Leadership Test

I remain unconvinced that the fate of the free world rests on who manages a percentage of our ports, but I think that Bush’s handling of the issue reveals something at least as important.

About the controversy, last night on Savage’s show a veteran of port operations seemed the opposite of concerned, largely because 1) the unions control practically everything that happens at our ports, regardless of who does the managing, and 2) port security protocols are already a matter of public knowledge so there’s not much to steal. I didn’t hear the end so I can’t say whether Savage ended up changing his position. Meanwhile Kevin Drum has joined the non-outraged coalition of him and, as far as I can tell, Glenn Greenwald. [Update: UAE co-owned BCCI? Jeebus. That’ll bump my concern up a few notches.]

What strikes me more than the mortal danger to our republic is the stark way that this highlights the president’s deficiencies as a leader. Josh Marshall touches on this, and I would only add that if this deal is as ordinary as some claim then the president should be able to sell it to his country. A majority in both houses would be perfectly happy to get his back politically, as long as he gave them some time for coordination. Instead he basically blindsided them. Savage unsurprisingly took credit for getting this story out about a week and a half ago, but wherever it came from it seems like most Republican politicians heard about it for the first time when livid constituents began clogging their phone lines. Putting your allies in a position of panicked damage-control isn’t a great way to build support. Rumsfeld’s story is even stranger – he hadn’t heard about the deal until this weekend, even though he sat on the board that unanimously approved the decision. Seriously? There’s another reason why some have argued that the few who survived the 2005 cabinet axe should have been the first to go.

If this thing really isn’t such a big deal, as Drum and Savage’s caller allege, then it’s possible that the administration simply didn’t pay much attention to it themselves until it blew up in their faces. If so the leadership test becomes a question of reassuring freaked-out allies rather than laying the groundwork for a potentially-controversial policy. It seems like that’s the case here, considering that damage control didn’t set in at the White House until most of Congress already had hordes of seething constituents to deal with. Coburn or Frist might love to get the president’s back in normal circumstances, but if they don’t make some gesture here home-state editorials, local talk radio and water-cooler chat will paint them as chumps.

Like a shell-shocked quarterback Bush called the same play that got him an easy touchdown on the first possession, a few first downs on the second possession and a series of embarrassing sacks ever since. He dug in his heels, rejected compromise and painted the ‘opposition’ as morally compromised. At an earlier time the policy was Iraq and the opposition was unpatriotic. Later the policy was Harriet Miers and the opposition hated women. Now it’s port security and the opposition isn’t serious about protecting America. If this is your first time on the pointed end of the Bush slime machine, welcome to the party. Stretching the football analogy, let me point out that in supervising the Executive branch Congress basically acts as the head coach, and the head coach has spent most of this game drinking at Applebees. There are remedies to a quarterback making a series of retarded calls but they only work when the coach is in the stadium.

It’s not like Bush doesn’t have options. How about a blue-ribbon commission? Everbody loves blue-ribbon commissions. You can usually stack them with ringers, it looks enough like you care to give editorial writers something else to write about and by the time the report comes out nobody cares anymore. Even the heck-blasted 9/11 commission, the mother of all blue-ribbon commissions, had a good number of its recommendations ignored. Nobody cares. Alternatively Bush could suspend the decision to allow time for debate, which would give him time to twist some arms and recalibrate the noise machine. If Drum and Savage’s caller are right then more time would also allow the real, non-alarming facts to percolate into the public consciousness so that the decision doesn’t look rushed and blockheaded.

The veto threat seems like the worst of all possible choices. Basically it says ‘trust me, and if you don’t trust me then fuck you.’ He’s not demanding loyalty so much as fealty. If there’s a looming showdown between executive and legislative powers as some suggest then the gesture also says ‘bring it on,’ which only helps the Republican party in an electroshock therapy sort of way. The NSA scandal, for example, basically concerns whether Congress has the power to supervise the Executive branch in any meaningful way. Historically bad polls have amplified the administration’s lame-duckness, making life particularly miserable for blue- and purple-state Republicans up for reelection. Take into account the general theory that government powers auto-correct their own imbalances and it seems like an even poorer choice for the president to pick his fight over a battle that he’s almost certain to lose.

If there’s any take-home message here it’s that given the president’s personality I don’t see why anybody should be surprised. He’s an incurious person prone to making hasty decisions and then sticking to them no matter what comes. He equates dissent with disloyalty and viscerally hates disloyalty. It’s been said that the executive branch gradually changes to reflect the president’s personality, which I think is what you see here. Decision-makers who might potentially dissent are simply shut out of the process. If you’ve ever asked whether ‘decisiveness’ and ‘resolve’ could possibly have a downside, here it is.






66 replies
  1. 1
    Gray says:

    Regarding Bush’s record of messing things up, we should trust him? Has he really done his homework un he UAE this time? We won’t in the future think about this DB World business as “Defrauding and Blacklegging the World”, just like UAE co-owned Bank BCCI that became famous as “Worst of all possible banks” (NYT) and “Bank of Cronies and Criminals” (CIA)?

  2. 2

    In the sense that this is one of those tentacles of the same beast that gave us BCCI, I imagine so. And the risk to us isn’t so much the UAE part of it, but the USA part of it.

    That said, I think Tim is on to something about Bush’s lack of leadership suddenly being exposed. The tipping point is almost here. The Cheney uproar wasn’t at all about him shooting a crony in the face, it was the last five years of lies and bullshit coagulating around that little hunting accident. Similarly, the port deal isn’t so much a breach of security as that the whole security thing is a big fraud, always has been, and this particular shady deal shines a light on it.

    The end times for BushCo power is near, UNLESS we have a big scary event that rallies the great unwashed and unfocused around the flag. I don’t think that the next Osama video will do the trick this time. Expect a big building to blow up soon.

  3. 3
    D. Mason says:

    The end times for BushCo power is near, UNLESS we have a big scary event that rallies the great unwashed and unfocused around the flag. I don’t think that the next Osama video will do the trick this time. Expect a big building to blow up soon.

    Well we were already going to need a major event to get us into Iran so this little political snafu will just allow them to view it as a twofer.

  4. 4
    Pb says:

    Gray,

    Good call, and don’t forget about Bush’s own history with BCCI and friends.

    Tim F.,

    If Bush is on the level with this one, and there’s nothing to be concerned about with this UAE take-over, then where’s the fire? Why not have some Congressional oversight. Heck, why not have the original 45 day period that we should have had *under the law*? Because–at best–Bush thinks he’s above the law. At worst, there could be a blatant security threat, or some quid pro quo, or both.

  5. 5
    Gray says:

    I’m working on a link summary on 77% Abu Dhabi (largest UAE state) woned BCCI. There will be everything in it, CIA, Olli North, Afghanistan, drugs, arms, Abu Nidal, Bush (senior) war chest, fraud, secrecy, cover up….

    In the meantime: “Bush Unaware of Ports Deal Before”

    Now this is rich. He didn’t know about it, but trusts the decision and threatens the critics with his veto? Unbelievable….

  6. 6

    I just heard the “Bush unaware” story on news. Backpedal.

    This is really pathetic.

  7. 7

    How’s the curling competition going?

  8. 8
    LITBMueller says:

    FYI: take a look at DP Wold’s management.

    The amount of “the Arabs are coming!” demagougery on this whole issue is just incredible… and sad.

  9. 9
    Houstonboy says:

    Bob In Pacifica

    I guess you are implying US government involvement in 9/11.

    Interesting argument.

    I think the Jews have their paws in 9/11 and are setting up the UAE for an attack, not just Iran. There needs to be three more 9/11’s and Bushco need their best Jews to do it for them.

    I await your reply.

  10. 10
    Pb says:

    Gray,

    He didn’t know about it, but trusts the decision and threatens the critics with his veto?

    Typical.

    “The best way to get the news is from objective sources, and the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what’s happening in the world.” — George W. Bush

  11. 11
    NeilJ says:

    Rumsfeld wasn’t the only one that was not aware of the deal. Scotty just informed us that the big man didn’t know about it either, until it was a done deal.

    I generally hate it when people say this, but this time, I think his credibility is permanently ruined and it is effectively the end of his presidency. I guess the Democrats might find a way to save him, though.

    The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan, the agency’s director, George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on Thursday.

  12. 12
    Pb says:

    Bob In Pacifica,

    Expect a big building to blow up soon.

    It already did. In Iraq. :(

  13. 13
    Pb says:

    LITBMueller,

    FYI: take a look at DP Wold’s management.

    Michael Moore is on the board? Well, that explains it! :)

  14. 14
    ppGaz says:

    It’s really the same issue as the Cheney lawyer-shoot story. It’s about the arrogance and fuck-you attitude of these people. The NSA story strikes me as being in the same category. For that matter, the whoe Iraq war is in this category.

    These are people who don’t like process, because it gets in their way. They don’t like courts. They don’t like the legislative branch. They don’t like the press. They really don’t like the people. They want to do whatever they want to do, and fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.

    When the apologists and the spinmonkeys are playing with their feet and wondering why we “hate Bush” — this is why. This is exactly. America is all about the rejection of the King model of government. These people want to be kings.

  15. 15
    Lines says:

    How come we never hear the good side of selling our ports to political cronies?

    And just to toss in more snark: Is our children learning?

  16. 16
    Davebo says:

    Just to point out, UAE’s partner in BCCI was Khalid bin Mahfouz. The same guy who bailed out James Baker’s family during their real estate woes.

  17. 17
    ppGaz says:

    Just to point out, UAE’s partner in BCCI was Khalid bin Mahfouz. The same guy who bailed out James Baker’s family during their real estate woes.

    snap!

  18. 18
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    While Bush has adamantly defended the deal, the White House acknowledged that he did not know about it until recently.

    “He became aware of it over the last several days,” McClellan said. Asked if Bush did not know about it until it was a done deal, McClellan said, “That’s correct.”

    BushCo and its supporters are not concerned with the safety of the American people.

  19. 19
    Gray says:

    Awful lots of info in the BCCI story, still working on it. Why don’t Follow the Money! and read this for a start:
    “In 1987, when its subsidiary helped finance a deal involving Texas oilman George W. Bush, the bank appeared to be a reputable institution, with attractive branch offices, a traveler’s check business, and a solid reputation for financing international trade.”
    “Kerry turned to BCCI early in the second year of the probe when his investigators learned that Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega was laundering drug profits through the bank on behalf of the Medellin cartel.”

  20. 20
    SeesThroughIt says:

    I guess the Democrats might find a way to save him, though.

    Oh, I have faith that they will. It takes a special kind of ineptitude to fail to mount a cogent opposition to the worst president in modern history, but the Democratic party always seems to find a way to limbo under that bar.

  21. 21
    Lines says:

    At least Bush didn’t sell secret rocket technology to the Chinese and murder Vince Foster!

  22. 22
    Gray says:

    “Even more startling, as a director of Texas-based Harken Energy, Bush himself did business with BCCI-connected institutions almost at the same time Kerry was fighting the bank. As The Wall Street Journal reported in 1991, there was a “mosaic of BCCI connections surrounding [Harken] since George W. Bush came on board.” In 1987, Bush secured a critical $25 million-loan from a bank the Kerry Commission would later reveal to be a BCCI joint venture. Certainly, Bush did not suspect BCCI had such questionable connections at the time.”

    Again, why should we trust Bush’s instinct on a deal with an UAE company?

  23. 23
    Lines says:

    If only Bush had had sex with an intern we’d never have come to this level of ineptitude.

  24. 24
    Al Maviva says:

    Well, the Earth just stopped turning. I’m in agreement with Drum, Greenwald, and LITBMueller all at the same time.

  25. 25
    Lee says:

    From ThinkProgress (so not sure how valid the information is).

    Looks like the administration might have broken the law again

  26. 26
    LITBMueller says:

    I don’t understand that ThinkProgress argument, Lee, since DPW is not getting a new deal, they acquired P&O, which is a foreign company which has already been operating these ports.

  27. 27
    Lee says:

    A new company is acquiring the ports. Roughly, when company X buys company Y, the capital, liabilities of company Y becomes the capital, liabilities of company X.

    Or another way of putting it is if there really was no transfer of the ports (which is what I believe you are asserting) there should have been no need for the approval of CFIUS in the first place. Since CFIUS did believe it needed to approve of the transaction, there was a transfer.

  28. 28
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    AP is now running with a story saying the admin claims Bush didn’t know about this deal. Which is the very patrician and signature dodge that so typifies this White House. After all, if you grew up in as rarified and genteel a world as George W. Bush, you’d know that blame is always something to be put on the help.

    Just another case of NGF.*

    I wonder who is going to get the “Heckofa Job” medallion for this one …

    (*Never Georgie’s Fult.)

  29. 29
    Lee says:

    I was reading that AP story as well.

    If he did not know about the deal why the *$^$*#*#$% did he threaten to veto it.

    Does he really think we are that stup…never mind.

  30. 30
    jg says:

    I can’t see any downside to a country based in the heart of jihadi-land running a few of our major seaports. What could possibly go wrong? Our ports are our most secure entry way into this country right?

    Anyone watch The Wire on HBO? Specifically season two?

  31. 31
    Steve says:

    The law doesn’t apply only to takeovers of U.S. corporations, it applies to any merger or acquisition that has the effect of bringing U.S. commerce under the control of a foreign government.

    (b) Mandatory investigations. The President or the President’s designee shall make an investigation, as described in subsection (a), in any instance in which an entity controlled by or acting on behalf of a foreign government seeks to engage in any merger, acquisition, or takeover which could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the United States that could affect the national security of the United States. Such investigation shall–
    (1) commence not later than 30 days after receipt by the President or the President’s designee of written notification of the proposed or pending merger, acquisition, or takeover, as prescribed by regulations promulgated pursuant to this section; and
    (2) shall be completed not later than 45 days after its commencement.

    50 U.S.C. app. 2170(b). I could go on, but why bother…

  32. 32
    jg says:

    If you combine the plots of The Wire and the Val Kilmer movie Spartan you’ll see that they want our ports so they can more easily steal all our hot young blonde chicks and send them overseas. This is bad because now I’ll be fighting with ten times as many men over the remaining hot brunettes (which I prefer). Down with George Bush!

  33. 33
    jg says:

    I could go on, but why bother…

    No kidding, they stopped listening the minute you disagreed.

  34. 34
    Otto Man says:

    Anyone watch The Wire on HBO? Specifically season two?

    My thoughts exactly. I’m not sure if I trust the Frank Sobotkas of the world anymore than I trust the emirs of the UAE.

  35. 35
    LITBMueller says:

    Steve, I did see that section, and I’m still not convinced that a review is mandated. The law is clearly designed to address situations where, say, a foreign company comes in, signs a lease deal, and ends up in charge of a port.

    Problem is here in applying that law, P&O was already in charge of the ports, and had been for years. DPW is not signing a new lease, but rather assuming one through acquisition. So, the statute is not clearly applicable.

    I’m all for a review, mind you. And if we can nail someone for (again) ignoring the law, that would be great. But, I’m just pointing out, the facts of case don’t match the statute as clearly.

    Also, think of it from DPW and P&O’s side: they wanted this deal to go through. Believe it or not, corporate lawyers want such “t’s” crossed and “i’s” dotted, because not jumping through all the hoops can come back to seriously bight you in the ass later.

    DPW is now the third largest port operator in the world. P&O was the fourth. I am sure they are more than familiar with what legal steps need to be taken before DPW can operate the ports.

    Plus, this story did not become a big deal until last week (after Quailgate died down enogh). The P&O/DPW deal had been in the works for a long time, without a peep from anyone (in fact, British markets have been very favorable towards it), and CFIUS has conducted it review – why avoid this necessary legal step when it could jeaopardize the whole deal?

  36. 36
    Don Surber says:

    Minor affair really who manages the loading and unloading of cargo ships at the dock. Dubai will not buy something just to blow it up.

    OI can see why Rumsfeld and others rubberstamped it and then forgot about the deal. It was vetted and passed inspection. Next

    Major issue is how do we show the Arab world that we trust our Arab friends? How do we thank Dubai for its help? How would you rather have them invest their billions? On a nuclear reactor?

    I expect the grasp-at-any-straw libs to make a big deal of this nothingness. Michael Savage is a racist who hates all foreigners. But to see conservatives grasp this tar baby — I don’t know whether to laugh or sigh

  37. 37
    Richard Bottoms says:

    If you voted for this dumbass, well thanks ever so much.

  38. 38
    Lee says:

    …merger, acquisition, or takeover….

    Is the key part of the text which pertains to this situation.

    why avoid this necessary legal step when it could jeaopardize the whole deal

    I got a good chuckle from this line. It applies to a couple of situations regarding this Administration.

  39. 39
    Pooh says:

    JG, I made “the Wire” call Yesterday.

    If there was any doubt at all, Scotty Mac is an asshat. Everytime someone asks the logical follow up question to any talking point, it’s the “I dunno, you’ll have to ask that department”, song’n’dance. I mean if this ‘security vetting process’ is so thorough, how many of the ’65’ deals per year are blocked. Or is it a very thorough rubber stamping?

    And, it’s been mentioned elsewhere, but we went to war based on the deliberate conflating of one muslim group with another country and now that’s bad policy? Way to take a stand on principle (that principle of course being personal infallibility, kindly fuck off you ignorant peasants).

  40. 40
    Perry Como says:

    Summary: If you don’t support the deal to let a foreign government manage our ports — even when the President and the Secretary of Defense didn’t know about it — you’re a racist.

  41. 41

    Balloon Juice has a great post on the Port Issue

    But from a different angle. Read it ALL here. An excerpt: I remain unconvinced that the fate of the free world rests on who manages a percentage of our ports, but I think that Bush’s handling of the issue reveals…

  42. 42
    Richard Bottoms says:

    The here is sometimes even racists are right, but always for the wrong reasons. Israel keeps it’s planes from being hijacked by concentrating on what it’s passengers do, not what they look like.

    UAE does, or its goverment allows some nasty things to go on. Reason enough to question the deal.

  43. 43
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    The racism charge is hilarious. Years of reality creation have caused our so-called conservative friends to lose touch with reality. Group madness has set in.

    The only question I have is why are they sacrificing what little credibility they have left defending the Kennebunkport Cowboy? Is this all it ever was for them?

  44. 44
    Richard Bottoms says:

    And then there’s this:

    Kerry also said that ties between the Bush administration and DP World raise suspicions about the basis for approval. For instance, CSX rail corporation, of which Snow served as chief executive officer, sold its port operations to DP World in 2004. Moreover, David Sanborn, the president’s nominee to be head of the U.S. Maritime Administration headed DP World’s operations for Latin America and Europe.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185677,00.html

    As they said in Watergate, follow the money.

  45. 45
    Mr Furious says:

    Another money wrinkle:

    [link] I work as a corporate lawyer at a large law firm that has a speciality in Islamic finance. The real reason Dubai Ports World is undergoing the transaction is because of an Islamic finance vehicle called the sukuk. The sukuk is essentially a commerical paper type of Islamic financle vehicle–it is essentially a “fake” bond to work around the Muslim prohibition on interest.

    Now comes the interesting part.

    As you might know, Dubai has recently christened (my word) its stock exchange. It hasn’t been very successful thus far–so they’ve been looking to acquire really high profile items to trade on it. (Note: they also tried to buy the Refco assets after Refco collapsed). If the Dubai Ports World sukuk goes through, it becomes the largest publicly traded sukuk in the world.

    As a result, Dubai instantly becomes the place to go for Islamic finance in the world–and folks specializing in Islamic finance stand to make a great deal of money.

    It’s as good a theory as I’ve seen anywhere…

  46. 46
    ppGaz says:

    And for the story within the story ….

    What to make of the fact that Republicans concerned about the UAE deal went public, immediately, with their complaints.

    Why? Probably because they know that the tried and true practice of arranging for meetings with this president to discuss the matter behind closed doors would be futile. These potatoheads don’t listen to ANYBODY, not even their own party stalwarts.

    When Bill Frist has to go on tv to let Bush know that he’s in trouble on the UAE deal, Houston, we got a problem.

  47. 47
    Pooh says:

    Mr. Furious makes an excellent point here, that “port security” isn’t really about security of the port facility, but rather some control of what moves through the port. And in that respect, port administration has everything to do with security.

  48. 48

    LTBMueller wrote:

    The amount of “the Arabs are coming!” demagougery on this whole issue is just incredible… and sad.

    You’re obviously living with a pre-9/11 mindset.

  49. 49
    Don Surber says:

    ppGaz:

    When you find yourself agreeing with Bill Frist, you might want to reconsider your position. Is he not the one who diagnosed Terri Schiavo via a video clip?

    Dr. Bill Frist, .wmv

  50. 50
    chopper says:

    even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  51. 51
    Steve says:

    Don Surber, on the other hand, appears to be on the same team as Jimmy Carter.

  52. 52
    Don Surber says:

    Hey, I voted for him in 1980, so there

  53. 53
    Steve says:

    Whoa, you threw me a curveball with that revelation, friend! I surrender.

  54. 54
    Don Surber says:

    LOL

    Off topic but fantasy baseball tip: Jhonny Peralta. ARod is the only infielder who will do better and Jhonny will be cheaper or come at a later round

  55. 55
    ppGaz says:

    When you find yourself agreeing with Bill Frist

    A classic Surberism. I never said anything remotely like “I agree with Frist.”

    Not even in the ballpark.

    I said, in a real presidency, the majority leader doesn’t have to go on tv to talk to the White House.

    That’s what I mean, and what I said. How you got “agree with Frist” out of that, I have no fucking idea.

    How you get any of the shit you say into your head is beyond me, so this is nothing new.

  56. 56
    jg says:

    JG, I made “the Wire” call Yesterday.

