Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Attacks On Sonia Sotomayor Are Indecent Even By Republican Standards.

The Attacks On Sonia Sotomayor Are Indecent Even By Republican Standards.


The verbal vomit splashing on the bar room floors in Washington is nothing more than unadulterated character assassination via vigilante rumor and innuendo sqad. They do not question any matter of fact but constitute a desperate fecal splashing of the walls of Congress in the hope that some accusation smells bad enough to jeopardize her confirmation. The attacks are simply the work of old white guy bigotry that resonates only with lowest scum of the establishment and the hate-driven fanatics within the American electorate, a faction without reason, pride or any vestige of a moral compass.

 They are to be despised.

Theirs is not the pursuit of truth; theirs is the pursuit of personal destruction of a qualified jurist who happens to possess the hated attributes of being a woman, a Hispanic, a liberal and an intelligent human being not born to the ruling class.

What is passing for news and journalism is absolute tabloid corruption suitable only as bird cage floor liners. When is this nation going to say no to criminality, reject hate-mongering in the media and hold both our leaders and media to account?

Not that having 8 of 9 male members on the Supreme Court should be considered anything but a white male juggernaut of high court control (we count Clarence Thomas as white, since he is pretty much the hand puppet of Scalia when it comes to voting), but clearly 7 of 9 (once Sotomayor is seated) is the straw that will break the camel's back to the mindset of the Neo-Confederates who yearn for the days when the male plantation owner could piously attend church, go rape one of his slaves, and then eat dinner seated at the head of the table as his wife and children obediently listened to him opine on the abolitionist heretics of the North.”

Sotomayor The First Lesbian On The Bench Too? Err..Maybe Not

The push to end the nomination of Appellate Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is coming especially from the far right. They say that she is a bully, an activist judge, a dim bulb, an incomplete woman, and a lesbian. Err. . .that is right, some of the far end of the Conservative spectrum have alleged that Judge Sotomayor is a lesbian. While the notion for many in the LGBTI community has some appeal to it, it seems odd that some would use that as a reason to deny her a spot on the nation’s High Court.

The allegations on the last two come from the fact that Sotomayor divorced her husband in 1983 and never remarried. There is no direct proof that Sotomayor is a lesbian. While she is a divorced woman who never remarried and never had children, there are no rumors of her owning her home with anyone else, and no indication that she has dated anyone since the divorce.

These allegations and rumors go hand in hand with the notion of what the Far Right sees as being the role of a woman. It goes back to the old German phrase- kirk, kinder, kuchen or church, children, kitchen.

To them, a woman is not a woman unless she marries a man and has a dozen children.

That was, of course, the view of women for quite some time in Western culture, and one that has fallen by the wayside already. As for Sotomayor being a bully, she is forceful, according to much of what has been said. Again, this goes back to the notion that a woman should be quiet, obedient and dumb.

Judge Sotomayor may be a lesbian, but even that should not disqualify her from sitting on the bench. All indications are that Sotomayor is only an activist judge if you squint really hard and take the line that an activist judge is someone who follows the laws as they are written.

Indeed, one study published back when Bush II was in office found that most of the activist judges, that is a judge who ignores the law and inserts their own opinions into a case, were Conservatives and not Liberals.

In one case, a woman that Bush II tried to have elevated to the Federal bench had to literally find a way around the case at hand in order to rule in favor of corporation who was a defendant in the case. The corporation was being sued for ruining the health of a young man, and this particular judge had to find a piece of law which forced the case to be started from the beginning. The young man died before the second round of suits could have been followed through. Sotomayor, in the bulk of her cases, has followed the law as it is written.

As for Sotomayor being a dim bulb, the problem is that even the brightest of jurists do not write brilliant opinions more than a handful of times in their life. Just because her opinions are not brilliant does not mean that she is not qualified to be a Supreme Court judge.

The Far Right want to use everything in their arsenal to attack Sotomayor. If this means personal smears and attacks, then they do not care. “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead” is their mantra even if it means colliding with an ice berg.

Sexuality aside, my one hope is that Sonia Sotomayor is a friend of the gay and lesbian community and that she can see that the case law, precedent, the law and the Constitution are on our side. It is likely that Judge Sotomayor will be facing a case concerning Prop 8, and the issues of same-sex marriage in the near future.

 An Unnatural Woman: The Secret Life Of A Supreme Court Short-Lister.

