There IS a Difference

Periodically, I take some heat here at FiftyFourAndAHalf for being one sided in my political commentary. For not saying nice things about the GOP.  There is some validity to those charges.  My bad.

But, frankly, there are loads of folks who write up the other side. I have said that if the Republican Party hadn’t taken Ronald Reagan’s “The Government IS the Problem” quite so much to heart, well, things might be different.  I might be different.

But as things turned out, you see, well, I’m a liberal. An unapologetic liberal.

When I look at today’s GOP (which is very different from the pre-Reagan GOP) I am astonished that there are folks who go along with the things these folks are advocating.  They’re cra-cray!

Only today, Governor and GOP Presidential hopeful Scott Walker announced that he might just have to bomb Iran his first day in office.  You know, before he knows were the bathrooms are in the White House.  The minute he gets near the button, well, he might just push it.

Some newly elected prezes watch a parade and dance at the Inaugural balls. But not Scott!  Nope!  Nope, he will inaugurate his own balls by starting a fucking war.

Where the hell do you think I got this one?

Where the hell do you think I got this one?

Even ¿Jeb!, the brother of the last GOP guy to bring us a stupid war, thought that Scotty was going a wee bit too far:

One thing that I won’t do is just say, as a candidate, ‘I’m going to tear up the agreement on the first day.’ That’s great, that sounds great but maybe you ought to check in with your allies first, maybe you ought to appoint a secretary of state, maybe secretary of defense, you might want to have your team in place, before you take an act like that.

Scotty, however, disagreed:

At a press conference after his appearance at the Family Leader Summit here Saturday, Walker was asked if he thinks Bush is wrong. “He may have his opinion. I believe that a president shouldn’t wait to act until they put a cabinet together or an extended period of time,” Walker said.

“I believe they should be prepared to act on the very first day they take office. It’s very possible – God forbid, but it’s very possible – that the next president could be called to take aggressive actions, including military action, on the first day in office. And I don’t want a president who is not prepared to act on day one.

This is not a man who thinks he might have to react to a 9/11-like attack. This is a man with no military experience except the fucking Boy Scouts, And he is planning to go to war on January 20, 2017.

Does this make you feel safe? Secure? Like your children and your children’s children will be hunky dory?

Personally, it gives me a feeling of déjà vu:

Photo Credit;  My memory and Google Image's

Photo Credit; My memory and Google Image’s

Contrast that with the Democrats. They just negotiated an historic agreement to avoid war. To see what we can do to not destroy the planet. Well done, Blue Team!

Wendy Sherman, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs who was involved in the negotiations, described what happened after the deal was concluded. After the cameras and the reporters were gone.

[E]ach of the foreign ministers of the P5+1 group – the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – and Iran “made a statement about what this meant to them.”

“All of the remarks, by all of the ministers, including [Iranian Foreign] Minister [Javad] Zarif, were very moving, because it was private, and it was about what this deal meant to them.”

But the last spot was reserved for John Kerry.*

“When I was 22, I went to war” – [Kerry said] before choking up.

“He couldn’t get the words out,” [Sherman] recalled. “And everybody was completely spellbound.”

Kerry composed himself and continued, “I went to war and it became clear to me that I never wanted to go to war again.”

Do you have kids?  Grand kids?  Siblings who might be called upon to fight?  Which side should you be supporting?

So I am unapologetic about supporting the folks who believe that before going to war, they should work for peace.

I had the poster.  I had the necklace.  Google has the image.

I had the poster. I had the necklace. Google has the image.

* Kerry would have made a fine president.


Filed under 2016, Adult Traumas, All The News You Need, All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance, ¿Jeb!, Bat-shit crazy, Campaigning, Cancer on Society, Crazy Folks Running, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, No More Bushes, Scott Walker, Scotty destroyed Wisconsin, Shit

76 responses to “There IS a Difference

  1. Cary Vaughn

    I liked this. I liked this a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find I’m more of a middle-roader. Some issues are easy to see 100%, while others aren’t quite as clear for me. But this is your blog and your right to say what you please. You shouldn’t be taking heat for that. As for Kerry, I think he got a raw deal too, and I often wonder if the ‘fake’ swift boaters sunk him. Too bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Renee It is challenging. These days, though, more than ever, party often matters. Because independents really don’t have much of a say as they are so few.


