The Kensington Review

27 October 2004

Latest Commentary:

Rehnquist Has Cancer Operation -- Chief Justice William Rehnquist, one of the five people whose votes truly mattered in the 2000 election, spent last week-end at Bethesda Naval Hospital for a tracheotomy to relieve his breathing. The judge has thyroid cancer. The good news is that this particular brand of cancer is quite treatable, and survival rates are remarkably high. The bad news is that, at age 80, Mr. Rehnquist’s health remains a concern. It is a flaw in the American constitution that the man who wins next week’s presidential election may be able to appoint a majority of the judges for the next generation.

Sharon Wins Knesset Vote on Gaza Pullout -- Ariel Sharon was the hardest of the hardliners in Israeli politics. Then, he got the top job and the responsibility that goes with it. Suddenly, the hawk started floating some dovish ideas. Any plan pullout out from the Gaza Strip would have been unthinkable by General Sharon, but Prime Minister Sharon has been pushing it for months, much to the annoyance of the rejectionists in Israel. He won his vote in the Knesset yesterday. These days in Israel politics, as in most places, there are plenty of hawks, and plenty of doves, but there is a shortage of wise old owls.

FCC OKs Cingular’s Bid for AT&T Wireless -- The FCC has approved Cingular’s bid for AT&T Wireless, allowing the $41 billion deal to go ahead. The entire commission approved the deal, but the two Democrats on the panel did object to a few parts of the arrangement on the grounds it would be anti-competitive in certain areas. And while they do have a point when it comes to market share in localized areas, competition in cell phones is more likely to occur over what the customer’s plan provides rather than what the plan costs.

John Peel, OBE, Dies on Holiday in Peru -- A disc jockey is a guy who plays records on the radio. John Peel was a disc jockey the same way that King Kong was a monkey. He was much bigger and more important than the job could ever have been had he not reinvented it. He discovered more bands than anyone in the history of pop music, and with a taste that led rather than followed the crowd, he stayed relevant for the almost 40 years of his career. When he died on holiday in Peru earlier this week, Britain has lost a national treasure, and the music world has lost a leading citizen.



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