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Reporters as arms of the spy state and other commentary

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Reporters as arms of the spy state and other commentary

From the left: Reporters Now Arms of the Spy State

A decade after the huge WikiLeaks dump of Afghan War secrets launched “a historic stretch of true oppositional journalism” investigating massive national-security-agency abuse, Matt Taibbi seethes at his TK News site, suddenly “the FBI-CIA-media partnership” has become “cozier than a Swedish porn shoot.” And all it took “was a little partisan catnip” as “the intel agencies started feeding reporters sensational (and often bogus) stories about the Russian-Republican conspiracy.” Thus figures like ex-CIA chief John Brennan, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, “both of whom had been caught lying to Congress,” and other intel vets are now “rehabilitated and are all paid contributors to either MSNBC or CNN.” Liberals don’t even quail at news “that the government is considering using private citizens to help it conduct what amount to vigilante intelligence operations for the DHS, FBI, CIA, and NSA” as “a slew of War on Terror programs are being retooled for domestic use.”

Foreign desk: Israel Hatred Takes an Ugly Turn

“Israel is now the only country on Earth that is expected to allow itself to be attacked,” fumes Spiked’s Brendan O’Neill. After “an escalation of violence in the Middle East,” protests “were instant and inflammatory,” with Londoners burning Israeli flags on the streets and Americans holding placards with the Israeli and Nazi flags side by side. The Onion got “tens of thousands of likes” for its tweet “IDF Soldier Recounts Harrowing, Heroic War Story Of Killing 8-Month-Old Child.” To “rage solely against Israel” because it has “sent missiles to destroy Hamas’s firing positions in Gaza,” from which the terrorist group sends “hundreds of missiles into civilian areas in Israel,” is “essentially to say: ‘Why won’t Israelis let themselves be killed?’”

Libertarian: The Job-Loss Gender Gap Isn’t Permanent

“The gender gap in pandemic job losses has been wildly exaggerated,” argues Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown. Vice President Kamala Harris called 2.5 million women dropping out of the workforce amid the pandemic a “national emergency.” But by April’s end, “the unemployment rate for women was slightly lower than the unemployment rate for men.” Yes, nearly half a million more women than men are still out of the labor force, since women “tend to outnumber men as the primary caregivers for children and elderly or ailing family members, leaving them more vulnerable to work disruptions when schools and child care centers shut down.” And “women are more highly concentrated in retail, leisure, and hospitality jobs,” which the pandemic and lockdowns hit hard. Those factors suggest the drop is likely to be short-term — and not in need of Harris’ multitrillion-dollar solutions.

From the right: Biden Folks MIA on Hamas

Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged last week that “Israel has a right to defend itself” as it retaliated against Hamas rockets, note the Washington Examiner’s editors. But he failed to “state clearly” that Israel is “defending itself against a terrorist instigator,” even as many Democrats don’t actually see Hamas as “the bad guy.” Fact is, Hamas is “a terrorist organization. It uses civilians as shields so it can accuse Israel of war crimes when it retaliates.” It seeks “not simply to kill Israelis but to purge all the Jews from Israel” — in other words, “a second Holocaust.” And it’s “succeeding in ruining the daily life of Jews and Arabs alike.” No democratic society can “accept existence on these terms, let alone flourish.”

Conservative: Dems AWOL on Wuhan-Lab Probe

Democrats have failed to join congressional Republican efforts “to gather evidence in possession of the U.S. government and the controversial EcoHealth Alliance nonprofit-research organization about the possibility that the virus first leaked from the Wuhan lab,” observes Jimmy Quinn at National Review. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, CIA head William Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines have all said “a lab leak is a plausible theory,” yet “congressional Democrats have maintained a conspicuous silence.” The key test may be if they stymie Sen. Roger Marshall’s resolution “to create a twelve-member committee to investigate the virus’s outbreak.”

— 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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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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