Senate GOP Crosses Its Arms and Pouts

According to Politico, Senate Republicans won’t be engaging in too much badmouthing of Obama’s Supreme Court pick:

GOP officials say they realize the party needs to improve its standing among Hispanic voters in order to have any hope of winning a national election, and they admit that trashing the first Latina nominee to the court could cement stereotypes or further alienate minorities.

This reality limits Republicans’ options dramatically and virtually guarantees they would be called racists if they said anything that smacks of being out of bounds about such a qualified nominee.

The problem is, they (or at least the conservative pundits who fuel their fire) have already said things that “smack of being out of bounds”. Ridiculous and offensive assertions abound in the Right’s treatment of this pick, not just since it was announced, but since Souter announced his retirement. They need to do more than surrender a few fights if they want to repair their image with demographic groups they’ve been disrespecting for years.

Oh Bernie.

The big news story for the day is of course Bernie Madoff’s trial. I think the anger and vitriol directed at him by his victims is somewhat grotesque. They’re perfectly justified in being upset, of course he deserves the punishment he’s going to get, but the victims should really direct their ire at themselves. It is just plain stupid investing to neglect diversification, no matter how seemingly secure and lucrative. And really, these people made millions of dollars somehow. You would think they would know what to do with it. While it’s sure to be a controversial assertion, I would even suggest that perhaps the victims even deserved to lose their money.

Madoff deserves to go to jail. He blatantly and knowingly stole millions of dollars. But the fact that he acknowledged his crime during testimony today, acknowledged his wrongdoing and laid the truth bare before the agents of justice, that made me respect him a little bit more. He expressed remorse, in what seemed to me to be quite honest language. He gave the reason for his monster Ponzi scheme as a driving desire to meet the expectations of his investors. Is that not something we can all understand? A desire to meet the expectations of those who put trust in us? I feel slightly sorry for him. And yet he deserves the punishment he will get, there is no question.

I don’t really have a point, except that we should avoid thoughtlessly assimillating the victims’ anger, and exercise compassion for all parties involved. Criminals are people too.

Snarky Commentary on the News: 1-15-09

  1. Apparently a plane crashed in New York Harbour. I mean, I know it’s evocative of September 11th, but c’mon. It wasn’t even that slow a news day! Glad everyone’s safe, but really, it’s not that big a deal. And why is no one lamenting the lives of the geese that the plain thoughtlessly ran into? Heartless anthropocentrists. Also, who’s reminded of Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?
  2. Israel bombed UN headquarters in Gaza. I’m sure that’s going to make their citizens safer. They also killed the Minister of the Interior of the Hamas government today. I suppose that’s good, because at least it provides lower-level Hamas members with more room for career advancement than many American workers have.
  3. It’s marginally perplexing to me that Natalie Dylan‘s breasts look enormous in one picture, and teensy in another. Also, I think it’s a double-testament to our country’s ridiculous and sickening attitude toward sex, that A) having sex with a virgin is so appealing that people offer millions of dollars for her, and B) someone so (purportedly) sexually inexperienced is interested in selling her body in such a way. I mean, she’s the same age as me, and it’s clearly lucrative for her, but seriously; it just smells rather self-exploitative to me.
  4. Eric Holder believes that “waterboarding is torture“. Um…duh? The fact that this is so obvious reminds me how disgusting our country is for letting people get away with crimes against humanity.
  5. Does Sarah Palin remind anyone else of Cruella de Vil?

That is all.