What Will The ChildrenThink?Pony Blow Admits He Lied About Kansas!
Q And you said this morning that if you don’t request it, you’re not going to get it. Is there —
MR. SNOW: Well, it turns out I’ve had subsequent conversations, and what happened was, she actually did get — there was not a formal request, but they’d had conversations. So on the basis of those, the government began moving things proactively.
Q This morning you said the only thing the Kansas Governor requested was FM radios. Has she, in fact, requested more now?
MR. SNOW: I believe so. Let me take a quick look. I think there are a couple of other items that have been requested and supplied. Let’s see, the state has requested a mobile command center, an urban search and rescue task force, a mobile office building, 40 two-way radios, and coordination calls between Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma, to determine if they need extra Black Hawks; Kansas has six, Texas and Oklahoma have offered to make available another five to six if necessary. So those are the things that the state has requested, that FEMA has provided.
He’s Still Not Ready To Own Up To The Fact That Chimpy’s Vanity War Has Crippled The Guard
Q Tony, how much is the disaster response effort impacted by the war?
MR. SNOW: I think they’re separate issues. The war —
Q Aren’t they shared resources?
MR. SNOW: They’re shared resources, but on the other hand, it is not something that you can’t — just as in a time of war, the Pentagon plans for more than one conflict at a time, you have to be able to do more than one thing at a time. So the fact that you have people deployed in a time of war to protect Americans is important; but at the same time, you also maintain your capability of dealing with domestic concerns.
Q There is no impact?
MR. SNOW: I don’t know. I don’t know how you measure. How would I measure — I’m not being snarky in giving — I just don’t know how you measure that.
Q You look at the available equipment and you see how much of it is overseas.
Defunding Chimpy’s Vanity War WIll Lead To Longer Troop Deployments: So Sez Pony Blow
Q Can you update us on any White House-Hill negotiations planned? And also, are you going to be able to head off that developing bill by Democrats in the House —
MR. SNOW: Am I going to be able to head off?
Q Head off, derail, oppose —
MR. SNOW: I don’t — again, members of the House — we made it clear that the idea somehow of doing a short-term supplemental, we think it’s bad management.
A couple of things to note. Number one is you get into a situation like this where you do not have predictable funding. It means that in some cases you’re going to delay deployments. It’s enormously expensive to move forces around, so it means that not only would you delay deployments in some cases, you also may have to prolong tours at the same time.
Q Prolonging tours? They may have to prolong tours? You just prolonged tours — your Pentagon just prolonged the tours to 15 months. Are you saying that if they do this short-term bill it may be even longer than 15 months?
MR. SNOW: I’m just saying — you have to ask yourself what the unintended consequences are of cutting off funding and making it impossible to do things that are expensive, but planned — like moving people in and out. I’m just saying that is one of the possible outcomes.
Q So a possible outcome is tours longer than 15 months?
MR. SNOW: I don’t know, Martha. You have to talk about particular units.
When Is A Benchmark Not A Benchmark? Helen Wants To Know
Q It was Petraeus, himself, who set the September deadline.
MR. SNOW: Let me warn against this —
Q Isn’t that a benchmark to stop the killing?
MR. SNOW: What he’s saying is he is going to give a report in September. Please avoid the idea that Iraq is like Oz, and one day it’s going to be black and white and the next day you’re going to wake up and it’s color. It’s a war. And it is something where progress is something that our people are devoted and dedicated to achieving, but it is not something that appears with a snap of a finger.
Q When does the President want to end this war?
MR. SNOW: Yesterday.
Tepid Support For Wolfie
Q Tony, on the World Bank, you have a report ruling that — out of a Bank committee that Wolfowitz broke the rules barring conflicts of interest. You have board members, at least privately, expressing questions about his credibility in running the Bank. When did — what does the President think about Wolfowitz’s ability to continue effectively running the Bank as these questions remain?
MR. SNOW: Well, Hank Paulson, the Treasury Secretary, is our governor on the World Bank board, and he’s the one who is dealing primarily with these issues. The President has expressed his support for Paul Wolfowitz. But if you want to get into the nuts and bolts of those kinds of conversations, you need to talk to Treasury.
Q Just to follow up on that, does there come a point when the administration has to say that Wolfowitz’s credibility is in question — hampering his ability to do the job?
MR. SNOW: Again, I refer you to Treasury on that, but that’s kind of a hypothetical debating point question that does not lend itself —
Q That sounds like distancing.
MR. SNOW: No, I’ve said exactly the same thing all week, I’ve used exactly the same formulation: The President supports him.
Q Does the administration still have the same confidence it had two weeks ago?
MR. SNOW: Yes, it still has confidence.
Q I guess the question is with those allegations coming out of this report, how can the President continue to support Wolfowitz? And are you aware of any efforts to forge a compromise, perhaps the Europeans bringing something to the table?
MR. SNOW: Again, talk to Treasury. They’re the ones who are fronting this.
More Irrelevance From Les
Q Tony, thank you. I have two questions, based on the belief that the President would like to support any reasonable procedure that would reduce federal spending and the national debt. First, on Sunday, The New York Post noted that since the bulk of public broadcasting income is not from its viewers but from the federal budget. My question: Does the President believe the Post was wrong or right to contend to get government out of the broadcasting business once and for all?
MR. SNOW: I don’t believe that’s an issue before the President right now.
Q That’s part of the budget.
MR. SNOW: I know, but I’m not sure — perhaps there is a move afoot of which I’m unaware.