Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 21, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DEAD MAN WALKING....This whole controversy over "Portgate" a decision by the Bush administration to allow the operations of six big U.S. ports to be managed by a company owned by the United Arab Emirates is fascinating. Not so much for the substantive issues it raises, which are disturbing but a bit murky, but for what it says about the waning political power of the Bush White House.

What it shows is that Bush still doesn't understand how much influence he's recently lost with his conservative base. In the brave new post-Harriet, post-Katrina world, outrage over the Dubai port deal has been driven equally by both liberal critics and conservatives like Michelle Malkin and administration uber-stalwart Hugh Hewitt, who are no longer willing to simply take Bush's word for it that they should trust him on this issue. For today's chastened conservatives, it's "trust but verify" when it comes to the Bush administration.

This is a fairly stunning turnaround for a White House that has made the care and feeding of its base practically the Eleventh Commandment. Conservatives in Congress have recently held Bush's feet to the fire over his handling of Katrina a first for the 108th/109th Congress and have also been disturbingly unwilling to simply roll over and play dead on the NSA wiretap issue. Bush is a dead man walking these days, and the Dubai port deal shows that he still doesn't quite get this. He better figure it out fast.

Kevin Drum 11:34 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (76)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Bush is a dead man walking these days, and the UAE port deal shows that he still doesn't quite get this.

i'll beat al to it....

why does bush care...

he's not running again...

its all about winning right?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 21, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

It's good to see people realizing what critics like me have been saying since 2000: You simply can't trust the guy.

Of course, I don't see this realization denting the Cult of Bush (see Glenn Greenwald), as their Stalinist/Orwellian black-is-whitism makes whatever Bush says at the moment, by definition, True and Right, and anyone who disagrees is, by definition, a "liberal."

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

not really.. This is probably a case where his economic conservativism ran smack into his base's jingoism and xenophobia.

Posted by: adam on February 21, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

You've got a typo in your headline. It should be "Brain-dead man walking."

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum is right - the port thing is politically tone deaf. But I have a hunch it will be 'fixed' somehow, and the GOP base will be happy in the end. And, the Dems will be left fuming that Bush got away, once again.

Posted by: BigRiver on February 21, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Two money quotes, as Sully likes to say:
"You can't just simply tell us, 'Trust us,' " Menendez said. "We trusted the government response to Hurricane Katrina -- and the people of the Gulf were largely left on their own."

and

"The bottom line is I think we need a little bit more transparency here."

Apply these two statements to the entire Bush 5 year train wreck, shake, and serve.

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

This isn't going to far off the reservation for Malkin and Hewitt. Whipping up hysteria against "foreigners" is a faily easy call for these two.

It's not like they've taken a a principled conservative stance against run away spending, breaking the law, civil liberties, etc.

Posted by: padcrasher on February 21, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Bush doesn't have to worry about The Base. what are they gonna do, vote for a Democrat ? as if.

sucks to be taken for granted by your Great Leader Warrior King doesn't it ?

Posted by: cleek on February 21, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

This is probably a case where his economic conservativism...

BushCo's economic philosophy should be better described as corporatism, not conservativism.

They certainly seem to believe that large corporations can do no wrong, and the role of government is to help the corporations gain private profits through public expenditure.

Posted by: Wapiti on February 21, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

This isn't going to far off the reservation for Malkin and Hewitt. Whipping up hysteria against "foreigners" is a faily easy call for these two.

Good point.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Manna for Michael Moore! The cosy relations between the Bush's and the Saudi's/UAR is his gospel.

Is this a done deal? Did the WH count on closing the door on this before it hit the air waves?

Posted by: ExBrit on February 21, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Bush isn't politically as strong as he used to be, but I'm not sure there's a time when this deal wouldn't have raised the hackles of Bush's rather jingoistic base.

Posted by: RT on February 21, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

BushCo's economic philosophy should be better described as corporatism, not conservativism.

Golly, it seems to me I've heard that word somewhere before...

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, for the love of your chosen deity, please stop using the suffix -gate.

It has run its course as being remotely interesting. Didn't anybody tell you not to use cliches in your writing?

Posted by: ChrisS on February 21, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Drum thinks Bush is 'dead man walking' ?!?!?!

