Here's a relevant passage on the application of bill of attainder protection
Nixon v. Administrator of General Services
Brown, Lovett, and earlier cases unquestionably gave broad and generous meaning to the constitutional protection against bills of attainder. But appellant's proposed reading is far broader still. In essence, he argues that Brown establishes that the Constitution is offended whenever a law imposes undesired consequences on an individual or on a class [p470] that is not defined at a proper level of generality. The Act in question therefore is faulted for singling out appellant, as opposed to all other Presidents or members of the Government, for disfavored treatment.
Appellant's characterization of the meaning of a bill of attainder obviously proves far too much. By arguing that an individual or defined group is attainted whenever he or it is compelled to bear burdens which the individual or group dislikes, appellant removes the anchor that ties the bill of attainder guarantee to realistic conceptions of classification and punishment. His view would cripple the very process of legislating, for any individual or group that is made the subject of adverse legislation can complain that the lawmakers could and should have defined the relevant affected class at a greater level of generality. [n31]
Furthermore, every person or group made subject to legislation which he or it finds burdensome may subjectively feel, and can complain, that he or it is being subjected to unwarranted punishment. United States v. Lovett, supra at 324 (Frankfurter, J., concurring). [n32] [p471] However expansive the prohibition against bills of attainder, it surely was not intended to serve as a variant of the equal protection doctrine, [n33] invalidating every Act of Congress or the States that legislatively burdens some persons or groups, but not all other plausible individuals. [n34] In short, while the Bill of Attainder Clause serves as an important "bulwark against tyranny," United States v. Brown, 381 U.S. at 443, it does not do so by limiting Congress to the choice of legislating for the universe, or legislating only benefits, or not legislating at all.
The legal definition of punishment mentioned in a bill of attainder refers to criminal punishment not punishment in the sense that "life isn't fair". The ban on bills of attainder was intended to secure the separation of powers ensuring that the legislative branch could never pass legislation punishing someone of a crime without trial.
U.S. v. Brown
"The Bill of Attainder Clause was intended not as a narrow, technical (and therefore soon to be outmoded) prohibition, but rather as an implementation of the separation of powers, a general safeguard against legislative exercise of the judicial function or more simply - trial by legislature."
In the case of AIG's bonuses, a bill of attainder does not apply. No one's accusing AIG's executives of committing any crime. The government is merely taxing something that is undesirable in order to prevent it much like an excise tax. This is no different than an excise tax on tobacco that "targets" tobacco farmers or a cigarette tax that "targets" smokers.
That being said, no one's forcing AIG or any of the other banks to accept federal bailout money, and the regulation that comes with it. They can give out bonuses all day long if they simply return/repay the federal funding. But when you accept funds from the federal government there are strings attached. I hope I won't have to defend that to you as well. (And FYI before you complain about "bank's didn't know about these strings, the court has consistently ruled in favor of government's right to retroactively tax)
This diary is stupid and counter productive. And I say that as a minority.
NBC isn't obligated to pick a person of color or a woman. In fact I don't think they should even use that factor as the primary basis for their selection. NBC should pick the best journalist/reporter/host or whatever to host the show.
Real diversity doesn't come from a token appointment to a high prolife position. Just like nominating Clarence Thomas doesn't make up for the GOP's Southern Strategy. Diversity comes from increasing the number of minorities and women in the media in general so that they can work themselves up through the ranks because of their own merit.
Diaries like this just re-entrenches the idea that diversity is a code word for quotas.
Caroline Maloney, Andrew Cuomo, Nita Lowry and any of the other potential appointee's don't care about people?
Also, I care about people. Should Patterson appoint me instead? I have more political experience than Caroline and more campaign experience, which is important since she'll have to run for re-election iin 2010 and 2012.
I'm not trying to bash on Mrs. Kennedy here, but if you're going to argue she's qualified, don't demean her by saying she should be appointed because she's "nice".
Those all seem like positions you get when you're rich and politically/socially connected.
I'm sure Caroline Kennedy is a likeable lady, but her biggest political achievement thus far has been endorsing Obama. Maybe I'm old fashion, but I think people should have to earn things in life. She might make a great politician someday, but there are plenty of other deserving and well qualified people in New York.
Also, I don't think a lack of political experience means you are qualified for office. The whole "well people with experience made a mistake once so maybe we should get unexperienced people next time" logic makes no sense. That's like saying "an experienced doctor made a mistake once so we should start allowing inexperienced doctors perform all the major surgeries." Um no.
I'm sorry people, I just ain't buying it. Its called balance. Just because I don't want a career politician who's lost touch with the people in office doesn't mean I want someone with no political experience in politics/campaigning representing me.