By Dahlia Lithwick and Hanna RosinPosted Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 7:40 PM ET

Over time, America grew used to thinking of Justice David Souter as an only child turned unmarried man who liked history books and hiking alone in the mountains. People stopped speculating about his singleton status, and he was left alone as America's last respectable bachelor. Now the talk of his successor has opened a whole new round of status speculation. The list of potential replacements is overpopulated by women who are single, childless, or divorced. So America asks—or worries without overtly asking—what is this suspicious creature called the bachelorette, and what is she really up to?

The speculation is partly fueled by the president. Obama has said he wanted a justice with "heart and empathy" who will think about "how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives." This meant he would look beyond the candidates' résumés and into the detailed personal backgrounds of their lives and choices. But it also meant the rest of us would be invited to do that, too.

This morning, Josh Gerstein of Politico reported that two of the top candidates for the SCOTUS seat, Stanford Law School's Pamela Karlan and Kathleen Sullivan, are gay. (Disclosure: Sullivan was a teacher of Dahlia's at Stanford, and Karlan is an acquaintance.) Karlan confirmed this report in an e-mail to Gerstein, writing, "It's no secret at all that I'm counted among the LGBT crowd." (Actually, if it wasn't a secret, it was at least a fact the mainstream media had thus far declined to report.) Sullivan declined to respond to an e-mail from Gerstein seeking comment for the Politico article.*

You'd think this would have cleared the air for the first free and unfettered discussion of an openly gay justice. But it merely opened the door for more doubletalk. On hearing the news about Karlan, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said he doubts President Obama will nominate a gay person to the Supreme Court, because of the possibility of a political battle: "That would enter a whole new element of the debate that I don't think he's ready for," Perkins said. He then added that his group would not discuss sexual preference, only judicial views.

Really? Wasn't Karlan's sexual preference precisely what he'd just discussed? Karlan's judicial views, after all, haven't changed since yesterday.

Rumors abound that other women on the list are lesbians, though those rumors are rarely backed by any actual reporting or proof. None of this is surprising. Think of all the single, childless women in positions of prominence who have been "rumored to be gay." Janet Reno, Harriet Miers, and Condoleezza Rice, for starters. The very much married Hillary Clinton is practically the only one who can proudly, casually say that she marches in Gay Pride parades, although rumors that she was a lesbian have dogged her, too, for decades.

Sometimes the code for gay gets sloppy and transparent. The Christian Coalition described Elena Kagan, former dean of Harvard Law School and U.S. solicitor general, as "extremely dangerous to America." Although she has taken pains to welcome conservatives onto campus, Kagan is targeted by the right for being "gay friendly" because she took sides in a Supreme Court case in which several law schools objected to the military's policy on gay servicemen and servicewomen.

Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and another short-lister, has many times answered questions from Rush Limbaugh and reporters about whether she is gay. Again, nobody has offered any proof, except that she is unmarried. Which seems to make everyone think: lonely, misfit, or lesbian. Ed Rendell, head of the National Governor's Association, once said about Napolitano, "Janet's perfect for that job. Because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19 to 20 hours a day to it." So to lonely and lesbian add "no life."

Sonia Sotomayor, the Bronx judge at the top of most shortlists, was briefly married in college and never had children. In his woefully under-reported "The Case Against Sotomayor," the New Republic's Jeffrey Rosen quotes an anonymous source alleging that she is a "bully" and "not all that smart." Also included in this damning portrait: "Her former clerks report that because Sotomayor is divorced and has no children, her clerks become like her extended family—working late with her, visiting her apartment once a month for card games (where she remembers their favorite drinks), and taking a field trip together to the premier [sic] of a Harry Potter movie."

Do you think Justice Scalia, with his devoted wife and abundant extended family, takes his clerks to see Harry Potter? Or even La Traviata? A woman who surrounds herself with young, paid employees late into the night has a faint air of scandal and desperation about her or, at the very least, of being something short of a fully realized woman. Both Rice and Miers were perennially sent up for being, improbably, too in love with George Bush ever to commit to anyone else.

That we can't speak openly about whether some of the women who have earned consideration for the Supreme Court are gay or not, and whether it even matters, is, of course, maddening. We'd hoped that New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, with his pathetic "coming out" press conference five years ago, would be the last remaining public official in the closet. But, alas, no. Maybe Tony Perkins is right, and Obama is "not ready" to nominate a gay person. To which we ask, what will it take? The first gay president?

