Saturday, May 28, 2005
S&L bailout to date $1.4t. US gov now largest holder of real estate in US
-Bush wants to create superbanks. Through mergers & spreading into insurance, industry & whatnot. If banks are “too big to fail” now... Would also be nationwide in every congressional district. If Keating could get 5 Senators to help him...
-80-90% of banks failed Texas 1988-9 involved fraud
-The Fed has been lending to failing banks. Their failures left FDIC $8.3b poorer, inc $98m to Keating’s Lincoln S&L, Greenspan’s old employer.
-Also, banks undercharged for deposit insurance $20b per yr during 1980s
Injunction on repatriation of Haitians lifted by Sup Court. 15,000 Haitians since coup. US gov claims 20,000 more Haitians were poised to come. No one else believes this. The returned refugees were fingerprinted. And given $3 by the Red Cross
Israeli army relaxes shooting rules so soldiers can fire at armed or wanted Palestinians w/out warnings or shooting at legs
Czech. bars ex-members of CP above certain rank, or listed in Security files as its collaborators from serving for 5 yrs in managerial posts in gov, state-owned enterprises or some licensed businesses. Exempts those in CP 1968-9. Min Interior in charge of appeals. Teachers will be vetted too. Havel opposed law, but not enough not to sign it
Fr having major scandal over terrorist George Habash having been briefly allowed in for medical treatment. I don’t remember this outrage over Rainbow Warrior.
Union Carbide spill India Dec84, killing 3,800. No compensation paid yet. Court refused immunity to execs in settlement, said they either show up or the comp’s property will be seized.
Greece getting pissed about Macedonia so calling itself
Bush’s “health plan” — tax credits for buying priv insurance, to be financed by screwing Medicare & Medicaid. Would cut payments to hospitals, esp teaching hospitals & those w/many low-income patients
Bush Admin proposes bill to make losers in lawsuits pay legal costs of winner in fed courts
In Senate — special counsel on leaks about Clarence Thomas, subpoenaing reporters
In a Grocers convention, Bush sees scantron checkout 1st time ever. Just a tad isolated? Rumor is he’s been chauffeured so much, he can’t even drive any more
Israeli army to train settlers, to act as reserve soldiers in case of disturbances
In D debate, Kerrey & Harkin call for limiting imports of Japanese cars
The question now is whether we’ve heard more about Clinton’s affairs or about how Amer. people don’t care about Clinton’s affairs. Are these the same people who defended Thomas? Hillary Clinton said the issue is the “daughter of Willie Horton”
-Why are Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush & Marilyn Quayle all considered smarter or more likeable than their husbands?
Brandenburg’s PM admits contacts w/Stasi, says it was part of his role as lawyer representing evangelicals
NSA evidently prevents new designs of cell phones properly protecting from interception (will also mean no expectation of privacy in court cases)
More personal scandals: Arafat marries his 34-years-younger Christian secretary
-And Paddy Ashdown of Lib Dems has mistress
House votes for October Surprise investigation in entirely partisan vote
Robert Gates right now is meeting Egyptian & Saudi leaders to plot Saddam Hussein’s downfall
Russia to release last Soviet pol prisoners
Russian Parl est cmte to examine whether Stalin’s transfer of Crimea to Ukraine was legal. Ukraine pissed.
Bush on how to pay for his health plan: “We’ll figure that out!” His plan relies on controlling costs. While he talks about choice, he will force Medicaid recipients into managed care forms like HMOs. And wants the deductions for insurance to rise by inflation (3.1% this yr) as opposed to health costs (11%). And would force insurers to cover all applicants, causing healthy people to pay more
Clinton’s next scandal: that he manipulated draft, never joining ROTC like he promised. Claims he couldn’t get in. Rejoined draft pool just when lottery system put him at bottom. At one point said he was too well educated to go to VN.
Pakistan admits having nuclear technology.
Sen. gives Bush his streamlining of licensing for nuke plants, dropping it to 1 review procedure
US trying to keep scientists in Russia. Also wants to buy technologies for use in Star Wars.
-Russia, though, still wants to work on modernizing nukes
US working on compromise w/Israel to deduct cost of housing & roads in Occupied from the $10b Israel says must be room for “natural growth”.
-Shamir moving closer to the Homelands approach, inc saying Israel not obligated to Camp David, presumably the bit about local police
A man executed for ordering a bombing. The actual bomber was given immunity
Nightmare phrase of the future: “Senator, I knew Dan Quayle. Dan Quayle was a good friend of mine, and you, Senator, are no Dan Quayle.”
