Sunday, March 26, 2006

September 1995


Turkey modifies const, removing honorable mention of the 1980 coup from the preamble, allows unions to engage in politics & link w/parties. Allow civ servs to join unions (but not strike), university profs to join parties. Voting from 21 down to 18. Turkey not just wanting to join EU but a customs union for manuf goods to be considered in the fall.

NATO flies 100s of sorties against Bosnian Serbs, starting w/air defence, and artillery attacks gun emplacements around Sarajevo. Bosnian Serbs give control of their side of negotiations over to Milosevic, who has his own agenda, killing the embargo on Yug. NATO only releasing footage of successful raids, on the Gulf War model.

In O.J. trial, tapes surface of a key cop saying nigger 41X, talking about beating up blacks (“who can see a bruise on a nigger”), planting evidence, etc. There’s still no evidence that Fuhrman planted evidence on O.J., but...
-LA police cars were not integrated until early 1960s
-Ed Davis said gays couldn’t become cops because no one could use car radios after they did
-By the way, Fuhrman used to train cops

Fr seizes 2 Greenpeace ships near Mururoa Atoll & 2 divers who breached the exclusion zone

The son of the Slovak president is arrested in Ger for fraud, I believe


Gen. Colin Powell’s book out, and people are still sucking up to him as some sort of “clean” candidate for prez or VP, though his actual views are unknown. It seems Clinton asked him to be VP 1992 & sec state thereafter

Bush is being paid 6 figures by Citibank for speeches in VN & will speak for a week in Japan on behalf of a Moonie organiz


Karadzic says Bosnian Serbs accede to UN demands, Gen. Mladic says not, on removing heavy guns around Sarajevo. Bosnian gov says yesterday was 1st w/out a death in Sarajevo

Dole attacks “intellectual elites” for undermining American values, demands end to multilingual ed.


Fr parl approved const amend allowing president to call referenda on wide range of issues – in effect, anything he wants, since Const Court can’t examine legality. Another mandates ministers’ Question Time

Fr explodes a nuke. NZ recalls ambassador. An Australian MP w/Greenpeace flotilla threatened to surf into the zone. Fr arrest US Somoa’s delegate to Congress


Motor Voter has registered 5m in its 1st 8 mos, several times the normal figure

Bureau of Indian Affairs is supposed to educate Ind children, by treaty in some cases, and by law supposedly at the per-student rate average in each state, but this is ignored by Congress, which keeps cutting budget

Croatia Prez Tudjman last week, referring to expulsion of Serbs: “On this day we can say Croatia stopped bearing its historical cross.”

NATO gave Serbs a bombing pause, then resumed after 4 days. Serbs claim they’re complying, removing heavy guns. Actually moved a few 2 mi., still w/in exclusion zone, to a residential area that can’t be bombed. Gen. Mladic says NATO worse than Hitler

Greece & Macedonia come to agreement to maybe end the 19-mo embargo

Irish PM postpones talk w/John Major, siding w/Finn Fein that arms can’t be turned in before any talks, as Major wants. Bruton is afraid the cease-fire will expire

Hillary at Ch. UN women’s conf spoke loudly about Ch. denying visas, etc. and criticized practices against women common in Ch., but not by name. Admin insisted she wasn’t singling them out. The Ch. failed to broadcast it

Radio Martí is being investigated for trying to fire critics of censorship & bias from Jorge Mas Canosa. Congress quietly amended budget to eliminate those jobs.

Sen. votes to give Pentagon $7b more than it says it needs, mostly in Star Wars, but also blimps

Br’s “low-intensity class war” reaches the Nat. Lottery, pilloried for sending £55m to the Royal Opera House (Sun: “Up your arias”) akin to the revolt over paying for Windsor Castle to be rebuilt from fire, which forced the Queen to pay income tax & allow the public into Buckingham Palace– just rated the worst tourist deal – £8.50 for 15m.


