Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

This morning over at Atrios’ pad I asked what I thought might be the question of the day:

With “Jeff” gone and Les Kinsovling out indefintely (recovering from coronary bypass surgery) who will take over that covetted spot up Scottie’s ass?

Well folks, we only had to wait until the release of today’s gaggle transcript to find out.

First, let’s watch as Little Scottie gets in over his head on the subject of the Bush assministration’s lies about Medicare and deficit reduction, shall we?

Q Scott, these new prescription drug cost estimates — when you look at what Congress first thought it was getting into when it first signed the legislation, is this a bait-and-switch?


Q Scott, some Republicans on Capitol Hill are saying that they feel snake-bit by this, the even if you compare — to use your metaphor– apples-to-apples, $720 billion to $518 billion, whatever it is now —

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s not apples-to-apples.

Q Well, let me just say —

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, but that’s not apples-to-apples. Those are different time periods, completely different time periods.

Q Different time periods — but that’s my question, which is that the time period of this program or of this benefit is 2006 to 2015. So why was that — why wasn’t that always the figure that Congress was given, understanding that that was the time it would be implemented to the time that it would be fully phased in.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, the figures that they were given earlier were the correct figures. These are different time periods that we’re talking about.


Q What the Republicans, many of them on Capitol Hill are saying that this is what they warned of when they were a little bit skittish about supporting this in the first place, that what this Republican President was doing was creating a big new entitlement, and that it would only get bigger and bigger. So to those people who are saying, I told you so, what does the President say?

MR. McCLELLAN: Let’s be clear about how these news reports came about in a couple of the papers today, or a few —

Q I’m not talking about the news reports. I’m not talking about the specific numbers. I’m talking about something that you’re confirming, which is the $720 billion.

MR. McCLELLAN: But we’re talking to the American people, and I think they should hear the full story behind this.


Now, in terms of “many Republicans,” I don’t know who you’re referring to. I haven’t seen any comments from “many Republicans” today. But I have seen —

Q Senator Gregg has said that he wants to go back and —

MR. McCLELLAN: What are you referring to there?

Q — revisit this, because it’s costing so much.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that’s a previous comment. Let’s separate it out from today’s stories. So I haven’t seen any comments from specific Republicans on today’s stories, certainly ones that supported the legislation.

Q Can we just do one more quickly on this before you move on to another —

This is the point where Scottie really misses “Jeff”. He needs a lifeline, fast. His beady little eyes feverishly scan the press room. Dana Milbank’s observation from January 2002 foreshadows Scottie’s next action:

Want to change the subject to foreign affairs? Call on Raghubir Goyal of the India Globe.

Although he exhibits no Gannon-like fondness for the supple folds of Scottie’s ass, it’s Goyal to the rescue.

Q Can we just do one more quickly on this before you move on to another —

MR. McCLELLAN: No, but I’ll come back to you later. Go ahead, Goyal.

Q The situation in Nepal is worsening, and do you think President is going to call on the Nepali King to back-roll his powers and restore democracy? The people are crying and —

Yes, Goyal is the lifeline today.

But wait, what’s this? Is there a new assclown in town?

Q Does this administration believe the Democratic leaders are now engaged in a deliberate disinformation campaign as the best way to undermine the President’s goals and objectives on a number of issues?

MR. McCLELLAN: A deliberate?

Q Yes.

MR. McCLELLAN: We would certainly hope not. The President has made it very clear that he wants to reach out and work together on our shared priorities. That’s what he’s going to continue to do.

Who is this brave new suck-up? Max Power? Bleff Blannon? Ron Vibbentrop?

Stay tuned, gaggle obsessites. There’s a new playa in the press corps.