Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BETTING LINE ON DUBAI....So what's going to happen to the Dubai Ports deal? Thursday's 62-2 vote to kill the deal in the House Appropriations Committee certainly seems like a firm bellwether, but what are the options going forward?

  1. The full House and Senate concur and then George Bush backs down from his promise to veto any attempt to kill the deal. This could be facilitated by some kind of "new information" that Bush claims to have been previously unaware of.

  2. Bush vetoes the bill and Congress overrides. Bush is humiliated.

  3. Congressional leaders manage to fudge the issue in such a way that Bush can sign the bill while still pretending to stick to his guns. Since Dems will fight this, Republicans would have to be almost 100% united to pull it off.

My guess is Door #1. Vote for your prediction in comments!

UPDATE: Mark Kleiman explains Door #3 in more detail.

Kevin Drum 12:13 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (111)

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Comments

Look over there, a runaway bride, umm, bright shining object, umm, 9/11.
Yeah, #1 with a bullet

Posted by: Martin on March 9, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

I would like number 2 to be the reality. But, it may be too good to hope for.

Posted by: Mazurka on March 9, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Congress uses parliamentary maneuvering to give every representative a vote against the President without ever sending him final legislation to veto.

Posted by: Bill Camarda on March 9, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

#2 definitely. When has Bush ever backed down? There is nothing he can "discover" at this point to scuttle the deal. He went out on a long limb this time, and he can't run back before it is sawed off.

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on March 9, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

How about, Dubai Ports "voluntarily" withdraws?

Posted by: tom on March 9, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

I vote for #2.

Never back down. Never admit errors.

W.P.E.

Posted by: Bee-ill-zee-bub on March 9, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno - he said he would veto. He tends to do the things he say, no matter how stupid or misguided. Besides, if he were worried about being humiliated, would he be going so fast into the historical moniker, "Worst President in History?"

Posted by: rusrus on March 9, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

The vote should await the conclusion of the investigation -- about 8 months!

Posted by: Econo Buzz on March 9, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

One of the following will almost certainly happen.
One of the following will almost certainly happen.
1. The House will reject the bill.
2. The Senate will reject the bill.
3. Bush will veto the bill and veto will be sustained.
4. The bill is passed, but in the signing ceremony Bush proclaims the intent of the bill does not prevent him from letting the Dubai company manage the ports. Since Bush's proclamation is a authorative interpretation of the bill, the bill WILL NOT prevent Bush from letting the Dubai company manage the ports. And that is what he does. The case goes to the Roberts Supreme Court and Justice Alito will cast the fifth vote agreeing with Bush.

Posted by: Al on March 9, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

There will be a voluntary restructuring by DPW. An American subsidiary will be created to "manage" the ports and the parent company will be nominally cut out. The repub congress will pronounce themselves satisfied now that an American company is actually in charge.

They will say:

"What difference does it make if the parent company makes money off the deal, so long as they aren't managing the ports? Otherwise, we would have to tell the rest of the world they can't buy American bonds, and then where would we be?"

Posted by: Newton Minnow on March 9, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Congressional leaders manage to fudge the issue in such a way that Bush can sign the bill while still pretending to stick to his guns. Since Dems will fight this, Republicans would have to be almost 100% united to pull it off.

Sounds about right.

The right has successfully created the monster they wanted. While I think it is unwise that any country should allow a foreign entity to run it's ports (are airports next?), it's clearly only a hot button issue since the right has successfully demonized anything connected with Islamic countries (except Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, our bestest allies in the region), and ME Islamic nations in particular.

They all claim to be getting maximun pressure back in the districts. Probably true, but also shows how one-dimensional (like that's a surprise) is the interest in foreign policy, trade and economic issues.

If Americans were really all that interested in democracy, freedom, foreign policy, etc., etc., the Patriot Act would have been dramatically altered if not thrown out all together. It, of course, just passed Congress with nothing but superficial changes.

Way to go Dems!

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Good gosh! An Al post I agree with, whether real or parody! Is heck freezing today?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on March 9, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

ABC News's The Note, yesterday:

"The outcome: there will be no veto because DPW will give in to pressure and withdraw the U.S. portion of the deal."

Posted by: penalcolony on March 9, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Worst President in History?"