Like all Dems, Drum is big on slogans but short on substance. And with a party led by Pelosi/Reid/Dean, I don't see the Dems getting their act together in time for the elections.

Get back to us in November, Drum!

Posted by: MountainDan on February 21, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Ah but we need to examine Neocon/Rightwing priorities.

1# Tough guy talk/Scapegoat foreigners/For us or against us patriotism

Then comes #2

Bush worship

See? Nothing out of the ordinary here.

Posted by: padcrasher on February 21, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"The Base" is right this time. Has this guy been asleep for the past six years? You don't outsource port security to any foreign country.

Liberal critics should be making a bigger deal of this issue. I understand that there are only so many hours in the day to devote to all the Bush scandals but politically this is a dollar bill on the ground waiting to be picked up. It resonates with everybody except a few people in the political machine of which Bush is the most visible part.

This outsourcing crap is getting to the point of ridiculousness.

Posted by: MillionthMonkey on February 21, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Can we stop calling everything "-gate"? I mean, come on. "Shotgungate"? That's almost as childish as "Fitzmas".

Besides, at this point the -gate suffix has been so overused as to have come to mean "a very minor scandal"; real scandals, like Iran-Contra or Hurricane Katrina, don't get that label.

Posted by: S Ra on February 21, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Lenin was wrong when he said that, when the time comes to hang all capitalists, they will compete with each other to sell him the rope.

Instead, when the time comes for terrorists to blow up the public, the government will award a no bid contract to the monopoly that will provide the terrorists with the bomb.

BTW: with terrorists actually running the ports, the need for NSA surveillance, torture, etc., is all the greater.

Posted by: Thinker on February 21, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

I think this underestimates exactly how much shit we're in.

Do you think Bush doesn't know his fortunes are waning? I think that perhaps he doesn't care. It's not like anybody's going to elect a Democrat in '08 right now, the opposition party is in shambles and is simply a lite version of the party in power.

Bush knows he's in charge. I think he's so in charge that he doesn't have to give a shit what even his own party thinks. After all, he's athe unified executive. he could arrest them and render them to Syria for torture if he wanted to.

We have to realize exactly how much power this executive has seized. First the bloodless coup is 2000, then the unified executive. Katrina and Harriet did nothing to weaken him... after all, Alito sailed through without a hitch and everyone's forgotten about Katrina now so that Bush can sell New Orleans off to the highest bidder.

It's time to get real. We have an elected dictator. It took a month for public opinion to turn against Bush on wiretapping. THe times have truly changed.

Posted by: isaac on February 21, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

I thought it was this kind of knee jerk reaction about foreign threats that go us into this mess to begin with?

Fair enough, maybe port security should not be foreign owned. But I get the feeling people are thinking we will have Arab nationals guarding our ports, or some security command center will be situated in Yemen. Or Arabs will place their own "operatives" in critical positions....LOL

Jesus this is a UAE owned company, that owns a British company, that has an American division that manages port security...*yawn*.

Posted by: padcrasher on February 21, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's important also to keep in mind that Bush is, and pretty much always has been, the front-office "pretty face" for the Boardroom-Neocon axis that controls the party.

As an object of a personality cult for the easily brainwashed numbwits that constitute the largest (although not, obviously, the most important) part of the "base," he's been very successful, but then, that's what he was hired to do, just as he was with the Texas Rangers, and a couple of also-ran oilcos.

But once he's served his usefulness, he'll be discarded like a baked-out heat tile. Another figurehead will be mounted, the mouth-breathers will be lathered up about the new guy, and Bush's image will be relegated to some statuary hall of "elder statesmen," where his failures and incompetence will be carefully glossed over.

I would agree that day is coming soon. But it shouldn't be confused with any lessening of the control of the government by the powers behind the throne. And whether the current fusses over the details of domestic wiretapping and port operations are anything more than household spats -- or maybe even just window-dressing to calm down a few worried wealthy suburbanites -- very much remains to be seen.

Posted by: bleh on February 21, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

In the brave new post-Harriet, post-Katrina world, outrage over the port deal has been driven not by liberal critics, but by conservatives like Michelle Malkin and even administration uber-stalwart Hugh Hewitt...

Yech...the liberal version of the winger's "...jeez, even the New York Times agrees that______"

Sorry, but who gives a rat's ass what those two losers think about anything?

Posted by: adios on February 21, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

As others have noted, folks like Malkin have been to Bush's right on issues like immigration since day one. This opposition comes from the same place. Now, Hugh Hewitt on the other hand is a total syncophant, so if you've lost him you're in trouble.

This is not to say that you need to be racist to oppose Bush on the port issue, but that's definitely the source of the opposition from the extreme right.

Posted by: Steve on February 21, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with MillionMonkey. We should be making more of this wedge issue for the republicans. I dont see how they can defend Bush with a straight face on this one. Its absurd on its face.

Posted by: Psyberian on February 21, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

adios,
Malkin has one of the most highly-trafficked conservative blogs, and she is a frequent pundit guest on cable "news" programs. I find it amusing when "Even the deranged right-wing Michelle Malkin agrees...."

Basically, right-wing crony-capitalism has slammed head-first against right-wing xenophobia and anti-arab sentiment. The car wreck is amusing to watch.

Posted by: Constantine on February 21, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

The interesting thing about this is how close it comes on the heels of the All Muslims Are Wicked mantra that we've heard over the cartoon riots. I wonder what the world would look like today if Cognitive Dissonance were visible. Like a goiter at the crown of the head. Conservatives would all look like Mr. Peanut. If you go with the Muslims Are All Evil side of the coin, well, you've got to deal with the George Bush can do no wrong mantra. Etc.

Or maybe if Cogntive Dissonance showed up on the tongue. Conservative mouths would be full of Mobius Strips.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 21, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

I worry that this is part incompetence, part shrewd jettison play. If Republicans are allowed to roll all of their stink into a huge sticky ball on Bush's back with Democrats purely focused on Bush's personal failings, then have the heir appearant step smoothly onto the stage and roll president tarbaby and the public's cultivated disgust off stage left, then the cronies get paid and we wind up with a continuation of corruption and incompetance.

What to do... Make sure that it the corruption and incompetance of the main stream Repubican Party that is front and center. See every other post by Digby for fine examples...

Posted by: kmeson on February 21, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK


I will say that Bush is doing a pretty good job for a dead man walking.
He's got two of his boys on to the Supreme Court, he's got the opposition party in total dissarray,
he's going to win some Senate seats for his party in November.

Yeah, that sounds like a guy who has no influence over the debate.

Dream on.

Democrats have been dead men (and women) (and people of color) walking for a long time now.

Poor Kevin still hopes against hope that his side will someday win an election.

Not any time soon, buddy.

Posted by: deadmanwalking on February 21, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Malkin has one of the most highly-trafficked conservative blogs, and she is a frequent pundit guest on cable "news" programs.
Constantine

Neither of which qualify her for, ipso facto, any undue attention. I have a theory (not very profound) that if non-believers stopped obsessing over Hewitt & Malkin & Mathews & Coulter (&c) their popularity would plummet.

Hugh Halfwit used to do talk radio in SoCal - maybe still does - and never garnered much attention, as he was clearly a dweeb, and soporific to boot. Now he's cited as if his mutterings meant something. I'd have sex with MM, but only if she kept quiet.

Posted by: adios on February 21, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

W. has really jumped the shark this time. This is so idiotic on its face that the average Joe has a visceral reaction of "WTF?"

And, as an added bonus, it minces it slices, it even dices. It neatly wraps up stupidity, secrecy, and cronyism in one swell foop:


Dubai company set to run U.S. ports has ties to administration

BY MICHAEL MCAULIFFNew York Daily NewsWASHINGTON -

The Dubai firm that won Bush administration backing to run six U.S. ports has at least two ties to the White House.
One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, whose department heads the federal panel that signed off on the $6.8 billion sale of an English company to government-owned Dubai Ports World - giving it control of Manhattan's cruise ship terminal and Newark's container port.
Snow was chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to DP World for $1.15 billion in 2004, the year after Snow left for President Bush's cabinet.
The other connection is David Sanborn, who runs DP World's European and Latin American operations and who was tapped by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/13922695.htm


Posted by: Newton Minnow on February 21, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

...he's going to win some Senate seats for his party in November.

With all these senior citizens in the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" by then, I seriously doubt it. You guys dug your own grave; now lie in it.