Another question raised by the predominance of unmarried women on the short list: What kind of woman does it take to get there? Several years ago, some conservative women economists set out to prove that the wage gap between men and women was a myth. Anita Hattiangadi, then of the Employment Policy Foundation, concluded that if you compare men and women of "comparable worth," the wage gap virtually disappears. So what does "comparable worth" mean? It means the same education, experience, and life circumstances. Thus, Hattiangadi found that among full-time workers age 21 to 35 who live alone, the pay gap between men and women disappears. The only significant pay gap, she found, was between married men and married women.

Hattiangadi intended these findings to finally bust the "myth" of the pay gap, but, of course, they just clarified the real problem: Men and women are not very often in comparable circumstances. When they get married and have children, women's pay shrinks. That means the only women who can keep up with men are the ones who work very hard, and they are often divorced or unmarried and childless. Thus, as we ponder a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, it's hardly a surprise that the current short list is dominated by such women. And so the list is a Catch-22: The choices a woman may make to achieve stunning legal success are the same ones that may also someday preclude her from a Supreme Court confirmation.

Attack On Sotomayor's Political Ties Ignores Roberts' Link To Bush
By The Huffington Post News Team 

Roberts also donated $1000 to the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign and started his career in a Republican administration, as special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General William French Smith during the Reagan years. .... So how does Scalia get off without impeachment, when he delcared Duhbya President, and that correctly apply the laws of Florida regarding recounting votes would deny "President Bush" equal representation under the law, - before the Supreme Court had even ...
The Huffington Post | Full News Feed -

A new line of attack against Judge Sonia Sotomayor holds that the Supreme Court nominee lacks impartiality because she has been a public supporter of President Barack Obama.

But Sotomayor is not the only nominee to the court who has publicly supported a sitting president. The conservatives criticizing Sotomayor seem to have forgotten Chief Justice John Roberts' close association with President George W. Bush.

Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics & Public Policy Center and one of Sotomayor's fiercest critics, declared in a post on The National Review last week that the Supreme Court nominee lacked the judicial objectivity for the job.

"In a speech that she delivered to the Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Assocation on April 17, 2009 -- two weeks before news of the Souter vacancy broke -- Judge Sotomayor made a number of references to President Obama that seem surprisingly and disturbingly partisan coming from a sitting federal judge," wrote Whelan. "Canon 2 of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges provides that a judge 'should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.' Sotomayor's public cheerleading for Obama seems clearly to violate that ethical obligation."

Among the series of hits on Sotomayor, this one seems likely to fall in the category of throwing mud against the wall and seeing what sticks. After all, if impartiality and ethics obligations on the court are Whelan's chief concern, he would have howled in protest to Roberts' pre-Supreme Court resume.

The current chief justice and pride of the conservative judicial movement was a member of Lawyers for Bush-Cheney, DC Lawyers for Bush-Quayle '88, and the Republican Lawyers Association -- an organization affiliated with the RNC. Roberts also donated $1,000 to the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign and started his career in a Republican administration, as special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General William French Smith during the Reagan years. The most serious charge of overt partisanship, though one never established, was that Roberts informally advised then Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in his handling of the Florida recount effort during the 2000 election.

Reviewing this record for a host of publications during Roberts' confirmation battle in 2005, Whelan focused not on the political ties, but on the history of "judicial constraint." At one point he joked about his own gushing over Roberts' record, posting a joking article on the National Review titled"John Roberts Is A Saint" - a reference to the actual, Welshman St. John Roberts.

Oxdown Gazette » Conservative Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito ...
By Scarecrow 
After Scalia went duck hunting with Dick Cheney while the question of Cheney's energy task force was before the Court, you knew how he was going to vote. At the time he said he should be allowed to be the judge of his own conflicts of interest. ... Once they were not impeached for Bush v. Gore, anything was possible. So why be surprised when the practical becomes actual? Reply. macaquerman June 8th, 2009 at 11:52 am. 7. If your going to print shit like your Shorter ...
Firedoglake -

White Male Entitlement and Sonia Sotomayor: The Hypocrisy is So Blatant, It is Blinding

By Mark Karlin

The white male entitlement pushback on the Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination is so brazenly hypocritical it is blinding.

Certainly, the corporate mainstream media is taken in by it, because the likes of the New York Times can't stop printing "truthiness" stories that are just toned down, right-wing "attack" message points on Sotomayor (we counted 5 in one day just a short time ago).

When you distill the ferocity of the GOP assault on Sotomayor, it comes down to one furious objection: she's not a white male.