Can anyone ever take that title away from Jimmy Carter?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on March 9, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

What about door #4? Bush signs the bill, but then makes a signing statement in which he says he'll do whatever the heck he wants on the port deal!

Posted by: MadLad on March 9, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter (heh): to reinterate a point from a previous thread, we owe the current occupant of the Oval Office the same measure of respect you gave Bill Clinton or give Jimmy Carter. No more and certainly no less....

Posted by: Mr. Bill on March 9, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Why are Dems and lefties so quick to profile brown people? Why do liberals hate minorities?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on March 9, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Can you imagine the uproar and outrage by the RWLemmingdompubbiehood (especially including the 'mainstream media') had the Clinton administration done the exact same thing under the exact same post-911 circumstances? And then Clinton having claimed to not have been aware of the whole deal?!?

This whole fiasco makes one wonder if 911 changed everything after all, doesn't it? Seems as though the RWers in (as well as out of) the administration, with their clear ties to DPW, weighed and factored the personal financial gain vs. the the political and security risks, and opted for personal financial gain.

911 apparantly has changed nothing.

I suspect #1, although watch out for this giving GeeDubya the opportunity to make a claim to have finally vetoed a bill.

Posted by: GK on March 9, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

And what, see-no-evil Drum, makes you think Democrats will fight it?

sheesh.

Maybe you haven't read about Rockefeller "fighting".

sheesh.

Posted by: cdj on March 9, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Why do RW Lemmings think with their knuckles ?

Posted by: GK on March 9, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

"This whole fiasco makes one wonder if 911 changed everything after all, doesn't it?"

Since liberals won't allow closer inspection of people who fit certain profiles at airports, isn't complaining about the port deal being a bit hypocritical?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on March 9, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

The Right has lost it, They seem to be imploding and most likely will lose the House and Senate and will not be in power for years to come.See G.W. can do one thing right.

Posted by: Ahmadd Bacrad on March 9, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

A source close to the deal said members of Dubais royal family are furious at the hostility both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have shown toward the deal.

They are actually listening to their constituents. It is a majority of Americans that are voicing their displeasure over this deal, and Congress is (apparently) listening. Election year, election year.

It is hard to see the American public sustain such a level of interest for too much longer without being fear re-fueled. It also wouldn't surprise me if some other "big" issue comes up distracting the media, and thus the public from this issue. Perhaps Cheney will go hunting with Danish cartoonists.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on March 9, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

All information is new to fearless leader.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on March 9, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

There will be a voluntary restructuring by DPW. An American subsidiary will be created to "manage" the ports and the parent company will be nominally cut out. The repub congress will pronounce themselves satisfied now that an American company is actually in charge.

I agree with Newton. This is the type of manuevering that blunts the political issue. Hillary can claim victory on her "vow" to kill the deal, yet Bush behind the scenes still maintains the friendly ties with the UAE. Money still gets made, and the press and politicos move on to the next issue!

Posted by: pencarrow on March 9, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

I read a suggestion in comments somewhere that the House and Senate would pass different versions of the bill and then the port provision would mysteriously disappear in conference. Sounds somewhat believable.

Posted by: KCinDC on March 9, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Congress will get to vote on the bill, at least the House will, because reps need the vote to shore up their national security credentials. But it will be watered down, probably quietly in conference, so that it doesn't really prohibit all foreign companies from leasing operations at our ports. Then there will be some sort of deal worked out whereby either Dubai creates an American subsidiary or they divest the American ports part. Dubai will then make a show of retaliating in some fashion. Life will go on and the ususal suspects will walk away with millions upon millions.

Posted by: Mimikatz on March 9, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie quotes The Hill: A source close to the deal said members of Dubais royal family are furious

Personally, I don't give a shit what members of any "royal family" think about anything.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

I vote Door #4. Leiberman offers a "compromise" bill that gives away the farm to UAE while claiming to be tough on security. Given an out the Repugs will vote for it, crisis everted, US ports remain open highway for terrorists.

Posted by: beb on March 9, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

"It also wouldn't surprise me if some other "big" issue comes up distracting the media, and thus the public from this issue. Perhaps Cheney will go hunting with Danish cartoonists."