Algeria dec state of emergency, suspends all rights, bans Islamic Party
Dow Corning has known of danger of breast implants for 20 yrs. and in a 1984 lawsuit, Dow settled so that those documents couldn’t be given to FDA.
Coup attempt in Venezuela followed by press crackdown
A couple of months ago, Bush Admin went to court to prevent having to release names of Haitians deported. It did this to protect the safety of these people who were under no threat if repatriated. Since Haiti is fingerprinting & photographing them, will gov change its policy? No one is even asking
Parties have control over primaries. Mostly used to keep Duke off. But also being used against the real protest vote, Buchanan. NY R’s ensured that the state’s delegation would go to Bush w/out intervention of any actual voters. Rules so hard, Buchanan could qualify delegate slates in 0 of 34 Congressional districts. Party chair changed deadline just to be sure.
-Afraid of an embarrassment in Iowa, party officials decided to skip the straw vote, so Bush got that too
Tom Harkin won Iowa, his home state, unopposed
Ger. trying 84-yr old ex-head of Stasi for a 1931 murder, evidence partly Nazi. 20 other communists were executed for the killing of 2 cops.
Gorby authorized CP investing in priv businesses, 1 mo before coup, perhaps to keep it afloat if had to go underground.
-Over 10 yrs, USSR spent $200m on CPs in 80 couples, inc $2m/yr in US until 1989.
In Serb part of Croatia (Krajina), the Parl voted to accept UN peacekeepers. Then, President Babic appointed people to a special session to force through a referendum.
Bush informed Congress of covert actions in Iraq last fall, supported by US military if necessary.
-Saudis consulting w/Iraq Kurdish leaders
When SA’s Nat Party allowed in non-whites 1990, one wondered who on earth... well, in the Colored Chamber, Labor Party defeated by new Nats converts. Meaning also that ANC not doing so well among coloreds. Mandela told Cape Town branch to elect a colored chair & they chose Allan Boesak. Labor may now join ANC
Dec91 Saudis, allegedly local officials, forced unwilling Iraqis back into Iraq — c.283 according to US. Refugees are Shiites.
Noriega’s defense suddenly no longer involves Contras, CIA, Mossad, etc. Instead trying to show Noriega cooperation w/DEA. DEA agents claim not to remember specific operations in which Noriega involved. Prosecution tried to block a DEA report as hearsay.
Clinton says Pentagon released a letter he wrote to draft board 1969. Still unclear whether he used deceit to avoid draft
Bush: real estate will lead econ recovery
Under 1872 Mining Act, anyone who finds a mineral deposit on public land can “patent” it & pay $5 for 20 acre mining claim. No royalties on minerals. A sand & gravel comp paid $1,950 for Oregon coast worth $12m, after discovering — sand. 1970-89 $4,500 spent on $47.9m of land
Scanner-Gate continues. Bush says he was really impressed by a new model of supermkt scanner that can read mangled labels, and of course he’s seen scanners before. Videotape shows he was in fact amazed by an ordinary garden variety scanner
Republicans pissed that Gephardt intro Bush’s tax proposals so they will be forced to vote against them
Clinton draft issue continues apace. The highlighted phrase in letter to Col., thanking him for “saving me from the draft,” is unrepresentative. Clinton opposed the war & promised to join ROTC as way of avoiding war but decided to accept draft to protect his pol future, & had moral obligation. But does seem to have submitted to draft after decision to go to lottery. And he knew he had at least 6 mos.
40+ US military people in jail for refusing to serve in Gulf, up to 5 yrs. 29 adopted by Amn Int. Prosecution was selective, as were sentences, punishing most those who spoke against the war (this was explicit in speeches of prosecutors) or went AWOL after having CO status turned down. Sentences highest in most out-of-war places (s. Texas, Germany)
Voice says Bush’s State of Union address used 1st person 128 times (RR 1985 = 23, Carter 1978 = 37)
Ukraine, Azer., Moldova refuse to join Commonwealth military
Bush has been telling conservatives that Admin would start preventing unions collecting dues from non-members for anything other than collective bargaining
Fox-hunting not banned in a free vote of Parl 187-175, Major & Kinnock wimping out
Arab guerillas got into an army camp & killed 3 soldiers (2 of them new Soviet immigrants). So Israel bombed 2 refugee camps, killing 4, 2 of them children, & sent helicopter gunships, which killed head of Hezbollah, his wife, son age 6, & 4 bodyguards, shooting survivors in back. Now Israel being hit by rockets.
