IN TODAY’S EDITION
- A further update on the outrageous case of the West Point communist.
- Dianne Feinstein’s Orwellian hypocrisy about concealed carry laws.
- Hollywood’s hypocrisy on Weinstein runs really deep.
- Donald Trump has made significant advances for the pro-life cause.
- Drug deaths are nearly six times the number of gun murders. Why no outcry?
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“The Army (considering the irritable state it is in, its suffering and composition) is a dangerous instrument to play with.” —George Washington (1783)
By Mark Alexander
Two weeks ago, I wrote about a West Point 2016 graduate, now-2LT Spenser Rapone, who, despite his brash history displaying contempt for our nation, and his advocacy for communism, was allowed to graduate. As I noted, now-retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Heffington, an Academy history professor in 2015, had issued a sworn affidavit alerting senior USMA command about Rapone.
In his complaint LTC Heffington concluded, “I cannot reconcile the image of a first class cadet at West Point with the things he has posted online for the world to see. To me, these are red flags that cannot be ignored, and I fail to see how this individual can possibly graduate and become a commissioned officer in six months.”
But they did ignore it.
More recently, Rapone, now assigned to the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, has boldly posted his hatred for his commander in chief, SecDef James Mattis, and other senior military leadership on public social media accounts. That constitutes a clear and overt UCMJ Article 88 violation: “Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense … shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”
West Point command responded to the exposure of Rapone’s insubordination and UCMJ violations with an official statement asserting, “Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army,” and that “Rapone’s chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter.”
Responding to that lame assertion, LTC Heffington sent a letter to his USMA class of 1997, noting his “intense devotion and loyalty to West Point,” but detailing the inaction over Rapone and how that reflected the degraded “leadership” culture at West Point.
Heffington wrote, “I firmly believe West Point is a national treasure and that it can and should remain a vitally important source of well trained, disciplined, highly educated Army officers and civilian leaders. However, during my time on the West Point faculty … I personally witnessed a series of fundamental changes at West Point that have eroded it to the point where I question whether the institution should even remain open. The recent coverage of 2LT Spenser Rapone — an avowed Communist and sworn enemy of the United States — dramatically highlighted this disturbing trend. Given my recent tenure on the West Point faculty and my direct interactions with Rapone, his ‘mentors,’ and with the Academy’s leadership, I believe I can shed light on how someone like Rapone could possibly graduate.”
However, Rapone’s case is just the latest indicator of military academy degradation under Barack Obama’s regime. Recall that The Patriot Post took on the command staff at the Air Force Academy in 2012, when Obama’s appointees there quietly endeavored to remove “So Help Me God” from oaths in the cadet handbook “to Support and Defend” our Constitution.
Responding to LTC Heffington, USMA Superintendent, LTG Robert Caslen, appointed by Obama in 2013, issued a formal statement, noting that he had been inundated with protests by USMA alumni, but could not say anything while investigations were being conducted. According to Caslen, “Responding to concerns raised about the quality of JSMA graduates takes time, which includes gathering all the facts and taking a hard look at whether USMA is doing everything it can to develop leaders of character…”
Caslen appealed, “Help me prevent the negativity associated with the alleged behavior of one graduate,” and insisted the actions of one don’t reflect the culture at USMA and code of “Honor, Duty and Country.”
On this point, I would agree with Caslen, but the issue is not 2LT Rapone. He came to USMA from the enlisted ranks, having previously deployed to Afghanistan as an Army Ranger with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Notably, he was “released for standards” from his regiment, meaning there were performance or conduct issues. He gained acceptance to USMA with the endorsement of Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), who has since attempted to distance himself from Rapone. I believe Rapone is likely suffering some pathology.
Again, LTG Robert Caslen’s assertions notwithstanding, Rapone is NOT the problem, and in the words of a wise old mentor, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
Bottom line: The investigation that needed to be done was two years ago, based on LTC Heffington’s original affidavit concerning Rapone. The investigation that really needs to be conducted now is why that didn’t happen — and of much greater significance, determining how deep Obama’s deep-state socialists have been imbedded in the ranks of American military leadership.
