Item: The New York Times reports that Chinese company Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industry Machinery Company is buying the Hummer brand for, it is estimated, something less than $500 million. “Derek Scissors, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said that the Obama Administration should review the Hummer sale on national security grounds to make sure that no sensitive technology from the Hummer is transferred to China.”

Let me get this straight. Does Mr. Scissors (possibly related to Edward Scissorhands?) really think that there’s a security issue with H3 Hummers, which bear only the most superficial resemblance to the militarized H1 that the company doesn’t even make anymore? When I get a response from Mr. Scissors I'll post it here.

In fact, there is a national security issue, and the Hummer is indeed a grave threat — to China. Acquiring this boat anchor of a brand could severely hurt the Chinese economy, not to mention its already very stressed air quality. The Chinese oil import bill will soar, distracting political leaders from meddling in international conflicts. Defense Secretary Robert Gates should send a thank-you note.

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose Hummer-love inspired GM to acquire the brand, doesn't seem to be shedding any tears about all this. Here's what he had to say:

The Chinese themselves may not actually buy many Hummers, though it won’t be because they’re not popular (the Cadillac Escalade is much coveted over there). The big hurdle is the 40 percent tax that China wisely imposes on humongous SUVs with engines over four liters.

This is the first time a Chinese company has agreed to buy a popular American brand, and it’s a welcome counter to the usual one-way flow of capital. If all goes well we might have some other nameplates for them: GM is planning to simply kill Pontiac, but the Indian head mascot could fly again on the other side of the world. Lincoln and Mercury are probably headed for oblivion, too, but would look good cruising Beijing and Shanghai. And even some defunct models could be reborn. If they like the Escalade and the Hummer, they’d love the Ford Excursion.

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