Breitbart.com reports: At the same time the US State Department is relaxing entry requirements to visa applicants with Islamist terrorist connections, and reassuring President Putin of Russia that any sanctions against travel to the US placed upon those responsible for Russia’s invasion Ukraine will be limited to no more than a “few dozen” named individuals, it is dramatically increasing its rejection rate of Israelis seeking visas to visit the US.
While the State Department denies it, Israeli officials now suspect their country is being deliberately sanctioned as part of an unannounced administration policy to punish the Jewish state. This week their fears were publicly shared by none other than administration ally NY Senator Charles Schumer, who, in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, demanded an end to the “State Department policy of categorically denying young Israelis tourist visas that makes it nearly impossible for any young Israeli to visit the U.S.”
The Daily Caller‘s Brendan Bordelon reports: Zaid Jilani, a former blogger with the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, explained this week how the Obama administration frequently tries to censor the progressive organization’s content when it departs from the White House’s agenda.
Jiliani was reacting to two on-air protests by journalists opposed to Russia’s invasion of southern Ukraine. The two worked for Russia Today (RT) — an English-speaking media outlet funded directly by Moscow — and felt their bosses were trying to censor their opinions
“Essentially, they were doing the same thing to us RT America is telling its American producers to do now — align with your boss, who is the president of the country.”
In a post titled, ”How Working in Washington Taught Me We’re All A Little Like RT America,” Jilani explained how the White House frequently played the part of the Kremlin — leaning on management to push their writers in a particular direction, and punishing them if they strayed from the party line.
“Phone calls from the White House started pouring in,” Jilani claimed, “berating my bosses for being critical of Obama on this policy…”
“I’m writing this post to explain how working in Washington taught me we’re all a little bit like the good folks who work at RT America,” Jilani explained, “struggling against editorial censors, doing our best to follow our conscience despite sometimes suffocating pressures from our publishers and sponsors.” Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Patrick Leahy writes: Conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, the director and co-writer of the highly successful documentary 2016: Obama’s America, told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday that “after we did 2016, President Obama was very upset… If he was upset about that film, wait ’til he sees the new one.”
”I was seventeen years old when I first set eyes on America… Even then I knew I could be the architect of my own destiny.”
D’Souza’s new movie, America, produced by Oscar winner Gerald Molen and John Sullivan, will debut in July.
“We are living in the American era, an era that began at the end of World War II, but this moment is very fragile…”
D’Souza was indicted for violating federal election laws in January by the Department of Justice. Many saw the move as pure political payback against an outspoken critic of President Obama. On Tuesday, D’Souza appeared in court with his attorney in New York City, who signaled his client was prepared to go to trial.
Hint: It’s Not Hillary
Matthew Continetti writes: So long have I waited for the glass ceiling to be shattered, for the barrier to be breached, for the blessed moment to arrive. I had thought that the day that begins with a woman in the Oval Office, with more than 50 percent of our population feeling truly represented, was a day long in coming. I had thought 2008 would be the year we made history, with Hillary Clinton coming so close to the Democratic nomination, with Sarah Palin becoming the first woman on the Republican ticket.
“It is clear to me now that we have had a woman president since January 20, 2009. Barack Obama’s story is America’s story. It is our story. It is the female story.”
But it was not to be. America reverted to her old habits of sexism and gynophobia, denying Clinton her place in the sun, even questioning the maternity of Palin’s youngest child. Barack Obama was elected to the White House. The contest four years later was, in sheer numbers, a regression: In 2012 no women were present on any major party ticket. Obama won his second term.
“…Barack Obama has as much of a claim as the next girl to being the first woman president. Do not “other” him. Love him. Celebrate him. Open your mind, as I have. And Hillary: Take note. We already have a woman in the White House.”
Only now do I see how mistaken I have been, how shallow my thinking, how guilty of succumbing to the confines of the hetero-normative imagination.
Diplomatic Trash Talkin’ Quote of the Week
Since we’re often reminded by his admirers in academia, the media, and entertainment industry that President Obama is the most brilliant, analytical, nuanced, intellectually-gifted American President in history, we can only conclude that Masoud Jazayeri is a racist.
For The Times of Israel, Marissa Newman writes: President Barack Obama is a “low-IQ US president,” whose threat to launch a military offensive should nuclear talks fail is an oft-cited punchline in the Islamic Republic, particularly among children, an Iranian general said on Tuesday.
“The low-IQ US president and his country’s Secretary of State John Kerry speak of the effectiveness of ‘the US options on the table’ on Iran while this phrase is mocked at and has become a joke among the Iranian nation, especially the children…”
– General Masoud Jazayeri
Jazayeri was responding to the US president’s interview in Bloomberg on Sunday, in which Obama maintained that the Iranian leadership should take his “all options on the table” stance — including the warning of a potential military strike — seriously.
“…completely inexpert remarks far from the reality, and these statements can be used as the joke of the year.”
“We have a high degree of confidence that when they look at 35,000 US military personnel in the region that are engaged in constant training exercises under the direction of a president who already has shown himself willing to take military action in the past, that they should take my statements seriously,” the president told Bloomberg.
Jazayeri called Obama’s statements regarding the deployment of US troops “completely inexpert remarks far from the reality, and these statements can be used as the joke of the year.”
