Monday, November 07, 2005

July 1994


W Covina has law allowing police to charge people holding parties if police have to come twice. It is charging someone $11,000 for a homicide investigation that constituted the 2nd visit

Japan now has a socialist PM Tomichi Murayama, supported by his enemies the LDP. That’s the 4th PM in a yr

Hong Kon legislature gives a less than enthusiastic majority to John Patten’s proposals for greater democracy before hand-over


Prince Charles admits infidelity

Fed court stops INS policy of making ships & airlines do their job by making them pay if passengers apply for pol asylum

Clinton lets D party take $40m in soft money, which he is supposed to want to eliminate
-He is also establishing a legal defense fund against the sexual harassment charges, and allows lobbyists to contribute

NY moves its presidential primary up 1 mo to keep it before CA, which moved its up 2½ mos.

Eur Court of Justice allows Greece to keep embargo on Macedonia

Perot to give Republican Party $1m for an hr tv commercial to fight health care

Polish Parl votes to loosen abortion law, but Walesa will probably veto


Sup Court 7-2 says districting need not create the max # of possible minority seats. Scalia & Thomas say Voting Rights Act should not allow fed judges to even look at districting, just classic practices like literacy tests & poll tax

Sup Court 5-4 does not allow challenges under Voting Rights Act to size of gov structures

Sup Court 6-3 upholds 36-foot buffer zone around abortion clinic & ban on excess noise, but not a 300-foot zone or ban on signs visible inside. Scalia’s rabid dissent compares it to Japanese internment & uses phrase “abortion mills”

Sup Court 5-4 says fed judges can postpone executions to allow prisoners to get lawyers for a fed review. Fed courts had no jurisdiction w/out a habeas corpus petition, but Texas schedules executions 45 dys after state appeals run out, and thanks to limits on habeas corpus petitions, one filed by himself & imperfect could not be followed by one written by a lawyer

Televangelist Jim Bakker out after 4½ yrs of his 45-yr sentence

Minor coup attempt Cambodia by one of Sihanouk’s many sons


The sole Dem candidate for CA atty gen supports 3 strikes & is running on denying conjugal visits to lifers


US finally opens embassy in Bosnia

It. neo-fascists have fund-raising cruise – on the Achille Lauro


France now requires French in ads, confs, etc. Law provides for 6 mos and/or fines

Russia releases 30,000 from prisons for alcoholics

US says Haitian military must be out of power in 6 mos. And Clinton changes refugee policy yet again: no Haitians intercepted at sea will ever be allowed into US, but put in “safe havens,” 1st in Panama, which will take 10,000, then Antigua & Dominica. Only those applying in Port-au-Prince could come to US. Those not meeting pol refugee standards (and not subject to US law, never setting foot here) will still be returned.

US, EU, Russia plan on dividing Bosnia, w/UN areas. Corridors linking all Serb territory – but not for Muslim

Prince Charles wants to change coronation oath to be protector of *all* Faiths


The Bosnian map gives Serbs land where crimes against humanity, or what might be found to constitute genocide if Russia stopped vetoing war crimes prosecutors, have occurred, like Prijedor, from which 50,000+ Muslims have been cleansed or killed

Estonia’s finance minister is 33, interior 29, ex-defense 29, foreign 27


Panama w/draws offer to house Haitians. Outgoing president Endara claims US kept changing conditions & taking him for granted, but incoming gov disliked the idea, & while it & US wanted them put in Amer. bases, he wanted them in a distant island whose owners had not consented

Like Donna Rice, Paul Jones, the bimbo du jour, does ad for No Excuses jeans, but the shelter she tries to give ½ to to legitimize this refuses the money

Finally a Yug. war crimes prosecutor, SA’s Richard Goldstone, who investigated violence there. Russia did prevent a W. prosecutor

It. prosecutors rachet up charges against ex-PM Andreotti to being an actual member of the Mafia


Kim Il Sung got out of his promise to meet S Korean leaders for 1st time. He died.

It. PM Berlusconi’s brother to be charged along w/Craxi & others for corruption (paying bribes, in his case)


2 Tory MPs took £1,000 in a sting, for tabling questions

Yeltsin says he will not keep commitment to w/draw troops from Estonia next month, demanding citizenship & housing for military retirees.

Milosevic now trying to undermine Karadzic for not accepting the UN map, opening branches of his Socialist Party of Serbia in Serb-controlled Bosnia. Of course, he’s also looking forward to Greater Serbia


Palestinian gov has tortured its 1st prisoner to death. Not bad, since they’ve only arrested c.40-5 since self-rule

Dole criticizes Clinton for offering condolences to N Korea on Kim’s death

Haiti expels UN/OAS human rights monitors

Similarly, in Ukraine, former director of its missile factory Leonid Kuchma elected president w/52%. Kravchuk got 45%, thanks to failing economy. Kuchma much more cooperative towards Russia, inc on Black Sea Fleet. He doesn’t even speak Ukrainian well.

