a-millennium mark, which seems quite unreal when you think about it. Merrie olde England has been around four nearly four times as long and it only proves, again, our youth as a nation. This year, more than any other of my lifetime - more than any year since the war between the states over a century-and-a-half ago - we need to celebrate the Fourth of July more than ever. Nearly six months ago we came as close to losing our democracy than any time in our history. I have an interest in this holiday more than most people. You see, one of my ancestors, Charles Carroll of Maryland, put his signature upon the Declaration of Independence. The last surviving signer (dying fifty-six years after 1776) he was the only Catholic among the bunch. Although he supported, in principle, the abolition of slavery, his "principles" never stopped him from freeing even one of the slaves that lived under the lash of his overseer. Schmuck.

Not to brag, but I'm also a direct descendant of Lord Baltimore, founder of the state of Maryland. He, too, was a slave holder. Why would any sane person boast of such a thing? Honestly.

As I type these words, an investigation is under way to find our who - if anyone - plotted the deadly insurrection at the Capital on January 6th last. The GOP, to surprise of no one who pays attention to these matters, are opposed to such an inquiry. An inquiry is being held nonetheless. Thank goodness that there are a small handful of renegade Republicans who believe that such things matter. I don't agree with nearly anything that Liz Cheney stands for but, at this moment in our history, she is truly a profile in courage. Hats off to the lady. Here's to you, Liz!

In spite of everything, we have much to be thankful for in the United States on July 4, 2021.

So sit back, prop your feet up and enjoy a good meal if you can afford one. Happy Fourth, everybody!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


America the Beautiful 
by Ray Charles

If it were up up me, it would be at least a misdemeanor for anyone other than Ray to be caught singing this tune.

Friday, July 02, 2021

Cosby is Freed

Bill Cosby was freed from prison yesterday on a legal technicality. Many women across America are rightfully upset at this news - as well they should be. Cosby was convicted of some serious offences and needed to pay for what he did. The irony is the fact that he would have been eligible for parole in two months. It is my suspicion that, due to his advanced age, he would have been released by that time. That's just a hunch on my part.

Bill Cosby has scored a big one....I guess. His career as a beloved and working entertainer is over. The next time we read about Bill Cosby will be his obituary.

I cannot recall in my lifetime a career crashing as completely as this. As a longtime fan and admirer, this is indeed a sad and disturbing thing to behold. He has fallen as far as it is humanly possible to fall.

Bill Cosby may very well end up as the Joe Paterno of comedy. A brilliant, scandal free career and reputation that has endured for over half a century has been completely and permanently detroyed.`

One of the first books I ever purchased to read - with my own money, for my own enjoyment - was called "Cool Cos". It was a biography of Bill written especially for kids. I sent away for it to a school book club.  I was around ten at the time. I had to learn as much as humanly possible about this man who had so captured my imagination and my funny bone.

In a lifetime that has been devoted to comedy in general and comedians in particular, Bill Cosby (along with The Smothers Brothers) was my first comedic hero. When I was a kid I thought that he was the smartest, coolest, funniest human being who ever walked this earth. As I write these words his second LP, "I Started out as a Child", is lying atop a small stack of records directly behind my right shoulder.

Like Chaplin, Bill appealed to both adults and children. When I was a very small child I couldn't understand the humor of Bob Newhart. I understood and appreciated Bill Cosby perfectly well. Anyone who grew up in the sixties and seventies has their own, personal Cosby memories: In June of 1968 my father came up with the wonderful idea that it would be a really neat thing to send my brother, Pete, and I to a summer camp in Lenox, Massachusetts, on the campus of Cranwell School. The place was inhabited by hundreds of spoiled-rotten, rich Catholic kids, and run by humorless Jesuit priests. Sound like fun? My only cherished memory of that utterly wasted summer was that every Monday night before we went to sleep, a seminarian named Jim Leroux would gather us in his room and play a Bill Cosby record. I can still hear the guy's voice a half-century later:


That threat was enough to get us moving, believe me. Bill Cosby was, for me, one of the very few bright spots in a perfectly miserable childhood. That is what makes this spectacle all-the-more heartbreaking for me to have to witness.

