President, Congress Prepare for Immigration Showdown -- Tonight, President Obama will address the nation from the Oval Office outlining his executive actions pertaining to immigration. Many of these details have reached the media already, and the pundits are discussing what this and that may mean. Meanwhile, the Republican party is trying to decide on a strategy to defeat the president's moves. This is a taste of things to come. [20 November]
Senate Fails to End Filibusters on XL Pipeline, NSA Reform -- If ever a rule of a parliamentary chamber rendered that chamber useless, it is the filibuster in the US Senate as it is currently used. Thanks to the use of the filibuster on every bill in the Senate by the minority Republican Party, the Senate is unable to function as envisioned by the founders or as seems desirable by those who believe in republican self-government by the people. Yesterday's failures to end debate on the Keystone XL Pipeline and on reforming the spying habits of the National Security Agency merely add further proof that the rule needs to go. [19 November]
Passing Keystone Legislation Won't Save Senator Landrieu -- Political strategy frequently coughs up a really dumb idea. The latest example of this is the desperate attempt by the Democrats to save the US Senate seat of Louisiana's Mary Landrieu. She faces a run-off against Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy on December 6. The less-than-brilliant idea currently under consideration is having a Democratic Senate pass legislation that started in the Republican House to authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The premise, that one can rescue a doomed candidate by abandoning principles, is a ludicrous one [18 November]
Putin Leaves G20 Summit in a Huff -- The G20 summit in Australia ended with, at best, a mixed bag of results. The leaders of the member nations agreed to boost economic growth (who opposes this?), address climate change, and reduce tax avoidance schemes among them. However, the 800-pound bear in the tent was the isolation of Mr. Putin's Russia over the Ukraine. His plane left Brisbane before the final communique. The tantrum and the harsh words that provoked it will change nothing, though. [17 November]
DefSec Hagel Offers Reforms to US Nuclear Forces -- Earlier today, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced what DOD News says is "a series of measures to increase investment in America's nuclear deterrent after reviews found evidence of systemic problems in the enterprise." The Pentagon is concerned that the guys currently running the US strategic nuclear deterrent can't run a lemonade stand. Secretary Hagel's proposals ought to make a small difference, but as usual, the bureaucracy is such that genuine reform is not an option. [14 November]
Copyright 2014 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.