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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Is Bush A Moron, Episode 18: Bush Meets The Press Corps(e)

The White House press corps(e) showed a few signs of life tonight, but not nearly enough. When it gets to the point where Bush can joke about things being scripted, or make a big deal about getting asked a question that he wasn’t prepared for, things are pretty bad.

I just saw a bit of the analysis on the news shows, and astoundingly, it was almost praising him. Chris Matthews in particular kept going on about Bush’s “signs of humility”. I don’t know what drugs he was on when he watched the press conference, because I saw precious little evidence of humility. I mean, he was asked flat out whether he had anything to apologize for regarding the 9/11 attacks, and he just dodged the question. Where’s the humility there?

Anyway, here’s the data from the speech analysis:

Grade Level = 6.3

Reading Ease = 74.0

Grammar Index = .150 (62 errors, 413 sentences, or about 1 error in every 7 sentence spoken)
And now for the errors:
There's 135,000 now as a result of the changeover from one division to the next.[“there is/there are]

I'm constantly asking him does he have what he needs, whether it be in troop strength or in equipment.[“…whether in troop strength or…”]

He was a threat because he funded suiciders.[Ding! Ding! Ding! The magic word!

And one of the things was, he was amazed at how deceptive the Iraqis had been toward UNMOVIC and UNSCOM, deceptive in hiding things.[“…was that he was amazed…”]

This guy was a torturer, a killer, a maimer.[Is “maimer” a word?]

There's mass graves.[there is/there are]

I mean, he was a horrible individual that really shocked the country in many ways,[“individual who really shocked the country…”]

I was — on that day, I was angry and sad.[mangled sentence]

Angry that al Qaeda — I thought at the time al Qaeda, found out shortly thereafter it was al Qaeda — had unleashed this attack.[mangled sentence; missing “that”]

There was, you know, kind of departments that at times didn't communicate[“There was, you know, kind of departments…”????]

In other words, he would serve it as a blackmail.[Not sure what to make of this. Could be “It would serve as blackmail”, or “use it as blackmail”. “Serve as a blackmail” makes it sound like Hussein was serving shots.]

And I presume the 9/11 commission will find out — will follow up on his suggestions and his recollection, and garner the truth.[mangled sentence]

And my answer to that question is, is that, again I repeat what I said earlier, prior to 9/11, the country really wasn't on a war footing.[“…question is that…”]

And so what I'm telling you is, is that sometimes we use military as the last resort,[“…telling you is that sometimes”; “use the military as…”]

I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it. [“…wish that you had given me…”; “so that I could have planned for it”]

our commanders on the ground have got the authorities necessary to deal with violence[“have the authority…”]

They want security so [that] they can advance toward a free society.

Every threat we must take seriously.[“we must take every threat seriously”]

I thought it was very interesting that Charlie Duelfer, who just came back — he's the head of the Iraqi Survey Group — reported some interesting findings from his recent tour there.[“thought that it was”; mangled sentence]

And that money is — it will benefit the Iraqi people.[mangled sentence]

And they were happy — they're not happy they're occupied.[mangled sentence]

Let me put that quote to Woodward in context, because he had asked me if I was — something about killing bin Laden.[mangled sentence]

And why — I say that because that provides the ability for our agencies to coordinate better and to work together better than it was before.[I just give up…]

The lessons of 9/11 — one lesson was we must deal with gathering threats, and that's part of the reason I dealt with Iraq the way I did.[mangled sentence]

the truth of the matter is [that] most in the country never felt that we'd be vulnerable to an attack such as the one that Osama bin Laden unleashed on us.

I changed the way that the relationship between the president and the CIA director.[This isn’t a sentence]

Yes, John, my response is [that] I don't think people ought to demean the contributions of our friends into Iraq. People are sacrificing their lives in Iraq from different countries.[“People from different countries are sacrificing…”]

We would have had — we hadn't got our relationship right with Pakistan yet.[mangled sentence]

And therefore, when we see threats overseas, we got to take them — look at them in a new light.[“we’ve got to take them/look at them”]

The American people need to know [that] my last choice is the use of military power.

It is something that — it's a decision that is a — it's a tough decision to make for any president because I fully understand the consequences of the decision.[mangled sentence; I guess this means that the decisions where he has no idea of the consequences are the easy ones.]