And in Belarus, outsider Aleksandr Lukashenko gets 80%, sitting PM 14%, for president. He was a state farm manager & headed a parl commission on corruption, thereafter running on platform of firing everyone. State tv attacked him as a petty thief & taking foreign money. As in Ukraine, he wants closer relations w/Russia


Soviet Georgia emergency decrees allow on-the-spot execution of looters. Russians reaquired the Black Sea ports in autonomous republic of Ajaria which rejects GA authority, & Abkhazian autonomous republic. Misha Glenny says Russia has reopened the Great Game, arming S Ossetian & Abkhazian separatists & the Georgian side too...

Leaders of all 3 It. secret services fired for keeping files on politicians inc the president, speaker, etc

Haitian gov accuses its enemies of buying dead bodies in Miami to dump on streets to discredit them

Ger const court allows use of forces abroad for purposes other than self defence. But must get parl approval for all military missions, which didn’t in Somalia, Bosnia (where supposed to be non-combatant).

H of L rejects crime of hate-crime or taking racial motives into account for sentencing


Senate R’s filibuster to death the ban on replacing strikers. Clinton made no particular effort


As governor, Clinton mid-1980s took out loans $220,000 or up to twice that, for campaign to support his leg on ed., tax codes, ethics. These were personal loans when his salary was $35,000 & he had high debts. These loans were paid back by the usual Ark. suspects, Tyson Foods, Union Bank, the chair of ICBY Yogurt (Hillary on the board), Ark Power & Light (Thomas McLarty an official)

Br Director of Pub Prosecutions refuses to prosecute soldiers who executed Argentines in Falklands war

Illinois Sup Court removes a 3½-yr old boy legally adopted since age 4 dys, to the biological father, who never met him & had been told he’d died at birth

It. PM Berlusconi decree ends preventive detention for corruption suspects. Top anti-corruption magistrates demand to be reassigned. 2,000 could be released – well, to house arrest. Earlier failed to amnesty corruption. His brother was charged this week. Bettino Craxi, a fugitive in Tunisia, can now return.
-Berlusconi has also interfered in the “ind” Cent. Bank, intelligence, & state tv, which owns 3 channels to his 3, which he still owns

Senate defeats Dole’s attempt to derail the threatened invasion of Haiti into a commission. Sam Nunn says Haiti is not a vital nat. interest


Br has given pol asylum to 0-5 from Yugoslavia in 2 yrs, indefinitely postponing most cases, refusing others because they be ok in another part of Yug., and inc Serb draft resisters. Eur Parl says latter should be given asylum as does UN Conventions on refugees. Denmark also sends back draft evaders – churches acting as sanctuaries. Ditto Sweden. Br HO talks of safe areas, but Croatia rounding up refugees & sending them to the front & drafting Bosnian Croats

N Korea invites S Korean mourners. SK threatens to arrest them.

Texas & VA’s short (2 yrs) statute of limitations for misconduct in S&Ls are being allowed to override longer fed limits, making $90m unrecoverable so far, $1.4b potentially

Fed appeals court strikes down Bush-approved welfare cut “experiments” in CA. The experiment was to see whether cuts made more go out to work, and only 15,000 families would be studied, but the cuts were for everyone, inc those w/disabilities precluding work

It. gov threatens to resign if its decree (7/14) on detention not passed


A commercial from a group supporting Clinton’s health care, saying that opponent Pizza Hut pays health insurance in foreign countries, is blocked in 4 DC tv stations. Pizza Hut is owned by PepsiCo

Eur’s new commissioner, replacing Delors, after Br vetoed the choice of the other 11, is boring Luxembourg PM Jacques Santer

The Breyer hearings are over. And what have we learned? That abortion & the death penalty are settled law, that the “law is not theoretical” and “consensus is important.” He dislikes dissents & emotional opinions. He practically raises compromise to a principle. No wonder Clinton picked him.

When Clinton said would deduct cost of settlements from loan guarantee to Israel, priv told them we’d find a way to restore & sure enough, $500m for redeployment of troops (last fall)

MI5 chief says ½ budget spent on Ireland

When Michael Fay was flogged in Singapore, there was still no ambassador there, & there are still unappointed ambassadorships inc India for 16 mos. And even fewer have been career diplomats than under Bush


Of 16,000 school districts, 4,000 use chastity-only curriculum, and Cath Sex Respect in up to 2,000. It is against petting, for born-again virginity, says AIDS is a statement by nature against pre-marital sex

Kathleen Brown, CA Treasurer, sold college savings bonds, tax exempt, to finance prisons

Voice suggests Ferdinand Marcos’s body, on display now in Philippines, is a waxwork, looking much younger.
-And no Marcos crony (inc the convicted Imelda) has ever been in jail

Christian Rightist candidates win Oregon primaries for governor & all 3 House seats


Burma restoring the Gold Palace, intended for tourism, w/10s of 1000s of forced laborers. 1996 is Visit Myanmar Year. Each family to give 3 days/mo free labor. You can buy exemption. This is common. Burma would also like to deal w/the US – we give them weapons, they stop the heroin trade

One factor in Rwandan massacres might have been Radio Mille Collines which the late president failed to suppress & which condemned people by name & complained that the graves were only ½ full (is that the definition of a pessimist, or of an optimist?). And there is also an anti-Tutsi station broadcasting into Burundi

N Korea gov says the country in 49 yrs has never had a rape or murder, so there are no prisons. No retarded or handicapped in Pyongyang – they have all voluntarily moved elsewhere. The gov hired Swedish women to frolic w/the Dear Leader, and kidnapped an actress & director. They say Korean War was started by an American invasion. Every home has a radio speaker, which cannot be turned off (usually) and get 1 station. For health reasons, they are supposed to eat 2 meals a day – and tv says you can die if you eat too much rice

A 62-yr old Italian gives birth. Artificial, of course

Among Kim Philby’s effects, auctioned by Sotheby, is a well-thumbed copy of Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service


Since 1989, 1,300 IRS workers investigated, 1/3 sanctioned, for snooping in files of friends, neighbors, stock brokers, celebrities

Berlusconi withdraws his edict on preventive detention

Clinton on health care: what the hell, universal, 95%, whatever


But, of course, that was yesterday’s position. What he really *meant* to say was that nothing is universal in a, ya know, theoretical sense.

Haitian “gov” holds up relief supplies unless applications & hence tactic recognition

Ger seizes smuggled Russian weapons-grade plutonium

Early in Whitewater, Clinton tried to get legal advice (Jan94) from Comptroller of Currency, which regulates banks

Br cabinet reshuffle, unsubtly 1 day before Labour chooses leader. Leaves the big names, and the Euro-skeptics who should be slapped down, alone. Doesn’t change left-right balance


Clinton’s Sec of Navy is John Dalton, whose White House-issued resumé & Senate questionnaire failed to mention that he was president, CEO & chair of loan cmte & board of directors of Seguin Savings Assoc, whose failure lost taxpayers $100m+, leading to a suit by regulators, settled at $3.8m, asserting he violated State & Fed laws & committed “gross negligence”. The Senate hid this in a closed Armed Services Cmte hearing about which all senators did not know. The 1989 settlement inc a gag clause. Separately, when Centex Corp of Dallas bought 4 failed S&Ls from the Fed Home Loan Board at fire sale rate of $26m, they paid Dalton $750,000 for inside info & arranging a meeting. The board blocked the fee (Dec88). Dalton had been head of the FHLB until 1981. They considered it unethical, and it was the same day Seguin bankrupt. He tried to get the fee back in court but dropped the suit 1 day before Clinton nominated him. Dalton raised $ for Clinton’s election. Last week, Dalton paid part of a debt for defaulting on a condo loan, $27,500 from the 1980s. The condo was foreclosed (money owed to a failed S&L)

Clinton wants UN approval to invade Haiti. Not that we will. Asking everybody’s permission is Clinton’s favorite technique for delaying internat action

Outgoing Br ed. sec. John Patten had to pay damages to a chief ed. officer he described as a nutter & a madman

As expected, Labour elects Tony “Bambi” Blur party leader, John Prescott deputy. He gave a cute little speech about the need to be a non-ideological, “left of center” party

Eur Parl’s socialist group decides to oppose Santer for commission president, but Parl lets him in 260-238, 23 abstaining. The power to reject is new


Tony Blair already distancing himself from unions

GAO finds Star Wars people rigged tests, allegedly for deception of Soviets. The 1st attempts would have let a near-miss work, putting bombs on the targets, but they couldn’t manage that

Clinton orders airlift for Rwandan refugees in Zaire, where cholera breaking out. Doesn’t help that Zairean officials extorting bribes for landing permits

Several officials of Berlusconi-owned Fininvest implicated in bribing gov auditors just before B’s decree

Another reason for Russian vets to be pissed at exclusion from D-Day anniversary: at 40th anniversary, Reagan people doctored Eisenhower’s Order of the Day, omitting references to Russians


