Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DPW UPDATE....Dubai Ports World has agreed to sell off its U.S. port operations to an American company. It was the obvious solution, and Republicans everywhere can now breathe a sigh of relief.

But remember you read it here two weeks ago!

Kevin Drum 3:48 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (129)

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Comments

Need to read digby. cleve

Posted by: cleve on March 9, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Won't work, but nice try.

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Good move for Rove.

Will this hold up as an issue come November?

Did they Democrats just lose their talking point?

We need this issue to prove that the fearmongering of the Republicans is bogus. So I am sorry to see it go away as an issue.

Wonder how big a marker Dubai gained with the Bush Administration to get them to back off the deal? Wonder if other countries will do the same as we did. Who wants fundementalist friendly Arabs controling their port.

Posted by: Bubbles on March 9, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK


how is moving the deal to an american "entity" you just bought...

this morning...

considered total divestiture?...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

But, didn't they say there were no American companies that did this kind of work?

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

The key word here is "transfer". Why not use sell?

Posted by: Gari N. Corp on March 9, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

And are they really offloading all the US port assets they were acquiring, or just those few that have been in the news?

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

I think the question of the ports deal has always been one of sovereignty, compounded by an age of heightened terrorism.

We don't let foriegn airlines participate in domestic carrying trade - the ports deal was similar.

We have a right to control our own ports, and if that makes us a bad trade partner, then I would say that those accusers have an unfair view of our sovereignty rights.

Posted by: Bubbles on March 9, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Someone just fell on his/her sword. I wonder if Rove will be paying the family for such martyrdom operations?

Posted by: Jon Karak on March 9, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Now, about that southern U.S. border...

Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Raise your glass to the great victory for paranoia, nationalism, fear-mongering, and cupidity!

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 9, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

If the American company is affiliated with DPW, this will become a wedge issue.

I don't think the public will be satisfied with a sham. This has attracted too much attention.

Posted by: Newton Minnow on March 9, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

There is a much larger question of security in this story than just Arabs and Terrorism. All, or most, of these port management companies are owned by foreign companies.

If, it develops, there really aren't any American companies presently existing that can do this the reason why I think is probably twofold,

a) that the foreign companies that do this are all, or effectively all, monopolies in their home environments, sanctioned by, or intimately hooked up with, their governments.

b) and they are all involved with their local organized crime or mafia groups.

In the US we have been really successful at destroying the large-scale organization of mafia groups over the past twenty years, so an American company is just not going to be able to manage it competitively against foreign companies that have deep associations with both their indigenous state and underworld power structures.

Which brings up the key point: these kinds of port management companies are like institutionalized embassies of smuggling and underhandedness, necessarily. These are companies where a lot of people can get a big thing moved by looking the other way.

And the in the US we have altogether lost this native capacity due to our law-enforcement success, and it is something that people like Republicans really need.

But, I have to ask, does anyone really, and I mean actually, want to have this, anywhere in the world, given the scale of trouble that the modern world can generate, in so many different ways?

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think the public will be satisfied with a sham.

Why, has something changed? They've been plenty satisfied so far.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of gross exaggeration . . .

Rice U_S_ faces 'no greater challenge'than Iran

Didn't they say that about Iraq, based on "massive stockpiles of WMDs"?

At least CNN browswers overwhelmingly disagree with Rice.

What a moron she's turned out to be.

If this is the GOP's best and brightest, be afraid, very afraid, of their worst and dimmest (who is of course living in the White House right now!).

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Is the "transfer" structured in such a way that if it were a media company they could own a U.S. TV station?

Posted by: JC on March 9, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK


newton...I don't think the public will be satisfied with a sham.

as much as i would like to agree...

america has done more swallowing in the last 5-years for bush than monica could have ever dreamed of with bill

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Whew! I feel so much the same now.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on March 9, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't "DPW" shorthand for Davis, Polk & Wardwell?

Posted by: DBL on March 9, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

When Bush said he would exercise a veto over the ports flap, my immediate thought was...I bet his tribe has a vested dollar interest in this deal.

I suspect that the new "entity" has ties to Bush monies.

Prove me wrong.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 9, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

interesting to see that bush can act....

when the priorities are right...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, are you high?

Posted by: reef the dog on March 9, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps DPW wouldn't like 45 days of scrutinizing.
What might be revealed?

Posted by: apeman on March 9, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Guess the anti-arab racists won this time. Let's ban Danny Thomas from driving. After all he is an arab and the car could be used as a deadly weapon.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on March 9, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Can GeeDubya sell off our U.S. Iraqi Operations to a company from Dubai in exchange?

Nah . . . GeeDubya couldn't think outside of a vacuum.

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

dpw says details not "finalized"...


boy...good thing they had a former navy secretary and senator from virginia close by to read a press release before the vote...

whew!

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Truth: Not that it matters, but Danny Thomas is dead. He was born in Toledo, OH of Lebanese Christian parents.

Posted by: Keith G on March 9, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

HELLO? Should we do what the Republicans would do - ignore the facts and continue pressing for investigations and heads to roll?

Posted by: K on March 9, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Much ado about nothing. While this will reduce the number of Arab smugglers at the ports,the other traffic can continue apace. How much better will the war on drugs be now?

Posted by: TJM on March 9, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

I guess this will alow Haliburton to step in and take control of these ports now. They seem to have an extra $7 billion for investments.

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on March 9, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Let's ban Danny Thomas from driving.

Since he's dead, that seems like, um, overkill.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"I guess this will allow Haliburton to step in and take control of these ports now. They seem to have an extra $7 billion for investments."

Bingo! Forget whether ayrabs owned the ports, the main thing behind this whole deal is which BushCo cronies are going to be getting on the gravy train on this deal!

Posted by: CParis on March 9, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK
Since he's dead, that seems like, um, overkill.

Well, yeah, and though I'd not strenuously oppose a bill to prohibit the dead from operating motor vehicles (I mean, clearly, they are more incapacitated than even the drunk), I don't think treating zombie invasions as a traffic law enforcement problem is a particularly winning position.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

has frist checked any recent video of danny thomas?


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on March 9, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Raise your glass to the great victory for paranoia, nationalism, fear-mongering, and cupidity! - jeffdavis

Been there, done that, in November 2004.

Posted by: Bubbles on March 9, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately the whole debate on who owns US ports never expanded into the more serious question about whether our ports are secure at all.

But I have to always be impressed by the GOP spin meisters. They're very, very good. This deal bails them out of a horrible dilemma. Look at their track record:

1) 2000 - a Presidential candidate with no experience. No problem, Gore's a liar! Win.

2) 2002 - recession. No worries. 9-11! Iraq! democrats soft. Win again.

3) 2004 - disastrous war. Flip - flopper, flip flopper! Win once more.

4) 2006 - even worse war. Answer?

Posted by: Samuel Knight on March 9, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Next thing we know, they'll allow foreigners to own our homeland security department and department of defense through some sort of treasury bond shell game.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

What Jeffrey Davis said above.

Plus, Viva La Xenophobia!

Posted by: ckelly on March 9, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

But remember you read it here two weeks ago!

Funny, though, how that possibility didn't even turn up two posts ago as one of the "doors", you know?

If you predict enough things, it makes it a lot easier to be proven "right".

Posted by: frankly0 on March 9, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Next thing we know, they'll allow foreigners to own our homeland security department and department of defense through some sort of treasury bond shell game."

Close enough! The Homeland Security Department doesn't even employ its' own guards!


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,,-5665798,00.html


Don't we have an army? Why don't they just outsource, oh, I don't know. . .the presidency?

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

And the punch line is ...

Thanks to rising sea levels from the rapid melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets due to anthropogenic global warming, all of these ports are going to be under water in the not-too-distant future.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

cld wrote: Why don't they just outsource, oh, I don't know. . .the presidency?

Why not indeed. They already outsourced the vice presidency to Halliburton.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

It always touches my heart very deeply when Republicans express their commitment to racial equality, whether the issue is affirmative action and they want the blacks to stay away from profesional and ivy league colleges, or it is the security of the ports being run by arabs.

Posted by: lib on March 9, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but it seems to me that Democrats need to pounce on this opportunity. It is politic and it seems good policy. Port security is now a salient public issue. For whatever reason, inexcusably, port security has not been improved. Democrats should push for improvement and point out that the Republicans have been sitting on their hands.

Posted by: SS on March 9, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK
"I guess this will allow Haliburton to step in and take control of these ports now. They seem to have an extra $7 billion for investments."

Bingo! Forget whether ayrabs owned the ports, the main thing behind this whole deal is which BushCo cronies are going to be getting on the gravy train on this deal!

Posted by: CParis on March 9, 2006 at 5:17 PM


You guys are insane. Does anyone else out there realize how absurd you sound?

  1. UAE deal going through
  2. Left: *whine*
  3. Bush: This needs to go through! They're not a security threat, and I'll veto if you try and block it
  4. Left: *whine*whine*
  5. Right: *whine*
  6. Congress: *smack*
  7. UAE: Alright, fine.. we're out of here.
  8. US: So -- can anyone else handle the logistics of this?
  9. Halliburton: Umm, we can.
  10. Left: *whine* You tricked us, you bastard!

How much diabolical reverse psychology do you need to project onto Karl Rove and "Chimpy-Idiot-Shrub-Bush-Hitler-C-Student" to let you sleep at night? This conspiracy mongering would be hilarious if it weren't so sad.