Libya was a nation that had — we viewed as a terrorist — a nation that sponsored terror, a nation that was dangerous because of weapons.[mangled]

It's a dangerous — it was a dangerous network that we — that we unraveled.[ditto]

You know, I just — I'm sure [that] something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer.[mangled sentence; He must have been having some sort of flashback episode to his MBA days at Yale at this point in the press conference…]

You know, I hope I — I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes; I'm confident [that] I have. I just haven't —you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not quick — as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.[mangled sentence. Actually this part of the transcript is rather creepy; classic psychopathic behavior – “The psychopath is one of the most fascinating and distressing problems of human experience. For the most part, a psychopath never remains attached to anyone or anything. They live a "predatory" lifestyle. They feel little or no regret, and little or no remorse - except when they are caught. They need relationships, but see people as obstacles to overcome and be eliminated. If not, they see people in terms of how they can be used. They use people for stimulation, to build their self-esteem and they invariably value people in terms of their material value (money, property, etc..).

A psychopath can have high verbal intelligence, but they typically lack "emotional intelligence". They can be expert in manipulating others by playing to their emotions. There is a shallow quality to the emotional aspect of their stories (i.e., how they felt, why they felt that way, or how others may have felt and why). The lack of emotional intelligence is the first good sign you may be dealing with a psychopath. A history of criminal behavior in which they do not seem to learn from their experience, but merely think about ways to not get caught is the second best sign. "

And I heard — I heard a summary of that from Director Mueller, who feels strongly that we — and he'll testify to that effect, I guess, tomorrow.

I shouldn't be prejudging his testimony, but what — my point was that I'm open for suggestions.

So long [as] I'm the president, I will press for freedom.

Those who yell will not be asked to -- I'll tell you a guy who I have never heard from.

I look forward to helping — for the American people to hear, you know, what is the proper use of American power?

One thing is for certain, though, about me.[“One things is certain, though, about me”]

posted by gunther at 12:35 AM Link

Monday, April 12, 2004

IBAM Episode 17: Happy Easter

Today’s episode is for a brief meeting Bush had with the press pool on Easter. The primary topic discussed was the famous PDB memo that was declassified earlier, in which Bush was warned about Al Quaeda’s plans to carry out attacks in the U.S. The short story: “If we’d known the exact date, time, place and flight numbers, we would have done something about it.”

Grade Level = 6.6

Reading Ease = 72.0%

Grammar Index = .152 (9 errors, 59 sentences)
The following is a list of most of the errors made during the Q/A session with reporters:
Obviously, I pray every day there's less casualty. [“..there are fewer casualties…”, “there’ll be fewer casualties…”]

But I know [that] what we're doing in Iraq is right

My response was exactly like then as it is today,…[“was exactly like then…”???]

As you might recall, there was some specific threats for overseas that we reacted to. [“…there were some specific threats…]

Had I known [that] there was going to be an attack on America, I would have moved mountains to stop the attack.

I would have done everything I can.[“I would have done everything that I could”]

That's -- we were doing precisely what the American people expects us to do:[“…expected us to do”]

…it was hijacking of airplanes in order to free somebody that was being held as a prisoner in the United States. [“…to free someone who was being held…”]

posted by gunther at 4:26 PM Link

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

IBAM Episode 16: Snarkiness, Freudian Slips and a Surprising Bit of Vocabulary

Today’s edition of “Is Bush A Moron” includes three samples from recent days. The first comes from a brief exchange with reporters, where Bush showed some level of snarkiness (or something) in his interaction with “the AP guy”. It was cited by a couple of bloggers as an example of --- well, I’m not exactly sure. My interpretation was that it was yet another case of Bush getting testy when members of the press aren’t sufficiently servile. In this case, it was a reporter who addressed him as “Sir”. This seemed to tick him off, as follows:

THE PRESIDENT: Let me ask you a couple of questions. Who is the AP person?

Q I am.

THE PRESIDENT: You are? [Then ask it…]

Q Sir, in regard to --

THE PRESIDENT: Who are you talking to?

Q Mr. President, in regard to the June 30th deadline, is there a chance that that would be moved back?
And so it continued… Apparently members of the press are expected to address Bush as “Mr. President”, or failing that, as “Your Excellency” or “Oh Exalted One”. “Hey, Asshole” is not recommended.

