Wednesday, March 08, 2006



A few weeks ago I was musing on how Trent Lott's problem with a greedy crooked Republican insurance company put him-- at least for a moment-- on the side of his actual constituents. The idea is that Trent's concerns and interests and those of the citizens of Mississippi for whom he supposedly works (rather than the mega-corporations whose bidding he is always doing) were aligned. Looks like the former (and still bitter) Senate Majority Leader also feels aligned with those of his who know better than to trust a greed-driven looter like Bush with something as important as National Security. According to recent a story in the right-wing Moonie-owned-and-operated WASHINGTON TIMES, Lott warned the White House, "Don't threaten me like that again. It doesn't make a difference if you're a Republican or a Democrat. Don't put your fist in my face. Where I'm from, we're willing to fight back."

What caused the usually docile down-the-line, rubber-stampin' Lott to break out? It was Bush's silly, childish and petulant remark that he'd veto any bill Congress tried to pass to keep him from selling American ports to his family's Arab business partners. Many senators actually took this incredibly weak, stupid remark as a personal affront and they, unlike the ignorant Bush, know what the word "override" means. Most didn't react as harshly as Lott, who said, according to the Moonie paper, "OK, big boy, I'll just vote to override your veto."

Now there are a couple of different scenarios that might be at work here. The most paranoid is that Rove set this whole thing up to help Republican legislators, who are, after all, up for re-election in less than 8 months, seem to distance themselves from a grotesquely unpopular president who is promising to be not just an albatross but an anchor around the whole Republican caucus' chances to retain their seats. This proposal is so patently absurd and so politically tone-deaf that it almost seems too tailor-made for the task. I mean listen to the 100% rubber stampers squawking like they give a damn about something other than their ability to trade away the country to lobbyists. Normally docile, lock-step Republican hacks from Elton Gallegly to Duncan Hunter to Jerry Lewis to Mark Foley are putting on their hysteria masks and calling press conferences to show the voters back home that they're not lettin' no bomb-throwin' A-rabs take over our coasts.

A less unlikely scenario is that Rove didn't plan this at all but that Republican congressmen saw their
opportunity and-- aware of their vulnerabilities after 5 years of rubber stamping every unpopular proposal that Bush and the extremist coterie around him have shoved down their throats-- pounced. Bush is, after all, not just a lame duck, but a weak, terminally unpopular lame duck.

An unfortunate-- and very likely-- corollary to the second scenario is that if push comes to shove, the rubber stampers can get behind some kind of fake "compromise" that allows the Bush family and associates to reap the profits from the deal while still making it look to people not paying close attention that the congressloons stood up to Bush for the endangered interests of A-rab bashing national security.

An early test of these theories can come as early as next week-- though I doubt it will. According to THE DEMOCRATIC DAILY Blog, Jerry Lewis, the as yet unindicted crooked chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, no doubt trying to make the citizens of his backward, landlocked district think he's not a total Bush rubber stamp, "will attach legislation to block the deal today to a must-pass emergency spending bill funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." [It already passed-- 62-2!-- in his committee.] A House vote on the measure next week will set up a direct confrontation with President Bush, who sternly vowed to veto any bill delaying or stopping Dubai Ports World’s purchase of London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steamship Co." And after that, the Senate, which, despite Lott's hollow threats, is more subservient to BushCo, must take up the issue-- which the GOP leaders want to avoid.


Today The NEW YORK TIMES, whose editorial page is where one normally reads Lucian Truscott IV, decided to not run the inside scoop on why Bush is willing to endanger our national security-- and GOP solidarity and even electoral dominance-- for his much-loathed Dubai/ports deal. Fortunately, Digby ran Truscott's piece as a guest blog. He examines the connections between Bush family consigliere James Baker, Robert Kimmet and Robert Zoelick and why these connections might be at the crux of the Dubai port deal. Click the link and read this one; VERY enlightening!


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