Friday, February 18, 2005
Gorbachev acceded to Baltic demands for commission to study Hitler-Stalin pact. If annexation is decided to have been illegitimate, what then? Gorbachev says he can’t find the original, nor could he get it from W Ger
Ch. to restrict all press coverage. Prior approval for martial-law areas. No coverage of democracy activities. No interviews to be given by Chinese w/foreign journalists. Students have built a 27-foot Statue of Liberty.
Pentagon says under Bush’s proposals it will destroy only old US equipment.
Chief of KGB says Sup Soviet should set up a commission of oversight, like that in US, and have approval of KGB head.
Japan has new PM, Sovsike Uno, who set no conditions for reforms, as Ito had. The opponents of reform have won
Ayatollah Khomeini d.
Justice Dept coerced American Bar Assoc to stop considering pol & ideology in judicial evaluations.
Project Censored 1989:
1) Bush’s dirty secrets, inc use by Nixon to discredit chief investigator of Sen. Watergate Cmte, CIA status in 1960s, meeting Noriega in 1976 & what he must have known; leading team, as VP, to dismantle environ. protections, associations in campaign w/Marcos business associate, CIA operative, Nazi sympathizers. Owning props w/racial covenants. History of affairs. Raising 3rd-country Contra aid.
2) EPA deliberately soft-peddling pollution stories, which prez swallowed. That OMB meeting w/industry to cut costs of EPA regs, to be adopted by EPA. EPA officials worked w/paper industry to cover up info about dioxin in paper & paper-mill discharge
3) Again, danger of nuclear disaster on space shuttle in Project Galileo
4) Dangers of food irradiation
5) Deaths from acid rain: lung cancer, childhood cancer, childhood retardation. Death toll could be 50-200,000/yr
6) Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit which links most major police forces in US, Canada. Priv organiz
7) Deaths of children from cutbacks in soc services in 3 World paying off debt. Developing world spends ¼ of export revenues paying debt. 40 poorest countries have halved health spending, cut ed. ¼
8) Danger of a const conv
9) US ignoring World Court. In the 1986 Nicaraguan case, issue of reparations required a statement by July88, US did not
-Other stories: US-owned plants in Mexico & toxics.
-Germ-warfare toxins sent through mail
-Sw. eliminates nuclear power
-Adolescent mental institutions
-Abuse of women illegal immigrants
Troops have taken over in Beijing, using tanks & auto. weapons. NYT stories, p.8 Monday: “The West Condemns the Crackdown” and “Bush Admin Ponders Response.” Troops may be cremating corpses. Figures for dead range from 200 to 2,600. So far. Students not resisting, just being killed
Nominees of Bush inc F. Henry Habicht Jr., to be deputy administrator EPA. He served under Meese as asst atty gen for Land & Natural Resources. Overseeing environmental law enforcement, inc for the Superfund. Then joined July87 Wm Ruckelshaus’s law firm to work on his industry-backed Coalition on Superfund, to eliminate an enforcement provision.
-And James Cason as asst sec of agric to oversee US Forest Service & Soil Conservation Service. Had been under James Watt, where tried to allow more strip-mining & prevent Forest Service control oil & gas leasing in nat forests. 1988 called for drilling in Arctic Nat Wildlife Refuge, saying no one ever visited. 1987 helped timber, saying spotted oil would be on endangered list over his dead body.
Israeli military to issue computer-coded id cards to Gaza residents. If show more than 2 convictions for offenses, inc stone-throwing, will not be allowed to work in Israel.
Bush stopped arms shipments to China. Said this is no time for emotional response. Of course it it.
-Reports say Ch. 38th army is fighting the 27th, which is putting down Beijing. Troops occupying campuses. Images today of 1 student halting an entire tank convoy. Even now, many soldiers refusing to fight. Students have taken or been given, some machine guns.