BDS at work!

Posted by: J.C. on March 9, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney,

That was in the budget request. How much of it was actually in the budget?

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

There's an obvious path for GOoPs worried about voter anger at the polls for the slow-motion traoinwreck unfolding throughout the corrupt Rove machine: Impeach!

Scarborough devoted segment of last night's show to the topic, and actually had a balanced line-up. True to form, he interrupted and yelled his disagreement with the pro side, but it seems it was because they weren't stating the case quite the way Joe would make it. Because he seems to think W is a failure! Joe controls what gets discussed, and he wanted to discuss impeachment.

Posted by: Radio Head on March 9, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if there was any doubt that "Cheney" was the same old psychopath Charlie, his cut-and-pasting of lengthy White House press releases into the thread removes it. But of course there was no doubt.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Yep, that's Cheney alright.

Posted by: W Action on March 9, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie posting as "Cheney" wrote: and this is the shit I get?! Well, then FUCK YOU ALL!

Hopefully that means you are never going to post here again?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Now, about that southern U.S. border...Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 4:10 PM

tbrosz, and Lonewacko if your lurking, I think most people agree that illegal immigration is a major problem. The disagreement is how to solve it and what to do with the people that are already here.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on March 9, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney on March 9, 2006 at 6:32 PM

Well, then FUCK YOU ALL!

cld asked you a simple, non-threatening question that was related to your post, Cheney...and you throw a temper tantrum.

No insult intended, but you seem to have issues, Cheney.

Posted by: grape_crush on March 9, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney, A little over the top aren't you? Having a bad day, month, year, life??

Posted by: ExBrit on March 9, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

wow, is Charlie really going off the deep end?

if so, then it's totally hilarious!

Posted by: haha on March 9, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

I swear I will not rest until every single one of you BASTARDS are put away for life.

LOL--please tell me it's the real Charlie! He seemed to go unhinged a couple of days ago too. But who knows? The satirists are indistinguishable from the real thing anymore.

Posted by: haha on March 9, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

It's time to start sending reporters and Congressmen who leak classified information to Gitmo;

. . . but not forgetful white house staffers?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think most people agree that illegal immigration is a major problem. The disagreement is how to solve it and what to do with the people that are already here.

Step one in dealing with a flood in the house is to stop the water coming in. Then you can figure out what to do with what's already there.

Frankly, the more I look at it, the better the fence idea looks. Even at the highest price I've seen, it pays for itself in a few years when compared with the cost of illegal immigration.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Here's just ONE way we have been improving port security through the Coast Guard programs:

Ensuring Security Before Cargo Ships Reach Port: These funds include $102 million for implementation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA).

Improving port security using the Maritime Security Transportation Act? I wonder whose idea that was?

Here's a list of the sponsors of that bill:

Sponsor: Sen. Ernest Hollings [D-SC]

Cosponsors:
Sen. John Breaux [D-LA]
Sen. Max Cleland [D-GA]
Sen. Byron Dorgan [D-ND]
Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL]
Sen. Bob Graham [D-FL]
Sen. Kay Hutchison [R-TX]
Sen. John Kerry [D-MA]
Sen. Mary Landrieu [D-LA]
Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D-MD]
Sen. Zell Miller [D-GA]
Sen. Bill Nelson [D-FL]
Sen. Paul Sarbanes [D-MD]
Sen. Charles Schumer [D-NY]
Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]

So it was the Democrats who were committed to protecting the country. How many Republicans in that list dedicated to protecting our ports?

One.

Radiation detection monitors are used to screen passengers and cargo coming into the United States. The FY 2005 budget includes $50 million for the next generation of radiation screening devices.

Dems have been pressing for radiation detecting arches for oh -- a couple of YEARS now, and Bush has resisted. It will be interesting to see if bozo can finally be pressured to allow us to actually begin doing the job of securing our ports, or if he'll just keep sitting on his ass and allow another catastrophic attack to happen while he's busy abusing FISA by listening in on Howard Dean's phone conversations.

Posted by: trex on March 9, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney,

Why do you think profanity will provide veracity to your inane comments?

You seem to want to trash this thread to the extent that "newer" visitors will be disgusted by the expletives associated with your posts.

The rich in this country get richer, the poor poorer. Prove me wrong.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 9, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

whereby you COMMUNIST ASSHOLES can convince lazy Americans . . .

(. . . a.k.a. 62 Republican Congressmen. . .)

federal Constitutional amendments outlawing divorce,

. . . haw. I'm sure 3-time-loser Newt Gingrich will go for that!

And that's a real strong support for Federalism! You're a true Conservative after all!

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Complete BS imo. The "US Entity" I am sure will link back.. if people bother to check.. which would require investigative reporting.. something that became extinct in the US in the last 5 years...

