The Watering Hole; Thursday September 29 2016; “Why Within so Thick a Wall . . .”

“Lord, to account who dares thee call,
Or e’er dispute thy pleasure?
Else why, within so thick a wall,
Enclose so poor a treasure?”
Robert Burns (1793)

I confess. I watched, against my better judgment, the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last Monday evening. Not sure why I did  that, but I did, and I’ve been suffering ever since. Because: Donald J. Trump. What a total disaster he is. What a phony. Loser. Disgusting slob. Narcissist. Megalomaniac. Xenophobe. Misogynist. Plus, he has really bad hair. And small hands. What has happened to the Republican Party? Why Trump? HOW Trump?

Made me reflect back on those better days of yore. Back when the GOP was led by strong-minded and really decent folks. People whose sole interest was the betterment of the entire world; whose efforts were invariably designed solely to elevate people no matter who or where they were, to elevate them to the level of even the ‘average’ American, to that level of educated intellect which we believe should define us all, including even our President!

And therein lies the current rub: Trump clearly does NOT have the decency, the kindness, the understanding, the tolerance, the INTELLECT! to which we as a people aspire and which we hope will —  someday soon — define us ALL!

So I decided to take a look back to a calmer time, to a more intellectual time, a time when the last truly “intellectual” Republican (“President”) was in charge and speaking in favor of an elevated nation, an elevated world. Way back in those glory days I personally collected a large pile of our then-President’s quotes, and I saved them in the hope that one day in the future, I might have the opportunity to use them to make a valid point.

And finally that day has arrived! Now is clearly the time to demonstrate to all functioning minds both at home and around the world that America need NOT sink into the realm of challenged intellect [currently defined by Republican candidate for POTUS, Donald J. Trump], and that it’s never too late to both look back at — AND — to look ahead toward better (post-Trump, obviously) ‘Republican’days! So here they are, a pile of Republican POTUS quotes from back in the days when the GOP was driven by intellect(?) and humanity (? ? really?) rather than by stupidity and greed. The quotes are in no particular order — some are dated, some not — but they do, at least and nevertheless, point to the drastic and dramatic differences twixt then and now.


“I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 20, 2002, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to reflect upon the sanctity of human life. Let us recognize the day with appropriate ceremonies in our homes and places of worship, rededicate ourselves to compassionate service on behalf of the weak and defenseless, and reaffirm our commitment to respect the life and dignity of every human being.” ~George W. Bush proclamation

“In terms of, umm — you know, the — the detainees, we’ve had thousands of people detained. We’ve investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on, on the word of, uhh — and the allegations — by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble — that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is. And, uhh, you know — yes, sir.” ~George W. Bush; Press Conference, Rose Garden, May 31, 2005

“I remember what they did to Ronald Reagan. They belittled him and said, ‘Oh, he can’t possibly be smart enough to be President. He is simply an actor.’ The man turned out to be a great President.” ~George W. Bush

“…I truly believe that now that the war has changed, now that we’re a battlefield, this man [Saddam Hussein] poses a graver threat than anybody could possibly have imagined. Other countries, of course, bear the same risk. But there’s no doubt his hatred is mainly directed at us. There’s no doubt he can’t stand us. After all, this is a guy who tried to kill my dad at one time.” ~George W. Bush; 9/26/02

“I can do more than one thing at one time! That’s what — I hope you — by the time I’m finished president, I hope you’ll realize that the government can do more than one thing at one time, and individuals in the government can … And so if I’m focusing on the hurricane, I’ve got the capacity to focus on foreign policy, and vice versa. But I thank you for asking that question.” ~George W. Bush; September 2005

“Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government. And to the extent that the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility.” ~George W. Bush; September 13, 2005

“I believe that God wants me to be president.” ~ George W. Bush

“God is not on the side of any nation, yet we know He is on the side of justice. Our finest moments [as a nation] have come when we faithfully served the cause of justice for our own citizens, and for the people of other lands.” ~ George W. Bush

