Monday, August 22, 2005

December 1992


UN trade sanctions on Khmer Rouge parts of Cambodia

Russian Const Court says Yeltsin ok to have banned CP, but not at grass-roots level

Ch. threatens to disregard any contracts made by Hong Kong of which it does not approve

Carter is still the only president to visit Black Africa

Panic, the Yug. PM who was supposed to be Milosevic’s stooge, says he’ll run against him for Serbian prez Dec. 20. Serbia trying to rig residency requirements to disbar him [update: and do]

White House admits shift to priv contractors for gov work costs billions in waste. Contractors now write Congressional testimony for Cabinet officers & clean up environmental damage. 1992 gov spent $210b on priv contracts, 1/6 tov spending, esp in DOE, EPA, NASA. A comp which had $38m contract at Oak Ridge Lab spent $3.5m in liquor, travel for spouses, golf tournaments. A comp that supervises cleanup of 100s of toxic waste sites billed gov for parties, country club fees, corp airplanes. Yes, this is illegal, but penalty only tends to be paying it back. Auditing has been cut back – $160b in contracts haven’t been audited. The Pentagon auditing division is down to 5,900 from 7,100 1989


Clinton hasn’t written those tough new ethics rules yet

Khmer Rouge seize 6 unarmed UN peacekeepers & shoot at helicopter looking for them – released after a couple of days

Ger bans songs of 5 neo-Nazi rock groups


Br Chancellor Norman Lamont is over his credit card limit. And last yr the Tory Party, & $7,000 in taxpayer money, used to help him evict a sex therapist who was a tenant – gov says hiring libel lawyers to protect his reputation was a legitimate pub expense
Arkansas’s replacement governor wants to give ♀ who give birth on welfare no increase in benefits

Georgia had a run-off in its senate race, the only state to require a majority. Incumbent Dem. Duyche Fowler (sp?) barely missed 50%, so in a small-turnout race, w/the R Party illegally pouring in $500,000, the R won


UN approves a US-led intervention in Somalia. 28,000 troops starting off. Somalia has no gov, just armed bands (inc many US arms from when we tried to prop up Siad Barre). Bush’s way of relating this to the American attention-span is to say that we’ll go in, secure the ports & airfields, & be out by inauguration day (the last leaked so as to be deniable), & turn over the whole mess to the UN. Bush says this is “God’s work.” Senate Majority Leader Mitchell says Congress needn’t vote because we don’t intend to engage in combat. But if we don’t create peace, how can a few UN soldiers keep it? Congress had no role in this decision


Russian Congress of People’s Deputies votes 688-210 against gov econ program. By secret vote, failed to get 2/3 to change const to force Yeltsin to submit PM & cabinet to their approval, but did say that gov is subordinate to the prez, Parl & Congress, not just to Yeltsin. Did pass one requiring parl approval for creation or disbanding of gov agencies. But failed to replace hammer & sickle w/czarist double-headed eagle

Serbia Sup Court allows Panic to run for prez

Br HO also linked into Clinton


Swiss referendum refuses to join the EC-EFTA “Eur Econ Area” 50.3%

Lloyd Bentsin to be sec Treasury, ensuring continuity w/Bush. And probably a R to replace him

Sam Nunn won’t be the next Sec Defense. Not only does he oppose gays in military, but early 1980s he fired 2 aides for homosexuality because Defense & CIA told him to (the 2 were out of closet)

Milosevic trying to buy the election by printing money

A co-chair of Northwest Air paid R Party $100,000 right before Admin allowed its partial owner KLM Dutch, to fly in US mkt, & exempted the 2 from antitrust laws

Thousands of Hindus destroy a 16C mosque in Ayodhya, intending to put up a Hindu temple. This has been in contention for yrs

Seymour Hersh in New Yorker 12/14/92 issue claims to quote still-secret Nixon tapes that Nixon tried to get E Howard Hunt to plant McGovern literature in house of the man who shot George Wallace, but failed to slow down FBI, which got there first. Also, Nixon & Haldeman discussed the sale of ambassadorships. Also, Hersh says Nixon probably unaware of Watergate break-in, & went along w/coverup to protect John Mitchell, one of his few friends (says Nixon did know he was covering up). The day of Ford’s pardon, Nixon & gov signed agreement giving Nixon right to destroy any tape after 5 yrs, all would be destroyed after 10 or at his death. Congress intervened. The tapes have all been processed & ready for release since 1987, but only 2%, the Watergate tapes, which had been subpoenaed, have been. Nixon has spent millions in lawsuits
-Says Warren Burger would talk to him about pending cases
-Al Haig told Nixon IRS was investigating Bebe Rebozo’s returns (telling him this was illegal). By 1980, 5 sets of regs on access, 3 vetoed by Congress under Ford. 1986 Meese’s Justice Dept drafted rule that Nat Archives had to honor any claims of exec privilege by any president


Sup Court lets stand decision that prejudice of others not enough to justify military ban on gays

There is talk of giving the vote in the House to “delegates” from DC, Samoa, Guam, PM & VI. They can now vote in cmte & since most votes are technically in Cmte of Whole House...

Russian Congress of People’s Deps voted by majority but not the necessary 2/3 to give Sup Soviet power to appoint Cabinet exc for PM. They have frightened Yeltsin enough not to nominate Acting PM Gaidar to the post

Ger parties agreed to end right of pol asylum, bringing it down to Eur standards – only 4% get right to stay now before law changed. War refugees could have to go back when the war ends, none from 3rd countries, & Ger could dec whole countries free of repression & send everyone back automatically – and Ger thinks Romania of all places has no pol repression. SPD insists on a “Ger” quota of 200,000. Well, they’ve appeased the neo-Nazis, so they should be content now.


Insurance comps in Br want to stop covering terrorist bombings, which would force it back on the gov, as in NI

Home Sec says their investigating Clinton’s files was in his interests, since nothing was found. Major will be in Washington later this month, and Clinton is too busy to see him

There have been fire-bombings in Br, a spill-over of Ayodya

Israeli army force disguised as Arabs have shoot-out w/border police disguised as Arabs

Charles & Di split. Major thinks can become queen while separated from Charles, but the consensus is against, and Charles maybe not king either


Yeltsin says it is impossible to work w/the Congress of People’s Deps & tried to call an it’s-me-or-them referendum, presumably to dissolve the Congress. The Congress then made that illegal. Yeltsin does not plan to replace the hated free mkteer Gaidar as Acting PM, though Congress rejected him

Fr Senate to try ex-ministers of Health, Soc Affairs for knowingly allowing AIDS-tainted blood to be used. The charges will be manslaughter, failure to help a person in danger...

Br gov started subsidizing trade union secret balloting 1980. Now that it’s mandatory, they’re to end the aid

The SA pathologist who accuses gov of deaths in police detention has found bugs in his office. Gov has accused him of claiming 14 people dead who were alive. He says he performed autopsies on all of them & the gov took all his files – inc those of living patients

Uzbekistan Parl bans opposition groups

MI5 & MI6 to be scrutinized by a cmte of Privy Councillors, not exactly a step towards openness. And MI6 to be put on statutory basis


The IRA bombings stopped w/the Charles-Di story, which sucked up every column inch available

John Major (Br holds leadership of EC) has pulled off a deal (i.e., caved), allowing Denmark to opt out on citizenship, the single currency, defense. And police & judicial cooperation can be vetoed by anyone. Br will keep its rebate until 2000+, negotiations to begin w/Austria, Sw, Fin. before Maastricht fully ratified

While closing pits, Br importing Colombian coal from mines in which children work. They’re talking about examining the coal, presumably for little fingerprints

New Russian compromise: Yeltsin to propose several PM candidates inc Gaidar, has abandoned the referendum idea (it was just an impulse, but that’s bad enough), & amend limiting his power to be suspending until the Const referendum

India’s communal violence at 1,500 dead, worst since 1947. Martial law de facto in Kashmir, Punjab, Assam. PM Rao is reputed to be more indecisive than Cuomo

Hillary Clinton reaction to White House: not enough book shelves


Clair George of CIA convicted of lying to Congress on Iran-Contra

Barr’s handpicked investigator says no ind prosecutor needed on Iraqgate, that Justice did nothing wrong, ever.

Clinton’s ethics rules to ban lobbying by sr. appointees for 5 yrs, ban gov officials being agents of foreign govs for life, trade negotiators working for any business or foreign govs 5 yrs

US still holding 200 Haitians w/AIDS at Guantanamo, though this makes them vulnerable to TB, etc. Some have been held over 1 yr

Ger asks its Sup Court to ban 2 neo-nazi leaders speaking, publishing, talking to media or founding groups, under a provision only tried twice, unsuccessfully, last 1969


Bentsen to be Treasury Sec, Leon Panetta OMB, Donna Shalala (chancellor of U Wisc) Health & Human Services, Robert Reich Labor Sec. And Carol Brauner, a Gore aide, to head EPA

30 or more pol appointees to take an extensive junket to China on a $13,000/hr Air Force jet (figure $½m) to promote exports & hold talks & & gain info these Bush people won’t be able to act on. (Update: a similar Russian trip called off after publicity)


INS refuses to allow 4 Haitians w/AIDS on Guantanamo, where military drs. say they can’t care for them, into US for med treatment. As the INS spokesman said, “they’re going to die anyway, aren’t they?”


The Mexican dr. the Sup Court said it was ok to kidnap has been freed by a judge who said the charge base don hunches & the “wildest speculation.” He was seized in 1990. US might try to keep him on... an immigration charge! as an illegal immigrant

US eases embargo on VN slightly, given cooperation on MIAs

Yeltsin forced (Monday) to take new PM Victor Chernomyrdin, technocrat of gas industry. Already (Fri.) Yeltsin cuts short visit to Ch. because he says C. is undermining him at home, appointing his own people

Gov settles lawsuit & promises to actually enforce the Endangered Species Act by adding 400 species over 4 yrs (90% plants, most in West) – from current 749 species

Indian gov takes dir control over Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan & Himachal Pradesh. With Uttar Pradesh taken over last week, = 31% pop. All dominated by Hindu fundy party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)


Clinton’s surgeon gen wants condoms in schools & medicinal marijuana

Metaphor for Clinton’s policies: his jogging to Dunkin Donuts

Turnout in election was 55.23%, 104,402,691, up from 91.6m 1988 (50.11%). Clinton got 44,908,232, 43% (23.7% of electorate – smallest since 1824); Bush 39,402,282, 37.45%; Perot 19,725,433. Libertarian 291,612

US names Yugoslavs, inc Milosevic, who might be tried for war crimes some time

Czech to break off free health care & charge for “non-essentials” like false teeth & abortion, which will be expensive

Les Aspin to be Sec Defense
-Henry Cisneros to be HUD sec. Ex-mayor of San Antonio, he should have been given Bentsen’s Senate seat if the D’s are to retain it. R’s who have been talking about the “Tower test” will go after him for an affair

Ind prosecutor appointed on search of Clinton’s passport file

Hungarian abortion law requires a cmte of unknown composition to allow it only for health (inc of fetus) or if pregnancy caused some crisis. Times calls this relatively liberal

Extreme Hamas Palestinian group kidnaps a border cop to exchange for a leader, stabs him to death when deadline passes. Israel arrests 1,600, most before the body even found. Now Israel expels 400, bound & blindfolded, into Lebanon, which has deployed troops & is keeping them out, in limbo. Israel says it’s now Lebanon’s problem. Peace talks are dead. Israel fired on protesting crowd, killing an 8-yr old girl. No appeal allowed. These 400 are leaders, writers, fund-raisers of Hamas & Islamic Jihad. Rabin says he’s doing PLO a favor by removing those who oppose peace talks. Indeed, Likud leaders have been expelled into Egypt. Well, maybe not


Clinton says Hillary will sit in on Cabinet

Yeltsin, in gift to Bush, announces he is ready to sign the nuclear arms treaty. This was a surprise to US, which thought we were still negotiating.

Israeli-backed Lebanese militia fired at the 415 expelled Palestinians, and says it’s mined the roads

Kim Young Sam wins S Korean elections. Used to be a dissident under house arrest, but sold out 2 yrs ago

Taiwan now a 2-party state, the opposition, illegal 6 yrs ago, got 31% of vote, Kuomintang 53%

Howard Stern is an asshole “shock” broadcaster. FCC fined his employer $600,000 for indecency & an LA radio station $105,000

Next crisis: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, which insures against bankruptcy & now insures 40m pensions. Comps give pension benefits (IOUs) instead of salary increases. Pensions for Fed employees underfinanced by $1t.

DeKlerk admits military has been a “third force,” fires or suspends 23 officers, inc 6 gens. Not specific on activities, but admits some involved deaths


Br high court says decision to close coal mines taken illegally, ignoring workers’ rights


Lebanon refusing to allow humanitarian aid to the deportees. Israel Sup Court says the matter is now Lebanon’s responsibility because they’re in Lebanon (actually, they’re in No Man’s Land)


Clinton is under attack by women’s groups for not making the Cabinet “look like America” in his words. He accuses them of “playing quota games” but notably makes ambassador to UN Madeline Albright a cabinet-level position. The environment is worst victim of Clinton’s own quota-mongering, Tim Wirth being passed over for Sec Energy in favor of a black woman, Hazel O’Leary. And we’ll see if Bruce Babbitt is not similarly overlooked for Interior in favor of a Hispanic. Wirth & Babbitt would have been better
-Nat Security people finally named, chosen on basis of collegiality rather than innovation. Les Aspin, Sec Defense, Warren Christopher sec state. Ignored, for better or worse, are people who have actually thought & written on the issue – Nunn, Bradley, Solarz, Hart or academics. His choices mostly ex-Carter admin. Anthony Lake, Nat Security Adviser, supported VN war but resigned as asst to Kissinger over Cambodia & worked for Muskie. R James Woolsey for CIA, described as neo-Con, in SALT delegation & arms control for Reagan & Bush, director of Martin Marietta

US to give Ch. weapons it bought before Tiananmen

Milosevic wins Serbian elections. No one believes it was terribly fair

Les Aspin opened a nonprofit organiz to use contribs from local military contractors to lobby gov for contracts. Aspin supported a Buy America provision he called the “Let’s get Les Aspin re-elected in Beloit Amend”, barring Pentagon buying engines or components for a tanker, made by Wisc comps. Forced Pentagon to buy more trucks than it wanted to help a local firm. And dates a manager of a plant owned by the comp that makes the M1 tank

We’ve been in Somalia 2 weeks now & 1st American killed, though we’ve killed several of them, inc a teenage girl


Bush pardons his co-conspirators in Iran-Contra, most notably Casper Weinberger, due for trial Jan. 5. Weinberger calls special prosecutor Walsh lawless & vindictive, claims Walsh tried to make him plead guilty & alter his testimony, and makes the amusing charge for a RR defense sec that the special prosecutor had unltd budget. Walsh says the cover-up is now complete, says Bush is covering up the cover-up. Says Bush this mo. admitted to having made notes. Also pardoned: Elliott Abrams, Alan Fiers, Robt McFarlane, Duane Clarridge, Clair George. Bush’s text talked about criminalization of policy differences & attacked the prosecutor, and said the proper target is president & the forum the voting booth not the courtroom, but left the talking to press to Weinberger

Atty Gen: after Clinton turned down by 2 women (1 of whom must therefore be appointed to Sup Court, appoints Zoe Baird, VP of Aetna, who has had some civil rights experience but no criminal

Bruce Babbitt to be Interior Sec after all

Of 16 to Cabinet, 7 white men, 4 ♀, 4 black, 2 hispanic

Israeli Cabinet votes not to let Red Cross through Israeli-occupied Lebanon to aid the deportees


Yeltsin sets up a centralized news agency to control his tv & press agencies, under a stooge: the info minister opponents forced him to let go last mo.


US shoots down an Iraqi plane violating UN-protected Shiite zone

6 of the Palestinian deportees were cases of mistaken identity (Update: 10!)

US moving towards normalizing relations w/Peru as if its fake election counted


Weinberger again says Walsh tried to get hm to lie to implicate RR

In E Eur state media monopolies remain in Poland, Czech, Hungary, Slovakia. Poland passes censorship in the form of imposed “Christian values”. Outside investors are doing better investing in former gov press agencies than in former opposition ones.

Announcements of arrival of US forces in parts of Somalia, followed by announced delays, resulted in a rush to steal whatever wasn’t nailed down 1st. Confrontations have been few, as the snail-like pace has allowed warlords to fade into the brush. In Kismayu impending arrival sparked a night of long knives of 100+ relig & business leaders


Yug. parl throws out Panic as PM


Israel suggests a 3rd country take the deportees. 13 days on, 2 need hospitalization, possibly because water ran out.

Bush says he sent a letter warning Serbia against widening war into Kosovo. And threats of air war. It won’t happen in the near future, since we’re not doing the obvious prep, like pulling diplomats out, preparing to protect UN forces

US-Russian agreement on nukes. Bush concedes on all outstanding pts, to get the treaty before he leaves, after dropping it when Baker left State to run the re-election campaign. Concessions are on new Russian demands to make it cheaper – keeping silos & modifying them for other missiles, converting MIRVed into single-warhead missiles. Both allow easy re-conversion if the Cold War re-starts. It doesn’t matter at all if START doesn’t go through as well, which depends on Ukraine, which keeps upping its demands

Israel has never had a Palestinian cabinet minister or Sup Court Justice. Arab agric gets 24% of water Israelis get, but have 17% of land. 3 of 1,000 employees in Min Justice Palestinian. P’s get 4% of spaces for handicapped children, w/24% of total children


4 Mafia informers say Giulio Andreotti, It. PM 7 times, in every gov since 1948, enlisted support by Mafia for Christ. Dems & to keep CP out of power in return for massive pork into Sicily

Vote for a change. New Senator Carol Moseley Braun used her last days as Cook Cty Recorder of Deeds to appoint c.10 campaign workers to cty jobs. And her boyfriend, who got $15,000/mo during the campaign, is accused of sexually harassing several ♀ on Braun’s staff. And she’s paying less than the going rate for her new apt

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