Fall of Soviet Unioninto a federation of loosely aligned but independent nation-states, is placed under house arrest for three days by hardline elements of the Soviet leadership. Gorbachev's political ally, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, is busily dismantling most elements of Soviet-era government in the central state of Russia, but faces powerful opposition. (BBC)
Clinton Administration(The bill barely passed the House as well, with every single House Republican voting against it as well.) As part of the economic package, taxes are raised on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations. Republican representative Newt Gingrich warns that Clinton's "tax increase will kill jobs and lead to a recession, and the recession will force people off of work and onto unemployment and will actually increase the deficit. ...This is the Democrat machine's recession, and each one of them will be held personally accountable." Gingrich is joined by fellow Republican doomsayers, including Senator Phil Gramm, who cries, "We are buying a one-way ticket to recession. I want to predict here tonight that if we adopt this bill, the American economy is going to get weaker and not stronger, the deficit four years from today will be higher than it is today and not lower. ...This plan does not reduce the deficit...but it raises taxes and it puts people out of work." GOP House member Bill Archer proclaims the bill "job-killing poison for the economy." The ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, John Kasich, tells reporters in late July that "This plan will not work. If it was to work then I'd have to become a Democrat and believe that more taxes and bigger government is the answer," and tells Clinton, "We'll come back next year and try to help you out when this puts the economy in the gutter." Despite the doom-and-gloom predictions from the right, the bill revitalizes the American economy and kicks off eight years of unprecedented economic growth. Clinton's tax policies impose the largest burden of deficit reduction on the rich rather than placing the entire burden on the shoulders of the poor and middle class; the policies will successfully vaporize the deficits and lead to an unprecedented economic boom in the US economy. And contrary to GOP talking points, taxes on income groups under $200,000 rise by less than 1%; those making less than $20,000 annually see their taxes decline. (Taxes on those making over $200,000 go up by an average of 5.4%.) Kasich does not, as promised, become a Democrat.
Supreme CourtAn active member of the ACLU and a former appellate court justice, Ginsberg's record as a women's right supporter serves to blunt conservative criticism, and she is named to the Court with little opposition. Ginsberg is probably the only true ideological liberal on the court, though she is not an unqualified supporter of Roe v. Wade. In 2000, she will vote against the Bush v. Gore decision awarding the presidency to George W. Bush. (Wikipedia)
Whitewater / Lewinsky and related "scandals"the reporter who had published the licentious and wildly inaccurate The Real Anita Hill to tumultuous praise from conservatives. Brock was searching for the subject of another book, and Smith, a close friend and colleague of Newt Gingrich, is searching for dirt on the Clintons. Smith's previous contacts with Brock had been an abortive effort in 1992 to accuse Clinton of fathering an illegitimate son with a black prostitute. Smith tells Brock that, according to Little Rock lawyer Cliff Jackson, another Clinton enemy, four Arkansas state troopers are ready to talk about their former boss's sexual liasons with a bevy of women not his wife. Smith offers Brock $5000 to begin work on a book based on the troopers' revelations. Brock is no stranger to such offers; the Anita Hill book had been subsidized by two conservative foundations, both connected to newspaper magnate Richard Mellon Scaife. Brock and lawyer Cliff Jackson meet in Little Rock, where Jackson tells Brock that the Los Angeles Times has a reporter, William Rempel, sniffing around the story already. Jackson's plan is to use Rempel to light a fire under the story, vaulting Brock's book into the limelight. Brock knows of Jackson as, in the words of authors Joe Conason and Gene Lyons, a "corrosively angry former friend of the president" who blames his failure as a politician on Clinton. He is not impressed during their meeting, as Jackson almost obsessively rants about Clinton's character flaws and supposed dishonesty. Jackson himself is indulging in his own dishonest behavior: he fails to tell Brock that he has already cut a deal with troopers Larry Johnson and Roger Perry to act as their agent for any book, television, and movie deals.
Domestic terrorismEyewitnesses say that Tiller has been shot by a woman who was observing anti-abortion protesters outside of Tiller's clinic. The shooter, Rachel Shannon, an Oregon native, is charged with attempted first-degree murder. Local anti-abortion protesters deny any connection with the shooting, though Shannon is a veteran of the anti-abortion movement who has written admiring letters to anti-abortion murderer Michael Griffin. Days later, the clinic is open to business "as usual," with protesters trying their level best to block the driveway while pro-choice organization members work to keep the driveway clear and the protesters from interfering with their clients. Members from both sides say that they've protested with and against each other long enough to know the ropes and know where the lines are drawn, and say that Shannon is an outsider whose interference and criminal behavior are unappreciated. The Wichita Eagle stresses in an editorial today that Shannon is not from Kansas, and says that local abortion dialogue "has been respectful and in the best democratic tradition." The paper continues, "Most people on both sides want to avoid turning every issue into an abortion clash. The attempt on Dr. Tiller's life should be seen for what it is -- a crime."