Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Helen Thomas Kicks Dana Peroxide’s Narrrow Ass

Q How many billions have we spent already for the Defense Department?

MS. PERINO: The Defense Department says that they need this funding in order to keep the war running, as well as to keep these civilians –

Q Maybe they don’t want the war to keep running.

MS. PERINO: Well, I think that that has been —

Q The country doesn’t want it —

MS. PERINO: I think that Americans have seen what our troops have been able to do this year, in trying — is starting to turn things around in Iraq. We’ve got a long way to go, but they have started to make some significant gains, and to pull the rug out from under them now seems to be — seems irresponsible.

Q To keep killing you mean.

MS. PERINO: Helen, every — the security situation in Baghdad is vastly improved, because of what our troops have been able to do, working alongside of the Iraqis. I can’t imagine that they would not want to fund these troops before they go home for Christmas. They have gone to Iraq, many members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, have gone to Iraq. They’ve seen for themselves what’s happening on the ground there. They’ve had briefings from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. They are working very hard to make sure that they — these trends that we’re starting to see can actually take hold and be cemented, and so that they can continue the progress —

Q More people are dying every day in Iraq.

MS. PERINO: There’s no doubt that there continues to be violence. But we do know that because of what we have been able to put in place as the result of the surge, we have less death, less violence, and we have some of troops starting to come home.

Science Is Hard!

Q Yes, on the climate change briefing last week, administration officials said that there’s still a verdict out on what constitutes dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet NASA and its own peer-reviewed publications have concluded that even a one degree Centigrade increase constitutes dangerous climate change. So does the administration disagree with NASA?

MS. PERINO: I think there’s a lot of science out there. I don’t know about the specific report you’re referring to. I do know that the people who provided that briefing last week are the technical experts and the substantive experts, the policy experts, and so I would defer to them and what they said.

Q But are you indicating, then, that NASA does not have the scientific expertise?

MS. PERINO: Absolutely not, Paula. And as I have said before, some of the NASA scientists, including James Hansen, have been the basis of some of the good programs that we have, including the Methane to Markets initiative, that we are helping other countries in order to use our technology to take excess methane from mining, such as the accident that happened last week in Ukraine, in order to turn that into — to capture that energy source so that the greenhouse gases don’t go up into the air, and then use it for power. We are using our technology to help other countries, one, improve their economy; and two, reduce greenhouse gases. And that is a direct result of some of the science done at NASA.

So we take into account — yes.

Q In all due respect, I’m not talking about Methane to Market. I’m talking about other indications of rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic Circle, as well as you know, ice sheets are already melting at a faster pace than originally —

MS. PERINO: Well, in all due respect to the people who provided you the briefing last week, who are the experts in the matter, I’m going to defer to them.

Dana Don’t Know!

Q Iran talks.

MS. PERINO: — Iran talks?

Q Yes.

MS. PERINO: I don’t know, is there something new beyond — I don’t know of anything new. I mean, we’ve been having continuing conversations with —

Q Iran is saying that they’ve accepted some kind of invitation to the talk to the United States.

MS. PERINO: It’s the first I’ve heard of that.


Q Dana, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry says it’s released 3,000 detainees and about 2,000 more will be released soon —

MS. PERINO: I hadn’t heard that.

Q — and that Musharraf has given no indication still of when the state of emergency will be lifted. Is that release of detainees enough to meet the President’s demands, or is there more?

MS. PERINO: You are informing me of the release.

Everybody Hates Karl

Q What does the President think of Karl Rove being a columnist?

MS. PERINO: Well, I think that he misses his friend Karl and wishes him the best.

Q A journalist, I mean.

MS. PERINO: What do you think of that? That would be a more interesting —

Q I think it’s terrible. (Laughter.)

Q Don’t hold back. (Laughter.)

3 thoughts on “Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

  1. So that’s the mission now? Cementing trends?
    the very definition of “trend” involves development and change, motion in other words.
    maybe it’s just me, but “Cement” doesn’t seem like something one would want to do to a “trend”…

  2. The press corps daily briefing has gone from ostentacious (sp?) denials to outside the loop incompetence. Why don’t we see stories about how outside the inner circle Perino is?
    I mean, really, simply leaving Perino out of the conversation makes this entire exercise useless. I would love to see someone ask her why she wasn’t aware of something. Was it intentional? Is she incompetent? I would hypothesize that it is simply some new form of deniability.
    Sad indeed.

  3. @Marc
    Yep, you’re right. When press secretaries’ answers are in the form of “I think …” and “I believe …”, etc., then they did not answer the question.
    A question is answered when the answer is of the form “The president said …”, “The president acted by …”, “The Defense Department says that …”, “The facts are …”, etc.
    That the press allows so many answers of the 1st type, as well as so many Dunnos, shows they are, well, not very effective.
    also this…
    MS. PERINO: I think there’s a lot of science out there.
    And, you know, this lack of knowledge is something that has hurt the president and his administration. And just as apparently, knowing little or nothing about science (and *lots* of other stuff) hasn’t helped the president make good decisions or have his staff sell his ideas, either.

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