As Stephen Sondheim once wrote: "Could it be? Yes it could". It was a line from a song from West Side Story called, "Something's Coming". In this particular case something's ending. I refer to the year 2013. From beginning to the end it sucked. I've never been superstitious but I'm starting to wonder about the number thirteen. Anyway, it's time once again, boys and girls, for us to skip merrily down memory lane for our annual look at the Worst of The Rant. Wasn't that a time?
It's ironic but true enough: had Nixon come around today, his party wouldn't nominate him for any office - let alone the presidency. That is how far down the ideological sewer it has descended. Strange days indeed.
and too many Democratic - congressmen have their lines perfectly
scripted. They have all of the NRA talking points down pat. It's not the
guns that are the problem, they would have us believe, it's all those
nasty movies from Hollywood; it's all those dreadful video games - THAT'S THE REAL PROBLEM!
But these films are shown in Europe. Those video games are played in
Canada. Mass murders of little children don't happen in those countries.
This is an American problem, folks. Wake up and smell the gun powder.
[A]s the weeks leading up to his inauguration wore on, my excitement
slowly dissipated. By Inauguration Day 2009 it was gone. That's when it
hit me: "What's President Obama going to be doing for the next
eight years?" I asked out loud, "The same thing that black people in
this country have been doing for the last four centuries: Cleaning up
the mess left behind by lazy and ignorant white people! WHAT'S THE BIG
I am now
more convinced than ever that the "Grand Old Party" will be extinct in
ten years' time. Recently John Boehner told an audience of "moderate"
Republicans (They still exist???) that the president was
attempting to shove their party into "history's dust bin". That's an
unfair accusation. Their mortal wound is self-inflicted. Unfortunately
there is still time for them to do some serious damage to this country.
I don't envy Karl Rove and Eric Cantor. They're both walking on
cracked eggshells these days and it's quite an amusing thing to watch.
They have the tricky task of trying to make their extreme agenda appear
more palatable to voters with IQ's above room temperature. That's the
only course they have. They don't dare attempt to reposition their party
even half-an-inch toward the center. Such a move would surely cause a
massive freakout among the crazies, risking a third party uprising and
dooming the Republican party in the process. Rove has been described by
some as a "political genius". Hats off to him if he can slither his way
out of this one.
Barack Obama is on the right track, but he and his supporters need to
make certain "adjustments" in their collective thinking. A few nights
ago on his MSNBC program, Ed Schultz asked his viewers if they approved
of this administration's policy of killing American citizens abroad whom
they "suspect" of terrorist activities - without the constitutionally
mandated due process. Astonishingly, a full seventy-eight percent of the
participants in the poll responded that they were perfectly content
with the policy. Ed was visibly shocked by the results. So was I. And
remember, the bulk of Ed's audience are "liberals".
also a few economic advantages that come with mass murder. I imagine
that there will be a few funeral homes and crematoriums that will do
quite nicely. If your profession involves the sale of cemetery plots
there are a few extra bucks in it for you as well. And the gun industry?
Forget about it! As the mass paranoia multiplies, more-and-more people
will be purchasing guns out of sheer terror. Expect the rate of deaths
by firearms to skyrocket in the next decade. The gun industry will be
making a killing - pun intended indeed.
now a sick form of revisionism that is trying to get us to swallow the
nonsensical notion that [Franklin Roosevelt] destroyed America, that he made the
Depression worse; that he was a dictator; that he was a racist; that he
let the attack on Pearl Harbor happen....all of it bunk. The
propagandists really need to keep to the facts. As I said - and I cannot
emphasize this enough - Franklin Roosevelt saved this country. Deal
In the meantime (very mean indeed) we really have to come
face-to-face with the prospect of living in a nation in ruins. We need
to understand that there are just too many people in this doomed country
- too violent, too stupid, and too stone-cold crazy - to ever see the
light of day. This is not a situation that can be cured overnight by
some magical, sociological panacea. This is a condition that will take a
century or more to remedy - if it is ever remedied at all. We
might as well deal with it as best we can. We The People are diseased.
Congress is an organized criminal enterprise. The media is beyond
dysfunctional. The chickens are coming home to roost - and they're armed
There are a few
things I'd like to see happen but I'm afraid that I've become too much
of a cynic to think that we'll ever have meaningful change. Whenever the
thought crosses my mind that there might be a brighter day down the
road - not just for the United States but for everyone on the planet - I dismiss it as
naive self-deception. Maybe it will happen; I hope so, but I'm
convinced that not much will change in my lifetime. Degan men tend not to live too far into their sixties. I'm fifty-four. C'est la vie.
This is getting to be an awkward time for me, at least as far as memories are concerned.
The teenaged icons of my early childhood - not terribly far removed from me in terms of
age - are beginning to fade into eternity. When I was a little boy they seemed eternally
youthful and indestructible. They weren't, of course. They were (and are)
as vulnerable as any of us in their grip on that brittle thread that
binds us to this earth. Time keeps flowing like
a river into the sea....Has anybody here seen my old friend Lennon?
happened on the floor of the United States Senate on Wednesday made me
murderously angry. In fact it put me into a blind rage from which I have
yet to recover. Give me a day or two and a couple bottles of vodka and
V8 juice - that'll do the trick! But it did not surprise me - far from it.
I've come to expect nothing less (or nothing more) from these hideous
bastards and bitches. The most insanely watered-down version of gun
control legislation - mandatory background checks - was defeated
by a minority of US senators yesterday - four of them Democrats. This
was something that ninety percent of the American people wanted
desperately. As Chris Matthews recently observed, it's
next-to-impossible to get ninety percent of this insanely complicated
populous to agree on anything. This begs the musical question: Who the hell are these people representing?
The catastrophic explosion this week in West Texas that killed
sixty-or-more people was pretty predictable, too. The more we allow
corporate America to rape and denigrate the American infrastructure, the
more we can expect this sort of thing to happen in the future. It's
sort of like with guns: Less regulation means more deaths. Again, this
is not terribly difficult to figure out; in fact it's kind of a
I live less than forty miles from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY. I visit there as often as I
can because I really love the place. I always feel a little better about this
doomed country whenever I leave there. It is truly a fitting memorial to a great
American leader, arguably the greatest in history. I might be persuaded to visit the Bush Library someday -
if only out of morbid curiosity you understand. I imagine any place that is
designed for no other purpose than to put a sugar coating on the sick and twisted legacy of George W. Bush
ought to be just oodles of fun to visit! I liken it to putting a smiley face on the carcass a decomposing pig. "Whoa! Lookie thar, Martha, ain't that purdy!"....One does not envy the people in charge of developing the exhibits for the Dubya Library. Whoever the poor bastards are I hope they're paid quite handsomely for their efforts. It takes real talent to turn a mountain of chickenshit into a tasty plate of chicken salad.
She [Sarah Palin] criticized President Obama for using the grieving families of the
Newtown victims as "backdrops" in order to appeal to our emotions. I
guess it never occurred to this brain-damaged bitch that these poor
people are willing participants in these media events, that they might
want to prevent the unspeakable tragedy that imploded their lives in
December from being visited upon other mothers and fathers, brothers and
Cruz is against any legislation that would prevent the next massacre of
innocent children? That's fine. I wouldn't expect a reactionary putz
like Ted to do the right thing in the wake of such unspeakable carnage.
What could you possibly hope for from someone who recently stated that
he wants all of America to be more like his beloved Texas - a state that (with the merciful exception of Mississippi) every survey shows to be the worst place in this dying nation in which to live. Gosh, these surely are weird and wonderful times to be alive, aren't they?
