- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2014

How on earth did America ever end up mistreating its beloved military veterans? There’s something aberrant afoot where the Department of Veterans Affairs is concerned, say some close observers. One of them is Oscar-winning producer Gerald R. Molen, who won a best picture award for “Schindler’s List” and applause for “Jurassic Park” and other blockbusters. He is now directing concerned citizens toward the odd, unfamiliar culture that has evolved since the not-so-fabulous 1960s.

“Where did this culture of contempt for our men and women in uniform come from? This story is a part of a much larger narrative — a story of the last 50 years of American history and how we changed as a people,” Mr. Molen writes in The Wrap, a film industry news site. “When American troops returned from World War II, they were hailed as heroes. When they returned from Vietnam, they were spat upon, ridiculed, shamed, derided, mocked and taunted. What changed? We did, because we began to listen to a new narrative about America and we believed it.”

The producer adds, “A half-century later, those who spat upon our troops — both figuratively and literally — are now in positions of power and influence in Hollywood, Washington, in academia and yes, maybe even in the offices of VA administrators, and their ethos rules. Their actions and inaction speak louder than words.”


PHOTOS: Conservatives in Hollywood: Celebrities who lean right


Perhaps a few of them were at recent college commencements acting out in the name of political correctness. Incidentally, Mr. Molen’s upcoming film “America”, written and directed by Dinesh D’Souza, will be in theaters July 2.

Mr. Molen isn’t the only one who faults our impaired culture.

The Government Accountability Office investigative interim report released this week “confirmed that the dysfunction of the VA extends well beyond poor patient care. A perverse culture — in which patient data are purposely falsified — has taken hold of the institution whose sole mission is to provide medical care for those who defended our freedom,” says Rep. Scott Rigell, Virginia Republican. “No organization can excel when this type of culture takes root.”

THE GRANDER OLD PARTY

Press and pundits persistently claim that the Republican Party is completely uncooperative. Not so, says Rep. Tom Price, who uses the latest GDP report to make his point. The nation’s economy shrank by 1 percent in the first quarter of the year, the report found. And?

President Obama and his allies in Washington are seemingly ambivalent to how their liberal agenda is doing real harm to real people,” says the Georgia Republican.

“House Republicans have given our colleagues on the other side of the aisle ample opportunity to do right by the American people. We’ve sent legislation over to the Senate with a broad range of solutions that would help reinvigorate and reinforce our nation’s entrepreneurial spirit. We’ve given the president and his administration every chance to approve the Keystone XL pipeline that would put folks to work in support of a greater American energy future,” Mr. Price continues. “All we get is an absence of leadership.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES

“The Versa Executive Backpack”

— From the manufacturer’s product description: “Special features: checkpoint friendly, shell-protected sunglass/gadget case, fits up to 14.1-inch laptop/MacBook Pro 15, corner-guard protection system, water-repellent ballistic nylon exterior, trolley handle pass-through strap, ergonomic padded back panel, felt-lined iPad/Kindle/tablet pocket, lifetime warranty protection. Price: $198.”

SEEKING THE INSIGHT

More evidence that politics, news, public affairs and global hubbub influence the economy and human behavior. Debuting Monday at 6 p.m. ET on the Fox Business Network: “Making Money with Charles Payne.

The daily program will explore investment avenues based on the day’s top stories, a network source advises. Mr. Payne will be joined by a panel of business and market experts to debate headlines, offer an end-of-the-day wrap, and provide “an insider’s look at tomorrow’s money makers.”

TOGETHER: BENHAMS, CRUZ, PAUL, HUCKABEE

The Benham brothers soon will have their say — and so will a host of Republican lawmakers and conservative activists. The occasion is the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s upcoming “Road to Majority” conference in Washington next month. Organizers tell Inside the Beltway that David and Jason Benham will be among the luminaries speaking at the major three-day event, expected to draw some 2,000 people intent on addressing pro-life, pro-family policy gains in the next Congress.

The aforementioned brothers were much maligned in mainstream news coverage for “expressing their strongly held Christian beliefs,” a coalition source says. Following complaints from gay rights groups, the pair also lost their starring roles on an HGTV television production scheduled to air in the fall season.

“The Benham twins are the most recent example of the media trying to silence anyone who professes their faith,” says Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. “We are honored to have them address our attendees.”

The conference begins June 19. The many confirmed speakers include Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, John Bolton, Grover Norquist and lawmakers such as Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio, plus Reps. Paul Ryan, Steve King, Marsha Blackburn, Louie Gohmert, Dave Camp and Michele Bachmann. See the big doings here: Roadtomajority.com.

HILLARITY

“After 23 years in the public eye, is there anything we don’t know about Hillary Clinton? Her actions and personal qualities have been scrutinized for more than two decades, but hardly anyone has summarized the public’s judgments about her,” reports the American Enterprise Institute,

Until now. In a new study, senior fellow Karlyn Bowman and senior research associate Jennifer Marsico reviewed 5,000 poll questions about every aspect of Mrs. Clinton’s career from 1992-2014. The pair has shared the findings for those who care — or dare — to look at the numbers. The researchers say that while Mrs. Clinton’s election is not guaranteed, she will be a “formidable player” if she chooses to run for the White House. So be prepared.

Find it all here: AEI.org.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

Coming to auction Tuesday: “Clifton”, the historic property of Warner Washington, Jr., cousin of George Washington; originally chartered in Berryville, Virginia in 1770. Includes Clifton Manor and Little Clifton Manor in classical revival style, 12-foot ceilings, original glass windows, heart pine floors, seven fireplaces, marble porticos, swimming pool, “sweeping views.” Completely renovated. Also on offer: complete farm operations facilities, including four barns. Through HallAndHall.com

POLL DU JOUR

47 percent of Americans say President Obama is a foreign policy “dove”; 69 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall say Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is about what they “expected” since he took office in 2009; 41 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent approve of the president’s foreign policy; 8 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Democrats agree.

33 percent overall are not sure how to describe the tone of Mr. Obama’s policy; 14 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats agree.

21 percent say Mr. Obama is a “hawk” on foreign policy; 17 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 990 U.S. adults conducted May 16-19.

Mumbles, shouts and chatter to jharperwashingtontimes.com.