The Kensington Review

24 November 2004

Latest Commentary:

Defense Secretary Denies Lobbying against Intelligence Reform Bill -- As noted here earlier this week, the Congress failed to pass a bill to reform America’s intelligence community. One of the two issues that derailed the measure in the House of Representatives was the transferring of budgetary power from the Pentagon to a new National Director of Intelligence. Immediately after the bill failed, the Washington rumor mill began to say that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had lobbied against it to retain his say over 80% of America’s intelligence budget. So pervasive was the rumor that the Secretary denied any such lobbying on Tuesday. It is difficult to know whom to believe, but one thing is certain; Donald Rumsfeld will be calling the intelligence shots no matter what for as long as he is at Defense.

China Resists Revaluation, Suggest America's Problems are Home-Grown -- The Chinese dragon bared its teeth, albeit slightly and with a certain politeness, earlier this week when Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China, Li Ruogu, spoke with the Financial Times. “China's custom is that we never blame others for our own problems,” he said. Then, he added, “The US has the reverse attitude, whenever they have a problem, they blame others.” Mr. Li, who was with Mr. Bush at the APEC summit in Chile, is right in what's wrong with America. One hopes he and the president got to spend a few moments discussing this. It might have been beneficial for both parties.

Global Poll Suggests US Business Will Suffer from Anti-Bush Consumers -- Seattle-based Global Market Insite just finished up a poll of 8,000 consumers from around the world and discovered that 1 in 5 of them will avoid buying products that they most closely associate with America. While this won't shift anything in Washington, it may just be the difference between a profitable year and a loss for some US-based brands. Calling fried potatoes “Freedom Fries” instead of “French Fries” doesn't hurt French products, but when folks won't wash those down with a Coke because of the company's American passport, well, that's a cheval of a different couleur .

Dan Rather Quits CBS Anchor Spot Effective March 9 -- Dan Rather announced that he is leaving the anchor desk of CBS News on his 24th anniversary of taking the seat. He leaves with a legacy that was tarnished by a poor judgment call during the late election, but which is an impressive one in TV news. A journalist to the end, he is one of a dying breed, TV reporters who actually worry about the story instead of their hair. The soft-spoken Texas lilt will still be around on various projects, but the job of anchor has stopped being the voice of authority, and he has, perhaps, stayed too long.



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