Time to call out the State Department. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) objects to phony excuses for not sanctioning Venezuela: “Either the State Department made a mistake, or it is relying on unfounded information as its basis for opposing sanctions on Venezuelan regime officials at this time. In either case, I am deeply troubled about the mixed signals and message of impunity the Administration is sending to the Maduro regime and its enablers as its repressive machine ramps up the brutality of human rights abuses inflicted on peaceful demonstrators, including more than 240 students arrested the morning of May 8.”

Anti-government protesters shout during a protest against Nicolas Maduro's government at Altamira square in Caracas March 19, 2014. A Venezuela National Guard captain died on Monday after being shot in the head during a demonstration, the military said, the 29th fatality in six weeks of clashes between protesters and security forces. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins (VENEZUELA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) Anti-government protesters shout during a protest against Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Time for right-wingers to question whether they want to be on the side of teachers unions when it comes to Common Core. “Oregon’s teachers union is calling on state schools chief Rob Saxton to cancel state reading and math tests in spring 2015 because it says the new exams Oregon plans to give are unproven and too hard. Giving them, the union says, would harm students by making most of them feel like failures. Saxton said Monday that he won’t consider canceling the tests, which he acknowledged will be challenging, because they are geared to what Oregon students need to know to succeed in college and on the job. He said he refuses to have Oregon lag behind all other states in switching to teaching and testing students according to the Common Core State Standards, a rigorous set of expectations for reading, math, writing and analysis, which Oregon adopted in 2010 and 44 other states also have switched to.”

Time for Sen. Harry Reid (R-Nev.) to stand up to the White House? Not on Iran sanctions but on judges insufficiently supportive of gay marriage. “Harry Reid Says He ‘Can’t Vote’ For Obama’s Controversial Judicial Pick. . . . At a confirmation hearing on Tuesday in front of the Judiciary Committee, [Judge Michael] Boggs would not comment on personal opinions and said that his record as a state judge was non-partisan as opposed to the positions he took as a lawmaker when he was representing constituents.” Outrageous!

Time  for Hollywood to stand up for gays — in Arab lands. “Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres brought a smile to my lips last week — and not by saying anything funny. They were out in the not-so-fresh air on Sunset Boulevard demonstrating against the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air, properties owned by the Sultan of Brunei who, as The New York Times reported, this month began enforcing ‘a new penal code that will permit the stoning of gays and adulterers in his home country.’ This could be the start of something big: Hollywood mandarins declaring war on such penal codes — also known as Shariah, a key component of the Islamist agenda.” Next they might go after Iran!

Time for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to quit funding anti-Israel boycott groups.  The fund says it promotes Middle East peace and reconciliation, but “[I]ndependent and systematic analysis of a number of the political advocacy groups that receive funding indicates that their activities are counterproductive to or inconsistent with RBF’s stated objectives.”

Time to recall the missed opportunity to push out Bashar al-Assad before the jihadis arrived. “The approximately  5,000 Arab foreign insurgents fighting in rebel Syrian ranks are a collective ‘ticking bomb for their countries of origin,’ a new study by Israeli security  experts said Tuesday. Many of the volunteers pose a risk when they return, due to the likelihood of them setting up local jihad nodes, joining  domestic networks, or forming local branches of transnational Syria-based terror  networks, the authors said.”

Time for a bipartisan tax cut proposal? “Republicans who refuse to consider boosting growth through additional public spending should be open to a tax cut for this purpose — especially a cut that promises not to increase (at least in the long run) government debt as a share of GDP. The potential deal is this: Liberals would agree to lead renewed stimulus with tax cuts, and in return, conservatives would agree to the kind of tax cuts (conditions-based and progressive) that liberals want. Here’s a simple, easily administered proposal along these lines: a five-year reduction in Social Security payroll rates — by three percentage points during the first three years, phasing down to two points in the fourth year and one point in the fifth.” Read the whole thing.