“[F]reedom and fear, justice and cruelty have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.” ~ George W. Bush

“God told me to strike at al-Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.” ~George W. Bush to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas during their first meeting in June, 2003

“… the lesson of September the 11th … He [Saddam Hussein] was a sworn enemy of the United States of America; he had ties to terrorist networks. Do you remember Abu Nidal? He’s the guy that killed Leon Klinghoffer. Leon Klinghoffer was murdered because of his religion. Abu Nidal was in Baghdad, as was his organization.” ~George W. Bush

“My thoughts are, we’re going to get somebody who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to rebuilding cities. I’m going to delegate.” ~George W. Bush, Sept 2, 2005; answer to a reporter’s question on rebuilding New Orleans.

“Contribute cash to a charity of your choice. Call an 800 number.” ~George W. Bush; August 30, 2005, in first response to Hurricane Katrina’s destruction

“Men with no respect for life must never be allowed to control the ultimate instruments of death.” ~George W. Bush; March 11, 2002, Rose Garden

“You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.” ~George W. Bush; 2001

“I think younger workers—first of all, younger workers have been promised benefits the government—promises that have been promised, benefits that we can’t keep. That’s just the way it is.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., May 4, 2005

“There ought to be limits to freedom.” ~George W. Bush as Governor of Texas, commenting on why he wanted a Bush Parody internet site shut down.

“Fuck Saddam, we’re taking him out. ~George W. Bush; to three U.S. Senators in March of 2002.

“It’s a difficult — it’s difficult for the Commander-in-Chief to put kids in harm’s way. Nevertheless, I have been willing to do so as a last resort in order to secure the country and to provide the opportunity for people to live in free societies.” ~George W. Bush; Aug. 11, 2005 in an interview with Israeli TV Channel 1, from Crawford Texas.

“There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring ’em on. We’ve got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.” ~George W. Bush, circa July 1, 2003, commenting on the apparent increase in Iraqi “insurgency”

“I am the commander, see. I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they need to say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.” ~George W. Bush; Quoted by Bob Woodward, Washington Post, author.

“God wants me to run for President. I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen… I know it won’t be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.” ~George W. Bush

“I understand there’s a suspicion that we—we’re too security-conscience.” ~George W. Bush; Washington D.C., April 14, 2005

“We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of this great nation.” ~George W. Bush

“I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe—I believe what I believe is right.” ~George W. Bush: 43rd President of the United States

“I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.” ~George W. Bush (in a speech to Old Order Amish farmers in Lancaster County, PA)

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people — and neither do we.” ~George W. Bush (August 5, 2004)

“Look, nobody likes to see dead people on their television screens. I don’t. It’s a tough time for the American people to see that. It’s gut-wrenching.” ~George W Bush

“The ambassador and the general were briefing me on the — the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2003

“See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don’t attack each other. Free nations don’t develop weapons of mass destruction.” ~George W. Bush; Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 3, 2003

“Those of us who spent time in the agricultural sector and in the heartland, we understand how unfair the death penalty is.” ~George W. Bush; (Feb. 28, 2001, Omaha NE)

“I don’t think we need to be subliminable about the differences between our views…” ~George W. Bush; (Sept. 12, 2000)

“I was raised in the West. The west of Texas. It’s pretty close to California. In more ways than Washington, D.C., is close to California.” ~George W. Bush; Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2000

“When I was coming up it was a dangerous world, and we knew exactly who the they were. It was us versus them, and it was clear who them was.” – G.W. Bush

“I think war is a dangerous place.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., May 7, 2003

“We live in a processed world — you know, people focus on the process and not results. ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., May 29, 2003

“I’m the master of low expectations.” ~George W. Bush, June 4, 2003

“You’re free. And freedom is beautiful. And, you know, it’ll take time to restore chaos and order — order out of chaos. But we will.” ~George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 13, 2003

“First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren’t necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn’t mean you’re willing to kill.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., May 19, 2003

“When I take action, I’m not going to fire a 2 million dollar missile at a 10 dollar empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.” –George W. Bush (Newsweek, Sep 24, 2001)

“In my sentences I go where no man has gone before.” ~George W. Bush

“One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.” ~George W. Bush

“Now, we talked to Joan Hanover. She and her husband, George, were visiting with us. They are near retirement – retiring – in the process of retiring, meaning they’re very smart, active, capable people who are retirement age and are retiring.” ~George W. Bush; Alexandria, Va.,Feb. 12, 2003.