The only time in my life I ever saw a comedian in concert was in the mid-eighties when I took a date to see Bill Cosby at Radio City Music Hall. I could not resist the opportunity to see my childhood hero in the flesh. One of my nagging regrets is that I'm too young to have ever seen Lenny Bruce in person, but at least I could say that I saw Bill. 

All of the sudden that's not too big a deal any longer, you know? In November of 2014, I was driving home one night with the radio on when it was announced on CBS  News that the TV Land cable channel would no longer be airing reruns of the classic Cosby Show. In an era of hideously mediocre comedy, that particular program was one of television's depressingly few high marks. I won't even bother trying to explain to you how sad it made me to hear this.

I loved Bill Cosby. 

Again, it's all over. We shall not hear from him again except as a figure of shame, ridicule or dark satire. There will be no second act in this American life. As tragic as Lenny's end was, death and posterity would ultimately vindicate him. There will be no such vindication for Bill Cosby. The show is over; the curtain has closed. The last decade has been a horribly unfunny period for comedy and comedians, have you noticed that?

When the mighty fall, the sound can be deafening.`

Here would be a possible assignment for an experienced investigative journalist: 
It is not an unreasonable assumption to conclude that a drug-induced rape might turn fatal. It's happened before. When one introduces a foreign substance into the blood stream of an unwitting victim, that is always a remote possibility. When there has been a half-century pattern of such behavior, that "remote possibility" becomes a virtual inevitability. This is not irresponsible speculation on my part. In fact, it only stands to reason. Think about it.

This is something that has to be looked into. Did any aspiring model/actress in Bill Cosby's presence or proximity die suddenly of an unexplained overdose in the last fifty years? There might be a long-forgotten news report that, at the time, didn't sound any alarm bells. It would be worth knowing the answer to that question. I'm just putting it out there.
I might be accused of jumping the gun here. So be it. When these allegations were first made public in 2014, I didn't want to believe them - in fact I didn't believe them. But as the months transpired, and more and more women came forward with their stories, my doubts became as soft as, forgive the pun, Jell-O. As they say, where there's smoke....
The final straw came when the transcripts of Cosby's own testimony during a civil lawsuit over a decade ago became part of the public record. When he admitted to acquiring Quaalude to give to one woman in particular for the purpose of sex, it was all over as far as I was concerned. He convicted himself.
When his epitaph is written, he won't be remembered primarily as "America's favorite dad", or as "one of the great humorists of the twentieth century" (a title which I believe he deserved). There will be no two-hour documentaries on the life and groundbreaking career of Bill Cosby - as is the case with Chaplin, Keaton, Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce. There will be no more lifetime achievement awards for Bill. Nothing.

As I stated earlier, Bill Cosby was my first comedic hero. Ask anyone who knew me in high school. While my record collection was filled to the rafters with obligatory rock 'n' roll, I possessed a sizable collection of comedy LPs. Bill's early Warner Brothers recordings were always a prominent part of that collection. 

I cannot emphasize this enough: I loved Bill Cosby.

This is a nasty tasting pill indeed. That he could be so reckless, given all that he represented to so many people - forget about race - is beyond comprehension. I know that he did a lot of good in his time, and I think he was sincere in his desire to leave the world a better place than he found it. Maybe that's true. Just try convincing his victims of that. Good luck.

We believed in Bill Cosby and he played us for chumps for a half century. That's some legacy, huh?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Parts of this piece are re-edited from two articles posted on this site in January of 2016 and September of 2018. To be perfectly honest with you, I just don't want to spend that much time thinking about Bill Cosby on such a fine summer's day. I think I'll go get drunk.