Friday, February 18, 2005
Cheney says Gorbachev will fail. Bush, on the other hand, says we want perestroika to succeed.
US says it will pull out of any UN organiz that allows in the PLO. The WHO will vote on that.
Penguin books in Br incurred $2.9m in security charges related to Satanic Verses.
The Jim Wright scandal is percolating along nicely. Total sums involved are $145,000 over 10 yrs + $50,000 from his book. Worse perhaps, but not deemed wrong, were bullying the Federal Home Loan Board for local banks, demanding a regulator be removed because he was, Wright said, a homosexual. Held up legislation until the FHLB fired another regulator
Hungary is tearing down its border w/Austria, which will be the only free E-W border
Kampuchea is now officially Cambodia again. And Sihanouk to be invited back as head of state. Sihanouk told Quayle Khmer Rouge could be kept out only if Ch. abandons support. Quayle: “Lethal aid is an option under considerancy. We have the option of doing it overtly or covertly.” Hun Sen modified const to abolish death penalty, allow priv ownership, protect religion
Bush is already not recognizing the results of Panama’s election, which will occur Sunday.
Bush still claims Nicaragua is supporting rebels in Honduras, El S., Guatemala & also USSR.
Arafat says the PLO charter bit about destroying Israel is null & void
White House claims a document written by then Ambassador to Honduras Negroponte (covert warrior extraordinaire) proves Bush didn’t seek aid from Honduras for Contras 1985. Also says RR admin procedure for releasing documents to I-C hearings good enough.
Sup Court 6-3 says an employer has burden of proving that its refusal to hire or promote someone is legitimate, not discriminatory [that can’t be constitutional]
Way back in 1978, Allen Bakke ordered admitted to Stanford as a prize for bringing suit. Bakke may have been discriminated against, or not, but didn’t have to prove he would have been admitted w/out the quota. So it is now up to employers to prove that even w/out discrim, result would be the same. Only has to prove that discrim “more likely than not” irrelevant. Still, strikes me as presumption of guilt.
Harvard’s student council rejects bringing back ROTC as unconst because ROTC discriminates against gays, thus denies them scholarships.
US, still pushing for end to agric supports worldwide, will subsidize wheat to USSR.
Paul Nitze says Bush is mistaken in not negotiating on short-range missiles, as W Ger wants. Could eliminate a large Soviet advantage.
Considering, Henry Kissinger has quite a low profile right now.
Right to strike will be intro. USSR
Fed judge injunction on INS deporting Salvadorans from S Texas w/out legal counsel
NYT comments that Shimon Peres and Labor gen. have virtually disappeared
NYT & WaPo say ♀ reporters who marched for abortion rights violated conflict-of-interest policies
Fed Appeals court ordered army to allow a gay to re-enlist but sidestepped const issue (because had allowed him to re-enlist before). Before 1981, homosexual activity had to be proved, not just homosexuality.
Lee Hamilton said neither RR nor Bush candid in pub statements on their roles in Iran-Contra
Bush’s nominee for asst sec state for Af Affairs, Herman Cohen, “distressed” that Mobil pulling out of SA.
Under a new CA law holding parents responsible for criminal activity by kids, a mother arrested after her 17-year old son raped someone, on grounds she condoned his gang membership.
The USSR right to strike is for (gov-sanctions) unions, not indivs. Excludes pol strikes like those in Armenia, Georgia recently
Bush finally broke silence on 1985 deal w/Honduras over Contras. Said there was no quid pro quo.
After 5 yrs, Nigeria will allow pol activity, system to produce elections 1992 fought by exactly 2 parties. Combined w/previous perm ban from pol life of anyone previously in power, might end tribalism as basis of politics
The Iranian moderate Rafsanjani, speaker of Parl, called on Palestinians to kill 5 Westerners for every Palestinian killed, blow up W. factories, hijack planes. Condemned Arafat for recognizing Israel, giving up terrorism.
Susan Estrich, Dukakis’s campaign manager, was raped by a black man, presumably not Willie Horton
Mark Green: “There are still machine politics, but the machine is television.”