By Thomas Gallatin
If there’s one thing the vast majority of Americans agree upon, it’s disgust with those in power who display attitudes of entitlement and elitism. These attitudes are especially grating to America’s fundamental belief in the equality of all individuals under the law. It’s one of the primary reasons American colonists rebelled against British rule. Sadly, in spite of our history, it is ever more apparent that many of our nation’s politicians fancy themselves as an elitist ruling class, to which the Rule of Law and equality simply don’t apply.
Sen. Dianna Feinstein (D-CA) provided the latest display of this political elitism in the wake of the Las Vegas atrocity. Feinstein is no friend of the Second Amendment, and she has long actively sought to limit public access to a right she herself exercises. Recently Feinstein was asked about proposed national concealed carry reciprocity legislation. She stated, “We want every American to feel comfortable packing a concealed weapon? Around the country? I represent 40 million Californians, and I can say without hesitation, Californians do not want concealed carry.”
Feinstein then further opined, “I don’t believe [conceal carry] is protected by the Constitution. To conceal it, without a permit. … I am saying that the state I represent would not want any part of [national reciprocity], nor should any American. You just make the situation worse. You let somebody with a weapon who may do you harm get close to you. Why would you want that?”
As bad as Feinstein’s flawed interpretation of the Constitution and specifically the Second Amendment is, it is her blatant display of hypocrisy on the issue of concealed carry which may be more egregious. California, with its severely restrictive gun laws, has just over 70,000 concealed carry permit holders. It would be more if the state was “shall issue.” And one of those privileged few is Feinstein herself.
The assertion Feinstein makes — that concealed carry would allow someone with a weapon to get close to you and do you harm — displays again an attitude of entitlement and elitism, as well as being profoundly ignorant and judgmental. Does Feinstein view the vast majority of Americans as nothing more than a mass of psychopathic murders just itching to get their hands on a gun so as to kill anyone they get close to? She speaks as if she were the warden overseeing a prison population. How dare she claim the right for herself while actively seeking to prevent her constituents from enjoying the same right to self-protection.
This elitist entitlement attitude was displayed last year by then-Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) who, when questioned on gun rights, stated, while standing next to armed Capitol Police, “Law-abiding citizens just shouldn’t have to carry a gun.” When the obvious presence of armed security protecting him was pointed out, Rangel insisted, “Well that’s a little different. I think we deserve — I think we need to be protected down here.”
Once again we see that Orwellian display of the entitled ruling class preaching that leftist dogma of everyone being equal, but some being more equal than others.
Trump expected to sign order side-stepping ObamaCare rules (Reuters)
Boy Scouts of America to accept girls throughout ranks (Fox News)
With threat on NBC’s “license,” Trump serves up another steaming pile of culture war (Washington Examiner)
Trump warns Puerto Rico: “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders … forever!” (The Hill)
Trump plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen for Homeland Security secretary (USA Today)
New study finds Democrats moving left, driving growing partisan gap (The Washington Free Beacon)
Iran on pathway to fully restart nuclear weapons program (The Washington Free Beacon)
Bump stock ban would retroactively criminalize possession of legally acquired products (Reason)
Texas Tech student, drug user, Bernie/Obama fan, assassinates cop (Truth Revolt)
Old video: Jimmy “Moral Compass” Kimmel has a series of women grope his crotch (The Daily Wire)
New college student survey: Yes, speech can be violence (National Review)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read Guns and Violence — A Bullet Point Reality Check. Democrats and their Demo/MSM talkingheads insist that violence is a “gun problem,” but in fact it’s a Democrat constituency and policy problem.
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By Arnold Ahlert
They all knew — and said nothing.
For decades, an army of progressive celebrities, politicians and their Leftmedia accomplices protected serial predator Harvey Weinstein. Make that serial predator and possible rapist. An explosive report published by The New Yorker reveals three women have now come forward with that allegation, and four others have alleged forcible touching that could be classified as criminal assault. Another half dozen essentially said Weinstein was an arrogant pig who did as he pleased, knowing full well the power he had to make or break their careers would ensure silence on the part of his victims.
