Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly, including State Duma deputies, members of the Federation Council, regional governors and civil society representatives, at the Kremlin in Moscow March 18, 2014. To thunderous applause, cheers and even tears, Putin delivered a fiercely patriotic speech on Tuesday that laid claim to Crimea and set out a vision of a Greater Russia that could define his third term as president. REUTERS/Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Sergei Ilnitsky/Reuters)

Calling out the New York Times. “It is a good thing for autocrats like Vladimir Putin to publish op-eds in America’s paper of record, which Putin did on the most recent anniversary of September 11th. Readers know what to expect. It is embarrassing when a so-called professor like Andranik Migranyan is invited to participate in the Times‘ ‘Room For Debate’ series with no acknowledgement that he is a de facto PR man for the Kremlin.”

It’s called hypocrisy. “You’d think a campaign as well funded as liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s could afford a compliance guy. Turns out not so much as the campaign last month was slapped with a tax lien for failure to pay unemployment insurance to the State of Colorado.” The National Republican Senatorial Committee points out he’s a big believer in an unemployment insurance extension.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) calls inclusion on the banned from Russia list an honor. He tweets: “I’m proud to be sanctioned by Putin — I’ll never cease my efforts & dedication to freedom & independence of Ukraine, which includes Crimea.”

White House reporters call it untrue. “White House Reporters: No, Questions Are Not Submitted to Jay Carney in Advance.” I believe them; his answers would be better if he had them in advance.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) calls Obamacare a “winner.” Republicans would call this a gift — to them. “Four years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Pelosi defended the hiccups of its implementation in a rare recess-week press conference. The California Democrat pushed back on the idea that ObamaCare would hinder Democrats’ hopes in this year’s midterms, saying, ‘I believe that it’s a winner. . . . We just couldn’t be prouder.’” How about if it worked as promised?

This is why Democrats don’t call in the president to help sell Obamacare. “As was the case in September, there is substantially more strong opposition than support for the health care law. Overall, 77% of those who disapprove say they feel this way very strongly (41% of public); 64% of approvers hold this view very strongly (26% of the public).” And I suspect the midterm electorate will have even a higher percent of strong disapprovers.

This is one reason why critics call the sanctions ultimately insufficient. “Turkish headlines on March 14 focused on the contents of a 300-page report, allegedly penned by Turkish prosecutors, detailing a criminal organization under Iranian businessman Rezza Zarrab. Zarrab, who has been at the center of Turkey’s corruption scandals since December of last year, is alleged in this report to have conducted a wide range of illegal activities in Turkey, including money laundering through Iran, Dubai and China. The March 14 report reinforces much of what has already been written about the Turkish gas-for-gold scheme, which transpired between 2012 and 2013, and yielded Iran some $12 billion in illicit transactions at the height of the sanctions regime designed to halt Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.”

 

 

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.