The Incoherence of George W. Bush: An Interesting Theory
THE PRESIDENT: 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.
Okay, better? I'll keep working on it.
Now check THIS out:
"Bushisms" and "the bulge": a possible connection
Looking over my last few posts and updates, I came up with what I believe is a new line of analysis that combines questions about the "bulge" -- an alleged item under Bush's suit during the presidential debates last year -- with questions about Bush's medical status. In brief, the "bulge" may have been part of an "assisted listening device" designed to help him cope with a hearing and language disorder.
Bush's mangled syntax, noted most recently in his remarks about Social Security at a Tampa gathering, has been a subject of speculation for years. While many dismiss theories that there is some kind of disability involved, at least one writer -- Stan Crock of Business Week -- put together a plausible theory in March of last year that Bush may have a somewhat ill-defined syndrome called CAPD - "central auditory processing disorder":
The possibility is high that there's some dysfunction in the way he hears words, the way he processes what he hears, or the way he retrieves words when he tries to speak. When someone uses the wrong word or malapropisms and has difficulty with grammatical sentences, experts on learning disabilities "typically suspect at least a subtle language disorder," says William Stixrud, a clinical neuropsychologist in Silver Spring, Md. [...]
According to an article on the Internet by Judith W. Paton, a San Mateo (Calif.) audiologist, CAPD is a physical hearing impairment that doesn't show up as hearing loss but rather affects hearing beyond the ear. In effect, the auditory nerves don't handle the raw data from the ear properly. It's usually found with a cluster of other symptoms. Among the tell-tale signs she cites: Confusion of similar sounding words, terse communications, better hearing when watching the speaker, and trouble hearing when it's noisy.
Paton also lists "[p]roblems with speech clarity or articulation, or with grammar, now or in the past" as one of the indicators of CAPD. As Crock observes, such conditions may be heritable; thus Bush Sr.'s similar speech issues may be a clue to those of Bush Jr.
What would this have to do with "the bulge"? One article about CAPD describes measures taken to help children coping with CAPD. In addition to reducing ambient noise, the article notes:
Specialists may also recommend assistive listening devices (ALDs) in some cases. These devices slightly amplify an instructor’s voice for the child. The child will customarily wear a receiver, and the teacher will use a microphone. ALDs vary in cost from $75 to $1600.*
One way for such ALDs to be deployed is as an earbud or even a cochlear implant receiving signals from a small transmitter worn around the neck. Looking around very briefly, I quickly found an accessory for such an item, manufactured by Audex Inc., that, if worn behind the back might well produce the outline in the image produced by NASA/JPL scientist Robert Nelson, displayed in the February 8 post below. There are other companies with similar products, of course, but the purpose would be the same.
This would only have broken the spirit of common sense "ground rules" for the debates if the device were not used just to improve understanding of the moderator's and Kerry's comments, but also to supply third-party answers to those comments. Thus, if these speculations are on or near target, Bush's odd "Now let me finish!" outburst in the first debate -- when nobody was interrupting him -- would remain a question.
As would the issue of why the public wasn't been informed of Bush's condition, and the steps taken to cope with that condition. In this case, Bush et al might be relying on CADP's disputed status as a medical condition in the first place. Or they might not; Bush's decision to skip his annual physical may be germane after all. Crock noted that the denial of a language disorder he got was not as strong as might be imagined:
Asked for this column if the President has a language disorder, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan dismissed the idea, without flatly denying it. She told BusinessWeek Online Bush's medical records have been scrutinized for 15 years. "The American people know more about the President's health than just about anyone's," she added.
The question of whether to notify the public of a possibly important medical condition is familiar to "West Wing" viewers; it seems generally accepted that it is, and for all I know there are legal requirements to do so. (I missed those episodes.)
If -- if -- Bush was in fact wired for sound in this particular way, there would be real potential for deceiving the American public and arguably for blurring the president's constitutional role. The same technology used to pipe filtered sound into Bush's ear could also be used to put forward a president who is just a figurehead for some committee behind a White House communications console. Knowing that could well have caused some doubts in voting booths in November; knowing that could cause similar doubts now. Especially given how long it was kept quiet.