Chimpy, The Great Economic Prognosticator On “The Facts”, August 9, 2007:
Q What’s going on in the housing market, is it a correction or a crisis, in your view? Can you assess that?
THE PRESIDENT: Yesterday I did comment upon that, that there was a — I talked about the different scenarios that I had been briefed on about whether or not there would be a precipitous decline in housing or whether it would be what one would call a soft landing, and it appeared at this point that it looks we’re headed for a soft landing. And that’s what the facts say.
Dana Peroxide, Today:
Q The administration has released its updated economic forecast, cutting the 2008 growth. Many people are worried about the risk of a recession. What’s the White House’s take on that?
MS. PERINO: Well, Eddie Lazear, the President’s Chairman of the Council on Economic Advisers, did a conference call. The transcript will be out soon. I understand a lot of people weren’t able to listen to it because the news cycle came out as it did. But it’s been clear to everyone that the fall-out from the housing market is going to have an effect. And that’s not a surprise.
Not America-like Free And Fair
Q Dana, does the President believe that the Pakistan elections can really be free and fair, when the opposition will now only have three weeks to campaign between the time of which the emergency rule is lifted and the vote is held?
MS. PERINO: Well, I think we have — look, our system of government is different. We’ve been having a primary election here for the past 12 months, and another 12 months to go before our general election. Obviously, that would be — three weeks in our country would be very different. It is a good step that he is going to lift this emergency order on December 16th, and that the free — that the elections will be able to be held without this emergency order.
Q Dana, what’s your reaction to Senator Leahy’s ruling that since the President was not involved in the prosecutor firings his claim of executive privilege is no legal basis?
MS. PERINO: We were baffled by the decision. Senator Leahy, himself, has said that these contempt filings would be futile, and yet they continue to move forward with them.
We have provided for them a legal and sound argument, based on executive privilege. This is a reasonable position because the President needs to receive candid advice — not just this President, but all future Presidents, as well. And so we provided them an opportunity to get the very information that they say that they wanted to have, but instead they continue to move forward on a legal track that even Senator Leahy, himself, has said — he has said that this would be futile.
Q Understanding that, but the point that he’s making is that the President is claiming that he needs the candid advice of aides, but in this case there was no candid advice from aides because he was not advised, or was not commanding people on this subject.
MS. PERINO: But the privilege extends to the assistants to the President that work for him. And I don’t understand his reasoning in that the President wasn’t involved and therefore I should — the President is not involved so we should continue to move forward? What they said that they wanted to know is what did the President know. And they have said that — if he is now saying that the President wasn’t aware of it, as we have said from the beginning, I don’t understand why he continues to have this rope-a-dope that’s not going to go anywhere.
“Do You Think The President Is Misleading?”
Q On the greenhouse gas that was sent out yesterday, greenhouse gases declined, many scientists are saying that the emissions intensity is misleading, because it’s giving the impression that the actual greenhouse gases are falling, when the EIA says that they’ve risen 15 percent. Do you think the President is misleading?
MS. PERINO: What I said yesterday is that the actuals have gone down by 1.5 percent; intensity was 4.2 percent. Obviously greenhouse gases continue to grow. What the President said is that we don’t want them to grow at the high rate that they are; we want to slow the rate of growth, and we are working to do that. He said we want to slow it by 18 percent by 2012, and we are on our way to do that.
Q But shouldn’t the number of actual emissions be the focus?
MS. PERINO: We gave you both numbers. We gave the actual number, which is 1.5 percent, in 2005, which is a significant reduction; the largest since 1985 — I’m sorry, the 4.2 percent in reduction in intensity is also very good. And it’s better than almost any of our allies around the world.