The Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt features Arne Duncan getting caught lying, what the Right should expect from Chris Christie, and then these dramatic developments:
Will the White House Regret Telling Woodward & Others They’ll Regret Public Disagreement?
This will be a story worth watching: The White House vs. Bob Woodward. I’ll let David Jackson of USA Today summarize:
It’s Bob Woodward versus the White House.
The bestselling author and Washington Post reporter is protesting White House pushback over his criticism of how President Obama and aides are handling the sequester issue.
“It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this,” Woodward told CNN, citing an e-mail he received from “a senior person” at the White House.
“I mean, it makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in,” Woodward said.
In a statement, the White House said that “of course no threat was intended. As Mr. Woodward noted, the email from the aide was sent to apologize for voices being raised in their previous conversation. The note suggested that Mr. Woodward would regret the observation he made regarding the sequester because that observation was inaccurate, nothing more. And Mr. Woodward responded to this aide’s email in a friendly manner.”
All we can say is: We know more than a few reporters have received similar e-mails from White House officials. Yelling has also been known to happen.
“More than a few reporters have received similar e-mails from White House officials.” So Obama staffers regularly tell reporters “they’ll regret” writing stories detrimental to the president, and we’re only hearing of this now?
Apparently the Easiest Government Program to Cut: Jailing Illegal Immigrants
The Associated Press has learned that the Homeland Security Department official in charge of the agency’s immigration enforcement and removal operations has resigned after hundreds of illegal immigrants were released from jails because of government spending cuts.
In an email obtained Wednesday by the AP, Gary Mead told coworkers that he was leaving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the end of April. Mead is the head of enforcement and removal operations at ICE.
Mead had told co-workers of his resignation in the email sent Tuesday, hours after U.S. officials had confirmed that a few hundred illegal immigrants facing deportation had been released from immigration jails due to budget cuts.
For what it’s worth, an ICE spokesperson is insisting this is perfectly normal; he “announced several weeks ago to ICE senior leadership that he planned to retire after 40 years.” Uh-huh.
Permit me to quote the suddenly not-linkable Allahpundit of… SeveralDegreesAboveWarmAir.com:
So, even though releasing the detainees very conveniently served Obama’s goal of increasing the pants-wetting over sequester cuts while also very conveniently making the amnesty fans in his base happy, this was just Gary Mead going rogue without any direction from the White House. And Obama’s so mad about it that Mead has to clear out his desk immediately two months from now. Let me gently suggest that in the unlikely event Mead really did order this on his own, perhaps he was just acting in the spirit of his boss, who not so subtly suggested a few days ago that if a deal wasn’t reached on cuts ASAP then border security might have to go bye-bye for awhile.
Dana Perino isn’t buying this story, either: “Strains credulity to think that ice releases thousands of illegals and no one there ran it up the food chain. Not even a ‘heads up’? Hmmm.”
In case you had missed it, the very first place the federal government has decided to save money was the $164 per day it spends on jailing illegal immigrants. Our government’s priorities in action, my fellow citizens!
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have released “several hundred” immigrants from deportation centers across the country, saying the move is an effort to cut costs ahead of budget cuts due to hit later this week. Announcing the news Tuesday, ICE officials said that the immigrants were released under supervision and continue to face deportation. After reviewing hundreds of cases, those released were considered low-risk and “noncriminal,” officials said. The releases took place over the last week and were an effort “to ensure detention levels stay within ICE’s current budget,” said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christiansen, citing uncertainty caused by a budget standoff in Washington. “All of these individuals remain in removal proceedings. Priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety,” she said.
Of course, you may have noticed… sequestration hasn’t taken effect yet. Apparently government policies have prequels now.
If you’re calling ‘horsepuckey’ – or, you know, some other variation of that term – on this decision, you’re not alone:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said she’s appalled to hear that the Department of Homeland Security has begun releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants from custody.
It’s the first of potentially thousands of immigrants to soon be freed before mandatory federal budget cuts go into effect.
The Obama administration has been issuing dire warnings about the impact of the sequestration.
Brewer is a Republican. She calls the releases granted before Friday’s deadline for sequestration cuts “pure political posturing.”
Brewer says “this represents a return to exactly the kind of catch-and-release procedures that have long made a mockery of our country’s immigration system.”
‘Hey, don’t look at us, we just work here,’ insists the White House.
The White House said Wednesday that it played no part in the decision to release hundreds of undocumented immigrants from detention centers, but a Texas Republican congressman is demanding answers.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the decision was made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement “without any input from the White House.”
He said ICE made the decision “as a result of fiscal uncertainty” over automatic spending cuts that are to take effect March 1 if Congress and President Obama do not reach a deal on a federal budget. Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy as part of the deal; Republicans are opposed.
On Wednesday, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul sent a letter to ICE Director John Morton demanding the total number of people released, where they were released from and the specific reason why each of them was deemed releasable.
“This decision reflects the lack of resource prioritization within the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is indicative of the department’s weak stance on national security,” McCaul wrote in his letter.
Hey, look at the bright side, we’ve just cut spending by at least $16,400!