Steelers Open Thread

Go Steelers! Beat the Ravens!

Tim is actually at the game with a camera, so hopefully we will have some pictures tomorrow.

*** Update ***

10-10 at the half. I think the reason so many terrible towels are flying is a commentary on the Steelers play, whch has been less than perfect.

*** Update ***

Thank God. The call from the governor came through in time.

And that is how this game really felt- a last minute stay of execution. Steelers win a squeaker, 20-19.

Kaddish, for a Monday Night Ravens Game

Prepare the first paper cup of Yuengling.

The first question:

Why is this game unlike other games?

Answer: On this game, unlike all other games, the Steelers have the opportunity to humiliate the Ravens, the true successor to the hated Cleveland Browns, before an appreciative home crowd.

Second question:

Why on this night, unlike all other nights, do we root for a total and humiliating rout, when on other nights a dignified victory will suffice?

Answer: Because the Ravens are a bunch of undisciplined criminals who can’t go five plays without some sort of foul. And because the Cowboys aren’t in our division.

Drink the first Yuengling and sing the superbowl song.


Off to enjoy the game. I would be getting pissed out of my skull enjoying the pre-game atmosphere but I had to teach.

Just Stop It

If I hear one more person state that Alito is in favor of strip searching 12 year olds, or in favor requiring women to notify their husbands if they intend to have an abortion, or in favor of racial discrimination, or whatever, I am going to blow a gasket. John Henke has already dealt with many of these bullshit attacks (as has Patterico), but they have not received enough attention.

It sure didn’t take you guys long to get your talking points disseminated, and the fact that many of you are spouting them already reminds me that as a lot, the left is as unprincipled as many in my party, and that, sadly, includes a number of the commenters here.

None of you, and I mean NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON, knows whether Judge Alito favors strip searching twelve year olds. We do, however, have some evidence that he finds it distasteful. How do we know that? Well, not from the Thinkprogress or dKos talking points (or Senator Feinstein’s notes), but from his actual opinion:

I share the Majority’s visceral dislike of the intrusive search of John Doe’s young daughter, but it is a sad fact that drug dealer’s sometimes use children to carry out their business and to avoid prosecution. I know of no legal principle that bars an officer from search a child (in a proper manner) if a warrant has been issued and the warrant is no illegal on its face.

In short, it would appear that the exact opposite is true- Judge Alito might actually find searching 12 year olds an unfavorable behavior. But what he says is that he finds no legal reason why police should be prohibited from doing so. I would tend to find this an unfavorbable behavior, and I would pressure my legislature and executives to make sure it is not happening. The Supreme Court is not there to protect rights in the abstract, they are there to determine whether rights, as outlined in the Constitution, are defended and protected. They are not there to ‘make things right.’ They are there to faithfully interpret legislation and the Constitution.

Personally, I find the case in question disgusting for a number of reasons, most of which is based up0n my opinion on the War on Drugs in general (not to mention my decidedly non-Republican position on the rights of the accused). But simply lying about Alito, making him out to be some sort of crazed misogynist intent on controlling a woman’s uterus or strip searching little girls is unfair, inaccurate, and does nothing but queer the debate.

Alito may be an unacceptable candidate. He may be a perfectly good nominee. But we should debate his judicial philosophy, not inject silly attacks on what we think he believes, or distort his dissents and his opinions into some sort of catalogue of political opinions. There is a difference between a legal opinion and a political opinion, and what Justices believe personally is irrelevant- it is how they interpret the Constitution that matters.

Failing to recognize that leads me to believe that many of you really are in favor of judicial activism- just the kind that fits your politics.

Alito Poll

Hugh Hewitt has up a blog poll (although wholly unscientific) on the Alito nomination.

Go play.

Alito on the Issues

I think it might be iteresting to have another one of our collaborative projects, and this time, we will try to establish exactly where Alito stands on the issues. We won’t run it the same way we did with the last project, but instead, what we will do is first identify a number of areas of interest, and then try to find his opinions and hash them out.

In this thread, lets try to establish which areas of interest are of importance, and then we will track down his opinions. For example, two areas of interest for me are Alito’s views on the Commerce Clause and Property Rights. Other issues might be Voting Rights, etc.

Put down your areas of concern, and we will move from there.

Why Scalito Had to be Done

So we will have our drag-out ideology battle after all. Harry Reid, among others, has expressed disappointment, but is disappointment appropriate? I don’t think it is. For one thing, Bush promised a long time ago to nominate another Scalia, so it’s not like we didn’t see it coming. For another, Bush basically had no choice.

It’s not so much the pledge itself (about which there’s some debate); Bush already had a chance to fulfill that promise and he chose Miers. The issue is that this is Bush’s last and only chance to avoid becoming a living, walking joke. In comedy they say that you play to who’s laughing, which in politics means that you know where your support is coming from and you keep them happy. A rock-solid 40% is often a better political position than a tepid 50%.

In that light it’s not an accident that Sam Alito comes right off a short list prepared by James Dobson. In the face of scandal, resignations and political embarrassments stemming from a raft of reversed decisions and withdrawn nominations, Bush is looking at a roomful of sober, stony faces peppered with a small crowd still ordering drinks and giggling. 37-38% of America supports George Bush, if recent polls can be believed, and that’s only the number not yet willing to openly disapprove of his presidency. The solid supporters certainly number considerably less than that. If Bush can’t keep those holdouts ordering drinks, management will put on the red light and toss the next guy on stage.

So gear up to fight, and god knows we’ll have a fight, but don’t blame the president for doing what he said he’d do, and what he has no choice but to do.



Tactics and the Taliban

Pretty fascinating piece on the tactics the Army is using to kill the Taliban in Afghanistan:

By that time, reinforcements from the 1st and 3rd platoons have arrived. All escape routes are blocked. The Taliban are trapped.

“The fire was extremely close,” says O’Neal, who was with a second team providing covering fire lower down the hill. “But toward the end it got dark, so we just ran to the bottom.”

As night falls, American AC-130 Specter gunships arrive to engage Taliban fighters who have also decided to make a run for it. By the end of the day, 76 Taliban bodies are counted, and another nine Taliban fighters are captured.

To this day, the men of the 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, can’t figure out what the Taliban were thinking. Were they suicidal? Why did they gather so many Taliban in one place? Did they really think they had enough men to defeat the Americans?

“They called the BBC to tell them they had taken the district headquarters,” says O’Neal. “They knew we were going to come.”

Dangerous work, that.