The other two samples are pretty standard, and come from campaign appearances on 4/5/04 in Charlotte, NC and on 4/6/04 in El Dorado, AK. Summary statistics for these appearances are below:
language usage index scores
Sample Reading Ease Grade Level BRI-2
Press Pool (4/5/04) 69.8% 7.5 .152
Charlotte, NC (4/5/04) 68.0% 7.2 .123
El Dorado, AK (4/6/04) 75.5% 5.6 .116
Average 71.1% 6.7 .130
Samples pulled from these appearances are below:
But the family was pleased to hear that we -- its son would not have died in vain.[mangled sentence]

No, the intention is to make sure the deadline remains the same. I believe we can transfer authority by June 30th. [missing “that”;”…make sure that the deadline…”, …believe that we can transfer…”]

The United Nations representative is there now to work on the -- on a -- on to whom we transfer sovereignty. [mangled sentence]

…my judgment is, is that the closer we come to the deadline, the more likely it is people will challenge our will. [“…the more likely it is that people will challenge…”]

…that's why the CPA issued the statement they issued. [“…statement that they issued.”]

But, Stretch, I think throughout this period there's going to be tests. [“there are going to be tests”]

Because one of the things that's going to be very important for the next ambassador to Iraq -- this will be the person that takes Jerry Bremer's place -- will be the willingness and capability of working with a very strong -- a country in which there's a very strong U.S. military presence, as well as a coalition presence. [mangled sentence]

It took me very little time to make up my mind, once I determined al Qaeda to do it, to say, we're going to go get them.[????]

I want to thank the staff for putting up with me and the entourage. [the entourage and me]

I am optimistic about our future, not only because of what I see today, but because of what I know we have overcome.[“…but also because…]

Let me just review right quick the economic history of the last couple of years.

It's a day in which we realized oceans could no longer protect us from enemies which hate what we stand for.[“..realized that oceans…”; “…enemies that hate…”]

That was one of the changes that was necessary in order to protect this country.[“…that were necessary…”]

There's still a gap, but nevertheless, more people are owning their own home.[“…people own their own home”]

Biotechnology are strong.[“Biotechnology is strong.”]

…it seems reasonable to ask the question whether or not there's results.[…whether or not there are results”]

Money from those grants go to about 3,500 state and local one-stop centers around the country.[‘’goes to about 3,500…”]

We want the governors -- and let the governors distribute the money to programs which actually are training people for jobs which exist.[which vs that]

And as a result of micromanagement -- missed opportunities for jobs which exist in the communities, in which people are looking for work.[which vs that]

But, unfortunately, there's loopholes in the program.[“…there are loopholes…”]

It was a different -- we entered a different period on that day.[mangled sentence]

It's also that day, right after that day, I announced a doctrine that said,[“it was also that day (?)”]

I looked at the information on Iraq and -- the intelligence -- and saw a threat.

We're still being challenged in Iraq, and the reason why is a free Iraq will be a major defeat in the cause of terror.[“…the reason why is that a free Iraq…”]

Finally, another thing we need to do is we need an energy policy in this country.

What I'm telling you is, is that in order for this job base to be secure,

What I'm telling you just doesn't apply to the automobile manufacturing world.[“What I’m telling you doesn’t just apply to…”]

I mean, when you -- there's a lot of -- the main reason why people from around the world want to come here to study is because we're on the leading edge of change.[mangled sentence]

You just heard me describe how your state has changed, and it's going to even change even faster as time goes on.[“It’s going to even change even faster”????]

And the reason you ask that -- I asked that question, at least, is because I believe every child can learn.

And now people that were once in the textile industry are now in the health care industry, making more money, I want you to know.[“…people who were once…”]

The program spends about $4 billion a year in grants on states -- to states.

One of my jobs as the President is to analyze programs, and if they're not doing the job they're supposed to do, is to redesign them so they do the job they're supposed to do, so that we properly spend taxpayers' money.

In other words, we need to make the system more flexible, more available to workers, and less dependent on foreign -- of federal rules, in order to make sure that the money gets to the people who need it most.

So, step one is to change the system on how -- the relationship between the federal government and the state government.

