Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday's wash

So some claim there's a "controversy" concerning Kris Allen's win.
Did AT&T provide free phones and power-texting lessons at Allen rallies in Arkansas?
Hmmm. But here's why I think we should be cautious: 1] Sounds to me like it was local employees of AT&T who did this--it was not a corporate decision. 2] How many phones? How many texts? How many extra votes did Allen receive? Did this really tip the balance? We don't know that yet at all. Can a few phones handed out at a rally or two in one state make that much difference? I'm not yet convinced.

SOTOMAYOR UPDATE: Newt Gingrich makes a good point:
"Gingrich pointed to a line in Sotomayor's 2001 speech to a Hispanic group in Berkeley that has drawn fire from some conservatives. "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," Sotomayor said in that speech, describing how life experience can inform judicial opinions. On Wednesday, Gingrich tweeted: "Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman.' new racism is no better than old racism."

When it comes time for confirmation hearings, maybe Republicans should ask Ms. Sotomayor how anyone's life--be they black, Hispanic, white--in and of itself helps anyone understand the constitution and the law better than any other life. Could be interesting...

Further: Jonah Goldberg today gets at very well what's wrong with the Sotomayor/Obama emphasis on judges having "empathy":
"Obama and Sotomayor both assume that a firsthand understanding of the plight of the poor or the African-American or the gay or the old will automatically result in justices voting a certain (liberal) way. “I would hope,” Sotomayor said in 2001, “that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” This is not only deeply offensive, it is also nonsense on stilts. Clarence Thomas understands what it is like to be poor and black better than any justice who has ever sat on the bench. How’s that working out for liberals?...More important, who says conservatives are against judicial empathy? I, for one, am all for it. I’m for empathy for the party most deserving of justice before the Supreme Court, within the bounds of the law and Constitution. If that means siding with a poor black man, great. If that means siding with a rich white one, that’s great too. The same holds for gays and gun owners, single mothers and media conglomerates. We should all rejoice when justices fulfill their oaths and give everyone a fair hearing, even if that’s now out of fashion in the age of Obama."

And then there's Thomas Sowell, who further gets at an important point:
Much is being made of the fact that Sonia Sotomayor had to struggle to rise in the world. But stop and think. If you were going to have open-heart surgery, would you want to be operated on by a surgeon who was chosen because he had to struggle to get where he is, or by the best surgeon you could find — even if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and had every advantage that money and social position could offer? If it were you who was going to be lying on that operating table with his heart cut open, you wouldn’t give a tinker’s damn about somebody’s struggle or somebody else’s privileges. The Supreme Court of the United States is in effect operating on the heart of our nation — the Constitution and the statutes and government policies that all of us must live under."

BASEBALL DIARY: the Tigers lose to the Royals last night, 6-1. Edwin Jackson didn't pitch badly at all for the Tigers--they just got beat by the very, very good Zach Greinke of the Royals (who is now 8-1 with 0.84 ERA). No shame in that...
The Texas Rangers beat the Yankees last night, 7-3. That was a good comeback win--the Rangers were blasted the night before. It was important for Chris Davis to hit 2 home runs--perhaps he'll break out of his slump. And again, the Rangers got adequate pitching...
Meanwhile the Cubs finally broke their 8 game losing streak, beating the Pirates, 6-1 in a rain-shortened affair. All played well--but they still have a lot of work to do...

"Sen. Roland Burris was recorded on an FBI wiretap suggesting that he could write a check to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign before the ousted governor appointed Burris to the Senate."
In other words, several months ago, he all of us, members of his own party included.