The current Contra aid package is $6,055 per Contra. In Nicaragua, per cap income is $775. After transport & admin, still $4,900 per
Cal. Sup Court upholds Prop 103 on auto insurance
A Soviet Orientalist said Soviet troops involved in the 1979 Afghan coup used as excuses for intervention--in Izvestia.
Ollie North convicted of shredding documents, lying to Congress, accepted illegal gratuity (the security fence) but not on 9 other charges. The 1st would bar him from holding pub office & lose his Marine pension. Evidently, jurors saw him as a scapegoat, convicted only on those his responsibility alone. By the by, jury entirely black.
SA refused to stop hunting SWAPO & return to bases.
CNN will broadcast to USSR, possibly from August.
Cost of executing someone ave $2-3m. Cost of life imprisonment $600,000 in NY
The OMB changed testimony of director of NASA’s Goddard Institute to Senate on global warming, to make it seem less serious & certain
Quayle abroad: great diplomat. Late to Indonesia because diving & tennis in Australia. Kept Lee Kwan Yew (PM, Singapore) waiting while playing golf. Lavished praise on Suharto, said his econ programs could be counted as human rights
In 1965, US lost an H-bomb off Okinawa
Shuttle has (finally) sent Magellan probe to Venus
Economist gives figures from Amnesty Int on executions. Mid 1985-mid 1988 Iran led w/743, US 66, USSR 63+. Quotes Amn Int: “If hanging a woman by her arms until she experiences excruciating pain is rightly condemned as torture, how does one describe hanging her by the neck until she is dead. If administering 100 votes of electricity to the most sensitive parts of a man’s body evokes disgust, what is the appropriate response to the administration of 2,000 volts to his body in order to kill him.”
The ship that lost the H-bomb off Japan 1965 was involved in VN & armed with nukes.
Neil Kinnock trying to water down Labour policies, starting w/unilateralism. Would oppose modernization by NATO of tactical nukes, press for end of flexible response. Nat Exec has voted to end unilateralism
Panama had what might for lack of a better term be called elections Sunday. Carter & Ford down there dec the election stolen. Opposition says they got 3/4 of vote. Massive fraud and violence there was, though I wonder if there’s really any evidence what honest elections actually would have shown. Bush, who spent $10m to inf the election, claims Noriega perpetrated irregularities. There’s no indication Bush will be less impotent than was RR.
Appeals court upheld right of fed-financed family planning centers to inform ♀ of abortion as an option.
Panama’s electoral commission nullified the election, blaming, funnily enough, the opposition & US meddling. Panama has expelled some foreign reporters. Paramilitary squads beat up the opposition president & VP candidates. The latter it seems, has disappeared. The death squad is called Dignity Battalions, formed last yr & given arms in days before elections
Rafsanjani claims he didn’t really call for those deaths, just predicting. PLO had rejected it, of course
Bush will send 2,000 more troops to Panama (to 13,000)
Gorbachev pulling 500 short-range missiles out of Eur, about 5%.
RR will be paid $2m for a one-week visit to Japan in Oct. (more than earned as president in 8 yrs). Is paid by Fujisankei Communications, to which RR gave exclusive interview 1983. Charles Wick brokered the deal Oct88, flying to Japan at gov expense.
Bush talking about threat to democracy from Panama, to democracy in hemisphere by totalitarianism.
Wm Bennet, drug tsar, “looking into” “boot camps” for drug users. Still not concentrating on treatment
Kenya wants world-wide ban on ivory trade, which Tanzania just ended.
Bush: “A professional Panamanian Defense Force can have an important role to play in Panama’s democratic future.
-Opposition wants election to stand.
There is a mvmt to censure Newt Gingrich for violating House decorum. Attacked Tip O’Neill as a “thug”, Wright as “least ethical speaker in the twentieth century,” a “genuinely corrupt man” “so consumed by his own power that he is like Mussolini.”
WHO voted not to admit PLO.
