Adam Serwer


How New York is like Arizona.

Roy Edroso on the passing of American Splendor creator Harvey Pekar.

Hip-hop vs. Arizona.

Justin Elliot, from his new digs at Salon, reports that pollster Scott Rasmussen seems pretty chummy with the folks from National Review.

The NBPP Evidence Review.

A few commenters on my previous post about the Obama administration not being in office when the decision was made not to pursue a criminal case against the New Black Panther Party are arguing out that conservative outrage is over the subsequent decision, made in May, not to further pursue the civil complaint after obtaining an injunction against the individual who was holding a baton.

Section 11(b) And Why The NBPP Case Was Dropped.

Cord Jefferson thinks I haven't adequately explained why the Justice Department didn't "throw the book" at the New Black Panthers involved in the 2008 Philadelphia voter-intimidation case:

Why didn’t Justice throw the book at these clowns? It’s certainly wasn’t a case that required the time, energy and finances of the entire Civil Rights Division, but was it really a case that should have resulted in little more than a warning to not be a bad boy again?

Jan Brewer vs. Eric Holder On SB 1070.

Over the weekend Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer taunted Attorney General Eric Holder over the fact that the Justice Department lawsuit against SB 1070 didn't involve racial profiling:

"Why would they have to hesitate, after all the comments they made, and all the outrage that they made against the bill in regards to racial profiling, that it didn't show up?" Brewer told The Associated Press during a break in the National Governors Association meeting in Boston.

When Was The New Black Panther Case Downgraded?

I did an interview with New York Daily News Columnist Errol Louis about the New Black Panther Party case today and realized that there's a specific data point that has been lost in all the breathless coverage of this case and whether or not it represents a racist agenda from the Obama administration: The decision not to file a criminal case occurred before Obama was even in office.

From the testimony of Thomas Perez, head of the Civil Rights Division, before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in May:

Terrorists vs. Soccer, Ctd.

An attack on soccer fans in Uganda is being blamed on the Somali insurgent group al-Shabaab, which has ties to al-Qaeda:

NAIROBI -- Two explosions, minutes apart, tore through two venues in the Ugandan capital where crowds were watching television broadcasts of the World Cup final late Sunday, killing at least 64 and wounding scores, Ugandan police said. At least one American was killed and several wounded, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kampala.

Oscar Grant And Involuntary Manslaughter.

A number of commenters took issue with my characterization of the difference between "voluntary" and "involuntary" manslaughter in the Oscar Grant case, pointing out that "reasonableness" is not a word used in the California penal code to distinguish one from the other.

192. Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is of three kinds:

(a) Voluntary—upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.


Tim Fernholz on the morality of strategic defaulting.

Recess appointments for my spouse, but not for thee.

NOM thinks Obama flubbed the DOMA lawsuit on purpose.

Johannes Mehserle writes about his remorse in killing Oscar Grant.

Who Got Rowdy In Oakland Last Night?

From Julianne Hing's twitter feed:

Batts told reporters at a 10:30 p.m. news briefing that about 50 people were arrested, though he expected that number to double before the night was over. Oakland police officials later confirmed the total number stood at 78 arrests — with about 75 percent of those taken into custody coming from outside Oakland.

The Rich Aren't Like You And Me...

They don't pay their mortgages:

Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population.

More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.

No Blog For You!

Spencer Ackerman got in a fight with the Soup Nazi. No really, the Soup Nazi. Apparently the actor who plays him didn't take kindly to Ackerman using his picture in a post about the guilty plea of Osama bin Laden's former chef in the military commissions at Gitmo.

Clearly he should have gone with the obvious potential Raekwon reference.

When Liberals Don't Like Liberal Judicial Activism.

Yesterday in Massachusetts, a federal judge ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, a Clinton-era federal law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, violated the 10th Amendment because it infringes on the states' right to define marriage. In a separate case, Judge Joseph Tauro also ruled that the DOMA ban violates the "equal protection principles embodied in the Fifth Amendment" by denying federal benefits to same-sex unions.

Mehserle Trial Aftermath.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The trouble Thursday boiled down to a racially diverse mob of about 200 people, many bent on destruction no matter what, confronting police after the day's predominantly peaceful demonstrations ended.

Sporadic conflicts were quelled quickly early in the evening, but by late night at least 50 people -- and maybe as many as 100 -- had been arrested as small groups smashed windows, looted businesses and set trash bins on fire.