Serb enclave Krajina’s parl ousts president for opposing UN peacekeeping plan. He says he is still president.
Bush responds to suggestions that he is out of touch, supermarket scanners and all: “Do you want me to put this on a real personal basis for you? Barbara and I lost a child. Some people here haven’t done that. I wouldn’t suggest that if that experience hadn’t come to your family, that you would be less concerned about a neighbor who went through that. We care about it. We are in touch. I read the mail. I hear a lot of cries from the heart from people -- many, many ways. Friends reporting of neighbors out of work, whatever it may be.”
Israel arrests 2 members of what would have been Palestinian delegation to next week’s unlikely peace conf. The latest will be detained w/out trial
Ireland stopped a 14-yr old rape victim traveling to Br for abortion. Irish High Court issued injunction against her getting abortion. This should be illegal under EC
RR & the pope secretly agreed to cooperate to bring down Polish gov 1982. Used AFL-CIO’s channels to Solidarity, allegedly w/out its knowledge
22 members of Br SDP join Tories
Pakistan has stopped support of Afghan mujahadeen
NH primaries today. Clinton no longer the anointed front-runner. Tsongas, the vote-for-me-because-I’m-untelegenic candidate, making a virtue of his many liabilities, claims to be telling the people what they don’t want to hear, so they should vote for him. Worked for Mondale. Kerrey won’t shut up about being a war hero, even though no one wants to hear about VN. Harkin loses points for attacking everyone else. Jerry Brown goes on about the faults of all politicians exc himself and how he won’t take more than $100, not that anyone offered.
-On the other side, Bush can’t bring himself to name Buchanan, but he brought along Arnold Schwarzenegger to do it for him.
1st intra-Soviet defection, 6 pilots took planes & defected to Russia from Ukraine. U. may get planes back, but it also wants pilots returned
Bush yesterday: “Don’t worry about trying to send some message.” They did. Buchanan got 40% or so, a major victory perhaps because of breaking pledge of “no new taxes.”
Bush admin thinking about changing asylum rules to summarily exclude foreigners w/fraudulent documents, immediately deport those not allowed asylum. With no appeal
Labour asking about Tory gov ministers raising money in Hong Kong while on official visits
No. 10 Downing St only opens from inside. Major has no key
Dan Quayle isn’t unique as a leader, but most countries require hereditary monarchy & centuries of (in-)breeding, like those British lawns
US & Yeltsin working on joint early-warning system for missiles. Step to joint Star Wars program? Planning to do it by exec agreement, not treaty
-US to ignore Yeltsin’s proposal for each to stop targeting the other
-Prez of Ukraine says Yeltsin can’t negotiate arms on behalf of Commonwealth
Sen. energy bill doesn’t inc Arctic drilling, does streamline nuke plant licensing. Bush admin did get increased fuel-efficiency standards killed
Clarence Thomas finally releases his Fed appeals court ruling, postponed during confirmation, striking down FCC preferences for women. His opinion said it wouldn’t do what it was supposed to, promote diverse programming. This goes against 1990 Sup Court decision that courts should defer to Congress if affirmative action serves objectives. Congress said this policy would, Thomas it didn’t. Second-guessing. Judicial activism.
Israel bombs 30 villages in Lebanon, moves tanks & troops in, rolling over UN
NH primary: Tsongas 33%, Clinton 25% (a moral victory, esp since primaries moving in to South), Kerrey 11, Harkin 10, Brown 8, Cuomo 4, Nader 2
US est relations w/4 Cent. Asian republics, not Georgia
1974-84, DOD spent $180m on training & investigation of homosexuals ultimately expelled
Oldest classified document is on troop mvmts Apr 1917
In 1st primaries ever, Rabin replaces Peres to head Israeli Labor Party
Yesterday, de Klerk lost a by-election to Conservs. Today, says whites will have referendum. ANC will not be pleased. Referendum will be a vote of confidence
Interior Dept wants to allow enough lumbering to keep northern spotted owl seriously endangered, rather than increasing their #s as law says
Roberto D’Aubuisson dead
IRS audits (how did *that* happen?) found Nancy Reagan failed to report gifts of clothes worth $1.45m 1983-9. Had to pay back c.$1m.
Justice Dept will start using US anti-trust laws against Japanese cartels stopping US exports
Bush admin lifts sanctions on hi-tech transfers to China because they’ll be good guys about missile technology now. Actually, Ch. accelerating deliveries of nuclear tech to Iran. Admin was required to deliver a report on this last mo. but it is “stuck” in State Dept
Sudan forces 400,000 refugees from civil war, mostly Christian or animist, into the dessert w/out food or any belongings
To placate Buchanan types, Bush forces out head of NEA
Yeltsin says packing Commonwealth gov with Russians is like Bush using Texans
The ties w/Vatican over Poland handled outside channels by Casey & Clark — Caths. Casey used church channels to deal w/Contras
China again trying to institute Mandarin-only rules, trying to stop use of Cantonese by officials
Sup Court 8-1 upholds return of Haitian refugees
Quayle says that Clinton’s draft-dodging is a legitimate pol issue. Quayle said that. I mean, Quayle.
-And says Willie Horton ad wasn’t a negative ad
-And Bush never violated no-new-taxes lie, he just gave in to those nasty D’s
NYT says Brown symbolically won Maine caucuses. Can’t Tsongas’s real wins ever be symbolic, too?
China sentences former editor of People’s Daily for Tiananmen to 4 yrs, a student who polled students 1 yr after sentenced to 2 yrs. This is concurrent w/another NYT attempt to rehabilitate Ch. 6 others sentenced.
-Senate votes to end MFN status
Clarence Thomas says abusive force by prison guards is not unconst. Fortunately, he was at the short end of a 7-2 decision. Says 8th Amend should not be turned into a nat. code of prison regulations.
-O’Connor’s majority decision ignores injury in favor of malice as determinant of when standards of decency are violated (only Rehnquist, White, Kennedy & Souter joined her on that bit).
Greece gets EC to postpone recognizing Macedonia (Bulgaria & Turkey have)
Belarus claims part of Lithuania, inc Vilnius
SD primary: Kerrey wins. Buchanan didn’t make the ballot but “uncommitted” got 1/3
Indonesia closes E Timor to foreign journalists
Denver office of Resolution Trust Corp lost $7b of S&L bailout funds, then spent $20m for audits that never happened
Irish Sup Court allows the 14-yr old rape victim to go to Br for abortion
Last yr, Wilson vetoed bills banning English-only workplace rules not justified by business necessity, & denying tax-exempt status to discriminatory priv clubs
Canada to pull troops out of Eur
Sup Court 9-0 says students can sue for damages under Fed law banning sex discrim (Title IX). Bush admin argued against, saying they could only get back pay or restraining order
US thinks Af elephants can be hunted again
Canada Sup Court allows anti-porn law based on argument that porn is harmful to women’s right to be equal, affects attitudes towards ♀, etc
UN blocks “teddy bears for Iraq”
Australia’s been thinking of becoming a republic and PM dared to mention it in presence of queen. Br MPs call him “an utter buffoon” & “idiot” whose rudeness comes from being in a country of ex-convicts. They think he should apologize to them.
A reporter falsely told Clinton that Jesse Jackson is supporting Harkin. When Clinton thought the mike was off, told his aid: “It’s an outrage, it’s a dirty, double-crossing, back-stabbing thing to do.”
Armenia, at war w/Azerbaijan, to pull its people out of Soviet Army & form own. Soviets pull out of Ngorno-Karabakh.
Quayle says Buchanan not a true conservative whose non-support of Gulf War is embracing foreign policy of McGovern & Jesse Jackson. Buchanan said he wouldn’t respond; it would be child abuse. Buchanan also attacking NEA for funding gay art & blaspheming image of Jesus Christ.
Clinton’s sex life surfaced as an issue in a lawsuit by Larry Nichols, fired from Ark gov, Clinton says for making 700 calls to Cent. Am. in supporting Contras. Now, an Ark airport was used for Contra supply & drugrunning. Local prosecutor couldn’t get funding from Clinton for investigation. One member of Ollie North’s smuggling ring, pilot Terry Read, tried to get out, he says, when found about the drugs, & was framed for plane theft by member of Ark state police & Clinton’s security chief. About that plane theft: Ollie North is believed to have gotten donors to fake thefts & give planes & boats & whatnot to Contras
-Clinton was the governor happy to send his Nat Guard to Honduras for training, and 1988 gave honorific Ark “Traveller” citations to the Caleros & John Singlaub
-Incidentally, Nichols never called Cent. America
-And Terry Read’s charges were dropped
Iraq refuses to destroy missiles. Yesterday was US deadline
NYT back to China-rehabilitating, calling 11 new sentences “light.” 4 yrs for a pamphlet, that sort of thing
SA: Conservs, Reformed Nationalists & neo-Nazis AWB ally to urge no vote in referendum