The Kensington Review

10 November 2004

Latest Commentary:

Bush’s National Sales Tax Could Balance the Budget on the Backs of the Rich -- The dust hasn’t quite settled from the November 2 vote, but Mr. Bush has already outlined a rather ambitious agenda: a ban on gay marriage, reform of Social Security by privatizing it, and a simpler tax code. Indeed, the tax code has been Mr. Bush’s favorite tinkering toy in the last four years. Having made exceptions for every Tom, Dick and Ken Lay, Mr. Bush has made the code more confusing than ever, and so, he says it needs to be simplified. He’s even been considering a National Sales Tax. That would be a great idea, but he shouldn’t tell his friends on Wall Street. They wouldn’t like it at all.

US-Iraqi Troops Enter Falluja -- The Bush administration could just as easily have sent the Marines and their Iraqi helots into the “rebel stronghold of Falluja” during the debates with Senator Kerry. The butcher’s bill for the Americans has been very low, and the resistance has been light. Intelligence has said that the big shots have already skipped town, and despite that, there are some corners of the media and the punditocracy that are talking about the Falluja as if it were Stalingrad. Even the word “battle” is off the mark.

News Corp. Announces Poison Pill -- Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (owner of DirecTV, British Sky Broadcasting, Fox Entertainment and News International newspapers) is feeling unnerved. It seems Liberty Media is increasing its stake in the company to 17% from 9.1%. With Mr. Murdoch and his family controlling just under 30%, talk of a takeover quickly arose. Although John Malone, Liberty's chairman and controlling shareholder, has told Mr. Murdoch he isn’t moving on News Corp., Mr. Murdoch has put a “poison pill” proposal out to prevent just such an event. Clearly, the plan is good for those named “Murdoch,” but for others, the jury is still out.

“Halo 2” Hits Xbox and Sells $100 Million First Day -- To those unaddicted to video-gaming, a halo is what an angel has hovering over its head. For those who know better, “Halo 2” is the most intensely anticipated video game ever. The odd magazine article has told the world that video-gaming isn’t just the preserve of adolescent males, that it contributes to the obesity pandemic and that it may enhance eye-hand coordination. However, “Halo 2” may have changed something very fundamental. Consider that Pixar’s long-awaited film “The Incredibles” pulled in $70 million its first week-end, and that “Halo 2” passed that level within mere hours



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