5 thoughts on “Bush’s Approval Ratings Down to 33% – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. On face value I know you are frustrated about the American public’s attitude – but there’s no doubt as to what the cause of this and the fact that this translate into further disapproval for the president.

    You reap what you sow and for the past five years the Karl Rove strategy has essentially been to motivate the American people by fear of Arabs (and gays). This from a president who doesn’t even understand that Pakistan isn’t an Arab country…

    I don’t see how we can except meaningful discussion and undestanding by a public used to 5-second sound bites when the framing of the debate is “support the troops” and dissent is equated with treason. Where a speech is simply finding words to fil-in between saying “September 11” over and over again. It only goes to reason that the meme that develops is “You can’t trust Arabs”

    When it comes to trying to support their business interests they have learned the hard way – not just that you can’t have it both ways – but that it will come back and bite them in the ass.

  2. Richard, I so admire the well-reasoned quality of your posts, but object to being lumped in with a grouped stereotyped as “hypocritical” because I,too, opposed the Dubai deal. My opposition was to the secretiveness of it, the typical Bush White House refusal to instigate the 45-day period for Congress to review the arrangement, and most importantly for me, the special agreement that permits DPW to keep its business records off-shore and inaccessible from discovery and subpoenas in law suits that might arise from its operations. additionally, I haven’t seen evidence that the deal truly enhances US port security, in spite of DPW’s lauded record and promises to examine shipments at ports of departure before they reach US shores.

    In short, though xenophopic bigotry has certainly played a role in this story, there are other, more principled reasons for having remained skeptical as it unfolded and for remaining ambivalent about the outcome now.

  3. CS: I too appreciate your long history of readership of this blog & the supportive comments you’ve published here. But we’re going to just have to agree to disagree about this one.

    I wouldn’t characterize your particular arguments as hypocritical, but the lion’s share of the debate coming from those who oppose the deal IS hypocritical, xenophobic, poorly reasoned, and just plain ill-informed.

    My opposition was to the secretiveness of it, the typical Bush White House refusal to instigate the 45-day period for Congress to review the arrangement, and most importantly for me, the special agreement that permits DPW to keep its business records off-shore and inaccessible from discovery and subpoenas in law suits that might arise from its operations. additionally, I haven’t seen evidence that the deal truly enhances US port security,

    First, the deal was not ‘secretive’ & I’m not sure why you believe it was. Second, the foreign investment committee did not “refuse” the 45-day review period. The review was not mandatory. It is generally only activated if there is a known security issue that deserves vetting. The Committee that oversaw this decision didn’t feel this deal justified such a review. And once the firestorm erupted it was entirely willing to do so and DPW encouraged it to do so. SO I don’t see this part of yr argument as persuasive.

    And the review is not meant to allow Congress to “review the arrangement.” It’s meant to allow the Committee to review the arrangement, call for more documentation, testimony, etc. It is an absolutely horrible idea for Congress to review all foreign investment deals which may involve issues that Congress deems relevant for review. Where does such oversight stop? And who in Congress determines whether Congressional review is warranted? Do you really believe it’s Congress’ job to oversee foreign trade in this manner? I maintain that this is a slam dunk guarantee for politicizing trade so that any grandstanding pol can get on his pedestal and make a stink about whatever particular deal happens to eating at him that particular day or week or month. I know a few issues I’d rather my Congress member to deal with ahead of this sort of time waster.

    And besides, if you say the lack of a 45 day review irked you, then DPW’s almost immediate call for such a review should have satisfied this objection of yours.

    I don’t know much about the issue of what you call the “special agreement” so I can’t comment knowledgeably about it. But I plan on asking several other bloggers about their thoughts on this issue & I may reply here if I learn anything on this score. DPW expressed a willingness to review and change any aspect of its deal that bothered Congress so I’m sure it would’ve been willing to review & amend this portion of the deal had Congress allowed the deal to progress that far (which it didn’t).

    In your linking of DPW and port security you continue yet another ill-informed thread from the ports deal opponents. Managers of port facilities do not perform “port security.” They unload cargo (increasingly using heavy-duty equipment which has little contact with human hands) and do paperwork. The federal government alone is responsible for security. If what you’re looking for is enhanced port security, it’s wrong to expect this from DPW. It’s entirely appropriate to demand this of the Coast Guard & Homeland Security for whom it is their responsibility.

    And even if DPW WAS responsible for such security why would you expect it to prove that its management of the ports would enhance security? Opponents of the deal argue (wrongly) that it would endanger security. But I’ve never heard anyone argue against the deal because DPW would not enhance it.

  4. Dan: I’m with you on that. There’s not doubt that the sentiments of many of those opposed to the deal is in complete accord with the drumbeat of fear sounded for the past 4 yrs by Rove, Cheney & Bush. You can’t tell people for 4 yrs. that “Islamic fanatics” want to annihilate us w/o something like this resulting. I’m in no way saying that they’re not at fault in this situation. It’s just that they had the preponderance of right on their side for this one particular time.

  5. Richard — Yes, DPW and the Committee’s willingness to initiate the review process did satisfy me; what I didn’t like was the attempt to slide by without it. Here is the link to the article about the “secret agreement” that I have referred to in past comments, sorry not to have supplied it earlier.

    I do understand what you’re saying about the misleading links between DPW operations and port security. My issue is that BushCo isn’t paying enough attention to our port security, not that DPW is an inherent risk to it.

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