The Spectacle Blog

Iran Talk and the New Dark Age

By on 1.18.06 | 3:39PM

The cold war with Iran is a quarter century old and moving toward a crisis. A crisis, says the wag, is when there are no good options, and that describes the threat of the violent, ruthless, hallucinatory Iran under the priest craft of the mullahs and the non-rational talk of Ahmadinejad and his IRGC cabal. No good options. The crash of nation states ahead is as inevitable as fission. Meanwhile the EU shivers and feigns. The United States State Department is a pitiable schoolmarm. The United Nations is a fiction dreamed up by Cervantes.

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America’s Future Foundation

By on 1.18.06 | 3:18PM

For those in the Beltway, I just got word that America's Future Foundation, a group of young conservative/libertarian professionals, will be having a panel discussion this evening.

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Re: A Democratic Call

By on 1.18.06 | 10:58AM

Paul: Yes, that "no play" offsides was equally bizarre. A couple Colts defenders jumped across and immediately pointed at a Pittsburgh lineman as the culprit who drew them offsides. Only in super slo-mo replay could one detect an ever so slight twitch by that lineman beforehand. But to the normal eye it sure appeared that the Colts culprits were simply trying to provoke a call against Pittsburgh -- an easier way to get a team to lose yardage than stopping them on fourth and inches. Unable to decide what happened, the referees pretended nothing had. As head referee, Morelli deserves the blame here too. The final call was his, ultimately. You can safely say he calls them as he sees or doesn't see them!

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Big Story with John Gibson

By on 1.18.06 | 9:52AM

I'll be on this evening (about 5 pm EST) with John to talk about Iran and the coming UN kabuki dance on sanctions. Hope you can catch it.

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Re: A Democratic Call

By on 1.18.06 | 8:55AM

Wlady: Didn’t that same game also involve a bizarre ruling from the officials where they called a “no play” after what was clearly an off-sides on either Indy or Pittsburgh? Clearly one of the teams was guilty – either the defense was off-sides, or the offense had drawn them off-sides. The officials (not sure if it was Morelli) called “no play,” which I don’t recall ever seeing before in such a situation. Maybe they could have explained it better by citing “the evolving standards of penalty that mark the progress of a maturing sports league …”

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Federalism and Assisted Suicide

By on 1.18.06 | 6:30AM

Do I think that the CSA regulations at issue in Oregon are unconstitutional under the Commerce clause? Yes, I do, and I bet that Justice Thomas would agree. But Thomas didn't concur in the judgment on those grounds -- and rightly so. Bill Ardolino reminds me that I wrote about this in a comment I left on INDCJournal in October:

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A Democratic Call

By on 1.18.06 | 12:51AM

Here's someone I bet you never see again referring an important NFL playoff game. Pete Morelli was the genius last Sunday who on review reversed an unmistakeable interception by Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu, giving the Indianapolis Colts undeserved new life late in a game they otherwise would have lost right there.

But never fear -- Morelli has all the makings of a Democratic appointee to a federal court. The founding fathers of the NFL's challenge procedures, not to mention common law, established that no call can be overturned without "indisputable visual evidence" that the initial call was incorrect. So what did Morelli do? He not only ignored that basic understanding and common practice, but wrote new law out of whole cloth, claiming Polamalu failed to intercept if his knee remained on the ground when he subsequently fumbled after having clearly caught the ball.

Too bad for Morelli that the NFL's Supremes promptly overruled him on Monday. Would that Antonin Scalia had their clout.

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Re: Federalism

By on 1.17.06 | 7:36PM

Dave: I think it'd be best to wait until tomorrow, when I'll have a column on the case posted, to get into that.

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