  3. You said it perfectly. I am with you 100%, if there were more than 100% I would be with you that much. Like you, I am a Liberal, Left Wing, Progressive. I make no bones about where my politics lie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You? You’re a liberal? Actually, the real question I often wonder is “why isn’t everyone?” Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well I don’t mind that some are middle of the road, some are ‘conservative’. There are some that are informed by their upbringing, others informed by their faith.

        What I mind, is so many are ill-informed, uninformed and just plain ignorant. Then there are those who wish to pound me with their faith, thinking I must buy what they are selling and they must legislate their beliefs, Christian Sharia Law anyone?

        What I mind, is a failure to understand history.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I see Mr. Kerry on the tv now and again, he seems like a reasonable guy. I heard him the other day talking about the Iran deal. He was asked if he would run and said unequivocally no. Too bad.

    The GOP guys are bad for the world and humanity as a whole. I don’t know much, but I know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He is a very smart man — and would have made a fine president. (I mean compared to Bush who wouldn’t be.) And he introduced the world to Obama, which was a very good thing indeed.

      We democrats never re-run our losers. And, as my husband reminded me when I was all gung-ho about Sen. Elizabeth Warren, democrats from Massachusetts don’t do so well … (Dukakis, Kerry …) Maybe they just don’t do well against Bushes.

      With that last paragraph, you proved that you know a whole lot more than a lot of American voters… Sigh.


  5. To unabashedly define yourself as a liberal is an interesting (and noble) thing, Elyse. Many people hear the word (much like “feminism”) and cringe. Do they understand what it means?

    To me (and most reference books) it means someone who is open-minded, not fixed in tradition, believes in the freedom/equality of the individual, and that the government’s role is to guarantee those rights to individuals (the familiar rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–whatever that means).

    So to say that you or I am a liberal is not to say that we are raving maniacs who seek to destroy all that is wholesome and good about America (whatever that means), but it is to say that we stand up for the equal rights of individuals guaranteed to us because we are human beings. And we are willing to break with tradition to seek ways to bring about said equality and other human rights.

    Ah, but the Devil is always in the details, right? How do we liberals go about pursuing life, liberty and happiness? How many traditions must fall in the name of the greater good called “equality?”

    It’s way easier to push a button releasing a nuke than it is to negotiate peace. Most people want easy solutions to easy problems. The big problem is that all of our problems as super complicated. Someone really needs to tell these GOP candidates that…

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a thoughtful comment, Lorna. I like the last bit best — the big problem is that all of our problems are super complicated. Yup. And it takes thought, and negotiation, and knowledge of people and history and science and math and all kinds of stuff the GOP has no time for — not gut reaction.


  6. Dana

    We should just elect Roseanne Barr.


  7. No more wars, please. There’s so much going on in the GOP it’s becoming difficult to keep up with all the subjects. If Jeb is elected, he wants to do away with as many federal civilians as he can and hire contractors in their place. Of course the Bush family loves contractors, that’s how you make your millions. You line up the contractors providing the largest pay-backs and then agree to have a war where contractors outnumber the soldiers 3 to 1.

    If I may be so bold, John McCain is not exactly a war hero. Yes he was captured during Vietnam and his father, an admiral, made it possible so he could walk free. To McCain’s credit, he didn’t walk as he wouldn’t go without all the other prisoners. What about all the men who came home in flag draped coffins. They and their families made the ultimate sacrifice.

    My real problem with McCain came after the Vietnam war. When Fort Ord, CA closed and prime real estate became available [yet the public was not aware that it was available for purchase] McCain paid pennies on the dollar for prime oceanfront land along with pennies on the dollar for thousands of new housing units complete with solar energy and I could go on and on.

    When advocating for Active Duty Military and their families or Veterans, I never bother approaching McCain’s staff. He’s said he couldn’t be bothered far too many times for me to have 1/4 of an ounce respect remaining for this man.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m no fan of McCain’s either (and his wife makes me cringe — where do they get these Stepford Wives?), but I hadn’t heard about the real estate we taxpayers gave the good Senator. Holy cow! But it is interesting to hear you say that he has no time to help the causes of military families and vets. I wish I could say I’m shocked. So I guess I’ll just have to say “I’m shocked, shocked!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elyse – I wouldn’t know much of what I know if I hadn’t spent so many years in government with my ‘ears to the ground.’ McCain and many others made billions from the closing of Fort Ord [the most beautiful real estate the military owned] and the taxpayer is still paying for that particular base closing. We are still paying for toxic waste clean-up and on and on. Actually, we never save money when we close a military base. It always cost more!

        McCain’s wife brought a fortune to the marriage and perhaps that sweetened the pot.

        Twenty years ago I knew McCain wouldn’t help the military when I was pushing a piece of legislation through congress. He was so against it because it meant big insurance companies would have to reimburse directly to military hospitals. The bill is complicated and boring but he fought it tooth and nails. It passed and has brought in billions to individual military hospitals for the improved care of our soldiers. Actually, the law has been so successful that Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Veterans Affairs, etc. have all adopted the same law. Of course it really ticks me off that Medicare makes money on a bill that I co-authored!!!!!!!


        • Where did the money go before the bill?

          As to the base, we really need to figure out how, when the government sells something, the taxpayers don’t pay MORE!


          • Before the bill became law, the insurance companies were NEVER BILLED and thus they never had to pay. The money stayed with the insurance company and they made bigger dividends and the taxpayer paid more. Health care for the military and now other organizations was absorbed into each individual organization’s budget.

            Imagine the shock of the insurance companies when the law passed! Oh happy day. Of course, it then took over a year for me to teach military hospitals across the US and Europe how to bill these insurance companies and follow up, etc. Technically, the law has to do with Third Party Liability. But, I still consider it one of my best accomplishments in government. I simply worked it around my regular white collar crime investigations and everything turned out right – – – but it was a wild ride for awhile.

            As to how to find out when the government sells something – a team of us went rogue, if you will, on the Fort Ord deal. We loved Fort Ord. It had been our home and the home of thousands of others and it was closed because Leon Panetta traded it’s closure for a seat on Clinton’s Cabinet! Panetta was California’s Senator and had been for a long time. Panetta pulled a lot of dirty deals and once he decided he didn’t like Washington DC under Clinton, he went back to California and brokered deals on Fort Ord.

            These were high rollers with billions of old family money backing them up. The rest of us were individuals that loved our country and dearly loved Fort Ord and the surrounding communities. We’d made our lives there and worked hard to improve the lives of others. We’d made solid friendships and had no intentions of ever leaving but were forced out all because of the greed of others.

            We were making tremendous headway into cleaning up a massive Veterans Affairs contract fraud in nursing homes that was sweeping the nation. So much was happening and with a signature – we were gone. I consider it one of the greatest tragedies of my life. I had the most incredible team at Fort Ord and we were convinced we could move mountains and I don’t want to boast or anything, but we often did.

            Liked by 1 person

            • What a terrible story. The Fort, not getting the insurance industry. I lived in Hartford, CT for 6 years. If there is an industry in need of a housecleaning, it is the insurance industry.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes, but don’t get me started. We’d be so far ahead if pharmacy benefit managers had never been brought into the picture. They are the ones’ driving health care cost into the triple digits above all else.
                I’m returning to advocacy type blogging as well as informational for awhile. There’s so much information to pass on to everyone. I know you are an informed citizen but I’m afraid far too much is slipping through the cracks. So, I’m setting the journals aside for a few months and returning to advocacy blogs. I’ve never left advocacy but I see many issues burning in the underground brush. Thanks for caring about all of this, Elyse. You are one in a million!

                Liked by 1 person

  8. Its frightening to think how many people in this country feel safe with a nut job like Walker. Their fear drives them to blind aggression. I’m not sure if we’ll ever escape this reactionary stupidity. There’s too many politicians who want to exploit it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was always astonished to hear how many people claimed they voted for George W because they thought he would be a great guy to have a beer with. Huh????????? Seriously? What are the chances you’re gonna have a beer with the President? So how about you vote for someone who has a brain???


  9. They put nutjobs like Walker front and center to make Jeb appear like the safe choice. Oldest trick in the book. Muhammad Ali used to call it ‘rope-a-dope.’ The Dems will do the same thing with Bern.

