This may be a great idea in an ivory-tower academic sort of way, but it doesn't really get at the heart of the problem. While the possibility of foreign influence over elections has been a useful talking point in the wake of <i>Citizens United</i>, I don't think most of us are primarily concerned about the possibility that China will spend billions of dollars to elect a Manchurian Candidate. I think our primary concern is that the government will become even more bought and paid for by good old American corporations like Exxon, AT&T, and Halliburton.
No one is saying there should not have been an AMT fix. The point is that with the artificial cap we had to impose on the stimulus to appease the blue dogs, we could have passed the AMT fix in just about any other bill and used the stimulus for real job-creating measures.
By the way, I doubt anyone wants to argue about semantics, but for the record: $85,000/year is enough to put you in the top 20% of households in this country. I guess if you think "upper-income" means "rich," then fine, $85,000/year isn't rich, but the majority of the middle class is unaffected by the AMT.
No one, except maybe Paul Krugman, is out there making the Keynesian case for deficit spending. It's like they assume people will just intuitively understand.
As long as Democrats continue to act like a balanced budget is an unalloyed good, even under these economic conditions, public opinion is not going to look very good for us. Democrats have accepted the frame that government spending is out of control, which means they come off as vaguely embarrassed even by something like the stimulus that they should be proud to take credit for. It's bad politics.
I'd like to see someone take a systematic look at how the poll numbers from this year measure up against other years.
It seems like we're always hearing about anti-incumbent sentiment, and yet at the end of the day, incumbents continue to win in large numbers. And I don't know how many genuine "anti-incumbent" elections we've had in this country where incumbents of BOTH parties get voted out in large numbers.
People always say they're dissatisfied with Congress in a big way, so I"m going to need more before I agree that this year's sentiment is in any way extraordinary.
Under the status quo we probably don't get to close Guantanamo OR have civilian trials for the 9/11 plotters, so I would find it hard to get overly upset if we end up trading one for the other. I think Spencer Ackerman is probably right, though, that we're not really getting Republican votes in trade, all we're getting is the minimal amount of bipartisan cover that Lindsey Graham's vote provides by itself.
The only unseemly thing about the whole process is the idea that the venue where someone gets put on trial ends up as a political bargaining chip. Political actors shouldn't be getting involved in that process. But the die was cast some time ago when Obama decided that we're going to have an ad hoc process where some terrorists get civilian trials and some get military ones. That might be the pragmatic solution, but it creates a glaring lack of a neutral principle for anyone to fall back on.
but the GOP is having a tough time persuading top-drawer candidates to run because everyone feels it is very likely this district will be redistricted away when NY loses an upstate seat after the 2010 Census.
Greenwald's larger point was that there was nothing commendable about trying KSM in civilian court as part of a larger strategy where the administration picks and chooses its forum based on where it feels it has the best chance of getting a conviction in a given case.
that the right wing gets really really super-defensive whenever anyone criticizes their golden boy. Here's the thing, conservatives: we don't like the ideology of your judges and you're probably not going to like the ideology of ours.