W is that man sitting in your chair; and the worm is highly practiced at executing political parlor tricks blowing some more smoke up our collective skirts this AM. When a reporter askes him straight up, whether that question is predicated on gossip or not, W refuses to yield an asnwer even though it's a legit question. No doubt with Bolton in charge, heads will roll. But sure enough, the W doesn't have the balls to tell us the truth. Have a gander:
Q Morning, Mr. President. Do you expect that there will be some changes that were not voluntary? Today, you've highlighted openings in your administration, but will Mr. Bolten ask some people to leave? And would you accept his counsel for Cabinet changes, as well as White House staffers?Are you buying what the W is selling? Come on let's look at the product:
THE PRESIDENT: I understand this is -- you know, this is a matter of high speculation here in Washington. It's the game of musical chairs, I guess you'd say, that people love to follow. My instructions to Josh Bolten was that I expect him to design a White House structure so that it will function so that he can do his job, function in a way so he's more likely to be able to do his job. And of course, he will bring different recommendations to me as to who should be here and who should not be here.
And I'm the person who believes in aligning authority and responsibility. I've given him enormous responsibility and authority, and expect the White House to work well. And it did under Andy Card, by the way. I'm most proud of his tenure as the Chief of Staff. But with a new man will come some changes. And Josh has got all the rights to make those recommendations to me. And of course I listen to advice as to my Cabinet, as well. I must tell you that I'm -- I've got strong confidence in my Cabinet officials, all of them, and I appreciate the service they've rendered.
But I also understand what happens in Washington. You know, a little flicker of gossip starts moving hard, and people jump all over it. The thing the American people have got to know is we'll structure this White House so it continues to function to deal with major problems. And we're dealing with major problems. We're dealing with a war on terror, we're dealing with high gasoline prices.
And let me remind people that these high gasoline prices are caused by primarily three reasons: One, the increase in the price of crude oil. It's one of the reasons I stood up in front of the Congress and said, we've got to have strong and active research and development to get us to diversify away from crude oil. It's tight supply worldwide, and we've got increasing demand from countries like India and China, which means that any disruption of supply or perceived disruption of supply is going to cause the price of crude to go up. And that affects the price of gasoline.
Secondly, there's increasing demand. At this time of year people are beginning to drive more, getting out on the highways, taking a little time off, and they're moving around. And that increasing demand is also part of the reason the price of gasoline is going up.
And, thirdly, we're switching fuel mixes. The summer fuel mix is different from state to state, and is different from what is being used in the winter. And, therefore, the combination of these creates higher gasoline prices. And I'm concerned about higher gasoline prices. I'm concerned what it means to the working families and small businesses, and I'm also mindful that the government has the responsibility to make sure that we watch very carefully, and to investigate possible price gouging. And we'll do just that.
"And I'm the person who believes in aligning authority and responsibility"Really, well then, why are you not issuing a mea culpa in the Plame Affair?
"The thing the American people have got to know is we'll structure this White House so it continues to function to deal with major problems."Just like you did in the Katrina situation? NOLA is still FUBAR, no?
And here's your bait that ends with a switch so W really doesn't have to answer the questions:
"And we're dealing with major problems. We're dealing with a war on terror, we're dealing with high gasoline prices."And again, we see why the W is only about giving us more of the same, and we figure out that we are really screwed:
Q Mr. President, you've made it a practice of not commenting on potential personnel moves --
THE PRESIDENT: Of course I did.
Q -- of calling it speculation --
THE PRESIDENT: You can understand why, because we've got people's reputations at stake. And on Friday I stood up and said, I don't appreciate the speculation about Don Rumsfeld; he's doing a fine job, I strongly support him.
Q But what do you say to critics who believe that you're ignoring the advice of retired generals, military commanders, who say that there needs to be a change?
THE PRESIDENT: I say, I listen to all voices, but mine is the final decision. And Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job. He's not only transforming the military, he's fighting a war on terror. He's helping us fight a war on terror. I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld. I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense.
I want to thank you all very much.