    I would caution you against becoming a complete ideologue. You loose your objectivity and become a pod person. I like to leave my options open. For instance, you might want to look at John Kasich, who just entered the race. He’s a viable GOP choice.


    • Of a bad field, Kasich is slightly more appealing than most. But I don’t believe in the whole Republican schtick — small government, low taxes, no regulation. It’s a crock. We created society to enable people to work together to solve problems. Today’s GOP isn’t interested in that, or they would have spent their time doing something other than trying to repeal Obamacare.

      All their philosophy has given us is a bad economy, a huge divide between rich and poor and a congress packed with folks who aren’t scientists and can’t figure out that that means that they should listen to the folks who ARE scientists and legislate accordingly.

      I am a liberal democrat. I believe in paying taxes and using that money to benefit society. Building bridges and roads. Insuring (preferably through a single payer and not what we currently have now, which, whether it is Obamacare or private insurance, SUCKS), feeding hungry children, and making sure old, infirm and folks with mental handicaps aren’t left out in the cold, figuratively and literally.

      I have very strong views. I read what the other side says and I am deeply discouraged and depressed by their revolting Ayn Rand-ian thinking.

      I could have been a Republican. Back when they believed in society. The days when the GOP was filled with folks working toward the benefit of society and not their own small-minded objective. I have written about it a lot.

      But I honestly cannot fathom how anybody can believe that it’s OK to take food from a hungry child, which they have done. I cannot believe that there are people who think it a good idea to cut social security — which we have all been paying for all our working lives — and leave a nation of non-savers in the gutter. I cannot believe they want to privatize every fucking thing in the world, when private enterprise is doing everything it can to wrestle every last nickle from each and every one of us.

      I am actually delighted with Bernie Sanders. While I don’t think he can win, I like that he is pulling Hilary Clinton to the left. To me, that’s a good thing.

      So I guess I’m a pod person.


      • Are you mad at me? Because I thought this was a safe space for discussion. You seem kinda irritated that I’d even suggest looking at Kasich.


        • No, I’m not mad at you. And it should be a safe place for discussion.

          I have spent 30+ years following politics, though. Both sides. And I am a “values voter” — my values. Those are not reflected in anybody in today’s GOP. They did once reflect what I think is important in our country and their society. In my fairly well informed opinion, they no longer do.

          I would love it if there was somebody who I would feel comfortable with in the oval office from the GOP. But they scare me to death.

          I did rather go off on you, though. Sorry.


  10. I can’t even think about the other side now… or the fact that Trump is gaining numbers as he spouts hate and stupidity will make my head pop… and I might have to start doing Dick Cheney Photoshop posts again…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. NotAPunkRocker

    Your blog, your opinion, your rules. If you* want to argue your side, then go to your blog…because nothing you can say will change my mind, usually.

    (*”You” in this case being contrary commenters, not YOU specifically, E 🙂 )

    I think you know which side I fall on…nobody’s life is worth more when it comes to these situations, you have to be willing to walk the walk, put your money where your mouth is, and all those other trite sayings for something so serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My problem with the Republicans: They pander to the rich by taking measures to make sure they get richer. They pander to the poor by fear mongering about the government.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well put, Elyse. The only thing I can add is that I desperately want a return of a sensible Republican party. In spite of its many drawbacks, and although I do sometimes look jealously at the British political system (the current rise of the SNP being one example), in the end I do support our two-party system. A sane and intelligent Republican Party — if one could ever return — brings a more normal discourse not to mention keeping the Democrats from becoming a “Nanny State” party. Some may forget that it was GOP senators that assisted senate liberals back in the 1950’s over civil rights. Likewise, Teddy Kennedy later admitted that he should have accepted Richard Nixon’s proposal for universal health coverage back in the 1970’s. I await sanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I strongly agree with you. You were here in DC when there were reasonable republicans, too. I watched them — they were the leaders of the original environmental movement! They cared about something other than their own pockets and those of a handful of billionaires. God how I long for those days …

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Scary, Elyse. Just plain scary. And it seems impossible to rationalize with a party that’s completely irrational!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Not only is today’s GOP different from the pre-Reagan GOP, it’s also different from Reagan himself!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Deborah the Closet Monster

    I just read most of this to A. We support you for president.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Glazed

