Adam Serwer

"They Hate Us For Our Freedoms" Watch.

Spencer Ackerman reports on a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research looking to quantify the impact of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in producing new insurgents:

A Brief Note.

So we're still having a few problems with the RSS feed, but comments should be working fine now. Shoot me an e-mail if you're still having trouble accessing comments or the full RSS feed.

Last week I received a number of very kind notes from readers congratulating me on the new blog, and I regret I haven't been able to respond to all of them, so I just wanted to say thank you in case you were one of the folks I didn't get back to.

Classic Steele.

From Christina Bellantoni comes a classic Michael Steele moment following the 2004 Republican convention, about a month after then-Senator Obama made his national debut at the Democratic convention:

Mr. Steele last night said Mr. Obama stole his fire, saying in prepared remarks, "I had planned to give a moving defense of the conservative principles of the Republican Party tonight. But there was only one problem: Barack Obama gave it last month at the Democratic convention."

The Obama Administration And Immigration Enforcement.

Greg Sargent has a statement from Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, responding to the news that the Obama administration will sue Arizona over their draconian immigration law, SB 1070:

"The American people must wonder whether the Obama Administration is really committed to securing the border when it sues a state that is simply trying to protect its people by enforcing immigration law.

Suárez Cheated, It Was The Right Play.


Last week, Uruguay defeated Ghana in the World Cup quarterfinals after striker Luís Suárez deliberately blocked a Ghanian shot on goal with his hand. Suárez was summarily ejected, and Ghana's Asamoah Gyan subsequently choked on the awarded penalty kick. Uruguay then defeated Ghana 4-2 on penalties.

This has led a number of people to argue that Suárez didn't cheat by deliberately blocking the goal with his hand.

Flashback To The Bush Days At The DoJ.

J. Christian Adams, the conservative activist hired in the Voting Rights Section of the Justice Department during an era of politicization, recently wrote that "The Bush Civil Rights Division was willing to protect all Americans from racial discrimination; during the Obama years, the Holder years, only some Americans will be protected."

Almost Everything You Need To Know About The New Black Panther Party Case.

In the past few weeks, the New Black Panther Party case has re-emerged as a point of focus for the conservative media. Last year, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Decision dismissed most charges in a voter-suppression case against a group of New Black Panther Party members, two of whom were caught on tape by Fox News standing outside a Philadelphia polling place during the 2008 election. One of them, who was brandishing a baton, received an injunction.

Coda On The NYT And Torture.

Bill Keller's response to that study noting that American newspapers described waterboarding as torture when done in other countries but as something else when done by Americans is bizarre:


Uruguay blocks a Ghanian goal by cheating, then wins at penalty kicks after Ghana chokes three times.

Working The Refs, Ctd.

Earlier this week, I argued that The New York Times' refusal to refer to waterboarding as torture was the result of longstanding journalistic conventions, and had serious implications not just for torture but for climate change as well. Amanda Hess makes a few other observations:

Bipartisan Agreement: War Must Not Be Criticized!

Rich Lowry, National Review, September 1, 2006:

On Iraq, the Democrats are the party of defeat. That’s not a partisan smear, but a fact. The further we slide toward defeat, the higher the Democrats’ political fortunes rise. To the extent they offer any clear policy alternative for Iraq, it is either — depending on your point of view — to admit, or to guarantee, defeat with a rapid drawdown of American troops. So their political self-interest objectively coincides with a defeat, and the kind of pullout endorsed at times by high-profile leaders in the party would hasten it.


Base Management.

The White House recently held a meeting with a group of LGBT reporters and bloggers in order to reassure them that the administration is prioritizing their concerns. Pam Spaulding was there:

On The New Spider-Man.


British Actor Andrew Garfield seems to have an impressive resume as an actor, but considering that the 2012 Spider-Man movie reboot was meant to place him back in high school, a 26-year-old seems like an odd choice.

Against Kagan, Conservatives Embrace Empathy Standard.

As Garret Epps has noted, the conservative case against Elena Kagan's treatment of military recruiters at Harvard largely relies on empathy.


Is the "acting white phenomenon" what people think it is?

Flying cars.

Arizona's "anti-racial profiling" training video for law enforcement.

The NRA comes out against Kagan. Bit late, no?