Things to watch for

South Knox Bubba says that Bush has a “tell”:

A “tell” is a gesture, expression, or affectation that gives away the fact that the speaker is lying. I’m told that it’s very useful in poker as a way of knowing when the other guy is bluffing.

When Bush lies, he twists his mouth around to the side and bites his lip.

Police interrogators have studied the art of lying for years. They note that moving ones hand near the face or covering the mouth while speaking is a “tell”. The theory is that the person is unconsciously trying to cover the lie, or keep it from coming out, or capture it and push it back in. (Clinton touched his eye or his nose when he lied).

It seems to me this theory would also apply to biting your lip — trying unconsciously to keep the lie from escaping. (Interestingly, mispronouncing words is also a “tell”). This should not be confused with the famous “smirk”, which he exhibits when he says something that even he knows is either incredibly stupid or arrogant.

Anyway, I am bringing this to your attention as a public service announcement. Pay close attention the next time Bush speaks and see if you can spot it, too. It might help you better interpret his remarks.

And Jay Weidner suspects that the President is hearing voices:

As I watched Bush give his recent speech I realized that his eyes wandered from right to left and from left to right. It was obvious that he was not reading from a TelePrompTer. Also I noticed that there were long pauses between his sentences. On queue he would look left and then right before beginning his next sentence. It soon became apparent to me what was going on and why President Bush had suddenly become erudite.

As a film director I recognized immediately what was happening. After making many documentaries, in all sorts of conditions, it is sometimes impossible to use a TelePrompTer to assist the narrator. For instance, sometimes the glare of the sun will blank out the words on the TelePrompTer screen, or there may be a number of other technical glitches that get in the way of using it properly. On these rare occasions when the TelePrompTer cannot be used, I, and others, have used, instead, another device to help the narrator remember his dialogue.

Using a small earpiece a FM signal is broadcast into the ear of the narrator. Another voice reads the dialogue and the signal is sent to the earpiece. The narrator hears the words in his ear and uses this as his prompt.

There are several problems with this technique, which is why it is used only rarely in films and documentaries: First, it should be said that the earpiece prompt is usually a last ditch effort to prompt the narrator, or actor, while shooting a film. Technical glitches aside, when a Director resorts to an earpiece prompt it usually means that the narrator, or actor, has trouble reading or remembering their lines. Secondly, long pauses have to be built into the prompt and the script. These pauses take place in between sentences so that the prompt does not get too far ahead of the person speaking. Thirdly the script must be rewritten for the earpiece prompt. The sentences must stay short and concise so that the narrator, or actor, does not get confused.

(Both links via Elayne Riggs.)

Meanwhile, reader John Mulhausen suggests a drinking game for the evening:

Take 1 Drink for each time he exploits 9/11

Take 1 Drink for each time he downplays the significance of world opinion

Take 1 Drink for each time he claims that this massacre will increase the amount of freedom currently being experienced in Iraq.

I know that if you do participate, you probably won’t even remember your fucking name, let alone the justification for the bloodbath that is about to begin.

It seems about as useful as anything else we can do at this point.