Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Because I Said So"
King George was adamant this afternoon that the deal turning over security operations for six major American ports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates is going through, and that if Congress passes a bill stopping it, he'll veto it.

There are several surprising aspects to this development:

1. The strongly bipartisan nature of the collective WTF that emerged when this deal was announced. As eminent a Bush-humper as Bill Frist announced today he was prepared to introduce a bill that would hold up approval of the deal. (This may be the first time Frist and Hillary Clinton have agreed on anything, including what to order for lunch.)

2. That Bush threatened to veto any bill interfering with the deal. He said something half-coherent about people holding a Middle Eastern company to different standards than a "Great British" company, but his vehemence about this deal can't be for reasons of simple fairness alone. Bush has never vetoed anything in five years--it's odd that this would be the thing on which he's most willing to go to the mat. Every investigative reporter in the country ought to commence with the digging--there's clearly more to this deal than meets the eye. One wonders what the government of the UAE got in exchange for Bush's approval of this deal, or who stands to make some phenomenal amount of money on it.

3. That Bush deigned to threaten a veto at all. If he's got the unlimited powers he claims to have, he could declare it a fait accompli, and have Bill Frist beheaded for good measure.

When the first few Repugs started objecting to the deal, I was reminded of the bipartisan disapproval of the warrantless wiretaps when that story broke just before Christmas--and how now, two months later, arms have been twisted and the wavering Repugs have come to Jesus. The difference here is that it's Repug governors and high-profile wingnuts who are making some of the loudest objections this time. Does any of that sound familiar? So the question has to be: Is this deal going through come hell or high water, as King George claims, or is it Harriet Miers all over again?

Take it up in the comments, because I'm going on hiatus for a few days. If Tom Herbst has anything interesting on his mind, there will be new posts here--otherwise I don't expect to be back doing business at this stand until Sunday or Monday, although there may be a new post or two at The Hits Just Keep On Comin'.

Before I hit the highway, here's the biggest laugh I've had in days. Enjoy.

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