Bush says he wants to reintegrate the USSR into the community of nations. Didn’t know they weren’t. This is supposed to go beyond containment. Says they must 1) reduce forces, 2) allow E Ger self-determination, 3) help in regional, 4) human rights, 5) global issues like drugs & environment. Renewed Ike’s Open Skies Proposal. This is presumably Bush’s way of regaining the initiative--it is all demand, no offer.
In his S & L bailout proposal, Bush wants new agency to borrow the $50b--off-budget & threatens veto if doesn’t get it. Would cost more too, since Treasury can borrow cheaper
Fed agencies ineffective in protecting Indian oil wells from theft. Bureau of Land Mgmt’s supervisor for inspection & enforcement in Tulsa said didn’t call FBI about theft because he couldn’t find the phone number. Underfunded. BLM has 9 inspectors for 5,000 OK. wells, 3,000 Amerind. They discovered $20,000 theft in 8 yrs. Sen. Cmte investigated & found millions in 6 mos.
Richard Perle wants a global ban on tactical nukes. Is trick, right? Perle never met an arms control treaty he liked.
80% of senior gov positions still not filled.
When Bush said US wold exercise all its rights in Panama, I was wondering what provocation that covered. Evidently means military maneuvers & convoys of troops going out of their way to drive through downtown Panama City.
Richard Gephard, protectionist extraordinaire, wants equal access to influence-buying in Japan. They spend money here, we should be able to there.
US ambassador to Panama now leaving, says Noriega ordered the killing (unsuccessful) of opposition VP candidate.
Atty Gen Thornburgh is explaining how a kinder, gentler America requires the death penalty & tougher anti-crime measures. These inc $1b for new prisons, more FBI agents, banning foreign semi-automatics but not domestic
Environmentalist pressure got Hungary to stop a major dam project (in partnership w/Czech.)
Argentina. Peronists won election.
USSR says it has stopped arms shipments to Nicaragua.
In a Florida law requiring parental consent for abortion, Anthony Kennedy ordered a stop for a 15-year old. But Kennedy shouldn’t have recognized the standing of a guardian for the fetus.
-The girl aborts
Sup Court 6-3 overrules a precedent, allows prisons to censor publications a prisoner may receive if it may lead to violence or explicitly homosexual. The 1973 case inc pubs dealing w/prison concerns like medical care.
UN votes 1988 supported US position 15.4% of time
In Argentina, Peronist’s Carlos Saul Menem got 47%, 37% for Radical Civil Union
Gorbachev is in China making nice & avoiding massive demonstrations. Has offered de-militarization of border
Bush said of Panamanian military: “I would love to see them get him out.” Has said that only Noriega is obstacle to closer relations.
The hole in the ozone layer is killing off the plant life whales eat.
Amnesty Int. says Indian peacekeeping troops in Sri Lanka are torturing & burking people. Sri Lankan courts not cooperated with.
Israel throwing out Gaza workers as threat for what they could expect if reject Israel’s elections. Peres objects. Meanwhile, plan for elections in Occupied (not inc E Jerusalem) supported in Parl 43-15-11. Out of 120, showing lack of unity. Israeli Jews unwilling to do the shit work, like construction, that cheap Gaza & WB workers provide
In SA, Helen Suzman will retire
USSR will pull 120,000 soldiers off border w/Ch. (of 600,000)
NYT comments that Bush’s last week’s 1st address on E-W policy was delivered so that it would go into the least-read Sat. papers. Says Bush team doesn’t know how to respond to Gorbachev, expressing annoyance w/G’s initiative.
2 Republican pol consultants--Richard Shelby, former RR personnel officer, now pol director of R Senatorial Cmte, & Fred Bush, fundraiser for Bush campaign--admitted having little or no knowledge of housing when employed by developers seeking HUD subsidies.
New Iran-Contra memos. Dec85 North wrote that Honduras was accustomed to US manipulating aid to secure concessions and that “they are now using this same tactic with us.” Another said US would not be “public relations/media operation” in Guatemala on Cerezo’s behalf for his 1986 contra help. From Dec85 memo: North to Poindexter: “Lopez and his colonels recognize that the only leverage they have over us is their covert support for the Nic. resistance.” Memo 1986 by Alan Friefs, head of CIA Cent. Am. Task Force says Honduras extracting aid for cooperation & should be given it.
