Ugly face concealed

Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Financial Times editorial on Dubai’s takeover of US ports:

The current furore in Washington about the takeover of P&O, the UK-based ports operator, by Dubai Ports World says more about the United States Congress than the United Arab Emirates. The bluster about national security conceals one of the uglier faces of US protectionism—the one with the slightly racist tinge.

Could be something to that. Then again, I haven’t read much about the issue (incidentally, also headquartered in the UAE: delicious Mecca Cola!) Instapundit has a roundup of views.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/22/2006 at 11:33 AM
    1. I’m right in NY and don’t know what to make of it. Hillary and Chuck Schumer, the Worst U.S. Senators in History™, are up in arms about it, which makes me think we should let the deal go through. The President wants to finally veto something, being the opposition to the deal, which makes me think we have some kind of UAE repayment deal—like, they’ve been giving us super-double-secret antiterrorism information. But how the hell are we supposed to know?

      Posted by Monroe Doctrine on 2006 02 22 at 11:47 AM • permalink

 

    1. Yeah, because IG Farben did a great job running both our ports and the Nazi death camps at the same time during WWII.

      They can torch embassies and stop buying Danish butter over cartoons, but it’s racist if we decide they really shouldn’t be operating the main interdiction points for our entire country.  Riiiiight.

      Posted by Mike G on 2006 02 22 at 11:56 AM • permalink

 

    1. I don’t know whether, in fact, this decision poses a security threat or not. I’m intrigued by the possibility that the move may be some kind of payback for intelligence services rendered, but, as Jonah Goldberg was quoted as saying at Instapundit, it does appear to be “bad politics”.

      I’ll have to sit down with some ice cold Mecca Cola and mullah it over. Although I’d prefer a bottle of Spriite or, even better, a frothy mug of Hal-ale.

      Posted by paco on 2006 02 22 at 12:08 PM • permalink

 

    1. Try common sense, FT (the original Code PInk).

      Posted by chinesearithmetic on 2006 02 22 at 12:29 PM • permalink

 

    1. Mecca Cola!——it has an explosive taste

      Posted by stuartfullerton on 2006 02 22 at 12:39 PM • permalink

 

    1. There were not three people in the whole country who knew that a foreign corporation was running the ports to begin with.

      Posted by Peter Boston on 2006 02 22 at 12:42 PM • permalink

 

    1. Emirates is a moderate, innovative Arab country. They actually invest their oil income wisely, in infrastructure and their economy. Dubai is known as an island of normality in the Arab world.
      They’re capitalists. We should be encouraging that tendency within them.
      Killing the deal will jeopardize a relationship with one of the few Arab countries that is sympathetic to the US.
      Besides, it’s not like they’re going to be running customs or border control. It’s a civil contract.

      Posted by daddy dave on 2006 02 22 at 12:50 PM • permalink

 

    1. It’s political opportunism all around, which is what you get with Congress.

      The Democrats get to run to the right of Bush on terrorism, and Bush gets to stand his ground on what he thinks is right for the country.  Republicans in Congress have to stay on the Democrats’ right because they’re up for re-election someday.

      What happens next hardly matters, everybody wins, except the jaded audience for this crap.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2006 02 22 at 12:56 PM • permalink

 

    1. it is one thing for a foreign company to run our ports,but a gov controlled foreign company…??yeah that’s a capitalists outlook…

      Posted by embutler on 2006 02 22 at 01:03 PM • permalink

 

    1. Rather ironic to see the Dems embrace profiling.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 02 22 at 01:12 PM • permalink

 

    1. I’m with paco…not knowing whether this is good or not good, for the security of our Nation…

      If this does in fact go through, the ultimate proof will be in the pudding, as ‘they’ say.

      I find it delicious that the Left, that have found everything is always the fault of the U.S (and some on the Right)….“domestic spying”, “Bush lied”, “No blood for oil”, “We deserved 9/11”, “doing Israel’s work”, and on and on.

      Now these same people are super patriots!?

