The Kensington Review

Week of 23 November 2009


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This Week's Commentary: Volume VIII, Number 38
Senate Votes to Debate Health Care Bill -- The US Senate voted Saturday night to begin debate on Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) health care bill. The tally was 60 in favor of debate (the Democrats 58 plus the two independents who caucus with them) and 39 opposed (every Republican except Mr. Voinovich of Ohio who didn't vote). The Democrats are starting to realize that the GOP really isn't interested in any kind of compromise. New York's Chuck Schumer even made so bold as to say they would pass the bill without the Republicans if need be. The question is whether they have enough party discipline to pass it without anyone on their side jumping ship. [November 23]

Europe Picks President and Foreign Spokeswoman -- Henry Kissinger used to say "I want to talk to Europe. Whom do I call?" Starting in a week, there will be an actual answer to that question. Under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty that enters into force December 1, the European Union gets a full-time president now along with a full time high representative for foreign policy. And who are the new Euro-big shots? Herman van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton. These two relative unknowns got their jobs because the governments of Europe don't want to create figures in Brussels they can't control. [November 24]

Airlines Take American Travelers to the Cleaners for Thanksgiving -- Today is the big getaway day, the day before Thanksgiving. For our non-American readers, this is the biggest travel day in the US, when everyone dashes off to see family and friends for a Christmas celebration without the presents and the sanctimonious "Happy Holidays." To help celebrate, America's airlines are serving up surcharges as well as the usual lousy service, late arrivals and jam-packed aircraft. The nickel-and-diming of the American traveler continues unabated. [November 25]

The State Dinner, or Obama Singhs for His Supper -- A state dinner is supposed to be the epitome of elegant international diplomacy. It is more an occasion for world leaders to pretend that politics is not merely show business for the ugly. They get to play dress up and socialize with people they hardly know. However, the gossip writers who pass for journalists these days made quite a deal out of Tuesday's dinner with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. The décor, Mrs. Obama's dress and the menu took up more space in the papers than the intricacies of US-Indian relations. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, this journal will play along, reluctantly. [November 26]

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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