-Bush says this would be a bad time to reduce relations. Constructive engagement lives. Believes relationship w/Ch. is vital to US
-The question is, has Deng Xiaping gone off his tiny head? Maybe literally, since he is in hospital now. This has set back everything he’s done for a decade. Some suggest he thinks of the students like those of the Cult. Revo, when his son was defenestrated. Or he may be dead or out of it. This is so mindless--over 1000 dead--and so radicalizing.
-Troops are taking up defensive positions, indicating expect attack from other units.
-The 27th army is indeed from Inner Mongolia--associated w/Prez Yang
-The People’s Daily did not appear Monday
-Bush wants econ links to cont. because of liberating effects. Will not remove ambassador. Jesse Helms & Stephen Solarz say otherwise.
Polish CP said Solidarity won elections, called for coalition gov. Solidarity swept the 161 seats open to opposition of 460 in lower house. And perhaps 96 of 100 Sen. seats, w/leg veto. Solidarity says many unopposed gov figures failed to get 50%, inc 8 of 17 in Politburo inc PM, Interior & Defense ministers. CP had insisted on 35 unopposed candidates. Solidarity would have preferred they win, in order to keep cooperation & to shift power from party to Parl
Solidarity refused coalition
Sup Court 3-4 relieves burden on employers in discrim cases. Plaintiffs have to prove that discrim practices have no business-related justification
Air Force denies top security clearances to women who have had abortions, claiming they are untrustworthy & likely targets of blackmail
Tom Foley of Wash. elected House Speaker. R’s claim he is a liberal, voting w/Barney Frank 81% of time. Frank is gay. And said Foley was coming “out of the liberal closet.” Not that the apologies are much better. Atwater says that interpretation would be unfair to Foley
Greenpeace says 50 nuclear warheads & nuclear reactors (10, CNN says) have been dropped on ocean floor since 1956
Goodyear pulling out of SA
Ch. television says no one died in Tiananmen Square. Troops are just to protect the Great Hall of the People. It is said most injuries suffered by troops
-Soviet Congress of Deps condemned outside pressure on Ch., says this an internal matter. Soviet press hasn’t said much. Pravda says it’s because no perm correspondent in Beijing.
-Br refuses to stop transfer of Hong Kong or allow in immigrant which would double the ethnic minority pop (Sir Geoffrey Howe).
Poland: Solidarity got 92/100 in Senate, 160 of the 161 it contested in lower house
-Pravda has also failed to report this; its correspondent is on vacation.
-35 unopposed candidates failed to get 50%, inc PM, mins defense, interior
US bans ivory imports. Ditto EEC
Sacramento voters voted to shut down Rancho Seco nuclear power plan. Times [LA or NY?] says on no authority at all that it was based less on environ & safety than economics. Tom Harden more intelligently points out that the plant could not be both economical & safe
Cambridge, Mass appoints a commissioner to supervise all experiments on animals
A report by HUD’s inspector general finds abuse & mismgmt throughout programs. Section 8 loans on inadequate or no reviews. The programs driven by lobby by prominent R’s.
-One project on Long Island benefitted from lobbying by Alfonse D’Amato, who prevented disciplining of the project & of the villages board member, high in HUD, whose son got a house. Almost no blacks got houses in 4,200 Island Park. The houses, sold at $4-50,000, reselling at $250,000. Many R’s got preferential treatment, & employees’ relatives & D’Amato’s cousin. Officials failed to count investment income towards income max. HUD bought is a pool.
The guy responsible for the Foley memo resigned. Atwater & Bush are shocked, shocked I say, to hear there have been smear tactics.
Bush won’t start one of them liberal grain embargoes against China
Poland. Rykowski says election did not reflect “the real collective will of society”. None of CP candidates won on 1st round. 85% voted. But fissures in Solidarity between Caths & libs
USSR says it will cont. cutting military budget at least until 1995, reaching 1/3. Said cost of Afghan War was $70b.
-Will end indust subsidies by 1991 now given to 9,000 enterprises.
-Sharp increase for 20m pensioners. Proposed end to special privileges in health care.