Posted by: Stu on March 9, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

And wasn't the Department of Homeland Security another Democratic idea that Bush was adamantly against until he was pressured into it?

Just asking.

Posted by: trex on March 9, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Tom:

Believe me, Cheney does not have a monopoly on profanity on these comment boards.

Trex:

Oh, now Zell Miller's a Democrat again?

Now that the port issue has basically blown up in their faces, it's fun watching Schumer and some other Democrats trying desperately to pump some air back into the issue. For a few glorious moments the Democrats looked like they actually cared about national security.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Step one in dealing with a flood in the house is to stop the water coming in. Then you can figure out what to do with what's already there.
Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

In other words - build on High Ground?
(a. k. a. have Mexico enact progressive taxation, social safety net, labor laws, and rigorous prosecution of corruption and cronyism, and they'll be happier to stay in Mexico than to come to the US illegally to pick lettuce).

Yeah, tbrosz. It's just like a flood. . .

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Go FUCK yourselves, OBF, trex and Tom!
Posted by: Cheney on March 9, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, I do. Every time I read one of your posts.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK
Lawmakers criticize Coast Guard funding

By Audrey Hudson
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
March 3, 2006


Capitol Hill lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the Bush administration is cutting critical Coast Guard funding, including $31 million for rescue missions, despite the agency's success in rescuing 33,000 storm victims in the last hurricane season.

"The cuts to search and rescue are particularly incomprehensible in light of the heroic performance of the Coast Guard during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita," said Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

President Bush has requested nearly $8.2 billion in the 2007 budget for the Coast Guard, an increase of $127 million, or about 1.6 percent. However, lawmakers say the new funding is for higher fuel costs and for personnel, and $50 million is set aside to begin designing the agency's new headquarters.

"I am concerned that when these costs are added up, the administration is actually requesting less money for the Coast Guard to carry out its traditional and port security missions in the next fiscal year," says Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, New Jersey Republican and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

"The Coast Guard will be the FEMA of 2010 if we do not invest in it now," said the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which got low scores for its disaster response last year.

"How serious is the administration when the Coast Guard Deepwater budget for replacing its ships, planes and helicopters will not even be completed until 2026?" Mr. Byrd asked.


Posted by: trex on March 9, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK


Is Haliburton or Carlyle the only group with cash to buy back?

Heh.

Posted by: McA on March 9, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Cheney, I'm sorry. I apologize.

(I think it would be a good idea to never piss off a drunk with a shotgun).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Trex -
How did you do that? Do you use individual blockquote tags for each paragraph? Or did Kevin finally fix his blog?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK
Step one in dealing with a flood in the house is to stop the water coming in.

Yeah, and if "illegal immigrants" were anything like water in that analogy (that is to say, if there were certain kinds of human beings that inherently were "bad" for the "house" of the country, and that group was the same as the group "illegal immigrants") that would be perhaps relevant, assuming, of course, that practical methods of keeping them out existed that didn't have overwhelming other problems.

The thing is, a vast number of illegal immigrants are, but for immigration status, not any different than the legal immigrants -- the barriers to legal immigration of qualified immigrants make it harder to effectively keep out the kinds of people that are forbidden in any case to immigrate (the undesirables -- criminals, terrorists, etc.)

Frankly, the more I look at it, the better the fence idea looks. Even at the highest price I've seen, it pays for itself in a few years when compared with the cost of illegal immigration.

This assumes, foolishly, that a fence would stop illegal immigration. Since illegal immigration doesn't exclusively come over the land borders, and since that which currently does might well find other routes once that route was closed off, its, even if it was cheap and effective at completely sealing off the land border from unwanted immigration and had no undesirable side effects, not much of a solution.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

So, Mister Cheney, does that mean I can't count on your vote in 2008? Should I return your donation then?

Posted by: Sen.John Kerry on March 9, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Osama_Been:

It would be nice if we had some control over how Mexico runs its affairs, but we don't. We can have some control over our borders, and a good start would be a physical barrier. Some decent enforcement of existing laws wouldn't suck either.

The numbers for what illegal immigrants cost the Federal and many state governments every year are all over the place, but even the smallest numbers are in the billions.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

OBF: Just one set of blockquotes, although I have noticed that the system is quirky and that doesn't always work.

Posted by: trex on March 9, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

. . . actually, I'm shooting for my buddy Wade at MZM to get the Ports deal as a classified subcontractor under DPW.

Posted by: The DukeStir on March 9, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Very sweet. It took exactly 4 posts (tho probly nos. 1 & 2 got it as well) for commenters here to point out that a "transfer" does not a sale or total divestiture make.

These idiots -- meaning BushCo & DPW must have been up nights all week trying to figure this out. 'Maybe no one will notice, if we just...'