      These U.S. Ports have been under foreign management, others as well…beside the fact that with or without foreign management, cargo hasn’t been inspected to complete satisfaction, nor will it ever be.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 02 22 at 01:44 PM • permalink

 

    1. Bill O’Reilly (unwittingly) brought up an interesting racism point last night.  A pundit said that the UAE produced a couple of the suicide bombers, so maybe we should be leery of the port deal.  O’Reilly reminded him that Britain is riddled with terrorists, producing many bombers, yet we take no action against Britain.

      It appears that despite all the multiculti blather, we unconsciously do believe that Muslims in the UAE are representative of their government/country, yet we don’t believe the same about British Muslims.  This is a direct result, IMO, of the multiculti dogma, separate but equal or superior, not racism—and harms the good guys on both sides.

      And until moderates, like the recent Danish moderates, speak up, they will be lumped in with the Abu Hamzas.

      Posted by Patricia on 2006 02 22 at 01:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. I really don’t know what to think about this deal.  It was a total surprise to me that those ports were being managed by a British-owned company in the first place.  And now this.

      I suppose letting DPW take over would send a powerful signal to the Islamic world that the U.S. does not consider itself at war with Islam, despite what the jihadibots are trying to do.  That said, James Lileks does a better job of explaining how it feels than I ever could.

      Also, there’s this (via Michelle Malkin:

      The company’s container throughput is roughly a third of what PSA handles. However, if DPW were to acquire P&O — currently the world’s fourth-largest ports group — the industry landscape would shift dramatically. Not only would DPW immediately become the second-largest player in the marketplace, it would also have secured key ports in India and Australia — markets in which fast traffic growth is anticipated…

      So it isn’t only U.S. ports in play.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 02 22 at 02:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. Hmmm.

      A port management company deals with scheduling, and nothing but scheduling.

      They schedule when ships arrive and depart.  Which docks they can use for offloading and loading.  For maintenance tasks and replenishment.

      Security, ship inspections, cargo inspections are carried out by government authorities such as the Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security and Customs.  The port management company has nothing to do with these.  The company cannot even hire it’s own cargohandlers as these are *union* jobs and jealously guarded ones at that.  Last year the unions shut down every west coast port by having the cargo handlers go on strike.

      This is a complete non-issue being pushed by ignorant right-wing bloggers, which has now been taken up by left-wing bloggers and Democrats because they can now use this “bi-partisan” effort to really shaft the Republicans.

      As a conservative all I can do is watch this and comment: suckers.

      And I blame Michelle Malkin most of all for this since she’s one of the first ones to push this.  When she started this she had no clue as to what actually was involved with a port management company.  A reader of hers even wrote her an email, that she posted, detailing what a port management company does and Malkin still had no clue.

      Frankly this is a composition of stupidity and political convenience that’s going to bite the GOP right in the ass.

      Posted by memomachine on 2006 02 22 at 02:48 PM • permalink

 

    1. Let me echo Ed at #14 above.

      The great unwashed in this “ports” story is the MSM who repeatedly report that a foreign company is going to operate our ports.

      False.

      DP World will not, nor will any other foreign company, be “operating” the port.

      In this case—as regards New York—a foreign company (DP World) will own one-half (a joint venture interest) of a company operating one freight terminal. Several other companies, including foreign, operate the bulk of the freight terminals in the port.

      These “ports” companies are in reality “freight-handlers,” who load and off-load cargo from freighters. Their security interest regards theft, shrinkage, and other casualty losses.

      The port is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—who has their own police department. Port security is provided by the Coast Guard and US Customs.

      And as regards security, as in the airlines, the security is addressed prior to departure, and not upon arrival at the destination.

      As for those making political hay out of this “story,” if you knew what you’re taking about, you wouldn’t be making the sort of dumb ass statements you’re making.

      Posted by Forbes on 2006 02 22 at 03:17 PM • permalink

 

    1. #14 & #15: Excellent points, and precisely the kind of information from which congressional boneheads would benefit (if, of course, they weren’t boneheads).

      Posted by paco on 2006 02 22 at 03:33 PM • permalink

 

    1. This mess is the Bush administrations fault, it allowed the democrats and conservatives like Michele Malkin to disseminate false information without countering the claims, claims that have now festered for more than a week.

      Posted by 13times on 2006 02 22 at 03:38 PM • permalink

 

    1. Port security will not be compromised, as I understand this deal.  Ultimately, the Coast Guard is in charge of that, working with local and port authorities.

      So I’m with President Bush.  Let the deal go through.  Shut up, Congress.

      And it’s proof that bloggers are not infallible—take warning, other elements of the Right Wing Blogosphere, lest ye be next.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 02 22 at 03:43 PM • permalink

 

    1. Port security will not be compromised, as I understand this deal.

      The signal to noise ratio has alot of us confused.

      One thing I do know is this: The Bush PR team is continually caught flat footed, its trousers down around its ankles and holding a flaming paper bag filled with dog shit.

      Posted by 13times on 2006 02 22 at 04:19 PM • permalink

 

    1. Hmmm.

      I think the problem is that the Bush administration was surprised by the rather overblown revolt by right-wing bloggers and the grandstanding GOP members of Congress.

      Posted by memomachine on 2006 02 22 at 04:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. #19—13times:

      You might have a point, except that DP World announced its first bid for P&O on November 29, 2005, and submitted its final and winning bid on January 29, 2006.

      Politicians started making noises around February 17, because a joint venture partner in Miami sued over an alleged contract violation.

      Making an event out of a non-event—when it can be used to bludgeon the Bush Administration—appears to be the only journalistic weapon in the MSM’s arsenal.

      The opposition must be grasping for straws, when supporters of the administration are left floundering about bad PR. Are administration supporters so weak-kneed, that they don’t recognize a media-fed “fake, but accurate” story when they see one.

      What’s your excuse?

      Posted by Forbes on 2006 02 22 at 04:34 PM • permalink

 

    1. Thanks Ed and Forbes for the first solid information I’ve seen on what this is about.

      My initial reaction was the same as most others: WTF!?! But the more I learn about it, the less concerned I am.

      Posted by tim maguire on 2006 02 22 at 05:07 PM • permalink

 

    1. At least via comments we can be informed by any who have an understanding and care to set the story right.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 02 22 at 05:43 PM • permalink

 

    1. One thing I do know is this: The Bush PR team is continually caught flat footed, its trousers down around its ankles and holding a flaming paper bag filled with dog shit.

      No.  As Forbes points out, this was out in the open for months.  The spin started when someone decided they didn’t like DP World getting the contract.  For whatever reason.

      The PR team of all those screeching and spitting Congresscritters are the ones holding the burning bag.  And, quite frankly, Michelle Malkin light the bag on fire.  Which is bizarre, she’s usually more level headed than this.

      It’s a non-issue, folks.  MoveOn, please.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 02 22 at 05:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. I don’t really see how cozying up to a nation that would be instrumental in dealing with Iran would be bad for national security.

      Posted by aaron_ on 2006 02 22 at 05:54 PM • permalink

 

    1. What’s your excuse

      I plead ignorance on the subject.

      If the Bush PR team was so effective, why has Michelle Malkin joined the media-fed “fake, but accurate” MSM cabal.

      Why has Rush Limbaugh been spinning in favour of the administration while Sean Hannidy has been spinning against the administration. The bloody right wing talk show hosts can’t even get on the same page and you expect regular people to speak authoritatively on a subject we never think about.

      Burning bag indeed.

      Posted by 13times on 2006 02 22 at 06:51 PM • permalink

 

    1. Peter Boston 6, Daddy Dave 7, El Cid 11, Ed 14, Forbes 15, and T.R.JeffS 18: THANK YOU for knowing what the hell you’re talking about.
      Especially thank you for framing the question in terms of what “DPW from UAE” is, and does, versus in terms of what “the Arabs” are, and do.
      Monroe Doctrine 1, Paco 3, El Cid 11 again, RebeccaH 13, and Tim Maguire 22: THANK you for having the intellectual integrity and curiosity to actually ask questions and digest answers, instead of declaiming a buncha pre-digested talking points.

