Wednesday, March 08, 2006

No more rooms for PACS / the Dubai Port Controversy 3/8/06

One of the unfortunate byproducts of the lobbying scandals is the fact that the Senate Ethics Committee will not allow Political Action Committees to use Senate rooms for luncheons or meetings with Senators.
For years our PAC has gone to Washingtom for a day of meetings and briefings on our issues.To those who have gone on these day events,it was a great lesson in participatory democracy.PAC's will have to go back to the drawing boards.


The Dubai port issue is a perfect example of politicians scrambling to show who is stronger on security issues.Putting aside the credentials of the company.and that it is an Arab one at that, the underlying issue is whether any industry associated with our security should be controlled by foreigners,especially when that corporatiion is government owned.Even more so when Dubai supports the boycott of Israel.
Our sensitivity in this regard was seen only a few months ago when public opinion killed the attempted takeover of a major oil company( unical) by a Chinese company,GOVT OWNED.
The President seems to have lost his political antennae on this and other post- election issues.
He wasted good political capital on his Social Security reform which went nowhere- while he failed to tackle the more popular tax cuts that should be made permanent.
He was saved from a faulty Supreme Court nominee by recouping with a terrific judicial nominee also a solid conservative.
It would be a shame and mistake for the President to use his first veto on the port issue.The Congress is to be blamed for not passing legislation banning "earmarks" which allows billions of dollars to be wasted.Toward that end the line-item veto that The President requested should be passed and used.