Wednesday, February 01, 2006

State of the Union - Bush Speaks?

"Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, 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 that 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, supposed 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." President George W. Bush on his new medicare plan

Even if I could understand--or believe--anything that comes out of Dubya's mouth, I wouldn't have watched the president's State of the Union address -- our house is a Bush-Free Zone. I eat right, work out and manage my stress pretty well, but every time I listen to the Leader of the Free World, my blood pressure goes through the roof.

So in the interest of my health and my husband's sanity, we watched a Law and Order rerun and The Closer instead. I gotta tell you, Kyra Sedgewick's ticks, twitches and issues resemble me watching George W. trying to talk.

Speaking of which, something hit my email box before the speech that says it all:

President Hopes to Reach Broader Audience, Aides Say

For the first time since he was elected President of the United States, George W. Bush's State of the Union address tonight will be simulcast in English, the White House confirmed.

With the president's approval ratings sagging, the decision to simulcast the speech in English was widely seen as an attempt by the president to make an appeal to a broader audience.

"The majority of people in this country are English speaking, and quite frankly, we can't afford to ignore them any longer," one senior aide said. "Hopefully, by doing the English simulcast, we'll be reaching out to a lot of those folks."

Once the decision was made earlier in the month to launch the historic first English simulcast of a speech by President Bush, staffers began the hard work of translating the text of the address from Mr. Bush's language into English.

Davis Logsdon, a professor of linguistics at the University of Minnesota, was one of several scholars approached to do the translation who ultimately quit in frustration.

"The problem is that the language the president speaks, by most measures, is not a language at all," Professor Logsdon said.

Still, the White House remains guardedly optimistic about tonight's simulcast, and aides said that if all goes as planned they might soon offer English simulcasts of press briefings by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Elsewhere, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein stormed out of his courtroom today, got a good look at what was going on in the streets of Baghdad, and quickly hurried back in.

Unfortunately for America, our president's actions speak louder--and clearer--than his words.

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