"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Although there's still a great deal to be learned about the scandals and controversies swirling around the White House like so many ominous dorsal fins in the surf, the nature of President Obama's bind is becoming clear.
Of course the president deserves some of the blame. Yes, it's extremely unlikely he ordered the IRS to discriminate against tea party, pro-life or Jewish groups opposed to his agenda (though why anyone should take his word for it is beyond me).
President Obama was asked about the metastasizing Benghazi scandal in a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday.
"Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference -- at this point, what difference does it make?"
At an investment conference last week, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson created a huge mess for himself. He glibly speculated that maybe because economist John Maynard Keynes was a childless, "effete" homosexual, he embraced a doctrine that favored immediate economic gratification.
Is the American body politic suffering from an autoimmune disease?
In the new sci-fi movie "Oblivion," Earth's most precious resource is Tom Cruise. But running a close second (spoiler alert) is water. Aliens want it. All of it.
Over the last few years, the invariably unjustified rush to pin violence on the "right wing" -- particularly the Tea Partiers -- has reached the point of parody. Remember when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speculated that the foiled Times Square bomber might just be angry about Obamacare?
Whether it stems from a grandiose overconfidence in his own powers of persuasion, or the lessons he took from his years as a community organizer, or his own messianic conviction that he is on the right side of everything, including history itself, the president has operated under the theory that he can move the American people to his causes.
If abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell is found guilty of homicide, he will be unique among murderers-for-hire: He set his fees based on weight.
Er, no. At least not by my lights. But maybe the country singer and the first-term senator are contenders for that title according to the attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder.
One lesson here is that being underestimated is a great gift in politics. Ronald Reagan was dubbed an "amiable dunce" before he was known as the "Teflon president," and Thatcher had imbecile charm before she was dubbed -- by the Soviets -- the "Iron Lady."
In what may be the greatest victory to date for the sophisticatedly asinine organization "No Labels," the Associated Press has embraced a new policy against "labeling people."
The government in Britain recently did something interesting. It asked everyone receiving an "incapacity benefit" -- a disability program slowly being phased out under new reforms -- to submit to a medical test to confirm they were too disabled to work. A third of recipients (878,000 people) didn't even bother and dropped out of the program rather than be examined. Of those tested, more than half (55 percent) were found fit for work, and a quarter were found fit for some work.
Is the Iraq war to blame for the mess we are in?
There once was a popular sitcom called "Murphy Brown." The title character, played by Candice Bergen, was a news anchor. The show had its moments, but it was also insufferably pleased with itself and its liberalism.
Just because things can be put on the same list doesn't mean they are necessarily similar. My attic contains within it thousands of comic books, an inflatable bed, some jigsaw puzzles, some family pictures and a "Frampton Comes Alive!" album.
"At CPAC, the Future Looks Libertarian," read a dispatch on Time magazine's website. "CPAC: Rand Paul's Big Moment," proclaimed The Week magazine. Meanwhile, the New York Times headlined its story about the annual conservative political action conference "GOP divisions fester at conservative retreat."
While many have long seen America as the global bad boy, everybody likes Canada. If Uncle Sam tucks his pack of Marlboros under his T-shirt sleeve and plays by his own rules, the Canadian moose -- or whatever their Uncle Sam equivalent is -- always wears his blue blazer and school tie and does his chores without being asked. Canada is a global citizen, a good neighbor, a northern Puerto Rico with an EU sensibility that earns its gold stars from the United Nations every day.
Fox News' Roger Ailes: Administration's Excuses Won't Work, Americans Died For Press Freedom | Katie Pavlich