Thursday, October 27, 2022

Post #1,092: Random Observations

With Megan Cullen and Jill Degan a few years ago

The following are a few unconnected observations regarding our national trainwreck. Any similarities to any persons, living or dead, are purely intentional.

1. Herschel Walker:

"It’s possible that Herschel Walker is the worst candidate the modern Republican party has ever run for national office, and in an era of conspiracy theorists, Christian nationalists and Donald Trump, that’s saying a lot."

From The Guardian

It's ironic (although hardly surprising) that I was thinking the same thing about two hours before I read the article quoted above. In my life, I have encountered inarticulate twelve-year-olds who possessed better grammatical skills than Herschal Walker. The guy makes George W. Bush and Donald Trump sound as if they're reciting Shakespeare. He's a textbook example of how badly the Grand Old Party has lowered the bar in recent years with respect to what passes for qualified statesmen and women. His opponent, Senator Raphael Warnock is so superior to him that the race appears to be a contest between Abraham Lincoln and Bobo the Simpleminded. At this moment, Warnock is ahead of Walker by a mere two percentage points. This is astounding to me. It should be a landslide. It won't be. If Walker winds up representing the people of Georgia come January, something is terribly wrong.

AFTERTHOUGHT, 11/1/2022:

In the sixteen and-a-half years that I've been writing this thing, this is the first time that I haven't the time nor the energy to complete a post. The truth is, i have lost the inclination to bring this thing to a conclusion. Sorry about that, folks. My health is not what it once was. Give me a week or so to get my act together.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY

Friday, October 14, 2022

Requiem For a Knucklehead


In a stunning bit of news that even shocked the likes of me (I've become somewhat unshockable these days) Donald Trump was subpoenaed yesterday to testify under oath before the January 6 committee. Watch again as this deranged piece-of-shit attempts to prove to the people of America that he is above the law. I was tempted at first to name this piece "Requiem for a Deranged Piece-of-Shit" but thought better of it at the last moment. My bad.

Yesterday's hearings proved - beyond a fraction of doubt - that Trump knew damned well that he had lost the election fair and square, but that he went on with his attempted coup regardless of the facts. Please bear in mind that virtually all of yesterday's damning testimony came from Republicans - Trump supporters who went to Washington in January of 2017 believing in Donald Trump. A small number of them may be accused of trying to save their own asses but all of them were credible. Donald J. Trump will be remembered in history, primarily, as the first former chief-executive to die in the custody of the federal authorities. 

QUESTION: Do I seriously believe that Trump should go to jail?


EXPLANATION: "Jail" is where you go when you've had one-too-many on a Saturday night and you accidentally back your car into the plate glass window of the local pharmacy. Donald Trump needs to go to federal prison for the rest of his life.

So there.

Twenty years ago, I would find myself at times bolting up out of as dead sleep in the middle of the night and saying aloud: "My goodness! A half-witted frat boy from Crawford, Texas is president of the United States"! What a difference two decades makes. huh? George W. Bush is starting to look like George Washington. For all his flaws and utter incompetence, it must be grudgingly conceded that -
at the very least - Bush had some smart people behind him. That cannot be said about Donald Trump. That is all the argument you need for the abolition of the electoral college: the worst president (at the time) in living memory (Bush 43) and the worst president in American history (have a guess) lost the popular vote; Trump being the only president in history to lose the popular vote twice.

Fifty years from now the president of the United States, whomever he or she will be - whom in all likelihood hasn't even been born yet - will still, on a daily basis, be dealing with the damage that Trump did to his once great nation all of those decades before. What will the future generation of historians say about this generation of Americans who were foolish enough to send a so obviously unqualified a man to the White House? We can't sooth ourselves with the rationalization that at least he lost the popular vote in 2016. That doesn't cut it. It should have been a landslide. 

It's not certain if yesterday's hearing will be the last one. If Trump honors the subpoena it will probably be the first time in his life that the old dingbat ever does anything honorable. If he doesn't show up he should be charged with contempt of congress. Either way, the rest of 2022 promises to be mighty interesting.

Tom Degan, Goshen, NY

Saturday, October 08, 2022

Take Back "The Party of Lincoln"


This country has gotten to a point where we have become so divided that it almost seems that some people will have nothing to do with others who might be ideologically opposed to their way of thinking. Bill Maher commented on this the other day on his Real Time program. This is not an option for me. If I felt that way, I would have to become a hermit. I live in an area of New York State that is still, in 2022, fairly rock ribbed. Here in Orange County we are directly across the river from Dutchess County - which is where Hyde Park, the lifetime home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is located. If you ever find yourselves in these parts, I highly recommend the FDR Library and Museum in that town. Think about this: the four times that Roosevelt ran for the White House, he lost Orange County - every single time. I'm almost embarrassed to tell you this. Orange County is where the West Point Military Academy is located. Although it's not quite as bad as it was in the Fabulous Forties, it's still pretty conservative.

