Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Canadian gov has autonomy plan recognizing Quebec as district & giving it veto over const change
US has granted pol asylum to 55 Mexicans in past 14 (19?) mos. 1990-3, none were, 5 1994. Inc 1 gay, some relatives of the guy who assassinated PRI prez candidate, but mostly political
GM made to recall Cadillacs, 1st recall for pollution. They installed chips to inject extra fuel when climate control on, then tested it w/climate off. Also $11m fine
The 7th Dem. Rep. since 1994 switches to R’s
-And 11 senators to retire next yr (Mark Hatfield now), the highest since 1896, and more to come. Hatfield saw Hiroshima right after the bomb & fought UN in Senate & 1 of 2 Repub. Senators to vote against Persian Gulf War
On-line Services agree to a self-censorship plan in absence of Congress doing it to them. Latter plan to affect no-redeeming-features material only. If they use a warning label that parents can use to block access. They’ll be protected
Chair of the ethics panel investigating Newt & Gopac is herself linked to it as a recruiter of candidates, as is another on the panel
Mexico’s ex-Prez Salinas’s brother amassed at least $84m, 12 houses, 15 apts, a ranch & a young mistress w/amazing books. He is currently in jail for assassination fo #2 in PRI in ‘94.
NATO finally picks a Sec Gen, Sp’s foreign minister, after US blocked one in a pique for not being consulted. & Fr blocked one for not speaking good enough French
Special prosecutor reports on the passport scandal, Bush admin looking in Clinton’s files. He absolves them & links their boots too. Actually, James Baker only said it would be “nice to know” & Lawrence Eagleburger told Baker he’d lie to the prosecutor about it
Mladic rejects Bosnian peace plan, brings spectre of US soldiers being... gasp... fired on.
-Fr also being obnoxious. Chirac wants more guarantees for Serbs & maybe more importantly, so does the Fr commander in Sarajevo region, who said it was unworkable & solely for Clinton’s electoral interests. And Sarajevo supposed to be the Fr zone. And the gen. helped along a rally by Serbs by opening a road for them, giving them fuel to bring people in. Bosnia now wants the Fr out
FEC releasing internal Gopac papers which show it was thinking about a Contract with America (1st called An Agenda Worth Voting For, Buying Back America, Buying Back Congress.) Get focus groups to set an agenda, exclude abortion... NYT notes how Gopac cared about strategy & mkting, not substance, constantly referred to message as “product.” Bush refused a nat manifesto 1992, so it died.
Kentucky, at least, shows that Motor Voter does bugger all for actual turnout. Of those who registered at DMV, 7% voted for gubernatorial primaries, 5% social services, compared to 25% of the normal walk-ins at registrar’s office in same period
Emmanuel Constant of Haiti’s Fraph says, from jail in US, on 60 Minutes that CIA paid him 1991-4. Also says that when his people scared off a planned landing by US, he gave guarantee no US lives would be endangered.
S Korea arrests Chun Doo Hwan for the 1979 coup
7% black adult males in jail or prison 1994, 1% white adult males. Total number has tripled since 1980. The rate for whites same last 10 yrs, not blacks. Just 1994, prison pop. rose over 10% in ½ the states inc 27% Texas, 26% W VA, 18% NC
A man in PA ordered to provide child support for a girl not his, born to his common-law wife
A Georgia death penalty case where the inmate suing to prevent electrocution since wants to donate his organs
Fr recalls the general who criticized the Bosnian accord
Dole keeps trying to sneak amends imposing trade sanctions on Costa Rica & Colombia for having a deal on bananas w/EU. Chiquita lets Dole use their planes. No American jobs are at stake, since we don’t grow bananas
Sp awards citizenship to those who fought Civil War
Perot’s party gets its 1st elected officials, a CA Assemblyman subject to term limits 1996 (will run for state senate)
In NY’s 1st capital punishment case, judge lets prosecutor renege on plea bargain. The guy would lead them to a kidnapped girl, possibly still alive, for 10 to life if alive, 15 to life if dead. Of course it’s bad public policy to accept extortion, but what about the next case of kidnapping like this?
