Everyone seems to be up in arms over the plan to let a United Arab Emirates company run up to 30 percent of operations at six U.S. ports. A fact lost in the shuffle is that American companies run very few U.S. ports. There aren’t enough to handle the business, so companies from countries like China have been running them for years.
Sen. Robert Menedez, D-N.J., on "FOX & Friends" Wednesday morning suggested tax incentives to get more American companies into the game. Perhaps that's a good idea, but it will take quite a bit of time. In the meantime, what would change due to the UAE involvement? Nothing in terms of security. All sides agree that security remains the same and is handled by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
Further, regardless of who runs operations here, the UAE company runs many port operations elsewhere in the world, including Great Britain and Australia. Also, the UAE was the first Arab country to join the U.S. Homeland Security Department in a program to screen high-risk cargo headed for U.S. ports. That means we already trust them enough that we’re using them to help with security. This deal is simply about the business side of running part of the ports. Bottom line: One way or the other, the UAE company is likely to be involved either in the shipping or receiving end of this.
On "FOX & Friends" this morning, presidential consultant Dan Bartlett said that Secretary Rice, Secretary Rumsfeld, Attorney General Gonzales, Secretary Snow and others had personally reviewed the plan and approved of it. He stated the obvious when he said that those people wouldn't take actions that would make their own jobs more difficult. Should Congress have oversight? Another set of eyes probably wouldn’t hurt. Congress can easily set that up. Let’s see if it does or if this turns into a political play by people running for reelection or the presidency.
Behind the scenes from today’s show: Queen Latifah is an inspiration to all women. Not only can you count on her for some funny, family-friendly movies but also she is a charming lady who uses her celebrity for good causes. Off camera, she was absolutely delightful, which is not what you see with too many celebrities. She’s involved with Curvations lingerie, which honors women who, despite hardships, go above and beyond to help others.
On a personal note: The 14 year old locked herself in the bathroom after losing cell phone privileges for talking back. She was then an hour late for school because she overslept. Consequence? I took the doors off the hinges. She's ticked! It's a tough age for them and us! Have you dealt with some of the typical teenage issues? What worked for you?
By the way, my book "Going Places" offers terrific motivational advice to get young adults on the right path in life from people like Bill O'Reilly, George Foreman, Joe Theisman, Denise Austin, etc. Social Science classes are using it. School superintendents have ordered it for their graduating seniors. All book sales go to charity and you can purchase it from www.hillfriends.com.
Tomorrow Tiki is back and Patrick Swayze will join us!
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