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Fox News Singing Different Tune on Port Deal

Reported by Judy - March 7, 2006

Just two weeks ago, the All Stars on "Special Report with Brit Hume" were criticizing Democrats of demagogery on the issue of a foreign country operating six major American ports and predicting that Republicans would raise a stink and then fall in behind George Bush's position. On Tuesday (March 7, 2006), Fox News was reporting on GOP efforts to kill the deal.

Major Garrett reported during "Special Report" on two separate Republican efforts to deal with the issue. House Appropriations Committee Chair Jerry Lewis is set on Wednesday to attack a provision killing the Dubai Ports World deal to a must-pass measure budgeting $92 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina rebuilding.

Separately, House Armed Services Committee Chair Duncan Hunter also has a measure that would not only kill the DPW deal, but ban foreign ownership of any critical infrastructure in the United States. His proposal would require the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to draw up a list of properties considered critical infrastructure, whose ownership would have to be controlled by American citizens. Hunter conceded that the measure would mean that foreign investors might have to sell off properties they now own, but said it would not damage overall foreign investment in the U.S. because the rest of the nation's economy would be open to foreigners.

Meanwhile, Garrett reported, the White House has been saying less about the possibliity of George Bush vetoing a measure killing the DPW deal.

"The mood on Capitol Hill is not to talk about this any more, but to kill it entirely, and for Republicans, the sooner the better," Garrett concluded.

My, my. What happened to all that talk of "country profiling" and Democrats being "anti-Arab" because of opposition to foreign operation of ports? I didn't hear Garrett raise the "country-profiling" issue with Hunter or Lewis.

The deal won't be dead until it's dead, but in the meantime, Is that noise I hear the sound of Republican feet beating a path away from Bush's side? Or the sound of rubber stamp ink pads being clicked shut?

It certainly is not the sound of the All Stars saying they were wrong.

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