Adam Serwer

Dept Of Unnecessary Ledes

Yesterday Radley Balko tweeted this article on another case involving citizens' facing consequences for recording the police. You have to love what they thought was important enough to put right at the top of the piece:

A former stripper, who secretly recorded two Chicago Police Internal Affairs investigators while filing a sexual harassment complaint against another officer was acquitted on eavesdropping charges Wednesday.

Freedom For Some, Ctd

Conor Friedersdorf, in a very gracious and charitable critique thinks my priorities, as a liberal with some libertarianish views, are skewed with regards to Ron Paul:


Alabama business community not so enamored of restrictionism.

KBR demanding millions from Jamie Lee Jones.

The MEK has lots of friends in high places.

Picking on Eric Schneiderman.

The Nice Guy And The Manic Pixie Dream Girl

This is a bit off topic, but it's my blog and my last week here so bear with me. I recently watched The Adjustment Bureau, a sort of sci-fi romance where the world is regularly nudged away from extinction by a covert bureaucracy of otherwordly chaperones who dress like 1950s pulp detectives.

Q&A: Local Law Enforcement And Domestic Surveillance

Earlier today, the AP reported on a massive domestic intelligence gathering operation run by the NYPD. I spoke with the Brennan Center's Faiza Patel, author of the center's report on domestic surveillance, about the implications of local law enforcement engaging in intelligence gathering for counterterrorism purposes and the differences between the FBI and NYPD's legal authorities and accountability mechanisms. The following transcript has been edited slightly for clarity.

What did the NYPD do that technically the FBI doesn’t think it’s allowed to do?

Domestic Surveillance, NYPD Style

The Associated Press has an astounding story on the depth of a domestic surveillance effort conducted by the NYPD, and the possibility that it goes beyond the permissive FBI guidelines that have themselves drawn criticism from civil-liberties advocates. Freedom from the kind of oversight required at the federal level (think about that!), the NYPD, with its far more diverse roster, engaged in an expansive intelligence-gathering operation in local Muslim communities. The NYPD also had some assistance from the CIA in constructing the program, which is in and of itself disturbing since that agency is not legally allowed to spy on American citizens.


What Obama could have done differently.

Earthquake gives the National Cathedral a "boo boo."

More on The Help.

Perry makes Bachmann obsolete.

Perry's Very Limited Immigration Moderation

Texas Governor Rick Perry defines what now counts as being "moderate" on immigration policy in the Republican Party--making it so that only those undocumented immigrants willing to serve in the military would be eligible for citizenship.

"I think there is a path to citizenship for those young men and women who have served their country," Perry said in response to a question from NachoFiesta blogger Sean Quinn. "That is a very unique set of individuals, and different than folks who have come here illegally and not given back in that particular way."

Did Romney "Flip-Flop" On Federal Trials For Terrorists?

Jonathan Capeheart has an amusing post on Mitt Romney's call for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, to be tried in the U.S., noting that Romney had previously called for military commissions for all suspected terrorists. Romney, as Zaid Jilani first noted at ThinkProgress, said that "We would try him here and see that justice is done."

Gun Rights And Civil Rights

Responding to Jeffrey Toobin's profile of Clarence and Virginia Thomas, Jonathan Blanks shoots down the idea that gun rights and civil rights are unrelated issues. Toobin wrote that "Thomas finds a racial angle on a broad array of issues, including those which appear to be scarcely related to traditional civil rights, like campaign finance or gun control."

It's Not Amnesty

Republicans have seized on the administration's shift on deportations -- nominally the same policy they've always had but one that's beginning to be reflected in what they're actually doing -- to argue that the administration is instituting "amnesty."

Sharia In Libya

While the conflict in Libya really isn't over yet despite yesterday's euphoria over rebel gains, some conservatives are already freaking out over the fact that the draft constitution states “Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).”


Will Clarence and Virginia Thomas succeed in killing Obama’s health-care plan?

PETA sucks.

If this kind of thing started happening with the economy Obama might keep his job.

NYC is having lots of same-sex marriages.