Adam Serwer

New Spider-Man

Count me among those who are pretty happy to see Marvel introduce a Blatino Spider-Man:

The creation of Miles Morales, a teenager with an African-American father and Hispanic mother, has been personal for his creators. Axel Alonso, Marvel's editor in chief, is of mixed cultures (his father is Mexican, his mother is British), and Bendis has two adopted daughters, a 3½-year-old from Ethiopia and a 4½-month-old African American.

"Wouldn't it be nice for them to have a character or a hero that speaks to them as much as Peter Parker has spoken to so many children?" Bendis says. "There's nothing wrong with that, and I think we need more of it."

Daily Dose Of Economic Determinism

I talked to a bunch of economists and political scientists who say that Obama's got a tough road to re-election, and he's likely to lose if the economy doesn't show some serious signs of improvement:

Saving Alabama From Economic Self-Destruction

Okay, so the express rationale behind the feds suing to block Alabama's immigration law is that states aren't allowed to set their own immigration policies.

DoJ Invokes State-Secrets Privilege In Mosque Surveillance Suit

Josh Gerstein reports that the Department of Justice is seeking to dismiss a suit filed by the Council on American Islamic Relations and the ACLU of Southern California charging that the FBI violated the rights of members of the Muslim community when it used an informant to infiltrate California mosques.

New Gallup Poll On Religion And Violence

Gallup has a new poll out that sheds some light on American religious views on violence, some of which might be startling. Muslims are by far the least likely among all religious groups to justify targeting civilians, whether done by the military or by "an individual person or a small group of persons." Seventy-eight percent of Muslims say that military attacks on civilians are never justified, while the numbers for Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and atheists hover in the 50s. The only religious denomination that comes close to Muslim disapproval is Mormons at 64 percent.

DoJ Sending Primary Observers To Noxubee County

In 2007, the Bush-era Justice Department took action against a black man named Ike Brown in Noxubee County, Mississippi, saying that he had tried to discriminate against white voters in the local Democratic Primary. This became a key exhibit in the right's accusation, during the uproar over the New Black Panther Case, that the Civil Rights Division was racist against white voters.

Great Moments In Newspaper Aggregation, Ctd

I mostly enjoyed this column by Roger Cohen about his upbringing as a Jew in South Africa, except for this:

Hatred of Muslims in Europe and the United States is a growing political industry. It’s odious, dangerous and racist. Thanks to my colleague Andrea Elliott, we now know the story of the orchestration of the successful anti-Shariah campaign in the United States, led by a Hasidic Jew named David Yerushalmi who holds that “most of the fundamental differences between the races are genetic.” The rightists in Europe using anti-Muslim rhetoric are true heirs to the Continent’s darkest hours.


Jonathan Bernstein argues that starve the beast didn't win.

Lax enforcement of Title IX.

Gary Johnson isn't buying all this Shariah stuff.

The good news of the day.

Damning With Effusive Praise

WaPo Obudsman Patrick Pexton defends Jennifer Rubin:

But when an attack happens elsewhere, whether Oslo, Bali, Madrid, Beslan, Mumbai or London, U.S. pundits and politicians climb on their electronic soapboxes and denounce the act as one more evil deed by the enemy we most love to hate, be it militant Muslims, or in Oslo’s case, militant Christians. There is no interval before scoring rhetorical and partisan points, not even time to mourn.

Hot Coffee, Ctd

Here's another (less well known) popular interpretation of the McDonald's Coffee Case, which involves Cartoon Network's Adult Swim poking fun at the racial caricature of Super-Friends' Apache Chief:

Geller Getting Close To The Line

One of the reasons I've argued that the Shariah-panic crowd is not responsible for the massacre in Norway is that, despite their vitriol, their justifications largely center on arguments for curtailing Muslim rights, not for slaughtering people wholesale. That's noxious, but it's very different from religious extremists concocting religious justifications for terrorism, or even anti-choice radicals in the United States who try to frame the killing of abortion doctors as justifiable homicide.

Great Moments In Newspaper Aggregation

The New York Times profile of the Shariah-panic industry's favorite lawyer, David Yerushalmi, is a stellar example of how newspapers aggregate other people's reporting without giving them credit. I frankly don't know if this is the fault of the piece's editors or of the reporter, Andrea Elliott, but Yerushalmi's role in crafting anti-Muslim legislation was well reported in the lefty blogosphere prior to Elliott's piece, which offers some new biographical details but mostly relies on information reported elsewhere. It also manages to soft-ball the legislation he's helped craft.

Will Extremists Hijack The Aftermath Of The Arab Spring?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross has a sobering analysis of al-Qaeda's strategy for exploiting popular discontent in the wake of the Arab Spring:


Wonder who sent this e-mail.

King's witness rebuts his own claims.

The truth about spending.

Florida drug law declared unconstitutional.

Bitter Pills

Matthew Yglesias writes about something I thought about often during the health-care debate: