Posts filed under 'Dubai Ports World'

(Um… What?)^2: Froomkin Edition

Two eye-catching and mind-bending items in today’s White House Briefing:

Caroline Daniel writes in the Financial Times: “President George W. Bush yesterday stepped up his rhetoric about US dependence on oil from the Middle East, warning about the dangers of being dependent on countries where ‘tyrants control the spigots’.”

What about letting them control our ports? Is that okay? Or does this only apply to bad Arab countries, like… Saudi Arabia?

“The [New Delhi Sheraton] has just received a brief from the White House on what President Bush likes on his dining table. ‘President Bush loves Indian food and what’s more he knows it very well. He likes flavoured Indian food but does not like it too spicy, greasy or oily. Chicken and lamb are his favourites and he loves kebabs,’ says Executive Chef Amit Chaudhary. . . .

” ‘We are told he spent some two months in the Capital in his younger days and he still recalls the food he had here with great relish. Our attempt will be to make the food here a good memory for him for years to come.’ ”

Wait — Bush spent two months in New Delhi in his youth? Is that for real? When? What was he doing?

Are they talking about the right capital? Or maybe he meant “the new deli” down the street from the Alabama campaign offices he was sort of working at while he was not participating in the Air National Guard? Anyway, I was pretty sure the sum total of Bush’s pre-White House furrin travel was Mexico and maybe one trip to Europe. Who knew?

February 28th, 2006 at 05:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Dubai Ports World,Politics,Wankers

Asshole Projection

I’m seconding Atrios seconding Yglesias.

The problem with the ports deal is not the “A” in “UAE”, it’s the “OBL BFF” in “UAE”.

For those of you who don’t speak Abbrevish, this is not about “you can’t trust the Arabs,” at least not from our side of the spectrum. It’s about “you can’t trust a country whose royal family diplomatically recognized the Taliban, and hung out with Osama bin Laden, and generally seems to be a pretty cozy staging ground for terrorists.” Any attempts to paint our objections as xenophobic are disingenuous and dishonest.

But this sort of thing is one of the Republicans’ favorite tricks. Democrats are “racist” for opposing the judicial nominations of Clarence Thomas and Janice Rogers Brown, or for pointing out that Condi is an incompetent liar, or for “dishonoring” Coretta Scott King’s memorial service by being mean to our poor resolute president.

Or “sexist” for opposing Harriet Miers (who was sunk by Republicans, by the way).

Or “homophobic” for saying that a male prostitute with a fake name and no journalistic credentials has no place in the White House press corps.

For the Republicans, “projection” isn’t a psychological condition; it’s a deliberate strategy.

2 comments February 24th, 2006 at 05:44pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Dubai Ports World,Favorites,Politics,Racism,Republicans,Sexism,Teh Gay,Wankers


Media Matters (by way of Atrios) calls out Russert for flogging the Republican spin that the Democrats are soft on national security, and are just trying to score cheap political points by objecting to the sellout of America’s ports to UAOBLBFFE:

During the interview, Russert asserted that Democrats are acting on what “they have learned from the Bush administration” about the need for a “post-September 11th mentality,” and by objecting to the DPW deal, they are “playing it.” He said further, “Democrats believe they can look tough on national security” by opposing the current port deal.


However, in suggesting that Democrats have now found a national security issue they can use for political gain, Russert ignored the fact that, for the past several years, Democrats have stressed the need for greater port security and have urged Congress and the administration to act….

Furthermore, most Republicans in Congress have resisted Democrats’ efforts to secure U.S. ports. As the Senate Democratic Policy Committee has documented, since 9-11, Senate Republicans have voted to defeat Democratic measures to increase funding for port security. For example, Schumer’s amendment to the 2004 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill to provide $70 million for research and development to stop nuclear materials from entering U.S. ports was defeated by a 51-45 near-party-line vote. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) introduced an amendment to the same bill that would have provided $100 million in port and maritime security grants. The Republican Senate rejected Byrd’s measure by a near party-line vote of 51-45. Republicans also defeated former Sen. Ernest Hollings’s (D-SC) amendment to the 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which would have provided $300 million in maritime security grants, by a 50-48 largely party-line vote. In addition, for the 2003 War Supplemental Appropriations bill, Hollings’s amendment to increase port security funding by $1 billion was defeated by a 52-47 vote largely along party lines.

And as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has noted, many of the Senate Republicans now calling for the Bush administration to revoke the DPW port deal have continually voted against Democratic attempts to strengthen port security in the United States.

I know it’s probably too much to hope for, but this is the kind of thing the Democrats need to make hay on come November and 2008. Yes, the Republicans have a prohibitive majority and can push through (or block) almost anything they want, but the Democrats have to hold them electorally accountable for those votes. And since they were all basically party-line votes against port security, that means a whole lot of incumbent Republicans are vulnerable on this.

