IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Mueller indicts 13 Russians for election interference. Geopolitical foe, anyone?
- The Florida killer gave numerous warning signs. So what happened?
- It’s the culture, not the guns.
- March for Our Lives is getting attention. But “grownups” shouldn’t exploit grieving teens.
- How continuing resolutions are responsible for a lot of the national debt.
- Ohio teen is removed from her parents for their refusal to comply with gender dysphoria.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“History and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.” —George Washington (1796)
On Friday, news broke that Robert Mueller’s special investigation had indicted 13 Russians and three Russian organizations for having engaged in efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. In his announcement, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein explained, “The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.” Rosenstein also pointed out that no Americans were being indicted, saying, “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity.” He added, “There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.” However, Rosenstein did note that the investigation remains ongoing.
The indictment states in part, “Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.” The Russians sought to prop up the candidates who initially looked like outliers, such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, while they worked to spread negative information against Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Clearly, the Russians were not allied to any one political party or platform; instead, they sought to sow as much discord within the American political election process as possible. This conclusion is emphasized by post-election activity, when Russian agents engaged in organized efforts to both defend and attack Trump’s presidency. It was a political destabilization campaign that harkens back to Cold War-era espionage. And it serves as a reminder that Russian leadership is just as committed to weakening the U.S. as it ever has been.
Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe,” Mitt Romney said in 2012, to the mockery of Barack Obama and Democrats everywhere. Romney was right.
Following the news, Trump tweeted, “If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their a—s off in Moscow. Get smart America!” Trump is right.
Deliberately muddying the message, The Washington Post responded to the news by suggesting that it was Trump who has egg on his face with a story entitled “Trump’s Russia ‘hoax’ turns out to be real.” The piece then spins the Mueller indictment and accuses Trump of being wrong for calling the Russiagate investigation a “witch-hunt” and a “hoax” because Russia did seek to interfere. But the Post obscures the fact that what Trump called a hoax was the Demo/MSM narrative that his campaign supposedly colluded with Russia — a narrative Mueller’s indictment appears to undermine.
It’s interesting to note the immense weight Democrats and the Leftmedia are willing to attribute to 13 Russians in their ability to influence the outcome of an election, while at the same time downplaying as completely inconsequential the impact that millions of illegal aliens living in the U.S. have on our elections. Which party is it that time and again rejects common-sense election fraud protections such as voter ID?
By Nate Jackson
The more information we learn about the perpetrator of the horrific school massacre in Florida, the more distressing it becomes. The 19-year-old assailant had lost both adoptive parents, including his mother in November, and he was distressed over dating troubles. Florida’s social services investigated his home life amidst questions of mental illness, self-destructive behavior and his intent to purchase a firearm. That inquiry was closed last year after social workers concluded his “final level of risk is low,” because he was still in school at the time and had support from his mother.
The assessment was at odds with that of teachers and school officials, however. Going all the way back to his middle school years, school officials dealt with regular disciplinary issues over things like fighting, profane outbursts in class and violent images or threats written on his homework. Some teachers banned him from their classrooms. He was eventually expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, which he attacked Wednesday, because of the overall threat assessment. That included his habit of sometimes introducing himself as a “school shooter.”
The local cops had received calls about him dozens of times over several years, usually about domestic violence. The FBI received a tip on Jan. 5 about his threats to “be a professional school shooter,” but the bureau did not investigate. “It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions Friday. “We see the tragic consequences of those failures.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott even called for the resignation of FBI Director Chris Wray. That’s the wrong solution. The real responsibility for this is on the ground — local law-enforcement failed to make a case against this guy. Asking for the FBI director to resign accomplishes nothing.
But even with the failures of law enforcement, there were dozens of people who saw something, said something and did something to help this disturbed young man or to address his threat, right up until the last minute. A school official saw him approaching the school Wednesday and alerted other staffers, but it was too late to stop him.
So what hope is there?
See something, say something only works if the “something” is followed up with action and help. School officials were no doubt handicapped by legal hurdles or just plain old political correctness, and law enforcement simply failed to act. But sometimes, broken people just snap. Hindsight is always 20/20, and in each moment of involvement, teachers, administrators or cops may have thought they were doing all they were permitted to do. It’s only now, after 17 people are dead, that a full profile of his history is available.
In the end, crime prevention isn’t about arresting someone before they commit a crime; it’s about addressing the cultural cesspool we’re cultivating in this country and about providing individual help for people who need it.