      Bah, I can’t believe I’ve said this many nice things in this brief a time!  I need to go visit DU-mberground and re-adjust my malicious attitude.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 02 22 at 06:53 PM • permalink

 

    1. Thanks for the clarifications.  It seemed like alarming news to me, but I didn’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing as I had no idea how ports actually operate.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 02 22 at 06:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. How’s this for spin

      Posted by aaron_ on 2006 02 22 at 07:01 PM • permalink

 

    1. Ed’s and Forbes’ comments (#s 14 &15;) seem pretty informative. What is clear is that few people actually have any understanding of how the intricate global economy of today actually operates. I at least know I’m ignorant, and don’t spout off. But many opiners on the right and left wing seem to be going into Harriet-Miers-level hysterics about this on what seems to be very little evidence, and most of it coming from the ignorant mouthpieces in the snooze media. I always take everything, including weather reports, that issues from the organs of the professional news media with a grain of salt. Remember, these are the people who are trying to turn a war we are winning into one we are losing, reported the Dreaded Afghan Winter, the Iraq Quagmire, regularly twist military successes into disasters because there were casualties, seem astonished that bullets pierce flesh, and so on.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 02 22 at 07:07 PM • permalink

 

    1. #30-Andrea, thanks.

      #26-13times, not picking on you, but Malkin and Hanity are not reason why I’m a member of the VRWC & RWDB, nor is Rushbo a reason either.

      That some people cannot do homework is the reason I love the web. There’s a web site for the Port Authority, and all these other players. You do not have to rely upon talking heads—right or left.

      And OK, I’ll admit a little ocupational advantage—I was an investor in P&O several years ago when they were disposing of their Princess cruise lines (Yes, the Love Boat!), so I’ve been familiar with their various businesses for some time. But still, I had to go refresh my memory—do a web search—because the reports all sounded so wrong.

      This stuff is easy to find out—the media has gotten it wrong all along—including the WSJ who today characterized it as an “Arab-owned company to run six major seaports”. Wrong.

      That the White House needs to get out in front of the media getting the story wrong is an impossible task and an unrealistic expectation, IMO.

      There may be reasons to look at this transaction with a jaundiced eye, but I haven’t heard any concerns that aren’t based upon the faulty assumption that a foreign company is “running” or “operating” our ports.

      The truth is, there are several foreign and domestic companies that operate in our seaports—just as is the case at our airports. Seafaring countries tend to dominate the shipping business, just as a country with a large land mass—like the US—dominates the airline industry.

      Posted by Forbes on 2006 02 22 at 08:08 PM • permalink

 

    1. “#14 & #15: Excellent points”
      Yes indeed. There is more info here than I’ve seen elsewhere.
      The response by Congresscritters to kill the deal is at best premature. I think more evaluation should have been done (according to another site, the group’s spokesman admits that after their three-week evaluation the law says a different six-week evaluation should have been done). And at the very least a short heads-up notice should have gone up the line: seems that none of these people considered that necessary.

      Not that I am in favor of the UAE getting the deal: heck, I didn’t approve of selling Rockefeller Center to the Japanese, which as a nation I trust a lot more.

      But I am not kneejerk against it to the point of refusing to hear more, nor do I think Pres. Bush is right to kneejerk with [his first] threatened veto.

      The UAE is trying to establish a stock market, and to position Moslem-style time payments as a viable alternative: to accomplish these, Dubai seems willing to pay about twenty percent above the next highest bidder. Would such considerations keep their government from messing up? Maybe. Heck, probably.

      Posted by John Anderson on 2006 02 22 at 08:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. I blame Karl Rove. Obviously things are not going well in Iraq so he has created this diversion.  The double whammy is that Hilary will come out of it looking even dopier.

      Posted by allan on 2006 02 22 at 08:48 PM • permalink

 

    1. Same thing’s happening here, and no-one gives a shit- P&O (Conaust) are the only competition to Patrick in stevedoring.

      They seem to be bailing out of the liner cargo trade completely- they just sold all their P&O Nedlloyd ships and agencies to Maersk, ironically a Danish company.

      Posted by Habib on 2006 02 22 at 08:54 PM • permalink

 

    1. BTW- previous commenters are bang-on about this being a non-security issue- the only security provided by stevedores are the gatekeepers who check in and out containers and visitors, usually sub-contracted to a local security company, and bound by whatever local laws apply to port access.

