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Wednesday, 22 February 2006
Bush and his tin-ear.
Topic: Bush Administraiton

Well, isn't this Dubai Ports World story just typical of the Bush administration? Just as they thought they were getting everybody's mind off Cheney shooting a lawyer, here comes this. Of course, it's SOP for Bush & Co. do things without telling anyone, but the political tin-ear on this one is truly mind boggling. I think Congress has finally had enough of this administration sort of operating its own government out of sight of anyone else. Last time I checked there were two other branches.

W. can't understand why everyone is so exercised about this. "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a [British] company," he says.

Geez, W. do you really need it explained to you? In a post 9/11 world like you're always reminding us, you don't turn over port operations in 6 of your most strategic ports to a country that supplied 2 of the 9/11 hijackers and gives a wink and a nod to the Taliban. It may be all much to do about nothing, but the political perception is more important. Imagine what all those pooor republican representivies with tough elections in their districts this year are thinking!

Man, what a mess W.'s handlers have got him into. They've got every governor from New York to Maryland, both democrats and republican, up in arms and filing law suits and Congress has finally emerged from their long slumber to directly challenge our "unitary executive." Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert are threatening to pass legislation to block the sale and in characteristic fashion our gun slinging president has threated a veto. "If they pass a law, I'll deal with it, with a veto." Yeah, you'll deal with it alright, right after the veto is overturned, because I think the votes are there. But that was yesterday, before they could tell W. what to say. Today, Scott McClellan, "the Oracle," said, "we probably should have briefed members of Congress about it sooner." Oh, you think?

But not to worry, McClellan says, "The president made sure to check with all the Cabinet secretaries that are part of this process, or whose agencies or departments are part of this process. He made sure to check with them - even after this got more attention in the press - to make sure that they were comfortable with the decision that was made." But after the fact, because he didn't find out about this until the deal had already gone through, so what difference does it make whether he's satisfied with the procesS? He was satisfied with the jobs George Tenet and Michael Brown did too.

What I don't get about this whole thing is that the government of Dubai won't be in charge of security at these ports, yet there were extra steps taken to make sure everything was on the up and up. McClellan says, "The Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Patrol remain in charge of our security. The Coast Guard remains in charge of physical security."

But last night on the NewsHour Clay Lowery, a lower rung treasury official said, they took evxtra time to go over this "transaction." "We went well beyond that 30-day transaction, and this company, we actually gave extra scrutiny, and the Department of Homeland Security actually worked with the company on creating an arrangement so that to enhance the security apparatus that we already have in place with this company because, as I said earlier, it is one that we have built up a track record with."

So, if it's really no big deal, why all the special attention? I mean, here we have David Sanborn who heads DP World's European and Latin American operations being nominated to head the the U.S. Maritime Administration, he should know whether DP World are straight shooters or not, right? Maybe, congress should have a nice long chat with Mr. Sanborn. The timing does seem a little strange, but that's business as usual in Dubya' Land. Not to fear, though, White House spokesman Trent Duffy says, "we're told he had nothing to do with the transaction." There you have it...Scooter Libby had nothing to do with the Plame leak and David Sanborn, who just happens to work for DP World and is being given the job of overseeing the ports and it's all just a funny coincidence.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:34 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006 5:12 PM EST
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