The Constitution may still be living, but it has been buried alive by deceit and sophistry. It may take archaeological tools to unearth the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and resurrect the principles of liberty that inspired them.
President Barack Obama reminds us quite often that our nation's security is very much on his mind. But not so much on his schedule, it turns out. Marc Thiessen, a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute and a weekly columnist for the Washington Post, found the president missed more than half his Presidential Daily Briefing sessions between the time he took office in January 2009 and mid-June of this year. The PDB sessions are the briefings a president receives on the most serious and urgent security threats the nation faces. The reports are classified, of course, and most Americans were probably unaware of the daily reports until we heard or read, long after the 9/11 attacks, of the now famous PDB report titled: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." The date on that report is August 6, 2001 — little more than one month before hijacked planes flew into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney left some of his fellow Republicans and media allies troubled by his eagerness to condemn the Obama administration's response to Tuesday's anti-American demonstration in Egypt and the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. diplomats. Romney described an earlier statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Cairo as the administration's "first response" to the attack, characterizing the statement as "akin to an apology" for an anti-Muslim film that sparked the riots and an attempt to "sympathize" with the attackers.
Michael Hayden, a former general and CIA director, says the United States now has "moral responsibility" for the future of Libya because our actions in helping overthrow Moammar Gadhafi continue to cause bloodshed and unrest, such as the attack on the U.S. embassy and the murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
In announcing the global war on terrorism in his speech to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush put the world on notice: "Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists." After Congress passed the PATRIOT Act, Attorney General John Ashcroft was dismissive, even contemptuous, of concerns being raised over civil liberties violations, describing those complaints as "fear mongering." To "those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty," Ashcroft delivered the following message:
Your tactics only aid terrorists — for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies, and pause to America's friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil.
Since 9-11, those "phantoms of lost liberty" have been writing our nation's laws.
In separate TV interviews Sunday, both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan refused to identify the tax loopholes and deductions they would eliminate in reforming the nation's tax code. The lack of specifics enables them to avoid political landmines, since each tax break has a constituency eager to protect it. But it also opens the Republican ticket to charges by Democrats and media pundits that theirs is a "secret plan" that will increase the tax burden of middle class Americans.
Asked if he would send U.S. ground troops into Iran to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear program, Mitt Romney didn't say yes and he didn't say no.
"What's your red line?" asked host David Gregory on Sunday's Meet the Press. "You put troops on the ground to stop Iran from going nuclear or can you live with a nuclear Iran and contain it?"
"I don't think we live with a nuclear Iran," Romney said. "I think we make it very clear that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable to the United States of America, to civilized nations throughout the world. And that we will maintain every option that's available to us to keep that from happening."
Mitt Romney has promised to "repeal and replace ObamaCare," but he is not for "getting rid of all" of the president's signature healthcare reform. And if he gets to preserve all the features of the Affordable Care Act that he likes, there may not be much replacing to do. In an interview on NBC's Meet the Press September 9, Romney said people with pre-existing conditions and adults under age 26 would not lose their guarantee of coverage if he succeeds in getting the Democrats' healthcare law repealed.
Who says those allegedly narrow, highly partisan, and bitterly divisive ideologues in today's Republican Party refuse to take a bipartisan approach to problem solving? In just the past two weeks the Grand Old Party has "disappeared" George W. Bush and embraced Bill Clinton.
Bush either chose or was persuaded not to attend his party's convention in Tampa last week and, apart from a five-minute video paying tribute to both Bush and his father, President George H.W. Bush, there was scarcely a mention of either Bush. But during this week's Democratic convention in Charlotte, Republicans heaped so much praise on former President Clinton, you might have thought they had nominated him and not Mitt Romney to run against Barack Obama.
"Put simply, women in America cannot trust Mitt Romney," Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-choice America told the cheering delegates at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night. But if what Romney's sister said last week about her brother's stand on abortion is accurate, pro-life Republicans might not want to trust him much, either.