      Here (and I would imagine in the US) large infrastructure items like ports are built and owned by a port authority, and leased to an operator. Overall security is under various government agencies (customs, quarantine, immigration,federal police etc), who also licence the stevedore to operate and oversee their operations (and also require the provision of surveillance facilities, like cctv, movement sensors etc). There’s a fair bit of paranoia about ports at the moment, and the likelyhood of naughty Arabs infiltrating through the change of ownership is pretty remote- I would imagine there wouldn’t even be a change of personnel. It might even result in some efficiency savings, as the Arabs aren’t overly enamoured with closed shops and union featherbedding.

      By the logic being spouted by the Hildebeest and others, carriers such as Emirates should be barred from entry; bugger that, I get great fares from them.
      (And I don’t know of a single Arab employed by Emirates in Australia either).

      Posted by Habib on 2006 02 22 at 09:07 PM • permalink

 

    1. This was a perfect manufactured crisis for which many conservative bloggers, sadly, have fallen hook, line and sinker.

      It lets the Democrats and antiBush RINO’s talk tough about Arabs (but not the mean ones).

      If Bush responds to it, he alienates a quiet but genuine ally in the Middle East (the UAE has been hosting western militaries bases since Gulf I). Then the Dems and RINO’s can criticize his foreign policy incompetence.

      If he doesn’t respond, then they can criticize him domestically.

      If they succeed in offending the UAE, then they can deprive Bush of an important asset in the WOT that they do not support anyway.

      And they once again get to blame Bush for a Carter-era deal.

      Mike G.—So you are flat out saying never trust ANY Arabs?  If that’s the case, why not just skip the rhetoric and go right back to the Earl Warren rules of ‘41?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 02 22 at 09:15 PM • permalink

 

    1. My concern is that the US will isolate itself economically.  Many Arab countries have big money to invest, and it could be potentially damaging to the American economy if they chose to spend it elsewhere.

      Posted by gustov_deleft on 2006 02 22 at 09:23 PM • permalink

 

    1. The UAE’s the nearest thing to civilisation in the Gulf- I know some people who live there, and they (including the women) have relative freedom and can even drink booze.

      Most of the locals are too busy playing golf or shagging fugly prostitutes they’ve picked up in Soho to worry too much about jihad.

      Posted by Habib on 2006 02 22 at 09:27 PM • permalink

 

    1. BTW, they’re also the biggest investor group on the Gold Coast now the nip economy has committed seppuku- Broadbeach is full of the dishtowel and fanbelt set (and they spend a fair bit of time and money at Jupiters as well).

      Wish I had the Louis Vuitton franchise there.

      Posted by Habib on 2006 02 22 at 09:29 PM • permalink

 

    1. 27 Stoop Davy Dave

      Bah, I can’t believe I’ve said this many nice things in this brief a time!  I need to go visit DU-mberground and re-adjust my malicious attitude.

      Stoop Davy Dave…not a soul here, will tell anyone, that you are a vicious shark eating (while live) individual…LOL.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 02 22 at 09:35 PM • permalink

 

    1. Dubai Port World Homepage.

      DP World Adelaide Australia Terminal

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 02 22 at 10:14 PM • permalink

 

    1. My concern is that the US will isolate itself economically.

      Right. Is your other concern that we will run out of a fresh supply of green flying unicorns to use as taxis? Because your “concern” is about as realistic as that.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 02 22 at 10:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. Like so many others I didn’t know what to think about this deal when I heard of it.  I’m keeping an open mind but, after the WSJ editorial this morning and what I’ve read here, I don’t see any real concerns about the transfer to DPW.

      The worst thing about the deal, the one thing that really makes me doubt its wisdom, is that Jimmy Carter is in favor of it.

      Posted by Michael Lonie on 2006 02 22 at 11:48 PM • permalink

 

    1. The word that seems to pop up most in these stories is “control” as in the UAE owned company will ‘control’ the ports.  Would it have been possible to choose a more inflammatory word?