Posted by: MillionthMonkey on February 21, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Those who want us to win The Long War by winning the hearts and minds of the Muslims should embrace this proposal. This is the only way to spread peace, liberty and democracy in the middle east.

Posted by: lib on February 21, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Bush wants to give port security to Arabs, to pull them in a kill them!

All you liberal whiners don't have the guts to kill brown people!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on February 21, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney must be so relieved.

He shoots a guy in the face with a shotgun and STILL looks like the more responsible one.

Posted by: Newton Minnow on February 21, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Someone intern must have been assigned by Mr. Rove to read up on the tactics of Mao and Brezhnev.

The Long March: The Long War

Swift Boating: Psychiatric hospitals

Posted by: lib on February 21, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

This was the work of a Young Republican genius who fancies himself an economic genius for knowing what supply and demand are, and who doesn't realize he can be replaced with some commodity hardware and a 5-line Perl script.

Posted by: MillionthMonkey on February 21, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

The global economy argument rings a bit hollow when you consider the fact that it will be the UAE government, not a private UAE firm, that will be running our major ports.

Posted by: bob on February 21, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

deadmanwalking gets it.

Bush is a great President and if you Demonrats don't get it that's probably because you're too busy writing checks to al-Jazeera and singing along to the greatest anti-American hits from that great Demonrat icon, Harry al-Belafonte.

Posted by: fromage de pnis on February 21, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

"It's not like anybody's going to elect a Democrat in '08 right now, the opposition party is in shambles and is simply a lite version of the party in power."

You don't get it. Or at least, I hope I see something many Republican partisans don't.

Many on the Left bemoan the fact that none of this administration's major malfuctions have broken the proverbial camel's back. This same fact causes many Republican partisans to chortle.

Political reality: Gore and Kerry, neither of whom was a particularly "good" candidate, won tons of votes.

Dynamic: partisans are partisans. The 37% who identify themselves as Republican will vote that way. The 41% who identify as Democrats will do the same.

2006 and 2008 will be about non-aligned voters. Low information holders, usually, and particularly sensitive to recent effects. In 2000, 2002, and 04, these are people who tended to break for the Republicans.

All that needs to happen is that about 3% of them stay home. These are voters that are demobilized fairly easily, but are much tougher to mobilize. This administration's demonstrated incompetence could be, should be, more than enough evidence, properly deployed, to tip the scales in a Democratic direction in 04. I'm not talking about picking up majorities in either chamber, that's mathematically quite unlikely, but certainly putting the donkey in a position to grab the Presidency and Senate in 2008.

Posted by: Arr-squared on February 21, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, we have liberals saying "conservatives marching in blind lockstep with their beloved leader" and also saying "Bush losing his base." Can we make up our minds here?

As with the Miers case, sometimes an administration has to be tugged back into line by the voters. Who's working for who, here?

Someone like me might offer Bush friendly advice like, "George? I've been watching you the past few days, and you know, you really don't do 'green' all that well."

I don't know about any real security danger from this deal, but one would think those who set it up would have known better.

For those who are still stuck on the "racism" meme: get out of the 60s. That kneejerk response doesn't impress anyone any more outside of college campuses.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 21, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Turning over control of American ports to Saudis is insanity - and worse is sending Chertoff and Rice out to spin this as a sensible move. I have supported this President over past questionable decisions but this is treasonous. Brings to mind the picture of Bush and the Saudi Sheik holding hands and snuggling that left jaws agape.
But then you people are too busy bashing one another and trading insults for rational thought.

Posted by: InsaneJane on February 21, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Someone like me might offer Bush friendly advice like, "George? I've been watching you the past few days, and you know, you really don't do 'green' all that well."

Someone like tbrosz would offer Bush the advice that anything he does is hunky-dory, as long as he keeps up the sweet, sweet tax cuts.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Either the Carlyle Group is involved somehow, like they are supplying the loan for the purchase, or the Saudis or oil or bases for the Iran war, something.

OR my other theory....this was deliberate to allow GOPers to distance themselves from the damaged pResident.

