No Deal

No Deal

No Deal

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
March 9 2006 6:40 PM

No Deal

The Dubai-based company whose bid to operate U.S. sea ports sparked a rift between GOP legislators and the White House announced it would turn over operation of the ports to an American company, leading bloggers to cry foul. Bloggers are also reacting to the arrests made in the Alabama church arsons, which may have started as a "joke." Plus, they are no fans of the Project Runway winner.

No deal: The House appropriations committee attached an amendment to block the sale of some U.S. port operations to Dubai Ports World to a bill for hurricane relief and war funds. Later on Thursday, DPW announced its intention to sell the U.S. port operations to an American company. Seattleite and right-leaning college student Ninme's puts it bluntly: "I hope the UAE sends back every one of their Boeings and pulls out any investment they have in this country. It's about time these idiots learned that politics has consequences."

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Mark at Decision '08 regrets the fuss: "I feel certain it has damaged our already fragile reputation with the Arab world. A sorry day, and a victory for jingoism." Cartoonist Carolita Johnson at Newyorkette says: "So when this American entity makes a mess of things someday, at least we won't be able to blame Dubai for selling out to Islamic fundamentalists."

Many bloggers are outraged that the port deal was used as a political tool. Billiam on View From the Cheap Seats favored it and sees the GOP split as calculated pandering by Republicans. He's most offended the amendment was tacked on to a bill to provide funds for American troops overseas. "That bill should be a stand alone bill, not even Katrina aid should be on it. They say it's a security bill so, there you go. What a steaming pile of manure! The ports deal is a management deal, not a security deal," writes Billiam.

Calling it a "wake up call to the White House," Michelle Malkin concedes that some observers will chalk the deal-blocking up to hysteria and race-baiting. "But if they are guilty of anything, the House Republicans who are revolting on this issue are guilty of doing something the incompetent staffers at the White House can't seem to do very well these days: listen and respond effectively to their constituents," she offers.

With public opinion seemingly set against the ports deal, Derek Gilbert at Weapon ofMass Distraction wonders why the president had been so insistent on the deal going forward. "The only thing I can figure that makes any sense is that the king of Dubai advised President Bush that continued use of Dubai's port and airfield in any future action against Iran would be permitted only with certain concessions. In addition, the Bush administration is in the process of negotiating a free trade agreement with the UAE, and the emirate is unlikely to take the killing of the ports deal as a friendly move," Gilbert writes, also speculating that the UAE's recent multibillion-dollar deal with Boeing might have played a role.

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On the Muslims for a Safe America? blog, where American Muslims discuss Islam and national security, civil rights attorney Kamran Memon compiles a comprehensive "pros and cons" list detailing arguments for and against allowing a company operated by Muslims to manage U.S. ports.

Read more opinions on the ports deal here.

Arson arrests: Three Alabama college students were arrested and may be charged with conspiracy and arson in a spate of fires that destroyed or damaged nine Baptist churches last month. One suspect reportedly said the fires were "a joke and it got out of hand."

Craig Henry at Lead and Gold admits: "I'm still trying to figure out how arson and cruelty to animals can be written off as youthful pranks. Usually they are referred to as indications of a budding sociopath." Cynapse on Cynics Unlimited doesn't buy the prank line, either, and asserts: "The Feds need to prosecute these aspiring actors the same way they would Eric Rudolph or any other domestic terrorist."

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Alabama resident Sarah on Between the Links claims to have gone to high school with two of the suspects. But that doesn't earn them any sympathy points. "If anything, I think the 'prank' explanation should get them more time in prison, just for being stupid," she says.

Read more blogger reaction to the Alabama church arson arrests here.

Couture champ: Chloe Dao's designs and businesses savvy topped the competition on Project Runway. Trouble is she doesn't seem to be anyone's first choice.

"Chloe, the winner ... are you kidding me? Who should have won? Santino of course," opines a poster at Ask Fashion Kitty. Blogity liked Santino, too, and noted that Dao didn't take many chances with her designs. "What a freaking sham!!!!" was Dan Simons' reaction to Santino's loss. Ron on Silliman's Blog doesn't begrudge Dao's win, although she was his second choice after Daniel Vosovic.

There's more Project Runway chatter here and here.