The Spectacle Blog
In the deal that was widely rumored to be in the works, Dubai Ports World will divest the U.S. assets of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co, the British company that currently manages the port operations.
Short term: Bush is harmed politically. Long term: This reaction will hang over the heads of those who rushed to the microphones.
We're already hearing rumors on Capitol Hill that one of the companies that will be interested in the Dubai Port properties once divestiture begins is ... Halliburton.
Makes sense. They are one of the few U.S. firms that could move in and handle the types of operations required.
But wouldn't that just be richest outcome? Democrats will just be spitting mad. And the MoveOn.org and Daily Kos types will be screaming that this whole thing was nothing more than a wiley Rovian plot to get Halliburton the deal.
Quin: What wonderful news. I knew Mrs. Boggs very well back in the olden days when I was a lobbyist. I had long since lost track of her, and didn't even know she was still alive. She is a Southern Lady in the grand sense, and was a wonderful (and highly effective) political ally. Yes, she is and was too liberal for us on a lot of domestic issues, but a more staunch supporter of national security would be awfully hard to find.
The Wall Street Journal offers a double shot of facts regarding foreign management of our ports today. First, we learn how extensive foreign management of our ports is. Heck, even China operates terminals in Los Angeles. But the editorial board succinctly sums up the Republican rush to join the Democratic reaction on the ports deal: "Over in the House, Republicans are preparing to block the Dubai port management investment as a sacrifice to Democratic criticism."
If not principled, at least Sen. Richard Shelby is honest about the opponents' motives:
"There's no way that we should or will, leave the national security issue to the Democrats," Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told FOX News on Thursday. "We could pay a price in the fall [elections] and we cannot afford not to do this."
Okay, I'm blogging up a storm this morning, but I just read that the longtime former Dem. Rep. Lindy Boggs of Louisiana (also onetime Ambassador to the Vatican) is about to celebrate her 90th birthday in high style. Mrs. Boggs is of course far more liberal on lots of domestic/economic issues than I am, but let me take this moment to offer her a major solute and the heartiest of birthday wishes. She is one of the finest ladies I have ever met, and I know that I am far from alone, even among conservatives, in saying that. Unfailingly gracious, patriotic, and principled (she never yielded on her pro-life position, for instance, even as her party became ever-more stringently pro-choice), Mrs. Boggs' personal kindnesses are legendary. And while she is a very loyal Democrat, she was always willing to work across party lines, in genuine cooperative spirit and with her word always her bond, for the good of her country and her home state of Louisiana. She was even quite gracious to former Rep. Dave Treen (later governor of Louisiana) when he arrived in Congress in a neighboring district (after decennial redistricting) after Treen earlier ran three times against Mrs.
Before I get into the meat of this comment, let me make clear where I'm coming from on immigration: My position is an amalgamation of the "welcome all you poor huddled masses" position of Jack Kemp, W Bush, and others, and the "throw the book at the illegals" position of so much of the conservative rank and file. Let's encourage LEGAL immigration all we can, because this is the land of opportunity and anybody who will abide by our laws and contribute to our country should be welcome. But if they won't even abide by our laws enough to go through the formal (and not terribly difficult) green card process, etc., then they aren't likely to abide by our other laws, either, so they have no place in our society.
Much time has been spent (rightly, in my opinion) mocking the new children's book, Why Mommy is a Democrat, about a single mom squirrel teaching her little baby squirrels liberal orthodoxy. Sample: "Democrats make sure children can go to school, just like Mommy does." (Reason's Nick Gillespie has a particularly funny attack on this.) In December 2002, I myself wrote about another stab at indoctrinating children via Russell is a Republican, the story of a conservative cat trying to deal with his liberal puppy friend, Benny: "Benny is usually looking for a handout. He has a tendency to whine and to moan and to sigh. Often he is anxious that he won't be cared for. He is a Democrat. Russell loves him anyway."
The DNC is financing a series of push polls around the country that have to be some of the most disingenuous we've heard or read. Perhaps best titled, "Democrats say ..." the phone polls take more than ten minutes to listen and respond to, and include more than 25 questions that focus on Democrats' purported (by the poll taker) desire to cut spending, improve government ethics, catch Bin Laden, win the war, fire Halliburton, clean up Congress, defend American ports and borders and still have enough time to pass real health-care reform.
What's clear from the poll is that the DNC is trying to figure out exactly what voters want to hear this time around. The questions continued to hit on Bin Laden's at large status, Halliburton's no-bid contracts, Iraq, the U.S. ports story, Halliburton's no-bid contracts, Bin Laden's at large status, Iraq, Iraq, and Halliburton getting more contracts in Iraq. Oh, and corrupt Republicans in Washington who give no-bid contracts to a certain company with ties to President Bush and Vice President Cheney.