Thursday, February 17, 2005
NOW filing RICO suit against anti-abortion mvmt, inc Op Rescue.
Here’s a good anti-Rushdie argument: since death penalty called for by Islam, it’s protected by 1st Amend
Another coup attempt Haiti, unsuccessful. Top 4 military fired for drug running
SA slowing w/drawal from Namibia, redeploying troops as SWAPO starting raids. That would be too stupid for words. Ah, SWAPO trying to get people into Namibia before Nov. elections (were supposed to wait in Angola until just before).
Israel finally got W Bank Palestinians to have a dialogue--they ordered leaders to come.
The Recruit bribery scandal in Japan is still expanding. Head of NTT arrested, former PM Nakasone probably will be. Takeshita’s approval rating is 9%, lowest ever & Recruit brought $150,000 to a fundraising dinner for him 2 yrs ago. And a consumption tax about to go into effect. The Lib Dems may be about to lose their monopoly.
Recidivism from state prisons 63% over 3 yrs, 25% 6 mos, 40% 1 yr
1st indication of what new Salvadoran gov is like. A judge dismissed charges against former military officers close to d’Aubuisson who ran a kidnapping ring. At the time of arrest, d’Aubuisson said, “It is like when a father finds a son is involved in improper activities.”
Pik Botha said unless UN made clear its position on supposed SWAPO incursion, SA would throw UN transition group out until SWAPO could be “brought to its sense.”
India to test a missile w/1,500-mi. range
INS refusing to give refugee status to Chinese resisting pop programs. A court just granted asylum to a man whose wive forced to have abortion
A CIA/NSC agent testifies at North trial that Casey designated North to run alternate to CIA if Boland Amend passed, w/RR’s approval
US supporting SA against SWAPO
-SA claims a joint Cuban-SWAPO force massing 600 meters from the border
Serbia is conducting purge of Albanian nationalists in Kosovo (well, Kosovo CP is, anyway).
Sup Court allows police to question airline passengers on basis of “profile” of dealers, like paying cash, boarding w/out luggage, travelling briefly to certain cities.
Salvadoran Sup Court stops release (see 4/2) of kidnappers, dismissed the judge
USSR has sold advanced jets to Libya
VN says it will pull out of Cambodia unconditionally, w/out pol settlement
Interestingly, the Polish official rules refused to accept part of package Solidarity did, wage indexation to only 80% of inflation
Spiro Agnew is seeking a tax refund for the money he had to reimburse Maryland from his kickbacks
Oscar Arias in Washington (by sheer coincidence, just when Gorbachev in Cuba), praising Bush & the lovely bipartisan approach, James Baker asked him to take Contras--he said no.
Ollie North defense names Bush as an intermediary for Contras. In 1985 he told prez of Honduras that extra aid was being given them for contras.
-North says Casey told him he would replace the CIA. Says Casey took him to Cent. Am & intro. him to chiefs of stations, intro to Secord
-It has been stipulated that in 1986, Noriega offered to assassinate Nicaragua leaders if North would help his image & sell arms, was told no, but could engage in sabotage, as had in 1985.
Richard Daley (junior) mayor of Chicago in very racially-polarized vote
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Council tried to get US to evoke GATT-related 1984 law for ending trade assistance to countries w/out min. workers’ rights, citing prohibition of Gaza unions soliciting members or holding meetings, closing of many unions. US State rejects because US has never officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over Occupied Territories!!
Sweden will charge someone for killing Olof Palme. Your basic lone insane assassin.
USSR publishing the Khruschev attack on Stalin for 1st time
US will send an envoy, short of ambassador, to Afghan rebels
North testifies lied to Congress, under orders, therefore he thought it was legal.
Bush keeps saying the largest oil spill ever off Alaska is an aberration which should have nothing to do with further exploration
Bush does not plan to modernize surveillance satellites & provide more KH-11 & LaCrosse satellites. RR had promised to do so as condition for Sen. approval of treaty on medium-range missiles (INF).
North trial. CIA obtained captured PLO arms from Israel & provided them to Contras to skirt spending limits
-Sec State Shultz suggested providing weapons to El S., which would turn them over to Contras
-Mar85 Bush encouraged a priv group to donate med supplies to Honduras at same time as Bush’s visit. The group supportive of Contras
-After Apr85 House vote against aid, Honduran military stopped a shipment. RR called Suazo & got it sent on--Suazo brought up US aid
-Sep86 Cerezo promised support for Contras @ military aid
Calif forming a genetic data base of those convicted of violent crimes
UN accused of siding w/SA over Namibia, encouraging attack by UN on SWAPO, allowing SA forces to fight SWAPO, not having forces in place
More bribe money to Takeshita by Recruit found-now up to $770,000
Gorbachev plans to stop production of enriched uranium, reduce that of enriched plutonium. US says they have a stockpile good for yrs.
North says RR & Meese conspired to cover up 1985 shipment of Hawk missiles from Iran
George Kennan told Congress that the Cold War is over.
Bush’s proposed ethics legislation will not ban payment for speeches.
Shamir’s alleged peace proposal is for election W Bank & Gaza, after intifada end, of course. E Jerusalem wouldn’t vote. Rejected of course by Palestinians, who point out there is no one to est election laws, people get arrested for anti-Israeli speech. When last elections, Israel deposed the choices. Shamir says this shows Israel will allow demo. elections--and depose the winners.
A propos of Bush & honoraria, Quayle’s income is 1/3 honoraria
The truce in Namibia is supposed to involve SWAPO forces leaving country, being escorted out by UN forces. So far, it ain’t happened. Not helped any by statement of Administrator-General that they should be “interrogated,” in entirely benevolent way of course.
Abbie Hoffman d., age 52
Sen. Cmte says RR admin undermined war on drugs through Cent. Am. policy, looking other way on Contras, Panama
Hungarian CP ousts 4 conservs from Politburo
North says McFarlane told him to alter memos (McF says it was North’s idea)
-The figure for extra aid to Honduras is $174m
Hungary will dismantle border force w/Austra
Documents from North trial. RR Jun84 on negotiations: “If we are just talking about negotiations with Nicaragua, that is too far-fetched to imagine that a Communist government like that would make any reasonable deal with us. But if it is to get Congress to support the anti-Sandinistas, then that can be helpful.”
-Seems James Baker believed raising $ from 3rd countries was an impeachable offense
North blames McFarlane for letter misleading Congress, falsifying the chronology. Said Poindexter destroyed the only copy of a finding retroactively authorizing arms sales to Iran.
Israeli police prohibit Palestinians in Occupied Territories attending prayers at Al Aksa Mosque. 1st restriction of freedom of worship--and in Jerusalem yet.
Hungary will review trial of Nagy, the PM executed 1958
Speaking of hospitality to immigrants, Singapore is threatening 3 mos in jail & 3 cane strokes. Thailand is pulling out thousands in a virtual Dunkirk operation.
Nation 4/12/89 comments on media cynicism about Soviet elections; that ¼ contests had only 1 candidate. Back in US 1988, 20% of races for House uncontested, 7 of 8 in Louisiana, 13 of 26 in Texas. 98% of House members, 85% Senators won reelection. There are several states where >½ leg races had 1 nominee. At least USSR can vote none of the above.
In Voice 4/11/89, Ellen Willis comments on abortion that no one is required to donate a kidney or even give blood, even to save a life. Anti-abortionists want to make an exception for fetuses.
-Since 1981, judges granted 13 requests usually from doctors, to force a woman to have a C-section. In at least 2 cases, drs. didn’t even bother w/a court order
-1987 a DC court ordered a C-section for a woman w/bone cancer who might well otherwise have lived, over objections of obstetrics staff, after court appointed a lawyer for fetus.
-The growing issue in “fetal-rights” advocacy is drug abuse, a DC judge jailing a pregnant ♀ who tested positive for cocaine.
-Would give dr. orders the force of law. Women less likely than drs. to have extraneous motives ($, convenience, avoiding lawsuits).
A referendum in Uruguay on amnesty for military, forced on gov by petition of ¼ electorate, actually supported the amnesty
House cmte says Jim Wright violated ethics rules 69 times. Inc accepting gifts over $100 60X, mostly from 1 person, & employment of Mrs Wright for which she was not qualified, or didn’t work, the person having interest in leg.
States are not drawing on $2/4b available for drugs, evidently because whole effort is an interdiction & the money is for treatment, ed. & rehab
Bush returned econ benefits to Poland
Khashoggi, of Iran-Contra fame, arrested in Switz. at US request for helping Marcoses conceal purchases in US
SA military allowed out of their bases in Namibia by UN, are assaulting civilians
The last high-profile dissident (of the sort raised at summits) allowed to leave USSR
In the wake of the huge oil spill in Alaska, some figures. RR cut funds for energy conservation 3/4, funds for renewable energy R&D 85%, ended tax incentives for solar energy & conservation while maintaining them for fossil fuels, tried to fight off appliance efficiency standards, reduced auto efficiency from 27.5 MPG to 28, tried to repeal them altogether. RR decisions on conservation will result in extra 350m barrels of oil over life of model yr car fleets. Increasing fuel efficiency to 45 MPG by 1995 would save 5X oil under Arctic Nat Wildlife Refuge
-As VP, Bush on Regulatory Relief Task Force got repeal of standards for weatherization of new buildings, repealed free energy audits. Recommended making methanol from coal rather than corn.
-Players in Alaska were Exxon & Alyeska Pipeline (which promised safeguards 1972. Congress limited liability claims to $100m (?). 1977 Alyeska convinced Coast Guard that tanker safeguards unnecessary, 1981 disbanded emergency team for spills. 1985-6 during slump, Exxon pensioned off oil spill experts. 1987 Alyeska said could deploy emergency equipment in 5 hrs. It took 35 hrs.
-Bush’s people inc head of EPA, Sec Transport, Coast Guard, said Exxon doing fine, which it was not. Bush says drunk driving of tankers can’t be guarded against. (Sure it can, double-bottomed hulls would do it). “So what you do is the best you can, express the genuine concern that you feel on the environment, and I do feel a concern, but not take irresponsible action to guard against an incident of this nature.”
-Interior sec. warns oil industry about its image
Sup Court allows state antitrust laws allowing consumer suits
Bush changes mind & will upgrade surveillance satellites as required by Congress for INF Treaty
Arafat will accept elections if part of package deal & under UN
Selective Service planning to draft medical workers during military emergency, which means drafting ♀
Salvadoran VP-elect & army publish names of civilians allegedly involved in left violence or front groups, essentially death lists. ARENA says is organizing community watch program to identify rebel sympathizers--death squads?
Soviet investigation showed military used poison gas against Georgian demonstrators in which 20 died.
Salvadoran army of 57,000 forcibly snatches 12,000 youths a yr. In poor areas, of course. There is no univ draft. Army restricts re-enlistment to 20%, preferring to pay the rate for raw “recruits”
Bush extends RR’s sanctions against Nicaragua
Bush will proceed w/mixed force of mobile land-based missiles, 10-warhead MXs on rail cars & Midgetman. Cheney had said only MX could be afforded. This is Bush’s idea of compromise
Learned Hand: “The spirit of liberty is that spirit which is not too sure that it is right.”
Shamir’s conditions for elections: limit free speech at rallies, not withdraw army during campaign. Election laws written by Israeli military gov. Shamir sees no need for observers or supervision. His chief of staff says “They won’t need much campaigning. The people are so well known.”
1988 Sen. Intelligence Cmte turned down a covert plan to oust Noriega through coup of officers, because of fear of assassination. Bush plan is to spend $10m for opposition coalition in violation of Panama canal accords.
SA Justice set free 5, inc Moses Mayekiso of Nat Union of Metalworkers, who had set up alternative structures.
Takeshita resigns. Will be replaced by caretaker. Took $1.5m from Recruit. Nakasone has refused to answer q’s in Parl
Though even the Georgian CP head admits demonstrators were gassed, army hasn’t & refuses to release the antidote for victims
US rejects W Ger request for negotiations w/USSR on battlefield nukes. Evidently, they’re necessary to defend W Ger--whether it wants it or not.
An Air Force woman who is a witch will get her holidays off, inc of course Halloween
US, through Nat Endowment for Democracy, will spend $2m for opposition in Nicaraguan elections. It is illegal to accept such money, though new law would allow it if 50% given to gov for election admin costs. La Prensa’s subvention increased to $220,000/yr
CNN says the Sup Court decision on abortion (to be heard tomorrow) will be decided by June-July, when they will give “the decision for which the nation is waiting expectantly.”
USSR says 18 generals arrested over Georgia.
Bush says he wanted “never again” to see a movie finding drug use humorous.
