Sunday, January 08, 2006

NYT: "Even Pat Robertson's Friends Are Wondering..." (Laurie Goodstein)

"Even Pat Robertson's Friends Are Wondering..." if he's stark raving mad? That question isn't noted in Laurie Goodstein's article in this morning's New York Times. Another thing not noted is Robertson's latest business plan. From Democracy Now! (pay attention to the last sentence):

Robertson, Ahmadinejad Suggest Sharon Deserves Ailment
Sharon's ill health has drawn a mixed reaction, with well-wishes from leaders from around the world including the Palestinian Authority. In Iran, state media reported Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "Hopefully, the news that the criminal of Sabra and Chatilla has joined his ancestors is final" -- a reference to the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon where over 1,000 Palestinians were killed in 1982. An Israeli commission on inquiry concluded Sharon bore "personal responsibility" for the incident. Meanwhile, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson indicated Sharon’s condition was a consequence of his decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.
Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, on his program "The 700 Club" : "Ariel Sharon, who was again a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with. I prayed with him personally. But here he is at the point of death. He was dividing God's land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations or United States of America. God said, 'This land belongs to me, you better leave it alone.'"
The Guardian of London reported on Wednesday Robertson is heading a consortium in talks with the Israeli government over building a sprawling biblical theme park by the Sea of Galilee.

Heading a consortium hardly tracks with the mixed picture the Times presents this morning. (But then they also don't note his other outside businesses.)

Elaine talked about this topic on Friday and, I feel, did so more straight forwardly than the majority (possibly all) of the people quoted in today's article. What the people in the article seem to be wondering is he's able to present his 'ideas' more rationally and, if not, how much harm is he doing to the movement. (Again, go to Elaine's entry.)

Carl Hulse tells you that Tom DeLay's not trying to become House Majority Leader currently. (Never count the bug man out -- or believe what he says. Short of a defeat in 2006, it's likely he'll attempt to claw his way back to the top of the dung heap.) Listeners to RadioNation with Laura Flanders heard about this topic last night (including comments by Chris Bell who lost his House seat due to the DeLay engineered redistricting plan). (Remeber that Katha Pollitt will be on RadioNation with Laura Flanders today.)

Clint was listening to RadioNation with Laura Flanders last night. It was his first time listening. He writes that he enjoyed the show ("and I get what all the fuss is about") and notes an article Flanders mentioned last night, Anne E. Kornblut and Glen Justice with "Officials Focus on a 2nd Firm Tied to DeLay:"

The firm, Alexander Strategy Group, is of particular interest to investigators because it was founded by Edwin A. Buckham, a close friend of Mr. DeLay's and his former chief of staff, and has been a lucrative landing spot for several former members of the DeLay staff, people who are directly involved in the case have said.
[. . .]
The firm openly promoted the idea that it could deliver access to Mr. DeLay, who has denied any wrongdoing but abruptly announced Saturday that he would not try to regain his leadership post. Now the very connections with Mr. DeLay that formed the backbone of Alexander Strategy, put together with Mr. Abramoff's help, have put the future of the firm in doubt.

He is the Bug Man, he is the Bug Man
He is the cockroach, GOO GOO GOO JOOB

(Swiping from Lennon & McCartney's "I Am the Walrus.")

Brenda notes Julia Preson's "Appeals Court, Reversing Itself, Holds 2 Salvadoran Generals Liable in Torture Case:"

A federal appeals court has reversed its own ruling and upheld a $54.6 million jury verdict against two retired generals from El Salvador who were held responsible in a 2002 trial for the torture of three Salvadorans during the country's civil war in the 1980's.
The opinion, issued Wednesday by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, was a surprising turn in decade-long efforts by American human rights groups to punish abuses that occurred during the conflict between the United States-backed security forces and leftist guerrillas in El Salvador.
A three-judge appeals panel acted without prompting from lawyers for either side to overturn a ruling it issued on Feb. 28. 2005, that nullified the trial verdict against the two generals, José Guillermo García and Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova.

Urano Teixeira Da Matta Bacellar, who headed the UN forces in Haiti, is dead, according to Ginger Thomas in the New York Times, from gun shots wounds but no conclusions have yet been made whether or not they were self-inflicted.

Billie notes Tim Golden's "Case Dropped Against U.S. Officer in Beating Deaths of Afghan Inmates:"

The Army has dropped its case against the only officer to face criminal charges in connection with the beating deaths of two prisoners held by the United States in Afghanistan, military officials said yesterday.
The officer, Capt. Christopher M. Beiring, led a reservist military police company that was guarding the main American detention center in Afghanistan when the two men were killed within days of each other in December 2002. The prisoners died after guards kneed them repeatedly in the legs while each was shackled to the ceiling of his cell.

Now some good and bad news. The public account ( is wiped out of any e-mails that were in it. When finally accessed there is nothing in the inbox. That's good news in that today won't be spent trying to read them. That's bad news in that there were some things worth noting and people had taken the time to write. (I still can't get into the private account for members. Member should continue using the backup account which is published only the round-robin. If you're a member who doesn't get the round-robin, e-mail Elaine at because we'll be on the phone tonight and I'll ask her to check it while we are.)

The public account is also the acount where people send notices. One that I intended to note here (but you know how that goes) can still be noted because when I mentioned it to Ty, he said they had the same e-mail sent to The Third Estate Sunday Review.

Soft Skull Press will be releasing a book by Karen Pittelman and Resource Generation entitled Classified. From the e-mail:

When Karen was 25 she dissolved her mammoth trust fund and started a foundation for low-income women activists. The book, which acts as a guide for other 'cool rich kids' will be released in January, with a release party at Bluestockings on January 14th.

Bluestockings is in NYC at 172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington. For more information, you can check their website. And Brandon may be thinking "Soft Skull Press? I recommended a book to The Third Estate Sunday Review from that publisher two months ago." The book is on the list. There are many books on the list. The hope is to get to another Robert Parry book for next week. That suggestion leaped ahead of Brandon's due to readers of The Third Estate Sunday Review e-mailing about a Parry book that was discussed recently. It also helps to have a strong advocate among those who'll be discussing. Rebecca is a huge, and admitted, fan of Robert Parry's so when his name is suggested, she uses her vote for that. (I don't usually vote for anything. There have been two that I've nixed since the book discussions started, otherwise, I'm fine with anything.) (Which isn't that I'm so serene. It's that I read a lot of books and have usually read most of the books that make it into the discussions before they're suggested by readers of The Third Estate Sunday Review for a discussion.) Brandon, if March rolls around and you're suggestion hasn't been reviewed, please e-mail me and I'll remind everyone. It's a long list but books coming off an independent press should get a nudge up the list. (Also note that many are utilizing their local libraries and delays can also result from waiting on interlibrary loan requests.)

Joke for the day: The e-mail address for this site is