Even now, there is an effort to shape the narrative as one of fear conquering all. And while that take may apply to the “little people,” such as aspiring actresses, or those directly employed at Weinstein’s various companies, it rings exceedingly hollow for the likes of prominent celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck (who now has his own groping scandal to deal with) and many others.
It rings even hollower for prominent politicians. Hillary Clinton waited five days before deciding she was “shocked and appalled” by Weinstein’s behavior, even as she said nothing about the funds Weinstein bundled for her 2016 election campaign. Bill Clinton, who received contributions from Weinstein for his legal defense fund when he has his own “issues” with sexual predation, has said nothing.
Weinstein was also a bundler for Barack Obama, who waited longer than Hillary to finally declare that “Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein.” Obama also spoke about the need “to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
What about the past? Obama’s 19-year-old daughter, Malia, began interning for the Weinstein Company right after the former president left office. And Michelle Obama, who recently dismissed female Trump voters as self-hating women incapable of thinking for themselves, referred to Weinstein in 2013 as a “wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse.”
The Obamas and the Clintons were hardly outliers. Since the 2000 election cycle, Weinstein donated nearly $1 million in his own name and collected another $1.5 million in “bundled” donations for Democrat politicians, reports Business Insider. Beneficiaries of Weinstein’s largesse include Sens. Chuck Schumer, Martin Heinrich, Patrick Leahy, Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Al Franken and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Many of them are ostensible champions of women’s rights. But as Jeb Bush communications director Tim Miller aptly noted, “Hollywood and the Democratic Party tend to look the other way when there’s misogynistic behavior exhibited by people who contribute to Democratic causes.”
In other words, money, not fear, trumps principles.
Feminism has taken a fatal hit as well. Actress Ashley Judd, who helped break the story, epitomizes the hypocrisy that engenders selective indignation. The woman who excoriated President Trump in front of an adoring crowd of pu—y hat-wearing fans during her speech at the Women’s March on Washington last January, based on what Trump said during a private conversation with Access Hollywood co-host Billy Bush in 2005, maintained silence about what Harvey Weinstein did for two decades. Compounding the hypocrisy, she told The New York Times that women “have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”
Why not have that conversation during the major platform you were given last January, or any other time during the last 20 years, Ms. Judd?
Judd’s not the only hypocrite. A media currently congratulating itself for breaking the story also avoided the conversation when it suited their purposes. The same New York Times that broke the story last week had a version of it back in 2004, courtesy of former Times reporter Sharon Waxman. She put together a story about a man running Miramax Italy whose real job, according to sources, was procuring “favors” for Weinstein. After pressure from Weinstein, who also enlisted actors Matt Damon and Russell Crowe to lobby on his behalf, “the story was gutted,” Waxman explained.
Rebecca Traister is another columnist who reveals why Weinstein’s odious track record remained under wraps, despite him calling her a c—t and putting her boyfriend in a headlock and dragging him into the street while “dozens of camera flashes” recorded the assault. “Back then, Harvey could spin — or suppress — anything; there were so many journalists on his payroll, working as consultants on movie projects, or as screenwriters, or for his magazine,” she writes.
Entire networks were apparently also part of Harvey’s “entourage.” Tuesday it was revealed that NBC passed on the aforementioned New Yorker report.
The real reason for everyone’s silence? Weinstein’s fortress was “quarried from the misshapen material of human vanity, ambition, and greed,” writes Weekly Standard columnist Lee Smith. “Writers and journalists — the intellectuals, in his mind — were nearly as contemptible as actors. They wouldn’t dream of crossing a guy who could turn them into culture heroes with a phone call.”
Smith believes the only reason Weinstein was exposed is because “the media industry that once protected him has collapsed.” In fact, he says, “Facebook and Google have swallowed all the digital advertising money that was supposed to save the press as print advertising continued to tank.”