Over the years, BuzzFlash has repeated that the most basic emotional driving force of the Limbaugh/Rove/O'Reilly/Hannity wing of the culture wars is the desire of the white male to return to the throne of power that existed prior to the civil rights and feminist empowerment movements of the '60 and '70s -- and the GLBT equal rights campaigns that emerged full force in the '80s.

Fundamentally, white males are still mad as Hell that they were forced to share power in the name of equality guaranteed under the Constitution -- otherwise known as the law.  They don't like it, not one bit, and any male worth his AK-47 knows that a John Wayne American male doesn't give up power without a fight. So, it has been, ironically, their wet dream to pack the federal courts with partisan "activist" judges who will remake the laws -- in essence rewrite the Constitution -- to favor white males.

Despite hardened cynicism developed under 8 years of Bush, BuzzFlash has watched aghast as the mainstream media has given voice to groundless accusations against Sotomayor and even egged them on, providing completely irrelevant or misleading "leads" to the right-wing echo chamber.

From guns to abortion doctors gunned down, from draconian anti-immigration proposals to bills that limit voting rights, from xenophobic hate of non-white, non-Christian religions to the opposition to Sotomayor, it is all fueled by the white male RE-empowerment movement.

Not that having 8 of 9 male members on the Supreme Court should be considered anything but a white male juggernaut of high court control (we count Clarence Thomas as white, since he is pretty much the hand puppet of Scalia when it comes to voting), but clearly 7 of 9 (once Sotomayor is seated) is the straw that will break the camel's back to the mindset of the Neo-Confederates who yearn for the days when the male plantation owner could piously attend church, go rape one of his slaves, and then eat dinner seated at the head of the table as his wife and children obediently listened to him opine on the abolitionist heretics of the North.

The middle and working class white male, even in the North, became heirs to this mindset as they saw their wives go off to work, become sexually emancipated, divorce them -- and worse yet found themselves working with and for women and people of color and different ethnic backgrounds. And there was all that homophobic fear rising in up in them as gays threatened their sexual and psychological mindset.

Pity the white male: he no longer could rely on his gender and color to automatically be entitled to obtain power; he now had to compete for it based on merit.

That is why so many white males and Christian females who accept the patriarchal system were thrilled with Bush.  Unless Obama utterly fails -- which the Limbaugh-led winger white males are hoping and working for -- Bush may be the last white male president (albeit illegitimately and revealing selected -- not elected -- by the Supreme Court Sotomayor will sit on) who achieved his position in life almost 100% on white male entitlement, because it certainly wasn't on merit.  If George W. Bush had to compete in the world on his capabilities, he would have been lucky to hold down a job as a Wal-Mart greeter.

So, as the ceaseless chatter about Sotomayor crowds our current mass media (who are further proving their lack of contemporary value by wasting time chasing down and regurgitating stories such as the nuances between Newt Gingrich calling Sotomayor a "racist" or a "racialist") and continues unabated, while the U.S. confronts serious, real challenges on all fronts, let's remember the most basic driving force behind this: right-wing white males are mad as Hell and aren't going take power sharing anymore.

That also explains, in large part, all the attention given to Dick Cheney's ongoing Torture Pushback Tour, as if he were currently running against Barack Obama for President.  Cheney's media blitz emergence from his bat cave after he left office as Vice-President (but President in charge of foreign policy) could, to a great degree, be called: "The White Man Fights Back Against the First Black President: It's my Country, and I'll Torture Those Dark Skinned Men if I Want to."

Dear me, how it reminds one of the old days on the Southern Plantation, when slaves could be whipped, tortured and hung up like dried fruit at will.

Those were the glory days of white male entitlement -- when they didn't have to share power with another living soul -- weren't they?

It's 2009, and it's baffling as to why this nation is still fighting a Civil War (AKA culture wars) that was resolved in favor of equality, justice, and Constitutional rights more than 140 years ago.

Apparently, the very powerful white males who run the GOP, our corporate press, and our elite financial markets haven't gotten the message yet that they lost the war -- or maybe they've just never accepted the terms of surrender after all. 

O'Reilly And Fox News Will Have More Right-Wing Vigilantism To Explain

June 09, 2009 8:42 Am ET

If Fox News is going to continue to traffic in hateful rhetoric, then folks at Fox News, as well as their apologists in the GOP Noise Machine, are going to have to come up with better talking points to spin away the atmosphere of vigilantism fomented by their words and actions.

They need a better line of defense because the one they trotted out in the wake of the right-wing assassination of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was wholly unconvincing.

It was just as feeble as the defense Fox News' Glenn Beck tried to employ in May to distance himself from the accused right-wing cop killer in Pittsburgh who seemed to mimic Beck's language about how President Obama was coming to take away everyone's guns.

The Fox News crew is going to need better talking points because I fear the violence -- the bouts of right-wing domestic terrorism -- are likely to continue. As long as Fox News and the Noise Machine refuse to back off the incendiary language that they're actively mainstreaming, the political violence, visible just months into Obama's historic first term, may have only begun.

Note that during a jailhouse interview, Tiller's suspected killer claimed that similar assassination plots against abortion providers are already being planned.

And please note what you did not hear from virtually anyone on the far right who addressed the Tiller story last week. Yes, they tried furiously to distance Bill O'Reilly from the controversy or suggest there was nothing problematic with the "baby killer" rhetoric he used. But what you did not hear was anyone condemn, or even take issue with, O'Reilly's on-air crusade.

Why the silence? Because militia-style vigilante rhetoric has become a cornerstone of the conservative media movement in America, and it's now proudly championed by Fox News on a nearly hourly basis.

The fact is, I couldn't find a single prominent voice within the GOP Noise Machine who even hinted that O'Reilly's relentless attacks on Tiller were in any way off the mark or, in light of the vigilante Kansas church killing, needed to be reconsidered, that they should have been dialed down. And that's why the ugliness has only begun.

The unconvincing right-wing defense in the wake of the Tiller assassination last week was twofold, with the second layer even thinner than the first. The first was that when conservatives were hounding and demonizing Tiller for years, they were merely debating the issue of abortion. And surely nobody in America opposes a healthy debate, right? Nobody opposes "sharp political disagreement," as Michelle Malkin sugarcoated the Tiller attack, right?

Second, Noise Machine leaders claimed that liberal commentators do exactly what O'Reilly and Beck have been accused of: using violent political hate language that puts people's lives in danger. That claim has been made over and over, yet conservatives can't actually produce any proof -- can't find any hateful liberal quotes -- to buttress the claim.

That's because both talking points are complete fabrications.

First, the idea that O'Reilly and company simply debated Tiller's work is laughable. O'Reilly's never been interested in any kind of back-and-forth about the abortion issue. He just rants and demonizes the other side. And in the case of Tiller, O'Reilly portrayed him as a lawless executioner. As Mary Alice Carr, vice president of communications for NARAL Pro-Choice New York, wrote in a recent op-ed for The Washington Post, "O'Reilly knew that people wanted Tiller dead, and he knew full well that many of those people were avid viewers of his show. Still, he fanned the flames."

And besides, if O'Reilly had merely been debating abortion -- if he had said nothing about Tiller that was regrettable or out of line -- why did O'Reilly at least twice last week falsely claim that he'd never called the doctor a "baby killer"?

Still, according to Brent Bozell's NewsBusters, O'Reilly had simply "spoke[n] critically of Tiller's abortionist practices" and merely "used harsh words to describe Tiller."

Decide for yourself. Since FNC defenders often refuse to reprint O'Reilly's quotes, here's an unvarnished look at what he said about Tiller; here's what he said before an anti-abortion zealot assassinated Tiller and then claimed his actions were justified:

  • "In the state of Kansas, there is a doctor, George Tiller, who will execute babies for $5,000."
  • "For $5,000, 'Tiller the Baby Killer' -- as some call him -- will perform a late-term abortion for just about any reason."
  • "Tiller has killed thousands, thousands of late-term fetuses without explanation."
  • "No question, Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands."
  • " 'Tiller the Baby Killer' out in Kansas, acquitted, acquitted today of murdering babies."
  • "This guy will kill your baby for $5,000, any reason. Any reason."
  • "If we allow Dr. George Tiller and his acolytes to continue, we can no longer pass judgment on any behavior by anybody."
  • "If we allow this, America will no longer be a noble nation."

As for the Noise Machine's fallback position, it's that liberal commentators do exactly what O'Reilly and Beck have been accused of: trafficking in hateful rhetoric that endangers innocent people.

Making the charge at NewsBusters, Noel Sheppard claimed:

[A]s [Keith] Olbermann and his ilk on MSNBC and throughout the liberal blogosphere routinely referred to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney as murderers, would they have been responsible if someone had assassinated either of these former White House members?

Sheppard was sure that Olbermann had called Bush and Cheney murderers. He was sure Olbermann's references to the POTUS and VP were "equally provocative" as O'Reilly's references to Tiller.