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2006 02 23 at 12:00 AM • permalink

 

    1. Andrea Harris, Administrator

      God, you’re beautiful when pissed…:). Oh wait, that line is so old, it has hair on it….let’s see….lol

      People, what should be considered is with the link I provided above TO DP World Adelaide, Oz-land Terminal…let us hear from our fellow freedom fighters, Oz. I’m sure these fine folks, would have found out rather quickly whether this company was anything other then what billed…‘they’ manage port terminals, and evidentially do that quite well.

      The have no force to protect what they manage, that protection or security is taken on by those that OWN the ports and facilities, in this case the Aussies.

      America’s turn is next. I can say with pretty much certainty, the UAE, is in this thing for the money and from what I understand they do a damn fine job.

      The latest is, the U.S. put an extra clause or two in this agreement. I believe one of the clauses (paraphrasing) that if anything gets out of kilter, we (the U.S.) get to make that part of the world, glass…(only kidding, I think).

      I seriously doubt anything will happen, other then shipping ports will be made more efficent.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 02 23 at 12:54 AM • permalink

 

    1. Many Arab countries have big money to invest, and it could be potentially damaging to the American economy if they chose to spend it elsewhere.

      Of course, investors who decide not to invest where the return on their investment would be the greatest simply out of some vague and undefinable feeling of alienation (i.e. dumb people) likely aren’t the most desirable investors to begin with. Contrary to lefty myth, simply pumping money into the economy isn’t the only requirement; you also need to have a clue what you’re trying to do with it.

      The UAE guys don’t appear to be part of the seething Arab Street that I’m sure is going to cancel their future US investment projects any day now.

      Posted by PW on 2006 02 23 at 02:05 AM • permalink

 

    1. In a perfect world, i think we would all prefer if it we controlled, maintained and operated our own vital national infrastructure, especially those bits that have links to national security in a time international unrest and uncertainty….

      but seeing we don’t live in a perfect world, i guess the point is moot….  but not sure we don’t sometimes sell off and cede to much control in our economies in the chase for a quick buck…  thats why i’m glad we have a foreign investment review board here in Oz to at least have a look if some of these deals are truly is in our best interest…

      i’ve read quite a bit of the economic theory about competitive advantage and economies of scale and all the rest…  but like many theories (eg communisism etc) they sometimes read better in books than operate in the real world….

      Posted by casanova on 2006 02 23 at 02:57 AM • permalink

 

    1. You would think by the hysteria the company was run by people who were suspected terrorists. More than half of the senior management of DP World are westerners including an ex-US Navy Officer.

      #43 Yeah, but if you are against the deal, then you are in the Hiliary Clinton camp. Do you want to be there as well?

      Posted by jayday on 2006 02 23 at 03:17 AM • permalink

 

    1. Jay, in relation to the last part of your post, i think its probably best to decide a position on an idea or concept by what you thinks are its relative merits, rather than be influenced one way or another simply by who agrees or disagrees with it…

      Posted by casanova on 2006 02 23 at 03:30 AM • permalink

 

    1. The Adelaide terminal has the best box move rate in the country.

      As someone in the industry, DP are welcome.

      Posted by Habib on 2006 02 23 at 04:26 AM • permalink

 

    1. is there any truth in the rumour that mecca cola is fermented pigs’ urine?

      Posted by KK on 2006 02 23 at 05:05 AM • permalink

 

    1. US trade policies like their army are at best amateur hour. When will the US understand that quality is meaningful?

      Posted by Astonished on 2006 02 23 at 06:33 AM • permalink

 

    1. #47 casanova.  To the contrary, in a perfect world it wouldn’t matter who owned the ports, or anything else.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2006 02 23 at 07:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. #52: I’m sure you’ll enlighten us which countries have a higher-quality army than the US. A list of countries with decent trade policies would be nice, too, because in my experience they’ve pretty much all fucked theirs up in some way, so wailing “when will the US understand?” is kind of pointless, given that nobody else does either.

      Posted by PW on 2006 02 23 at 09:36 AM • permalink

 

    1. Forbes, this isn’t about you, or your stock portfolio. Of course the Bush PR team can’t being in front of every media manufactured three second sound bite.. so stop arguing to the micro level.