NOTE that Sen. Warner said that the UAE called DPW into the royal chambers and "basically told them they were going to do this." (Got that off the Lehrer Rpt a second ago)

So -- SO MUCH FOR all those who questioned whether there were close links between the UAE government and DPW the company and its executives. SO MUCH for those who tried to say DPW's execs were "mostly" American and British -- as though that really mattered.

Small country -- everybody's gonna know everybody.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 9, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 7:34 PM;

Do you use individual blockquote tags for each paragraph?

Yes.

Cheney on March 9, 2006 at 6:57 PM:

Well, boo-FUCKING-hoo, grape-crush

Hee! Great parody...And if it isn't, it's even more hilarious! I don't think that we've ever made someone ever lose it this badly before.

High five, everyone!

I'm not dealing with any of your shit civilly any more

Easier to throw a hissy fit than to answer a question; right Cheney?

YOU are the #1 enemy of the United States of America, not the terrorists anymore.

Get professional help, man. Seriously. Before you hurt yourself.

I swear I will not rest until every single one of you BASTARDS are put away for life.

...but first you gotta finish eating your box of Twinkies before your Mom finds out, I know...

Posted by: grape_crush on March 9, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

cld ! ! !

ding! ding! ding!


nicely put:
"In the US we have been really successful at destroying the large-scale organization of mafia groups over the past twenty years, so an American company is just not going to be able to manage it competitively against foreign companies that have deep associations with both their indigenous state and underworld power structures.

Which brings up the key point: these kinds of port management companies are like institutionalized embassies of smuggling and underhandedness, necessarily. These are companies where a lot of people can get a big thing moved by looking the other way."

you get the big prize...
.. and put it better than I could

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 9, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Well, then go FUCK your whore mother again, OBF!
Posted by: Cheney on March 9, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

. . . right after she's done with your lesbian daughter, dick.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, the more I look at it, the better the fence idea looks.

Sure! At 20 feet high and a million miles long, we could have some kickass graffiti! In fact, maybe that would collect all of it in one place, which would be extra super duper good!

Oh, no, even better! Let's have it glow blue, and be electrified! Then we can all go down to the border in lawn chairs and watch the funny foreigners get 'lectrocuted! Good times for the entire family.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK
We can have some control over our borders, and a good start would be a physical barrier.

A good start would be identifying the specific nature and sources of the problems and addressing those. For instance, many of the problems are due to the illegal status of a large number of immigrants, many of whom have none of the features which disqualify them as legal immigrants, from Mexico. So, why is there such an incentive for illegal immigration of those qualified to immigrate legally from Mexico? One reason is that, under current law, every country on the Earth, regardless of population, proximity, or other factors which influence how many people are likely to seek to immigrate from that country, is limited to the same 5% share of the total overall immigration quota.

Now, clearly, anyone with the libertarian bent that you affect ought to know what happens when you structurally prevent supply from aligning with demand...

You could fix the policy that creates the problem, or you could create a costly boondoggle like an enormous network of border fortifications.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

in re: Mexico. And Washington.

A hundred years ago the political life of New York was incredibly more corrupt than it is now. It didn't become less corrupt through any single method or incident, but incrementally over the years.

There are a lot of studies about the patterns political revolutions and the social circumstances that give rise to a classical revolutionary situation, but are there any studies of how polity's become less, or more, corrupt? Is there a pattern to the development of corruption, and the fading of corrupt practice?

Any characterisitic thing that could be effected?

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

I imagine a time, 30 years in the future, when some Mexican president makes a speech in Nogales and intones, "Empress Jenna, tear down this wall!"

Posted by: Irony Man on March 9, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Empress Jenna, tear down this wall!"

Brilliant.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

OT - but Christopher Hitchens, ironically, has written one of the smartest columns suggesting a breakthrough strategy toward Iran I/ve seen to date.

http://www.slate.com/id/2137560/

I'd be interested in Kevin's thoughts on this...

Posted by: brucds on March 9, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

SombreroFallout,

Thanx! I've been looking for a new big prize since Cheney's head fell off the wall.

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Christopher Hitchens, ironically, has written one of the smartest columns suggesting a breakthrough strategy toward Iran I/ve seen to date.

I noticed that he managed to find a way to blame Democrats, which makes it slightly more likely to get taken seriously by the GOP. But still, I can't see this happening - not because it's the wrong thing to do, but just because the GOP side is too invested in hate and terror mongering to actually want to do something constructive.

And, as the title of his piece suggests, a Democratic president could never do this, because the GOP would call it treason in a second.

I guess President Jenna will have to be the one who does this.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Irony Man: when some Mexican president makes a speech in Nogales and intones, "Empress Jenna, tear down this wall!"

If Jenna was Empress, I think the Mexicans would do everything they could to keep the wall up.

Posted by: alex on March 9, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

BDS at work!

Better watch out guy -- the damn disease is contagious and seems to be airborne -- Bush's approval is only abou 35%!

I understand that the only known preventative is an incredibly thick skull.

Which, of course, makes you lucky!

Posted by: frankly0 on March 9, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

"empress Jenna, rasga abajo esta pared!"

(and then she'd ask him to fetch her a drink).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 9, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney - calm the fuck down for pete's sake!

That's not how this is supposed to work. Get with the program:

WE do the outrageous stuff.
Libs get pissed off.
Fox calls them shrill and extreme.
Morons vote for us.
Got it?

Posted by: Karl Rove on March 9, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Christopher Hitchens, ironically, has written one of the smartest columns suggesting a breakthrough strategy toward Iran I/ve seen to date.

Hitch, as well as the editors of Slate (if they actually have any), must still be drinking.

". . . but this was a family friend, moreover draped in a deep black chador, . . ."

That would be as opposed to a light black? A, . . . semi-black? Oh, okay. How deep - 6', 10'? Help us out here, Hitch.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Of course Bush is way too simplistic, knee-jerk and swimming in reactive rhetoric to actually follow Hitchens' advice...but this is one of the few thought-provoking, serious commentaries - other than some book reviews - I've seen coming from Hitch's corner in a long time. Nobody else has suggested a strategy that rises above the mundane and predictable.

Posted by: brucds on March 9, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

I love how you cherry pick approval rating numbers. Per http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm I declare that Bush's approval rating is actually 47%. Let the civil discourse continue!

As to the ports deal, there is a lot of blame to go around, but I personally believe that the reaction was hysterical. The buyout of P&O had as a term that the managment staff would remain (according to an official interviewed on the BBC a week ago). The easy part about this is that all you have to do is listen for the word control. Anyone who actually looked into this would see that the deal was for operations of specific terminals at these ports. Most of our port terminals are operated by foreign companies, including China, Singapore, Germany, etc.. So to say that foreign :control" of our ports never happens is so wrong that my mind is boggling (there, I just boggled). Look, we want people to vote for our candidates, then let them make a stand for something, rather than just disagreeing with Bush over everything. Come on, after abortion rights name one plank in the Democratic platform without resorting to Google. How about a rational, workable energy policy that is not based on hysteria? Me, I'm going to work for the Richardson campaign.

Posted by: The Winder on March 9, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

How about a rational, workable energy policy that is not based on hysteria?

The current Energy Policy is rational and workable? And it's not based on hysteria? ("I'm cuckoo for po-po cuts!")

Posted by: Karl Rove on March 9, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody else has suggested a strategy that rises above the mundane and predictable. Posted by: brucds

Though he'll get no credit for this, I believe Clinton had moved toward engagement with Iran in the last couple years of this presidency, but only after the ostensibly more liberal government of Khatami had been elected.

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/06/24/iran.sanctions/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3362443.stm

http://www.iran.org/tib/public/6501.htm

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're right, but I meant in the context of the current hysteria.

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

Iraq had no ties to terrorist but the GOP invaded and wages a 3 year war. The UAE had ties to terrorist and the GOP wants to sell them US port operations. What is so hard to understand? 3 more years...uhg

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

"Karl Rove"- Exactly

NewUSA - If the UAE ( and specifically DP World) was a threat to our security why did the military let them service 700 ships last year (making it the number 2 international port for the US Navy)? And of the 700,000 personnell visits last year, how many were harmed? DP World is one of the 5 largest terminal operators in the world. Hell, last year they were named "Container Terminal Operator of the Year" by that notorious Al-Quada front, Lloyds of London. I call 'em like I see 'em. This is hysterical, groundless, racism.

Posted by: The Winder on March 9, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

J.C.: BDS at work!

And from the opposite side of the aisle, BIS.

When will the right quit rationalizing Bush's failures and mendacities and quit making excuses for him?

Well, lemmings never learn, so I guess the answer is . . .

. . . never.

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

We can have some control over our borders, and a good start would be a physical barrier.

I hear they have some left over materials from tearing down the Berlin Wall.

Nice to know that as walls fall in the communist world, they go up under the GOP's rule.

The GOP: so like the communists they love to hate.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

I guess it is futile to point out that the head of the GOP, President Bush, is against building another Berlin Wall?

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

The Winder, "why did the military let them service 700 ships last year (making it the number 2 international port for the US Navy)?"

The ships were calling at the UAE? Calling it hysterical, groundless racism is hysterical and groundless and quite a load coming from a Republican.

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK


Cheney sucks big donkey balls.

Posted by: Dwing on March 9, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Look, I am a registered Independent, but is "The Winder" a registered Republican? I thought he/she posted something about going to work for the Richardson campaign. I assumed that meant Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM).

