Thursday, March 16, 2006

How to Strike Out Standing 

Via our illustrious colleague Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake, a pearl of wisdom from the genteel and mannerly Sen. Evan Bayh, explaining why he simply cannot support, mustn't support, dares not even dream of supporting the Feingold censure motion:
But the first thing Democrats need to do, Bayh said, is take Republicans on in an area they've dominated: national security.

"It's a threshold issue for us, and it's a threshold issue for America," Bayh said. "People aren't going to trust us with anything else if we first can't convince them to trust us with their lives."
Evan. Buddy. How hard can it be? When they hand you the baseball bat and pitch a fat lazy floater right over the center of the plate, why not take a fucking swing at it?
Moments ago, the [Republican-controlled] House of Representatives narrowly defeated an amendment proposed by Rep. Martin Sabo (D-MN) that would have provided $1.25 billion in desperately needed funding for port security and disaster preparedness. The Sabo amendment included:

  • $300 million to enable U.S. customs agents to inspect high-risk containers at all 140 overseas ports that ship directly to the United States. Current funding only allows U.S. customs agents to operate at 43 of these ports.

  • $400 million to place radiation monitors at all U.S. ports of entry. Currently, less than half of U.S. ports have radiation monitors.

  • $300 million to provide backup emergency communications equipment for the Gulf Coast.
And just in case the bat isn't big enough, Dubai Ports World is still shopping for an acceptable "entity" to take over operation of 21 American ports:
The next buyer has become a topic for speculation as some maritime analysts thought U.S. operators were not big enough or financially strong enough to take on all contracts in 21 U.S. ports. The price tag is unknown, but the U.S. portion of the global P&O portfolio has been valued at about 10 percent of the $6.8 billion sale, or $680 million.

When Dubai Ports World agreed to the sale last week, it demanded that it suffer no economic loss.

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