Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Pathetic. Pa-fucking-thetic. The big story of the day is that Chimpy’s former BFF and largest contributor Kenneth Lay was found by a jury of his peers of committing multiple felonies and yet the name Lay did not grace the lips of any of today’s gagglers.

This is as close as they came.

Q Tony, the President often mentions corporate crime in his speeches, as recently as yesterday. We’ve had the Enron convictions now over the noon hour. Any comment from the White House?

MR. SNOW: Well, any comment is that the Justice Department — you know, we congratulate the Justice Department on successfully concluding a highly complex conviction, a set of legal proceedings that led to the convictions today in the Enron case. I mean, the administration has been pretty clear there is no tolerance for corporate corruption. And furthermore, the Justice Department has been going aggressively after those who are involved in corporate corruption.

[snip]

Q Can I ask one more on Enron? Does the administration favor compensating the victims now in some way?

MR. SNOW: I honestly don’t know. I mean, I don’t know.

What a fucking waste of space, our press corps.

Obsession grudgingly continues, Read More.

From Holden:

Pony Blow seems to think Americans find purple fingers to be comforting.

Q You have said, obviously, that there’s not going to be any announcement of a hard timetable, specific time frame for American troops to withdraw. But are they going to try to lay out conditions, not attaching maybe time frames to it, or specific numbers, or as you said earlier, divisions, but what does the President and Prime Minister Blair, what do they want to say to the American people tonight?

MR. SNOW: They’ll answer whatever questions you have to say. Again, I think it’s worth pointing out, because there’s been a perception that maybe things aren’t moving in Iraq — that’s different. I mean, you’ve got a new government. That is a significant development.

[snip]

Q I do. The formation of the government obviously is not inconsequential, as you said, but what do they want to say about that that’s different, that is going to be reassuring to the American people?

MR. SNOW: I think what’s going to be reassuring to the American people is we have talked for some time now about some fairly miraculous developments in Iraq, where people have gone a couple of times, under threats of violence from al Qaeda and others, and they’ve dipped their finger in the purple ink, they’ve gone and made their votes. Now they have an elected government. That elected government has an elected head, and that is somebody with whom we can deal. So all of the — we’re not talking about coalition provisional authorities, we’re talking about an Iraqi government.

What it’s really all about.

Q If you have secure transatlantic phone lines, I’m still unclear why this needs to be a face-to-face, in-person briefing, unless it’s sort of the ceremonial hitting of the reset button. I mean, is that what tonight is?

MR. SNOW: No. There are going to be times — let me stress again. This is hugely important. You’ve got an elected government and you’ve got an elected head of government. He started work last Saturday, he had his first meeting with the Prime Minister on Monday. I suppose you could do some things with a phone conversation, but I think in a lot of this — what the President — I mean, I’ve seen the President when he talks about these things. He’s intensely practical, and he’s going to want to talk face-to-face.

[snip]

Q Does it have anything to do with both men having very low poll numbers —

MR. SNOW: No, and I know everybody has been trying to read this a political play on poll numbers. No, it has to do with the fact that you’ve got a new elected head of state in Iraq, and I really do think it not only changes the realities on the ground, it changes the way in which we’re going to approach it, because, to repeat, we’ve got somebody with whom we can deal now. We’ve got an elected official who is going to be there.

The question that is never answered: Where’s Osama?

Q Tony, two quick questions. As far as the global terrorism is concerned, there is another tape from Osama bin Laden. He’s warned, and we are still living under fear. He’s — apparently that he’s watching everything we do, including this press conference, what’s happening in our lives. We have — the United States has the best intelligence, CIA, and the best military in the world. What’s happening? Somebody is protecting somewhere Osama bin Laden, so what’s going on? Even though there is a big reward on his life or capture or bring to justice —

MR. SNOW: I’m glad you asked that, because now I’ll just tell you everything we know about bin Laden, we’ll just get it off our chest. I mean, look, it’s pretty clear that it’s been a priority to look for Osama bin Laden. It’s also pretty clear that that’s a very difficult part of the world to travel in, let along track somebody down in. Are people helping him? Probably. Are our people doing their very best to find him? Absolutely. It’s a tough business.

Pony Blow can’t resist commenting on an ongoing investigation.

Q Yes, Tony. Patrick Fitzgerald yesterday indicated that they would like to speak, they would like to have the Vice President come and talk in defense of Mr. Libby since the state of mind of the Vice President was relevant to Libby’s actions since Libby was subject to his direction. Would the White House be prepared to allow the Vice President to testify —

MR. SNOW: Number one, I’m not going to — number one, I’m not sure you characterized properly what was — the stories were that he’d released information, he was interested in that line of questioning, and that there may be some thought of bringing the Vice President to trial. Having said all that, I’m not going to make any advance legal comment about a situation other than to say that the Vice President and his office, at all points, have been thoroughly cooperative with the Special Counsel, and do what we always do in these particular cases, which is to refer you for further elucidation to the Department of Justice.

Your Daily Les

Q The other one is, Sayed Hashemi was an officer of the Taliban who was present when CNN interviewed Osama bin Laden. Now Hashemi has been admitted to Yale University, and yesterday, during a news conference, Howard Dean told what he called a “great story” about Yale graduation speaker Anderson Cooper welcoming members of the Taliban, which Governor Dean said, brought down the house. And my question, does the President, as a Yale alumnus, agree with his fellow Yalie, Howard Dean, that this was a “great story?”

MR. SNOW: I think I’ll refer that back to Yale. Ask Yale if they think that’s a great story.

Son Of Your Daily Les: Pony Comments on Les’ Famous Porn Stash

Q So you seem to be lowering expectations in terms of specific announcements.

MR. SNOW: I think I’m lowering your expectations. I’ve tried never to create those expectations.

Q But nobody, in your words, is going to be “kissing in Times Square tomorrow.”

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q I understand that. But if you have —

MR. SNOW: Well, there may be people kissing in Times Square for different reasons. (Laughter.)

Q If you have —

MR. SNOW: I said, “kissing,” Lester. (Laughter.)