COVID-crackdown crackup and other commentary

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Pandemic journal: COVID-Crackdown Crackup

“Politicians and government officials have brazenly violated the COVID-19 edicts they impose on everyone else,” roars James Bovard at USA Today. “But after two years of prohibitions designed to placate fears rather than protect public health, can oppressed citizens around the globe compel their rulers to end absurd restrictions vexing their daily lives?” Witness “heavy-handed government policies” getting “pushback around the world,” from a “40-plus-mile convoy of truckers” in Canada’s capital to “massive protests” across Europe to Aussies battling police over “penal-colony-style COVID straitjackets.” Worldwide, citizens “are recognizing that temporary decrees could permanently decimate their freedom” and “government decrees won’t make a virus vanish.” It’s “time for politicians to cease pointlessly destroying people’s freedom.”

From the right: Global Order’s Collapse

Team Biden should quit expecting global institutions to uphold the “rules-based international order,” writes National Review’s Jim Geraghty. “The so-called international community faced the moral challenge of an Olympics being hosted by a government that is committing genocide, and it absolutely flopped.” And President Biden’s belief that the United Nations will “play a constructive role in deterring a Russian invasion” is “akin to thinking your eighth-grade child can effectively cover wide-receiver Cooper Kupp in the Super Bowl.” The COVID-19 pandemic was the “nightmare scenario” the World Health Organization “was formed to prevent or mitigate — and it utterly failed, in large part because it kept echoing the increasingly implausible assessment of Chinese government-controlled medical experts.” These institutions are “good at hosting summits” and “issuing joint statement” but bad at actually “solving problems.”

Foreign desk: A Warning Worth Recalling

With the Biden team looking to cut a fresh version of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, Peter Berkowitz at RealClearPolitics recalls a 2015 warning about that earlier accord: an open letter from Tom Cotton and 46 other GOP senators arguing against “an executive agreement not approved by Congress.” In the event, the Obama deal “played into the ayatollahs’ hands,” since its “verification protocols were fatally flawed” and it didn’t limit “Iran’s ballistic missiles program,” “its funding of terrorism” or “its supplying of rockets and missiles to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip for terrorist attacks on Israel.” Worse, “it injected into the hobbled Iranian economy tens of billions of dollars, empowering Tehran to intensify its pursuit of regional hegemony.” That’s “the larger lesson of Tom Cotton’s letter: Toothless, legally nonbinding agreements with Iran invite aggression, endanger friends and partners, and undermine international order.”

Iconoclast: Dems’ Gerrymander Hypocrisy

Cheers by President Biden and other Democrats for a federal ruling tossing out North Carolina’s pro-Republican gerrymander “required an impressive act of myopia to avoid noting that Democrats have engaged in raw gerrymandering in various states, too,” thunders Jonathan Turley at The Hill. E.g., New York’s map is designed to add four Democratic House seats and “guarantee the reelection of Rep. Jerry Nadler,” whose Judiciary Committee “has held hearings on the evil of — you guessed it — gerrymandering.” In short, “we are left, yet again, with a gang of arsonists espousing fire safety in our political system.” 

Libertarian: The National Debt Matters

New Treasury data show “ the national debt reached a new milestone: $30 trillion,” laments Reason’s Eric Boehm, adding the last $10 trillion with “truly remarkable” speed. Blame “an unbalanced entitlement system and a persistent gap between government spending and tax revenue,” as for two decades “politicians from both parties have carelessly borrowed to pay for everything from foreign wars to $1,200 checks for most Americans.” Soaring debt “will have a material impact on Americans’ futures. Higher levels of debt are correlated with lower levels of future economic growth.” Yikes.

Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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