Or perhaps just like last time, Karl Rove could engineer another 9/11 sytle attack just before the elections to scare the voters into the Repuke camps. I mean afterall, has anyone ever wondered why the "terrorists" would attack cities full or liberals when liberals and Moslems champion the same causes?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on March 9, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

And that includes the Bush family.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

My guess is that the Bushies will quietly punt the deal into 2007 in the hopes that the Republicans hold on to congress and can then quietly acquiesce on it.

Posted by: tam1MI on March 9, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Fourth possibility, and this is the likely one: the House passes the appropriations bill with the Dubai Ports rejection; the Senate passes a different version of the appropriations bill, with different language rejecting the ports deal. During conference, the rejection language is stripped out. Results: Republicans get to burnish their anti-terrorist creds and claim to have stood up to the Bushies, while the deal goes through as Bush wants, sans veto.

All this is scripted, you just need to wait and see.

Posted by: Tony Negri on March 9, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

The answer is door #4. The Note/Krauthammer solution that was mentioned in previous comments. DPW will "voluntarily" withdraw the bid.

Posted by: Mike V on March 9, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Since liberals won't allow closer inspection of people who fit certain profiles at airports, isn't complaining about the port deal being a bit hypocritical?"

And the link to the proof of this phony RW Lemming talking point is . . . where ?

Posted by: gk on March 9, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

I think there's something going on here behind the scenes, and that politicians (never mind voters) are largely acting on limited or wrong information. Most of the politicians are riding a wave of election-year panic.

Read the link Cheney posted. Remember that Airbus also makes planes.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Tony Negri is closest. Two things matter:

- the deal must go through. Bush doesn't know how to say no to $7 billion.

- the electorate is against it. So the Repubs have to find some way to disguise the deal or change the subject.

The rest is just fine print. Bottom line: Dubai runs the ports, Repubs find some way to look "tough", Dems look like idiots. Again. And America moves one step closer to tumbling into a has-been nation.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney,

I'll probably get crucifed for saying this, but I do not agree with the fuss - but perhaps for different reasons then others. I believe there is too much fuss -- period -- over all-things-terror. We have turned into a scared-of-our-own shadow country. The threat posed by terrorism does not match our overreaction to it. But I am definitely in the minority.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on March 9, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder what those majority of Americans that are voicing their displeasure over this deal will say once they lose their jobs at Boeing, etc.? When the stock market plunges? When a massive global trade war breaks out?

I think that the majority of Americans understand at some level that once we sell our manufacturing base, our shipping industry, and our ports overseas, then we are no longer a strong nation in control of our own destiny.

All of those things you threaten will happen when our economy is eroded too far and people lose faith. And that will happen due to the Republicans' inability to govern responsibly. The sale of our ports overseas merely strikes a chord in the hearts of the people, causing them to lose faith that much faster.

Posted by: Wapiti on March 9, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

A source close to the deal said members of Dubais royal family are furious at the hostility both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have shown toward the deal.

If they were concerned about being able to do business with the US, maybe half of them shouldn't have gone hunting with their pal Osama? Just doesn't look good, you know?

Maybe they should have gone hunting with Cheney instead. At least it would have served them right.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 9, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

#2 definitely. When has Bush ever backed down?

Bush threatens veto on stem cell research bill
Bush Threatens Veto of Homeland Security Bill
Bush Threatens Veto of SAFE Act, Says Patriot Act Must Stand
Bush Threatens Veto on Highway Bill

That was after scanning 30 of 142,000 hits for "Bush Threatens Veto". What world are you living in?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is humiliated, Fox News calls it a victory, medals of honor are handed out to all concerned.

Posted by: Red on March 9, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

4) Bush dissolves congress, declares it an unconstitutional imposition on his powers.

5) Bush simply does nothing with it. Oh, there used to be time limits involved, but that's pre-9/11 thinking.

6) Dubai Ports World sell that part of the company to a "much safer" saudi company. Saudi company subcontracts the work to DPW.

7) Congress is given "new information" that gets the republicans to back down.

Posted by: Mysticdog on March 9, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bush will veto.

Dems will gloat at the prospects of over-riding the veto.

Repubs arms will be twisted.

Some new information will be released suggesting that UAE helped us avoid a terrorist attack.

Repubs will vote against the override.

Dems will end up looking like morons.


Not the outcome I would like to see, but the most likely one.

