The Kensington Review

23 December 2005

Latest Commentary: Volume IV, Number 153
Congress, Judiciary Hand White House Christmas Defeat -- The Bush administration is heralding the past year as a good one from their perspective on legislation. It’s hard to see it that way, unless one counts the pork-laden transportation bill, making it harder to file bankruptcy and getting Chief Justice Roberts confirmed. A better measure is the insistence in Congress on extending the Patriot Act for only one month (Mr. Bush said he wouldn’t accept a mere extension – now, he’s glad to get it). Add to that the survival of the ban on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and Congress hasn’t done his bidding this week. The judiciary piled on with Judge James Robertson resigning from the FISA court to protest Mr. Bush’s use of the NSA to spy on US citizens without warrants, and with Judge Michael Luttig refusing to transfer alleged terrorist Jose Padilla from military to civilian custody, setting up a Supreme Court test. And has anyone seen Social Security privatization?

Saddam Hussein Raises Torture Claim -- The trial of Saddam Hussein on charges that he was a bad person who did bad things while dictator of Iraq took a new twist this week. The “Butcher of Baghdad” complained to the judge that the Americans who are holding him prisoner tortured him. After the photos of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib, there is a segment of Arab society that will believe the former tyrant. The case is proving two things. First, America needs to clear up its image on torture. Second, there should never be trials of former dictators, just summary executions.

NY Transit Strike Illustrates Management’s Power over Labor -- For three days, New York City had almost no public transportation. A few commuter lines operated, and a couple of privately-held bus operations stayed online. However, there were no subways and no city buses for 7 million people. In the end, Local 100 of the Transport Workers’ Union gave into legal pressure to go back to work. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority still hasn’t provided a legal contract, yet somehow, no one sued the MTA for its negotiating position.

Fighting the War on "Happy Holidays" -- Once again, the founder of the Christian faith must be wondering whether some of his flock heard him correctly. The Pharisee Right in America has decided that “Happy Holidays” as a greeting is somehow an attack on their beliefs. They are insisting on “Merry Christmas,” and one of them proudly told the media that when he got a card from the White House that read “Happy Holidays,” it was a slap in the face, and he threw it out. Humbug.

© Copyright 2005 by The Kensington Review, J. Myhre, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Fedora Linux.


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