USSR drops 1/3 of Cent Cmte, inc Gromyko
Harvard Undergrad Council votes to bring ROTC back 20 yrs later.
Hungarian tv interviews Alexandr Dubcek, despite Czech protests
Bush has abandoned the 600-ship navy. Will postpone Stealth bomber
Soviet Minister of Energy order prohibiting press covering nuclear accidents, possibly inc foreign. Izvestia criticized it bitterly.
A Takeshita secretary killed herself over Recruit. Ito will not become PM
UCB to require ethnic studies courses.
Rules on damage payments that will affect Exxon based on mkt value of natural resources destroyed, not cost of restoration. Thus, killing a seal will cost $15 value of its pelts, seabirds nominal because no commercial value.
Hearings in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services yesterday. Mentioned that in 1977 Maheur v. Roe a state is not required to show a compelling interest for its policy to favor childbirth over abortion. Question arose over enforcement. Missouri Atty Gen Wm Webster seemed v. unclear. Said there was no enforcement but conceded that a dr. could be fired from a facility, that an official could be forced to pay out of own pocket.
-The Missouri law mandates tests for viability, very expensive tests. Webster unclear as to whether all 3 tests really required, inc lung maturity, which is useless & risks the health of the ♀.
-Charles Fried, Solicitor Gen, does not argue for over-ruling of privacy rights est by Griswold, but interest of state in potential life matches it.
-The law says life begins at conception, which would of course outlaw contraception
Kerry subcmte made clear that State knowingly handed contracts to drug dealers to deliver humanitarian aid to Contras. Humanitarian aid director said he couldn’t remember why he hired those comps.
Mobil pulling out of SA, citing tax laws (can no longer deduct SA taxes).
Energy Sec Watkins on Shoreham, which NY state bought for $1: “If activists can prevent things from being built, I can prevent things from being shut down when it’s stupid.” Has likened officials who refuse to participate in useless emergency planning (Cuomo, Dukakis) to children taking their marbles home.
In pension fund terminations, comps have appropriated “surplus” $20b, $1.66 Exxon alone.
Quayle in Samoa: “You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be.”
South African troops again released on Namibia to hunt down SWAPO forces, turn them over to UN, they say
An HUD program, supposedly to rehabilitate low-income housing, paid large consulting fees to such former RR admin officials as James Watt. One got $1.3m in a $225 program. Also John Mitchell, Ed Brooke (ex-Senator), former Gov Louis Nunn. Watt got $300,000, paid to convince people a 312-unit in MD. needed. Funnily, this is a program RR kept trying to terminate
12% of drs. treating Medicare patients refer them to labs & clinics in which they have financial interests. Patients of these drs receive 45% more clinical lab services than gen. Medicare patients
Mobil will sell its SA subsidiary to Gencor, which is the harshest of mining employers. Gencor says it will cont. support the Mobil Foundation
Namibia (Cockburn in Nation 5/1, Economist 4/15): Cockburn comments that US papers accepted SA charges much too readily when reporters not allowed in. Says there was no SWAPO agreement to keep forces N. of 16th parallel (90 mi inside Angola). Indeed, the treaty was negotiated w/out SWAPO. This makes 1st violence SA’s fault, breaking the ceasefire.
-Was unclear how long SWAPO had to reach UNTAG reception pts (which not set up in time), & SA overshadowed UN and guarded approaches.
-SWAPO says presence in Namibia justified under 1978 UN ind. plan
-SA controls election rules & could have min age 21, exclude people born in exile. SA will control voter registration; with just 200 UN monitors
Today is the end of the Bush Hundred Days. David Corn says, “Time flies when you’re not doing anything.”
It seems that, aside from Reilly at EPA, Bush’s environmental appointees are all James Wattlettes. One is James Ridenour, director of Nat Park Service. Headed Indiana (hint: Quayle) equivalent, highly pro-devt. Has never visited Yellowstone, Yosemite or Grand Canyon. Believes in fees, let in burn.
3 yrs ago, CA passed a law banning investment in comps w/SA investments. Since then, these comps have contrib to campaigns of 119 of 120 state legislators (the 1 being Tom Hayden).
An interesting question on abortion asked by Justice O’Connor was, if state can prohibit abortions, can it require them? Fried says that would be violent, but what is forced pregnancy?