Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Another *non* White House Press Briefing

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get a simple answer to a simple question from a Conservative?

They don't answer questions. Facts would hurt them, so they cover their asses, evade the issue, or in the case of Press Sec'y Scott McClellen, the questions are not answered at all.

From todays White House Press Briefing

(The simple question I was referring to )

Q Scott, does the President retain confidence in his FEMA Director and Secretary of Homeland Security?

(And the answer.or in this case, the non-answer)

MR. McCLELLAN: And again, David, see, this is where some people want to look at the blame game issue, and finger-point. We're focused on solving problems, and we're doing everything we can --

Q What about the question?

MR. McCLELLAN: We're doing everything we can in support --

Q We know all that.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- of the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

Q Does he retain complete confidence --

MR. McCLELLAN: We're going to continue. We appreciate the great effort that all of those at FEMA, including the head of FEMA, are doing to help the people in the region. And I'm just not going to engage in the blame game or finger-pointing that you're trying to get me to engage.

Q Okay, but that's not at all what I was asking.

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure it is. It's exactly what you're trying to play.

Q You have your same point you want to make about the blame game, which you've said enough now. I'm asking you a direct question, which you're dodging.


Q Does the President retain complete confidence in his Director of FEMA and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?

MR. McCLELLAN: I just answered the question.

Q Is the answer "yes" on both?

MR. McCLELLAN: And what you're doing is trying to engage in a game of finger-pointing.

Q There's a lot of criticism. I'm just wondering if he still has confidence.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and blame-gaming. What we're trying to do is solve problems, David. And that's where we're going to keep our focus.

Q So you're not -- you won't answer that question directly?

MR. McCLELLAN: I did. I just did.

Q No, you didn't. Yes or no? Does he have complete confidence or doesn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, if you want to continue to engage in finger-pointing and blame-gaming, that's fine --

Q Scott, that's ridiculous. I'm not engaging in any of that.

MR. McCLELLAN: It's not ridiculous.

Q Don't try to accuse me of that. I'm asking you a direct question and you should answer it. Does he retain complete confidence in his FEMA Director and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?

MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said -- that's exactly what you're engaging in.

Q I'm not engaging in anything. I'm asking you a question about what the President's views are --
MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely -- absolutely --

Q -- under pretty substantial criticism of members of his administration. Okay? And you know that, and everybody watching knows that, as well.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, everybody watching this knows, David, that you're trying to engage in a blame game.

Q I'm trying to engage?


Q I am trying to engage?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's correct.

Q That's a dodge. I have a follow-up question since you dodged that one. Does the White House feel like it missed opportunities to alleviate or head off some of the damage in the New Orleans area, flood damage? Did it miss an opportunity to head any of that off?

MR. McCLELLAN: In what way?

Q In responding to requests to make structural improvements, or other improvements to alleviate flood damage, and so forth?

MR. McCLELLAN: Maybe you ought to look at what General Strock said, because General Strock briefed on this the other day and he talked about the design issues relating to the levees and how that was a design issue. And he talked about that. And we provided, I think it was some $300 million in additional funding over the course of the administration for flood control in the Southeast Louisiana area. But General Strock talked about that and he talked about some of those issues. And any suggestion that it would have prevented something, that there could have been action that would have prevented something, I think he dismissed because of those reasons.

Q So if the President still has confidence in the FEMA Director, how is it that the FEMA Director is suddenly invisible? No briefings, nowhere out front, it's all gone to Secretary Chertoff.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think he's going to brief later today. I think he's briefing later today.

Q Brown is?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. And, again, that's clearly now just an attempt to try to engage in this finger-pointing, and we're going to continue focusing on solving problems.

Q He's been the focus of an enormous amount of criticism. You know that, and yet, you choose not to respond.

MR. McCLELLAN: I just talked about how there are over 75 -- no, that's not true. There are over 75,000 people that are involved in all the response and recovery and law enforcement when it comes to Katrina. And we appreciate the efforts of everyone. We appreciate the efforts of Secretary Chertoff and Undersecretary Brown and all those at FEMA who continue to work round-the-clock to get things done and to identify problems and fix those problems.

Q Does the President agree with his mother that the homeless taken from New Orleans to Houston are much better off now because they were underprivileged in New Orleans?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think she was making a personal observation on some of the comments that people were making that she was running into. I'm not sure that that's exactly what she said, but --

Q I have it right here if you need it.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- what we're focused on -- what we're focused on is helping these people who are in need.

Q Does he agree with his mother?

MR. McCLELLAN: And I think that the observation is based on someone who -- or some people that were talking to her, that were in need of a lot of assistance, people that have gone through a lot of trauma and been through a very difficult and trying time. And all of a sudden, they are now getting great help in the state of Texas from some of the shelters.

Q "It's scary that they're all coming to Texas."

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I think you can look at her comments.

Q That is what she said, though.


Anonymous caspixel said...

"Blame game" is definitely the new catch phrase. I think my head is really going to blow off. How much longer can this possibly go on???

I just read that the media have been banned from New Orleans too, so they can hide the bodies, so they can doctor the numbers of the dead.

How can this possibly be happening in America????

This is really really fucked up.

3:02 PM  
Blogger evil eggplant said...

I read about the banned media, but I don't believe it yet. Salon doesn't have it, the MSM doesn't have it. If this was true there would be an uproar from the press and public that you wouldn't believe.

I think (pray) that this is rumor.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous caspixel said...

Well, FEMA did ban the media from going on the boats with them, in order to "prevent them from taking photos of the dead bodies" in the name of "decency".

Uh, since when has this administration done ANYTHING because it's the decent thing to do. You and I both know it's because they want to try to cover up the amount of dead.

5:01 PM  

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