Japan criticizes China, evidently a 1st.
-Ch gov official death figure is 300, mostly soldiers
-I wonder if more than a dozen soldiers have been killed?
-US embassy gave refuge to famous dissident Fang Lizhi
Kemp to investigate Island Park, placed the NY administrator D’Amato protected on leave
Deng Xiaping finally reappeared
-Demonstrations cont. in Shanghai
SA renews state of emergency for a 4th yr
Rafsanjani offered to help get US hostages out if US helps w/Iranian hostages in Lebanon (who were probably executed yrs ago)
Bush concord’s w/Pakistan’s view that Majhullah should leave as precondition for peace talks in Afghan.
Walesa says Solidarity seeks “not to rule, only to exercise control, and to broaden democracy & freedom.” They why run for office?
US claims Nicaragua ships arms to Panama
El Salvador’s chief of staff assassinated
More investigations at HUD. This time, diversion of money.
-Also, same old influence-peddling. James Watt says he got $300,000 for 8 phone calls & 1 half-hr meeting w/Pierce. Plus $120,000 for lobbying before D of Energy, Home Loan Bank Board, Bureau of Indian Affairs
D of Energy’s Rocky Flats (Colorado) nuclear weapon plant twice discharged toxic chemicals into drinking water creeks, blocked enforcement of pollution laws.
Thank god Japan found Mr. Clean to lead them after all the corruption scandals. Now if only his ex-geisha would shut up.
Deng: “A very small number of people created turmoil, and this eventually developed into a counterrevolutionary rebellion. They are trying to overthrow the Communist party, topple the socialist system and subvert the People’s Republic of China, so as to establish a capitalist republic.” This he reappeared for? He showed up w/lots of old reactionaries.
-Ch gov issues warrant for Fang Lizhi, now in US embassy. In re-written history, Fang was a major actor in the counterrrevo plot
Ch. also suggesting VOA responsible
-Canada recalls ambassador
Judge orders a klansman to memorize the Boy Scout oath.
In a Utah court case which said a kid couldn’t be adopted by polygamists, which is of course illegal, ACLU of Utah amicus brief supports polygamy
Alfonsin will leave early. The 7 mo per. between election & inauguration has brought chaos. And the Peronists seem unwilling to be responsible.
-Menem making conditions about taking over early. Wants Alfonsin to get blame for econ, make decisions. If Menem doesn’t--it’ll go to his bother, prez of senate
Quayle said Nicaragua’s Feb. elections will be a sham. Claims an “axis,” an “anti-demo. triangle” between Nic.-Cuba-Panama. Quayle trying to take over Cent. Am. policy, since Baker not interested
Ethnic Turks are being forced out of Bulgaria into Turkey. 12,000, Turkey says
Ch consulates in US videotaping of protests of Ch. students there. Some are getting anon. phone calls.
Rep. Julian Dixon, Demo chair of House Ethics Cmte, changed disclosure to show that a 1988 dividend on wife’s invest. of $100,000 was for an invest. of $5-15,000 1986
Ch. putting out wanted lists for student leaders
Bush 1st veto, of min wage increase
Sup Court 5-4 allows subsequent legal challenges by white workers to court-approved affirmative action settlements. No time limit mentioned so perhaps someone hired yrs after a consent decree can bring suit.
-Also 5-3 time limits on challenges to discriminatory seniority systems to 300 dys.
The Daily News bureau chief wrote May 30 (unreported in NYT) that the attack on Foley was spread by Gingrich’s staff.
-Don’t think I mentioned Justice leaks about Wm Gray, who was questioned in an FBI investigation of someone else.
The unopposed Polish candidates who lost will now face runoffs against other communists. 8 will not run again, inc PM Rakowski, interior & defense ministers
Quayle, in Cent. Am., met w/d’Aubuisson
Menem will take office June 30
Congress failed 247-178 to uphold min wage increase
RR given honorary knighthood Br
Spending on AIDS now equaling cancer, heart disease
Dick Gephardt elected House Majority Leader, Wm Grey House Whip. Gephardt says he won’t run for prez 1992.