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee –I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” ~George W. Bush; Nashville, TN, Sept. 17, 2002

“But the true threats to stability and peace are these nations that are not very transparent, that hide behind the – that don’t let people in to take a look and see what they’re up to. They’re very kind of authoritarian regimes. The true threat is whether or not one of these people decide, peak of anger, try to hold us hostage, ourselves; the Israelis, for example, to whom we’ll defend, offer our defenses; the South Koreans.” ~George W. Bush; Media roundtable, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2001

“See, we love – we love freedom. That’s what they didn’t understand. They hate things; we love things. They act out of hatred; we don’t seek revenge, we seek justice out of love.” ~George W. Bush; Oklahoma City; August 29, 2002

“My pan plays down an unprecedented amount of our national debt.” ~George W. Bush; Budget address to Congress, Feb. 27, 2001

“You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” ~George W. Bush; Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001

“I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C.; January 29, 2001

“If he’s – the inference is that somehow he thinks slavery is a – is a noble institution I would – I would strongly reject that assumption – that John Ashcroft is a open-minded, inclusive person.” ~George W. Bush; NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw, Jan. 14, 2001

“Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.” ~George W. Bush; Austin, Texas, Dec. 20, 2000

“Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world.” ~George W. Bush in State of the Union Address; January 28, 2003

“They misunderestimated me.” ~George W. Bush commenting on the 2000 presidential campaign

“I want to thank my friend, Sen. Bill Frist, for joining us today. … He married a Texas girl, I want you to know. Karyn is with us. A West Texas girl, just like me.” ~George W. Bush; Nashville, Tenn., May 27, 2004

“My job is to, like, think beyond the immediate.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., April 21, 2004

“I’m honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., May 25, 2004

“This is historic times.” ~George W. Bush; New York, N.Y., April 20, 2004

“See, one of the interesting things in the Oval Office—I love to bring people into the Oval Office—right around the corner from here—and say, this is where I office….” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2004

“More Muslims have died at the hands of killers than—I say more Muslims—a lot of Muslims have died—I don’t know the exact count—at Istanbul. Look at these different places around the world where there’s been tremendous death and destruction because killers kill.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2004

“In my judgment, when the United States says there will be serious consequences, and if there isn’t serious consequences, it creates adverse consequences.” ~George W. Bush; Meet the Press, Feb. 8, 2004

“Then you wake up at the high school level and find out that the illiteracy level of our children are appalling.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2004

“I’m also not very analytical. You know I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things.” ~George W. Bush; Aboard Air Force One; June 4, 2003

“I want to remind you all that in order to fight and win the war, it requires an expenditure of money that is commiserate with keeping a promise to our troops to make sure that they’re well-paid, well-trained, well-equipped. See, without the tax relief package, there would have been a deficit, but there wouldn’t have been the commiserate—not ‘commiserate’—the kick to our economy that occurred as a result of the tax relief.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2003

“[A]s you know, these are open forums, you’re able to come and listen to what I have to say.” ~George W. Bush; Washington, D.C., Oct. 28, 2003

“Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYN’s aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country.” ~George W. Bush; Sept. 6, 2004, Poplar Bluff, Mo.

