Adam Serwer

KBR And Arbitration

Pema Levy writes about the impact of the KBR rape case in the context of the larger battle over mandatory arbitration:

Peter King Is A New Yorker

Rep. Peter King's call for an investigation into Newscorp following revelations that media organizations owned by Rupert Murdoch allegedly tried to hack the phones of 9/11 victims is probably a smaller deal than it seems:

King said in the letter, addressed to FBI Director Robert Mueller, that the journalists should face felony charges if the allegations are proven true.

Libya And The Narrative, Ctd

Eric Martin makes an important point:

As previously argued, the notion that our military intervention against a despotic regime (that we had never supported to begin with) would somehow convince the Arab street that we don't back non-democratic regimes in the region when convenient, was a highly dubious contention. After all, even if we did intervene in Libya on the side of anti-regime elements, we would be continuing our support for often brutal, non-democratic regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and Yemen - with the jury still out on how Egypt tacks.

The Feds, Immigration, And SB 1070

One of the more common refrains on the right in defense of restrictive immigration laws is that the federal government has "failed" to address the problem, so it only makes sense that the states are taking matters into their own hands. Ilya Shapiro, who defends the constitutionality of SB 1070 but argues that its bad policy, offers a version of this argument:

And yet most people agree on the types of problems we face from this dysfunctional situation:

ten to twelve million illegal aliens living in the law’s shadow;

Rand Paul Not Joining McConnell's Culture War Counterterrorism Campaign

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's culture war counterterrorism campaign against federal trials for suspected terrorists contrasts rather starkly with the junior Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul:

"I think in this instance, if you capture them here, I think the federal courts probably can take care of them much more swiftly than Guantanamo and actually give them very lengthy sentences if they are found guilty," Rand Paul said.

Paul points to more than 400 convictions of other terror suspects in the United States.


Rick Perry's Confederate past.

Woman jailed for trying to keep her daughter from getting a TSA pat-down.

ACLU goes after the CIA's Juan Cole files.

Gaming out the political impact of a debt ceiling deal.

Libya And Shifting The Narrative

Mike Riggs looks at C.J. Chivers' latest report from the front lines in Libya showing that the rebels have taken to "looting" and "reprisals" against Libyans loyal to dictator Moammar Ghadafi and writes:

Battlestar Galactica And Suicide Terrorism

Having finally gotten through four seasons of Battlestar Galactica, I want to revisit the occupation/New Caprica storyline that was widely received as a criticism of the war in Iraq. The occupation arc is actually my favorite part of the series, not just because it was extraordinarily well done but because the rescue sequence, in which the Galactica executes a faster than light jump into New Caprica's atmosphere, releasing its fighters to they can take out the ground based defenses, is one of the coolest space opera battle scenes ever, hands down.

Push-Polling The Jewish Vote

My post at Greg's today is on the latest laughable push-poll Republicans are touting as "evidence" Obama is going to lose the Jewish vote:

The phrasing in this poll is comically skewed towards eliciting the most negative responses possible. As always, the game is to perpetuate the sad conservative meme that this time, really this time, American Jews are going to abandon their liberalism and vote Republican because Obama is a huge anti-Semite. The only thing this poll reveals is how badly some want to keep this storyline going.

Arabs Not So Hot On Obama, U.S.

James Zogby's Arab American Institute has some bad news for the Obama administration regarding its outreach to the Muslim world, finding that the U.S.' approval is " lower than at the end of the Bush Administration, and lower than Iran's favorable ratings." Across the board in the countries surveyed, respondents cited "continuing occupation of Palestinian lands" as an obstacle to peace and stability in the region, even above "U.S. interference in the Arab world," which came second. The poll measured opinions in Morocco, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan. 

T-Paw's "Double Guantanamo" Moment

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, plummeting in the polls, is emerging as the neocon candidate of choice. Marc Thiessen, trying his best to shoehorn his inaccurate characterization of Obama administration detention policy as "catch and release," into the GOP Primary conversation gives Pawlenty a chance to bear his spittle flecked comb:

Washington Times Op-Ed: Army Has Been Fooled By The 'Stealth Jihad'

Today the Washington Times published an op-ed from Retired Admiral James A. Lyons arguing that the decision of the Army to allow a Muslim soldier to acquire conscientious objector status shows it has "embraced" the worldview of Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan:


Pema Levy on the upside to the decision in the KBR rape case.

The military lessons of Westeros.

The social media singularity.

Those liberal detectives on Law and Order should stop being such big government fascists and go torture someone.

The Lack Of Love For Herman Cain

David Swerdlick and John McWhorter are debating the significance of Herman Cain, with McWhorter concluding that:

Are they embracing him just because he allows them to disavow racism? Let's say there's some of that -- but then the same people who would make this charge are surely aware, and often say, that the whites who embraced Obama had a lot of that in them as well. Herman Cain is a black man -- and not a Guess Who's Coming to Dinner type -- being embraced by, of all people, Republicans. After all, wouldn't we expect Republicans to be swooning for another "not too black" type instead?

No 12th Dimensional Chess Here

Ezra Klein has a chart that puts the offer Barack Obama gave John Boehner in context:

What Obama offered Boehner was an opportunity to take the Bush tax cuts off the table. So though $800 billion in revenue sounds sizable, it’s only half as much in total revenue as the White House’s April proposal, two-fifths as much as Simpson-Bowles wanted, and one-fifth what we’d get if the Bush tax cuts expire next year.