Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Judging by these questions, the press corps gets it.

Q Do they have enough National Guard —

Q People on the ground, though, Scott, are questioning why it’s taken three days or more for federal help to arrive, notwithstanding all of the preparations. There’s considerable bitterness in some places. We had one woman ask on camera last night, where’s the cavalry? And then there’s been editorial criticism across the country of the President for not acting sooner, or not coming back sooner. What do you say to all that?

Q But none of that means anything to somebody who has been living on an interstate overpass for the last three days, without food or water, or any kind of assistance, local or federal.

Q Are you going to bring back any National Guardsmen from Iraq to help?

Q Do you have enough troops on hand?

Q Scott, do you cited the President’s zero tolerance for insurance fraud, looting, price gouging. Does he make any allowance for people who have yet to receive aid who are taking things like water or food or shoes to walk among the debris?

Q And the second is, based on what you have said today, and what the President said this morning on television, is it fair to say that the President feels that all the help has been provided as quickly and sufficient quantity as possible?

Q Scott, there’s already a line of discussion going on about the funding of projects prior to this, whether projects in New Orleans, in particular, were under funded because of the Iraq war or for other reasons. Is there a — do you find any of this criticism legitimate? Do you think there is any second-guessing to be done now about priorities, given that the New Orleans situation was sort of obvious to a lot of the experts?

Q Scott, since the briefing started, I’ve gotten a number of emails from people saying that correspondents who’ve been in Baghdad and New Orleans say Baghdad feels safer to operate in; people saying that it’s absolute chaos in the streets; message boards on the Internet are going crazy. They’re frustrated that you’re deflecting this to FEMA. Is the White House properly, adequately concerned?

Q Why have helicopters stopped flying over New Orleans?

And now, the return of Your Daily Les.

Q Scott, two questions. First, in the problem of looting, what is the President’s reaction to the 1968 statement of Philadelphia’s Frank Rizzo that “all looters would be shot,” and then three looters were shot, and the looting in Philadelphia stopped?

MR. McCLELLAN: Les, I haven’t discussed that with him in the midst of all the response and recovery efforts that are ongoing with Katrina.