Fr rejoining NATO military structure
Minnesota Pub Safety Dept bans Crazy Horse beer – it is illegal to use a “false or misleading” characterization of “a living or dead Amer. Indian leader”
Fr undergoing major strikes of pub sector workers. The gov plans to reduce its deficit to Eur single currency rules, at expense of pub worker pensions, welfare
Russian elections Dec. 17. Chechnya heating up over it. In Russia, Chernomyrdin’s Our Home is Russia party is violating election rules to put “documentaries” & “pub service messages” on state tv, & anti-CP documentaries – some paid for by the party. Its financial statements claim it spent nothing.
-And office of extreme rightie MP blown up in the Parl building. This guy makes racist comments about the Caucasians, tore up a Ukrainian flag in Parl & ripped a crucifix from a fellow MP ex-priest
NYT headline: “Proponent of Continental Drift Is Found Slain in Motel Room.”
NYT series on dialysis since early 1970s gov pays 80% of patients, but spends less per treatment than in 1973. Majority treated by profit clinics, ¼ by Nat Medical, and keep any Medicare $ they don’t spend on treatment. And drs are paid by the comp based on profits. Result: old dangerous machinery, re-use of materials meant to be disposable, treatment not by drs or even nurses but by untrained technicians. Gov has no standards – despite the incentive to skip. Patients get shorter treatments, which is dir. related to survival. Death rates twice as high in US – 23%/yr, than W Eur or Japan. Medicare spends as much for 3-hr treatment as 5-hr. Nat Medical, now owned by W R Grace, also aggressively puts competition out of business, bribe drs to send patients to them
-This is the future of US health care
In Pakistan, women can’t bring rape charges, & not allowed to defend themselves in sexual charges
US promises to give Haiti back the documents seized during invasion
Clinton symbolically vetoes Repub budget w/the pen LBJ used to est Medicare. Symbolically, the pen goes dry.
House ethics cmte, after a yr, decides to pass ethics charges against Gingrich on to a special counsel. Did find he improperly used House floor to hawk tapes.
Sup Court says 5-4 that the fed law about using a gun in a crime actually required using it, not having it locked in a car trunk, or unloaded in a trunk in a closet while selling crack. As opposed to the 1993 ruling that trading a gun for cocaine constituted using a gun.
Clinton’s alleged alternate budget inc $64b in unspecified savings, just like Bush was laughed at for when he called it a “flexible freeze”
-Gingrich threatened a stock mkt crash if R’s don’t get their way
Sen., considering “partial-birth” abortions, inc exemption to bar for life but not health of mother
In last 20 yrs, 54 people under death sentence released from prison because of innocence. Pending leg would insist on clearer evidence, and Senate version would forbid fed habeas corpus if state courts decide an issue wrongly, unless also arbitrary & un-reasonably
In Honduras the telephone comp, under military control, has given armed forces free overseas calls & some gov officials. Pres. Reina plans to sell it off, which would stop it, may have something to do w/his phone lines having been cut 7X recently & his brothers 17X. Has abolished the draft. Military is taking over businesses, using its usual subtle mgmt style. Foreign minister in jail for selling passports & honorary consulship
Wm Bennett, Sam Nunn & Sen. Joseph Lieberman to have commercials berating the sponsors of talk shows. Amusingly, one of the sponsors named is Philip Morris...
Another admiral forced & retired early for sexual harassment
Sen. subpoenas Whitewater info, which White House refuses, citing atty-client privilege – thought White House aides & pub lawyers also present
Jesse Helms to stop blocking ambassadors (18 now) & treaties, for a deal to cut foreign affairs budget & reorganize. D’s had started stalling stuff he liked, like sanctions of Cuba & flag-burning Const amend
Bosnian Croats violate peace accord by releasing a commander under indictment for war crimes. Serbs still ethnically cleansing in Banja Luka area. Bosnian Croats burning villages in W Bosnia, which will revert to Serb control
-Fr gives deadline for return of 2 pilots shot down 3 mos ago
-201 in House sign letter opposing the deployment
-Czech, Poland, & Hungary eager to participate, auditioning for NATO
The biggest danger Bosnia is the 4-8m mines, which have accounted for 1/3 of peacekeeper deaths (24)
Polish Sup Court upholds election of Prez., though says he did lie when claimed a U. degree
Ambassador to Russia says US backs Japan’s claims to Kurile islands. An old policy, but not brilliant a week before the elections
A Philip Morris memo leaks that says the primary reason people smoke is to deliver nicotine into their bodies
UN war crimes tribunal ordered a Bosnian Croat militia soldier released after Serbia failed to give evidence to indict him for atrocities against Serbs.
-Fr deadline on its pilots passes. Karadzic last week suggested he might do something if they helped on Sarajevo
-UN appoints “High Representative” to oversee Bosnian agreement. Bildt was v. weak on Serbs as mediator over Srebrenica & Red Cross access. And he intends to stay in Sw politics as leader of opposition, & monitor the Bosnian agreement from Stockholm
A Utah death penalty prisoner wants a firing squad – the 1st since Gary Gilmore, just to make it difficult
1992 Vince Foster removed files from Hillary Clinton’s law firm about Whitewater, later stored in home of Associate Atty Gen Webster Hubbell, convicted felon
Welfare bill would remove the automatic grant of Medicaid to those getting AFDC or who adopted disabled children. And states would be banned from broadening eligibility – Repub flexibility is only downwards
And EPA spending bill would remove its protection of wetlands, give to Corps of Engineers, who themselves have projects in wetlands that EPA now oversees
Indian Sup Court disqualifies leader of Hindu nationalists, Balasaheb Thackeray, because in 1987 he called Muslims “snakes”
Rep. Enid Waldholtz (R-Utah), just elected, did so by massive use of illegal $ (most expensive 1994 House election), infusion of which saved her butt, blames her slimy husband who went on the run several days ago. Now playing poor victim but not resigning. Pat Schroeder says she should.
The leg that applies employment laws to Congress doesn’t take hold until Jan96, so R. clerk of House fires 10 career employees, right before Xmas. Who will she hire?
Bavarian parl votes again for crucifixes... in classrooms, ruled unconst in Aug.
White House now also invokes, ta da, executive privilege, to w/hold Whitewater documents
Latvia sentenced to life an 87-yr old secret police official retired since 1950s for deportation of Latvians to Siberia 1940.
-In July, it convicted an ex-CP chief for trying to overthrow Latvian gov during failed Soviet coup 1991
Flag-burning amend fails in Senate, getting 63 votes.
Ch. sentences a dissident to 14 yrs. Already served 14½ (of a 15-yr sentence) for Democracy Wall. Also banned from writing or speaking to foreign reporters until 2012. They claim he was trying to overthrow the gov by organizing an art exhibit & worse, speaking to the US Asst Sec State. US does nothing.
Nuclear weapons have cost US $4 trillion
Serbs free the 2 Fr pilots, after Yeltsin pressured Milosevic who pressured Mladic, who thought hostages would keep him out of war crimes tribunal.
-House voted 210-218 to give qualified support to Bosnia. Dornan measure to cut funding killed. Dellums was the hawk. Dole supports the troops but not the policy. Senate limited to 1 yr
-Bosnia & Serbia will est dipl relations but not Serbia & Croatia.
Eur est customs union w/Turkey
Fr gov offering more & more concessions to strikers, who don’t care. PS not taking advantage
Willie Brown elected mayor of SF
Jesse Jackson Jr elected to Congress for Chicago
Russian prosecutor exonerates Rutskoi, just in time to help him carve into Zhirinovsky’s votes. Chernomyrdin pulls out of debate. Note: there is no green party
Uruguay prostitutes win right to pub pensions like other self-employed
The Bosnian accord signed, Tudjman taking the opportunity to make a speech about how Muslims not a real ethnic group
-Karadzic refuses to resign & is said to be on drugs. Mladic said to be boozing. By the way, his daughter committed suicide last yr, reportedly over a Serb mag article calling him a murderer
A judge ordered a 15-yr old girl chained to her mother 24 hrs a day for a month
The lobbying bill, passed by both houses, is stalled. This should not be const possible, but has not been sent to Clinton. Both passed unan. After passed, suddenly realized a provision to ban lobbying by groups getting fed money would muzzle not only the AARP, but also Blue Cross (whose lobbying netted it millions in Medicare bill). They’re using typos to delay. Kassebaum put it on hold (Helms-style) to get a date for a bill she wants.
Senate Whitewater cmte votes on party lines to get full Sen. to seek court order for Whitewater material
Book by ex-prez of Yug. until 1991 Borislav Jovic, indicates that Milosevic did start the war, making it so all Yug. army soldiers in Bosnia were Bosnian Serbs, had to be persuaded not to invade Slovenia 1989. This was published by a state comp, whose head is now fired
Russian state tv shows footage of CP’s chief economist & parl candidate in a police drunk tank in 1992, drunk as a Yeltsin & trying to kiss a cop
10 SE Asian countries create nuclear-free zone. Ch. & US objected
India may be planning nuclear tests
Another budget shutdown of gov looming, but don’t worry: Clinton will pay for White House Xmas tree electricity himself
Mass. passes mandatory 6-mo term for juveniles 12-18 who ever carry a gun. Only CA, GA, Fla, Mich do, only Fla’s mandatory – 5 days
-NY Gov Pataki wants mandatory trials as adults
US ambassador to Croatia hand-delivers 4,000 applications of Croatian Serbs who want to return – they are invalidated
Clinton proposes testing anyone arrested on fed charge for drugs, asking denial of bail if they refuse
Bosnian Serb Parl rejects the peace. No!
Dole says will no longer support unconditional ban on abortion. Also says US effort in Bosnia, which he just worked to pass resolution for, will fail
Austrian parl elections. Far-right Jörg Haider’s Freedom Party didn’t do as well as expected, only 22.3%, after videotape shown of him at meeting of SS vets, along w/Himmler’s daughter, praising them for remaining true to their beliefs. Soc Dem Party continues easily in power w/38.2% on the slogan “Our Austria is Too Precious for Experiments.”
Murder rate way down, 12% Jan-Jun95 over Jan-Jun94 9 cities = 25%. Evidently the drug mkt stabilizing
The day after Dole attacked the mercenary values of entertainment industry, Mirage chairman raises $500,000 for him
Gingrich’s only rational position opposition to Internet censorship, turns out to be the result of contribs to Gopac by a guy who owns an adult-only-Internet service
Clinton vetoes more appropriations bills, and gov shuts down a 2nd time, 260,000 being sent home. Thank god the IRS will still be working – he signed that bill. In Fr the people strike against the gov, here the gov strikes against the people
Chun Doo Hwan is on hunger strike, poor boy. And Roh, on trial, says the $650m slush fund was donations, not bribes, and he can’t remember how he got it, and he shredded the ledgers
Br gov (majority now 4, after a death) loses on Eur fishing quotas. Euroskeptics want an exclusion zone. 299-297
Perot’s Party fails to make the Ohio ballot, but the weirdo Natural Law Party does
Br MP David Ashby (Tory) sued newspapers for saying he’s gay. His wife testified against him & he lost. He burst into tears.
50,000 more Nixon papers released, inc Dole asking for scores of patronage jobs & “stunningly obscure inquiries” (NYT) about car repairs, home canning & undelivered mail
New Yugoslav position on Srebrenica: massacres were by other Muslims, those units that didn’t want to surrender killing the others
Queen tells Chuck & Di to get a divorce already
Clinton’s alleged balanced budget w/in 7 yrs calls for ½ the cuts in 2001-2
The only bit of the Const that can’t be altered by Amend is the bit w/equal rep in Senate
Ward Connerly, the black UC regent trying to get a ballot initiative to kill affirmative action, named a woman co-chair. Right.
A prop for next yr would remove unemp benefits for ex-prisoners in respect of prison jobs. Feds say this would be illegal
Training manual used by LAPD & Santa Monica PD says detectives should interrogate suspects after they invoke Miranda & ask for a lawyer
A $3.6m Whitewater investigation for RTC by a law firm says Clintons were innocent, but the report is secret because it is to be used for prosecutions
Arafat fails to get Hamas to take part in elections or stop attacks in Israel. But won’t call to boycott. And said it wouldn’t attack Israel in Palestinian areas.
Clinton turns over the Whitewater material after agreement that it wasn’t a precedent, didn’t compromise atty-client stuff, but got little of what they wanted from D’Amato. The notes suggest, but only suggest that Clinton admin tried to get info on the investigation they shouldn’t have
Fed Court of Appeals ordered Georgia Atty Gen to explaining w/drawing a job offer to a lesbian who had a gay marriage
Delaware scheduled primaries for 4 days after NH, which isn’t happy about threat to its status & forced Clinton & Dole not ever to file in Del.
R’s force on the CIA a $20m covert action plan in Iran that CIA doesn’t think will do anything
Fed appeals court reverses lower court to allow restrictive NY primary rules on ballot access
Gov. Wilson unilaterally cuts target for minority & women contractors on transportation projects from 20 to 10%, which feds had refused to approve (actual figure 1993-4 fy was 27.7%)
1st veto override. A pro-fraud bill, making it more difficult to sue for securities fraud. 1st Contract w/America provision to pass into law. Have to prove intent to defraud in comps making misleading statements. Which can’t prove w/out access, & no access w/out filing a lawsuit. Allows judges to force plaintiffs pay defendant’s legal fees. And bans “professional plaintiffs” – 5 fed securities cases in 3 yrs – from being lead plaintiff
Palestinians take over Bethlehem, the 6th W Bank town
Malawi jury acquits Hastings Banda et al for ordering murders of 4 dissident leaders
House Ethics Cmte recommended ceiling on book royalties, or rather putting it w/in the existing $20,000 ceiling. House voted it down, but banned advances
Peres says Israel would end its nuclear program (while not confirming it exists) if there is a regional peace
Honduran military C-in-C shielding 3 officers charged w/torturing college students 1982. They are part of a unit created & trained by CIA. US failing to provide documents to prosecutors
Last days in office SA Pres. deKlerk put 40-yr secrecy on Cabinet Minutes.
-Trial of ex-defense minister Gen. Magnus Malan shows that when Inkatha members being trained, got “bored,” they were allowed to choose some victims. They shot 13 mostly women & children at home of an ANC leader 1987
Gingrich’s press sec’s wife is released from army reserve duty to go to Bosnia... Army-McCarthy?
Islamic Party wins plurality of Turkish elections, w/21%, but current gov may be able to coalition w/right wing
Chechen war resumes. Chechens not happy about Russian soldiers stationed there also voting there. Chechens captured the 2nd largest city, Gudermes, Russians sealed it off & lobbed shells in. Chechens had scouted the city by posing as election workers, asking how many soldiers needed ballots
N Korea forcing people to attend mass executions
Dole to Republican Nat Cmte Jun95: “I’m willing to be another Ronald Reagan, if that’s what you want.”
An opposition leader in Slovakia says it is becoming an authoritarian country run by people of no ideology, surely common enough now it could almost be an ideology.
-Slovakia is no longer on short list for EU membership for this reason
-The President accuses PM of having his son, wanted for a fraud case in Ger, kidnapped & left in a car trunk for police to find in Austria. Investigators agreed & were pulled off.
Kim Jong Il still hasn’t officially taken power, almost 1½ yrs on
Donald Regan, RR, chief of staff gets $42,000 legal fees for Iran-Contra investigation of him
Sandra Day O’Connor is the tie-breaker more than anyone else, and writes more concurring ops than anyone else, giving her the power to write law. Too bad she’s so muddy in her writing (thinking?)
Russia offered asylum to Mladic, inc invitation to teach at a military academy
House of Lords agrees to a register of interests, a ban on lobbying on behalf of clients, but not a disclosure of earnings such as intro for Commons the same week
1st yr of Criminal Justice Act (Br) has seen arrests of 86 environmental & anti-nuke protesters, 107 anti-roads protesters, 153 hunt saboteurs. 93 evictions of travelers. Trials less so. Of 346 arrests for aggravated trespass, >½ charges dropped. 12 of the 153 hunt saboteurs convicted. Police imposing bail conditions amounting to ban on protesting; a woman in Kent told not to go w/in ½ mi. of a road construction site. She lived closer than that.
Bosnian Serbs demand delay of reunification of Sarajevo. US commander of NATO says he’ll think about it, as if he has a right
Fed employees stage a “work-in”
2 Marines refuse to give DNA samples. Military started collecting 1992, allegedly for identification of bodies, but they intend to hold the samples 75 yrs, and can release them in “extraordinary circumstances,” whatever they are. Gov wants a large DNA database. The Marines suggest one gets one’s privacy back when leaving military.
RTC not to sue Clintons over Whitewater
While military refuses to undertake repair of roads in Bosnia Army & Nat Guards to build roads purely to learn how to do it, at cost over $5m, into a Panama rain forest. Panama Prez made the road a campaign promise, but USAID rejected it on environmental grounds, so he went to Army, which has no environmental limits exc those of the host country
Another homophobe w/a gay kid: Dr Charles Socarides, a psychoanalyst who 1960s & since said he could “cure” them of their mental disorder. His son is an adviser to Clinton on gay issues. Dr. Socarides has been married 4X.
1st Korean-American in US Congress, Jay Kim of Orange Cty (R), got illegal contribs from Hundai & Korean Airlines, disguised as indiv contribs. Largest criminal fine for Fed Election Campaign Act imposed, $850,000 on the 2 comps. Kim elected 1992, also funneled his own comp’s money illegally. This was known when he was reelected 1994. Korean politics here too!
Dole attacked movie “Money Train” for a copy-cat crime of burning a token-booth clerk, but didn’t say nuthin when they were caught – & had never heard of the movie
Phil Gramm on a possible female running mate: “Sophia Loren is not a citizen.” Gramm to Heritage Foundation May95: “Every yr since I’ve been in Congress, Jesse Helms, my dear friend, has offered an amend to ban Ch. goods produced by prison labor. And every year I wonder why we can’t make our own prisoners work.”
When Czech. broke up, Czech citizenship laws written used since to exclude Gypsies from citizenship, which means they can’t vote, get soc benefits, reclaim land confiscated by CP
After a neo-Nazi incident at Ft Braggs, it comes out that Pentagon allows espousal of racism & supremacism as long as not at public rallies, etc – but of course priv homosexuality... Don’t ask, don’t sieg heil
1995 51,600 illegals deported, a record, up 15% from 1994, up 75% from 1990. 62% were prison inmates (4% 1986). 90% of rest are turned back at border. So once you get past the fence, you’re still home free. INS spending bill inc a large increase
CA prison agency bans interviews w/prisoners. Will draw up a policy to decide what interviews are illegitimate as opposed to “entertainment” tabloid tv & print
Gov. Wilson planning to escort an immigrant criminal to the INS holding facility from state prison, something like standing on the schoolhouse steps
Ger forces an Internet net (CompuServ) to shut down access to 200+ newsgroups. This would affect all customers in all countries.
Clinton vetoes defense appropriations bill for giving too much, inc Star Wars, ordering Clinton to aks for funding w/in 45 days of ordering a troop deployment abroad, bans on abortions at military bases abroad, forcing out HIV+ personnel, etc
Clinton lifts sanctions on Yugoslavia
During current gov shutdown, Congresscritters planning foreign junkets, 25 of them. So State Dept, w/no funding, has to arrange squash games for Arlen Specter
Safire talks of 3 new debentures, the Gingrich bond (no maturity), the Dole bond (no interest), or Clinton (no principle).
The 2 Fr pilots who were POWs of Serbs for 3½ mos were starved, beaten, mock-executed. Mladic personally threatened them w/torture & death. This report was leaked, since they were ordered not to speak to reporters. Incidentally, the planes were shot down flying in attack group. They were supposed to be followed by 6 US jets, but these suddenly pulled out w/out explaining what info they had to the Fr
-Eur police at breakfast at a hotel coffee shop 12 feet from a Bosnian Croat leader Dario Kordic, indicted war criminal. When told, they ignored it. The cops were staying at the same hotel
IRA still inflicting punishment beatings & shootings.
The oldest woman in the world has outlived the man who was paying her an annuity to get her apt when she died since she was 90. In the past 30 yrs, he has spent $184,000. His widow still has to pay. And the bitch is living in a nursing home for the last 10 yrs.
1st internet wiretap
Massacre by Zulu of 17+, inc an infant – a day after police raided ANC huts to disarm them.
Japan’s priv fund for WW2 comfort women failing miserably
Blacks now 1/3 of Army enlisted men. Women 13% of military
“Essential” gov workers not furloughed to get ½ pay this week (but full deductions, so some will get 0) & nothing next week
-Bureau of Ind Affairs sent home 75% as nonessential. So Hopis sent all prisoners home, saying they should come back when they can afford to fee them
Chun Doo Hwan also amassed a huge slush fund, c.$133m