We believe that by making sure the cap is a strong cap on overhead money, we will save about $300 million, which means an extra $100,000 -- a 100,000 workers get trained.

And so what we need to do is to make sure that people are judged -- people who are spending your money are judged on what we care about.

And if the state doesn't make progress, then it only makes sense to take some of the money that is being sent to the states and send it directly to the job trainers, so that we actually do meet what we expect to have happen, and that is people being trained for the jobs which exist.

It's a legitimate role of the federal government, is to help people who want to help themselves.

They realize their job -- they could be doing better.

And Mackham will tell you there's a lot of brave people there that want to be free [there is/there are]

There's economic isolationists that want to wall us off from the rest of the world.[ditto]

See, one of the things we did, in working with the Congress, is reduce the effects of the marriage penalty.[“…things that we did…was to reduce the effects…”]

We want there to be a small business sector which is really strong.[which/that]

There's jobs.[“there are jobs”]

It's just some people are used to working in different kind of fields.[“it’s just that…”; “…kinds of fields”]

If you've got yourself a retired NASA employee in your neighborhood, it seems like to me you want to be able to have that person go into the classrooms and teach science or math.[“…It seems to me that…]

That means people need to be, in some cases, reeducated for the jobs which exist.[“…means that people…..for jobs that exist”]

There's ways to find work, it's just up to you.[there is/there are]

There's a lot of people wondering whether or not they can go back to school.[ditto]

There's a lot of second chances in this world to go back to school.[ditto]

But let me remind you right quick what we have come through

When I was coming up -- in Midland, Texas, I want you to know -- there you go -- which is where Laura is today, helping her Mom move, and she sends her love -- but we thought oceans could protect us from harm's way.[mangled sentence]

Threats are dealt in different ways, by the way.[???? “Dealt with in different ways”???]

Not every threat is dealt with the way I decided to deal with the threat in Iraq. [this one just gives me a headache…]

We're not going to cut and run from the people who long from freedom.[“Long from freedom”???]

I want to appreciate your service.[This just confused me. Is he trying to say that he appreciates their service? That he wants to express appreciation? Or that he wants to be able to feel that he appreciates their service. But at some indefinite point in the future?]

If you're somebody looking for work, it's going to be harder to find work when the country is thinking about, we're going to war.

The cost of health care is tough to expand the job base.[What the hell does this mean?]

That's an interesting statistic I want people to focus on right quick.

In other words, there's going to be jobs

And there's ways to get retrained for the jobs.

I think all high schools ought to participate in what's called the NAEP. The NAEP is a national norming test. It's not a national test. It says, there is -- they take the Arkansas test and they compare them to other states to determine whether or not standards are being met. That's all it is.[That makes it perfectly clear. NOT]

In other words, we've got some kids -- one of the things that's important for those of us in positions of responsibility, you've got to be just flat honest about things.

But it says to a kid -- take math and science, is what it takes.

The other thing I want to do is to make a -- we've set up a Presidential Math and Science Scholars Fund, $50 million of federal money matched by $50 million in the private sector -- we'll be able to raise that -- that says that when you go to college, we'll enhance your Pell Grant if you continue to take math and science programs.

…that there's a lot of people that need help now…

See, that's the way you make sure people are trained for jobs which exist. [“…the way that you make sure…”; “…jobs that exist”]

That's what your -- you get productivity increases.

And I want to appreciate you very much, Bob, for being a responsible CEO,…[He did it again! “I want to appreciate you, Bob, but I’m just not in the mood today. Maybe tomorrow, when the voices in my head have stopped”]

First, I want to congratulate her on being her valedictorian of her high school class.

In order to make sure jobs are here -- stay at home -- in order to make sure the country is leading edge of technological change, we have got to make sure people have the skills necessary to fill those jobs.

Just to close with two points. One, and it may have been a Freudian slip, but during one of the speeches, Bush used the line “Laura reminded me that one time on the TV screens in the summer of 2000 we saw, "March to War." He usually phrases this as “summer of 2002” in his canned speech, but maybe the truth inadvertently came out.

