WHAT’S OLSON NOT TELLING?
“I was not involved in the project…” Could it be that Theodore Olson, who argued Bush’s Florida recount case before the Supreme Court and is now his nominee to become Solicitor General, played as loose with the truth as Bill Clinton when he uttered those words in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee? Even Republican chairman Orrin Hatch said that possible discrepancies in Olson’s testimony about his role in the Arkansas Project, a right-wing effort to dig up dirt on the Clintons, raised “legitimate” questions. (One example: Billing records for the Arkansas Project showed payments to Olson’s law firm.) But when conservatives screamed “witchhunt,” Hatch backpedaled and said no to a Democratic request for further investigation, making it likely that Olson’s nomination will move through the full Senate.What happened to those Republicans who once argued that any lying under oath by a high-level government official deserves the most serious punishment?
Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun, was given a free speech award by the Oakland branch of PEN in recognition of his willingness, all too rare in the US media, to give a fair presentation of Palestinian views alongside his own Zionist ones. Along with that honor, his fair-mindedness also earned him death threats on an Israeli “self-hate” website, which named him as one of the five main enemies of the Jewish people and published his home address and driving instructions of how to get there. Lerner turned to the Anti-Defamation League for help–its mission is fighting “hate crimes”–but was told he didn’t qualify because he was being attacked for his political views, not his religion.