Show me a person who is seriously alarmed by these conjured-up
"scandals" and I'll show you someone who isn't paying attention - or who
is watching way-too-much Fox Noise. That's not to imply that
there isn't policy to be reassessed or personnel to discipline, but
let's put things in their proper perspective, okay? To refer to this
administration (as many Republicans are curiously doing) as "Nixonian"
is bit over the top, don'cha think? Comparing Barack Obama to Dick Nixon
makes about as much sense as comparing the sniffles to an advanced case
of terminal brain cancer. Let's get a grip here.
been nearly three-thousand gun-related deaths in this diseased land of
ours since the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14 of last
year. Three of them occurred one night a couple of weeks ago less than
twenty-five miles from where I sit - when an unknown gunman entered a
house in Newburgh, NY and shot and killed a woman and two men. Although a
relatively small city, Newburgh's homicide rate is ridiculously high.
That holds true for the rest of the country. As long as the victims are
proportionately poor and non-white nothing is going to change. Our "representatives" will see to that. Maybe when a few of their children are sacrificed on the alter of greed and stupidity it'll wake them up. Maybe.
Washington will be a bit less weird when [Michelle Bachmann] heads off into the sunset in January of 2015, which is a good thing - for your purposes -
not for mine. Michele is the gift that keeps giving. She won't be going
away from the national stage, you can count on that. But one can't
blame her for wanting to leave DC. As the District of You-Know-Where gets
nuttier by the hour it's difficult for a real media whore to stand out.
As bat-shit-crazy as this Congresswoman undeniably is, she's got some
serious competition. Insanity junkies are a dime a dozen in Washington
these days. The time has come for our gal to strike out on her own.
Service to the people doesn't mean a goddamned thing to the likes of
Sarah Palin sabotaged John McCain's decades-long quest to be
commander-and-chief - for no other reason than to put her "brand" on the
market. She did it by "Going Rogue" the title of her 2009 book. She
realized that there was a fortune that could be made outside of the
Governor's Mansion - which she cheerfully vacated in the summer of that
year. She became a highly-paid commentator on Fox Noise and joined the
ranks of Honey Boo Boo as a star of reality TV. Fox finally dumped her last year. The revelations in Game Change had rendered her too embarrassing even for them I suppose.
PREDICTION: Unless those voter ID laws are successfully implemented between now
and then, a Democratic administration will succeed another Democratic
administration on Inauguration Day 2017. Do you know when the last time that
happened? When Franklin Pierce handed over the reigns of power to
stuffy old James Buchanan on March 4, 1857. It hasn't happened since - check the history books.
And it might very well be that the first black president bequeaths the
office to the first woman president. The juiciest irony of all is that
most of the Democrats of 1857 were ingrained racists and (it goes without saying) sexist. Had they known of this possibility they would have disbanded the party then and there. Life is funny that way, you know?
The forces of reaction and and suppression have been in a full-tilt FREAK OUT
ever since the American people elected the first African American to
the White House five years ago. That was something that was never
supposed to happen. They had no other choice but to declare a
full-scale, state of emergency. Within a matter of months the
Republicans were whining about "voter fraud" - an epidemic that was
non-existent. Their scheme was to make it as difficult as humanly
possible for the traditional Democratic constituency to cast their
precious ballots by forcing them to purchase ID cards. That is what is known as a "poll tax".
You've got to hand it to the Republicans. They've got nearly a century-and-a-half of some heavy duty scandals
behind them. From Iran/Contra to Watergate to Teapot Dome; jaw-dropping
debacles going all the way back to the administration of Ulysses S
Grant. That's not to mention the reign of the village idiot from
Crawford, Texas, whose entire eight-year-run was one rolling scandal.
About the best they could ever pin on the Democrats was the spectacle of
the Bill Clinton years - and that was only after years of trying in vain to pin something on the guy.
They had to trick him into lying under oath about a fling with a
half-witted intern - something that was totally unrelated to what he was
testifying about at the time. I think it's interesting that of all
these presidents mired in corruption and shame, Clinton is the only one
of the lot who had impeachment proceedings brought against him. The
history of this nation is just drenched in dandy little ironies like
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt did indeed have a perfectly radical
idea. It was their belief that the whole purpose of representation in
Washington was not merely to declare war and pass bad laws. They wanted a
government that was in partnership with the people. As a result of
their vision, they changed the sociological face of the United States
forever. Today the right wing wants us to swallow the notion that
"government is the problem" and that it should be done away with. We should be seeking the perfection of government - not its abolition.
