Thursday Morning Quarterback: Executive Power

Item: Judge defers to administration in case of CIA videotapes.


Item: Obama administration wants a dramatically modified reporters' shield law, one that orders judges to defer to the executive branch and one that doesn't protect journalists from "significant" breaches of national security. Oh, and the executive branch determines what "significant" means.

If there's a thread that runs through virtually every controversial national security decision made by this administration, it's a belief in the prerogative of the executive branch to exclusively determine what constitutes a national security fact and, crucially, the sole right to determine how to protect that fact, and to whom that fact can be disclosed.  To be fair, this broad assertion of executive power is as much as consequence of 25 years worth of accumulated jurisprudence as it is a result of Dick Cheney and John Yoo's pet theories of the national security state. Read more here.

Item: More independents are leaning Republican than at any time since... the middle of 2008. 

The gap is slightly smaller than it was when Barack Obama was elected, and a lot smaller than it was when he was inaugurated.

Item: Comcast might make a bid for NBC Universal.

Good news: you get to decide when you want your programming.
Bad news: your favorite show might come on at any moment within a three hour time period.

Item: The French government says that Roman Polanski is neither "above or beneath" the law.

This column is  not above or beneath calling him an self-acknowledged child rapist, either.

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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