After a few bombings in Paris related to Algeria, Fr asks its citizens to leave Algiers & have done identity checks on 800,000 dark-skinned types, which was not how they said the law allowing cops to ask for papers was supposed to be implemented. Also denying visas to everyone from Alg

Safire suggests the bombing of Serbs didn’t go very far, mostly to vie impression of toughness w/out helping the Bosnians. If we destroyed the 300 guns around Sarajevo, the Bosnian forces might move in, which could annoy the Serbs & encourage hope in the Bosnians, which we don’t want to do. He suggests letting the Serbs know they will lose. They’re offered 49% of Bosnia now, so, since Bosnian gov accepts, that should be 48% tomorrow, 47% in 2 days. Karadzic claims $1b in damages to civilian property. One Pentagon official: “When you’re trying to get someone’s attention, you don’t have to knock out all their front teeth so they can’t eat again.” Eat?

Fr offers to protect Ger w/its nukes. Ger fails to reject it out of hand.

US privatizes compiling of Leading Econ Index

OJ trial falls apart, w/Detective racist Fuhrman invoking the 5th, but not in presence of jurors. Evidently CA evidence law says jury would have had to be told not to imply anything from that. Since when does the 5th protect witnesses in someone else’s case? Jury will be told he is “unavailable” to be confronted by his accused, and they can draw their own conclusions. – State appeals court stops that

Tahitians riot over nuke tests. The move to independence has been given quite a push

R’s in House want to make Endangered Species Act voluntary for priv landowners & reverse Sup Court decision to allow gov to simply ban internat murder of members of a species while allowing its habitat to be destroyed if the costs too high.

Sen. Packwood resigns. Ethics Cmte unanimous for expelling him. (A Tenn. senator expelled 1797 for inciting Inds to attack Fla. & LA, 14 expelled Civil War, and one resigned 1982 over Abscam.) Packwood, who voted against pub hearings, claimed he wasn’t given a chance to confront his accusers, and why didn’t they resign afterwards (because sexual harassment wasn’t even illegal when he started in?). 10,145 pages of evidence released, indicating he wasn’t guilty of “stealing kisses,” but pretty aggressive behaviour. We also see his diaries & the changes he tried to make in them. On campaign finance diversion: “what was said in that room would be enough to convict us all of something.” (One of “us all” was Phil Gramm, then head of R. Sen. Cmte. Gramm to be questioned by Ethics Cmte. “Party-building” money really spent for Packwood, $100,000). And blackmailing people to give his ex-wife a job, shaking down contributors. He said it is the honorable thing to resign. Resigning gives him an $89,000 pension.
-His greatest memory: as chair of Finance Cmte 1986 during tax reform, simply disbanded the cmte & worked it out himself w/his chief counsel over 2 pitchers of beer... Aha!
-Dole wants to keep him on for 90 days to manage R. legislation


Doesn’t get it. Packwood to leave Oct. 1 & until then can vote but not speak or manage bills. & no longer chair of Finance Cmte
-Dole tried to get a little pol mileage from losing on keeping Packwood in 90 days by announcing the shorter date at Christian Coalition meeting. Actually, Packwood is quite religious. His diaries say it was his “Christian duty” to have sex with one staff member.

At that meeting, Dole also bravely came out in favor of kissing up, and Gramm brandishes a pledge to fight abortion that Dole has failed to sign.

The polls indicate that Clinton can’t be beaten by any R. candidate, but can be by Colin Powell (who may be a Republican – who knows?)

Aristide turned over the military building to his Women’s Ministry. 4 of 18 Cabinet ministers are women (inc foreign) & more ♀ running for Parl (fees are now lower for them). But Const says money inherited by a ♀ belongs to her husband, legal code has higher adultery penalties for ♀, lower age of consent (15 v. 18)

Yeltsin says expansion of NATO would “mean a conflagration of war throughout Europe, for sure” & bombing in Bosnia shows how it would act.

