Presidents v. The Constitution

Then President Barack Obama and then President Elect Donald Trump (Pete Souza).

Then President Barack Obama and then President Elect Donald Trump (Pete Souza).

We live in a political era in which several Americans presidents in a row have been severely criticized, often with claims they violated the U.S. Constitution, and hit with calls for their removal.  The current one, Donald Trump, is certainly no exception.

Just in the last few days, a senator claimed President Trump had “castrated” the Secretary of State; Trump named a woman who denies climate change and who calls wind and solar power parasitic to be energy advisor; Trump’s campaign has been subpoenaed over sexual assault charges; and U.S. states are suing over Trump’s move to destroy the Affordable Care Act.

While the numbers of such battles and accusations is very high right now, battles between the president and constitutionalists is nothing new.  To put a perspective on what’s happening now, it may be time to reflect on battles that happened before Donald Trump or Barack Obama before him were elected to America’s highest office.

Even back then, Andrew P. Napolitano noted in The Wall Street Journal that Most Presidents Ignore the Constitution.

JANUS-Tête-à-Tête photo by Pete Souza. This image is a work of an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

World Leaders Secrets Leaked: What About Yours?

United States President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin walk to the G8 Summit dinner following their bilateral meeting in Ireland on 17 June 2013. (Pete Souza)

An autofill error led to personal information of 31 world leaders, including Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, being leaked.  While it happened last year, the information is just now being released.

“The personal details of 31 of the world’s leading political figures were leaked to the organisers of a soccer tournament late last year, in a major data breach caused by an email autofill error.

“The breach was caused by a staff member at Australia’s Department of Immigration and related to world leaders attending the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Australia last year.”

There’s an age old conflict between convenience and security. An unlocked door is more convenient than a locked one; an open doorway is more convenient than a door.

Such convenient features as autofill and linking accounts (“you can sign in easily using your Facebook account”) do make it more convenient.  More convenient for you, and for anyone trying to access your personal information and to steal your identity.

G20 world leaders’ personal information leaked in ’email error’

Image by Pete Souza is in the public domain.