Posted by: Jim on March 9, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

That's part of his dis-infomation.

Actually, I have no idea. I just always presume anyone who disagrees with me is a Republican.

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

I disagree with you, and I am a registered Independent.

Posted by: Jim on March 9, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

In case anyone's interested in disproving Cheney's claim that port security has increased, or even that Bush has increased funding for that purpose, see:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/2/25/124918/452

The linked post deals with recess appointees Julie Myers and Tracy Henke.

"Before the Dubai deal was even on the national radar, Mayor Martin O'Malley was complaining publicly that Ms. Henke was not responding to the security needs of Baltimore, one of the cities slated to be taken over by DP World.


O'Malley said the department "had no answers again" when he asked two homeland security directors in attendance about the top three priorities of the department.

The pair -- Office of Grants and Training Executive Director Tracy Henke and Coordination and Preparedness Acting Director Chet Lunner -- did not directly answer the question, but promised O'Malley they would work to get local governments appropriate resources.

"It's the same assurances we receive every year," O'Malley said. "I believe if you continue to cut funding at the current rate, it'll be eliminated."

Baltimore received $11.4 million from the Urban Area Security Initiative in 2005, down from $15.8 million in 2004. Total funding for the initiative, which is a part of the Homeland Security Grant Program, was cut from $855 million in 2005 to $765 million in 2006. Funding for first-responder block grants was cut this year from $1.1 billion to $550 million. The overall budget for DHS increased by $2.6 billion for fiscal year 2006."

Bush is reducing investment in port security.

But I'm sure anyone here probly could have told Cheney that -- without having to look it up.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 9, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't realize you disagreed with me, but I am glad to have been forwarned.

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Meant above adressed to Jim.

Posted by: cld on March 9, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God:

I hear they have some left over materials from tearing down the Berlin Wall. Nice to know that as walls fall in the communist world, they go up under the GOP's rule. The GOP: so like the communists they love to hate.

Give it a little thought, and you might notice a difference between the purpose of the two barriers. If you have problems with it, ask around.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

This is great...

Dubai Company to Give Up Stake in U.S. Ports Deal

Posted by: lj on March 10, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

This compromise has accomplished absolutely nothing to make America safer. DPW manages nearly 50 ports world wide. If the danger of a UAE-managed port is as pressing as some believe, the easiest way to strike at the US via its ports will be to load a nuke onto a ship in a Dubai-managed non-US port and deliver it to New York or Long Beach. It won't matter if the Highly Competent and Patriotic Domestic US Port Manager keeps the thing from being unloaded -- all our enemies need to do is get it past the Coast Guard and detonate it in the harbor. Moreover, the US will now suffer a diminution of credibility and goodwill, especially among moderate Islamic states, at a time when we need every ounce of friendship we can lay our hands on in the Middle East.

I'd say on balance we're actually going to be a bit less safe as a result of our craven Congress's alleged attempts to enhance our safety.

Posted by: ruthie on March 10, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Good God!!! An American entity??? Can anyone spell Halliburton?

Posted by: Grouchy Cowboy on March 10, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Yea - i was looking for the Tourette's Blog? Can anyone tell me if this is it?

Posted by: peanut on March 10, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Virtually all US port operations are managed by non-US entities. One of the few US companies that has the capabilities to take over is Halliburton.

And what's wrong with that?

Posted by: peanut on March 10, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Yep, Grouchy, they were throwing around Halliburton as a possibility on Hardball tonight.

Posted by: nepeta on March 10, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

So, a happy ending for everyone...

Posted by: peanut on March 10, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

Give it a little thought, and you might notice a difference between the purpose of the two barriers. If you have problems with it, ask around.

Doesn't that depend on which side you're standing on?

Besides, isn't the problem that we should enforce the laws we have? Walls don't kill people, people kill people, or something, isn't that what conservatives say?

Posted by: craigie on March 10, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

Have any of you ever worked around these Freight Docks?
Sheet Son. If I had Wanted, And I never did because I am Licensed to work on these behemoth jets at major airports around the country, there is no real security. YaY a ramp pig drove by oh YaY.
Hell the FAA MAYBE showed up once a feckin moon.
Actually I could have fell off the Tail and lay there for days before it was noticed (yeh hah hah)

I've spent days working out on Open Ramps, seen gates stuck wide open, people over under, drugs found, All that shit. Yer fuckin scare tactics is gonna come back n bite yer goddam stupid greedy asses with your multibillion dollar crony business useless shit. Plastic Barriers CSX..what crap.

Think about how much weed for instance is smuggled every day. You think that a suit case nuke or some other WMD couldn't have made its way across or under the mexican border in the last 40 fucking years??

You are seriusly paranoid people now quit your crisis management bullshit and fix this crap.

Sheesus.

