* James Wolcott on why Democrats should be ashamed of the job they have done selling health care reform. Relatedly, many thanks to whichever reader recommended reading The Rubicon. The book uses Rome to splendidly illustrate, among many other things, how showmanship cannot be separated from Democratic politics. The book also illustrates why the old and painfully true mantra Democrats fear losing, Republicans are afraid of looking weak is a double loser for Democrats.
* Wherein I reference Glenn Greenwald referencing me on why Eric Holder’s apparent decision to limit torture investigations to an abu Ghraib redux will most likely turn out worse than doing nothing. It will surely dissuade future torture regimes to know that they will need a secret legal memo before they can drown freezing, naked prisoners, threaten their children to extract confessions and (if, as AG Gonzales helpfully pointed out, the President deems it necessary) beat them to death. Note that the memo need not be ‘legal’ in the sense of making one goddamn iota of legal sense. Also note that the memo can apparently be written after the fact.