NI’s Ulster Unionist Party, the largest Protestant party, picks a hard-liner, David Trimble, as new leader

Turkmenistan & other republics trying to build a 4,900-mi natural gas pipeline to bypass Russia’s heavy-handedness. It wants veto over any energy deal, is blockading Turkmenistan’s gas exports since Nov93, obstructed Azerbaijan oil deal w/W comps, sometimes halted oil & gas & exports from Kazakhstan

Some sort of deal reached in Bosnia, w/an integral Bosnia unless you count a Serb state inside it that seems to be allowed to federate w/Serbia. Sarajevo, Gorazde & how to get Serbs down to 49% are left out


Bosnian Serbs claim NATO hit a hospital w/artillery. Pictures show hits were near, only

Matisse: “An artist must recognize, when he is reasoning, that his picture is an artifice; but when he is painting, he should feel he has copied nature.”


Libya deporting Palestinians & other Arab workers. Also facing an Islamic militant problem, financed by Sudan, like everyone else.

Colin Powell’s autobio says before Gulf War, Dick Cheney asked him to draw up plans for use of tactical nukes – he said no.

Packwood diaries: show him giving a tax bill to Shell as favor for a lobbyist 1989. One lobbyist offering his wife a job said he could double the salary if Packwood was chair of Finance Cmte. He solicited 4 part-time job offers for her form lobbyists or comps w/leg. interests he could inf. 3 days after talking w/lobbyist for Mitsubishi, he changed schedule to attend a cmte hearing & asked q’s identical to those the lobbyist submitted to Cmte staff. Incidentally, Mrs Packwood was more scrupulous than he and turned down all these offers. Aug90 entry says he wanted to retire w/campaign surplus of $2.3m...

Robert Mugabe says gays have no rights. He says it’s a white colonial vice

Russian Parl votes for unilateral lifting of embargo on Serbia, imposing it on Croatia, & firing Foreign Min Kozyrev. Head of CP says military should be allowed to fight voluntarily for Serbs

80+ Alaska native villages have gone prohibition since 1980s, others damp

Budget cuts will force Bureau of Indian Affairs to fire ¼ work force. Sen. cuts budget 15%, though House 3%

Japan going through a re-run of US’s S&L failure. Largest credit union & other banks closed down. As in US, deregulation allowed iffy real-estate loans

Neth. drs change euthanasia rules: drugs should be administered by patient, a 2nd opinion, drs opposed to it must refer patient to one who isn’t. 1,436 cases reported 1994, for whatever that’s worth

Boy Scouts ask Phil Gramm to stop using pictures of them in his campaign


NATO raids on Serbs now inc 13 Tomahawk cruise missiles ($1.3m each). NATO refuses to tell Russia its bombing rules

Sen. 50-48 rejects D effort to provide child care in the welfare bill forcing mothers to work

Clinton refuses to meet Dalai Lama


Wilson is getting a lot of press for being a losing candidate (he just closed down his campaign in Iowa) while other losers like Lugar & Alexander are getting no press. Polls say he’d lose CA to Dole & even to Clinton

Tobacco industry has vastly increased contribs to both parties, but 10X as much to R’s

Mar95 Parl fired Russian Human Rights Commission chair for counting the civilian dead in Chechnya (over 25,000). July95 Yeltsin abolished the commission

Philippines Sup Court allows Imelda Marcos to take seat in Legislature

Georgia gives up on redrawing districts to comply w/Sup Court, leaving it up to panel of judges

House Judiciary Cmte votes to eliminate Legal Services Corp

Bavarian gov refuses to take down crucifixes in schools

Swiss banks, denying existence for yrs, says found $34m – so far – from Jews before Holocaust

Eliz. Dole, president of Red Cross, intervenes unusually to stop explicit AIDS materials, just as Bob Dole sucks up to Christian right


Now on Broadway, a musical about Anne Frank

Sen. R’s working on welfare bill fail to deny benefits to ♀ who have children on welfare & to deny it to teenage mothers

It. refuses to allow Stealths to be deployed in It. by US for use in Bosnia unless it gets greater role in peace talks


Bosnian Serbs claim will w/draw heavy guns around Sarajevo, NATO halt bombing 3 days. This is Milosevic’s proposal – he seems to want to deal w/US, not Eur

Judge imposes prior restraint on Business Week which intended to pub documents in a case in which Procter & Gamble is suing Bankers Trust under RICO, something about derivatives

UN Women’s Conf eliminates clause on discrim based on sexual orientation

Sen. in welfare bill 63-37 voted to reward states for reducing # of illegitimate children w/out increasing abortions

R. Medicare plan backs off from putting major pressure to join HMOs, and inc what David Stockman used to call the “magic asterisk” – future unknown savings to make the numbers come out

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s plea for a new trial is rejected by the old judge

Leona Helmsley had her servants do her community service, so gets more

CA Assembly R’s finally get a Speaker chosen by themselves, following Willie Brown somehow choosing his own successor despite R. takeover. The new one has been in the Lege 9 mos. Outgoing Doris Alan, facing a recall, called her fellow R’s “power-mongering males w/small penises.”

The pull-out of heavy guns around Sarajevo leaves Serbs w/anti-aircraft weapons, mortars, artillery...

UN Women’s Rights Conf says women’s rights should supersede nat. traditions

NATO to compromise on Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Eur, to let Russia keep more tanks & artillery in Caucasus, in case it wants to rape Chechnya again, intervene in Bosnia or violate GA, Armenia, Azer.


DeBeers no longer buys all diamonds, giving up on shitty ones Australia is flooding mkt w/, which used to be industrial but Indians can now cut them into jewelry. Russia has been breaking agreement to sell 95% of diamonds through the CSO, which it just sells the cheap crap


Betty Crocker’s image will be changed by morphing her w/75 ethnically diverse women

Hong Kong leg elections, the last under Br rule. In a low poll, pro-Ch. party is trounced by Dem Party. One hr after polls opened, Ch. announced again it would dissolve the leg

Colin Powell notes that to Pete Wilson the worst problem in the country is that under affirmative action there are 0.8% more black U.C. students, after 15 yrs


A San Diego couple crashed on I10 having sex at 75 mph, wearing neither seat belts nor anything else

Dole to RNC: “I’m willing to be another Ronald Reagan if that’s what you want.”

Philippines agrees to give $100m to victims of Marcos regime, presumably trying to supersede the $1.9b class action suit in Hawaii


NYT & WaPo to give in to demands of the Unabomber to publish his manifesto

Conveniently, Croat-Bosnian military advance bringing it up to the 51% of Bosnia the UN plan would give it. Naturally, US is not happy

Ger deported 7 Sudanese w/medical evidence of torture. Gov says it was operating w/in the law – which is the problem

Labour’s defense spokesman says gov getting data from Fr’s current nuclear testing

Sen. 87-12 passes welfare plan which eliminates AFDC as an entitlement, allows states to not pay for children born to unmarried mothers under 18 or pay for children born under welfare (House version bans both outright. This is the compromise!) A 5-yr lifetime limit, requirement for states to get 50% in work by 2000.

10 states have passed laws requiring compensation to prop owners for environmental laws, 12+ allow comps to get away w/no liability for pollution if they confess 1st. In AZ, people no longer allowed to sue comps & can only sue state if state agrees there was a violation. Oregon allows logging comps to ignore water-quality laws if compliance reduces value of holdings by more than 10%


Egypt has discovered 2 mass graves of 30-60 people, POWs killed by Israel 1967. Israel offers compensation but says there’s a statute of limitations

NATO says Serbs have w/drawn heavy weapons around Sarajevo, so air strikes will not be resumed.
-Croats & Bosnians now arguing over who controls what.
-Sniping at Sarajevo cont.

Here’s a welfare program: one county making recipients take jobs processing catfish. ½ find other jobs 1st. What next: oakum picking?


Bryan Gould, who lost Labour leadership election to Smith, then went back to NZ, has memoirs out. Evening Standard pub a purported editorial attacking Blair by him, but it turned out to have really been by Michael Howard’s 19-yr old son. No newspaper noted the error & all commented on its harshness, not noticing the bit about being 3½ during the Wtr of Discontent

Gingrich threatened to default on debt, shut down gov unless Clinton accepts his agenda on budget

Tomorrow, House will have a whole day of hearings on the R Medicare plan, exc it isn’t done yet. Would double health insurance premiums, esp for affluent old. Would limit malpractice to $250,000 punitive, $250,000 pain & suffering & time limit of 5 yrs. And relax antitrust laws to allow drs & hospitals to form networks to fix prices. And yes that was one day of hearings (24 days Whitewater, 8 days Ruby Ridge so far...) D’s will hold their own on the law [rained out]. R’s learn from Clinton health care plan – have debate w/no details available

House & Sen. agree on Interior budget, inc moratorium on new endangered species, end on mining comps getting ownership of pub lands, reducing money for insulation for the poor, etc etc

House Judiciary Cmte approves plan for nat registry of names of everyone, force employers to check immigration status of job applicants

Sup Court (actually, Stevens) refuses to overturn lower-court ban on Business Week publishing article from court docs


Sen. 55-45, supported by Clinton, votes to give up on Pressler Amend & lift all military & econ sanctions on Pakistan, while getting nothing at all on nukes & when it will shortly hold jt naval exercises w/Iran

The real enemy, of course, is still Cuba. House 294-130 would require gov to reject visas for foreigners who own or benefit from confiscated (post-1959) prop., allow Cuban-Amers to file lawsuits in US courts to seek damages from foreign comps that buy or use expropriated properties – that’s people who were not Amers in 1959. Cut aid to countries giving cheap loans to Cuba or helping it build nuke plants, inc World Bank, etc

Croat military w/drawing from Bosnia, having accomplished goal of est a buffer zone

Fr towns have been banning begging. This is mayors of Nat Front

Clinton, responding to Gingrich’s threat to shut down the gov, accuses him of Welshing on US debts. He immediately lost the Welsh vote.
-But then the lawyer for the Twm Sion Cati – Welsh-American Legal Defense, Ed. & Devt Fund, said Clinton gave only a “left-handed apology.”...

Since 1992 Russian electric types have cut power to military installations that failed to pay bills 16X, inc a flight control center. A Far North nuclear sub base sent in armed sailors. There may almost have been a melt-down.

Time-Warner & Turner Broadcasting merge

Phil Gramm keeps talking about 2nd coming, in a little sucking up to the premillennialists (he’s supposed to be Episcopalian)

Another concession to Russia: expansion of NATO will not entail stationing foreign troops or nukes in e. Eur in peacetime

Malcolm Forbes Jr dec for president as R on a flat tax & sort of gold standard platform


Russian abortion clinics sell fetus cells as a snake oil injection

Chris Patten, governor of Hong Kong, wants ½ HKers to have right of residency in Br


Nat Reconnaissance Office, whose finances never looked at by Congress before this yr, accumulated over $½b in unspent moneys, w/out telling anyone. 1993, it signed a multi-billion contract for ocean-surveillance satellites in defiance of explicit Congressional instructions. Congress w/draws $1b.

Bosnia refuses to participate in peace talks this week, possibly because it’s winning – and has discovered more mass graves in recaptured territory
-Croatia w/drawing refugee status from 100,000 Bosnians & sending them home

Israel-PLO accord on transferring parts of W Bank, which will be divided in 3: Israeli, Palestinian & mixed, w/pullout of Israeli troops starting in 10 days. Elections will wait on complete w/drawal which will wait on building of roads connecting Hebron settlements – at least 6 mos, more if they use Caltrans

When Henry IV was crowned, the archbishop anointing him found head lice

Henry VI, the infant king’s regency council gave his governess authority to spank him, in his name


Jesse Helms blackmail of foreign policy has frozen 400 State Dept promotions, 30 ambassadorial nominees, 1 asst sec, over a dozen treaties. 15% embassies have no ambassador. He wants reorganiz of State Dept. He has closed down the Foreign Relations Cmte

Just as fed gov turns powers over to states, term limits mean legs have record # of freshmen. Recently Alaska, Colo, LA, OK have restricted length of session. Some have ltd staffs, or little pay ($100/yr in NH), some no limit on gifts. Texas leg get $7,200/yr & meet every other yr. Changes in Medicaid would require vast tax increases requirement in R plan to get 50% welfare into jobs would require job training & child care, but some states can’t raise taxes

Since 1990, over 22,000 Soviet Jews went to... Ger, doubling its Jewish pop. They’re afraid of Israel. And 60,000 more have applied to come

R’s want to turn over some IRS debt collection to priv businesses, giving them access to taxpayer info. They’ve bene cutting IRS budget, which should increase uncollected debts, already over $150b. Some states do this.


Czar Nicholas II & family, identified by DNA tests, to be reburied in St Petersburg Feb96

Ex-It. PM Andreotti on trial for Mafia connections

Perot to est new party

Fr joins US, Ger, Belg, Denmark, Norway, Sw in banning export of antipersonnel mines

The Br book price agreement collapses after a century

Quayle Museum gets grants from Institute of Museum Services. They say it’s nothing like the NEA

Draft in Bosnia for new, silly, gov form, w/a new collective presidency, 1/3 Serb, a Parl, 1/3 from Serb territory, votes vetoed by 2/3 of the Sers, 1/3 or 2/3 of the 2/3 Bosnian/Croat & similar in presidency. Good luck


S Korea ends ban, centuries old, on marriage to people w/same last name (1/5 are Kim).

House Judiciary Cmte voted to restrict family reunification immigration to the nuclear family, excluding grown children unless financially dependent – but it is impossible under IRS law to claim a non-citizen as a dependent

CIA internal review board recommends firing Latin Amer division chief & former station chief in Guatemala, & discipline/demote 10 more, for shielding suspect agents for human-rights abuses in Guat. [This happens.]

China stops nuclear reactor deal w/Iran

Ch. refuses invitation for Clinton to meet Prez Zemin. Ch. wanted a formal state visit w/21-gun salute & all that shit

Russian state tv kills Solzhenytsin’s tv show. Low ratings, they say.

Thanks to e-mail mistake, Gingrich’s threat to the cmte chairmanships of 3 R’s on Agric Cmte if don’t acquiesce on his cuts to farming subsidies

Eur Court of Human Rights says Br unlawfully killed 3 IRA members 1988 in Gibraltar. No compensation ordered exc legal costs. 2 had hands up, 1 was lying on the ground. Br gov may ignore it, Labour supports it

On day Gulf War started, Br Airways allowed a plan to land in Kuwait. It did so because Br put commandos on it in London. Iraq seized the jet & passengers as hostages for 3 mos. 61 are suing

Sen. Mitch McConnell snuck an amend into foreign aid appropriations w/out a vote to w/draw MFN status to any nation not backing sanctions on Burma, banning travel there & imports, etc. He will w/draw it now that he’s caught


Serb Gen. Mladic arrests officers he blames for losses – allegedly under inf of Yug.


At end of 3rd (!) round of voting in Haiti, Aristide’s Lavalas Platform won vast majority of seats

The Israeli-PLO agreement says no Israeli to be arrested by Palestinians

Clinton gives in to Helms on restructuring State Dept, freeing up ambassador nominees & treaties & such

The law says prez candidates must identify occupations of those contributing over $200. Clinton has failed 48% of time. R’s also fail miserably

Japan finally gets to arrest 3 US servicemen for kidnapping & raping a 12-yr old girl on Okinawa. Under the occupation, Japan was not allowed to do so until charges filed

Pete Wilson pulls out of 1996 election, blaming a late start (compared to what?) because of throat surgery


Rabin complains that US Jews lobbying against the peace plan

US allows Fr to fly DC-8 supply planes across US, possibly w/nuclear material, to use in its nuclear tests. May be helping w/computer tests too

Ch. says it did not cancel nuclear reactor deal w/Iran, just suspended it

Dallas school board member talks of ignorant “little niggers” {Update 10/5 – resigns]

Rep David McIntosh (R-Indiana) admits forging a document allegedly from Alliance for Justice (civil rights coalition). R’s want to make groups that get fed money limit use of their own funds for lobbying, legal briefs, etc. McIntosh et al demand groups detail for the Cmte their revenue & spending. They refused, inc the Alliance, & McIntosh’s aides released fake figures (they say real) under Alliance letterhead

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