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on March 10, 2006 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

You GottDamn naysaying feckin ninnie bobs are worried about what chocolate starfish terdblossom ROVE wore at the feckin teaparty?

Yew pink soft fleshy palmed mental masturbationists and yer extravagant bullshit.

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on March 10, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK


This is my last thought on the topic, as a liberal-leaning libertarian.. last I checked, we're fighting a war against terror, not a war against Arabs. We need Arab allies in the war on terror, and at some point, we need to trust our Arabian allies, and give our Arab allies a gun, so to speak, and trust that they'll fight with us. Sure, the UAE isn't Kuwait, but they have proven themselves a worthy partner in this war - we dock hundreds of our ships there, and thousands of our military personnel take leave in their country. I personally don't feel safer after DPW withdrawn their offer. Showing this reactionary xenophobic response will not help us in this fight - both Dems and Reps are trying to align themselves to be further right, each trying to prove themselves more "patriotic" than the other. In the end, the real issue of our security is lost, and each side can claim victory in this absurd political game.

Posted by: Andy on March 10, 2006 at 4:49 AM | PERMALINK

Showing this reactionary xenophobic response will not help us in this fight - both Dems and Reps are trying to align themselves to be further right, each trying to prove themselves more "patriotic" than the other.

Andy, that's a bunch of bullshit.

The issue is that after presuming to suspend civil liberties and violate the Constitution at will -- Bush turns around and hands massive profits and LOWERED security requirements to his monopolistic, corporate pals.

GET IT? Extra scrutiny and fewer rights for you -- lowered security standards and no accountability before the law for them.

Got nothin to do with reactionary politics at all. The other half fo the country just saw the little man behind the curtain.

This puts the lie to the whole color-coded terror alert scam -- even Tom Ridge admitted they were raised FOR POLITICAL reasons, when there wasn't the evidence to support any change.

This spotlights the lie that Bush had ever intended to increase security -- Mayor of Baltimore testified that Bush LOWERED port security funds. Data via Congressional hearings quoted at Kos

Finally, check out who actually did the vetting of the DPW deal. Economic expert? Objective party? Uh-uh.

From Digby:
"There are a few problems with this interagency committee vetting thing, beginning with the fact that the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury who chaired the interagency committee that vetted Dubai Ports World is the same guy who vetted Dan Quayle as well qualified to be Vice President for Bush's daddy when he was running for President in 1988. You read that right. His name is Robert M. Kimmitt"

The guy is up to his neck in the corrupt world of Iran-Contra, James Baker, & G.H.W. Bush.

Like Dubya "didn't know."

Posted by: SombreroFallout on March 10, 2006 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK

FYI - I am a registered Independant. Of my 2 close military friends, one is a moderate Democrat, and the other has no enemies to the right :). The former was actually stationed in Dubai and Bahrain. And yes "Richardson in '08!"

Posted by: The Winder on March 10, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Truth: Not that it matters, but Danny Thomas is dead. He was born in Toledo, OH of Lebanese Christian parents.

Posted by: Keith G on March 9, 2006 at 4:56 PM "

I don't think that it matters either. The DPW deal is also dead. But shouldn't we bar all arabs from driving, owning, renting or otherwise possing autos suvs vans etc. After all one was just used in a terrorist attack in North Carolina.

Posted by: TruthPokitik on March 10, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

truth....seems a little extreme to me....


but that's what you get when you try to prevent any and all attacks...

how many students at unc?

how many injured there by terror in say...oh...the last decade?

see...

the number is extremely small...

in the decade before 9-11....the biggest killer of americans by terror was:

timothy mcveigh....

Posted by: thispsaceavailable on March 10, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: Give it a little thought, and you might notice a difference between the purpose of the two barriers.

I did.

There is no difference.

The purpose of both is to serve the interests of "national security" as that term is defined by self-serving, partisan, arrogant, and power-loving political leaders and to prevent the intermingling of foreign influences with domestic ones.

Apparently you didn't bother to ask around.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 10, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting that many defenders were saying, that no US Company existed capable of or willing to manage those ports. And will DPW be entirely out of the security loop now? Let's see what Mike Savage has to say!

Posted by: Neil' on March 10, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Neil:

No U.S. company runs this many major port terminals, and certainly none bid $7 billion. There are just a few smaller companies that run a couple and obviously wanted 1 or 2 P&O terminals at a fire sale price. Is that what you think Congress should be doing now - imminent domain on an international scale, a la Kelo? After you catch up on the news that one such company, Eler, down in Miami, lobbied Schumer (D-NY) and that another, Marine SSA, lobbied Murray (D-WA) and the other Senator from New York - Senator Murray's husband also works at Marine SSA per this article - then let us know what you think:

http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/0431/040804_news_port.php

Posted by: Don P. on March 11, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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