First and foremost: Fuck Florida. There ought to be a nationwide
tourism boycott of what must be the most overrated peninsula on this
planet. You want to take your kids to a nice spot for a vacation? Try a
mountain lake resort or a national park. To hell with Disney World.
With the creation of the Prison Industrial Complex, you will now see a
new breed of lobbyists befouling the halls of congress. They will go
there to bribe our "lawmakers" into passing more-and-more punitive laws
in order to ensure that those prisons will be doing VERY BIG BUSINESS.
We already have the highest percentage of citizens incarcerated than any
other country in the world (Land of the free my ass). Expect a prison population explosion in the next decade. This is going to get interesting.
A question to ponder for the ages: It a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound if Mitch McConnell is there to deny that a sound was made? I wonder....
One of the reasons - and it's the main reason - that America is in
decline is because we long ago lost our thirst for knowledge. The people
that run this place do not want the masses educated. They want them
indoctrinated. In too many American schools, children are not being
taught to think. They're being taught to memorize and recite. And if the
half-witted right wing has its way, in ten years every public
school in this country will be offered up to the highest corporate
bidder. Keep voting with the Conservatives. You'll deserve everything
that happens to you.
Something wonderful ended on November 22nd 1963, not only Jack
Kennedy's life, but our sweet optimism. My generation still has faded
memories of that America, but we were so young that it seems to
us now as a ghost-like dream, a mental daguerreotype. By the time we
came of age a decade or so later, this place was damaged - cynical and
jaded. Maybe one day the United States will recover from what happened
on November 22nd 1963, but I suppose it won't be until the last survivor
with a conscious memory of those four dark days passes from the scene.
Conservative Catholics should be grateful. All Catholics should
be grateful. This pope - and a whole lot of pesky nuns riding around on
buses - are the ones who will save Catholicism. The last twenty years
have been the darkest ones in centuries for the Church of Rome (I'll
spare you the details - you know what I'm talking about). Francis is
resuscitating it. Who was the last pope to take his vow of poverty as
seriously as this one? I like this dude!
My problem is that this site is an outlet for my anger. Anger isn't
as good a motivation as sorrow. The problem is that I'm more angry than
sorrowful. In fact I'm in a blind freakin' rage. Also I don't
claim to be what I'm not. I've never said that I have a hot line to the
Almighty. He has never spoken to me (as He seems to "speak" to so many
Republicans these days - Have you noticed that?) I'm not a
perfect Christian but I will tell you this: If Mitch McConnell showed up
at my doorstep one cold and stormy night - hungry and homeless - I
would take him in, feed him and give him a warm bed to sleep on. Were
the rolls reversed I don't think old Mitch would reciprocate. In fact
I'm certain the old bugger would have me arrested - or shot.
Fifty years ago yesterday, Jim Crow died and went to hell. This year,
right around the fiftieth anniversary of the murder of Medgar Evers,
the United States Supreme Court raised the old bastard from the dead. Let's put the forces of oppression on notice: There is no way in hell
we're going to turn back the clock. They can try to stop the tide from
coming in. They can try to stop the moon from rising in the eastern sky
at twilight. As a matter of fact, they just might have an easier time of
Note to the rest of the world: Planning on a sweet and cozy vacation for the
spouse and kiddies? Here's some sound advice you'd be smart to heed:
Stay out of the this place. We here in the good ol' USA want you dead. And if
we catch you in the wrong place at the wrong time you're a goner,
Buster. Of course the odds are much better than fifty/fifty that you'll get
out of here alive but why on earth would you want
to take such a chance - particularly when your loved ones are involved? Go
out and hug a tree during a thunderstorm. It's much safer than visiting
the United States of America. Think I'm kidding? Don't mess with us.
Stay away from here if you know what's good for you. I'm not kidding.
