Monday, January 09, 2006
2 headlines p.A5 NYT: Gers More Willing Now to Confront Nazi Crimes; Doctor Says Snapping of Head Killed Palestinian Held in Israel
Clinton exec order for embargo of Iran inc US comps buying its oil for sale to 3rd countries. No one else will follow, so this will have no effect
With trustees of Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund saying it will run out of money in 2002, & R’s talking of 13-16% cuts over 7 yrs, Gingrich asks Clinton his plans for saving Medicare, i.e., how will Clinton pay for Gingrich’s tax cut to the rich. Gingrich says Medicare problem can be solved w/out health care reform. White House says R’s not specific how they intend to balance budget & cut taxes. Both sides accusing the other of planning to herd the old into HMOs. Gingrich hinting at taking it “off budget.”
2nd round Fr presidential elections Sunday. LePen says he hopes Chirac loses
Croatia resumes war on Serb regions, breaking Mar94 cease-fire. Serbs take UN soldiers hostage
Another reversal of Cuban immigration policy. Those stuck in Guantanamo have begun rioting & mutilating themselves & getting pregnant. So they’ll be let in, but no more, really, we mean it this time. henceforth we will summarily return boat people to Cuba. This from a secret deal w/Cuba. Clinton’s evidently written off the Cuban vote.
In latest Algerian militant idiocy, threaten death to wives who don’t leave gov officials. And have killed at least 20 who refused to marry fighters.
Gov. Pete Wilson also had an illegal immigrant housekeeper whose Soc Sec he failed to pay, but blames his ex-wife
Sen. rejects limit on medical punitive damages in tort reform, but Dole expands kill (51-49) to limit punitive damages in all civil suits, Fed & state. So much for federalism. (Update: then it failed, then restricted to product liability alone)
FBI in absence of a new law, “reinterprets” guidelines to allow investigations of organizs advocating violence in absence of evidence of imminent or real violation of law. Director Freeh, asked what lessons he took from Cointelpro, seemed not to have heard of it.
-In case anyone misses the point, Clinton calls the Michigan Militia group “un-American.”
1970-92 hospital stays after childbirth dropped from 4.1 to 2.6 days, despite vast increase in C-sections
Eng/Wales local elections: Labour 48%, Tories 25%, LibDems 23, Tories losing ½ their seats & controlling 8 councils, down from 67. Plus 0 in Scotland, which voted last month. Lab has 155 councils (up 44), Libs 44 (up 14). Lab 5,615 councillors (up 1,799), Libs 2,702 (up 495), Tories 2,056 (down 2,027). No Tory councillors in Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Oldham, Brum, Salford, Wigan, Derby, Cambridge, Oxford.
Jacques Chirac wins Pres. France w/52.6%
Gingrich wants to bribe the old into HMOs & out of Medicare. Give them $5,000/yr which could use for priv insurance HMOs, or hell just keep the cash & choose a cheap program. Indeed, the Rs’ projected balanced budget plan, over 7 yrs, has no Medicare specifics, but will turn over decisions to a bipartisan commission
Ebola spreads in Zaire
R’s intro bill to build an embassy in Jerusalem
Bush resigns NRA for its anti-gov statements
In Moscow, Clinton fails to get Yeltsin to stop sale of nuclear reactors to Iran, but won’t also sell a centrifuge, news of which was no doubt leaked for just this purpose
-Clinton fails to contradict Y’s statement that no military action in Chechnya
Illinois executes a man based on signed confessions, though he is illiterate, and some were to crimes he did not do. He allegedly handed a guard a note that he wanted to confess – gov now claims he dictated the note. There is no physical evidence or eyewitnesses. Another of his murder convictions was overturned & the jury was all-white
Gingrich’s district gets more Fed money than any other
Agreement on extending Nuclear Test Ban Treaty forever
Early in occupation of Haiti, Capt. Lawrence Rockwood talked his way into the Nat Penitentiary to look for pol prisoners. He is now being court-martialed. (Update: discharged from army but not jailed)
New Repub Congresscritter Steve Stockman of Texas writes in Guns & Ammo (written before the Oklahoma City bombing) says Clinton staged the Waco raid to get support for the ban on assault weapons. Gingrich appointed him to the Gun Task Force
Ala. executes a man it admits is paranoid schizo, but good enough to summarily fire his lawyers & ask for death penalty. He believed he will come back to rule all humankind as a God-like tortoise. In the court, he wore a domino, tied to his head
6th Circuit allows Cincinnati’s anti-gay referendum of Nov93, approved by 62%. Court says if gays stayed in closet where they belong, would have no problem. See, a class can only be protected if it is identifiable, so “Those persons who fall within the orbit of legislation concerning sexual orientation are so affected not because of their orientation but rather by their conduct...”
Environmentalist Tory Br claims it doesn’t have to do anything to meet its promise at Rio Summit to stabilize carbon emissions by 2000 because it’s projected energy demand figures were too high – they were always inflated, pre-privatization, to make the case for nuclear plants.
Sup Court 6-3 says cities can’t use single-family zoning to bar group homes. Occupancy limits, space requirements, etc must apply to everyone, not just homes of unrelated people
House 240-185 weakens Clean Air Act, ended protection of most wetlands, require compensation for prop owners. Rep Bud Shuster, the sponsor, calls EPA an “environmental Gestapo.”
Ethics: Reno calls for special prosecutor for Commerce Sec Ron Brown. Sen. Ethics Cmte brings sexual harassment charges against Bob Packwood. And Senate sets up a Whitewater Cmte under D’Amato
Carlos Menem re-elected president of Argentina. He got const changed to allow it. He is an authoritarian who uses decree power to excess, tried to regulate press out of existence, and wants no one to talk about the Dirty War
US allows removing sanctions on Serbia for recognizing Bosnian borders but not its gov
US uses UN Sec Council veto for 1st time in 5 yrs, a condemnation of Israel’s proposed land seizure in Jerusalem
Motor Voter has registered 2m
Br MP Sir Jerry Wiggin, a paid adviser to Br Holiday & Home Parks Assoc, tried to slip an amend loosening requirements for trailer park owners to provide gas, under another MP’s name, who went public. 30% of backbenchers have paid consultancies
Chirac cabinet conserv-right, inc ministries for family (Ministry of Solidarity between Generations) & homelessness & unemp (Min of Integration & The Fight Against Exclusion)
Another American archeology professor died in Guatemala 1992, US accepted Guat. explanation that he committed suicide by stabbing himself in the neck w/a machete 4X
The Times won’t say it, but Phil Gramm 20 yrs ago invested $75,000 in brother-in-law’s soft porn venture
John Major personally against death penalty
Clinton to allow visa to president of Taiwan for his Cornell reunion, breaking 16-yr policy on order of Senate (97-1), House (396-0). No official meetings. China pissed
Sup Court unan. says police should knock before searching a home
Israel suspends plan to confiscate land in Jerusalem
Sup Court 5-4 says only a const amend can impose term limits on US Congress, not the states (23 so far). But note the dissent written by Thomas, that Const is silent on states’ power on this, so they must have it!
Sup Court upholds decision that scholarship for blacks alone unconst
Serbia rejects US plan for lifting sanctions @ recognition of Bosnia
Satellite dishes are banned in Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China
Dept Commerce is housed in Herbert Hoover Building
Ger Const Court says E Ger spies can’t be tried & those in jail should be released
Thatcher’s next volume of memoirs will savage John Major
UN & Clinton Admin criticize proposal of R’s to take thousands of the Vietnamese refugees now being repatriated in Asian countries. UN blame the proposal for riots in HK camps because they give hope.
AMA says organs of anencephalic babies should be harvested while they are still alive
Love letters sent to Hitler by various Gers have been published
Harold Wilson dies (79). MP at 29, youngest Cabinet minister at 31 since 18C. He’s been a baron (life) since 1983. “I haven’t read Karl Marx. I got stuck on that footnote on page 2.”
This is subtle: in budget debate, Mitch McConnell intro amend banning fed money used for presidential campaigns being used to defend “someone” against a sexual harassment suit (yes, Clinton did that). So Barbara Boxer retaliated with an amend that members of Congress shouldn’t either; a motion to table it lost 99-1, the 1 being... Bob Packwood. Bob Dole offered change banning any donated money for such suits – both Clinton & Packwood have legal defense funds. This passed, but non-binding.
Sen. leg to ease securities industry (allowing them to lie without fear of courts) written by an aide waiting for it to pass before moving on to JP Morgan.
And HUD Sec Cisneros to be investigated by an ind counsel who had access in HUD as a lawyer during the corrupt ‘80s (Update June 1: steps down)
Ger’s tourism office in NY fired an employee for making a fuss over an old directive to discourage Jews, blacks, Hispanics & Asiatics visiting Ger
After repeated Serb violations, inc use of heavy weapons in Sarajevo, UN finally deigns to allow bombing of Serbs’ Pale hq. Serbs responded by shelling 5 safe areas, seizing weapons from UN depots, etc
And even more charmingly, chaining UN officers to ammo depots & other bombing sites. When planning raids, UN left unarmed personnel in vulnerable areas. UN bombing a 2nd day. Fr threatens to pull out (largest contingent) unless UN protects its troops. Clinton’s statement keeps using word “appropriate”: evidently bombing is appropriate & taking hostages is not appropriate. Oh you moralist, you.
Texas now permits concealed handguns. But not in bars or churches
Gingrich signs 2-book deal w/Rupert Murdoch’s HarperCollins, a percentage rather than the orig. huge advance, after House Ethics Cmte warned him that it might violate House rules.
Philip Morris recalls 8b. cigarettes w/something like a pesticide. Evidently, they’re dangerous.
Orthodox Jews in addition to w/holding gets, have new tool: betrothing daughters under 12½, but not saying to whom. Betrothal takes a divorce, and without the name, she’d have never to marry. c.20 have done this
New INS guidelines recognize rape, domestic abuse (presumably if state does nothing), opposition to traditional practices like the veil, etc, as potential grounds for pol asylum
Slovakia legalizes giving bribes. This way they can go after bribe-takers, they say
N Korea asks Japan for food aid. SK asks Japan not to because it wants to help, to improve relations, by leaving NK no other option. Right.
Serbs take more UN hostages, up to 367, 93 used as human shields (and more today). Chirac authorizes Fr troops to shoot back. Bosnian foreign minister’s helicopter shot down
Sen. rejects Clinton provision in terrorism act for emergency wiretaps w/out court order for 24 hrs for terrorism (they are now allowed in organized crime), or allowing military to act as cops for chem or bio weapons
In Iran, you can buy your way out of draft or Teheran’s traffic laws
India cancels elections in Kashmir, under dir rule 5½ yrs, as separatists would disrupt elections
Of 1,204 Lords active in 1993-4 parl session, 773 hereditary, of whom 17 ♀. 405 life peers, 63 of whom ♀ (plus 26 Lords Spiritual). Some lords have been selling their services just like MPs, and there is no register of interests. Of peers who showed up 1993-4, 472 of 1,043 (46%) Tory, 114 (11%) Labour, 54 (5%) LibDem. Of the Tories, 338 (70%) were hereditary. There are 12 hereditary Labourites, 23 Lib Dems
-Since 1949, Lords have rejected 1 law, the War Crimes Bill of 1990 (passed by H of C 1991)
Jesse Helms says Clinton not qualified to be Commander in Chief, so any Bosnia decision should be made by the Joint Chiefs
Bosnian Serbs pretty much dec war on UN, annulling all agreements w/them & NATO
Chilean Sup Court upholds sentences on former head of military & his deputy for Letelier assassination
Sup Court 7-2 allows habeas corpus petitions for people who served their sentences but are still in jail for a consecutive sentence. This might affect 3 Strikes cases, challenging an earlier strike
Dole takes the Quayle tack & goes after Hollywood, inc rap music he hasn’t heard & movies (True Romance, Natural Born Killers) he hasn’t seen. but family films he names inc Forrest Gump & ... True Lies.
Bosnian Serbs offer and UN rejects, internat talks on the UN hostages. Clinton suggests he might use US troops to help UN w/draw or to regroup. Will not promise to get Congressional approval. Will also offer a more perm suspension of sanctions on Serbia for recognition of Bosnia. Br & Fr sending more troops
Chile’s former head of military secret police refuses to surrender to go to jail