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“Executive privilege is vitally important. But not at the expense of national security.”

Important piece by my friend Philip Bobbitt on executive privilege, and the risks of taking it too far if a president is “determined to put his political survival above the security of our country.

The courts might hold that Trump’s Ukraine conversations are privileged. It would be better if they sidestepped the issue.


The public release of the note-takers’ account of President Trump’s July conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the whistleblower’s complaint that was in part triggered by that conversation has defused — for now — a showdown between Congress and the executive branch over whether such conversations are protected by executive privilege.

But the clash is not necessarily over. Defenders of the president have claimed that the whistleblower account relies on hearsay; there will surely be demands by the president’s critics to subpoena the personnel who could confirm and deny the assertions of the whistleblower. The partial transcript of the president’s conversation and the complaint implicate Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, and various diplomats; doubtless there will be calls for their testimony.

What then? One resolution is for Congress to seek court enforcement of subpoenas for the relevant documents and the testimony of the various people who, according to the complaint, were witnesses to a months-long campaign to compel Ukrainian officials to provide damaging information on former vice president Joe Biden, his son and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

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Kid Chess Champions Share Their Secrets | Atlantic

Sep 23, 2019


Video by Jenny Schweitzer Bell

The benefits of teaching chess to children are manifold. Studies suggest that the cognitive-boosting board game, which has endured around the world for more than 15 centuries, improves a child’s visual memory, attention span, spatial-reasoning ability, critical thinking, mental discipline, creativity, math skills, and logical reasoning. One study found that children who played chess scored an average of 10 percentage points higher on reading scores than their peers who didn’t play.

In the short documentary The Magic of Chess, which premieres on The Atlantic today, a cadre of pint-size chess champions reveals how the practice has enriched their lives. The director Jenny Schweitzer Bell shot the film on location at the 2019 Elementary Chess Championships, a high-stakes tournament held annually in Nashville. In attendance—and interviewed in the film—was Tani Adewumi, the 8-year-old Nigerian refugee who, while living in a homeless shelter with his family, beat elite-private-school kids in the New York Chess Championships.

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Kasparov Comments on Alphazero vs. Stockfish match.


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