Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Clinton/Menedez layout the BS

They're American ports
By SENS. HILLARY CLINTON & ROBERT MENENDEZ



Oh my... a BYLINE! Hopefully this could be a start to an alternative career for these two, but I won't hold my breath that either shall exit the cushy gig of Congressmen/women anytime soon.

But geez... what a load of BS is coming thru in this one. To have two such woefully, ill-informed types making decisions for me just makes my eyes glaze over.

The Bush administration has ducked this debate by disingenuously claiming that there is no difference between the current port operator, a British company, and Dubai Ports World, which is owned by the government of Dubai. But that claim is simply wrong on its face. There is a vast difference between a publicly traded foreign company that answers to shareholders and a state-owned one that answers to a foreign government.

Publicly traded companies exist for one reason, to make money for their shareholders. And every action they take is designed to further that goal.

Nations, however, act for a variety of reasons - in some cases to make money through state-owned companies, and in other cases to project power, secure strategic interests or defend their own borders.



Perhaps the handlers for these two ought to ramp them up to speed to reality. The financing of the DP World deal will be thru Sharia compliant bonds ... uh, that's SHAREholders, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Menendez. And bonds with a projected, enviable return, I might add.

That is why we have introduced legislation to ban companies owned by foreign governments from controlling operations at U.S. ports. Our ports are at the front lines of our homeland defense, and despite the administration's claims to the contrary, terminal operators play a key role.



OH, I can't wait for this one, and the ensuing chaos of port ops contractors that will ensue. More on that in a jiff.... Meanwhile, Hubby Bill has been subtlely stumping for his wife's impending "no fur-in-ner's" bill.

Former President Bill Clinton weighed in on the port security controversy Tuesday, saying the United States should consider whether it should have more control over its ports.

snip

Clinton said the administration should use the 45 days to decide whether Americans should have more control of their ports or whether port security needs to be upgraded under foreign management.



This quiet nod to his wife's proposal is overshadowed by a difference of opinion on the UAE itself.

Speaking to reporters after addressing the National Governors Association, Clinton said he is a "huge fan" of the government of Dubai, a United Arab Emirates state whose maritime company is poised to take over some operations at six major U.S. ports.

snip

"I don't think there is any question that this (state-owned Dubai Ports World) is a reputable company," Clinton said. "And there is no question that the United Arab Emirates is a good ally of America. But all of us are feeling that we want to maintain the maximum control we can over our national security. This is one area where we have really failed."




But but but BILL! Everyone's whining about their "reputable" status because they're Arab! And even more are questioning that the UAE *is* a good ally. Where have you been, Bubba? Too busy interviewing interns? (dang that library/intern opening was a funny story... sure hope Bill has a good sense of humor about it all...)

Which brings us to the Clinton/Menendez proposed legislation and it's unintended consequences. If there is a "vast" different between foreign gov't held or controllled companies and private companies, what will happen with Neptune Orient Lines and the other Singaporean port ops currently holding leases for US Ports? They are all under total, or majority control of Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore govt. And how 'bout those Hong Kong gov't held or controlled port ops on the West Coast?

Here's another bad piece of legislation by these bozos - a bill based on emotion and not data. Just like they aren't thoroughly in the know on the sale and the review of such, they also aren't in the know about who the port operators in the US are, and just how many foreign contractors they'll be putting out of business in one fell swoop.

Perfect example? Barbara Boxer, who evidently hasn't a clue that she already has foreign government owned port operators in her own back yard. Being clueless is giving Ms. Boxer the benefit of the doubt. The only other option is her absolute disconnect and stupidity. I suspect she'd prefer clueless.

So the question next to ask of these wizards is... are they planning on taking all these companies out simultaneously? My... so many job occupancies and so few companies to fill them.... That'll increase our security at the ports, not to mention truly screw up the movement of cargo.

Or is the legislation aimed at taking out only the Arabs? 'Cause boy, I want to see the wording on this one when they finally add two and two... assuming, of course, they are capable of that.

The wrap up is a hoot to anyone who's been around for at least 15 years, and is capable of reading.

Ironically, it is the Bush administration's failure to adequately secure our ports that has placed the terminal operators in such a key security role. Only 5% of containers that come through our ports are inspected, and security experts have long warned that federal resources for port security are woefully inadequate.

This administration has often accused people who disagree with it of having a "pre-9/11 mentality." But by first failing to adequately secure our ports and now approving the sale of operations at those ports to a company controlled by a foreign government, it is the administration itself which has put this nation dangerously at risk.



Uh ahem.... tsk tsk. This from a former First Lady, whom we all know had more than a few fingers in her husband's pie? Could it be that she believes the port security, somewhat improved but far from all it "could be" under the current administration, is a different animal than port security under her husband's administration... AND previous ones, including Bush Sr?

Contrary to Ms. Clinton's illusions of life, the WOT and our inadequate port security did not start with Bush's inauguration. Her own reign of terror... er.... power did more than their fair share of ignoring the increasing terrorist threat, leading to the culmination on 911. And ports is a part of that deal. There's ample blame to go around, and Ms. Clinton is not immune.

But audacity is not something Clinton lacks. Instead she depends on short memories and poor currrent events education to the masses.

And judging by the continued bru-haha on this deal, and the deliberate misinformation campaign by both Congress and the media being parroted by so many, it just may work. What is it with people who absolutely refuses to incorporate new information into their opinions? And why do so many allow emotions to limit their education and vision?

Cast blame all you wish, Ms. Clinton. But there's a few of us out here that you cannot fool.


4 comments:

TrekMedic251 said...

I find it exceedingly funny that Hillary decries the sale of American ports to foreign interests now, when her husband sold most of our West Coast ports to an even bigger military threat - China! - during his administration.

Talk about double standards!

MataHarley said...

Yup.... banking on American public stupidity, she is.

Rastus said...

Hey, look at the bright side. That chaos might be just the ticket for shutting down the torrent of imports that comprise our huge imbalance of foreign trade. Since it will be easier to ship OUT than in, maybe it's the inadvertent backdoor solution to our foreign debt situation! There's always a silver lining. ;p

MataHarley said...

From your lips to the commerce gods ears, Rastus. I won't hold my breath, mind you. Can't see reversing the global economy trend. But sure would be nice.....