Posted by: lib on March 9, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

With the Preznit so intent on completing the Dubai Ports deal, has anyone examined the investors in P&O?

The reason I ask, is because I wondered if the Carlyle Group ( of which Bush Sr and the Baker Botts crew are either founding investors or just heavily invested) is a investor in P&O? This may be why the Preznit is so intent upon completion that he is willing to risk war spending on his first veto.

Posted by: ChicagoBlue on March 9, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

We have turned into a scared-of-our-own shadow country. The threat posed by terrorism does not match our overreaction to it. But I am definitely in the minority. Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw

Can't be the real Cheney/Charlie that posted that, as it's the only thing keeping the Rethugs in power. They've got nothing else. SS reform? The environment? Energy policy? Education? Health care?

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

E.Henry, the issue isn't as much security as it is with the ties of the RWers in the administration (Secretary Snow for one), as well as outside of the administration (Jack Kemp, for one) to DPW.

They weighed and factored the personal financial gain vs. the the political and security risks, and opted for personal financial gain - with GeeDubya's complicity, undoubtedly.

Even GeeDubya isn't so stupid as to put his legacy of national security at risk - regardless of the reality, it's all his legacy has remaining that is salvageable at this point.


Posted by: GK on March 9, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Pocket veto! Pocket veto! Pocket veto!

It's a matter of timing. They can do it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto

A pocket veto is a legislative maneuver in American federal lawmaking. The U.S. Constitution requires the President to sign or veto any legislation placed on his desk within ten days (not including Sundays). If he does not, then it becomes law by default. The one exception to this rule is if Congress adjourns before the ten days are up. In such a case, the bill does not become law; it is effectively, if not actually, vetoed. Ignoring legislation, or "putting a bill in one's pocket" until Congress adjourns is thus called a pocket veto. Since Congress cannot vote while in adjournment, a pocket veto cannot be overridden.

Posted by: Quiddity on March 9, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: after scanning 30 of 142,000 hits for "Bush Threatens Veto". What world are you living in?

See, even a troll who thinks that a place where the gov't owns all the land is libertopia knows how full of shit Bush is.

Posted by: alex on March 9, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

#4 - Bush pulls off mask revealing himself to actually be Dubai leader Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktum. Suddenly everything, and I mean everything since 2000, starts to make sense.

Republicans still refuse to impeach.

Posted by: kj on March 9, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

alex
I always know what I'm talking about. Funny that you only recognize that when I agree with the voices in your head.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK
Bush will veto.

Dems will gloat at the prospects of over-riding the veto.

Repubs arms will be twisted.

Some new information will be released suggesting that UAE helped us avoid a terrorist attack.

Repubs will vote against the override.

Dems will end up looking like morons.

You forgot to add that Dems pick up 8 Senate seats and about 30 House seats in November. Then the real investigation begins.

Posted by: SavageView on March 9, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

This could be facilitated by some kind of "new information" that Bush claims to have been previously unaware of.

Yeah. For instance, he learned what a "port" is.

Wow, how trollish of me that was now.

Or maybe the new information would be the deal itself - isn't it true that he wasn't even aware of the deal before it broke out on the media?

Posted by: Brazil Connection on March 9, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot to add that Dems pick up 8 Senate seats and about 30 House seats in November.
Oooh, I'm saving that prediction.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 9, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Save away, fascist. Of course, it is condition on the words above it. But then logic was never your strong suit.

Posted by: SavageView on March 9, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney: I wonder what those majority of Americans that are voicing their displeasure over this deal will say once they lose their jobs at Boeing, etc.? When the stock market plunges? When a massive global trade war breaks out?

They'll say the same thing that they do when the current account deficit exceeds $800B - nothing. Why the obsession over this one deal? Why not talk about real money - Chinese currency manipulation.

Posted by: alex on March 9, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Correct answer is door #3 - the 62-2 vote was on an amendment to a bill funding the troops. So Bush can huff and puff, but say that ultimately he has to sign it because to do otherwise would be to put our troops in danger. See, he even recovers some nat. sec. cred that way - unlike that Frog liberal Kerry, Bush *always* supports the troops. :P

Posted by: bonk on March 9, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

I've given up hoping that the Democrats will ever mount a real threat to Bush's high priorities, and certainly the Republicans won't. One way or another - probably much like fake Al described - this deal will go through. I'd like to believe otherwise, but I see no scrap of evidence to justify such a hope. There's always some weird rolling over and collapse of resistance that lets Bush's crew have their way. It doesn't matter how many American oppose it, either - the Democratic Party gave up being anything like representative years back.

