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June 17, 2008

Nothing has been learned - Paul Krugman - Op-Ed Columnist - New York Times Blog

How right-wing “logic” works, as Krugman explains:

riRe:   Nothing has been learned - Paul Krugman - Op-Ed Columnist - New York Times Blog:

Most living things are microbes; men are living things; therefore, most men are microbes.

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June 16, 2008

Re: Corporate Taxes, in Need of Reform Corporate Taxes, in Need of Reform - Brookings Institution

In the discussion of corporate tax rates in the US, it is important to look not just at the published tax rate, but also at the actual rate paid, which is considerably lower:

Re: Corporate Taxes, in Need of Reform - Brookings Institution :

The United States has the second highest corporate tax rate of the 30 countries in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But because the United States has so many generous special tax preferences for businesses, it collects the fourth lowest corporate tax revenues as a share of GDP among all OECD countries.

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June 14, 2008

News Analysis - Justices Come Under Election-Year Spotlight - News Analysis - NYTimes.com

This inflammatory comment by Scalia should be a rallying point for liberals everywhere.  It demonstrates just how nuts the right-wing has become -- he asserts, essentially, that giving people a chance to challenge their detention, will kill Americans?  Scalia is off the deep end. 

Re: News Analysis - Justices Come Under Election-Year Spotlight - News Analysis - NYTimes.com:

Thanks in no small part to Justice Antonin Scalia’s dire warning that granting Guantánamo detainees access to habeas corpus “will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed,” the Supreme Court finds itself on the verge of becoming something that it has not been for many election cycles — a campaign issue.

June 13, 2008

Administration Strategy for Detention Now in Disarray

McCain doesn't appear to know much about our Constiution.  Annotated in-line ...

Re: Administration Strategy for Detention Now in Disarray - washingtonpost.com:

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, told reporters in Boston that he had not yet read the opinion, but he expressed concerns about the rights it might impart to the people being held there. “These are ALLEGED unlawful combatants, they are not American citizens WHICH DOESN'T MATTER AS THE CONSTITUTION DOESN”T ONLY APPLY TO CITIZENS and I think we should pay attention to Justice [John] Roberts's opinion in this decision UH, NO, WE HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE RULING NOT THE MINORITY DISSAGREERS -- THAT“S HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS,” he said, referring to the chief justice's dissent. “But it is a decision that the Supreme Court has made. Now we need to move forward. As you know, I always favored closing Guantanamo Bay and I still think we ought to do that.”

So, how does McCain think we should handle alleged enemy combatants?

OK, it's been a day.  Has McCain read it now??

June 12, 2008

Re: Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Court

As the later excerpts hint, I think that the fundamental reason it failed was that the majority looked at what happened in practice and said: six years is too long for the government to fool around with new alternative methods of trying detainees and the remedy is that they need the full protection of habeus corpus since the alternative was inadequate -- if the administration had really worked to run fair trials in a timely fashion consistent either with existing military or civilian rules, this might never have happened.  Bush created the problem by trying to hold them without trial, then by creating fundamentally political show trials -- exactly the kind of thing that habeus corpus was created to avoid ... centuries ago!  The minority may whine that that there is “judicial activism” going on, but all they are doing is asserting the constitutional rights, judicial activism would have been to say how to try them or send it back for more years of uncertain delay.

In other words, the Bush administration proved exactly why habeus corpus is necessary.

(BTW, recall that the constitution doesn't say anything about whether the people held are citizens or not.)

Re: Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts:

The court declared unconstitutional a provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which, at the administration’s behest, stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions from the detainees seeking to challenge their designation as enemy combatants.
But he said that “the gravity of the separation-of-powers issues raised by these cases and the fact that these detainees have been denied meaningful access to a judicial forum for a period of years render these cases exceptional” and required the justices to decide the issue for themselves rather than incur further delay.

The majority’s conclusion was that the alternative procedure had major flaws mostly by not permitting a detainee to present evidence that might clear him of blame but was either withheld from the record of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal or was learned of subsequently. The tribunals’ own fact-finding ability was so limited as to present “considerable risk of error,” thus requiring full-fledged scrutiny on appeal, Justice Kennedy said.

June 09, 2008

FEC, media can't handle Obama jackpot

Re: FEC, media can't handle Obama jackpot:

A milestone of sorts was reached earlier this year, when Obama, the Illinois senator whose revolutionary online fundraising has overwhelmed Clinton, filed an electronic fundraising report so large it could not be processed by popular basic spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel 2003 and Lotus 1-2-3.

June 06, 2008

White House Unhappy With Former Press Secretary's Book

I'd always wondered how the conservatives came up with such bizarre readings of our Constitution:

Re: White House Unhappy With Former Press Secretary's Book | The Onion - America's Finest News Source:

White House lawyers have been advising the president based on their interpretation of the Articles of Confederation, not the Constitution


Robert F. Kennedy's Contested Legacy

Re: Robert F. Kennedy's Contested Legacy:

[Robert F. Kennedy] lamented the loss of a higher purpose for America: “The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play,” he said. “It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

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The Problem With Conservatism Is Conservatism

Re: The Problem With Conservatism Is Conservatism:

... the wide assortment of sometimes contradictory diagnoses and cures suggested by various despondent conservatives in Packer's article and elsewhere all seem to miss the central problem: The main idea that propelled the conservative movement's political success -- that replacing the government with free-market forces would make everyone better off -- simply hasn't worked in practice.
But beyond the variety of rhetorical flourishes and areas of emphasis that such [how-to-remake-conservatism] authors endorse, their policy agendas more or less remain tethered to a minimal role for government and reliance on market forces to address challenges. So most of them support some combination of tax cuts, injecting more financial incentives into the health-care system, “tort reform,” school vouchers, contracting out government activities, Social Security privatization, deregulation, and cuts in “entitlement programs” generally. Invariably, they argue that such policies will improve the lives of everyone, notwithstanding abundant evidence to the contrary.
In essence, they are selecting from the same [failed] government-bad-markets-good domestic policy menu that George W. Bush used to order up few broadly shared benefits but a great deal of unpopularity.

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3 A.M. For Feminism

Re: 3 A.M. For Feminism:

... both feminists who support Obama and those who support Clinton suggest he give a speech about women's issues similar to the one he made about race. One of the things Obama is best at is making people feel that he understands their grievances and anxieties, even if he disagrees with them about remedies. If he can reach out to working-class whites offended by affirmative action, surely he can do the same for the middle-aged women who feel wronged by their surrogate's defeat.

“I do think he could talk more about the contributions that feminism has made to this country, from pay equity to basic respect for women, and, in particular, he should acknowledge the legitimate frustrations of women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s,” says Guinier. “The way you speak to people who are in pain is to acknowledge their pain.”

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