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Authors of Bush torture memos to be cleared of misconduct

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The men who advised former President Bush to waterboard detainees and deprive them of sleep will be cleared of charges of professional misconduct by a Justice Department ethics report.

The report, which has yet to be released, states that Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor, showed “poor judgment,” but will not face legal action for their advocacy of harsh interrogation tactics.

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Previously, the probe concluded that the two men violated professional obligations, meaning Yoo could be barred from practicing law and Bybee could be impeached.

Now, not so much.

The torture memos of Bybee and Yoo, officials in the Bush Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, outraged civil liberties groups and Democrats because they protected CIA interrogators from legal consequences for torture.

The winds began to turn for Yoo when attorneys with the Obama administration filed a brief arguing against prosecution. The brief states that because Yoo was giving advice to the president on a national security matter, Yoo should not be held accountable for his actions as it would have a chilling effect on advice provided to future presidents.

Shortly after the release of the memos in March 2009, constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann that the memos “provide the very definition of tyranny.”

“These memos include everything that a petty despot would want,” Turley said.

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Dr Birx proves that no amount of gushing compliments can compensate for even a little bit of honesty with Trump: op-ed

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One of President Trump's top infectious disease experts, Dr. Deborah Birx, is known for avoiding Trump's wrath, but that changed when she recently decided to speak frankly on the growing spread of coronavirus across the country. While Trump walked back his public criticism of her, the dust shows that no amount of "gushing compliments or massaging statistics can compensate for even a little bit of honesty with this man," the Washington Post's Molly Roberts writes.

While Birx appeared to be in control of the facts when she first emerged as a figure on the coronavirus task force, she soon became someone Democrats couldn't trust.

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‘Malignant’ GOP voters will keep backing ‘dumber and angrier’ candidates no matter what happens in November: Conservative

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Even if the Republican Party suffers crippling losses in November's election, that won't solve the problem of the "malignant Republican voter."

President Donald Trump's conservative opponents have been publicly debating whether the GOP deserves to survive, but The Week columnist Damon Linker says reducing the party to cinders and ash won't root out the party's rotten core.

"The head of the party is a corrupt and malicious imbecile," Linker wrote. "Republicans in Congress are a mix of Trump enablers, obstructionist-demagogues out to maximize the wealth of their donors, know-nothing conspiracist loons, and a few reformers experimenting with the most politically palatable way to blend nationalism with socialism. All of them are primarily motivated by the drive toward self-promotion within the right-wing media complex. And when we move further down the Republican hierarchy to the state and local level, things only get worse."

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2020 Election

‘Survival of organized human society’ at risk: New campaign rallies progressives to vote Trump out

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"As progressives and leftists, we are not going to minimize our disagreements with Joe Biden. But we're also clear-eyed about where things stand. We have a moral responsibility to defeat Trump."

With the goal of boosting progressive voter turnout in swing states that could play a decisive role in November, advocacy group RootsAction.org on Wednesday launched a grassroots campaign aiming to prevent another disastrous four years of President Donald Trump's "war on truth, on decency, on our planet, and on working people."

Organizers of the new "Vote Trump Out" initiative argue that while progressives have major substantive differences with Joe Biden on a number of key issues, "supporting the Democratic nominee in swing states is the only means we have to defeat Trump."

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