Posted by: Bruce Baugh on March 9, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe how many people here buy into Republican talking points. Bush backs down ALL THE TIME. Or did we restructure Social Security and I just didn't hear about it? And I guess that mission to Mars just didn't make the papers.

Remember when the GOP's mantra was that the Dems wanted to let foreign countries make American policy for us? Now Bush and his cronies want to sell our ports out of fear that a royal family might get mad at us.

Posted by: Boots Day on March 9, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: Most of the politicians are riding a wave of election-year panic.

Yeah, I hate it when they worry about what the voters think. How can anyone get real politics done under those circumstances?

Remember that Airbus also makes planes.

Suddenly you're worried about our trade position? Suddenly the folks in Washington are supposed to start caring about that? The Boeing deal is chump change - our 2005 current account deficit was over $800B. Who cares about a few "American" airplanes with Japanese wings.

Posted by: alex on March 9, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

E.Henry, the issue isn't as much security as it is with the ties of the RWers in the administration (Secretary Snow for one), as well as outside of the administration (Jack Kemp, for one) to DPW.

Really? Hmmm. Well, the slime-factor is certainly present, as it is with all things relating to this administration. But the opposition to the deal has seemed more framed around security. Maybe I've been glossing over this part. Maybe the constant stream of Bushshit over the years has calloused me.

If it's all about nailing Bush Slime, Inc, count my vote, if it is knee jerk terrorism fear, I'll pass.


Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on March 9, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I vote for Door #4:

Congress sends up a bill that authorizes Bush to flush more American money down the drain in Iraq, but kills the port deal.

Bush signs the bill while muttering "but the president OKs the port deal".

Congressional Democrats cry "that's not Constitutional!". But Bill Frist defends the President saying "in a time of war, the mutterings of a mad man are law -- and by the way, you're all traitors."

Thus, the President gets his money and the port deal, Republicans in Congress can claim to have tried to stop the port deal, and Democrats will cry "culture of corruption" -- everyone ends up happy (except the American people, but they don't count).

Posted by: Dicksknee on March 9, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Boots Day wrote: Remember when the GOP's mantra was that the Dems wanted to let foreign countries make American policy for us? Now Bush and his cronies want to sell our ports out of fear that a royal family might get mad at us.

That's right. No "global test" for Bush when he makes a decision, no siree. The only test that Bush's "bold decisions" have to pass is the approval of the Dubai royal family, and the Saudi royal family, and whatever other royal family the Bush crime family has deals with.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

#1 probably; #2 is somewhat possible, and #3 is, at best, an outside possibility (though its hard to see how, either the bill does or does not block the deal); Bush has issued threats to veto before, and always found a weasel-worded excuse for not doing so that didn't even superficially have the appearance of sticking to his guns, though he's always been let off the hook by the fairly tame media (though he's usually been riding a lot higher than he is now, so he might not get let off this time.) Further, the provision to block is going to be put on the supplemental for Iraq/Afghanistan, which Bush would have considerable trouble vetoing, and where it would be not hard at all to sustain an override.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

#4. Congress will cave, give Bush what he wants, and phrase it so it seems tough, probably call it the Safe American Ports Act (SAP) and add some sort of window dressing oversight or rules port operators have to follow, such as clearing employees through homeland security.

They will call it a compromise.

Dems will bleat ineffectually.

Posted by: anandine on March 9, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

#4 Republicans in Congress back down upon the revelation of information that must be kept top secret and is only revealed to Republican leaders in closed sessions. Republicans praise Bush's foresight on backing the deal, even though he didn't know about the deal, and criticize Democrats refusal to have faith in America, or for racism, or for being Democrats. The Blogosphere goes nuts, the media pretends to care, the people don't know what to believe... then the election comes and electronic voting booths without paper trails confirm by majorities everywhere that Republicans are just dandy. Then I slip into a deep, deep depression.