      The Bush PR team sent Scott McLelland out on the Sunday talk show circuit and the lead talking point was “Mr Bush wasn’t aware of the port deal until 3 days ago”. This is how the Bush PR team decided to defend the port deal. Quibble all you like but thats what they led off with, which illustrates the Bush PR teams ability, or lack there of, to articulate a message about policy.

      Whether you like it or not, Limbaugh and Hannidy drive Bush policy forward through the great unwashed masses, If Hannidy is confused about this deal then the policy message stalls for a couple million people who listen to his show.

      Posted by 13times on 2006 02 23 at 10:21 AM • permalink

 

    1. I do have to agree with Rush Limbaugh on one thing: This sudden move to the right by Dumbocrats (who now look racist because of their unfamiliarity with national security concerns) probably is being prodded by the Longshoremen’s Union (heavy contributors to the Dummies): What’s going to happen to the “any goon can load ships” mindset if Dubai actually demands background checks before hiring?

      Posted by Challeron on 2006 02 23 at 11:18 AM • permalink

 

    1. I’m sick of people trying to decide “what this is about”.  I don’t fucking care.  Is the deal a good idea, yes or no?  It looks like yes.  Fuck Bush, butt-fuck congress.  They’re just a carnival show.

      Posted by aaron_ on 2006 02 23 at 11:56 AM • permalink

 

    1. Gustov de liar 37

      My concern is that the US will isolate itself economically.

      Your concern is that the US will keep on having the wrong leadership.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 02 23 at 12:17 PM • permalink

 

    1. Jorg 44

      The word that seems to pop up most in these stories is “control” as in the UAE owned company will ‘control’ the ports.  Would it have been possible to choose a more inflammatory word?

      Sometimes it’s not the words they leave in, but the ones they leave out.  This morning I’ve heard this story reported on my local AM-RW-commercial radio stn AND on my local FM-NPR-public radio stn, and on both sources the frikkin’ COMPANY is never named.  It’s “an Arab-owned company.”  Maybe they just don’t want to overload me with confusing information or something.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 02 23 at 12:22 PM • permalink

 

    1. #55—13times, jeez, you complained about the White House PR operation. I’m just questioning the complaint, i.e. how is the WH supposed to anticipate when the media gets the story wrong?

      Could the WH PR operation be better—sure. But if the loudest complaint concerns the PR, my response is: What’s the substance of the issue? Because if PR is all you’ve got, then there is no there, there.

      As to Limbo and Hannity, I’m sure you’ve got a point. I don’t listen to them so that’s an observation I should keep my own counsel on.

      And McConnell’s response—that you’ve quoted—was surely to isolate the President from what’s supposed to be a non-partisan inter-agency review process, so as to appear fair and have no traces of Presidential fingerprints—so the President was free from any charges of favoratism.

      Could you take a different approach and suggest the President should’ve been all over this issue? Yes. Would a different, and in your view, better answer from McConnell changed the sniping from Schumer, Hillary, et.al.? Nope.

      Talk about the micro level. This deal is tiny. The $6.8 billion is for all of P&0—it’s a global enterprise—it is not $6.8 billion for its US operations. Ports represents one-half of P&O’s business, while only 5 of its 27 terminals represents the US share of its business. So very roughly speaking, the US share of this transaction represents 10% of the deal value.

      And you think the President should be more involved?

      But then as I suggested, if more people did their own homework, rather than relying on people that don’t do any, because they’re relying on someone else—this would be the non-event it deserves to be.

      And by the way, it’s not about my stock portfolio—it’s called curiosity. You’d be amazed what you can learn on your own.

      Cheers.

      Posted by Forbes on 2006 02 23 at 08:11 PM • permalink

 

    1. Okay this thread’s pretty old now, so probably nobody will notice if I say something positive about President W.  So here goes:
      Back in the first few days after 9-11-01, W looked into a camera and said “You’re either with us or against us.”  Critics of W have spent the following four years swanning on about how that’s tooooo confrontaaaaational, then they now turn around and give us this: “You’re either with us or against us, and even if you’re with us, we’ll treat you like you’re against us.
      Even if he IS the stupidest president in U.S. history, his adversaries are still making him look pretty smart.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2006 02 26 at 02:52 PM • permalink

 

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