    And I made the Spartan call today. :)

  57. 57

    […] I’m agreeing with Tim F. that the panic over Arabs running our ports is an over-reaction. I’ve said that from the start. It would seem the Bush Administration held the high ground here: Can you imagine the outrage if it had been the federal government that said, “Hey, we can’t let a bunch of A-rabs own our stuff.” But in a matter of a day the story has managed to morph into yet one more sad example of the Bush Administration tripping over its own feet. I remain unconvinced that the fate of the free world rests on who manages a percentage of our ports, but I think that Bush’s handling of the issue reveals something at least as important. … […]

  58. 58

    The NY Times reported today that the law governing this sort of deal, when “the acquiring company is controlled by or acting on behalf of a foreign government,” requires a “mandatory,” 45-day investigation. That was never done, and what’s more, “Administration officials … could not say why a 45-day investigation did not occur.”

    How many ‘mandatory’ things does this Bush administration keep overlooking? If ineptitude isn’t an impeachable offense, it oughta be…

  59. 59
    Jay says:

    Ignoring the security issue completely, why in Hades are we outsourcing running our ports at all? With such a huge trade deficit, why are there no American companies able to raise the capital and expertise to do this task? This should be a buy American no-brainer.

  60. 60
    stickler says:

    With such a huge trade deficit, why are there no American companies able to raise the capital and expertise to do this task? This should be a buy American no-brainer.

    Somebody seems to have missed the whole free-trade orgy that started in about 1980 and picked up steam all through the ’90s. NAFTA ring a bell? “Giant sucking sound?”

    Part of that orgy was privatization of everything that wasn’t nailed down, and good chunks of the stuff that was. Once you privatize, you’re opening up the bidding to anyone with cold hard cash. American, Brazilian, Chinese, Arab, it doesn’t matter.

    ‘Cause Lord knows, the private sector does everything better than government. Hell, this Administration has been subcontracting huge chunks of national defense work: just look at Halliraqburton. And that little project has turned out just fine!

    If the Army isn’t safe, why should a few national ports be?

  61. 61
    CaseyL says:

    Paul, it isn’t ineptitude. The Bush Admin’s policies make perfect sense once you stop judging them by normal results ( i.e., good governance, defending the US, etc.) and start judging them by actual Bushist goals (i.e., concentrating power and enriching cronies.)

    You have to stop thinking the Bush Admin is a “government” in any traditional sense of the word. Think of it as a mafia operation. Then all the puzzle pieces fall into place.

    And, no, I’m not joking. I wish I were.

  62. 62
    Zerthimon says:

    In regards to The Wire references.

    First of all The Wire is the greatest show ever made. And I’ll challenge anyone who says otherwise.

    However, the difference is that the Dubai cooperation will NOT become the Port Authority. What’s happening is that the Port Authoirty leases part of the port land to various companies, and these companies control part of the container terminals. However, the Port Authority, Coast Guard, and Customs still have primary control over what happens at the ports. Also, this isn’t going to change the status of the Union workers. If they were there when the Britisih company controlled part of the ports, they’ll still be there when Dubai does, since the Port Authority is still American.

  63. 63
    ppGaz says:

    The Wire is the greatest show ever made.

    No it isn’t.

  64. 64
    ats says:

    Let’s see, this contarct is a big story but the fact that CACI was running the interrogation at Abu Ghraib never is even mentioned.

  65. 65
    Richard Bottoms says:

    eb. 23, 2006 — A day that started with Democratic senators on Capitol Hill accusing the White House of ignoring the law in allowing an Arab-owned company to take over operations at U.S. ports without the proper level of review ended with the president’s chief political architect subtly throwing up the white flag on a Fox News radio program.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics.....038;page=1

    They’re down. Now is the time start kicking them in the balls.

  66. 66

    Therefore, I award ten points to Neville Longbottom!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] I’m agreeing with Tim F. that the panic over Arabs running our ports is an over-reaction. I’ve said that from the start. It would seem the Bush Administration held the high ground here: Can you imagine the outrage if it had been the federal government that said, “Hey, we can’t let a bunch of A-rabs own our stuff.” But in a matter of a day the story has managed to morph into yet one more sad example of the Bush Administration tripping over its own feet. I remain unconvinced that the fate of the free world rests on who manages a percentage of our ports, but I think that Bush’s handling of the issue reveals something at least as important. … […]

  2. Balloon Juice has a great post on the Port Issue

    But from a different angle. Read it ALL here. An excerpt: I remain unconvinced that the fate of the free world rests on who manages a percentage of our ports, but I think that Bush’s handling of the issue reveals…

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