Trey Gowdy praises Robert Mueller, says Russia probe on right track (The Washington Times)
Here’s the truth about Trump revoking gun checks on the “mentally ill” (The Daily Wire)
Bad form, politicizing the deaths of innocents: Trump slams FBI over “missed signals” on Florida shooting, says “too much time” spent on Russia (USA Today)
Air Force Academy email praising NBA legend is slammed as “microaggression” (Fox News)
Homosexual U.S. skier happy he broke thumb so he won’t have to shake Mike Pence’s hand (The Daily Wire)
Has any 10th place finisher ever gotten media love like Adam Rippon? (The Resurgent)
Olympics audience shrinks, but NBC touts win (The Wall Street Journal)
Baltimore County jury awards $37M to family of police shooting victim (The Baltimore Sun)
A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence survived the War Between the States hidden behind wallpaper (Chicago Tribune)
Clarence Thomas decries victimhood culture in rare public remarks (The Daily Signal)
Policy: Robert Mueller’s alarming, reassuring indictment (National Review)
Policy: We should celebrate Washington’s birthday, not Presidents’ Day (The Heritage Foundation)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Arnold Ahlert
Last Wednesday, Andrew Pollack was photographed while searching for his daughter, Meadow, who was a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Tragically, he learned Meadow was one of the 17 murder victims.
A parent’s worst nightmare, eliciting an avalanche of sympathy? No, Pollack was shown wearing a “Trump 2020” T-shirt. Apparently nothing else mattered.
“He’s a pro-Trump guy which means he supports the guy who is responsible for the death of his child!!” tweeted iMO@_sheateher. “I don’t feel sorry for him and f—k trump,” stated Walterlee@eastsidedogg. “Maybe he should have thought twice before voting for #TerroristTrump,” added #TrumpforPrison@SolRyaz.
These twisted souls were hardly an anomaly. Trump is “obviously mentally ill,” according to TV host Jimmy Kimmel, who joined a chorus of other hate-filled leftists promoting pure propaganda.
As always, leftists want to restrict the entire conversation to gun control. And as always, none of them can name a single new law that would prevent a tragedy like this.
What might? Ramping down leftist hate. Ever since the election, those who profess to own the franchise on tolerance have not only been utterly deranged, but increasingly proud of being so.
Examples abound. “Where’s Rand Paul’s neighbor when we need him?” tweeted Bette Midler in response to the senator’s words on the budget. Midler was apparently hoping the Democrat neighbor who broke Paul’s ribs and punctured his lung would be up for an encore.
Her tweet garnered 23,000 “likes.”
As columnist Melissa Meckenzie notes, this was Paul’s second brush with Democrat-perpetrated violence. He was also present when a deranged Bernie Sanders fanatic targeted Republican lawmakers at a baseball field, nearly killing Rep. Steve Scalise.
Meckenzie also reminds us more than 200 people were arrested during a violent demonstration precipitated by antifa at Trump’s inauguration, and that anti-Trump protesters spat on Gold Star families attending the American Legion’s “Salute to Heroes” gala honoring those who defended the nation.
Leftist-instigated violence has also become almost routine on college campuses. Heather MacDonald’s speech at Claremont McKenna College was shut down by what she described as an “exercise of brute totalitarian force.” Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger was injured and forced to flee in fear for her life with author Charles Murray, following Murray’s speech at that campus. Leftist protesters were permitted to walk around Evergreen State College wielding baseball bats and causing $10,000 of property damage, following leftist professor Bret Weinstein’s assertion that white people should not be forced to leave campus for the school’s annual “Day of Absence” discussions about race.
Those examples merely scratch the surface.
Even simple decency has been cast aside. When Republicans going to a retreat were involved in a train crash killing one person, CNN political commentator Ken Boykin suggested it was a “metaphor for American politics.” Democratic/socialist strategist Jonathan Tasini and self-described “CNN talking head” insisted, “God is working hard today to clean up the stink. Thank her [sic].”
For a largely secular Left, God, Christianity and its practitioners are often targets of contempt and derision. Thus, “The View’s” Joy Behar found it amusing to mock Vice President Mike Pence. “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus; it’s another thing when Jesus talks to you,” she asserted. “That’s called mental illness.”
Behar’s disdain was emulated by the openly homosexual and openly puerile Olympian skier Gus Kenworthy. Like so many leftists, he conflates Pence’s commitment to religious freedom with anti-homosexual bigotry.
Back to the problem of “gun violence.” There are solutions, but most of them are utterly anathema to the American Left. We could restore some sense of codified morality to a society grotesquely disconnected from it. What do we mean? The death of 17 people is mourned as a national tragedy, while genocidal levels of abortion and the sale of fetal tissue is celebrated as “freedom of choice.” And yet progressives still scream about pandering to the religious Right and creating a nation that supposedly resembles the “Handmaiden’s Tale.”
We could stop medicating children with heavy-duty drugs whose side effects produce psychotic behavior, but then they wouldn’t be submissive enough for “inconvenienced” parents and school administrators — or emasculated enough to fulfill the Left’s dream of “proving” there’s no difference between boys and girls.
We could arm teachers and guards in schools, but that would constitute “selling out to the NRA,” according to leftist politicians and celebrities — protected by armed bodyguards.
We could revamp a “multicultural” immigration system that welcomes too many people from places where life is cheap, but leftists insist it’s xenophobic bigotry to do so, even though the bloodthirsty ethos of MS-13 gangbangers, or terror-precipitating “refugees,” suggests it’s not.
We could also revamp a public school system contaminated by the Left’s determination to teach children more about what’s wrong with America than what’s right about it.
