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.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In