Thursday, February 17, 2005
Gorbachev’s salary is $30,000 + house & car
Bush refuses to resign his 3 all-men’s clubs
They’re trying to find jurors for the North case who are completely ignorant.
Jim Wright shelves the bill for 24-hr notification of covert actions as “an opening gesture of good faith on our part”. Barker’s alleged gesture is an “agreement to disagree” on constitutionality of War Powers Act
Nicaragua will lay off 35,000 public employees--1% of entire pop
Israel sentences 5 Palestinian youths to 5 yrs for stone-throwing.
There is a military rebellion in Paraguay against Stroessner, who is out!
PW Botha will step down from NP leadership. Oddly, Winnie Mandela regrets this, as does Tutu. Ah, succeeded by de Klerk of NP’s right wing (Botha still state prez until Sept.) Interestingly, de Klerk’s brother may head a new liberal formation.
Sup Court nullifies Richmond, VA’s minority set-aside program, establishing that such plans must undergo some scrutiny as discrim against minorities--thus only as last resort. Doesn’t apply to fed.
Quayle in Latin Am. At inauguration of new prez Venezuela, speaks against debtors’ cartel. Pres Ven. responds against creditors’ cartel. Quayle also pissed at Carter, who met Ortega
Richard Burt to replace Max Kampelma at strategic arms talks
Israel’s new foreign min, Moshe Arenas, calls report that Arafat’s wing ceased attacks as “irrelevant,” “just a tactic.”
A Soviet weekly w/a 20-million circ. pub. Medvedev’s estimate of 20m victims of Stalin dead, 40m total
Bush’s sec interior wants to drill for oil in the Arctic Nat Wildlife Refuge
Shamir: “We hate these PLO terrorists for forcing us to kill Arab children.”
There will be a new liberal party called Democratic in SA of ind liberals, PFP
The highest earner in SK is the president of company that produces tear gas
Alexander Cockburn says Gen Rodriguez, new leader of Paraguay, biggest drug dealer in country.
Notes from panel, “The Bad News Bearers, News in the Bush Years”, Zellerback 2/5/89:
Christopher Hitchens: to check the objectivity of the press, note use of term Great Communicator, a value judgment, but not liar, an objective fact. The arrest of John Hull was or should have been, a major story. Hull of course well-connected to North, Abrams, Quayle, Bush’s office. Story pretty much unreported because didn’t fit into inauguration saturnalia because surely all that is behind us.
-Why are Scowcroft & Tower qualified for public office? They responsible for misleading & leading Tower Commission away from realities of power--unreported in confirmation hearings or stories
Mark Hertsgaard: in view of Reaganauts, the press is a filter to get themes to populace, but in fact press was a magnifying glass
-RR used Eisenhower’s policy of lightning rods--Stockman for economics, Watt for environ.
-As under Nixon, RR’s advisers met early every morning to decide the message of the day. In Grenada, it was “We got there just in time.”
-But 1st presidency to use total PR policy. Haldeman & Kissinger hated press, thought should w/hold info. RR’s people would give them premasticated stories in form press wanted in hope they’d stop being investigative journalists. Deaver said the only day he disliked was Friday, a slow news bad. A bad news story only has effect, acquires pol resonance, if taken up & repeated, not bombarded by admin’s story.
Barbara Payton: Press did not keep issue of Bush’s non-responsiveness on I-C before public. Some weeks before election, Bush said he wouldn’t answer q’s or specifics until after the election.
-City officials locally feel more comfortable not talking to the press since RR.
-Press talks of free mkt in China, where 20% of work force is child labor, wage disparities growing
-Quayle in El Salvador twice called for elimination of civil rights.
-The “end of the Cold War” being defined as victory by US--Cubans leaving Angola, less USSR support of Nicaragua. The “end” is being defined in US terms.
Robert Sheer: failure is not of the press but of D’s. If Jackson had been nominated, there would have been a debate on issues which would have been covered.
-RR destroyed the ideological base of right-wing, which is anti-communism, lost the hysterical basis it needs for its foreign policy. Free of anti-communism, he may lose false sense of national unity w/out analysis of class, race, etc. Jesse Jackson was 1st post-Cold War candidate.
-Should find common values, like terrorism
-If peace isn’t good for the left (i.e., if Cold War is over), who needs the left? Hopefully, the left doesn’t need an enemy as much as does the right
Cockburn: Jackson subdued by the press by NY, when he promised not to talk to Arafat.
Hitchens: the concept of conflict of interests has been abolished. The test of Tower is how close he is to the contractors.
