The Kensington Review

Week of 28 September 2009


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This Week's Commentary: Volume VIII, Number 30
Germans Re-Elect Merkel without SDP -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel got herself re-elected Sunday in a resounding rejection of her partner in the grand coalition, the Social Democrats. Now, her Christian Democrats are forming an alliance with the free-market, free-thinking Free Democrats, and she will be able to run Germany her way, that is, from the right of the center. Despite rightist policies of the last several years getting the world into the financial mess it is in, the Germans have decided to not to move left to straighten things out. [September 28]

Senate Finance Committee Dumps Public Option in Health Care -- When is a majority not a majority? When it consists of Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee. Despite holding 13 seats to the Republicans' 10, two Democratic amendments to the health care bill under consideration failed. Both would have provided a public option in US health insurance. A public option merely means a non-profit, government-funded insurer to compete with the for-profit industry that currently exists. One proposal from Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) lost 15 to 8, while a watered down version by Chuck Schumer (D-NY) floundered 13-12. Contrary to the pundits, this doesn't mean an end to the public option. However, it does show that the Democrats' big tent might need to be taken in a bit. [September 29]

GM to Shut Down Saturn after Sale Fails -- General Motors launched the Saturn car brand years ago in an attempt to do things right for a change. Management was streamlined, workers were given shares in exchange for cooperation on the factory floor, and its designs were meant to be showy and practical both. When GM filed for bankruptcy, it entered talks with Penske Automotive to sell Saturn. Those talks have collapsed, and now, Saturn is going the way of the Studebaker, the Nash and the Oldsmobile. It is finished. [September 30]

Rio Gets 2016 Summer Olympics -- The International Olympic Committee awards its Winter and Summer Games in one of the most convoluted and ridiculous beauty contests in the world. Nations make proposals for what they might be able to do in 6 or 7 years, and some barely make it. For the Athens 2004 games, the paint on the stadium wasn't dry for the Opening Ceremonies. Today, the IOC stunned most Chicagoans but no one who follows Olympic politics by giving the 2016 games to Rio. Why? Because it was South America's turn. [October 2]

Copyright 2009 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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