Kensington Review

17 May 2024


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam


Latest Commentary:

Xi, Putin Vow Closer Ties -- Vladimir Putin needs all the friends he can get. Xi Jinping feels much the same way. So like the two misfits in the average third-grade class, they have struck up a friendship of convenience. Mr Xi is helping Mr. Putin in his war against Ukraine, and Mr. Putin is sending Mr. Xi cheap natural resources. It is an arrangement that suits both in these difficult times, and they have underscored it with a meeting in Beijing this week. However, demographics put a limit on what they can achieve. Both have shrinking populations, and both are, frankly, declining powers. Just as Japan was supposed to run the world in the 1980s and now barely runs itself, Russia and China are facing challenges that they have never seen before and for which the human family has found few solutions. [17 May]

Slovakian PM Survives Assassination Attempt -- Robert Fico, the Prime Minister of Slovakia, has survived an assassination attempt. Making an appearance at a community center 100 kilometers or so from Bratislava, Mr. Fico took several bullets in the murder attempt. He was helicoptered to a hospital and went straight to the operating theatre. Latest reports have him on the mend. This journal wishes him a speedy recovery, but in truth, his death would not have been grounds for very many tears. (15 May)

Shoigu out as Russian Defense Minister -- Sergei Shoigu has been the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation since 2012. In that time, Russia took Crimea from Ukraine, and then, it outright invaded its neighbor taking a swathe of eastern Ukraine for itself while failing to take Kyiv. He was Defense Minister when the Wagner Group rebelled and marched on Moscow. Yet it was over the week-end that he was removed from the defense job and appointed head of the Russian Security Council. He seems to still be an ally of Mr. Putin, but it is hard to make this career move seem like a promotion.  [13 May]

UK Economy Out of Recession -- The UK came out of recession officially last quarter as the GDP grew 0.6%. This was better than the 0.4% that analysts expected. It is good news for the 14-year-old Tory government, but it is the only piece of good news. And it is too little too late. While an economic turn-around is always useful to the incumbent, the voters have to feel the improvement, not just hear about it on the BBC. It growth were 4%, one could easily believe that the Tories are in a solid position for the general election. At 0.6%, it is more of a rounding error. The defection of Conservative MPs to Labour and the retirements suggest this interpretation is correct. [10 May]

Greene Fails to Oust Speaker Johnson -- The motion to vacate the chair that Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-FL) put before the House yesterday, to oust Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), was doomed to fail from the beginning. There is a general election in six months, and Republican Party is likely to lose control of the chamber then. A sensible political party would try to find a way to strengthen its image, and fighting over who the leader is weakens that image. Having removed one Speaker already this Congress, the party has lost its stomach for the kind of chaos the MAGA hardliners offer. The vote was 359-43 to table the motion. (9 May)

© Copyright 2024 The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux





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