Adam Serwer

More On Coburn

Greg Sargent gets the full transcript of Senator Tom Coburn's remarks on Obama and surmises that:

I think what Coburn means here is that African Americans are more likely to need such programs than whites are, and by his own lights, Coburn actually thinks he’s being charitable to Obama here. He’s essentially saying that Obama’s life experience quite naturally dictated that he would view the safety net as a good thing, because it helped poor African Americans.

Bachmann Staffer Once Accused Of Terrorism

Reading this story on Peter E. Waldron, a staffer for Michele Bachmann in Iowa who was arrested on charges of terrorism in Uganda (the charges were later dropped) I can't help but think of how fortunate he was that he was not immediately assumed to be guilty, placed in indefinite military detention, and then forced through a trial process biased towards the government's claims.

Can DHS Prioritize?

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has released a report on DHS immigration enforcement efforts (via The Economist), arguing that the tools DHS is using to reduce illegal immigration conflict with its stated priorities of focusing on undocumented immigrants who are a threat to public safety. Essentially, their argument is that the use of programs like Secure Communities, which mandates local law enforcement in covered jurisdictions forward the identifying information of anyone they arrest to ICE, ensures that "prioritization" can't happen.

Adventures In Logic With Tom Coburn

Obama's pal, Senator Tom Coburn on, of all things, Medicare:

Responding to a man in Langley who asked if Obama “wants to destroy America,” Coburn said the president is “very bright” and loves his country but has a political philosophy that is “goofy and wrong.”

Obama’s “intent is not to destroy, his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him,” he said.

“As an African-American male,” Coburn said, Obama received “tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs.”

The Help

John McWhorter offers a contrarian take on the civil rights era drama The Help, arguing that its critics are overreacting. Not content simply to make the case that the film is compelling, he goes onto argue that its critics are actually racist:

This is a “feel-good movie for a cowardly nation”? How could it be that this film, hardly The Sorrow and the Pity but honest and thoroughly affecting, is being treated like a remake of Imitation of Life?


No you guys are racist!

The White House really cares what hippies think even though it wants to punch them.

Sweetening the Perry beat.

Rush Limbaugh has a problem with miscegenation.

Recidivism, Israel Edition

The Prospect's Jerusalem correspondent Gershom Gorenberg sent me a note in response to my recidivism and unemployment post earlier:

Begging For Recidivism

Matthew Yglesias comments on a New York law recently signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo that would make "convictions for 26 felonies...become automatic disqualifying factors, raising the number of crimes for which a conviction would warrant a permanent ban from school-bus driving to 58."

Georgetown, Apartheid, What's The Difference?

The folks who brought you the now-discredited charges behind the New Black Panther voter intimidation case are busy trying to prove that the Justice Department is deeply politicized because it's hiring people with experience in civil rights organizations to work in the civil rights division, as opposed to establishing an illegal Republican litmus test like when Bush was in office.

Matt Gertz flags this assertion from NBPP hype man J. Christian Adams about a recent DoJ hire, Tamica Daniel.

Rick Perry Doesn't Apologize Except When He Does

It’s 2000 all over again: A Republican governor from Texas is running for president, and the press is swooning over his manly manliness.

Desegregation In Wake County

Trymaine Lee has a fascinating story on the role Americans for Prosperity played in dismantling a school desegregation program in North Carolina:

Since 2000, Wake County has used a system of integration based on income. Under this program, no more than 40 percent of any school’s students could receive subsidized lunches, a proxy for determining the level of poverty. The school district is the 18th largest in the country, and includes Raleigh, its surrounding suburbs and rural areas. It became one of the first school systems in the nation to adopt such a plan.


Ricci round two.

The Civil War isn't tragic.

No one should be billed for their rape kit.

Someone tell Rick Perry we already have drones at the border.

When Military Commissions Aren't An Option

Robert Chesney, looking at the trial of Mahamud Said Omar, a Minnesota resident who is accused of aiding Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab, cites it as an example of a case in which military commissions simply can't be used:

Begging For Nixonland

Texas Governor Rick Perry doesn't have a particularly long list of contrasts between him and the last Texas governor to become president:

"I am Rick Perry and he is George Bush," Perry declared as he marched through the Iowa State Fair, surrounded by reporters. "And our records are quite different."

Asked what the biggest difference is, Perry responded: "I went to Texas A&M. He went to Yale."

Mass Incarceration And Diminishing Returns

The ACLU's latest criminal justice infographic tries to dispel the notion of causation between an increase in the prison population and a decline in the crime rate. New York has seen its prison population decline along with its crime rates, while Indiana saw its prison population increase with a much more negligible dip in the latter: