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February 28, 2006

Comments

Chad

I'm on an Izzard kick today, but that kinda' reminds me of his bit about Prince Phillip from Glorious where, when speaking to a group of English students in China (I believe), he said, "Don't stay here too long... you'll become all slitty eyed."

North Dallas Thirty

Gee, a Democrat being a racist at a union rally. Who'd have thunk it?

Dan

And democrats continue to wonder why they can't gain traction despite a completely incompetent GOP administration...

Some of this hysteria is just that - totally unjustified and irrational. Idiotic comments like Lautenberg's distract from the fact that there are some legitimate concerns regarding the Bush's handling of this whole affair. Port security is still a total mess, the Coast Guard brought up some legitimate questions regarding the UAE's involvement, and apparently the White House folks didn't know a damn thing about the whole situation until it was splashed on the front page.

So thanks, Frank, for distracting us from the real issue and showing us why the democrats are still fucked.

Robbie

Yeah, like I was telling Kevin earlier, I have severe reservations about this ports deal. It seems irresponsible at best.

But some of the rhetoric is starting to get a little out there. You know, you hear something and you have to raise an eyebrow.

I'm not exactly the champion of Islamic nations everywhere, so if someone like me thinks the demagoguery is getting out of hand, maybe that says something.

MW

Things are so weird right now. Bush is against profiling? This is really gonna confuse the hillbillies.

Talk about hoisted on his own petard. Bush is right in principle. But it's fresh coming from him. From an administration that successfully linked 9/11 to Iraq, it's hardly any wonder that most Americans look on anything Arab with suspicion.

I love how the very demagogues who sold us the war in Iraq and the benefits of Abu Gahrib are now wrapping themselves in a PC flag and telling everyone how awful the Democrats are being in opposing this deal. It's hilarious.

Robbie

Everything about this ports business entered bizarro world awhile ago. I've never seen so many strange and blatant political alignment shifts in my life. I almost can't keep track anymore.

It's kind of amusing in its own twisted way.

Craig Ranapia

What's bizarre about it? I've always said the politics of this can fit on a bumper sticker: IT'S THE MID-TERMS STUPID! Then follow up with Hillary Clinton in Scarlett O'Hara drag squaling, "Ah' will never be Willie Hortoned again!"

You have Democrats - and Republicans - who know national security is a big issue with swing voters and Independents, but if you're going to be at all serious about port security then you need to come up with some very un-sexy, complex and expensive policy arguments that aren't going to get you any media face time beyond the policy wonk community. Fuck that - let's pile on the dirty rag-heads in the UAE, get all the face-time and column inches you can and worry about the fallout after the mid-terms.

Now, if only someone could come up with a plan to get tough on Capitol Hill stupidity.

Craig Ranapia

BTW, is anyone else concerned that Congress is full of people who apparently don't read newspapers (this deal has been extensively reported on for months) or anything else that comes across their desks with national security implications?

OK, on one level opportunistic stump whoring for votes is part of the political game. But when you have folks like Lautenberg who apparently don't realise that 'Clueless' and Legally Blond 2' are meant to be satirical, I feel rather queasy about the level of attention they're bringing to national security legislation. Does Senator Lautenberg, for example, realise that P&O is a foreign-owned company? And using some of the wacky logic in play, shouldn't that been a concern given that the perpetrators of the London Underground attacks were all British citizens?

Queer Conservative

I was trying to put these thoughts in order myself, but Michelle Malkin has done better than I ever will:

The UAE is our "friend," we are told, and to question that assertion, we are scolded, is to engage in reckless prejudice and life-threatening insult. Yes, well, some friends are more equal than others. To instinctively trust a longtime, stalwart Western democracy more than an Arab newcomer with a mixed record on combating terror, international crime, and Islamic extremism is not "Islamophobia." It's self-preservationist in a time of war.

We are at war, aren't we?

... Yes, there are countless homegrown terrorists across England, where Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., the maritime company purchased by state-owned Dubai Ports World, operates. So what? So, now, a peaceful Western democracy that is infiltrated against its will by al Qaeda is on the same plane as an Arab federation whose ruling emiratis ran interference for Osama bin Laden before Sept. 11, which continued to be a logistical hub for al Qaeda for years after, which refuses to recognize the existence of Israel, bans our textbooks as "racist" because they point out Syria's state sponsorship of terrorism, and is boycotting Denmark over the Mohammed Cartoons? Now, all the proselytizers who tell us to collect the dots and connect the dots want us to throw them all away lest we give offense?

Queer Conservative

Let me just add, I'm not thrilled with the People's Republic of China running some of our ports facilities either. All in all, I think it's best to keep that job in-house.

Craig Ranapia

QC:

Malkin can "question" and "connect the dots" all she likes, but it would be nice if some of those questions were remotely based on objective fact - such as frothing that the sale would "outsource port security" when it does no such thing. (Then again, we are at war and I'm sure Malkin and Ann Coulter would be screeching "treason" at any Congressman or Senator who had the balls to ask hard questions of the US Coast Guard and US Customs Service.)

And I'm sure she will spare us the truculent hand-wringing the next time foreign newspapers are full of handwringing about the malign Amerikkkan military-corporate complex destroyng jobs, local cultures and compromising national interests for the sake of Amerikkan profit.

Sorry, QC, but I'm not seeing anyone who is looking one minute past the mid-terms, and I'd very much like to be proved wrong on that.

Queer Conservative

I'm looking past the midterms.

I just don't understand why, when we know our ports are already much less than secure, we are willing to take a risk on a questionable "ally" like the UAE?

My beef is, why do we even allow foreign companies to run port terminals. I did a little googling and I'm pretty sure we still don't let foreign companies own TV stations in the U.S. But our ports? No problem.

Craig Ranapia

QC:

I just don't see the argument when American companies own and operate critical transport infrastructure across the globe, and I'm sure Malkin would be the first to bitch and complain if (for the sake of argument) the New Zealand Parliament banned American companies from such investment on pretty spurious 'national security' grounds.

And let's have a little consistency here. Does Senator Lautenberg have any concerns with the French multinational Veolia Environnement owning substantial interests in critical water, energy and transport services in the United States. After all, France is an "unreliable" ally with substantial (and direct) links to terrorist regimes like Iraq under Saddam, Syria, Iran etc.

Have the national security implication been considered?
Or is it just that the rag-heads are a more reliable mid-term bogeyman than the frogs?

Queer Conservative

I just don't see the argument when American companies own and operate critical transport infrastructure across the globe...

I don't care what other countries do.

Does Senator Lautenberg have any concerns with the French multinational Veolia Environnement owning substantial interests in critical water, energy and transport services in the United States. After all, France is an "unreliable" ally with substantial (and direct) links to terrorist regimes like Iraq under Saddam, Syria, Iran etc.

I don't know what Senator Lautenberg thinks. But I'm not sure that's a good thing either.

As for the French, even with all of France's many, many, many, many, many flaws - I still count them as a reliable ally well ahead of any Muslim nation.


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