Lunch Buffet

Guess it’s time to start thawing out the Obama Steaks assortment a relative sent for Christmas; all those mini-steaks and mini-desserts have been staring at me reproachfully from the freezer all week. Just had some sort of tart; wasn’t half bad. Sorry, foodies.

Here are some midday treats for your own consumption.

* Here’s text of Obama’s NSA speech; WaPo’s Brian Fung offers a “plain-English” interpretation.

* State judge strikes down PA voter-ID law; more about that later.

* Long, fascinating piece by Gregory Johnson on the long shadow of the open-ended language and time-frame of the 2001 Authorization To Use Military Force.

* TAP’s Paul Waldman warns that today’s debates over NSA surveillance often miss vast expansion of surveillance technology in the near future.

* Congressional Republicans mostly dissuaded by their own previous “No Budget, No Pay” rhetoric from doing what many would like to do: skip any budgeting before November elections.

And in non-political news:

* Also at TAP, Jaime Fuller pens an angry timeline of the New York media obsession with Lena Dunham. Being decidedly non-Gothamcentric, I had no idea.

As we break for lunch, here’s another tribute to the spooks, this one being a song every garage band played when I was in middle school: Johnny Rivers’ “Secret Agent Man.”

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.