Posted by: lilybart on February 21, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

a couple of people have started to make this point, but i'll amplify it.

the conservative movement is going to distance itself from bush over the next 3 years: their intent is to run a "reform" candidate in 2008. in fact, i suspect we're going to see the equivalent of the gora campaign, with as little mention of bush as is humanly possible.

the first test will be how many gop candidates want bush to campaign for them this go-round. i'm betting very few, and espcially anyone in a tough race.

after all, bush's approval ratings are more or less where they were on 9/10/01. he was failing as a president then, and he's failing now. sometimes, even sycophants recognize there is a limit to the grovelling.

as for the nitwit up above who suggested that a dem isn't going to be elected in 2008: i certainly don't know how the election is going to go then. but i do know a democrat was elected president in 1992. a democrat was elected president in 1996. a democrat was elected president in 2000 and had it stolen. a democrat running steeply uphill lost in 2004 by 60,000 voters in ohio picking bush and not kerry.

Posted by: howard on February 21, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz, the danger here is that the UAE personnel are probably more easily infiltrated than would US personnel.

For instance, if, by chance, Osama got a hold of a nuclear bomb smuggling it into New York harbor just got a whole lot easier.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 21, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

in fact, i suspect we're going to see the equivalent of the gora campaign, with as little mention of bush as is humanly possible.

if we have a press in 2008, this would be their chance to ask if the candidate plans to continue Bush's more-controversial programs. let em try to run away from that.

Posted by: cleek on February 21, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

cleek, that's a mighty big if, as i'm sure you know!

that said, here's my hypothetical answer: "i support george bush's brave initiatives on tax cutting and his strong leadership against terrorism, but i will make my own decisions about applying those principles."

Posted by: howard on February 21, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK
Okay, we have liberals saying "conservatives marching in blind lockstep with their beloved leader" and also saying "Bush losing his base."Posted by: tbrosz
Yesterday, ffighter labeled anyone opposing the port deal an anti-Arab racist. Today, the party line is changing. Tomorrow, it will be party dogma that the UAE should not manage the ports and the old line will be down the memory hole. You need to keep your talking points current, especially when they are in a state of flux. Posted by: Mike on February 21, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

a democrat running steeply uphill lost in 2004 by 60,000 voters in ohio picking bush and not kerry.

Why is it considered whackball to think the Diebold machines in Ohio fudged the election?

The Congressional investigation railed against lots of other abuses in the election.

No audit trail.

Diebold machines easy to manipulate.

Diebold guy sworn to help Bush.

Early sizeable Kerry lead evaporated.

Subsequently, half (Approx) of Ohio officialdom winds up in hot water for criminal behavior. And WORSE!!

So, why is it considered whackball to think that Diebold machines weren't used? You've got CW that there were electoral shenannigans in Chicago. (3 investigations didn't turn up any such thing.) And yet, CW says that suspecting Diebold-based fraud is considered screeching lunacy.

Faugh, I say.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 21, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Luckily, they'll always have Fred Barnes.

Posted by: SoloD on February 21, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is a stroke of genius. Bush now has a trump card, a good one too. "I'll let you, governors, my fellow senators forbid me to hand these ports to UAE in exchange for your vote for expanding my power and budget for my wars with Iran." Yah hooo! A genius at work.

Posted by: Mini Al on February 21, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

It was refreshing to hear Sen. Chuck Schumer on the savage Weiner's program Friday (IIRC.) Weiner is still nasty to liberals most times, but "We are living in strange times" - and it is making for some strange bedfellows!
Put *well-aimed* birdshot into that UAE deal pronto!

OT, but fun I hope: With Cheney, I've heard "Eats, shoots, and leaves." How about "Drinks, shoots, and leaves", or want to try "Drinks, shoots, and lies" ?
Did anyone catch quack-hammer's piece on quailgate which beat the red herring about how long Uncle Dick waited to tell the MSM, but ignored the drinking, poor judgment, blaming the victim, etc. issues? In last Newsweek, we hear that most *hunters* disapprove, nevermind what the press thinks. "What a wanker."

Posted by: Neil' on February 21, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

"What it shows is that Bush still doesn't understand ..."

Kevin, you could have ended the sentence and captured what the bushcriminal has been all along: a dimwitted stooge. He never understood why he was popular other than thinking that everyone loved his awe-shucks bumpkin act; and he certainly doesn't understand why he's no longer popular. Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, all easily manipulated lowbrow, slack jaw ignoramuses - its the republican presidential MO.

Posted by: gak on February 21, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

I will accept UAE control of US ports when Dubya outsources Secret Service duties to a Pakistani security company...It's a fair trade...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 21, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

What is Rush Limbaugh's position on this one?

Posted by: Anna on February 21, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, while you are criticizing a fairly small and insignificant miscue by the Bush administration (remember, he isn't running again, ever), you are ignoring the great transformation in international relationships that this great president is promoting by expanding our ties with Asia and the countries of the Pacific.

The Middle East and Europe will soon become irrelevancies in the world as the Asian-US coalition of the self-serving come together in a new world order.

The UAE is a blip on the map, as is Iraq.

Soon the economy of the US will be booming and take everybody's attention away from the pessimism of the left, as we seek to engage the world from a new Pacific-oriented perspective.

Port security will be a trifling matter once the Arab nations realize how far they are falling behind to the conglomeration of power that is the Asian-Pacific-US triad.

Posted by: 'rdw' on February 21, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

excellent fake rdw work, fake rdw!

Posted by: howard on February 21, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

excellent fake rdw work, fake rdw!

I disagree. There was no mention of George Clooney.

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Plus, the spelling and syntax and vocabulary were too good to be a convincing rdw post. Remember, when doing rdw you have to write in the style of a particularly dull and belligerent fifth grader who's gotten into his parent's cough syrup supply.

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Actually it is more of a parody than a fake, but the fake rdw appreciates the feedback.

bwt, George Clooney and howard "not one dime" Dean is the same person.

I hope I've now better captured rdw's flavor!

Posted by: 'rdw' on February 21, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh, it's an odd day in the blogosphere when kos and atrios just mention this in passing as "ho hum, another sordid day in the Bush administration," while the generally more restrained Kevin Drum is trumpeting the downfall of the chimp White House.

I want one of the red-meat-eating lefty bloggers to come out of the woodwork, issue a Writ of Wrist-Slapping, and say, "Now now, it's unseemly to get so worked up over an issue that's only a 'bit murky,' after all."

Posted by: the fish on February 21, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is a dead man walking these days, and the UAE port deal shows that he still doesn't quite get this. He better figure it out fast.

Oh, I can't wait until Howie writes this one up in the Post. More of the Bush bounce theory (bounce right off a clift - whatever is Bush thinking anyway? I little something for the good of the Bush Clan $$$ but NOBODY else - trying to grab something personal on his way out of DC?) What else is left for Bush to do in the ruin of this administration?

Posted by: Cheryl on February 21, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK


Let's see.......wasn't it not so long ago that somene said "I earned lots of political capital in the election.....and now I intend to spend it."

Sorry, Georgie......it's all gone....you're overdrawn, pal.

Posted by: marty on February 21, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

It's interesting to see the various responses to people who have been stabbed in the back and after a few years they're just now beginning to realize it.

Many Clinton supporters felt similarly when the Lewinsky affair became public.

Posted by: MarkH on February 21, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is a dead man walking these days,

there is always a comical element to your exaggerations.

Posted by: republicrat on February 21, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

They are just playing out a very bad string. I think the Administration is like a baseball team with 130 losses and maybe one win, looking desperately for the end of September. Manager Karl Rove is not just evil, I think him stupid and evil. A lethal combination. I don't care what the spin idiots spout. I blame him specifically for not pulling Cheney back to reality, torturing people, and the tin ear the administration has had since November 2000. History is already unkind to Bush Jr. It couldn't wait for the rapture to pass judgement.

I am hoping scentient GOP leaders will step forward and start some legal proceedings. It looks like Bush Co was paid off for this deal too.

Posted by: Sparko on February 21, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

"What is Rush Limbaugh's position on this one?"

who the hell cares what that disgusting anti-American blowhard thinks.

Posted by: yowzer on February 21, 2006 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

It's interesting: in defense of the deal, the Prez said something that sounded like good internationalism, open trade, all that good stuff:
..."I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company," Bush said... [quoting from the LA Times].

So, normally I might be inclined to agree: after all, we haven't heard complaints that a BRITISH company already runs a number of ports. Are the British somehow inherently more acceptable, naturally more security conscious, what?

Ah....but there's a PROBLEM! This is the _Bush_ administration making this claim about fairness, etc., etc. My learned response, therefore, is to assume that their protestations of fairness are prima facie evidence that some sort of insider corporate deal or crony favor is going down, simply because of the parties involved. (Did the UAE sheiks bail out young George Bush? Does old George work with them hand-in-glove? I mean, this IS the Bush clan we're talking about!)