Israel & Jordan end state of war

White House officials pressured Roger Altman, then-head of RTC, not to recuse himself from Whitewater investigations, according to diary of Treasury Sec’s chief of staff. It also said Clinton, contrary to his statement, was not unaware of discussions about Whitewater between Treasury & White House officials. Clinton livid when Altman recused himself, wanting investigation kept under White House control.
-Update: the author of the diary says it is not accurate


Latvia eliminates quotas for citizenship of 2,000. Senate amend will cut all US credits for Russia unless troops out of Estonia Aug. 31. Latvia will not naturalize Russians who worked w/secret police or active Communists

Roger Altman admonished subordinates in RTC for not warning him before sending notice to Navy Sec over bad debt (7/22). Wanted to be told in advance of sensitive matters – RTC rejected as inappropriate

Israel-Jordan pact inc police cooperation, phone & electricity links & respecting Jordan’s “historical role” administering Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, pissing off PLO no end.


Mich. judge takes custody away from a mother because she used day care

Russia agrees to w/draw troops from Estonia Aug. 31. Estonia will allow all retirees from military apply for residency rather than give preference by age

Whitewater hearings of House Banking Cmte begin. Henry Gonzalez hired no special investigative staff, ruled various issues out, and restricted members to 5 mins of q’s at one time. He pitched spitballs, the R’s made speeches. Toby Roth said under these rules, you couldn’t ask OJ Simpson about the knife or the blood. Yes, but that’s called the 5th Amend. R’s complained about not seeing material the White House counsel Lloyd Cutler decided wasn’t relevant – Cutler responded that lawyers should always trust one another. “And we need more trust in this country, sir.”

Bosnia Serbs resume blockade of Sarajevo

Patti Davis, Reagan’s daughter, nude in Playboy

One of the execs from Berlusconi’s comp Finivest, in custody, said money for bribes given him by Paolo Berlusconi, brother
-Ordered arrested


Army to open 32,000 combat positions to women, the Army sec backing off somewhat. Still keep them in rear & keep them out of promotion-track jobs, but will give them access to almost 3/4 Army jobs. Can fly cover, air defense, artillery

House D’s give in, exempt pawnbrokers from Brady law, where most felons are now caught

Most of US’s first aid to Rwanda failed to reach the ground, diverting helpers on the ground. A military aircraft flew in from Ger w/one forklift & 18 journalists to hype the largess

US sends 44 military trainers and equipment to help Cambodian Army against Khmer Rouge. Great, but Cambodian army corrupt & over-officered


Head of NAACP secretly committed it to buy off a sexual harassment suit against him for up to $330,000

Senate 93-7 votes to cut Ed. Dept funds if a Fed court finds a state or school district violating a court order to allow const-protected prayer, heading off a harsher Helms amend

Sen. & House agree on the Crime Bill. 60 death penalties, 3 strikes, college scholarships for those who become cops, 100,000 more cops, bans 19 assault weapons. No racial challenge to death penalties. The $30b will all come from retirement of fed workers. Illegal to sell handguns to minors. Even peaceful anti-hunting protests on fed lands illegal

Drug comps are buying up drug supply, comps covering most Amers. Result: Medco pays pharmacists to get people to switch drugs (call their drs) to one of Merck’s drugs, its owner

Whitewater hearings: end of week 1. The White House line is that confidential info on investigation was shared in order to respond to the press. Of course at the time they responded with “No comment.” Actually, documents reflect an obsessive interest in what reporters were working on, how much press knew, & how much to conceal & what to emphasize. House D’s are expressing lack of interest. Maxine Waters said the hearings are boring, but her questions inc “do you think this admin has responded more fully than any previous admin?”


Berlusconi, who owns ½ It. tv, wanted to give gov power to sack state tv’s board by decree. President refused to sign, but the board had already resigned

NY law bans mentioning rape victims’ clothing

Another abortion dr shot to death in Pensacola, Fla, and his volunteer escort. The shooter was a minister. An anti-abortion demonstration in CA says such people are murderers & should be executed – so that’s all right then

Palestinian gov blocked distrib of a pro-Jordanian newspaper & a mag. Both ceased publication. They “contradict the nat interest of the Palestinian people”

Russia’s largest investment comp, which never invested, collapses as hordes of Russians tried to sell back their shares. The comp advertised on tv. It had 5-10m. investors, no investments, earnings or financial strategy, and there is now law making them. They were a pyramid. The comp blames its collapse on gov persecution

Breyer confirmed 87-9, all right-wing R’s

Craxi sentenced in absentia, to 8½ yrs for fraud. Still hiding out in Tunisia

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