It is now obvious that the Canadian-born [Ted] Cruz wants to take his weird
act nationwide. He's planning on throwing his tinfoil-hat into the
ring. It will probably be at least another two years before it's
official, but Teddy Boy is planning on becoming president on January 20,
2017. Oh, thank you, fate.
You can expect at least one more mass killing before the year is
out. And as more and more people are increasingly able to gain access do
these dangerous, rapid-fire, people-killing machines, the carnage will
only multiply. Until we wake the hell up, this is the way it's gonna be
from now on, kids. Get used to it. Deal with it. Why get all
bent-out-of-shape over the inevitable? I'm not. I long ago adjusted to
living in a nation in ruins. You ought to, too. Don't worry. Be happy.
beautiful thing about this entire mess is that - for all the damage
that's being done to the United States - it surely is an amusing
spectacle to behold. I'm sure that watching Nero playing the fiddle
while Rome burned all around him must have been a funny thing to witness
as well. You can say anything you want about the times in which we
live, but you can't say that they're boring. Anything but. In fact I
cannot recall an era more entertaining - in terms of pure ideological
insanity - than this one. The ancient Chinese used to say, "May you
live in interesting times". It was a blessing and a curse.
If I had been walking this earth one-hundred years ago, I might very
well have been a registered Republican. Back in those bygone days they
had a Progressive wing that was decades ahead of its time. Kiss those
days goodbye forever. The party of Teddy Roosevelt has morphed into the
party of Uncle Fester. That's okay. Soon they'll be gone forever. While
the Democrats are useless and impotent, there is still a molecule of
hope for them. The Republicans, on the other hand, are beyond
redemption. The very fact that a bloviating dingbat like Ted Cruz is
today one of their most recognizable spokesmen is all the proof you need
that this is a party that has lost its mind. All of Boehner's horses
and all of Boehner's men will not be able to put that party together
again. Farewell, and good riddance.
How ironic that a political party founded on the principal that the
black man should be liberated from bondage would commit suicide over the
first African American being elected president.
"Obamacare" (The right wing doesn't dare call it by its real name: "Affordable Care") is now the law of the land - passed in both houses
of Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court. It's certainly not
perfect, but as this country moves further to the left in the years to
come (it's already happening - deal with it) it can be improved
upon and it will be. Bringing it into existence, making it a reality,
are merely baby-steps on the path to the bill's ultimate improvement (I
can't bring myself to use the word "perfection". It's becoming clearer
to me each day that perfection is an illusion).
Democrats really screw up this golden political moment (as they're not
unknown to do) they have nothing to fear from the good fortune of Chris
Christie. 2016 will be the the equivalent of shooting a school of
brain-damaged fish in a leaky barrel. Their luck is hard to believe. For a
right-winger, Chris is as decent as one could ever hope for. That is why
he doesn't stand a chance in the Republican primaries. If he is the
Dem's "worst nightmare", they should be quite grateful. With nightmares
like that, who needs daydreams?
When I was a kid (in my household at least)
whenever a major story broke, you went to CBS News no questions asked.
Back in the day, that organization was known as "the diamond of the
Tiffany Network". Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd
never end; but end they certainly did. That rumbling that you can hear
in the faint
distance is the sound of Edward R. Murrow, Eric Sevareid and Walter Cronkite doing somersaults in their graves.
The NRA types love to jabber away - like diseased little myna birds -
about "freedom". We need to came face-to-face with some extremely
unpleasant realities: A people who live in a chronic state of mortal terror - wondering
when and where the next massacre of innocent little boys and girls will
take place may indeed be many things - no argument there! "Free" they
are not. Let's just stop kidding ourselves here and now, okay?
planet is such a dark and unhappy place. At times it can seem
unbearable. There is not one of us who couldn't stand a little more
love. Not one of us is incapable of giving a little more as well. Rather
than cursing the darkness - and each other - let us, instead, light some candles tonight.
So that's it for 2013, my friends. Good riddance. Goodbye.
Happy New Year....(Please, God).
I never use a photograph more than once, but the one at the top of this diatribe of mine got such a nice response when I used it back in August, I figured I'd have another go at it.