“Secondly, the tactics of our—as you know, we don’t have relationships with Iran. I mean, that’s—ever since the late ’70s, we have no contacts with them, and we’ve totally sanctioned them. In other words, there’s no sanctions—you can’t—we’re out of sanctions.” ~George W. Bush ; Annandale, Va., Aug. 9, 2004

“It’s very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left there to go to America, because their steadfast and their religion and their belief in freedom helped change America.” ~George W. Bush

“Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat.” ~George W. Bush

“It is a time of sorrow and sadness when we lose a loss of life.” ~George W. Bush

“One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry.” ~President G. Bush Washington, D.C., Mar. 29, 2006

“We support the election process, we support democracy, but that doesn’t mean we have to support governments that get elected as a result of democracy.” ~President G. Bush – Washington, D.C., Mar. 29, 2006

“I hear the voices. And I read the front page. And I know the speculation. But I’m the decider and I decide what is best.” ~George W. Bush, 18 April 2006

“I base a lot of my foreign policy decisions on some things that I think are true. One, I believe there’s an Almighty.” ~George W. Bush, Orange County CA, April 24, 2006

“The best moment was … I don’t know, it’s hard to characterize the great moments. … I would say the best moment was when I caught a seven-and-a-half pound large-mouth bass on my lake.” ~George W. Bush responding to a German (Bild) reporter’s question as to what has been the greatest moment of his Presidency; May, 2006

“My administration has a job to do and we’re going to do it. We will rid the world of the evil-doers.” ~George W. Bush; September 15, 2001

“Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” ~George W. Bush; September 20, 2001

“There are some similarities, of course. Death is terrible.” ~George W. Bush on comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, April 19, 2007

“At some point, we may be the only ones left. That’s okay with me. We are America.” ~George W. Bush to journalist Bob Woodward; 2002

“I don’t think America gets enough credit for trying to help improve people’s lives. My trip is to explain as clearly as I can that our nation is generous and compassionate.” ~George W. Bush speaking to Brazilian businessmen; March, 2007

“In terms of, umm — you know, the — the detainees, we’ve had thousands of people detained. We’ve investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on, on the word of, uhh — and the allegations — by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble — that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is. And, uhh, you know — yes, sir.” ~George W. Bush; Press Conference, Rose Garden, May 31, 2005

Bush on Social Security:

“Because the — all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There’s a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those–changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be–or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It’s kind of muddled. Look, there’s a series of things that cause the… like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate … the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those … if that growth is affected, it will help on the red. OK, better? I’ll keep working on it. 

“‘Benefit cuts’ is an interesting word. Benefits are scheduled to grow at a certain rate, and one of the, one of the suggestions, for example … was they grow at a, they grow, but not at a rate as fast as projected. You can call it anything you want. I would call it an ‘adjustment to reality.'” ~George W. Bush; February, 2005

Not sure what more can be said, other than perhaps to add this gem:

“I think we agree, the past is over.” ~George W. Bush; (May 10, 2000)

“The past is over.” Indeed. I knew that. Of course I knew that!

The year I graduated from H.S., our class motto was, “The Past Forever Gone, The Future Still Our Own.” That was way back in 1960, the year ‘we the people’ said goodbye to President Eisenhower and elected John F. Kennedy as his successor –and optimism still filled the air. A few weeks beyond JFK’s inauguration, in fact, our new President verbalized the basis of his vision, of his strength, when he said (on March 3, 1961 at the dedication of The National Wildlife Federation building):

“It is our task in our time and in our generation to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.”

The expanse of time, of ideas; the ability to perceive those oft-elusive  concepts of ‘natural wealth’ and of ‘beauty’ — that’s what’s called Intellect! It’s not simply an idea, not simply a word. It is, when generously applied and practiced by qualified leaders, an elevator for the whole of society, of civilization! Intellect is the anathema of greed, of hate, fear, of the quest for power, for monetary wealth. We have, in this country, even flirted (occasionally) with the concept of governance via intellect. . . .

And then, up pops Trump.

How far down can down go??





20 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday September 29 2016; “Why Within so Thick a Wall . . .”

