Today It WasTony Farto’s Turn To Get Helenized
MR. FRATTO: I talked a little bit about this at the gaggle this morning, but I’m going to — as we saw now, the votes in the Senate this morning, Congress has now left for a two-week vacation without appropriating the necessary funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once again, they tried to pass a bill that provides incremental funding, tries to micromanage the war from the halls of Congress. It includes an arbitrary withdrawal date, an aim that has absolutely no relevance to the significant successes we’re seeing on the ground in Iraq.
In terms of the bigger picture of what our dispute is, what we see is a core constituency of the Democratic Party that is driving them towards sending the President legislation to appease the views of groups like MoveOn.org and CodePink, the ones who want us —
Q Oh, come on, the American people also.
MR. FRATTO: — simply to leave and to walk out of Iraq. And that is a — that is not a view that — that is not a small difference, that’s a pretty gaping difference. We don’t believe that we should have an arbitrary withdrawal date from Iraq, especially in the face of the success that we have seen over the past few months that is fairly indisputable.
Q Why do you think that the President will not listen to the goal of people to get out of Iraq and stop the killing, stop the drain? More than a trillion dollars has been spent. You want to pour more and more money into a killing field.
MR. FRATTO: Helen, no, what we want to do is to give the people of Iraq the opportunity that they deserve when they went to the polls a few years ago to —
Q You invaded them, you occupied them, you killed them —
MR. FRATTO: — to have a democratic country. And that’s what we’re focused on.
If Chimpy’s Vanity War Is So Important Why Can’t He Take A Litle More Than 10% Of The Pentagon’s Budget And Shift It To Iraq?
Q So the President just signed this $460 billion for DOD.
MR. FRATTO: And that funding did not include war funding. That was base funding for the Department of Defense.
Q So there’s not enough flexibility in that bill to fund what the needs are —
MR. FRATTO: Not according to Secretary Gates and Deputy Secretary Gordon England.
Q Is the President going to make any recess appointments?
MR. FRATTO: I have nothing for you on that. I have nothing to expect right now.
Q Is he going to appoint James Holsinger to be Surgeon General?
MR. FRATTO: We don’t talk about or speculate on personnel appointments until we’re ready to announce them.
I Anticipate Another Petulant Chimp Performance
Scheduling update. On Monday, November 26th, the President will host the 2007 U.S. recipients of Nobel Prizes, the Nobel Laureates. They’ll be in the Oval Office. We’ll get back to you on the coverage, but the list of those recipients — Dr. Mario R. Capecchi for medicine, from Salt Lake City, Utah; Dr. Oliver Smithies for medicine, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Dr. Roger Myerson, won the Nobel Prize for economics, from Wilmette, Illinois; Dr. Eric Maskin, also for economics, from Princeton, New Jersey; and Vice President Al Gore, the Nobel Peace Prize, from Nashville, Tennessee. So we expect them here at the White House on November 26th.