Friday, October 21, 2005
EU works out deals to admit Sw, Austria, Finland (still negotiating w/Norway) next yr.
Senate votes down a balanced budget amend to Const 63-37 in favor (not 2/3), 7 of the 37 voting for a weaker, see-I-really-do-support-it-in-principle face-saver alternative
Day 3 of Israel crackdown on settlers: far, 1 arrest, 0 guns confiscated
-Israel to compensate families of victims at lower rate than Israeli victims of Arab terrorism – after all, standard fo living is lower in Occupied!
Aldrich Ames, the mole in CIA, was brought in to question when his sudden wealth was mentioned by a co-worker during an investigation of disappearance of CIA sources in Moscow (they had it narrowed down to 200 – 200! – who knew their names). But it took 2 yrs to ask him about it, 1 yr more to check out his story, which they failed to do, not finding will of wife’s father, who was supposed to have left all that money to the. Caught only when went to Venezuela when said he was going to Colombia. Even then, it took them mos to seal his office
A courier at Hillary & Vince Foster et al’s Rose Law Firm says he was ordered to destroy Foster’s files just after an ind counsel mentioned
-Now seems there were 3 improper meetings w/Treasury officials investigating Whitewater
Grand jury subpoenas 10 White House & Treasury officials & all documents on their contacts
-Counsel Nussbaum resigns
But the effect is to shift focus from old events in Ark to recent cover-up in DC
-Ironically, Nussbaum (& Hillary) started out w/Watergate special prosecutor
Russian demographics: adult male life expectancy down to 60. Child birth 1.4 as opposed to 2.17 5 yrs ago [no, I don’t know 2.14 what]. Deaths exceeded births last yr by 800,000
CA passed 3 Strikes crime bill. W/25-life for 3rd offense, doubling sentence of 2nd – inc juvenile cases, where there are no const rights or jury trial
NZ still to be excluded from AZEAN because they retain policy against nuclear subs
House of Lords blocks bill to allow transmission of peerages to oldest child regardless of sex
Whitewater special counsel pleads w/Congress not to hold hearings & screw him up á la Iran Contra
-Clinton admits having known about request by RTC for criminal investigation, which is supposed to be confidential. Hillary is talking about enemies.
Wm Waldegrave, Br minister for open gov, says ministers can lie to Parl (devaluations & so forth)
Clinton appoints Lloyd Cutler of Carter Admin special counsel to president. Clinton keeps having to go outside the White House to re-est his credibility. At least he didn’t go outside Demo Party this time.
-Clinton defends his wife in old-fashioned terms, since she’s still ducking the press. If she were anyone else, she’d be fired by now
Tobacco plants close for a day, workers paid to protest health-care tax on cigarettes in Wash.
Nixon in Russia meets Rutskoi, so Yeltsin, in a snit, cancels meetings w/him, and stripped him of security
Border police commander in Hebron says standing orders are never ever to fire on Jewish settlers even if they are shooting Palestinians, as in the recent massacre. The general in charge of W Bank says army there to protect Jews, not Arabs, since they are the ones under attack.
Warren Christopher says he won’t meet w/dissidents when visiting China next week. And after all the efforts by the gov in the last week to see that dissidents were all nicely rounded up
US wants to send more troops to Macedonia, so the 4 Scandinavian countries can send troops from there to Bosnia
Strikes by civ servs in Bophutatswana spread to university students & finally police themselves. President 1st fled the country, then negotiated to take part in SA elections. White fascists came in thousands to back apartheid. Finally, a deal made & SA sends in army, which nicely turned out not to be partisan
Russian Sup Court orders trials of 1991 coup leaders to continue. Yes, they’ve been amnestied, but the trials will go on, to no particular end.
Russia drops charges against a man who 1992 announced that Russia had binary nerve gas. The old Const bars prosecutions for violating secret laws – which is the charge. Chem. weapons not on list of state secrets (would draw attention), so were put on retroactively
1st C of E women priests in Br ordained
Wife of the Israeli settler called police ½ hr before the massacre to warn them
Israel bans 2 Kahane groups
Fr wants to ban foreign words (English) from business & gov communications, tv & radio, pub announcements, ads, labels & instructions. An existing recent law requires min 40% songs on radio to be in Fr
Survivors of the Hebron massacre say at least 1 Israeli soldier fired on the crowd. The gov insists soldiers just fired into air, to calm the stampeders down!
-Of 48 cases of Israeli civilians killing Palestinians 1988-92, 1 Israeli convicted of murder, 1 manslaughter, 6 negligent homicide
Hungarian right-wing gov fired opposition radio & tv journalists, in run-up to May elections
Clinton loses another old friend, Webster Hubbell, #3 in Justice, also from Rose Law Firm, which is filing complaints against him for massive over-billing
Russia & Latvia agree on end to occupation August
Since the Fed “drug kingpin” death penalty law 1988, gov used it against 37, 33 of whom black or Hispanic. Atty Gen Reno has approved 10 – all black. This when 3/4 of fed drug-trafficking defendants have been white
In recent yrs, esp since 1991 Civil Rights Act, comps have been requiring binding arbitration of discrim & sexual harassment. Sup court says this is allowed. Some comps are imposing this on new employees or for promotion, stock options. More questionably, comps are imposing this on existing employees & only allowed for nonunion employees, since Court says collective-bargaining cannot give away right to sue. Comps inc ITT, Hughes, Rockwell, NCR, etc
My, how paranoid the Clintons are getting. An asst chief White House usher is fired for taking phone calls from Barbara Bush. Head of ushers office is not allowed to testify to Congress on it
3 weeks before Clinton elected as governor 1st time 1978, Hillary began to trade in commodities mkt, and in a yr had $100,000 (don’t know what started with), relying on help of James Blair, power-broker & lawyer for Tyson Foods. While Clinton gov, Tyson got gov loans, execs on state boards, helpful environmental rulings. Of course, Clinton might well have let the state’s largest employer poison the drinking water even w/out personal benefits. Clintons’ finances for that period unclear, and they still refuse to release tax returns. They have also given conflicting explanation of how they afforded a house 1980. Mrs Blair now on board of Corp for Pub Broadcasting. Tyson also does fish-trawling & benefitted from new rules last yr. Gov Clinton appointed a Tyson vet to Livestock & Poultry Commission. State never enforced 1977 order that Tyson stop leaking waste into a river, which poisoned a town. Blair threatened to go to Clinton when state’s health officials tried to get it to stop dumping in water supply
RR says Ollie North a liar
New reports by soldiers indicate a 2nd man at Hebron massacre. Soldiers admit firing at the door to “create a jam” & keep the shooter in, figuring he was a Palestinian. Army checkpoints kept ambulance away for 50 min. To date, I haven’t heard a real body count
SA Goldstone Commission says senior officials of SA police armed Inkatha fighters w/automatic rifles, grenades, mortars, orchestrated massacres on trains, trained hit men, helped kill ANC. When indivs in gov in danger of being exposed, retired w/generous severance & kept it up. DeKlerk denies knowledge. Ditto Buthelezi
Bosnian Muslims & Croats est confederation, or is it federation. I give it a month. It was US idea. Some sort of link to Croatia
Clinton welfare plan to be paid for by halving home energy assistance
Justice Dept says it has no legal authority to prosecute local police depts that fail to do background checks on handgun buyers, as law requires. Law only requires a “reasonable effort” to check record
Saudis ban indiv use of satellite dishes
Br & Sp are trying to make enlargement of EU w/Austria, Norway, etc, not entail a proportionate increase in # of states that can veto a measure (in tandem).
Israeli Gen in charge of W Bank 1992-3 defends orders not to shoot at Jews, because when they’re shooting, they’re always defending themselves
Whitewater prosecutor gets an Ark muni judge to plea bargain on unrelated fraud charges & testify on Whitewater. Hale says Gov. Clinton twice asked him to make loan (operated a lending comp) that would have helped Whitewater. Hale got an overrvalued loan from Madison Guaranty & in turn loaned lots to Ark Dems, inc McDougal (of Whitewater)’s wife, not supposed to be used, but cover up Madison’s books
Clinton admin allows Justice to pursue appeal on decision overturning decency provision in NEA grants
SA takes over another homeland, Ciskei, after police & soldiers afraid their pension funds being raided
El Salvador has elections. Seems no one won 1st round for president, but ARENA comes closest. 340,000 on electoral roles got no voting cards, and many didn’t make it onto the rolls, but the late Roberto D’Aubuisson & Pres. Duarte did. The fuck-ups mostly in leftist areas. Election officials decided people in towns in the Chalatenango province should walk to the provincial capital to vote. 600,000 extra ballots printed by a concern tied to Pres. Cristiani’s family – they claim they were destroyed. Distant areas had ballot boxes brought in by Army helicopters – that should bring back some memories.
Mexico’s former next president, PRI’s heir apparent for August elections, assassinated
US thinking of ending the annual linkage of Ch. MFN status to rights
The last Rose Law firm person in Clinton Admin, not counting Hillary, Wm Kennedy III, demoted. He was in charge of background checks of appointees, and himself had a nanny for whom he failed to pay Soc Sec until his new job, when paid for 1992 under his wife’s maiden name (which she does not use), and failed to pay for 1991 altogether. Kennedy also known for pressing FBI on inquiry into White House travel office
Defense Sec Perry gives nukes a new mission: deterring chem. & bio weapons
Br allegedly developed its H-bomb 1957, but that explosion was evidently 0.3 megatons. Succeeded on 3rd try, but didn’t trust their design, and then a 1958-61 world moratorium. So got US bombs in its air bases & US blueprints
Lloyd Cutler hired to replace White House counsel Nussbaum, fired for monitoring gov investigations of Whitewater, himself did same to Justice 1980 inquiry into Bill Carter’s ties to Libya. He also supported Bork for Sup Court & seizure of Noriega
Jim Leach makes new charges of Whitewater cover-up & pressure on investigators. And says Clinton made money. Clinton admits $20,000 of his supposed loss was actually helping his mother buy a house – which he says he forgot. Clinton implies that problem is w/Repub appointees to RTC
Israeli army uses a children’s hospital as firebase in attack on Hamas, in Hebron. No children killed, but a pregnant Arab
India refuses US plan to stop India-Pak. nuke arms race because it applied just to those 2, and US wants to reward Pakistan w/F-16 fighters
Labor Dept proposes banning smoking in all workplaces
OECD bans exports by members of hazardous wastes in 3rd World, exc US which opts out
Clinton 1972-9 tax returns show a quadrupling of income due to commodity trading, no doubt why not previously released, and that they took no loss on Whitewater 1981-6, when it was still losing money & they were supposed to be partners
White House decides NSC no longer subject to FOIA & can also decide what to shred
EU comes to compromise on changing veto rules w/adding 4 countries. The # of votes to veto will rise, but a delay can be forced by the same minority as at present
Fr gov yields to student protests, does not intro a sub-minimum wage
Br High Court overturns Common Law provision that before a conviction of children 10-14, must prove they know right from wrong
Clinton’s brilliant welfare reform to inc helping unwed fathers. Would require mothers on welfare to identify father, put both parents in job training & counseling, requiring fathers who do not pay child support to perform community service, requiring mothers to allow visitation. So if you want to get job training, knock someone up
At Sup Court hearings on death penalty appeals, some justices worried about Texas’s contention that fed courts can’t stop execution while inmate looking for a lawyer. Not Scalia, who berated state lawyer for the time courts take on appeals: “If you want us to get serious, you should get serious yourselves.” He also berated Texas Resource Center for filing a stay 5 days before execution (actually the day after state proceeding completed) – there are 18 lawyers there, no state funding & 100 new execution dates/yr
Clinton taxes show that $100,000 started out as $1,000 – Whitewater partner McDougal running for Congress
Major’s climbdown in his needless confrontation w/EU over voting rights leads one Tory MP to call for his resignation
Long Beach school district to require uniforms
Italian elections. Right did less well in Senate, 155 of 315. The right get 58% of seats but is badly divided, the S.-based neo-fascist Nat Alliance (they call themselves post-fascist) & Northern League, won’t serve in same gov. N League got 8% of vote & twice that in seats. Nat Alliance 12% votes, Forza Italia 20%. So right = 40% vote, 58% seats. Socialist Party missed the 4% min. Forza Italia, the largest party, translates as “Go, Italy.” Founder Silvio Berlusconi owns soccer team in Milan, set up fan clubs, then in fall est pol clubs, turned it into the new party in January. Berlusconi has a tv monopoly he is trying to protect. It started illegally, but he made a deal w/corrupt PM Craxi (now on trial). He has no clear politics. Good luck as PM! The fascists want Dalmatia. Mussolini’s granddaughter now an MP
In Salvadoran election, Arena’s Calderon got 49%, Rubén Zamora, old guerilla, 25%. Run-off next mo. Arena got 200 of 262 muni councils, close to majority in Parl, Left 15 councils
US ends almost all export controls on telecommunications to former communist countries – and China
Algerian fundies killing unveiled women
US says it can’t after all help pay for the UN troops needed for Bosnian peace agreements, so Sec Council should renew mandate for 1 mo. instead of 6. And make UN scale peacekeepers from 10,000 to 3,500. Everyone else thought we had promised money weeks ago, but now Clinton says Congress might not give it