Finally, and this was a shocker, he actually used the word “peroration” in a sentence, and actually seemed to be using it correctly. It came towards the end of the speech in Arkansas, when Bush said:
You want to say something? Yes, okay. Here I am in my "peroration." That's kind of the emotional part before the conclusion. Anyway, go ahead.
The dictionary defines “peroration” as follows:
Noun; the conclusion of a speech or discourse, in which points made previously are summed up or recapitulated, esp. with greater emphasis.
Wonders never cease.

posted by gunther at 4:52 PM Link

Monday, April 05, 2004

Is Bush A Moron, Episode 15

It’s been longer, much longer than I had planned on since my last posting to this site. But I’m back today with a new edition of IBAM, and am busily working on yet another one that I hope to have up by Monday. In the meantime, I welcome the small band of loyal visitors to this site; I had a brief a few weeks ago when a posting I’d done months ago concerning the Texas redistricting case was linked to by Bart Cop. But fame is fleeting, site visits are down, and I’m resigned to languishing in obscurity on the periphery of the world of blogdom.

Two sets of data today from back in late February. In one, Bush answers a few questions while meeting with Georgian President Saakashvili on 2/25/04. He also met with the German Chancellor on 2/27, and spoke on the economy during a campaign stop in Louisville, Kentucky on 2/26. I have a large backlog of these to post but for now this should satisfy the masses. Here are the numbers:

language usage index scores
Sample Reading Ease Grade Level BRI-2
Saakashvili (2/25/04) 63.1% 7.7 .057
German Chancellor 62.1% 8.0 .107
Louisville, KY (2/26/04) 68.7% 6.9 .108
Average 64.6% 7.5 .091
Below are selected quotes from The Leader’s mouth. Some are annotated with the actual error, others are just there for you to marvel at.
We're going to start with the American press, and then there will be a Georgian press, and then there will be an American press, and then there will be a Georgian press.[Is he referring to journalists or wrestling moves?]

Hopefully, as the Georgia economy approves -- improves -- and I'm confident it will -- there will be opportunities for business opportunities.[approves vs improves; missing “that”; “…opportunities for business opportunities…”]

So the President has got a good vision and this has been a good trip.

It's one of the things that, I think, makes the country unique and strong.[“…one of the things that…make the country unique…]

Then we had some corporate scandals, scandals which affected our confidence.[that vs which]

And that obviously was not only in Afghanistan, but in Iraq. [“but also in Iraq]

But we can have an environment so if somebody decides to take the risk, that they can succeed and, therefore, end up employing people.
One of the exiting things about our country is that there's a lot of companies run by very skilled women.[“there are a lot of companies…]

And the best way to talk about it is to have people who are actually living lives that -- which have been affected by policy.

Jim was bragging backstage about the success of this company is really based upon the fact you've got great workers [“that the success of this company…”; “…the fact that you’ve got great workers”]

There's a person I met at the airport I want to herald.

It also affected our psychology, made us realize oceans were no longer -- could no longer protect us from an enemy which hates what we stand for. [mangled sentence; which/that]

But we dealt with it straightforward.[??????]

Saddam Hussein said, I'm not going to expose my weapons, I'm not going to get rid of my -- I'm not going to allow inspectors in, he said.

We overcame it because the role of government is not to manage the economy, the role of government is to create an environment in which entrepreneurs are willing to create risk and create new jobs.[Just what the country needs – more entrepreneurs who are willing to create risk!]

Now, let me talk about the death tax, right quick.

I think a person ought to be able to live their farm -- leave their farm to whomever they choose.

It makes -- it's, in my judgment, bad policy, and it's on its way to being put to extinction.

I say, on its way -- you'll hear me talk in a minute that these -- some of these taxes don't really go away.

The cost of frivolous and junk lawsuits is high on our society.

Going to change unless Congress acts.[Not sentence.]

We need to make sure our job-training programs work.[missing “that”]

This is a major initiative of our administration, is to provide the opportunity for people to retrain so that their skills -- they've got the skills necessary for the new jobs being created in this economy.

Because there's thousands of companies all across America.[there is/there are]

Women-owned business is, I think, a very hopeful part of the future of this country.

That's code word for, I'm going to raise your taxes.

And, by the way, you can't have investment unless there's savings.[there is/there are]

I often have to argue that the tax relief was better spent than government could have spent the money.

It's a -- it affected -- I appreciate the checks finally arriving.

posted by gunther at 11:59 PM Link