Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bush to veto any attempts blocking UAE port deal?

Bush has not issued the first damned veto since he took office over five years ago. Pork-laden spending bills? Budget-busting federal spending? Campaign finance reform bill? Prescription drug bill? Nope, no way, negative, and NOT!

However, it's reassuring to see that our leader can finally find something worth wielding his veto pen over, and that issue is...the UAE port deal. From the AP:
Brushing aside objections from Republicans and Democrats alike, President Bush endorsed the takeover of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports by a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates. He pledged to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the agreement.
I would be surprised if Congress doesn't have the votes to override his veto. Is Bush willing to issue his first veto just to watch it get overridden? Does the UAE have some kind of incriminating photos of the twins that they're holding over his head? Doesn't Congress have the constitutional right and obligation to regulate how much IF ANY money will be spent on port operations, and to whom this money can be paid?

And just what kind of a headache is this port deal causing?
Bush's veto threat didn't stop local efforts to block the deal. New Jersey's governor, Jon S. Corzine, said Tuesday the state will file lawsuits in federal and state courts opposing the agreement. Corzine, a Democrat, cited a "deep, deep feeling that this is the wrong direction for our nation to take."

A company at the Port of Miami, a subsidiary of Eller & Company Inc., sued last week to block the deal in a Florida state court. It said that under the sale, it will become an "involuntary partner" with Dubai's government and it may seek more than $10 million in damages.
Also, I've heard some folks (like A.G. Alberto Gonzales) say that this isn't about port security, but about port operations. Admittedly, I don't know (or pretend to know) much about port operations, but it seems to me that port operations and port security are very much intertwined. If operations are poorly executed or supervised, then aren't port security threats a possibility?