  1. OK. Gary Johnson’s second ‘Aleppo moment’ was that he couldn’t name his ‘favorite’ foreign leader. I’m giving him a pass on that since the ‘inquisitor’ was Chris Matthews, and he wasn’t given a split second to concentrate without Matthews blathering incessantly the entire time.

  2. This is borrowed material but it’s funny so here it is.

    How Donald Trump answers “what is 2+2”

    “I have to say a lot of people have been asking this question. No, really. A lot of people come up to me and they ask me. They say, “What’s 2+2”? And I tell them look, we know what 2+2 is. We’ve had almost eight years of the worst kind of math you can imagine. What a disaster! Oh my god, I can’t believe it. Addition and subtraction of the 1s the 2s and the 3s. Its terrible. Its just terrible. Look, if you want to know what 2+2 is, do you want to know what 2+2 is? I’ll tell you. First of all the number 2, by the way I love the number 2. It’s probably my favorite number, no it is my favorite number. You know what, it’s probably more like the number two but with a lot of zeros behind it. A lot. If I’m being honest, I mean, if I’m being honest. I like a lot of zeros. Except for Marco Rubio, now he’s a zero that I don’t like. Though, I probably shouldn’t say that. He’s a nice guy but he’s like, “10101000101”, on and on, like that. He’s like a computer! You know what I mean? He’s like a computer. I don’t know. I mean, you know. So, we have all these numbers and we can add them and subtract them and add them. TIMES them even. Did you know that? We can times them OR divide them, they don’t tell you that, and I’ll tell you, no one is better at the order of operations than me. You wouldn’t believe it. That I can tell you. So, we’re gonna be the best on 2+2, believe me. OK?”

  3. Trump’s Debate Flameout

    Charles M. Blow

    No one with an open mind and sound reason who witnessed the sniffing, sipping, scowling, raging, interrupting display of petulance and agitation that was Donald Trump’s debate performance on Monday could possibly argue that he won that debate or that he is the kind of person to whom we should entrust the presidency.


    Pavlich quoted the senior Trump campaign adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders as saying:

    “Donald Trump does what works best for him, and I think that is discussing the issues, studying the issues and frankly being himself. He’s not a poll-tested, scripted robot like Hillary Clinton. That’s a great contrast to have and one I think we are certainly excited to see tonight.”

    Well, the robot won. And she did so because she had the discipline and forethought to properly prepare.

    I just can’t figure out why he is bothering to try to prepare for the second debate since, according to him, he won the first one so decisively.

    • Not sure “preparation” is even a viable concept in the Trumpian dystopia, because when you KNOW you’re NEVER wrong, that you never HAVE been wrong, preparation is something best left as a refuge for the other less vibrant and mentally-deficient sector.

      Seriously, Trump has zero flaws. If anyone doubts that, just ask him. He’ll ‘splain it. Bigly.

      • Preparing is hard work. But Donald has the best preparing and it isn’t work.
        He just says the first, or maybe, you know, the second, or yes, just anything that pops out of his facial anus. He’s got the best facial anus around, he does.

    • Trump was quoting scientifically inaccurate online polls. Every poll that correctly showed Hillary as the winner was scientifically conducted, and is much more accurate than the ones Trump cited. The ones Trump said proved he won allowed people to vote multiple times, and some were even susceptible to bots voting. If Trump doesn’t understand that, then he’s unfit to serve the public in any capacity.

      • Some polls are clearly parcel to and created by the same people who have “proven” (yeah, right) that global warming/climate change is man-caused — when it’s clear that it’s nothing but a Chinese currency hoax.

        Proof that if Trump loses, the Chinese helped rig the election for Hillary.

        Something like that.

      • Drumpf has the best polls, and they know that he knows they’re the best.
        They are absolutely obviously the best, because they make him the winner. No need for an election, we have his best polls!

  4. There’s a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those–changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be–or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you?

    Umm, no GW. Put down the coke spoon.

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