And that's sad: the evidence of the last 6 years makes it prudent and reasonable to take it for granted that Bush and those near him are not speaking anything remotely connected with the truth.

Posted by: PQuincy on February 21, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously the Hewitt/Malkin/Bush groupies don't know that Chinese state owned companies are running half the ports in California, the other half are being run by a Singapore owned company which could be a front for the Chinese as far as I know. Perhaps they also don't know that for the first time in American history foreigners now own about 45% of public debt thanks to Bush profligacy. Mind you ignorance of the facts has never been a brake on their chatter before so why should they change now.

Posted by: John on February 21, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Behold our glorious allies, whom Bush has proclaimed to be just as good as England:

From the CIA World Factbook: United Arab Emirates:

> Population: 2,563,212, note: includes an estimated 1,606,079 non-nationals
>
> Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write, total population: 77.9%, male: 76.1%, female: 81.7% (2003 est.)
>
> Suffrage: none
>
> Legislative branch: unicameral Federal National Council (FNC) or Majlis al-Ittihad al-Watani (40 seats; members appointed by the rulers of the constituent states to serve two-year terms) elections: President Khalifa in December 2005 announced that indirect elections would be held in early 2006 for half of the seats in the FNC; the other half would be filled by appointment. note: reviews legislation, but cannot change or veto
>
> Judicial branch: Union Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president)
>
> Political parties and leaders: none
>
> Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
>
> http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ae.html
> http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html

And these are just like England? In a pigs eye!

Posted by: Andrew D. Todd on February 21, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Morpheus:

Tbrosz, the danger here is that the UAE personnel are probably more easily infiltrated than would US personnel.

The facilities in question are currently owned by a British outfit. Are all the port workers British? Are ANY of them British? To the best of my knowledge, they're all U.S. union workers.

Security would still be handled by the Coast Guard and Customs Department.

Not saying I'm supporting this wholeheartedly, but there are way too many assumptions being made in this controversy.

For a good time, take a look at where else Arab cash is going.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 21, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

being run by a Singapore owned company which could be a front for the Chinese as far as I know.

Posted by: John on February 21, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

By percentage of population, Singapore has more troops in Iraq than the UK. Try not to be that ignorant an American.

Posted by: McA on February 21, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

So yet another piece of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 puzzle slips neatly into place.

Meanwhile, an astonished GOP plays the Brownie card, "No one could have expected anything like THIS!"

And if you ever had doubts about the level of hypocrisy that dominates the right, just imagine if *Clinton* had proposed something like this. Oh sure, they're trotting out the crocodile tantrums (until Karl Rove tells them to put a sock in it), but if it'd come from The Bill ... oh man. Kenneth Starr would be named Special Prosecutor for Life, Forgetful Denny would've cranked up the Bandwagon, and Rush ... heck, Rush might've turned to illegal drugs or sumthin' :-)

So who's got the over-under on how quickly they find a way to blame this on the "libruls"?

P.S. Did you see My Pet Goat boy come to the defense of this boneheaded idea? "This is a good idea," and then he explained it more slowly, so us dunderheads would un-der-stand: "If there was any chance that this was a bad idea, we wouldn't have recommended it." (Duh.)

But the funniest part of the speech came when he used the phrase "in my judgment."

Man, he just kills me when he talks like that. :-)

Posted by: curious on February 21, 2006 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

This is another Rove gamble. It's being framed as the racial-profiling of arab nations. It's a strategic move aimed to expose 'liberal hypocrisy' in spite of the reaction from the conservative base. He's betting (correctly) that his base hates Dems and their supposed double standards more than they care to defend their own principles.

Serious conservatives will really lose it over this. But there are enough spoon-fed sheep in this country to give Bush a very, short-term wedge issue.

Pathetic. This is what happens when unsavory campaign advisors run the national agenda.

Posted by: Paul K on February 22, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

McA,

By percentage of population, Singapore has more troops in Iraq than the UK. Try not to be that ignorant an American.

Well duh! I wouldn't expect there'd be any Singaporean troops in the UK. Sheesh. Learn to talk American boy!

Posted by: Tripp on February 22, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly