Since Rush Limbaugh attacked a law student as a "slut" and a "prostitute," Democrats have accused Republicans of being insensitive to women's rights and issues. How much clout does Limbaugh have with the GOP? Do candidates fear him? Also, the apparent defection of a high ranking Syrian official, and New York police surveillance of Muslims outside the city.
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In Washington, there's dispute about whether the US should provide air cover for Syrian dissidents being mowed down by the Army led by President Bashar al-Assad. Senators John McCain and John Kerry, a Republican and a Democrat, have opposing views. Meanwhile, a video posted on YouTube appears to show a high ranking Syrian official announcing that he has defected and joined what he calls, "the revolution of this dignified people." Liz Sly is based in Beirut, Lebanon for the Washington Post.
It's been more than a week since Rush Limbaugh called a Georgetown law student a "slut" and a "prostitute" during his radio show, after Sandra Fluke testified on Capitol Hill about the need for health insurers to provide birth control to liberate women for the work force and protect against disease. Limbaugh insists that reports of advertiser defections have been exaggerated, but liberal groups say he's taking a lot of hits. President Obama has been asked about him, and Republicans are on the defensive about their popularity with women. The top three presidential candidates have said very little, and some conservative writers have said Republicans are "afraid" of arousing Limbaugh's animosity. With an audience of 15 million devoted listeners, how much do his views and opinions reflect those of the GOP as a whole?
James Rainey, Los Angeles Times (@LATimesrainey)
John Wilson, author
Mona Charen, author and syndicated columnist (@mcharen)
Ann Stone, Republicans for Choice (@aews)
Katha Pollitt, The Nation (@KathaPollitt)
John K. Wilson
The FBI says it's trying to repair relationships with Muslims in New Jersey after reports that the New York Police have conducted surveillance on Muslims well outside the city. In the city devastated on September 11, there's broad support for preparation against another attack, but Attorney General Eric Holder has suggested the police are going too far. The Associated Press has been reporting that the NYPD has gone far afield, building databases on Muslim life for a radius of 100 or 200 miles. Adam Goldman is one of four investigative reporters who broke this story.