-Press didn’t want to report changes in USSR until US gov discovered them. The same thing happened w/Ch under Nixon, Chomsky pointed out.
-How many of the major stories come as a surprise? Secret gov, intifada, glasnost. He became a journalist to know what was going on and that he wouldn’t have to read the newspapers.
New Statesman on Thatcher’s Official Secrets Bill. It will restore jail, rather than injunction, as a possibility. Does not recognize a pub interest argument. Absolute offences, however () in anything done by warrants under the proposed Security Service Act [MI5 charter] like burglary, or phone tapping or postal interception by anyone. Any repetition of publication is a fresh offence. Adds charge of leaking info provided by other govs or internat bodies. Repeating info pub abroad also illegal. While much info removed from scope of criminal law, no prosecutions anyway, and nothing to make info more accessible
US Army labs to defend troops against bio weapons are testing treatments on volunteers in China & Argentina, Liberia, SK.
Bush’s legal counsel & adviser on ethics appointed the transition tam’s liaison w/FCC while retaining interests in his “family company,” which owns 16 radio stations, cable.
-Boyden Gray resigned the firm. Incidentally, Safire ran the story. Gray has shown unfamiliarity w/regulations & policies, no doubt making him the perfect vetter. Himself files disclosures late w/out permission. Received excess outside income--it is ltd by law to 15% salary (not counting unearned income).
US State Dept condemns Israeli human rights violation, says soldiers fire when not in danger.
Judge in Iowa rules prisoners entitled to same magazines as other Iowans, inc porn
Texas’s Ag Commissioner, populist Jim Hightower, has plan to sell hormone-free beef to EEC.
Israel says PLO broke US’s conditions for talks because of a clash between guerillas & Israeli soldiers--in Lebanon!
Atty Gen Thornburgh has so many stocks, he has had to recuse himself from a large # of cases
After Namibia’s end Apr 1, the SWA Territorial Force will be disbanded, but SA will still pay these soldiers & give its anti-terrorist people new jobs in Namibian police. Election will be Nov. 1--2/3 needed to change const. SA said to hand out id’s to enfranchise UNITA rebels. SA will still hold Walvis Bay.
Thatcher now attacking NHS--plan, into effect 1991, will restrain pub spending. GPs will buy health care for their patients from hospitals. Encourages hospitals to opt out of local-authority control, w/cash tied to consumers (much like ed. proposals)
George Bush says competitiveness begins w/ed., so he’s putting Quayle in charge of a competitiveness commission
Michael Manley has won Jamaican election
GTE fired a worker who wanted a smoke-free area
B’nai B’rith apologizes for fund-raising letter saying “The Arab presence on campus is poisoning the minds of our young people.”
Bush says he wants a referendum in Puerto Rico & that he favors statehood
In Jan., Iranian radio had a woman say she couldn’t accept Mohamed’s daughter as role model. As result, the director of radio put in jail 5 yrs, 3 directors 4 yrs. All got 50 lashes
Jamaica: Manley got 44 of the 60 seats in Parl
December, S & L depositors w/drew a net $8.1b
US will cont. aiding Afghan Mujahadeen, although Soviets have left
UCB chancellor turned down proposal for gay couples to move into married student apts
Salman Rushdie’s novel Satanic Verses is causing some minor disturbances. It has been banned in many Muslim countries. It has been burned in Bradford. W H Smith withdrew it from their Bradford shop, citing lack of sales (it is #6 in hardbacks). Oddly, Muslims there are in alliance w/some Lab members to extend the blasphemy laws to cover it. In Pakistan, where the book is banned, there have been riots in which 5 people died aimed at getting the US to ban it. Meanwhile, the Ayatollah Khomenei has ordered the assassination of Rushdie & his publisher.
While the gov is complaining about shortage of tritium, it has sold $millions to priv comps US & foreign. Annual sales enough to provide fuel for 60 new or 1,000 old warheads.
Justice Dept & Ollie North’s prosecutor come to agreement whereby Justice could intervene on classified documents. Judge Gessell rejected it, so it goes to Sup Court.
The Pakistani Nat Ass & Bhutto’s Justice minister support a condemnation of Satanic Verses & urge US & Br to stop publication. Also banned India, SA
-None of the 5,000 rioters likely to have read it since it’s banned there.
Israel has spent $225m fighting the intifada over last yr.
-And Israel sold $650m goods to Palestinians in W Bank & Gaza 1988, compared to $928m 1987, partly because strikes reduce spending money
Jerry Brown elected chair of CA D’s
Winnie Mandela has been associating w/a group of, well, football hooligans, who act as her bodyguards & beat 4 youths, 1 possibly to death, at her home in Dec.
“One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.” Oscar Wilde.
“Religion has done love a great service by making it a sin.” Anatole France
New ambassador to Mexico is John Negroponte, who has held posts in VN, Honduras, NSC. A supervisor in Honduras of support to Contras. It has been suggested that he is in charge of anti-Cardenas campaign.
Union Carbide & India settled on $470m compensation for Bhopal. Only 4 yrs late. There were 3,500 dead, 200,000 injured, 500,000 claimants.
Quayle in El Salvador says USB expects “to work toward the elimination of human rights.” Before leaving he said US “condones violence in El Salvador.” They cut the press pool in half, handpicking them, so the Quayles’ Indianapolis News was repres but not NYT or Time. Forgot to allow in any Salvadoran reporters.
An Iranian relig leader offers $1m to any foreigner, 3X for any Iranian, who kills Salman Rushdie.
New Cent. Am. plan to close down Contra bases in Honduras in 90 dys. Nicaragua will release Contras & former Nat Guard. And elections Feb.
Iran says suicide squads forming to get Rushdie. Another $2.6m added.
The 14-yr old Winnie Mandela’s friends killed turned up dead (finally). She has bene pub condemned by UDF
Sakharov withdrew from elections because the Academy of Sciences rejected him as their candidate
Sec State James Baker is selling his banking holdings. But was it legitimate for him to hold them when Sec Treasury? For example, his 3-World debt plan was very pro-bank.
>10% of labor contracts 1987 were two-tier.
Michael Kinsley suggests in New Republic that even if Tower wasn’t bribed by being paid $750,000 by defense contractors last yr to “monitor developments” as he put it, do we want a sec defense who sees nothing wrong w/that much money, ultimately from the taxpayers, spent that way? “John Tower is a $600 toilet seat.”
Bush won’t support ban on semi-automatic assault rifles.
Waldenbooks, which owns 1,200 stores, the largest, pulled Satanic Verses, citing safety of employees.
Polish press for 1st time pub. evidence that USSR responsible for Katyn massacre
Bush is appointing to replace Elliott Abrams one Bernard Aronson, a man w/2 qualifications. 1) he is a Democrat. 2) He wrote a speech for RR that won $ for Contras. He knows nothing about Mexico, S Amer., even any other Cent. Am, or about debt, nor does he speak Spanish, but then, the Contras all speak English. What must Peru think? Or Brazil?
The last Soviet Lt-Gen Grovnov, left Afghanistan Wednesday. The ceremony: “He will pass without looking back. Then he will stop and deliver a speech, but just to himself. It will last one minute, 7 seconds. It will not be written down or listened to.”
For $39,000, we can provide a child prenatal care & preventive health through 18, Head Start, compensatory ed., summer jobs in HS, & 4 yrs of college. Or support an inmate in prison 17 mos.
Winnie Mandela’s little friends may have killed 2 more.
B. Dalton & Barnes & Noble also stopped selling Satanic Verses. With Walden, that’s 20-30% of US book sales. Canada also stopped importing it, while gov sees if it violates laws against hate literature (bullshit). Meanwhile, Iran’s prez says Rushdie might be spared if he apologized. Rushdie’s “sorry if you’re offended” wasn’t good enough.
Pete Wilson running for governor.
Klansman David Duke wins seat in LA. state lege
SA police claim to have found blood stains on Winnie Mandela’s wall. She has cut links w/her “bodyguards.”
Pat Roberston says Tower’s affairs are sufficient reason for disqualification.
For 1st time, the Fed Reserve refused a bank permission to expand because of discrim in loans
Commerce Sec Mosbacher, who was Bush campaign’s finance chair, distressed that more campaign fundraisers haven’t been given pol appointments. >12 who gave $100,000+ or solicited millions are being ambassadors or sub-Cabinet. Expect Commerce to be full of them. Also head of USIA, ambassador to Luxembourg, Fr, Sp, Australia, Br & maybe Switz, Venezuela
Solidarity seems to have agreed w/Polish gov plan for 60% Parl seats CP, 40% non-, presumably meaning Solidarity
Noam Chomsky on KPFA. Says rise of Japan, Korea dir. related to their roles in VN war. Says US abstention from voting is exactly among those who elsewhere vote for a labor party. 1984 poll showed that even those who voted for RR didn’t want his leg. program enacted
-Time constraints on tv, radio serve the est. views, which can be expressed in 2 mins. w/out being backed up, while dissident views need longer
-All Watergate amounted to was: the powerful (D’s) will defend themselves. Cambodia not on the bill of indictment
EEC countries all w/drawing ambassadors from Iran because of threats to Salman Rushdie. Yugoslavia is publishing
Sup Court allows use of RICO against pornography sellers. But not to seize assets before a trial. Acknowledged that sentences up to 10 yrs & $20,000 might lead to booksellers practicing self-censorship. Justice White said, “But deterrence of the sale of obscene materials is a legitimate end of state anti-obscenity laws.”
2 of W. Mandela’s bodyguards indicted.
Bush says the latest FBI report on Tower clears him. Sam Nunn says not, and more interestingly John Warner says there might be reasonable differences.
B. Dalton & Barnes & Noble to resume selling Satanic Verses.
Salvadoran guerillas said would lay down arms if Army is restructured, reduced, atrocities investigated, reorganiz of security forces under civilian control
New INS policy to dispose of refugee claims almost instantly. Those who appeal will be detained.
Sen. Armed Force Cmte voted negative recommendation for John Tower. 11-9 party-line vote. Sam Nunn commented that Tower’s drinking in the past would disqualify him for commands lower down.
New Algerian const for end one-party rule, right to strike.
Sup Court said Texas can’t exempt relig pubs from sales tax
Sup Court says failure of state to protect a child from father’s brutality did not violate his const rights. Soc workers had failed to intervene, 6-3.
Bush says the honeymoon is still going fine.
Khomeini said the Rushdie dispute proved it was pointless to pursue moderate policies to win favor abroad. Did I miss something?
Saudi Arabia may try Rushdie in absentia and perhaps sue him for slander against Islam in Br.
Islamic Jihad in Lebanon mentions subtly that it has 3 Amer. hostages. And mentions Rushdie...
Fr & Ger finally to pub Satanic Verses
Israel tv banned airing interview w/Arafat. Policy is not to do as long as gov’s position is against contacts w/PLO.
The Union Carbide Bhopal settlement will result in 50¢ reduction of profits/stock, $1.09 left over, for 1988
Money for UN peacekeeping force in Namibia held up by desire of west to buy oil & supplies in SA, contrary to sanctions
12 people died in rioting Bombay over Satanic Verses.
-Iranian speaker of Parl Rafsanjani said if someone does kill Rushdie, shouldn’t be blamed on Iran as it is a relig obligation
Afghan rebels proclaim a “Free Muslim State.” Its PM Abdul Sayaf is fundamentalist who opposes educating women
Moldavian CP just admitted that Moldavian language is Romanian.
Kosovo is now virtually in state of siege, in anti-Serbian strikes, call for firing of its party leader. Milosevic/Serbia now has partial control there, total in Vojvodina & his supporters hold Montenegro & Macedonia.
Alexander Cockburn, Nation 3/6/89 suggests the estimates of Stalin’s victims are much too high, cites demographical works by Jerry Hough & Merle Fainsod (sp?) which say that shortfall of pop over what would be expected is 3.5m or so, not 20m.
2 from Nat Sec Archive comment that Thornburgh’s threats to abort the North trial are similar to the trial of Richard Helms when Bush as DCI tried to withhold documents from Asst Atty Gen Thornburgh!
USSR foreign min visited Iran. Khomeini trying to move closer to USSR after the devilish conspiracy of W. to defame Islam (Rushdie). Suggested Gorbachev convert.
Satanic Verses comes home: Cody’s & Walden in Berkeley were bombed.
Some of those running in USSR election are conservs & outright Stalinists & members of Pamyat, which sees liberalization as a Jewish-West-Masonic plot. And trying (successfully?) to block more liberals.
John Tower promised on Sunday talk shows not to drink as sec def. (an obvious move, I’d thought).
-Sam Nunn accused White House of leaking misleading bits of the FBI report on him, threatens to reopen hearings
In Israeli local elections, Likud did v. well at expense of Labor. Also relig
Bush in China. Ch. gov kept out of his, get this, barbeque, a civil rights advocate. US did not protest.
-SK also arrested people, but that wasn’t mentioned. China, meanwhile, says Bush should have asked permission before inviting Fang Lizhi. They also lectured Bush on how democracy would ruin Ch & US shouldn’t support Ch civil rights mvmt.
-This part of new theory, “new authoritarianism,” using Taiwan, SK, Singapore as models of 1-party authoritarian govs
NYT in “Honduran Army Backs Dismantling of Contras” as per the accord, seems to find little contradiction in its saying that no Honduran troops would do so.
Duarte proposed to postpone election 6 weeks. Rejected by ARENA & the Democratic Convergence (on left).