The Kensington Review

22 November 2004

Latest Commentary:

Congressional Republicans Fail to Agree on Intelligence Reform Bill -- The 9/11 Commission reported its findings months ago. The need to reform the American intelligence community has been evident since the fall of the Berlin Wall and has been painfully overdue since the fall of the World Trade Center towers. Yet, the American congress has not acted. Now that the excuse of the election is over, there was some hope that a lame-duck session could get the job done. Instead, the congressional Republicans have discovered that they are not as united as they believed.

Ukraine Presidential Election Rigged Says Opposition Leader -- The voting on Sunday in Ukraine was between two men whose first name is Viktor. There, the similarity ends. Opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, would rather move Ukraine’s 48 million people toward EU citizenship, free up the economy and essentially behave like the Poles and Bulgarians. Outgoing president Leonid Kuchma has run a rather authoritarian regime, with close ties to Moscow and a fear mongering against the west. His chosen candidate, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, vows to keep this arrangement, while also making Russian the second official language. One of Mr. Yanukovich’s other Soviet-style habits seems to be rigging elections. Ballot boxes have been burned, and a policeman who was guarding a polling station was killed.

The Congress Increases Debt Ceiling, Spends Almost Half of It -- The last week of the 108th Congress was a lame-duck exercise in fiscal irresponsibility. The legislators voted to raise the national debt ceiling by $800 billion (which incidentally is larger than the entire national debt run up from 1776 to 1980, when Ronald Regan instituted the Republican policy of borrow and spend). This is the third time since Mr. Bush took office that the ceiling has been raised, to the tune of $2 trillion (or if one prefers, $2,000,000,000,000). This was followed by an omnibus spending bill, larded with pork, that ran to almost $400 billion. This is an opportune moment to reflect on where this path leads.

NBA Suspends Players after Shameful Fight in Detroit -- America prides itself as being able to do anything any other society can do while doing it bigger and better. In the case of sports-related violence, though, the English and Dutch soccer hooligans have been the world champs. Until Friday night, that is. Not only did the fans riot and cause mayhem, but also several players participated in the chaos. Even in its most vicious form, one can recall no incident in which players of European soccer entered the stands to beat spectators. America is number one.



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