Saturday, October 01, 2005
Clinton sends lists of top appointments in Defense back to Aspin, to find more women & minorities, & in HUD to Cisneros, to find fewer New Yorkers
Yeltsin suggests UN give Russia special powers as regional cop in former-USSR. In Tajikistan, Russian troops have closed border w/Afghanistan, over which guns & gunsels coming. Commander in Moldova threatening to stay until status of Trans-Dniester, whose Russian pop wants to be ind, is defined
-Yeltsin also suggesting he has no allegiance to the const & by implication to the existence of the Russian Parl, which he says is running a parallel gov
Warren Christopher says we can’t roll back Serbian land grab in Bosnia. Says Br & Fr have threatened that if we end arms embargo on Bosnia, they’ll end humanitarian efforts
A book says US spies & generals WW2 tried to killer Werner Heisenberg, or kidnap him. 1942 Gen. Groves got go-ahead to target Ger atom scientists & bomb their labs. One assassin talked to him & decided he was about to defect. He wasn’t.
6 yrs ago, Alabama put a black man in Death Row before his trial. Their evidence at trial consisted of a murderer w/long record who named him after a week of police interrogation – though told 4 doctors cops pressured him to lie and at start had said the reverse – this info all kept from the defense. Another criminal witness said he saw McMillian’s low rider truck – it’s not a low-rider. 3 witnesses all told. And all McM had was 12 people who saw him at a fish fry. The 3 have since recanted. The trial took 1½ days. Under Ala. law the judge can, and did, override the jury to impose a death penalty. Of course, under Ed Cairnes, state prosecutor & Bush’s last fed court appointee, this is not rare. He’s lucky he’s alive, but only the death sentence gave him enough representation to get out, after 6 yrs. McMillian says it’s because he was dating a white woman. I’d say just being black was enough in Alabama
Les Aspin says Bosnian air drops are a symbolic success & we’re done now. Clinton says otherwise. Symbolic success means most of the aid actually reached Serb militias or fell into no-man’s land & 18 Bosnians reported killed trying to get to it. One drop went to a region the Serbs had just taken. Note that symbolic success means same thing for Clinton as for Bush when he was bombing Iraq January
2 Cabinet officials Israel (Health-Labor, Interior-relig loon) say Israel should pull out of Gaza
Ex-US archivist admits in deposition that he turned over computer tapes to Bush after talking to George & Shrub about heading Bush library
Fla. leg. approves pub. breast-feeding
Criticizing airdrops, Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic mentions dangers of involvement for US, mentioning the weekend bombing of World Trade Center
Miami Cubans vetoed candidate for State Asst Sec for Latin America
Marines holding a hearing, not even a court-martial, for a soldier who fired a grenade launcher at a 17-yr old Somali who stole his sunglasses
Pope says the 20,000 Bosnians raped by Serbs should not have abortions. Unclear why this was any of his business. Nuns in the area are reputed to have been given permission to use contraceptives, just in case, as they used to in Latin Amer, Af. Vatican denies giving permission
An investigative reporter for Le Monde had his phone tapped on orders from Elysee Palace 1985-6. Had exposed Greenpeace bombing. The anti-terrorist unit he investigated disbanded 1988 after Plenel reported it planted evidence on 3 Irish 1986
John Major to revamp honors, eliminating automatic honors for jobs in Civil Service. Won’t touch pol honors. Says he intends to give no hereditary peerages
From Daryl Gates’ autobio: “Rodney King should never have been hit 56 times; yet many of the blows which struck him were correctly placed so as not to cause serious injury, exactly as we teach in the Academy.”
Though Clinton hailed the decision 5 weeks ago by a district judge that Pentagon ban on gays unconst. Now, Justice filed papers saying enforcement would screw up Clinton compromise on gays in military. There are briefs in 4 or 5 other cases. Gov says reinstating gays (actually keeping them from being thrown out) would interfere w/long-term goal of lifting ban
House acquittal of Oct. Surprise was headed by Lee Hamilton, who Aug86 told a reporter that Ollie North denied running ops in support of Contras, so the reporter was wrong, & took word of RR & others that they knew nothing, which was a lie. On this, he blocked appointment of an aid to the task force because R’s objected. When Mervyn Dymally complained about handling of the evidence, Hamilton ordered him to withdraw his dissent, then fired the staff of Dymally’s Af. Subcmte. Clearing Casey for 10/19/80, they accepted word of his nephew that his father called Casey, though no phone records verify this (and he’d given a different alibi on tv 1991 – which credit card receipts proved was 4 days earlier). And for a late July meeting, task force claims Casey was at Bohemian Grove, which was actually the next weekend, and there is evidence of a ticket on the E Coast & none on W Coast that weekend. For both dates, the task force ignores all opposing evidence
12/1/92 State Dept called in ambassador of Costa Rica, said US would oppose its request for credits from Inter-Amer. Devt Bank because of expropriation cases against US citizens, inc the land which contained the covert NSC-Contra airstrip owned by North & Secord under aliases. The current owners are hidden by Liberian registration
Lan Bentsen Interests (the Sec Treasury’s son) defaulted on $54m in loans. RTC kept doing business w/them, which is against the law
It. gov tries to prevent prison sentences in gov corruption trials, wants prez to sign decrees preventing trial if they give it back & give up politics. A minister resigns in protest. Another decree would decriminalize illicit funding of pol parties, ending jail as possibility. 1/5 MPs under investigation
A Haitian dissident who was beaten by military denied refugee status, State Dept saying investigation not needed. He applied Nov. 5, heard nothing for 3 mos. The immigration officers handling refugees had never done so before, knew nothing of Haiti or Creole
FCC says the Flintstones & the Smurfs don’t count as ed. programming
Greens & esp fascist Repubs do well in Ger elections in Hesse & Frankfurt, at expense of CDU & esp SPD. Repubs 8% Hesse, Greens 11%
In order, he says, to reduce the PRI’s gov funding, Mexican prez Salinas at a priv dinner asked 30 biggest businessmen for $25m each. Keep in mind this is the time of privatization, so this is kickbacks
China agrees to accept Cambodian elections, as UN wants, even though Khmers Rouges won’t participate
Romania’s Parl votes in secret. Draft bills can’t be scrutinized. The agenda is secret. Democracy.
Tories join Labour & LibDems in 314-292 amend to Maastricht, restricting gov appointees to EC advisory cmte to elected local officials. Effectively stretches process out
Sup Court allows states to make union-only contracts
It. president refuses to sign the decrees legalizing corruption. Parl cmte recommends lifting Parl immunity of Bettino Craxi, longest-lasting PM post-war. And president of state energy agency arrested for kickbacks
Similarly, a raid on home of Shin Kanemuru, formerly most powerful politician in Japan, & just arrested for tax evasion on secret donations, finds $50m in cash & securities. This follows the typical Japanese pattern as in Tanaka, of arrest only after career over (K. is 78)
Defense rescinds secrecy oaths on test subjects in WW2 poison gas experiments on 60,000
A pro-lifer at a demonstration shoots a doctor to death. The group’s leader (Rescue America) calls the killer & the doctor victims of abortion & says that it’s “unfortunate,” but did save many babies’ lives. Randall Terry said killing is bad, but you have to remember this was a mass murderer.
Possibly in contradiction to Clinton’s ethics law, Bush’s Sec Air Force Donald (?) becomes CEO of Teledyne, which paid a $2.1m fine for improperly testing fighter parts & last yr $17.5m for faking tests on electronic parts
EPA use of outside contractors resulted in payment for services that were never given. An EPA chemist monitoring a contractor was also a consultant to him. Another oversaw a contract on which his son worked
It. PM Amato wins vote of confidence 143-99
Fed judge rules that Hillary’s health panel must hold open hearings, under sunshine law
House joins Senate, 356-58, in banning immigrants w/AIDS
Poland’s new abortion law requires 4 drs, on mother’s health. Seems to outlaw amniocentesis only when there is cause to suspect problem. Czech Jan93 added high fee. Hungary now requires counseling, 3-day waiting per, multiple drs.
Yeltsin survives vote to strip him of powers, is threatening to dissolve Parl
The greedy old. Ave expenditure per oldie who’d otherwise be poor $30,000, for child $2,700. Also, old programs come through just 2 programs, Soc Sec & Medicare, 80% of benefits. Child benefits come 24% from AFDC, 19% food stamps, 18% Medicaid, 9% housing assistance, 5% WIC, 5% Earned Income Tax Credit. Old benefits standardized nationally, children could lose benefits in a new state or locality. Old can supplement income, losing 33% of money earned over $10,200, while AFDC families lose $1/$1 earned over $130/mo & can’t have car over $1,500, savings over $1,000 etc. And Soc Sec allegedly earned
H of L, as appeal court, ruled S & M is criminal assault even if consenting, calling it “a cult of violence”
N Korea to pull out of nuclear non-proliferation treaty, after refusing to allow inspections of 2 sites.
Russian Congress votes to curb powers granted Yeltsin Dec91, cancel next mo’s referendum, 623-252. Last week Y. asked Kohl whether he would support him in a coup (by him, I mean)
More pro-life sentiment following the shooting. Randall Terry: “We must also grieve for the 1000s of children that he has murdered.” Head of Rescue America: “it’s also true that quite a number of babies’ lives will be saved.” Operation Rescue is running a “No Place to Hide” campaign, putting pictures of drs on Wanted posters, inc the one killed.
-Missionaries to the Unborn? Hello in there, have you heard the good news about our Lord?
-Rescue America, the group that organized the action at which the murder occurred, headed by someone who previously broke into the clinic, trashed it, & hit the nurse. He was in KKK, but then found god, though one might say the tactics are familiar. He has had the nerve to resume his demonstration. Dennis Miller says the dr. was aborted in the 200th trimester
El Salvador’s Defense Min Ponce resigns in advance of UN report on past human rights abuses expected to name him for misc crimes inc cover-up, at least, of 1989’s Jesuit killings. Prez Cristiani has been lobbying to get the report postponed or names covered up
Yeltsin talking about holding a referendum anyway, but might not get local officials to carry it out. Anyway, he has no legal authority to call one. US signalling approval of his suspending the Congress & the Const
US to suspend military aid to El Salvador for not firing officers
1954 Justice Robert Jackson’s clerk wrote advisory memo for him on Brown: “I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed.” Clerk was one Wm Rehnquist
The UN report names the just-resigned defense minister of El Salvador & a predecessor, former for the Jesuit priest killings 1989, former for covering up 1980 murder of American churchwomen, both of which it says wee planned & ordered. Also mentions FMLN assassinations. During the Civil War, US gave Salvador $6b
Clinton on Yeltsin’s projected coup: “I don’t think it would serve any useful purpose for me to try to interpret the Russian Const right now, what it does os doesn’t mean or what we would or wouldn’t respond to.” Also that he’ll keep working w/Yeltsin
Some of the Bush computer tapes ordered preserved are missing, evidently “inadvertently erased,” several days’ worth. 2 weeks of RR tapes known to be missing
Australian Labor Party wins again. Next move: a republic.
Haiti arrests a man US gave refugee status to, at airport on his way to Miami.
US offers plan to end Angolan civil war, inc a runoff prez election, though gov won elections. US has still failed to recognize the gov
Atty Gen Janet Reno was involved in a “ritual child abuse” case as prosecutor, children being hectored & a wife being questioned by a psychologist from a business called Behavior Changers; who had spent time in Leavenworth for adultery & sodomy w/2 women he was counseling. He put the wife through “visualization” exercises & got her to turn on her husband, accusing him of everything but flying on a broom – he got 6 life terms + 165 yrs
Salvador: Ponce’s resignation still hasn’t been accepted. The UN report demands his dismissal & banning forever. Cristiani calls for amnesty. Also wants Sup Court all replaced
Clinton promises to maintain funding of Israel at current levels forever, refusing to talk to Rabin about expulsions.
Under 5% Br Labour Party members under 25. Youth sections in 18 of 639 constituencies
Ch. raises military budget again by 15% this yr, to double 1988
Clinton meets Aristide & refuses to set a deadline for his return, says it should be negotiated, just like he negotiated w/Bush
Leader of It.’s Lib Party resigns, under bribery investigation, following leaders of Socialists & Republicans
Senate passes a Motor Voter bill. R filibuster forces them to remove registration at welfare & unemp offices. D’s exclude automatic registration of military workers. The bill also intro 1st nationwide mail registration
Georgian Prez Shevardnadze says Russia aided Abkhazians, that they’re in virtual state of war.
Rabin’s peace gov shot dead more Palestinians in its 1st 6 mos, 76, than Shamir in his last 6 mos, 63
Japan’s overseas investment halved 1991-2
Hillary’s health team has been secret. We know 1 name because he was removed to a “consultant” position from a cmte head for conflict of interest. Actually, he kept bringing up his stocks & directorships before they took it seriously
Polish Parl defeats gov plans to privatize 700 state comps 201-181
Bye bye Byron. White retires. On the short list, Mario Cuomo, who named as an advantage of the job that you don’t have to wear pants. Kennedy?
Rabin’s idea for peace: keep Palestinians from Occupied out of Israel
Pentagon releases the Iraqi War Crimes report completed Jan92 & suppressed by Bush. Says American POWs were beaten, made to urinate on Amer. flag [and Bush suppressed this!] & efforts made to find any Jews among them. Also killed 1,082 Kuwaitis by torture & execution, making a woman eat her own flesh, etc.
Georgia shoots down a Russian plane over Abkhazia, following a bombing run Monday that killed 107
Zaire’s Mobutu, who dismissed his PM, trying to re-est 1-party gov
Yeltsin calls referendum April 25. Country to be ruled by decree until then. Referendum will inc a new const to abolish Congress. He’s not abolishing Congress – as long as it doesn’t act against any of his decrees. Yeltsin has fired various gov officials, regional leaders. VP refused to sign the decree
Hero: French Lt-Gen Philippe Morillon, UN commander in Bosnia, who’s camped out in besieged e. Bosnia as a sort of shield, has now escorted an aid convoy in that had been blocked for days. He may be allowed to do this because bringing refugees back will help depopulate (cleanse) the region. UN have been pointing out that it is Yugoslav, not Bosnian Serb troops, stopping the convoy
US allows the Oregon health program that rations, but extends Medicaid to all. Bush had vetoed
US supports the Russian coup. And certainly doesn’t plan to stop the summit
Salvador Parl pardons gov civil rights abuses. Those in jail for Jesuit killings after yrs of US pressure, are out (and those who killed the nuns 1980)
Russian Parl votes to ask Const Court on locality of decree-rule – Yeltsin says he’ll ignore it
60 Minutes story on Archbishop of New Mexico, who has resigned in consequence, says he had numerous affairs w/under-age girls. Favorite creepy line: “Your father doesn’t know what he’s missing.” Evidently, NM is the Church’s pedophile dumping ground. They get treatment there, and then stay in the neighborhood, some put back in charge of children. The Archbishop (the 1st Hispanic one) ignored plenty of evidence for yrs, but so does the whole Church, shuffling problem priests from parish to parish, and paying huge sums to keep it quiet (as did the Archbishop)
NYT on Salvador cover-up. Even as US denying El Mozote massacre 1981, embassy interviewed refugees who say bodies.
-Embassy sent description of meeting at which d’Aubuisson hatched a murder plot. Ambassador White expressed amazement at whitewash of the nun killings. Cover-up was by Casanova, who US helped get Defense Ministry 1983. In 1989 Jesuit killings, a US adviser Maj. Eric Buckland said he had been told by a Col. that Salvadoran troops did it & Gen Ponce knew. US told Ponce his name & he was pressured to retract. Bush kept Buckland from testifying before Congress for 1 yr
-UN Commission says US withheld request info. The Pres of Sup Court has said “only God” could force him out
The huge asbestos clean-up of pub. buildings, schools that cost $15-20b was a mistake, releasing asbestos fibers
Sanctions in Yug. were cushioned by a banker who paid v. high interest on hard-currency deposits. Now he has fled the country, leaving 100,000 screwed. It was a pyramid scheme, and had currency used for sanctions-busting
Clinton wants to auction radio licenses to highest bidder to raise revenues
Yeltsin takes over media.
New Statesman pub. in Jan. a story about rumors of John Major & affairs, well enough known as to be referred to indirectly on Spitting Image. NSS said Br’s libel laws gave power to such rumors. Major sued printers, wholesalers, & retail outlets, getting damages & costs settled at £50,000+. These comps can & will recover from NSS under the standard contract all papers have. So will cost NSS £100-150K w/no court having ruled, using a method I’d assumed died with the stamp tax [see also 4/16/93]
Once again, the space shuttle misses a take-off. The space station is being redesigned, again, to lessen use of shuttle, give it shorter lifespan, make it pretty well useless. NASA estimates $31b for space station, but only by costing shuttle flights at $44m, their “marginal cost.” If you inc fixed costs, it’s $1.1b/flight. If you inc cost of devt, that’s $1.7b. Which brings space station up to $61b. Today’s mission was supposed to test techniques for use in the old design of the space station. So far $80b on shuttle
Fr 1st-round parl elections. Right gets 40%, PS 19%. And it’s going to get worse in 2nd round. Turnout was 69%. LePen’s Nat Front 12.4%, CP 9%, Greens only 8. Chirac will probably get PM. 78 conservs, no left win 50% & their seats
The US clearly prefers free enterprise to free anything else in Russia
-Despite Yeltsin & US attempt tp portray opponents as communist hard-liners, who amended const to allow Yeltsin to run for president & gave him power? The conflict is a pol one, legitimate given disastrous explosion of crime & corruption & soc inequality
-Clinton people are stressing that only Y. has even been elected, and are seizing on the illegal Gaullist referendum. Madeleine Albright, ambassador to UN, says the Const & parl have less legitimacy. Some are suggesting the summit be moved to Moscow. Both nuclear buttons in a coup zone
-Police guards to “protect” media
-Y. has failed to publish his decrees, possibly because VP failed to sign, possibly to avoid them being dec unconst, as Const Court now working on
-The True Tsar of All the Russias has talked a democratic game, but did nothing about organizing support & has ruled through contradictory decrees
Ch. official paper demands dismissal of Chris Patten, governor of Hong Kong, for proposing greater democracy. Patten is a troublemaker & a criminal
Seymour Hersh says that in 1990 India & Pakistan on brink of nuclear war. Says Pakistan loaded nukes onto planes [see 4/2/93]
Russia forces delay in enforcing no-fly zone in Bosnia
Rabin urges public to take more responsibility for its own security & react quickly to attacks. So a settler shot dead a bound Arab, 8 times – “I shot him to teach the Arabs a lesson.”
Clinton says he’d consider segregating gay troops. He says if you can discriminate against them based on sexual orientation, you can certainly do this. I thought he agreed w/the fed court that you can’t do that. He adds that courts have traditionally let military do whatever it wants.
Clinton keeps saying Yeltsin’s the 1st elected president in 1,000 yrs. What happened 1,000 yrs ago?
Const Court says Yeltsin’s decrees (which they hadn’t seen, nor has anyone) unconst, but stopped short of mentioning impeachment
-Stop press. 4:00 a.m. Wed. The decree finally released – but no real mention of special powers. Someone is backing down. Still calls for the referendum. Actually his mother just died, so going by past practice, he’s probably off roaring drunk.
-The court disliked Y’s saying no other branch of gov could overrule his decrees, which destroys separation of powers; and his statement that a vote of confidence in him was a choice between him & the Leg.
-Gov has evidently been trying to suspend 2 opposition papers for violating law against disclosing state secrets or inciting soc strife
Yeltsin has dropped all provisions Const Court rejected, inc saying no one could overrule his decrees
In last decade FEMA spent $1.5b to keep gov going after nuclear war, $130m this yr
The last time a state admitted executing an innocent person was 1893, when the remaining 3 Haymarket defendants pardoned.
DeKlerk says SA made 6 nuclear bombs, but he had them dismantled 1990. The theory was if SA attacked, would detonate 1 in Kalahari & demand the US send in the Marines. Claims they never tested a nuke, had no help from Israel. Also says all uranium down-graded so no longer weapons-grade, but no one believes this. US has also forced SA to stop plans for rockets
Speaker of Parl backs away from effort to impeach Yeltsin
UN again postponing enforcing Bosnian no-fly zone. US says pushing it through would weaken Yeltsin. Just like we sacrificed Macedonian ind to the Greeks
FDA lifts the 1977 ban on women’s participation in drug tests. Some of results of the old policy: not knowing that the Pill blocked effects of other drugs, and vice versa, that antidepressants cause seizures in women, whose absorption rate is slower for many drugs
Russia ousts news person on TV’s “600 Seconds,” who I think had trouble w/the ‘91 coup.
Janet Reno fires all 70 US Attorneys. Usually, they are kept on a while, certainly not removed while cases in progress – only those actually in trials kept on.
White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray intervened in FDIC inquiry on Neil Bush 1990. FDIC chair (who’s written a book) suggested they bugger off.
Clinton gives up trying to keep his health team’s identities secret
Salvador says won’t extradite human-rights violators.
Br wants compensation from Ger for Channel Islanders interned WW2. 1,000 were sent to concentration camps, 200 still alive. It was excluded from W Ger compensation 1964, Br waiting for reunification
Yeltsin gives in, firing ministers Finance, Economy, admits mistakes in econ policy
Russian Parl fails to impeach Yeltsin. Nor yet his opponent, chair of House. It votes to take control of media. In secret ballot 617 voted to oust Yeltsin, 268 against – 2/3 needed
Iran allegedly buying oil from Iraq, breaking the eternal sanctions
Polish alcohol consumption has risen 40% in 3 yrs
Former It. PM Andreotti under official investigation for Mafia ties
To cut costs (!) the anti-medical fraud branch of HHS closes offices in 9 states, drops 1,000 investigations. There are now 14 states where anything goes, where new cases will not be opened exc in unusual circumstances
The Academy gives another Oscar to a documentary banned by PBS, the 3rd of the 1990s, this one on Panama
Clinton wants Hyde Amend against Fed financing of abortions for poor women lifted. 8 states pay for them if rape, incest, fetal deformity. 12 pay for most
Fr 2nd round parl elections. Conservs have 484 of 577 seats, Gaullists slightly more than ½ that. Socialists & allies 70. New PM to be Chirac’s nominee Edouard Ballador (Chirac staying above fray, to run for prez in 2 yrs). Socialists lost Rocard, who was supposed to be next prez, as did Foreign Min Dumas, Justice, Indust, Civ Serv, Integration Ministers. LePen also lost. No Nat Front, no Green MPs. Chirac last week (before the 2nd round) demanded Mitterrand resign. He won’t.
Russian Congress of People’s Deputies goes along w/referendum, but wants Yeltsin to win a majority of citizens, not voters, and vote will also inc opinions on gov’s soc & econ policies, whether early elections needed for president, and for Congress. Both sides went to the Const Court, which is increasingly politicized
US & Br backing away from keeping sanctions on Iraq while Hussein in power
15 Israelis killed this mo., and no doubt scores of Palestinians. Occupied territories closed off & new rules allow soldiers to shoot any Palestinian w/a weapon, even if in position to use it.
UN finally allows enforcement of Bosnian no-fly zone. Clinton admin rejects UN supporting Vance-Owen “peace plan”
It.’s finance minister resigns (received stolen goods) – 6th of 24. It is suggested that the 1978 killing of PM Aldo Moro by Red Brigades was not unwelcome to high-up Christ Dems
Ch. setting up advisory cmte on Hong Kong – aka, parallel gov.
Clinton wants to restore aid to UN family planning program, killed by RR over abortion