DeSantis and the Hawkish Thought Police

Source: Eunomia
by Daniel Larison

“DeSantis’[s] dissent-that-isn’t-really-dissent on Ukraine has brought out the hawkish ideological enforcers like almost nothing else in the last few years. Perhaps only the withdrawal of Afghanistan has generated as much outraged screeching from the usual suspects. David French bemoans DeSantis’[s] timidity and lack of Reagan-like leadership, [Max] Boot trots out the tired isolationist slur, and Bret Stephens declares DeSantis unfit to be president solely because of his Ukraine statement. The Wall Street Journal editorial board’s reaction was mild by comparison, but they still faulted DeSantis for a ‘puzzling surrender’ to the ‘Trumpian temptation of American retreat.’ These are not sane reactions to a rather vague, slippery statement that basically endorses the status quo. They are also not accurate assessments of DeSantis’[s] position.” (03/22/23)

ID: Hospital Ends All Labor and Delivery Care, Citing Abortion Ban

Source: Common Dreams

“Rural areas in the U.S. have faced a decline in hospitals that provide obstetric services for years, and the fate of one hospital in northern Idaho suggests that abortion bans could worsen the trend. As The Washington Post reported reported Tuesday, Bonner General Health in Sandpoint, Idaho has been forced to announce the impending closure of its labor and delivery department, citing staffing issues as well as the state’s punitive abortion ban (one of the strictest in the nation) and threats from state Republicans to make the law even more stringent. The state’s ban criminalizes abortion cases in almost all cases and threatens doctors who provide care with felony charges, suspension or termination of their medical license, and up to five years in prison.” (03/22/23)

How government casually violates the letter and spirit of the First Amendment

Source: Washington Post
by George F Will

“As long as the awful law exists, concerning which the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Monday, be careful what you say to, or write about, unauthorized immigrants. Congress, in one of the federal government’s increasingly frequent offenses against the First Amendment, makes it a crime if one ‘encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in’ this nation in violation of federal law. Let the formulation of hypotheticals begin in order to illustrate the law’s unconstitutional vagueness and overbreadth. Suppose a pediatrician says an unauthorized immigrant’s child needs medical care that is available here but not in the country from which the immigrant came. Has a crime been committed?” (03/22/23)

Liberalism Needs No Enemies

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Barry Brownstein

“In his instructive political fable, The Awakening of Jennifer Van Arsdale, George Leef writes, ‘Liberalism is the one philosophy that requires no enemies … It minimizes conflict and calls upon people to resolve whatever problems arise through peaceful means.’ By liberalism, Leef refers to the 17th-century movement that began to free individuals from entrenched interests, ‘from the constraints of the powerful institutions that dominated their lives — the interests of monarchs and church leaders and guilds.’ … Is the growth of collectivism and the decline of liberalism why Americans are angrier than ever?” (03/22/23)

Pols form working group to push for renewal of warrantless spying program

Source: The Hill

“The House Intelligence Committee has launched a working group to address renewing one the country’s most controversial spy tools, a heavy lift made more challenging by growing GOP distrust of the intelligence community. The group, comprised of three members of each party, will weigh Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows for the warrantless surveillance of foreigners outside of the United States, even while they are communicating with U.S. citizens on domestic soil. The law is set to expire at the end of the year, and while its reauthorization is widely backed by Intelligence members, it faces hurdles before the broader legislature.” (03/22/23)

What Even Is a Non-profit?

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Peter Jacobsen

“You might think that being a non-profit means the chief executive is paid less than the CEO of a for-profit company. This belief, though understandable, is wrong. The chief executive of a non-profit is paid a salary which counts as a business expense. As such, when revenues are higher than costs, the non-profit could always choose to increase the salary of the executive. Technically, the board of directors of the non-profit would be responsible for avoiding situations where executives receive exorbitant salaries which expand to fill every revenue surplus, but due to knowledge and incentive problems this may not always happen.” (03/22/23)

Beware This Libertarian [sic] Oligarch’s Ecological Utopia in Texas

Source: Common Dreams
by Jim Hightower

“Exciting news, people: Utopia is on the rise! Space Commander Elon Musk has announced that His Magnificence (i.e., him) intends to construct his very own private town on 3,500 acres of farmland near his new Tesla plant southeast of Austin, Texas. More than a town, Musk explains that he will create utopia in Texas, promising an ‘ecological paradise’ where his Tesla workers can live and do fun things like swimming, pickleball… and paying rent to him. The gabillionaire is certainly rich enough to erect his own Muskopolis. But, alas, the ‘utopia’ name is already taken. Indeed, I’ve been to Utopia, Texas, a small town west of San Antonio that was founded in 1855 by (cover your ears, Elon!) Swiss Socialists. Of course, history shows that a company town is ruled by the company, not by residents (much less socialists).” (03/22/23)

US regime issues rare rebuke of Israeli regime

Source: NBC News

“The United States has issued a rare diplomatic rebuke to Israel, in a sign of the Biden administration’s growing frustration over moves by the country’s far-right government to entrench control over the occupied West Bank. Israel’s ambassador to Washington was asked to come to the State Department on Tuesday, where Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman protested changes to Israeli law that would allow new [illegal squats] in the northern West Bank. … it was the first time in more than a decade that Israel’s ambassador had been called to such a meeting by its closest ally, and it led news bulletins across the Jewish state Wednesday. Washington said earlier it was ‘extremely troubled’ at the latest move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition — which prominently features [squatter] leaders — to inflame tensions with the Palestinians and draw condemnation from the international community.” (03/22/23)