The Kensington Review

15 October 2007

Latest Commentary: Volume VI, Number 124
Laura Bush Now Makes Policy Statements -- Usually the First Lady of the United States, a job that isn’t mentioned in the constitution, finds some non-partisan project and devotes her energies to it as a way of softening the edges of her husband’s administration. While Ronald Reagan was ballooning America’s deficit, cutting and running from Lebanon, and trading arms for hostages, Nancy Reagan was telling American kids to “Just Say No” to drugs. Laura Bush seemed to be following in those well-worn footsteps with literacy, but recently that has changed. Now, she’s talking about Burma and she’s going to the Middle East right after Condoleezza Rice said it was time for a Palestinian state. It is an understatement to say this is an interesting development.

Howard Calls Aussie General Election for November 24 -- John Howard has been Prime Minister of Australia for 11 years now, and at the age of 68, he seems to want to renew his contract with the voters. He has called a general election for November 24 despite trailing the Australian Labor Party [ALP, and Labor is spelled the American way] by 11 points. In calling the election, he said, “Love me or loathe me, the Australian people know where I stand on all the issues that are important to their future.” But they may just want a new face.

US Banks Form $75 Billion Subprime Rescue Fund -- It’s only a matter of time before someone holding short-term subprime mortgage-backed securities in the US panics. When that happens, it could touch off a race to the bottom on prices. Such a mark down would be bad for the financial sector in particular, but it would damage the US economy as well. To prevent this, some of America’s largest banks, including Citi, Bank of America and JP Morgan, have set up a $75 billion rescue fund.

Apted’s “49 Up” Airs on PBS -- Back in 1964, British director Michael Apted was a researcher on a Granada TV project that filmed 14 children, all 7 years old, from different social and economic backgrounds in England, a film called “7 Up!” Every 7 years, he has returned as a director to interview as many of the 14 as were willing to cooperate. Some drop out, some drop back in again, but with the latest installment “49 Up” airing on PBS last week, Mr. Apted has shown that Britain has become a bit more egalitarian and meritocratic, but at the same time, the class system is still there.

© Copyright 2007 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Fedora Linux.


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