Among the 25 freest countries in the world, America now ranks 21st - down from the ninth spot for calendar year 2009, Obama's first year as president.
Barack Obama is back -- the one who electrified and united a nation a decade ago when he delivered the keynote address at a national convention. Remember? There was a time when he was still a young, idealistic senator, not a failing and flailing president who has taken many a wrong turn since, and started to sound more like ideologue than idealist.
It will not shock readers to hear that quite often legislation on Capitol Hill is not as advertised. When Congress wants to do something particularly objectionable, they tend give it a fine-sounding name. The PATRIOT Act is perhaps the best-known example. The legislation had been drafted well before 9/11 but was going nowhere. Then the 9/11 attacks gave it a new lease on life. Politicians exploited the surge in patriotism following the attack to reintroduce the bill and call it the PATRIOT Act. To oppose it at that time was, by design, to seem unpatriotic.
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