The Iranian news agency Tuesday published a political cartoon mocking the US president, calling it: “All Options on Table.” This Time for Russia.” In a jab at US non-intervention in Ukraine, the cartoon portrays Obama peering forlornly into an empty paint can with the label “Red Line” while Russian President Vladimir Putin walks away saying, “I think you used it all on Syria.” Read the rest of this entry »
Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed that they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy, according to several of Ms. Lerner’s emails released by a House committee Thursday.
BREAKING NEWS: Girl feud! Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus tangle over slip of the tongue
Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus were supposedly girlfriends! — but are they anymore? Comments Perry made on TV while promoting her Prismatic tour Down Under made their way halfway around the world, and Cyrus is not happy.
It all started Monday on Australia’s “Sunrise” program, when one of the hosts riffed off Perry’s hit “I Kissed a Girl” to lead into a discussion of the “Roar” singer’s recent lip-lock with Cyrus during one of the “Wrecking Ball” singer’s shows.
“Scandalous!” Perry joked, before explaining what went down….Read more >>> LATimes
Note: Use Lois Lerner story only if the new photos of Miley Cyrus don’t come in by deadline. Bump this, see if there’s any room for it next week, thanks. –Ed. Move to Page D 17, bottom of page: “Emails Show IRS Lois Lerner Specifically Targeted Tea Party”
Stephen Dinan and Seth McLaughlin report: Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed that they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy, according to several of Ms. Lerner’s emails released by a House committee Thursday.
In one 2011 email, Ms. Lerner specifically calls the tea party applications for tax-exempt status problematic, which seems to counter Democrats’ arguments that tea party groups weren’t targeted.
“Tea Party Matter very dangerous,” Ms. Lerner wrote in the 2011 email, saying that those applications could end up being the “vehicle to go to court” to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules.
Guy Benson reports: For the fifth time in six years, Barack Obama missed his budget deadline – and for the sixth time in six years, the spending blueprint he eventually produced never comes close to balancing. The Washington Post previewed Obama’s budget last month, noting that the White House would peddle it as an end to America’s “era of austerity.” That’s rich. Under this president, the federal government has spent more money annually than at any other time in US history.
“Gun control, immigration reform and climate change are extremely low priorities for most Americans, but not for Barack Obama…”
Annual deficits have ranged between $500 billion and $1.4 trillion. Prior to Barack Obama’s presidency, the United States had never racked up a single trillion-dollar annual shortfall. On his watch, Washington has done so four times. The Congressional Budget Office projects that on our current trajectory, we’ll hit $1 trillion again within eight years. Various fact-checkers have confirmed that among his many predecessors, President Obama is the “undisputed debt king,” having added more than $6 trillion to the nation’s red ink since taking office in 2009. In his first campaign, Obama called President Bush “unpatriotic” for amassing more than $4 trillion in gross national debt over two full terms in office.
“This president’s fiscal recklessness and partisan cynicism is has been a calling card of his administration…”
So that, ladies and gentlemen, is the “era of austerity” that Obama has magnanimously decided to end. His new grand vision, the Associated Press reports, will “appeal to Democrats,” and is a politically-charged “messaging” document, according to Time:
Obama’s $3.9 trillion budget represents a laundry-list of policy proposals designed to help Democrats hold the Senate and pick up seats in the House. Obama essentially conceded the point last month, when the White House announced he is dropping calls for an unpopular, but cost-saving measure to change the way inflation is calculated for the purposes of entitlement programs like Social Security…
“…prior to her decision in favor of voluntarily retiring, Lerner was in danger of being removed from her job due to findings from an IRS inquiry board citing “neglect of duties” and mismanagement…”
Executive vice president for the National Taxpayers Union Pete Sepp reports: Even before she retired, scandalized IRS official Lois Lerner’s compensation was already attracting attention. While on administrative leave, federal rules allowed her to keep collecting a salary, one that reportedly totaled $177,000. So it was no surprise when speculation arose over how much Lerner could collect in federal pension benefits.
Unfortunately, that speculation, which initially projected a benefit of over $50,000, might be off by about half … and in the wrong direction.
National Taxpayers Union calculations show that Lerner could qualify for a starting pension at the annual equivalent of as much as $102,600, and up to $3.96 million over her lifetime.
The individual retirement choices of federal employees are not a matter of public record. However, precisely because NTU has been denied this information in the past (specifically pertaining to Members of Congress), we’ve developed the most accurate method available to provide solid estimates of how much federal employees can collect.
For NRO, Jillian Kay Melchior reports: The shutdown resulted in 7.88 million fewer visitors at national parks, costing the economy $414 million, according to a news release from the Department of Interior that reads more like an accusation than an apology.
“While the Department of the Interior was eager to broadcast the costs to the economy, it’s been much more sheepish about releasing public records regarding its shutdown behavior…”
Though you wouldn’t know it from the news release, the National Park Service made the shutdown vastly more painful than it needed to be. For example, in South Dakota, the federal government not only blocked the entrance to Mount Rushmore but also cordoned off roadside spots that might have offered tourists a nice view. It closed the World War II memorial to even visiting veterans. And the Park Service demanded state-run sites on federal lands close their doors to the public.