“When I was in high school, every one of those rigs in the high school parking lot had a gun in the gun rack,” Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told a group of reporters following a school shooting near that city last September. “Why? We went hunting on the way home. None of those guns ever walked into a school, none of those guns ever shot anybody. … Did the gun change or did you as a society change?”
“We are a formerly Christian society in an advanced state of decomposition,” Pat Buchanan asserts.
It’s a decomposition where “see something, say something” is either labeled bigoted or Islamophobic, or reduced to tragic farce by the gross incompetence of the same FBI leftists defend as sacrosanct when it’s going after Trump.
For an American Left that champions celebrity has-been Madonna’s dreams of “blowing up the White House,” Kathy Griffin’s severed Trump head, a New York City Public Theater that assassinates a Trump-like Julius Caesar, or a violence-fomenting “Resistance” with an end game of nullifying an election, conversations about gun control are nothing more than the last refuge of leftist scoundrels.
Scoundrels who own the degradation of our culture. As Andrew Klavan asserts, “Over the last fifty years, it’s the left that has assaulted every moral norm and disdained every religious and cultural restraint.”
And now America is living — and dying — with the permutations.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- Washington’s Birthday vs. Presidents’ Day — To call the day “Presidents’ Day” diminishes George Washington.
- Grandstanding in the Face of Tragedy Is Inexcusable — The March for Our Lives is getting robust attention. But the “grownups” shouldn’t exploit grieving teens.
- How Continuing Resolutions Create More Debt — Earmarks were bad for the budget, but negligence of constitutional budget duties is far worse.
- The Destructiveness of the Transgender Delusion — A teen seeks to be removed from her parents’ custody because they won’t placate her desired transition.
- Video: Seriously? These Are the Presidential Portraits? — Barack Obama’s official portrait was unveiled last week. There’s so many things to say about it and so little time…
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Gary S. Smith: Presidential Character and Competence: A Presidents’ Day Reflection
- Jeff Jacoby: The Hack Who Repented
- Tony Perkins: Court: Accept Your Child’s New Gender or Lose Custody
- Kathryn Jean Lopez: Reflections From the Vatican
- Burt Prelutsky: Nancy Pelosi, AKA Wonder Woman
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Burt Prelutsky: “Liberals were in awe of Nancy Pelosi’s eight-hour filibuster. They gave her extra points because the old woman did it while wearing stiletto heels, the way that others used to argue for Ginger Rogers’ superiority over Fred Astaire because she did everything he did but did it backwards and in heels. Well, I knew Ginger Rogers and, believe me, Mrs. Pelosi is no Ginger Rogers. The amazing thing to me isn’t that she stood that long but that she could listen to herself for more than two minutes, which happens to be my limit. The fact that she was devoting that much time to DACA only goes to show the length Democrats will go in their pursuit of the Hispanic vote. The fact that such showboating will work only proves how gullible Hispanic voters are. After all, when Obama had super majorities in 2009 and 2010, he and the Democrats never gave a second thought to Hispanics. Instead, they devoted their time and attention to forcing the Affordable Care Act down our throats.”
Upright: “It’s a shame to have to point out the obvious, but [college] administrators don’t seem to realize that the entire campus is already a free-speech zone. And not because they allow it, but because it’s located in the United States of America.” —Ed Feulner
Doubling down on stupid: “[Tax reform resulted in] tax cuts at the high end. A banquet for everyone up here. Crumbs for people down here. I’ll repeat that.” —House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
That sound you hear? Leftists shrieking in dismay: “I am actually humbled by the fact that people think that I could be a leader of the free world, but it’s just not in my spirit. It’s not in my DNA.” —Oprah Winfrey
Non Compos Mentis: “The knee is certainly an issue [for skier Anna Veith]. I want to point out she also got married. And it’s historically very challenging to race on the World Cup with a family or after being married. Not to blame the spouses, but I just want to toss that out there — that it could be her husband’s fault.” —Olympics analyst Bode Miller
Braying Jenny: “It’s striking to me how many [free-market advocates] seem to be on the autism spectrum — people who don’t feel solidarity or empathy with others, and who have kind of difficult human relationships sometimes.” —Duke University history professor Nancy MacLean
Alpha Jackass: “You would think that cops would occasionally shoot a white kid just to make it look good. You would think every couple of months they’d look at their … calendar and go, ‘Oh my God, we’re up to 16! We gotta shoot a white kid quick!’ I wanna live in a world with real equality. I want to live in a world where an equal amount of white kids are shot every month. I wanna see white mothers on TV, crying, standing next to Al Sharpton, talkin’ about, ‘We need justice for Chad.’” —"comedian" Chris Rock
Missing the mark: “No gun reforms are getting through. And most of the ones that will be proposed in the wake of this shooting will be utterly meaningless and wouldn’t have even arguably prevented this killing. The NRA is too powerful. Our politicians are too weak. And the guns are too ubiquitous.” —NBC anchor Megyn Kelly
And last… “Why don’t we take the $500,000,000 we give Planned Parenthood every year and use it to hire armed security guards for schools?” —Liz Wheeler
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher