The Body Impolitic

Jesse goes To The Mat

The U.S. claims to have destroyed 122 tanks and 220 troop transporters. Last weekend, Agence France Presse quoted an unnamed military expert in Paris as saying, "I do not believe these figures at all. I think that in strictly military terms, the effects of the strikes were very limited. Very disappointing."

Vegas Moguls Turn to Democrats
Snake Eyes

Sick and tired of lousy treatment at the hands of right-wing GOP fund-raisers, Vegas wheels are turning to Democrats in hopes that they can re take the House and put the brakes on anti-gaming legislation pushed by Bible Belt congressmen.

Steve Wynn, chairman of Mirage Resorts, and J. Terrence Lanni, head of MGM Grand, met last month with minority leader Dick Gephardt and Ways and Means heavy Charles Rangel. As a result the congressmen collected $250,000 in soft money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from Mirage, according to AP. During the 1997-1998 election cycle the DCCC got over $500,000 in soft money from the gambling industry.

"I'm a Republican," Lanni was quoted as saying in the Las Vegas Sun. "But from this industry's stand point, we would be far better off to have the Democrats in control of the House of Representatives."

Elderly Face Poverty Without Net
Social Insecurity

Census data show that without Social Security, nearly half of the U.S. population age 65 and older would have been living in poverty in 1997, according to a recent study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

In New York State, Social Security lowered the proportion of elderly people who were considered impoverished from 50 percent to 15.1 percent. Nationally, Social Security reduced the numbers of elderly poor from 15.3 million to 3.8 million in 1997.

Clinton Eyes Chase Exec for Fed
Right Relationship

Temporarily buried in the news by Kosovo, the Wall Street boom rolls on, with the House finally approving legislation al lowing banks to own brokerages. Al ready passed in the Senate, the big bank merger bill brings back the all-powerful money trusts of the turn of the century. Broken up during the New Deal by the Glass-Steagall Act, banks once again will be free to own anything, including their Wall Street competitors.

Meanwhile, Clinton is screening candidates for two posts on the board of the Fed, the private bankers' club that-more than Congress or the president-sets rules that affect people's lives. The president has put out word that he wants to pick at least one director with knowledge of community rein vestment. His administration-at least in theory-is backing the idea that big banks ought to invest in their own backyards. But instead of picking an aggressive mayor, or a community activist, or someone like New York's public advocate Mark Green, Clinton is considering Carol Parry, head of Chase Manhattan's Community Development Group.

Additional reporting: Ioana Veleanu

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