I want to see Democratic candidates taking on Republican incumbents with ad campaigns highlighting all the Republican’s votes against national security and questioning whether the Republicans are really keeping the country safe. And if the Republican has accused Democrats of posturing, that’s even better: bracket the vote information with “Joe Republican says Democrats are using the ports controversy to pretend they’re tough on national security. [insert voting history here] Now who’s pretending?”

Of course, calling Republicans weak on security would be mean and impolite, so it’ll probably never happen. But I thought I’d throw some free advice out there anyway, just in case someone wants to display some ballitude.

Look, if the Republicans want to fuck up the country and leave us exposed to terrorists, fine, there’s not much Democrats can do. But make them own it.

February 23rd, 2006 at 08:20pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Dubai Ports World,Favorites,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

You’ve Got It All Backwards!

No, no, no! You’re supposed to give the country away to rich old white guys, and shoot Arabs in the face!

Jesus, how many times do I have to explain this to you people???

6 comments February 22nd, 2006 at 11:22pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Cheney,Dubai Ports World,Favorites,Politics,Wankers


So, not long after reading about President Bush’s staunch defense of the corporations of the United Arab Emirates as plucky entrepreneurs who deserve the same opportunities as Great Britain, and strongly implies that it’s the forces of racism and intolerance holding them back, I see this little gem in today’s White House Briefing OPINION column, in reference to Al Gore’s denunciation of post-9/11 American abuses against the Arab world in (gasp!)… Saudi Arabia:

The comments stirred an angry reaction on the right and in the blogosphere, and also drew a rebuke from Peter Wehner, director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, which was e-mailed to reporters and others Tuesday. “It is noteworthy that Mr. Gore would travel to Saudi Arabia — a repressive society which is the home of Osama bin Laden and most of the terrorists who executed the worst attack on the American homeland in our history — to criticize (inaccurately) our government’s response to that attack.”

Umm… so which is it? Are Arab nations the underdog standardbearers of free enterprise, swimming against the tide of racism and paranoia, or are they hateful enemies of democracy who want to destroy us for our freedoms?

For me personally, there’s not a whole lot of difference between Saudi Arabia and UAE. I think they’re both unreliable and faithless “allies,” but in terms of where they stand with BushCo, I’m pretty sure the country that got slammed is far more favored and influential. As Froomkin helpfully reminds us:

But doesn’t the White House’s new get-tough rhetoric on Saudia Arabia clash somewhat with this memorable photo of Bush holding Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah’s hand as the two men walked through a field of bluebonnets at Bush’s Crawford ranch last spring?

Mwahahahaha… You just can’t make this shit up.

9 comments February 21st, 2006 at 05:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Dubai Ports World,Favorites,Politics,Wankers

Bush Takes A Principled Stand In Favor Of Terrorism

So much for the ignorance defense…

President Bush said Tuesday that the deal allowing an Arab company to take over six major U.S. seaports should go forward and that he would veto any congressional effort to stop it.

“After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward,” Bush told reporters who had traveled with him on Air Force One to Washington. “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 Great British company. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, ‘We’ll treat you fairly.’ “

*steps up*

Because Great Britain is not a terrorist breeding ground, and ports and military shipments are the kind of things you don’t want to let terrorists anywhere near, ever.

(“Great British”??? Jesus wept.)

But hey, George, if that’s where you want to draw your line in the sand, if you want to use your first-ever veto to facilitate terrorist access to our major ports and shipments of military supplies, please, you just go right ahead. If we’re really lucky, your veto gets overruled, and you get a double whammy: You reveal the insincerity of your war on terror for all to see, and you get publicly emasculated by your own tame Republican Congress (and maybe one less American city gets slagged by a container nuke, which, contrary to popular belief, we liberals are not in favor of).

1 comment February 21st, 2006 at 04:42pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Dubai Ports World,Favorites,Politics,Wankers

You’re Doin’ A Heckuva Job, Snowy!


The Dubai firm that won Bush administration backing to run six U.S. ports has at least two ties to the White House.

One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, whose agency heads the federal panel that signed off on the $6.8 billion sale of an English company to government-owned Dubai Ports World – giving it control of Manhattan’s cruise ship terminal and Newark’s container port.

Snow was chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to DP World for $1.15 billion in 2004, the year after Snow left for President Bush’s cabinet.

The other connection is David Sanborn, who runs DP World’s European and Latin American operations and was tapped by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.


The Daily News has learned that lawmakers also want to know if a detailed 45-day probe should have been conducted instead of one that lasted no more than 25 days.

According to a 1993 congressional measure, the longer review is mandated when the company is owned by a foreign government and the purchase “could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the U.S. that could affect the national security of the U.S.”

No, fast-tracking the turning over of port control to a terrorist country isn’t fishy at all; no reason this should impact Bush’s anti-terror bona fides at all, right? This new whiff of complicity and favoritism makes it even more, well, true to form.

But why am I reading about this in the NY Daily News and not the NY Times?

1 comment February 21st, 2006 at 09:06am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Dubai Ports World,Politics,Wankers

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