Wednesday, June 29, 2005
UN imposes sanctions on what remains of Yugoslavia, a total set of sanctions. If it holds, lack of oil may be effective. If — Haiti’s embargo ignored
The Congress has a nuclear bunker in a luxury resort in W VA.
A fed district judge says US can’t deport a Palestinian for attending a meeting
The Chinese who threw paint on the large Mao portrait in Tiananmen were sentenced to 16 yrs, 20 yrs, & life. Have been tortured & kept in solitary for 30 mos.
-Incidentally, photos of Mao serve the same function in cars as St. Christopher medals. Evidently, he’s now a god.
One of highest AIDS rates is in Puerto Rico, and one of the lowest fed spending. Seems Medicaid is capped for territories, so PR gets $7m instead of the $400m it would be entitled to as a state
Most surprising person to still have a career after today’s election: the LA judge who gave a fine to a Korean shopkeeper who shot a 15-yr old black from behind, on video, for a $1.95 dispute. This was a major contributing factor to the riots.
In initiative, Denmark fucks up the Eur unity (Maastricht) treaty by failing to approve it 50.7% to 49.3%. Only other country to have a referendum will be Ireland
Gorby has been criticizing Yeltsin, who thinks Gorby promised to stay out of politics when he stepped down. Gorby says Yeltsin has authoritarian tendencies; Yeltsin responds by threatening to “take steps” against Gorby
Bush got budget for overthrowing Hussein tripled
100 Tory MPs welcome the Danish vote & call for rethink of Eur unity
Perot hires Hamilton Jordan, Carter’s chief of staff & campaign chief both times, & Ed Rollins, Bush’s campaign chief 1984. Which is the mole?
One aspect of Yugoslav civil war is attacks on Red Cross, which no one does.
In Temecula, CA, a high-speed chase by INS next to a high school results in 5 by-standers inc 4 teenagers dead. 1990 a pregnant ♀ similarly killed in the town, 21 in all since 1980.
Clinton refused for yrs to fire a state medical examiner incompetent as hell who often mistestified, mixed up results, etc. Was only pushed out, into another cushy state job, just before Clinton announced for prez. Clinton’s mother was a nurse-anaesthetist and 1981 this guy got her off for killing someone on the operating table. Malak once ruled suicide in a guy shot 5X, ruled accidental death on 2 kids run over by a train, missing the stab wound & blow to skull. After that incident, out-of-state pathologists reviewed him & said he was great... but they were paid from Clinton’s discretionary fund. When Clinton tried to raise his salary 41%, 2 mos after he had accused a deputy coroner of killing someone on life support after misreading a chart, wronged families est Victims of Malik’s Incredible Testimony (VOMIT) — Clinton refused to take their petition. For Clinton’s mother, Malak ignored all medical care issues (the mother failed to insert a tube properly), blamed it on the violent incident, for which someone got 2½ mos. This was when Clilnton mom already in trouble over another such case
27 CA counties voted to secede from CA (of 58 counties). 4 rejected (SF, Mariposa, Solano, San Mateo), but they may have been afraid of being stuck in the South. The figures were as high as 70% Butte, 80% Inyo, 66% Mendocino, 81% Siskiyou
Only 650 species added to the endangered list since 1973. Paperwork holding up at least 600.
2 women win CA Demo primaries for Senate, Diane Feinstein & Barbara Boxer. There will also be 16 new House ♀ candidates, 14 of them D’s. Only 1 incumbent of 37 lost primary.
Thatcher made a baronet. Also elevated to Lords: Dennis Healey, David Owen, Nigel Lawson, Geoffrey Howe, Nicholas Ridley, Norman Tebbit
Israel refuses to cooperate w/Justice Dept probe of whether $40-70m of US military aid improperly diverted
Bush has his 3rd prime-time news conf. Says the economy is great.
Fr will now also hold referendum on EU unity. Ireland’s also still to come.
Russia to begin patrolling borders w/Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Lith., Azer., GA, but not Belarus or Kazakhstan, & est customs checkpts. The return of the internal passport.
