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Biden risks ‘special relationship’ and other commentary

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Biden risks 'special relationship' and other commentary

Foreign desk: Biden Risks ‘Special Relationship’

President Biden’s “broadside against Britain” is “perplexing,” complains Douglas Murray at UnHerd. Just before heading to England for the G7 summit, Team Biden told “Yael Lempert — its most senior diplomat in the UK — to accuse Boris Johnson of imperiling the Irish peace process over Brexit.” It reflects a “non-pragmatic side to the Biden administration,” one that’s “deeply ideological” and would “risk a diplomatic fallout” to satisfy the Democrats’ “dogmatically pro-Irish reunification agenda.” A year ago, Chuck Schumer even issued well wishes to Sinn Fein, “a political party that approves of terrorism.” Dems would “sacrifice Brexit for a united Ireland,” and Biden’s move suggests his administration “views British democracy as a threat to its own ideological agenda.”

Anti-violence leader: The High Price of ‘Defund’

The anti-violence Woodson Center family just lost one of its own, mourns the organization’s founder, Robert L. Woodson Sr., at The Wall Street Journal. Makhi Buckly, a 19-year-old black student athlete and grandson of “Carl Hardrick, one of our most faithful leaders in youth violence prevention,” was fatally shot on Memorial Day. Carl’s words “broke my heart: ‘It’s my job to keep kids safe, but I can’t even protect my own grandson.’ ” Hundreds of minority families have lost children to “senseless violence over the past year,” yet the press “ignores any victim who isn’t killed” by police. Meanwhile, the “Defund the police” movement has “actually gotten innocent black people killed.” Crime has “skyrocketed,” and “our families” have “paid the price.” “Defund” is “a death sentence for innocent black children.”

Fiscal watchdog: Port Authority’s $1B Workers

Payroll costs for the Port Authority “crossed the billion-dollar threshold” in 2020, report the Empire Center’s fiscal experts, with its 9,000 active employees earning an average of $112,109 each; more than half (55 percent) made six figures, including 607 paid more than $200,000 and 60 more than $300,000. The $1.002 billion 2020 tab marked a jump of nearly $160 million over 2018 and $5 million over 2019. The agency’s police department was its highest-earning group, with 69 employees collecting $100,000 in overtime alone — including 20 percent of lieutenants and 10 percent of sergeants. The PA’s top breadwinner: Det. Richard Paugh, who scored $415,126 last year, including $45,881 in overtime and $91,630 in retroactive pay.

Conservative: Jeffrey Toobin’s Infuriating Return

Woke social-justice warriors who enforce cancel culture typically “permit no room for error, no room for dissent, no room for disagreement or pushback,” so the decision by CNN to bring back Jeffrey Toobin after he infamously exposed himself on a Zoom call is “madness,” declares National Review’s Jim Geraghty. Toobin’s departure “should have opened up opportunities for some other lawyer who can explain legal concepts in layman’s terms.” And since no one was clamoring for his return, the only explanation is that “Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN, wants him back.” It’s a shameless and “almost gleeful celebration of unaccountability, an in-your-face, spiking-the-football mentality that once you’ve reached a certain level of success in the world of television news . . . no one can ever get rid of you, no matter what you do.”

Economist: Infrastructure Deal Isn’t Worth Cost

President Biden and a Senate group are working on a bipartisan compromise to fund traditional infrastructure spending, but “the emerging deal is a bad investment,” warns Benjamin Powell at The Hill. “Republican and Democratic politicians agree that a massive increase in infrastructure funding is a good investment,” and they would be right “if infrastructure spending was financed by cuts in government consumption and transfer payments.” But neither party is proposing that. Instead, “this infrastructure bill would decrease economic freedom through both increased government spending and higher tax rates,” which will strangle private investment and economic growth. Despite the consensus, “the American economy would be better off if the whole deal was scrapped and more avenues for greater private investment in infrastructure were created.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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Opinion

Supreme Court decisions expose Dems as half-baked hysterics

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Supreme Court decisions expose Dems as half-baked hysterics

When President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court last fall, hysterical Democrats declared millions of Americans would lose health coverage with her vote against ObamaCare — and immediately started talking about packing a court they called hopelessly divided.

Two big Supreme Court decisions last week proved reality turned out to be nothing like Dems’ fever dreams.

In a 7-2 decision in California v. Texas, the high court rejected a Republican bid to invalidate ObamaCare — and Barrett was not one of the two dissenters. It ruled that Texas and 17 other GOP-led states didn’t have standing to challenge the law’s individual mandate. The Trump administration had taken their side, while 20 Democratic-run states including New York and California, along with the Dem-controlled House of Representatives, took the other. Only Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented to the majority opinion the liberal Stephen Breyer authored.

How could this be? Last year, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared, “Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will be the end of the Affordable Care Act.” In her opening statement at Barrett’s confirmation hearing, then-Sen. Kamala Harris held up a picture of an 11-year-old constituent and accused Republicans of trying “to jam through a Supreme Court nominee who will take away health care from millions of people during a deadly pandemic.”

Democrats boycotted the final committee vote, filling their seats instead with posters of ObamaCare recipients, implying a vote for Barrett would put those lives at risk.

During the whole childish circus, they insisted Trump had picked Barrett and sped up her confirmation just so she’d be seated in time to hear arguments in the case and dismantle the law. They didn’t bother to look at her record and examine her judicial philosophy — they assumed this well-qualified woman would be the president’s puppet.

In the second important decision, Fulton v. Philadelphia, the court ruled unanimously that the city violated the Constitution’s free exercise clause by suspending Catholic Social Services’ contract because the group wouldn’t certify same-sex couples as foster parents.

Yes, all nine justices ruled in favor of religious freedom — putting paid to Democratic complaints the court is out of balance with too many conservatives. It’s far from the only unanimous decision already this term, either. Every justice signed on to decisions written by Gorsuch, Breyer, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor, with two of the cases involving immigration issues.

That people of varying political stripes can agree on the law shouldn’t come as a surprise. Supreme Court justices take their jobs seriously — which is more than you can say for Democrats charged with helping choose them.

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Opinion

The undying myth of GOP ‘obstructionism’

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The undying myth of GOP ‘obstructionism’

The media have spent the Joe Biden presidency thus far pressuring moderate Democrats to join the left’s efforts to destroy the filibuster.

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Opinion

Big Labor’s gift to itself and other commentary

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Big Labor's gift to itself and other commentary

Libertarian: Unions’ Gift to Themselves

Big Labor spent millions getting President Biden elected — and now it’s seeking to enact a law “directing federal power and resources to boost flagging” union rolls, laments Reason’s Eric Boehm. The so-called PRO Act “is a grab bag of Big-Labor agenda items that would extend some of California’s awful independent contractor regulations nationwide” and “abolish so-called right-to-work laws in the 27 states that have passed them.” Biden and the unions insist this is about empowering workers, “but if workers were as eager to join unions as [they] seem to think, they wouldn’t need a powerful federal bureaucracy to encourage that outcome.”

Centrist: United Supremes

The most striking aspect of the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on ObamaCare and religious liberty was the “absence of ideological divisions” from a high court that “Democratic leaders have declared hopelessly divided along ideological lines,” observes Jonathan Turley at USA Today. The largely united decisions mark “the final collapse of the false narrative that has been endlessly repeated like a mantra in Congress and the media.” Critics may continue to insist that the court is “dysfunctional, divided and needs to be radically changed,” but the justices aren’t “cooperating,” issuing instead an “inconvenient line of unanimous decisions.” Yet even as the court “seems to be saying a lot in one voice not just about the law, but about its own institution,” the media will undoubtedly continue to denounce it, “because politics demands it.”

Crime beat: A Wake-Up Call in Atlanta

The “mind-numbing randomness, brazenness and, even worse, casualness of violence afflicting Atlanta” has the upscale Buckhead neighborhood “wanting to break away from Atlanta to form its own city” with “its own police force,” writes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Bill Torpy. Atlanta shootings are up 40 percent this year, but police often see “the same ne’er-do-wells walking the streets the next day,” thanks to a “broken” criminal-justice system. “Buckhead is almost three-quarters white,” yet “in black neighborhoods across the city, victims are widespread, and residents there want police to protect them, too.” But Buckhead can get attention, because its departure would “take away 40 percent of the city’s income.” It should be “one loud wake-up call.”

Culture critic: RIP, Janet Malcolm

At First Things, Helen Andrews assesses the complex legacy of veteran New Yorker magazine scribe Janet Malcolm, who died last week — and whose “cold, precise, unsparing” journalistic style recalled that of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov. She was born to a psychiatrist father, and “psychoanalysis was a constant presence in Malcolm’s journalism.” The shrink’s couch formed her “eye for the telling detail” and “taught Malcolm a certain bleakness” about the world — and her own profession. Yet her “most famous line” — that “every journalist who is not too stupid or full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible” — helped spread cynicism about reporters. The result, Andrews laments, is that now “every trace of authenticity has been scrubbed from press interviews.” 

Media watch: Suppressing the Truth

“From the lab-leak theory to the Lafayette Square tear-gassing, anti-Trump bias blinded our news media,” declares Wilfred Reilly at Spiked Online. “Except perhaps for the Hunter Biden story,” there was no “potentially major and obviously newsworthy story more intensely suppressed than the lab-leak explanation for COVID’s origins,” but it was just “revealed quite possibly to be correct.” Pols and press called then-President Donald Trump “reckless” for touting hydroxychloroquine, yet “a major study” has found “it increases survival rates for COVID patients by almost 200 percent.” And the claim “Trump had ‘tear-gassed peaceful protesters’ ” to stage a photo-op turned out to be “complete nonsense.” Tellingly, all these facts only came out when Joe Biden became president. This “mainstream-media swiveling” causes “latent social distrust that has no imaginable upside.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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