Dr. Frieden’s Follies

Source: Brownstone Institute
by Bret Swanson

“Over the weekend, Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), delivered the Saturday Essay in the Wall Street Journal. If you had any illusions that public health officials were in a contemplative mood, perhaps chastened by the last three years, newly capable of learning or showing even a hint of humility – think again. … If you’ve read other odes to military-style Chinese pandemic management, you understand the sand-through-your-fingertips argument. The pandemic was so devastating that we lost 20 million lives. Masks, lockdowns, and vaccines, however, were so effective we saved tens of millions of lives. And if we’d only masked, vaccinated, and locked down harder, with a more war-time mentality, we could have saved most of the 20 million we did lose. The argument presumes the supreme effectiveness of every measure and works backward to grade its own work.” (03/21/23)


The Starting Point

Source: Erick Erickson
by Erick-Woods Erickson

“Let’s just state the plain and obvious point — I would not be interrupting my vacation, and you would not be tuning in to find out if a former President was going to be indicted had that former President kept his dick in his pants and not cheated on his pregnant wife with a porn star. The national calamity we are in is because a man with no impulse control lacked impulse control, banged the porn star, and when the Christian Right gravitated to him, he had to shut her up with hush money because he was afraid they’d turn on him right before the 2016 election. Them’s the facts, y’all.” (03/21/23)


Iraq War Anniversary: Never Back Down on the Only Important Fact

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“In March of 2003, the United States launched an illegal war of aggression against Iraq. The US regime promoted that illegal war of aggression, starting well in advance, through the manufacture and repetition of  falsehoods for the purpose of cultivating fear over non-existent threats, and loathing over non-existent connections between the Iraqi regime an the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. In the execution of that illegal war of aggression, thousands of American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. Twenty years later, none of the American culprits in that deadly deception operation have been brought to justice.” (03/21/23)


“Tough votes” is the disastrous game Congress loves to play

Source: Washington Post
by Steven Pearlstein

“Nothing gets the congressional juices flowing these days like the partisan gamesmanship around ‘tough votes’ — when members are forced to make a choice between pandering to voters or sticking by party and principles. Republicans consider it a productive week if the only thing they accomplish is to force some Democrats to break with party orthodoxy …. Similarly, Senate Democratic leaders, who have spent months warning of the catastrophic consequences of not raising the debt ceiling, refuse to put such a measure before the Democratic-controlled Senate. The reason: It would be such a tough vote for party moderates that it likely would not pass, undermining the Democrats’ debt ceiling narrative. This gamesmanship around tough votes — avoiding them for your party while forcing them on rivals — has become a strategic obsession of both parties in both chambers.” (03/21/23)


Ukraine Proves Iraq War Lessons Unlearned Inside the Beltway

Source: JimBovard.com
by James Bovard

“The Iraq War codified American presidents’ prerogative to inflict no-fault carnage on the world. Pundits and laptop bombardiers who clamored for war rose to greater fame regardless of the fiascos that followed military intervention. ‘Extremism’ was redefined to include anyone who opposed launching catastrophic wars based on secret (and usually false) evidence. I had hoped the election of Obama in 2008 would end the pro-war mania prevailing in Washington, but no such luck. … Obama stunned observers by ‘out-Bushing’ Dubya by proclaiming a presidential prerogative to assassinate Americans who were secretly designated as terrorist suspects.” (03/21/23)


A cartel war is an insane way to address fentanyl crisis

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Daniel Larison

“Military intervention against the cartels is a fundamentally unserious and reckless proposal that will not remedy any drug-related problems that our country has. At best, it is a bad answer to a real problem, and at worst it is a desperate exercise in distraction and demagoguery. Further militarization of the drug war is the worst thing that the U.S. could do. Using force against Mexican cartels might temporarily disrupt their operations, but any gains made would quickly be erased as new criminal organizations fill any voids that might be created. So long as there is demand in the U.S. for illicit narcotics, there are going to be criminal groups that will seek to control the trade.” (03/21/23)


Is Hallie the most underrated member of the Biden family?

Source: The Spectator
by Grace Curley

“Move over Dr. B! There’s a new lady from the House of Biden who is stealing the spotlight. Hallie Biden, widow of Beau Biden and ex-lover of her brother-in-law Hunter Biden, has earned the scrutiny of the House GOP. After two months of stalling, this week the Treasury Department finally handed over suspicious activity reports relating to Hunter Biden’s finances to House Republicans. … The New York Post reported that back in 2017, ‘State Energy HK Limited, a firm affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party-backed energy company CEFC China Energy, wired $3 million to Biden family associate Rob Walker.’ Over the next three months, Walker distributed cuts of this $3 million to different members of the Biden bunch. After plenty of speculation, the new Biden was revealed: Hallie Biden.” (03/21/23)


The Degraded Currency of the Shadow Government

Source: Reason
by Kerry Howley

“My friend’s toddler calls shadows ‘zero’ things; the shadow of a hippo is a ‘zero hippo,’ the shadow of herself ‘zero me.’ A zero America precedes even the name, but after 2001, government in secret was unfathomably well funded. Much of it remains literally hidden: in bunkers underground or in the vast underground netherworld of dystopian Crystal City. But much is hidden by virtue of its ability to blend into a corporate landscape too dull to take in: glassy buildings you float past without processing their existence, mile-long office parks behind straight lines of spindly trees. … The currency of zero America is the secret, but the currency is degraded. Documents are marked classified for no particular reason, because it’s always safest, because they may be potentially embarrassing, because no one takes a document not marked secret seriously.” (03/21/23)


Curbing Bad Behavior of Bank CEOs Isn’t as Hard as They Make It Seem

Source: Common Dreams
by Sarah Anderson

“Greg Becker, the deposed chief executive of Silicon Valley Bank, is facing growing demands to cough up the millions of dollars he raked in from stock sales soon before the bank’s sudden demise. On March 17, the White House called on Congress to pass legislation to claw back compensation, including gains from stock sales, from Becker and other executives at SVB, as well as at Signature Bank SBNY. Greg Becker, the deposed chief executive of SVB, is facing growing demands to cough up the millions of dollars he raked in from stock sales soon before the bank’s sudden demise. On March 17, the White House called on Congress to pass legislation to claw back compensation, including gains from stock sales, from Becker and other executives at SVB, as well as at Signature Bank SBNY.” (03/21/23)


Prosecution of War Crimes: A Sign of Civilization

Source: EconLog
by Pierre Lemieux

“It is a cliche, but true, to say that war is an ugly affair. Which does not mean that there are no good moral and economic arguments for defensive wars. The world is not only inhabited by noble savages. But just as international thugs must be dissuaded from waging aggressive wars, soldiers on all sides must be dissuaded from committing gratuitous atrocities. It is clearly a sign of civilization that some of those have come to be be considered war crimes by international conventions and domestic laws since the 19th century. I take ‘civilization’ in this context to mean a general recognition of a minimum respect for each human individual and of rules to that effect.” (03/21/23)