Br demanding VN refugees be forcibly repatriated. HK, screening 1,327 cases for refugee status Jun88-Mar89, only allowed 3
Ch. PM Li Peng says foreign countries shouldn’t “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people at this time.”
Quayle in El Salvador (or, as he calls it, “Honduras”): “I made very clear our position on human rights. I did not want to see any embarrassment” to Cristiani. Such moral outrage.
Ex-PM Chirac, who made some sort of deal over hostages before last election, said the 200th is a good time to release a pro-Iranian terrorist.
China told HK people to keep out of pro-demo. activities.
-There were clashes w/military in Chengdu as well, hitherto unmentioned. 3 weeks of demos
-Ch. expels 1½ journalists (the ½ = VOA)
India rejects Sri Lankan request that Ind troops (45,000) leave by July
Ch court already has sentenced 3 to death. Workers who burned a train that rammed protesters, killing 6. No one died in the fire. 1-day trial
State Dept, CIA, NSA refusing to give documents to Senate on Donald Gregg’s involvement in Contra resupply
Sen. passed John Negroponte to be ambassador to Mexico, Richard Burt strategic arms negotiator, Bernard Aronson asst sec state for Inter-America, John Kelly for near East, S Asia
All local offices of HUD will be investigated by Justice. Millions may have been stolen from sale of gov-owned houses. One, “Robin HUD” claims to have given $5.5m to charity (plus a mink & pool for herself)
Lee Atwater says Claude Pepper’s seat in Florida should go to a Cuban. 1 Demo quit the campaign because of it
Sup Court 5-4 upholds Civil Rights Act of 1866 against discriminatory hiring, but said after that anything goes. The law relates only to making of contracts (isn’t condition of work related to ability to carry out contract?) (Yes, Brennan agrees).
Sup Court 5-4 allows presumption that a child is that of the mother’s husband. Scalia found adultery “extraordinary” & found no basis for giving parental rights to the real father.
Deng Xiaping says turmoil was “determined by a large international climate and a small Chinese climate.” Evidently criticism of Warsaw Pact. Said because had dec. martial law & asked people not to be in streets, “If you are killed in the streets, then you are a counter-revolutionary.”
Japan also stopping ivory imports
China law to require 2 exit permits instead of 1, the 2nd being from the police
Hungary held a funeral for Imgre Nagy. Romania & Czech. condemn it in harsh terms
Nicaragua will require visas for Amers.
USSR will (has?) reduce capital crimes from 18 to 6 (treason, espionage, terrorism, sabotage, homicide & rape of minors). Women exempted, those under 18 or over 60 at time of sentencing
Ch. has announced 1,300 arrests. 11 death sentences
The NRLB said employers may not drug test union workers but can test applicants even if union objects
-Sup Court allowed RRs to test w/out bargaining, but it is probably a narrow case, coming under the Railway Labor Act.
HUD 1988 reversed itself to give money to a Minn. housing project after it hired Robert Weinberger, nephew of Casper, aide to Gov. Reagan.
-Island Park being sued by a Hispanic resident who was rejected for a subsidized house.
In Greek elections, Papendreou’s socialists lost (39.1%) but right did not get majority. Papendreou has been following around publicly with a stewardess
Burma = Myanamar. Rangoon = Yangon.
In Eur Parl elections, Br Labour took 45 seats v. 32 for Tories (total 81). Greens got 15%, totally unexpected, 2.3m (but no seats). Democrats 7%. Lab 40% vote (36% 1984), Tories 34 (41). 4 seats to nationalist parties. Tories no seats Scotland.
-In gen., far right won while Christ Dems lost votes, inc in W Ger. Republicans got 7.1%, Christ Dems. 37.8 (down from 46 1984), SPD 37.3. Republicans won among young & males. Bavaria & Baden-Württemberg.
-With 1992 approaching, when are voters going to take its elections seriously?
-Socialists in gen picked up 15, right lost 33. Greens doubled to 39 from 20
Donald Gregg passed out by Sen. cmte
China executes 3. Yesterday Bush cut off higher-level contacts, will oppose devt funds [see 12/18/89]
Sup Court, only 5-4, said people can destroy or desecrate flag.
The Slovenian Parl adopts a const amend granting it right to secede.
Gov. Dukakis proposed relieving overcrowding in prisons by deporting illegal alien prisoners.
Sup Court says Congress could not outlaw Dial-a-Porn. Can ban obscene but not indecent language--with no definitions.
Sup Court 5-4 says right to free lawyers doesn’t inc post-conviction, inc for capital offenses. At least 1/3 of cases over overturned or lightened now on appeal, on const grounds.
Soviet PM announced foreign debt at $52b, 2% of GNP. Poland’s = 14%
Sup Court allows executions of mentally retarded & juveniles, 5-4 in both cases. 22 states allow execution down to age 16, only GA & MD forbid for retarded
A R consultant acknowledges inf a $43m HUD grant for a client but said he acted “within in the system”. Also bought in before anyone knew of the HUD funding. Rents above mkt value to make HUD supplement rents
Ch. has been blaming agitation on high-level reformists around ex-Party Gen Sec Zhao Ziyang. Said secret info was leaked & different views of Cent Cmte publicized, leading to ideological confusion. Deng Xiaping compares it to US in 1960s
Illegitimacy rate of 1st children in US now 40%
In dissent in the flag-burning case, Rehnquist says “The flag is not simply another ‘idea’ or ‘point of view’ competing for recognition in the marketplace of ideas.” Says Court is ignoring Justice Holmes that “a page of history is worth a volume of logic.” Suggests such speech is not for communicating & persuading, indulged in just to antagonize. Bush wants a Const amend against flag-burning.
Bush does not support legislation, in contrast, to overturn Sup Court’s anti-anti-discrimination decisions. Thornburgh says we should wait to see if it works.
Sup Court 5-4 allows gov to seize assets from indicted drug defendants & leave them w/out funds to hire an attorney. Affects all RICO cases. What this means is lawyers may have fees taken, & find they have worked for free. Whose interests will lawyers wind up representing? What about plea bargains?
There is a formal cease-fire in Angola
Post-Khomeini Iran moving closer to USSR. Rafsanjani rapidly taking control. Refused to revoke death “prescription” against Rushdie
Soviet Sup Soviet questioning of candidates for Cabinet caused PM to withdraw 8. Will only be televised after working hrs since live broadcasts of Congress of Deputies reduced productivity.
Zhao Ziyang replaced as party leader by Jiang Zemin, head of Shanghai CP, responsible for crackdown there
Much of Hungarian CP power to () Gen Sec Gorsz for new chairman, reformist Rezso Nyers, who was ousted from Politburo 1973, reinstated 1988.
If Robert Bork had been on Sup Court, he says, flag-burning would be illegal
700 Cambodians who fled Khmer Rouge camps to other camps will be returned to KR control in agreement w/Thais & non-communist Cambodians.
Since 1979 5 state execute under-18s--US, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Rwanda & Bardabos. 30 people who were under 18 are now on death row
Lynn Nofziger’s conviction reversed as he did not knowingly break law
House refused to hold or cut back $ to El Salvador, Cristiani or no Cristiani
A former aide to Noriega testified to the Kerry subcmte that Noriega passed $500,000 to an opponent of Costa Rica’s Oscar Arias
Interior Dept failed to assess any civil penalties against oil industry for 6 yrs despite 16,000 infractions, 1,300+ on rigs off CA coast. Inspectors of oil rigs found infractions more than 30% of visits.
An LAT editorial comments that what John Paul Stevens & Rehnquist wrote about the flag is that it conveys a message that nothing else conveys, but that burning it conveys nothing that couldn’t have been done elsewhise.