Adam Serwer

Bloggingheads: Non-Glibertarian Edition

I talk debt ceiling, Obama's poor negotiation skills, and gay rights with Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward:

Bat Privilege


Chris Simms ponders the relationship between Batman and Superman, the "World's Finest Friendship."

The Abdo Arrest

The debt ceiling is dominating national media coverage right now, but the arrest of Private Naser Jason Abdo on suspicion of planning a second attack on Fort Hood is going to become focus in the next few weeks. In the aftermath of Nidal Malik Hasan's rampage that killed 13 people in 2009, Republicans argued that "political correctness" was hampering the government's ability to identify extremists before they acted.

The End Of The Republican Foreign-Policy Consensus?

Eli Lake writes that the Republican foreign-policy consensus has collapsed, but I'm actually not so sure it has. As the last paragraph of his piece suggests, it's merely shifted from the ideological clarity of neoconservatism to a far more ... flexible principle:

Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories I Can Get Down With

Brian Tashman pokes fun at a conservative columnist who concludes that the Founding Fathers were a key element of the liberal fascist conspiracy:

The History Of The Racial Wealth Gap

I want to co-sign Ta-Nehisi Coates' approval of Melissa Harris-Perry properly contextualizing the history of the wealth gap between whites and nonwhites while subbing for Rachel Maddow:

Is Al-Qaeda On The Ropes?

I meant to respond to this earlier this week, but I think the notion that al-Qaeda is on the verge of defeat would best be taken with more than a grain of salt. As Daveed Gartenstein-Ross points out, we've heard this before -- government officials have been periodically writing al-Qaeda's obituary since 2003:


The problem with Smurfette.

Everyone loves Cathy Lanier.

A Planned Parenthood in Texas that was firebombed doesn't actually provide abortions.

Gaza's economic mirage.

Austerity As Medieval Medicine

My post at Greg's today, about that fact that both parties' austerity plans will likely hurt the economy:

From the point of view of helping the economy recover, this is idiotic. For Republicans, of course, increased unemployment and lower GDP increase the possibility of Obama being a one term president. The reason few people are stating the obvious — that there’s something oddly masochistic about harming the economy at time when so many are unemployed — is that both sides are pushing plans that could damage the recovery. That’s because we’re trapped in a Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop, where no one’s talking about unemployment and everyone’s talking about the deficit.

Frank Gaffney Loses It

The Shariah panic folks are taking hard the news that the alleged Oslo terrorist was a white anti-Muslim extremist who shared their views in a variety of ways. But I'm not sure anyone is having as much trouble as the Center for Security Policy's Frank Gaffney, whose website summarized yesterday's show thusly:

Admin Defends Handling Of Warsame Case To Senate Republicans

On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sent a letter to Senate Republicans defending their decision to transfer alleged al Shabaab member Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame to U.S. soil for trial in federal court.

Rick Perry Abandons Marriage Equality Federalism

Well that was quick:

"I probably needed to add a few words after that 'it's fine with me' and that it's fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue," he said. "Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn't changed."

Perry said he supported changing the Constitution in order to ban gay marriage, a position that he characterized as supportive of states' rights even as it would overrule New York's own decision on the matter.

A Second Fort Hood Attack?

Private Nasser Jason Abdo, a Muslim soldier who recently applied for conscientious objector status because he said his religion prohibited him from killing other Muslims, was arrested on allegations of planning a second attack on Fort Hood. He was reportedly found with explosives in his car.

Bill Nye, Liberal Propagandist

Bill Nye the Science Guy schools a Fox News anchor who tries to use Moon volcanoes to disprove climate change on Earth:

The Gripers And Groaners

Ta-Nehisi Coates takes on the Obama administration's disdain for the "professional left."

Obama has been much praised for the magnanimity he shows his opposition. But such empathy, unburdened by actual expectations, comes easy. More challenging is the work of coping with those who have the disagreeable habit of taking the president, and his talk of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” seriously. In that business, Obama would do well to understand that while democracy depends on intelligent compromise, it also depends on the ill-tempered gripers and groaners out in the street.

The Party of Lincoln, whatever its present designs, has not forgotten this.