Fed District Judge strikes down provision of child porn law requiring records of ages.
Israel also stopped citrus exports to Israel from Gaza, the 2nd highest source of income after jobs in Israel, also stopped. Tel Aviv mayor said would stop hiring Palestinians for sanitation jobs.
Wm Webster said India working on H-bombs, that there is a nuclear race w/Pakistan, Argentina selling technology to Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia
Lithuania legislature says it wants ind 291-8
Chinese student rebellion becoming something important. 1500 troops have been sent into Beijing & martial law dec., but military unwilling to impose it. Students want Prez Li Peng to resign, who keeps talking about outside agitators. Ch. has cut off US tv & wire service out of Ch. New Ch. News Agency broadcasting criticism of Li Peng
Poland has perhaps broken its agreements by banning a Solidarity election broadcast, not registering a union
Donald Gregg, Bush’s nat sec adviser as VP, now candidate for ambassador to SK. Claims a memo must really refer to resupply of copters, not contras, and that he told Bush less about contras than he did the NYT
Black children 3X as likely as white to be in retarded classes, ½ for gifted.
When asked about his advice to Panamanians to rise up, Bush said, “No, I would add no words of caution.” Did counsel restraint to Chinese, nor criticized Ch. gov. Indeed, Baker says we don’t want instability in China. Bush justifies saying nothing about Ch. by reference to Hungary 1956. State Dept says it’s because we get along w/Ch. gov. Bush urges the model of Martin Luther King.
The elements of the Exxon Alaska oil spill--fatigue, drinking, turning over wheel to unqualified officers--common on Exxon tankers.
-It is estimated Exxon will profit from Valdez by at least $175m w/price rise & tax write-offs. Exxon had info about the capt. in 1982 that should have caused him to be fired, from a former 2nd mate who reported being forced to pilot, Capt. Hazlewood’s drunkenness & falsifying log. He sued them Feb86 for not investigating
David Owen’s split-off Soc Dem Party will run for only 16 seats for Eur elections June & will contest 110 seats of 650 for Parl.
7 top military people in Ch, inc former defense min & former chief of staff said army shouldn’t enter Beijing or shoot people
Soviet Sup Court clarifies a decree on limits to dissent, saying no criminal proceedings, just for voicing criticism of the state. But “false info.”
James Baker said Israel must lay aside plans for Greater Israel, stop putting down settlements, not annex Occupied Territories, reopen schools. Wants self-gov in manner acceptable to Palestinians, Israel, Jordan.
-Shamir calls Baker’s speech “useless,” but praises his “full support” for Shamir’s election proposal, which isn’t quite right. Says issues like greater Israel or settlements have nothing to do w/our proposed peace initiative. Isn’t that the problem?
EPA proposes as many as 300,000 smaller indust operations be perm exempted from reporting toxic chemicals. This is a 10,000-pound limit for toxic chemical reporting
Samuel Pierce, asked about the irregularities under HUD, made a rather lame counter-attack, saying reported named no Democrats; which he refused to back up
Egypt allowed back into Arab League
SF recognizing unions of homosexuals & unmarried straight couples. Can register as domestic partners.
Israeli military court finds 4 soldiers not guilty for beating a prisoner to death.
In conventional forces, USSR supports W position, limiting forces any country could have in Eur. & those in foreign territory. Asymmetrical cuts.
Gorbachev elected prez after vigorous questioning. Running unopposed got all but 87 of 2,000 votes
Lithuania has decided it won’t have to pay highway tax imposed by Moscow
Admin named Brazil, Japan & India as practicing unfair trade (not buying enough US stuff)
Eur Parl votes to limit US tv in Eur. By 1993 50% of entertainment must be Eur.
Shamir on Baker’s mideast speech: “If you look at the speech in its entirety, you see that it was very balanced.” That is, of course, a complaint...
Richard Armitage withdrew as nominee for Sec of the Army rather than answer Iran-Contra q’s and some sort of unnamed drug operations during VN war.
