Hat in Hand
Karl Rove today, on the Ton y Snow show:
When asked if Bush would accept a slight delay in implementing the takeover of P&O (PO.L: Quote, Profile, Research), Rove said: "Yes, look, there are some hurdles, regulatory hurdles, that this still needs to go through on the British side as well that are going to be concluded next week.
"There's no requirement that it close, you know, immediately after that."
This issue has been demagogued to death, but if scuttled it's a small triumph for anyone who believes in labor, environmental, or human rights policies. Dubai lags far behind the world in all of them, and at some point trading partners have to be held to some kind of standard, lest we ever want to stay competitive.
As long as we're talking about port security, I invite you to read this brainstorm session I had last year about "security tariffs" paid by exporters and incentives for American-based manufacturing to lighten the load on the ports. These are some of the real problems that need to be addressed. Of course, Democrats in the Senate and House have offered countless bills designed to enhance port security, all of them rejected by the very Republicans who are now jumping all over this story. I hope Reid continues to make a push to get this storyline out there as the White House continues to slink toward reconciliation. Now is the time to offer a giant port security bill and dare anyone to vote against it. Good policy, good politics.
UPDATE: The UAE gives a helping hand:
United Arab Emirates company offered Thursday to delay part of its $6.8 billion takeover of most operations at six U.S. ports to give the Bush administration more time to convince skeptical lawmakers the deal poses no security risks.
What's another two weeks if it means 100 years of profit?