No doubt. But it is also possible we are witnessing the beginning of a paradigm shift in the national ethos. President Trump’s election was about many things, but one of the biggest was about millions of “deplorable” Americans being fed up with being held in progressive contempt. Trump’s victory also revealed the ideological bankruptcy of the “smart set,” from their insufferable arrogance, to their endless assertions of moral superiority and tolerance.
So much so that maybe someone we’ve yet to hear about found the courage to expose Harvey Weinstein.
And it could get even worse for leftists because their biggest mistake — hopefully fatal — is believing millions of Americans will continue to tolerate being totally immersed in a pool of self-serving virtue-signaling, currently contaminating every entertainment venue from football games to awards shows. Virtue-signaling pitched by an army of progressive Hollywood hypocrites, Democrat hacks, and media frauds now revealed as the confederacy of cowards they truly are.
Something more believable? Courage, no matter how belated, is contagious. The bet here is Weinstein won’t be the only low-life celebrity held to account. And whether progressives like it or not, it looks like draining the swamp won’t be restricted to the city limits of Washington, DC.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- Pro-Life Advancement Under Trump — Voters should be glad the Trump administration has made great strides to protect the innocent.
- Drug Deaths Nearly 6X Gun Murders — The drug epidemic vastly outpaces America’s problem of “gun violence,” but leftists are silent.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Rich Lowry: The Great Regulatory Rollback
- Larry Elder: If ‘No One Wants to Take Our Guns,’ Stop Saying the Opposite
- Ann Coulter: Media Begging Us for Conspiracy Theories on Las Vegas
- Victor Davis Hanson: It’s 1968 All Over Again
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
R. Emmett Tyrrell: “In the aftermath of the most deadly massacre in American history, a friend asked, ‘Why would God allow a man to wreak so much carnage?’ The enormous violence clearly weakened my friend’s belief in God. It should not have weakened it. Who else, or what other agent, is around to take the place of the Uncaused Cause? God caused the universe to exist, and as to why God would allow the Las Vegas carnage to take place, it is because God created us with free will. This explains many of the imponderables of history. We have free will to choose between good and evil. On the evening of Oct. 1, a particularly evil human being again chose evil, and now he will repose forever in hell. That explains the atrocity. Yet it does not help us to prevent further atrocities, whether by lone murderers or jihadis or dictators hell-bent on world war. Evil will always be out there, and mankind is free to choose it over the good until the end of time.”
Upright: “To be a normal American is to constantly be scolded, to be lectured, to be treated as a morally bankrupt simpleton in need of the guidance and direction provided by an urban elite ruling class notable for its empty academic credentials, its track record of incompetence, and its idolization of people who erotically abuse the foliage. If we are to have betters, is it so wrong for us to demand that they actually be better? Superiors should be distinguished by their superiority — if you presume to take charge shouldn’t you demonstrate tactical, technical, and moral mastery? So what has our ruling class mastered lately? What is the skill set that sets the smart set apart?” —Kurt Schlichter
Hollywood hypocrisy: “Everyone knew what Harvey [Weinstein] was up to and no one did anything. It’s unbelievable that he’s been able to act like this for decades and still keep his career.” —French actress Lea Seydoux
Re: The Left: “Everything about the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal is shocking. From the number of alleged victims, to the high-profile celebrities who say they were abused by the Hollywood heavyweight, there’s nothing about this story that doesn’t leave one stunned. What isn’t shocking, however, is that the entertainment industry, whose members pride themselves on their supposed courage, is full of cowards.” —Becket Adams
Believe this? “What other people are saying, what my former colleagues are saying, is they’re going to donate [money from Harvey Weinstein] to charity, and of course I will do that. I give 10% of my income to charity every year, this will be part of that. There’s no — there’s no doubt about it.” —Hillary Clinton
For the record: “It took Hillary [about] 5 minutes to blame NRA for madman’s rampage, but 5 days to sorta-kinda blame Harvey Weinstein 4 his sexual assaults.” —Kellyanne Conway
And last… “I hope people who accused Hollywood of being ‘out of touch’ are feeling a little silly right now.” —David Burge
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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