Struggle in Ch. leadership resulted in win by right
The new ethics rule on employment of foreign officials has resulted in 36 senior officials leaving NASA & Pentagon to beat the rule--inc all 5 of Pentagon’s senior procurement officials
D of Energy plan for safety of its nuclear weapons plants to transfer power from agency’s chief safety officer to those who run the plants
During question, Gorbachev was asked to give up his dacha, people argued for competition, swipes at Raisa.
It seems US has been giving Fr nuclear technology since 1972, in violation of law. No one, but no one, gets weapons inf. Kissinger wanted to draw Fr. closer to NATO. USG has confirmed
In elections to USSR Supreme Soviet, most rads in Congress of Deputies lost, inc Boris Yeltsin after his landslide.
Tony Coelho, #3 House Democrat, who would have replaced Wright, is resigning even before Wright because of purchase of $100,000 in junk bonds w/out disclosure of help in it by S&L exec.
-And Gingrich is trying to portray the inevitable investigation of his finances as revenge for this. Coelho’s profit was $68,000 before taxes. He has had to take out $500,000 in loans the past 5 yrs.
Robert Mosbacher’s son also used info to get HUD funds under Pierce, but not for a fee. I knew Mosbacher would be the 1st scandal of Bush admin. Actually, sounds like his inf was unexpected (to him) & the result of raging obsequiousness.
US nuclear aid to Fr was in form of negative guidance--20 questions--to circumvent the law. Inc data on miniaturizing warheads, protecting from EMP, how to conduct underground tests, how Soviet targets defended.
-1985 exec agreement permitting sharing
-In exchange, tighter coordination of targeting, though Fr cont. city-killing plan as ind deterrent. Secret joint military planning for Fr to make available in a war its sea, airports, RRs etc, move forces into Ger.
-Fr has 96 multiple-warhead missiles on 6 subs, 18 ballistic missiles, 18 Mirage bombers & 38 navy planes, 32 shorter-range surface-to-surface missiles.
Soviet tv reports dissatisfaction on elections to Sup Soviet, cited op poll
-Someone resigns to let Yeltsin in
Bush postpones 20% cut in troops in Eur if Soviets make asymmetrical cuts to cap of 275,000. Meaning 65,000 US soldiers leave, 300,000 Soviets
-Will inc attack helicopters & combat aircraft
-Trying to avoid issue of short-range nukes
Abortion has turned up as election issue in Poland, where it’s been legal since 1956 & is widely used for contraception in absence of other forms. 70 or so deputies, many Solidarity supporters, want to make it illegal & impose severe penalties, inc on women. This just after Church made legal.
-The NYT also says candidates aren’t talking about the disastrous Polish economy. So what’s the point of elections, really?
Claude Pepper d. after 53 yrs in Congress
Prosecutors in Recruit scandal indicting no politicians. Couldn’t find specific favors. Politicians have aides receive money. 4 secretaries were found guilty.
Soviet journal Oganyok says CIA collaborated w/KGB against dissidents.
Bush’s plan at the NATO meeting called by BBC all things to all people, put off negotiations on short-range nukes. So Ger lost
SF did grant recognition to domestic partners, following Berkeley, Santa Cruz, W Hollywood
Poland accusing US of campaigning for Solidarity in elections through RFE & embassy
I wonder if the significance of Bush’s conventional arms proposal doesn’t lie in his v. optimistic, as Thatcher put it, goal of 6 mos-1 yr. It’s unusual to build up expectations like that
Hong Kong sending VN refugees to an uninhabited island--with no facilities at all.
Gorbachev announces Soviet military budget $128b. Said it’s been frozen since 1987. Will cut it 14% by 1991. 9% GNP
Jim Wright resigns speakership & House
Speeches in Soviet Congress have attacked KGB & possibility of personal power (Yeltsin speech). One attacked Gorbachev for not knowing about the Georgia massacre, for being out of the loop.
In W Bank, Israel demanding visiting Arab workers wear white badges.
Justice Dept has been leaking damaging info about D’s