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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Much More On Ports Today

There is a lot of interesting stuff in the media today about the Dubai Ports World issue. First off, a House Committee voted 62-2 to block the deal, setting up a showdown with the President over his threatened veto of the deal. However, that vote wasn't exactly what it seems, or what the media is making it out to be.

You see, it wasn't a standalone bill to block the deal. Instead, the committee voted to attach a rider to a bill that funds operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and hurricane relief money for the Gulf coast.

To me this a chicken (expletive) way of doing business. If the House or Senate wants to block the deal, introduce actual legislation to do it, don't attach riders to other bills, so that you get to make political hay either way. In fact, crap like this is exactly why we need some sort of line item veto for the President.

The second thing is the news is something that as a conservative I should be embarrassed to admit agreeing with. Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor has an outstanding and informative piece about our ports up at SFGate.Com. If foreignownership of terminals scares you, don't read it.
About 80 percent of American ports are already run by foreign companies. These companies usually hire Americans to do the day-to-day management. After all, global companies want the best talent they can get. Dubai Port World's chief operating officer is Edward Bilkey, who is an American. Its former American executive, David Sanborn, was just nominated to be U.S. Maritime Administrator.

With the exception of his last paragraph and a half, I agree whole heartedly with him. On his issues with paying for port security, I still say kill the "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska, and cover the cost of port security more firmly. There is more than enough pork in our budget to pay for Iraq, Afghanistan and security at our ports.

The third thing I found interesting was in the Baltimore Sun, which details why we probably couldn't find a US buyer for these terminal operations. The biggest US operator in the world most likely can't afford to by just the North American operations of P&O!

It also details why the direction congress is heading on this is wrong, and why. Again, it's must read stuff from folks familiar with the issues, and the operations, which is something they make glaringly clear our Congress isn't.

Little Miss Chatterbox has also weighed in on the issue.

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7Comments:

Blogger randyjgirard said...

I am glad to find people out there isn't much of a reason for this deal not to go through ..

this debate isn't about business or security ..

it's about politics

poor politics at that

9:11 PM  
Blogger Old Sgt said...

I find it shameful for these "elected officials" to put the military and the hurricane victims in such harm. To attach a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" amendment to this is absolutely disgraceful. I agree, either put forth legislation dealing with the port deal or leave it alone, don't try to squeeze those that NEED the money just so you can get your way. a 'POX on both houses.

How do you think they would like it if we, the people, decided to tell Congress that they could no longer pass rasies for themselves unless it recieved approval from the American People. After all they do work for us, or are suppose to anyway.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Thanks for the link and very well said.

I also found an article in the Herald Tribune (http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/02/24/business/usports.php) in responding to some of the people in my comments section. It made similar points to the Baltimore Sun article.

And my thought is now if Congress blocks this to score political points what company is going to replace it? From my research I think the 2nd most competitive company was one owned by the Singapore government with no American employees. How much sense does that make? I think Congress needs to quit having a knee-jerk reaction to this and not play on the fears of the American people and instead educate them.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Randy, with some of the congress folks I think it started out as being misinformed, but then to not look silly backing down it's now become bad politics.

Old Sgt. While I generally disagree with the idea of a "nationwide referendum" I'd agree with one to approve congressional pay raises :)

LMC, that's been a big point of mine all along. Our representatives are screaming about a UAE company, but the truth is, it would probably be some other non-American company if they cause this to fall through.

3:51 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

I think we should have Dubai tkae over the military as well. They are Muslim, so maybe they could get a handle on Iraq.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Tim, go back and read the articles I referenced, then come back and make a sensible comment. But don't feel bad, the xenophobes appear to have one, and DPW is going to sell off the US assets in the deal.

Now, will I see you screaming to get the Chinese Government owned terminal operators out of the US?

1:39 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

That was a sensible comment. Since everything in the US (including our ports,factories and jobs) are for sale, why not sell them the military as well? If only we could outsource the running of the White house (But wait, China has already bought that, too!They are the LARGEST holder of US Govt. bonds). Capitalism and national security do not always have the same interests at heart. believe Marx (maybe Lenin) said that the Capitalists will sell us the rope that we use to hang them with.

If we get into a bigger war, we'd better order our planes and guns ahead of time, since the steel and electronics are all made in China now.

I'm trying to remember the last time a Chinese crashed a plane into one of our buildings. They are way smarter. They will just BUY our country. It's easier than having a war to take it over.

2:43 PM  

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