When Perot was so concerned about POWs, VN 1987 named him their commercial agent in US. He claims not to have discussed business
35% of students 15-17 either dropped out or left back a grade or more — 32% whites, 48% blacks, 48.6% Latino
In this week, Bush renewed China’s MFN status, China beat up journalists from Japan, citing a non-existent law on permission to report in Tiananmen Sq
Czechs & Slovaks vote for 2 very different parties.
Lech Walesa got Parl to fire the PM & replace w/the eminently-manipulable 33-yr old former head of Polish Peasants Party
Perot’s EDS kept employees in line through agreements granting it 3 yrs indentured servitude or pay back cost of training. Dozens of suits against those who quit or fired got $9,000 or more
-Perot, who said Quayle was “goofy” for remarks about Murphy Brown (who came in behind Perot in CA in write-in’s), himself made comments about sex on Doogie Howser, notably focusing on the girl, not Doogie.
Documents reveal that US knew Iraq violated human rights & was thus subject to legal sanctions. And knew Iraq provided safe haven for terrorists while telling Congress not enough evidence to put it on list of countries supporting terrorism (removed from list 1982)
Saudis order oil comps to stop looking for oil in Yemeni territories they claim, threaten military action
1990 Perot got a judge to allow him to make warrantless searches 3X a day of a tenant who fell behind in rent.
Sup Court 6-3 gave states power to ban write-in candidates — as do Hawaii, OK, SD, Nev
Japan finally votes to allow up to 2,000 troops overseas, in UN peacekeeping ops
Czech elections: Czech: Civic Demo Party & Christ. Dems got 1/3 between them, the various left inc ex-CP 14.2%. The 1st is Thatcherite
-Slovakia: nationalists 34%, Demo Left 15.5%, even more nationalists 8.6%. Unemployment 11% Slovakia, 2.5% Czech. In both, those who brought democracy dropped under the 5% min. Slovaks can block election of a prez, which needs 60% of Parl. Centrists did v. badly in election, results polarized
N Dakota, the forgotten state, primary: the only candidate who showed up, Pat Robertson, got 9% of R vote. Clinton & Brown not on ballot for some reason, in advisory ballot, La Rouche got 22%, Perot 28%, Clinton 13%
INS settles a lawsuit, promising to provide illegals w/a written notice of their rights, charges against them, & to allow them to meet a lawyer, and to inform them they have a legal right not to be deported. A sort of Miranda
Russian defense minister said he cannot stop Russian soldiers intervening in Moldova & that Russia must defend its citizens abroad
Quayle criticizes Perot for saying he wouldn’t hire gays or adulterers. Bush admin hires on merit, says... Quayle. Also says homosexuality is a choice
Bush does so well abroad. After throwing up on Japanese PM, he is on his way to the Earth Summit in Rio, where he will throw up pollutants & waste on the whole world. On his way, he is booed off the platform in Panama.
Fed judge abrogates NEA decency standard as so vague as to violate 1st amend
Sup Court 7-2 throws out case on lack of standing to apply laws on preserving species to foreign aid.
US also allowed allies to sell arms to Iraq
UN being re-made in US image. For a start, it’s taking over the mercenary role usually assigned to Contras, Laotian hill people, Cuban emigres — peacekeeping this yr projected at $2.7b. Functions related to helping 3rd World countries via-v-vis multinationals
Ave age of Americans killed WW2: 26, VN 20
GAO says too much of aid to Panama went to prop up banks not in danger. 70% of money for poor & to promote democracy never spent
Yeltsin says Soviets shot down 9 US planes early 1950s & 9 survived & were held in prisons or asylums. Not sure where they are now.
Feds have recovered 5% of court-ordered restitution for fraud against banks & S&Ls (since 1988)
Yeltsin no longer a communist of course, and no longer godless, rejoining Orthodox church. “Only the Lord can command me to resign — I serve the Lord and the people.”
Quayle says better a Democratic President than Perot
Khmer Rouge violating peace agreement by not reporting to UN plans to begin disarmament & demobiliz. Everyone else has
Energy Dept’s inspector-gen. says it routinely disseminates intel on citizens & photographs protesters at nuke testing site. We knew that nuke weapons plants illegally acquired & used wiretaps & other surveillance of employees, inc whistleblowers
Sup Court 6-3 says gov can kidnap suspects abroad in disregard of internat law & extradition treaties. Presumably they could also torture or execute them abroad. (2 yrs ago ruled illegal searches abroad ok). Rehnquist says treaty w/Mexico doesn’t specifically say kidnapping is a bad thing — Mexico bans DEA agents. Rehnquist: “abductions outside of the treaty [do not] constitute a violation of the treaty.”]
Sup Court allows Idaho to limit death penalty appeals to 42 dys (up to 5 yrs for other crimes)
Perot once said schools spent too much time on students w/learning disabilities
Bush calls Iraqgate probe a “witch hunt”
Bush’s visit to Panama at which the embarrassing rioting broke out, was his idea, very much not the Panamanians’. The problem was that Bush came as conqueror, bringing nothing, & rejecting leaders’ suggestions for priv talks
Bush has succeeded in derailing the Earth Summit. His message is that environment can only be saved by devt, i.e., it’s a luxury for rich people. How rich? Well, evidently the US isn’t that rich yet.
The Sup Court kidnapping decision (above) & on species abroad (see 6/12/92) show amazing deference to Exec. Only 1 justice has ever held elective office (O’Connor in state senate). The species thing denied standing to environmental group, though citizen suits specifically authorized by Congress in the Endangered Species Act. Scalia says Congress can’t give courts the responsibility to see that laws be faithfully executed, which belong to Exec, even in cases like this where Exec has changed the meaning of the law, as James Watt did 1983.
The education Vice President, conducting a spelling bee, forced a kid to spell it “potato.” Aides blame his cue card. Should stop watching Murphy Brown & switch to Sesame Street.
Yeltsin says a 1979 outbreak of anthrax 850 mi. from Moscow, w/many deaths, was leak from military bio weapons lab
Lithuanian referendum demands Soviet troops leave, 91% to 7
Yeltsin says US POWs from VN were transferred to USSR & might still be there. Says Gorby & predecessors covered it up
A SA security guard who killed 39 blacks while on duty 1986-9 sentenced to 20 yrs
Last W. hostages in Lebanon (Germans) released
Philippine election finally counted, after a month, and Fidel Ramos wins or steals it. 2.5m ballots with erasures or irregularities, most for him (he got 5.3m)
The new “Czech” PM will only be for Bohemia
Casper Weinberger indicted for lying to Congress & obstructing it on Iran-Contra. Said he never took notes, but 1,700 pages of them showed up, sealed for 50 yrs, in Library of Congress, where Weinberger has veto over who seems them — it seems no one has. Weinberger is implying he is only being prosecuted because he would not plead or give false testimony. When he lost office, took 13,000 classified documents.
Bush-Yeltsin summit agrees to reduce the 2 powers’ nukes from 22,500 warheads to 3-3 each lopsided in favor of US’s most advanced (submarine) missiles, eliminate land ICBM MIRVS. Of course, reduction takes so long it’ll be years before we catch up w/last yr’s agreement w/Gorby. 1st pact that doesn’t pretend to parity, exc in that both will keep arsenal in a “range” — 3,000-3,500
Azerbaijan counter-attacking in Ngorno-Karabakh — 200 dead today alone. Armenia tells Commonwealth to aid it or it will leave the union; calling up reservists up to 35
Ban on replacing strikers fails to overcome filibuster
Quayle’s deputy chief of staff was involved in charging EPA rules to eliminate responsibility of banks for polluted sites created by lendees who default, despite his own shares in 3 banks
Russia given MFN status
SA const negotiations deadlocked, ANC begins program of protests & strikes. Zulus, w/possible police support, massacre 39 blacks in township, inc an impaled 9-month old. SA police very slow, and 1st blamed the ANC campaign
Bush rejects request to allow 2 aides testify on Iraqgate
Sup Court 8-1 allows Prop. 13, saying state had right to discriminate in favor of stability, and people can choose not to buy houses in CA.
Sup Court 5-4 says states can’t set higher standards for worker safety than fed gov unless fed gov lets them
Wisc. Sup Court allows state to have 60-day waiting per for welfare
Sup Court 7-2 says 14th amend prevents defense excluding jurors for race. Evidently a defendant is acting on behalf of the state... Scalia & O’Connor dissenting
Congressional investigators found a 2-page NASA memo on how to avoid FOIA requests, inc mixing up papers, camouflaging handwriting, making notes on post-its
-Other censorship stories:
-51 nat security directives issued by Bush to fall 1990, none declassified, most not reported to Congressional cmtes
-IRS subpoenaed phone records of a reporter who said it failed to collect millions in corp taxes, trying to get his source (Jan92)
-July90 White House deleted a paragraph from an EPA study recommending low-frequency fields be classified as probable carcinogens
-Jan90 Pentagon denied access to records on Grenada
Czech. agrees to split
Croatia arresting people for “crimes of thought,” & opposition to gov
Congressional study says military’s no-gays policy costs at least $27m in replacement costs. 1980 2,000 expelled, 1990 1,000. 16,919 1980-90, with bulk from Navy, at 2X their proportion. Gays allowed in militaries of Austria, Belg, Denmark, Fr, Finland, Ger, It., Japan, Neth, Sp – all NATO but US & Br
The culture wars continue. Quayle says Time-Warner should have censored a rap singer’s song “Cop Killer” & Clinton criticizes one Sister Souljah who never met a decent white & thinks there should be a day a week when gangs kill whites. Jackson attacks Clinton as unprincipled for this.
Ireland votes for EC unification by 69%
Israel threatens to arrest Palestinian negotiators for hugging Arafat
In a habeas corpus case, Thomas, Rehnquist & Scalia tried to overturn fed courts’ ability to determine whether a state court properly applied Const.
DeKlerk tried to visit the township where all the blacks killed, was chased out. Police then opened fire.
Chance a white earning under $28,000 will be denied a mortgage: 1 in 4.3. A black earning under $42,000: 1 in 4.7
Israelis in W Bank get 7X the water of Palestinians
L.A. spent $2.3m fingerprinting welfare recipients, to catch 11 cheats.
Mandela suspends const talks
Afghan interim president refuses to give up power. His supporters are talking jihad.
Yeltsin threatening intervention in Moldova. What he should be doing is pulling his troops the hell out.
And South Ossetia at war w/Georgia, trying to pull out & join N Ossetia in Russia, but head Shevardnadze says Russian troops are supporting the Ossetians
Sup Court 6-3 on habeas corpus, will not allow defendants to argue that a jury imposed death sentence based on false info exc in narrow sense of being ineligible for death penalty as in absence of aggravating circumstance. Bush admin didn’t even want that allowable
Sup Court 7-2 says states may place burden of proof on proving (in)competency of defendant on the defendant
Sup Court strikes down St Paul hate crime/speech law unanimously, but majority of 5 says can’t silence speech based on content. The other 4 say it is overload, barring only racial, relig, gender intolerance. But the 5 majority bans even “fighting words” bans. That distinguished – fighting words not protected by 1 Amend, but Scalia says you can’t distinguish w/in that category. White says you can since it’s not const to begin with (so presumably equal-opportunity banning is fine). The question, really, is whether hate-inspired crimes are different crimes from the same acts w/out the motive, or whether speech is used to increase the punishment of a crime. Should kill the speech codes of universities as well. The 4 in minority suggested bad speech was bad. Stevens says L.A. riots show that race-based threats more harmful to society than other types, so such laws are reasonable. White also agrees that some fighting words more harmful to society than others.
Mandela suspends talks w/gov until gov does something about the Boipatong massacre
A Soviet document says 125 US Korean War soldiers survived, some transferred to China
Attempted coup by Gamsakhourdia fails in Georgia
Russia & Ukraine agree to divide Black Sea Fleet, leaving Commonwealth out altogether. And not talking about Crimea at all, so Russia letting its claim disappear
Libya offers to have the 2 tried by UN. US rejects
Perot’s gov contracts have been so badly done that 1981 the Health Care Financing Admin set up a unit just to monitor EDS. Error rates were high, doctors paid more than once, tried to use paperwork to cut payments, destroyed unanswered letters o clear up backlog, failed to provide lawyers for claims hearing, got the contracts through inside info
While claims during Gulf War on Scud launches had us destroying 81 of the 50, actually got only 12, & those were fixed-site (which Iraq wasn’t using), no mobile, & destroyed no missiles. So much for tactical bombing
House fails to override veto on research using aborted fetuses
Bush plan for $500m in $1000 scholarships for kiddies... inc at relig schools
Bush sending an 82-yr old friend to Ireland as ambassador, a guy who doesn’t know Unionists/Loyalists are same people & thought had voted on EC before it did
Labor wins Israeli elections by 44 to Likud’s 32 (of 120)
Sup Court 5-4 reaffirms ban on prayer in school. Bush Admin argued graduation ceremony didn’t count, so no one has to go, & that nondenominational relig observance is a benign “civil religion”
Ger Parl liberalizes abortion – allowed in 1st trimester if woman gets official counseling. Law passed over gov objections, by SPD, Free Dems & some Christ. Dems
Bush admin rules to allow comps to increase air pollution up to 245 tons/yr w/out pub notice or hearings & can do so immediately, while application is pending. EPA has 45 days, state 90
Amnesty Int. says LAPD tortures blacks, Hispanics
House votes lowest level of foreign aid since 1977, $13.8b, $417m for ex-USSR
Sen. prez pro tem Robert Byrd exclaims that immigrants are “all over the place, and they don’t speak English. Do we want more of this?”
An interview w/Shamir quotes him as saying he intended to stall autonomy negotiations 10 yrs while putting ½m Jews on W Bank
Sup Court 6-3 says airports can ban begging but 5-4 not literature
UN give Serbia 48 hrs to stop fighting in Sarajevo or it’ll get a jolly good talking to
US pressuring Aristide to negotiate with army-backed PM
Navy Sec resigns (forced out) over sexual harassment by naval aviators unknown of 26 naval women at a convention. Commanders covered up for their subordinates
Sup Court 8-1 (Scalia) says Mississippi failed to desegregate universities, had just made them nominally open. Mid-1980s 99% of white students in 5 U’s, w/ave 80-91% white student bodies, 71% of blacks at 3 U’s 92-99% black. What Miss. failed to do was eliminate policies rooted in the old segregation system: higher admissions standards at white U’s, mission assignments under which 3 white & 0 black U’s are “comprehensive,” duplication of programs.
Ramos to allow Marcos’ body back
John Major acknowledges existence of secret services
Estonia the 1st ex-USSR to have own currency: the kroon
Cook Cty Hospital ban on abortions reversed but w/3-5-day waiting per & counseling
Algeria president assassinated
The Serbian/Yug. prince returns to claim his throne
Izvestia says Soviets set off a nuclear blast 1979 next to a coal mine in Ukraine, then sent miners in next day. They were trying to clear methane gas from the mine
NYT headline: “Israel Detains 17 for Arafat Hugs.”
Perot, Maureen Dowd comments, is re-running 1980, playing an outsider, let’s stop bickering & get the job done RR, casting Bush as the isolated Jimmy Carter. “It is beginning to dawn on the Bush people that while they drove the stake through the heart of Michael Dukakis’s message of competence, they did not kill the public’s yearning for competence.” Bush is reviving the connection to RR.
Norway & Iceland to resume whaling, claiming whales now safe.
Sup Court opinion on abortion (Casey) insists it is not overturning Roe v. Wade or leaving it an empty shell. Only 5-4 on right to abortion: O’Connor, Kennedy & Souter, who together wrote the opinion, & Blackman & Stevens. 7-2 allowed Penn. to require presentation of info to women designed to change her mind, followed by 24-hr waiting per, parental consent, require reporting to gov. Establishes an “undue burden” test of restrictions, which in this case means spousal notification, voted down 5-4. Rehnquist claims this did not reaffirm Roe but made it a facade, a Potemkin village. Scalia talks about an imperial judiciary taking this issue out of pol. forum. Given Kennedy’s change of mind, if Bork was on bench, no abortion today. The decision is largely an apology for not overturning Roe, a long discussion of stare decisis.
-But of course a 24-hr waiting per (which will be the 1st state to enact 48 hrs?) (Update: Tenn. did, immediately) is a substantial obstacle to poor, rural ♀. In Penn., for ex., 8 of 67 counties have clinics.
-(Scalia: Roe created a vast new class of abortion consumers and abortion proponents by eliminating the moral opprobrium that had attached to the act).
Sup Court 6-3 does not rule, as conservs want, that any regulation of land use is a “taking,” requiring compensation. Said was only a taking if deprives a property of *all* econ value