And yet, as conservative as my home turf undoubtedly is, I don't know any rabid, violent and crazy MAGA/Trumpers in these parts. Oh, they're here alright, it's just that they're not as much of a force to be reckoned with as they are in other regions of the nation. There used to be such a thing as responsible and thoughtful Republican politicians. One of them was a guy named Ben Gilman (1922-2016) He was our congressman here in the Hudson Valley from 1973 to 2003. He lost his seat when it was gerrymandered out of existence by Dick Cheney and then-New York governor George Pataki. You see, Ben wasn't the kind of guy to mindlessly tow the Grand Old Party's line; he had to be done away with. For their troubles, Cheney and Pataki were delivered two Democratic congressmen -
Ben Gilman
one of whom was the first openly gay man elected to the House!
 Ain't that a hoot? Ben Gilman was a good man and a friend of my father's. He always got my vote. When the chairman of Orange County's Democratic Committe once expressed alarm that I had cast my vote for him I replied, "Nominate a better candidate than Ben Gilman and they'll have my vote.

Margaret Chase Smith
It's time to face the music and admit that we don't have Republican politicians like Ben Gilman anymore - or Margaret Chase-Smith (1897-1995). She was the GOP senator from Maine who could only be described as the Liz Cheney of her day. At a time when a reprehensible drunkard named Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee were running roughshod over the United States Constitution, ruining lives with accusations of communist collusion, Margaret Chase-Smith stood up to them on the floor of the senate. It was a brave thing for her to do as Joe McCarthy and HUAC were extremely popular in New England. Even Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy (you know, the guy who wrote "Profiles in Courage"?) didn't have the guts to stand up to them. At one point she had the chutzpa to seek the Republican nomination for the presidency. Are there any statues of her? There should be.

I could name others: Millicent Fenwick, Barry Goldwater, Everett Dirkson - not to mention Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and John McCain. Heck, even Ronald Reagan is starting to look reasonable.

I believe that something like a one-party-system wouldn't be a good thing for America. That's why I believe that, if you are registered to vote in Republican primaries, you should be alarmed at what the crazies are doing to the GOP. You need to get to work taking it back from the loonies who have hijacked it before it's too late - as it will be very soon.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


A Declaration of Conscience
by Margaret Chase Smith.

Here is a link to listen to a reenactment Margaret Chase Smith's speech on the floor of the senate on June 1, 1950. Unfortunately, it was not recorded.

It should be etched in stone. Where did I put my chisel?

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Uncle Clarence's Ginni Problem

 Clarence Thomas has a big problem. 

First of all, Judge Thomas has no business being on the Supreme Court. His presence is an embarrassment to anyone with an IQ above room temperature. We now know that he is as corrupt as anyone who has ever sat on that bench. How this pathetic Uncle Tom Negro is able to sleep at night is a question for the psychiatrists and not for me. 

And we now have absolute proof of his corruption: he has been caught red handed making decisions on cases in which his wife is involved. When a recent decision involving weather or not emails between Gini and Mark Meadows could be released to the January 6th committee, Thomas was the only one of the nine justices who voted NO. Did he believe that no one would notice blatant the conflict-of-interest? Who knows what the silly bastard is thinking on any given day.

As soon as the loyal party of opposition retakes the House and Senate in January (Oh please-Oh please-Oh please) he needs to be impeached at once. In fact, the removal of Clarence Thomas should be their first order of business in January of 2023. 

My knowledge of American history is quite broad and comprehensive. If there is any associate justice from our past who was as corrupt as Clarence, I'm not aware of it.  Even my ancestor, Roger Brook Taney, who illegally schemed with President James Buchanan to have the Dred Scott Decision passed into law, was not quite on the same level of corruption as Judge Thomas.

Almost exactly fifteen years ago, I wrote a piece about Clarence Thomas on this site. An Excerpt: 

According to [Judge] Thomas in his recently published memoir, My Grandfather's Son, when he received his diploma from Yale Law School, he put a "fifteen cents" sticker on it and relegated it to the basement of his home. You see, Clarence Thomas believes that it was the very existence of affirmative action that made his law degree all-but-worthless. To his way of thinking, he would have been much better off had he just pursued his dream of becoming a lawyer only on the merits of his talent and abilities and not relied on the good intentions of all those evil, white, liberal, do-gooders. In his mind, his place on the Supreme Court would today be all-the-more significant and he would be sitting on that revered bench free of the guilty conscience that obviously torments him to this very day. His place in the halls of justice would have meant so much more had all of those silly and stupid Great Society types not interfered with his ambitions.
Question: Just where do you think Clarence Thomas would be today had it not been for affirmative action?
Answer: He would be mounted on the front lawn of some beer distributor's home in Albany, Georgia, wearing a jockey uniform and holding a lamp.

FUN FACT: I believe that Anita Hill was telling the truth.

Yeah, Clarence Thomas has got to go - the sooner the better. We can no longer afford to have this unenlightened buffoon sitting on the highest court in the land. It's embarrassing.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Brethren 
by Bob Woodward

This look into the late seventies Supremes is well worth your time.

Hi ho.