    I feel wary about Scott Walker. I think he has the potential to beat Bush, Trump, and Hillary. He has proven his political savvy by beating a tidal wave of opposition in Wisconsin. I hope he meets his Waterloo in this presidential cycle, but something tells me it will be a tough fight.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The Republicans are crazy. I am a former Republican and I had to leave their club some years ago when I realized they didn’t represent me at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I invite those who think we should say positive things about the current Republican Party to provide us with a list of positive things they think we should say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I had said that to the last guy …

      But in all honesty, I cut my teeth in politics watching Ds&Rs work together in the late 70s and early 80s. These were the folks who got the Clean Air Act enacted. Clean Water. Who established the EPA! They worked together. They worked together. They liked each other and realized that good folks could disagree. Now? Those folks are dead, as is the practice of working together to solve problems. Now it is just to see who gets more air time on Morning Joe …


      • Yep. There’s absolutely no interest in working together. But I blame the Reeps mostly for that. They’ve planted the flag on obstruction ever since Clinton was elected in 1992 and it only gets worse with each year.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Actually, I blame Reagan. His mantra, “The Government IS the Problem” started the run of the nasty folks we see now in office. The Senators who were elected with him — Steve Symms, for example. Symms would just sit there and scowl and do whatever he could to prevent a bill he didn’t like from going forward. In public.

          While there is much to criticize the “backroom deals” that used to get things done on Capitol Hill, well, at least stuff GOT DONE!


          Liked by 1 person

  20. Well said, Elyse. I wonder how gung-ho politicians would be about military options if it were their own sons or daughters going off to fight. War is never a subject to be callous about. Yes, we need to be able to defend our, and sometimes it’s the only option, but in all but extreme cases, diplomacy should be tried first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Carrie. Why isn’t this a no-brainer?


    • I think it should be a law that requires that each lawmaker who votes for starting a war must send at least one close relative of military age to that war – if a war isn’t for a worthy enough cause that you’d be willing to send your son or daughter to fight there, it’s not a worthy enough cause for anyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree completely. The military equivalent of “let he who is without sin …”


      • Yes, that’s a good measuring stick to use.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sending a close relative to new wars is a great idea, X, except for a couple of sticking points:

        1. The requirement might, just might, get stuck in committee and never be voted on.
        2. Even if it did get passed, the sons and daughters might, just might, be disqualified by bone spurs on their feet.

        As for Scott Walker, Elise, he’s clearly thinking ahead. To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Your comment got stuck way down here in the nether regions. And Look — there’s a Senator’s son over there, getting out of doing his duty!

          Actually, I think that until we start sending everybody’s sons and daughters off to war (with a draft — and without deferrments) we will continue to have these stupid ones. Because nobody has literal skin in it. Or few people that anybody with power has any real feeling for. Isn’t that a horrible sentiment? Sad that I’ve become so jaded.


          • For most of my adult life, including 26 years in the military, I was a Republican. It wasn’t until I retired from my civilian job (another 17 years) that I had the time and took the interest to understand politics. I bought a 2-volume copy of William Manchester’s remarkable U.S. history at a garage sale, The Glory and the Dream, and decided to read it through. It was transformative.

            And then I began blogging, and that too was eye-opening. I am a confirmed Democrat. I like Bernie Sanders for the job, but he’s too old. It’s not that he’s not smart, it’s that people of his age can’t handle stress as well. I speak from experience.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I haven’t read that particular book, but have read some of his other histories. I like him.

              I fell into politics (re-fell, I was an active 13 year old during the Viet Nam war) when I took a college course from a teacher I’d already had who thought I was brilliant — I knew it would be an easy A. It was on the Kennedys and it captured my interest. A year later, I moved to DC and got a job as a low level lobbyist. I watched Ds&Rs work together to pass environmental legislation. It was fascinating. Still, it took RR to make me realize that I was, truly, a democrat. People need to contribute together to make society work. This constant “no new taxes” mantra is absurd.

              Oh, and I am pretty sure I once met Grover Norquist when I was waiting in line for a Finance Cmte hearing. He gave me a brochure and told me he was going to lower my taxes. “Who’s gonna pay for the roads and the schools?” I asked him. I thought he was an idiot. I was a very smart young woman. 😉


Play nice, please.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s