The Kensington Review

20 September 2004

Latest Commentary:
Republicans Distance Themselves from Bush Iraq Policy -- The bungled occupation of Iraq is now toxic enough that top Republicans are backing away, albeit slightly, from the Bush White House. Senators McCain and Hagel along with Congressman Lugar, all members of the GOP, have criticized the administration without breaking with the president. However, should Mr. Bush win a second term (perhaps even with the most votes this time), he will find he no longer has a blank check in the Congress. It comes two years too late, but it is a welcome change nonetheless.

Progress on Devolution Talks in Northern Ireland, No Settlement -- Northern Ireland is less miserable a place than it used to be thanks to the Good Friday Agreement and the bravery behind it. However, the snags are still there, and the assembly in the province remains suspended as some of the orange and green still can’t agree to talk. While reviving Ulster’s government would be useful, the real accomplishment is the current level of violence. The squabbling over IRA arms and power sharing is going on in the absence of daily murder. Devolution is just icing on an already rich cake.

Japan Orders Citibank to Close its Private Banking Operations -- In finance, violating regulations and breaking the law is often settled with a quiet consent decree and a fine, without an admission of wrongdoing. The result is a business culture that has no respect for the law. Japan appears to have captured the attention of the banking world though with its punishment of wrongdoing at Citibank’s private banking operations in the land of the rising sun. It’s the equivalent of a corporate death sentence; Citibank has been told to get out of private banking at four Japanese branches.

“Sky Captain” Isn’t Indiana Jones -- A mad scientist, giant robots, dinosaurs and a mysterious woman in black combine in “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” in a film that isn’t quite a cliché because it pays tribute to so many all at once. Looking like the 1930s sci-fi/adventure serials as filmed by Ridley Scott in his “Blade Runner” phase, the movie stars Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and, fifteen years after his death, Lord Laurence Olivier. It’s not a great movie, but it is fun trying to guess what the next cliché will be.



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