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Vengeance Is A Dish Best Served Lukewarm

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imageDavid Broder is afraid of terrorism prosecutions because of the INSANE MEGA VENGEANCE that’s motivating the whole shebang.

But now Obama is being lobbied by politicians and voters who want something more — the humiliation and/or punishment of those responsible for the policies of the past. They are looking for individual scalps — or, at least, careers and reputations.

Their argument is that without identifying and punishing the perpetrators, there can be no accountability — and therefore no deterrent lesson for future administrations. It is a plausible-sounding rationale, but it cloaks an unworthy desire for vengeance.

Broder demonstrates just how worthy this is by pointing out other times that people were mad about things, and how proposed solutions to those instance of outrage were bad ideas, because nothing says “I really thought about this” like convenient and inapplicable analogies. But really, the reason that this is vengeance, and such a terrible idea, is that the Bush administration followed the time-honored tradition of breaking the law in a way that was proper and well-considered, which is why we let people off for highly contrived multi-hour bank heists – after all, they discussed them at length.

But having vowed to end the practices, Obama should use all the influence of his office to stop the retroactive search for scapegoats.

This is not another Sept. 11 situation, when nearly 3,000 Americans were killed. We had to investigate the flawed performances and gaps in the system and make the necessary repairs to reduce the chances of a deadly repetition.

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The memos on torture represented a deliberate, and internally well-debated, policy decision, made in the proper places — the White House, the intelligence agencies and the Justice Department — by the proper officials.

Well, that assuages my need to yell at the heavens in a bloodthirsty rage. After all, if the people who committed a crime debated the crime among the people who were going to commit the crime at length, really, no crime was committed at all. It’s like they actually did society a favor; after all, we can always stop torturing people, but we’ll never get the chance back for respectful, considered debate.

Ergo, when I call David Broder a dickfaced soulless fuckhead shilling for the worst of “proper” society’s instincts, I do so after having consulted with literally dozens of people, having debated for hours the extent and nature of his fuckheadery as a policy matter. Fucking cockbag asshole. (This is all okay, right? Internally well-debated!)

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Pandagon

Ch-ch-changes…..

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After many years and many server changes and finally landing here at Raw Story, which has taken very good care of us, it's time to say goodbye to Pandagon. I've been blogging under this banner for ten years, after Jesse Taylor asked me to join. He, in turn, had been running this joint since he was in college. A lot has changed since then. I became a journalist, moved from Austin to New York and learned to play Dungeons & Dragons. Jesse became a lawyer and, just this past weekend, a married man.

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Pandagon

Carly Fiorina defends her lie with a whole bunch of lies

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I do like it when Republican candidates sport a resume full of corporate executive work, because it really shows the public how many fools and idiots coast into that position not on merit but on their bullshitting abilities. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and now we have Carly Fiorina, who just can't understand why her perceived underlings (voters, journalists) won't scurry away, pretending to accept her bullshit like former employees of hers had to do, lest they lost their jobs.

And so it goes that Fiorina, who could make this entire Planned Parenthood controversy go away by saying something like, "I may have misremembered the video, but I still think abortion is wrong," instead is doubling and tripling down. And every time she does, she lies more and more. She was on Meet the Press and, so enamored of the idea that she is perfect and could never do anything wrong, just went to town with the defensive posturing.

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Pandagon

Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence

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At RH Reality Check, I covered this story that I wish was getting more press, about how Marco Rubio goes back and forth between suggesting that women who get abortions are greedy monsters who get pregnant for cash:

I just think you’ve created an industry now … a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes—these centers—for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.

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