Posted by: Jinx on March 9, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

This Dubai deal has cinched it, we are officially living in the 1976 movie Network. Remember when Howard Beale tells everyone to write the whitehouse to block the Arab takeover of a US corporation. And here's Ned Beatie's characters speach to Beale:

"You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal - that is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity, it is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians! There are no Arabs! There are no Third Worlds! There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars! Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds and shekels! It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic, and subatomic and galactic structure of things today. And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and you will atone!"

Posted by: Adventuregeek on March 9, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

More Kabuki theater.

Bush is a lame duck. He's willing to take the heat on Ports, if it means that some Republican congressmen who are up for re-election can appear to be "independent".

Anyone who believes that there is more significant meaning to this whole flap is fooling themselves.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

>I'll probably get crucifed for saying this, but I do not agree with the fuss

Er, this is a liberal (aka "Reality Based") blog. That means basically all of us except the trolls believe what you say, it's only Al/Cheney/McA/CN that obediently shit themselves anytime a dark-skinned person is involved in anything.

I really like how swaggering "America is the Greatest" Cheney now suddenly decides that the UAE poodle is going to somehow "teach us a lesson". What the hell are they going to do, brainiac, stop selling us oil? The UA effing E is going to be pissed at us? Oh nooooooo.......

I'd really like to see this go thru because maybe, maybe our American Idol-besotted populace can get three hard lessons about how it ain't "morning in America" anymore:

1) The supposed threat from the Middle East is basically hot air from both OBL and our war machine. There's no there there, and the Republicans know it. They're laughing at everybody from the "security moms" to the VFW.
2) The Republicans are the friends of the world's moneyed elite, not the common American. Boycott Cuba, bomb Iraq, but when a perfect bloodless opportunity comes to send a message to a non-democratic Middle Eastern country to clean it's stinky act up? Can't be bothered.

And finally, the unexpected:

3) A little-known to most Americans body of unelected, faceless bureaucrats called the WTO presents us a bill for billions for "unlawful restraint of trade". I'd love to see "Real Americans" brought face to face with that little surprise about how much Freedum this supposedly hyperpower actually has.

Posted by: doesn't matter on March 9, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Option #4 is that Bushco compromises the Senate who votes along party lines and rejects by a slim margin. Remember FISA

Posted by: jhill on March 9, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

probably call it the Safe American Ports Act (SAP)

Rather, the Impregnably Maintained All Safe American Ports act (IMASAP)

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on March 9, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

I vote "none of the above."

Instead, I predict that the port language isn't included in the senate version of the bill, then is dropped from the bill during reconciliation (negotiators are appointed by GOP "leadership," aren't they?).

The ensuing bruhaha is then knocked out of the news by our military strikes on Iran.

What's my prize?

Posted by: vando on March 9, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

doesn't matter: A little-known to most Americans body of unelected, faceless bureaucrats called the WTO presents us a bill for billions for "unlawful restraint of trade".

I guess every cloud does have a silver lining. I'd love for more Americans to become familiar with that little organization and its effect on America. Maybe the ol' national security card is just what it takes to get attention.

Posted by: alex on March 9, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK


this just in:

dpw buys a piece of u-s company this morning..

now they will transfer u-s port deal to them..

see!

its not a foreign run company anymore..

lol

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

On second thought, CNN says "Dubai-owned company has decided to transfer fully the U.S. operation of P&O ports in North America to a U.S. entity, according to Sen. John Warner."

In other words, they'll fiddle with the structure so both sides can claim victory.

Posted by: anandine on March 9, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

God help me but I agree with Al's 12:22 p.m. comment.

Posted by: Good Beyou on March 9, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK


CAPITOL HILL (AP) - A company owned by the United Arab Emirates says it's prepared to give up its management stake in some U-S ports. The move comes as congressional leaders warn President Bush that Congress appears ready to block the takeover.


give up?

look at that liberal media go!!!

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Bush appends a signing letter to the bill stating that he'll do what he wants because the only recourse is impeachment. And, he adds ominously, some of you guys better not even think about impeachment. Then he laughs.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 9, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

The whole "attaching it to Iraq funding" is designed to give Bush cover for not following through on the veto threat. He can't veto troop funding after all. The WH has finally realized the public ain't buying this one, and they need it to go away. This lets the repub congress save the day, and gives Bush cover for not vetoing. Then, as others have said, the deal is somehow restructured so it looks better, and is slipped through congress later, when we are all distracted by whatever the next outrage that comes from this beast of an administration.

Posted by: fly on the wall on March 9, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I should have read deeper into the thread. That's apparently a popular exegesis of our current political climate.

Heaven help us if he decides he really doesn't want to leave office in 2009.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 9, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Trust us,Brown people are your friends,Do not worry about your ports,Forget that three of the 911 hijackers are from here (UAE).Forget that we are friends and hunting partners with our good friend Osama,Do not worry,do not worry,Do not worry.

Posted by: Ahmadd Bacrad on March 9, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK


cn: That was after scanning 30 of 142,000 hits for "Bush Threatens Veto". What world are you living in?


my fav. was when gwb threatened to veto the 256-billion dollar highway bill...in march 2004....

after that he drew various lines in the sand..

which were....all....crossed..

then gwb signed the bill last summer...

at 286.5-billion.....chock full of earmarks..

like the famous 250-million dollar bridge to an island in alaska with 50-people on it..

see...

gop can be trusted with your money..(/sarcasm off)

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom F*cker: Can anyone ever take that title away from Jimmy Carter?

Done.

Bush wins this one by a landslide, without the Supreme Court's mendacious and partisan intervention.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom F*cker: Why do liberals hate minorities?

I'm glad to see that you are finally recognizing conservatives as a minority.

Now, why do conservatives hate everybody but themselves, including racial and ethnic minorities and the liberal/moderate majority?

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Number 3. The only people in Congress more craven than the Democrats are the Republicans. They will do what George wants just as Snowe did on the wiretapping investigation.

Posted by: Ekim on March 9, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

STOP,911 changed everthing,For 4 years Iv'e been told to be afraid and I am,I don't want to be a victom of terrorists.Please people we have to give up everthing to every be safe again don't you get it, These rag heads just want us dead and will do what every it takes to kill us.If only this President would listen to Ann Coulter.

Posted by: Very Afraid on March 9, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Worst President in History?"

Can anyone ever take that title away from Jimmy Carter?

The people who find Carter bad are ijuts. Really.

The people who don't find George W. Bush the worst president since Buchanan are either worse than ijuts or cynical enablers. As a man he's cloistered, a liar, venal, vindictive, juvenile, incurious and cocksure, a man who follows his gut feelings when his gut feelings should be telling him to go manage an IHOP in West Texas. As a president his policies can only be explained as those of a criminal organization worthy of 1000 RICO prosecutions. He encouraged the use of torture. He did nothing to foil 9/11, hoping to use the fallout as justifications for his foundering domestic program.

Harris, Scalia, and Diebold -- the Tinkers, Evers, and Chance of the destruction of America.


Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 9, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Very Afraid: If only this President would listen to Ann Coulter.

I thought Bush was channeling Coulter (who channels the ghost of Hitler) from Day 1 of his administration.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK


ff: "Worst President in History?"


if you are going by

most u-s dead due to terror..on his watch...

highest fed. debt ever...

and

highest budget deficit ever...

that would be gwb....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

As I said at 12:23:

"There will be a voluntary restructuring by DPW. An American subsidiary will be created to "manage" the ports and the parent company will be nominally cut out. The repub congress will pronounce themselves satisfied now that an American company is actually in charge."

Lookee, lookee:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A United Arab Emirates-owned company has agreed to turn over all of its operations at U.S. ports to an American "entity," Sen. John Warner said Thursday.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/03/09/port.security/index.html

The fact that Rep. sen Warner read the statement on the senate floor tells you the repubs will fall in line.

Posted by: Newton Minnow on March 9, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

The Administration's effort to build support for the Dubai Ports World transaction has had no measurable impact in the court of public opinion. Just 19% of Americans now believe Dubai Ports World should be allowed to purchase operating rights to several U.S. ports.

From a political perspective, the President's national security credentials have not rebounded over the past two weeks.

Why can't the best president ever, with millions of dollars of taxpayer money at his disposal and a willingness to illegally spend it for partisan campaigning purposes, effectively use his bully puppet to move public opinion?

Maybe he isn't the best, most effective, and most cunning president in history as his lemming followers insist!

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

A United Arab Emirates-owned company has agreed to turn over all of its operations at U.S. ports to an American "entity," Sen. John Warner said Thursday.