Except, of course, Sheppard failed to produce a single Olbermann quote that even comes close to the seething, unhinged hate rants that O'Reilly unfurled for years against Tiller. Meaning, there is no comparison between what O'Reilly said about Tiller and what Olbermann has said about Bush and Cheney. Yet this entire right-wing defense hinges on the idea that the language was identical. That there's a moral equivalence.

Desperate to move the spotlight away from O'Reilly's irresponsible actions, conservatives last week tried to claim that liberal pundits might be responsible for the killing of a military recruiter in Arkansas who was gunned down by a Muslim convert trying to send a political message. Why the liberal pundits? Because they had created a dangerous anti-military atmosphere.

Beck made that very claim on his radio show [emphasis added]:

BECK: Well, let me ask you this. I had to really search the news long and hard to find out about the two recruiters -- the two soldiers that had been killed by the Muslim convert, that were gunned down in Arkansas. I had to really look hard for that. Is anybody asking is Keith Olbermann responsible for the death of those two soldiers? Keith Olbermann has railed against recruiters. Keith Olbermann has railed against the baby killers that our U.S. soldiers are. He's railed against this war. MSNBC was right all over the story about how our troops are torturing and killing innocents. Has anybody asked if he's responsible?

Slight problem. Neither Beck nor anyone else on the right last week could find any hateful, violent anti-recruiter attacks launched by liberal media personalities. (Let alone baby-killing quotes.) Why can't they find the rhetoric? Because nobody on the left with any sort of national platform has targeted military recruiters in recent years. If they had, Malkin would have included the damning quotes in her column. (Either that, or she needs to hire a new researcher.)

Have there been, over the years, occasional efforts on the left to ban military recruiters from campuses and other environments? There certainly have. Can conservatives point to any kind of wholesale hate rhetoric or vigilante-style calls to action by mainstream liberal pundits and commentators designed to dehumanize and demonize military recruiters? Of course they cannot. (And sorry, Code Pink demonstrations don't qualify as mainstream media commentators.) Because if conservatives could have found those kinds of irresponsible attacks, they would have thrown them back in everyone's faces last week.

But apparently, they don't exist.

As far as I know, there are no gotcha, hateful, get-the-recruiter quotes to hang around the necks of Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow or anyone else on the left for the simple reason that high-profile media liberals haven't led dangerous crusades to target military recruiters the way O'Reilly led a dangerous crusade against Tiller. And the way Beck has against Obama.

As a rule, media liberals don't traffic in irresponsible, militia-style rhetoric. But agitators like O'Reilly and Beck do, and now conservatives can't make that fact go away.

That's why the Fox News crew and its eager apologists are going to have to come up with a better line of defense. Because as long as Fox News peddles its incendiary vigilante rhetoric, the right-wing violence in America will continue, and Fox News is going to have to answer for it.


Don’t Discount Israel Pre-Emptive Strike, Hillary Clinton Warns Iran

Hillary Clinton refused yesterday to rule out a pre-emptive Israeli military strike on Iran. It was the first time that a senior member of the Obama Administration had openly discussed such a possibility.

The US Secretary Of State, speaking a few days before elections in Iran that will determine the fate of President Ahmadinejad, also warned that the country would face retaliation if it launched a nuclear attack on Israel.

As President Obama extends “an open hand”, seeking direct talks with Tehran in his attempt to halt its nuclear program, Mrs. Clinton appeared ready to unnerve the Iranian leadership with talk of a pre-emptive strike “the way that we did attack Iraq”. She said that she was trying to put herself in the shoes of the Iranian leadership, but added that Tehran “might have some other enemies that would do that [deliver a pre-emptive strike] to them”. It was a clear reference to Israel, where Binyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, has talked about the possibility of military action to halt Iran’s nuclear program — something he views as a threat to the Jewish state.

Mrs. Clinton, interviewed on the ABC program This Week a year after she conceded to Mr. Obama in the Democratic primary race, said that it was US policy that a nuclear attack by Iran on Israel would be seen as an attack on the US.

“I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that were Israel to suffer a nuclear attack by Iran, there would be retaliation,” she said, though she did not spell out who would retaliate. She was responding to a question about her statement as a presidential candidate last year, when she said Iran would “incur massive retaliation from the United States” if it attacked Israel.

Yesterday she said: “Part of what we have to make clear to the Iranians is that their pursuit of nuclear weapons will actually trigger greater insecurity.” She noted that Israel and Arab states were “deeply concerned about Iran having nuclear weapons”.

She added: “So, does Iran want to face a battery of nuclear countries?” 

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