Thursday, January 05, 2006
R’s give up on abolishing food stamp program. Farm-state R’s revolt
Clinton to have “top to bottom” review of Fed affirmative action programs, not wanting to defend them all. His model is the military
House votes 276-147 to freeze most new Fed regs through 1995. Exempting business ones like licenses, trade rules, deposit insurance...
Parl passes bill against blood sports 253-0. Expected to be wrecked later.
Under CA’s 3 Strikes, a man sentenced to 25 yrs for stealing a slice of pizza.
Exclusionary Rule 1st applied against Fed agents 1914. 1961 applied to the states. 1960 NYC police had obtained not one search warrant.
Clinton exec order to force fed workers to pay child support
Unauthorized trades of $29b by a 28-yr old trader at Barings loses it $1b & puts it out of business, creating havoc throughout Asian mkts. Clinton supports de-regulation here.
Barings bought by the Dutch for £1
Jacques Foccart, de Gaulle’s counselor for African affairs, writes memoir which admits Fr role in assassination of Cameroonian opposition leader Felix Moumié 1960, that he literally auditioned Gabon’s president Bongo. Some Af leaders signed blanket authorization for Fr interventions. Says coups succeeded only when he was out fishing or hunting.
Jean-Marie Le Pen calls murder of a 17-yr old Af immigrant by his followers an “accident” – “You might as well ask me why I don’t condemn rain, hail, traffic accidents or earthquakes.”
Fed judge strikes down application of NJ’s “Megan’s Law,” notification of presence of a sex criminal, to convictions before the law took effect. Considers it an extra punishment.
Former Mexican president Salinas’ brother arrested for ordering last yr’s assassination of another PRI leader, the pres. candidate. Possible cocaine connection
House 286-141 directs regulatory agencies to base orders on cost-benefit rather than health (inc 60 D’s, exc 2 R’s). Risk assessment by panels that could inc interested parties. Industry could challenge the risk assessments in court
Fed judge voids the last-minute Bush deal giving him control of his computerized records
R’s want to add to welfare bill a formula to reward states that reduce illegitimacy & cut down abortion
Lamar Alexander begins his abolish-Washington run for president, wearing a lumberjack shirt.
Former It. PM Andreotti indicted for acting as protector for Mafia
Of 37 states w/capital punishment (now inc NY), 10 ban execution of retarded
Another Sup Court loophole in exclusionary rule. Good faith extended to computer errors, in this case an arrest based on a nonexistent traffic warrant that should have been removed from the computer. 7-2 Rehnquist says suppressing the evidence would not deter court clerks from such errors.
Ex-president of Mexico Salinas goes on hunger strike to protest criticism of him by current gov (to say nothing of his brother’s arrest). Immediately ends the strike.
Justice Dept sues Ill. State U. over a program to train janitors that excluded white males.
Last week, Balanced Budget Amend failed to get 2/3 in Senate by 1 vote. R’s had given in to Sam Nunn in stripping it of enforcement by fed courts. Only 1 R. voted against it, Mark Hatfield, & he offered to resign the Sen. before the vote. Indian Ben Nighthorse-Campbell switches to R party over it. D’s want their contribs to his 1992 election back.
Clinton finally forms ind panel on Gulf War Disease
Estonia’s pro-mkt gov defeated in new elections, the Fatherland Party that won 1992 elections barely getting the 5% threshold. Back to the commies & agric protectionists. And a Russian party, Our Home is Estonia, gets 7 of 101 seats
House passes bill 232-193 tort reform “loser pays” i.e., pays opponents’ legal costs. Indeed, even winners pay, if they reject a settlement higher than damages awarded by jury – legal fees no higher than his own, & only those incurred since the offer
-And require sanctions on lawyers for frivolous lawsuits (how do you have something mandatory on a subjective matter?)
-Dem. failed amend to exempt civil rights suits
-And 325-99 limits suits by stockholders. Again, loser pays. Must show that broker or comp knowingly or recklessly made fraudulent statements
When House voted to turn over school lunches to states, forgot about the many military children...
A highly classified CIA report leaked, saying Serbs responsible for 90% of ethnic cleansing
Clinton allows Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein to raise money in US
Fed scientists debating whether the planned underground nuclear waste dump in Nev. will explode. This after $1.7b (with a b) in feasibility studies.
An independence referendum in W Sahara being interfered with by Morocco, which taps UN phones, confiscates voter documents, sending people from Morocco to register. Already postponed over 3 yrs, the referendum tentatively scheduled for Oct95, but don’t hold your breath. UN has given in to extent of allowing Moroccan flags over UN buildings
Clinton loses another nominee, Michael Carns, to be DCI, who brought a Filipino into US. Treated him just like a member of his family – meaning he didn’t pay him & let him work outside the home, illegally
In 3rd tort bill, House 265-161 over-rules states to set limits (for 1st time) on punitive damages for medical malpractice & product liability to $250,000 or 3X monetary losses, whichever is higher, total pain & suffering in medical to $250k, w/no damages if person 50% responsible because of drug & alcohol use. No joint & several liability for product liability, so might not collect because can’t go after the deep pockets. Retailers not responsible for selling defective products. On everything else, states’ rights rule & defendants’ rights are screwed. Reverse here.
Irish Dail allows doctors to give addresses of family-planning clinics in Eng
Indian congress loses Maharashtra & Gujarat states to right-wing Hindu parties
Ex-president of Mexico Salinas now in exile in US
1st pregnant Republican congresscritter, Enid Waldholtz of Utah. Senate has never had a pregnancy
Conoco tried to have oil deal w/Iran. Neutralized Warren Christopher, who had to recuse himself after they hired his old law firm. Exec order to stop them.
New DCI choice John Deutch insists on cabinet rank
Croatian pres Tudjman w/draws demand UN troops leave by end of month, but scaled down & to “control” (or as US puts it, “monitor”) internat borders w/Serbia & Bosnia, not protect the Krajina Serbs. Croatian Serbs less thrilled, and Serbs have been moving tanks in.
Justice recommends special prosecutor on Housing Sec Henry Cisneros for misleading FBI about payments of over $200,000 to an ex-girlfriend/mistress
Abortion issue was revived in Ireland 1992 when gov tried to ban a 14-yr old going to Br for an abortion. Now the Criminal Court of Appeals reduces the sentence of her rapist to 4 yrs, saying there was no reap rape & no duress
Afraid of Hawaii possibly having gay marriages, Utah votes not to recognize marriages that don’t conform to Utah law (!)
Sen. R’s fail to stop filibuster of bill to overturn Clinton’s exec order against gov using comps that perm replace strikers
Although Dole now finds it politic to attack affirmative action, in 1990 he brought leg est a commission his wife (then Labor Sec) wanted on glass ceilings. It reports that white men, 43$ of workforce, hold 95% senior mgmt (up & up)
Kazakhstan Const Court says the Mar94 parl elections unconst, dissolves parl
In 1st yr under Brady law, 45,000 convicted felons stopped from buying guns. Price of street weapons is increasing
Miss. ratifies the 13th Amend
House votes 227-200 on recissions of $17.3b, all in social & welfare programs, from the current budget
House & Sen. cut money for Interior to carry out Endangered Species Act
Conoco actually was negotiating w/Iran for 4 yrs over developing an oil field, and kept gov informed, but were only cut off when it was announced. Gov not willing to stop US comps buying Iranian oil for sale to 30 countries (c.$3.5b 1994)
Clinton meets Gerry Adams, but only when there are no photographers around. Like Salman Rushdie.
For UN conf on women to be held in Beijing, Ch. & Vatican getting UN to deny accreditation to Tibetan exile women’s groups & Caths for a Free Choice, lesbian groups (Update, 3/23L reverses on Caths)
Dole continuing his move to the right, promises NRA a reversal of ban on assault weapons
Ukraine abolishes const of Crimea, eliminates its president
The 3rd highest cleric in C of E, David Hope, the Bishop of London, is sort of outed, but he says his sexuality is ambiguous & he is celibate
Pissed at Clinton meeting Gerry Adams, John Major refuses to take his calls for a week
R’s are pressuring lobbyists to be more partisan
Cambodia asks UN human rights center to leave, as they are perfect now in human rights
Bosnia breaks Jan. 1 cease-fire, but Serbs were tightening up on Sarajevo
HUD plan to run programs together, end pub housing in favor of vouchers
Turkey has 35,000 troops inside Iraq killing Kurds, jets bombing, etc. US & others don’t care, obviously gave go-ahead. This is in UN safe area excluding Iraqis
R. plan to revise Clean Water Act being written in conjunction w/lobbyists. Chemical Manufacturers Assoc got provision to allow “statistical compliance,” that is, on average. An EPA reg on pollution of Grand Lakes, issued last week, would be made voluntary. States would be banned from stronger standards. EPA not allowed to see any part of the bill
R’s reintro amend to ban flag-burning. One supporter: DiFi
Sup Court 9-0 says Fed agencies can’t bring appeals on basis of policy alone, unless authorized by Congress
As gov aid dropped from 21% of need-based University scholarships 1985, now under 12% & tuition has doubled in Ivies & other priv; with 20% tuition going to financial aid
During Gulf War, 47 Saudi women protested ban on driving. They were arrested, lost scholarships & jobs. The ban was made official, & ♀ banned from all future pol activity
MI5 has had lead against IRA since 1/1/93. This means MI5 witnesses testifying w/out being named, so their credibility can’t be used in subsequent cases. Use pub interest immunity to evade disclosure
An Amer. woman has been raising a stink for months about her husband’s disappearance, a guerilla in Guatemala. Now comes out that CIA knew the truth of his murder yrs ago – because they employed the Guatemalan colonel who ordered it. And this after military aid was ended over the case.
CA courts clogging w/3 Strikes cases. Pomona, Long Beach & Lancaster have stopped all civil trials. Where 94% felonies were plea-bargained, now 14%. 2nd-strike & 6% 3rd-strike are. Felony trials will double in LA & inmates are being released early
20 (26?)% of methane, complicit in global warming, from termite farts
Turkey now talking about staying in n Iraq indefinitely
Montana senate reverses & removes homosexual acts (sodomy illegal there) from a register of violent criminals
FBI puts $4m reward on, and add to most wanted list, 2 Libyans that Libya refuses to turn over for Lockerbie bombing. They live in Libya...
House bill to make states suspend driver’s licenses & professional licenses of those not paying child support. This in the vicious welfare reform, which now inc denying food stamps, Medicaid, etc for legal aliens
House 234-199 votes for the welfare monstrosity. A cut of 6-11% over next 5 yrs. Lump-sums to states. 5-yr limit. D’s note this will pay for tax cuts to the rich. Rep John Mica of Fla. said it was like the Don’t Feed the Alligators signs in his state. And will scrap all nutrition standards for WIC & end competitive bidding for purchase of infant formula
Alabama brings back chain gangs
2 American employees of McDonnell Douglas wander over the border into Iraq & get 8-yr prison sentences. US pissed, consistent w/policy which approves 35,000 Turkish soldiers crossing the border
Mandela fires his wife as dept Cabinet minister
Clinton presents a voluntary code of human rights practices for US corps abroad (meaning in China), to replace the job he’s too chicken-shit to do
Pete Wilson running for president not 3 mos after being sworn in again. And Gramm will run for president & Senate again, simultaneously
Sup Court allows trademarking of a color
House fails to pass any of 4 different plans for Congressional term limits, inc my favorite, the retroactive one
After allegedly ending military aid to Guatemala 1990, CIA sent millions to military leaders, perhaps continuing to this day, $5-7m/yr. Guatemala was also put on list of major drug-traffickers 1990. Guat. prez tells the col. to sue Rep. Toricelli of NJ for defamation. Evidently he’s more worried about the charge of being a CIA agent than for ordering the murder
Argentina Prez Menem calls of former military torturers & murderers to confess to priests but refrain from “rub[bing] salt in old wounds” by speaking publicly, “returning to a horrible past that we are trying to forget.” A former navy capt has been talking about prisoners being thrown, alive, out of aircraft into ocean
Sen. 100-0 votes to allow Congress to review regulations w/in 45 dys. As opposed to House approach of suspending any new regs for 1995
Fed judge strikes down military’s don’t ask, don’t tell as violating 1st & 5th Amends. Under it, gays have been discharged at the same rate as before
Canada in a fish war w/Sp., whose boats are using tight-meshed, nothing-escapes nets in the internat waters near Canada, which has seized one, cut nets of another. Sp trying to get EU to retaliate. Br supports Canada
Pope encyclical on abortion & euthanasia. It is bad, & there is no obligation to obey such laws. How do you not obey a law allowing abortion? Also dislikes capital punishment, exc when it doesn’t