The Kensington Review

24 December 2004

Latest Commentary:

Bush to Fight for Failed Judicial Nominees -- The White House announced yesterday that 20 nominees to the judicial bench who did not receive Senate confirmation in the last congress will receive another chance. He will renominate the very same people to the very same spots. The Senate rules on filibusters may have to change if he is to get a vote on some of these folks. If this is how he intends to spend his political capital, then he is in grave danger of debasing that particular currency.

Putin Renationalizes Oil Company After All-- For those who haven’t been following the soap opera in Russia, Yuganskneftegaz was the operating unit of the Yukos oil company. When the heavy back tax bill the president levied on the company fell due, it forced the sale at auction of Yuganskneftegaz, which pumps a million barrels of crude a day. The operating entity was purchased by Baikal Finance Group, of whom no one had heard. According to the Financial Times the address of its headquarters was a grocery and gas station in Tver, north of Moscow. Right after Baikal made its purchase, it was takeover (in a matter of hours) by state-owned oil company Rosneft. As a result, a late entry for biggest lie of the year comes from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who said, “I think everything was done by market methods.” The market wasn’t anywhere near this one.

Microsoft "Loses" EU Court Battle -- Back in March, Microsoft lost a legal case in Europe that cost it €497 million (currently $664 million, while the dollar drops) and required it to sell its operating system without its Media Player software and to open up its code to other software companies. Microsoft appealed and asked a judge to halt the sanctions while the case went ahead. Since the case will take another two or three years, that means Microsoft wouldn’t have to act for a couple of years. Judge Bo Vesterdorf, president of the European Court of First Instance, told Mr. Gates’ company to act now. Doesn’t Microsoft know when it has won?

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus -- In an effort to get on with the holiday, a little slacking off is needed. So, the Kensington Review unashamedly lifts the following from the New York Sun, which ran this piece on September 21, 1897. One is not so sure about the fairies on the lawn. And the "scepticism of a sceptical age" has given way to the credulity of a credulous age. Yet what Francis P. Church wrote in reply to a little girl remains true a century later.

© Copyright 2004 by The Kensington Review , J. Myhre, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent.

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