Yet another Bush ally falls on their sword to the man who showed them no loyalty as soon as doing so was calculated to hurt his own political power (what little he has left!).

Losers!

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

It turns out to be number 4--DPO spins off a wholly US-owned subsidiary, thereby circumventing the FICUS laws. Will that be enough? Could be.

Posted by: JayAckroyd on March 9, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Boots Day: Notice what's happened with Social Security in this year's budget, though. Bush's crew stopped talking in public about it after repeated humiliation and rebuff...and now a full-blown privatization scheme is in the budget. I am far from confident that it will get removed. These are persistent guys.

Posted by: Bruce Baugh on March 9, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

#4: Bush abolishes Congress and the judiciary and does as he damn well pleases.

Posted by: steve duncan on March 9, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

"cooler heads prevailed": conservatives terminology for describing what the GOP does when utterly defeated on an issue - cave-in, flip-flop, sell out a "most important ally in the war on terror". A more accurate and popular term among non-conservatives is "softer spines prevailed".

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

cheney: A United Arab Emirates-owned company has agreed to turn over all of its operations at U.S. ports to an American "entity," Sen. John Warner said Thursday.

is that the u-s company they just bought...

for this deal?

lol

yeah....this will make dead enders happy...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

I think the furver over Dubai is hilarious. The USA inspects around 5% of its imports, everyone worries who's doing the inspecting not because the blatant lack of effort but because of the assinine "Muslims are out to destroy America" hysteria that G.W. constantly promotes. I love watching the fearmongers swim in their own soup. My prediction is the Harriet Myers tack, "I'll do what I want change my mind and no one will hold me accountable, God Damn lefties are weak on terror."

Posted by: Cyrus on March 9, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

DP World finalized its $6.8 billion purchase.......earlier Thursday.......of Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., the British firm that through a U.S. subsidiary runs important operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. It also plays a lesser role in dockside activities at 16 other American ports.

A leading critic, Rep. Peter King (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y., applauded the decision. He predicted that if the company's announcement were to represent a total divestiture, then lawmakers would be appeased.

total divestiture....

a.p. uses the phrase....gave up....

so that's what they want...you to think it is...

but how is moving the deal to a company you just bought...

considered total divestiture?...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

cheney...if i said hannity...would you accept it?

Posted by: thispaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

cheney...another question...


how is moving the deal to a company you just bought...

considered total divestiture?...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Lou Dobbs just called John Warner's reading a press release from a corp. owned by a foreign govt. on the floor of the senate "disgusting."

Then said it remains to be seen what the "American owned company" means.

Posted by: Newton Minnow on March 9, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone needs to read digby. cleve

Posted by: cleve on March 9, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Wolf still can't understand how a country with indoor ski slopes can be considered un-American.

Posted by: Newton Minnow on March 9, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

the gop are going to try to bluff their way through this by using phrases like..


total divestiture..

"gave up"

give away

this should be fun....

open up red states.....(and monica thought she had excellent swallowing talents)

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The real key is going to be whether the American entity is completely unaffiliated with Dubai Ports World. If so, the issue goes away. If not, there will be a split between repubs and dems and the public may not be willing to swallow it this time. It will be an interesting test, though.

BTW, Cheney: what's up with your eye? Gotta watch that recoil.

Posted by: Newton Minnow on March 9, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

how is moving the deal to a company dpw just bought...

this morning...

considered total divestiture?...

Posted by: thisspacevailable on March 9, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

cheney...how is moving the deal to a company dpw just bought...

this morning...

considered total divestiture?...


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

cheney....we just dont know...(your favorite line)


we do know....uae has had more contact with obl than saddam...

and we invaded iraq because of ties to terror...

ergo...

the gop wants to turn over ports to a front company owned by an arab monarchy with recent ties to terror...

and that's better how?

Posted by: thispsaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

cheney....but how does that figure...into why..

the gop wants to turn over ports to a front company owned by an arab monarchy with recent ties to terror...

are you saying there are airlines that are run by countries with the same recent terror ties?

does the president know this?

Posted by: thispaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kleiman says "Conference reports can't be amended."

That may be the rule, but Republicans have been known to slip stuff into bills after the conference committee has voted.

Posted by: anandine on March 9, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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