Libertarian: Joe’s Spend-More, Get-Less Rule

President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill expanded requirements that federally funded projects use often-costlier US-made materials, and new rules “will make it harder to get waivers,” fumes Reason’s Christian Britschgi.: Waivers must go through the Office of Management and Budget, which one critic likens to having the Department of Education OK every kid’s permission slip to miss a day of school. “The president wants to make ‘historic’ investments in infrastructure, but he’s also deeply committed to regulations that ensure those investments will buy as little infrastructure as possible” — giving us “less bang for the buck.”

Conservative: Putin’s Pricey Win

Russian President Vladimir Putin “may yet get what he demanded from Ukraine and the West right before his invasion,” notes Daniel McCarthy at Spectator World. “NATO membership may be on the table” for everyone but Ukraine. Kyiv might even acknowledge Russia’s “possession of Crimea.” His demand for “independence for the ‘breakaway republics’ of Donetsk and Luhansk may prove more elusive. Maybe two out of three ain’t bad.” But Putin “purchased these gains at the price of revealing his country to be a Potemkin power. Its forces are hollow, undisciplined, ill-led, demoralized.” The “illusion of Russia as a ‘great power’ has been dispelled” — except among “those in the West who have a habit of inflating threats.” Face it, “the Russian military is unprepared to defeat anyone but itself. It is not in NATO’s league.”

Media desk: The Gray Lady’s New Man

Joe Kahn, The New York Times’ next executive editor, “has the kind of background and temperament” that was “a classic type” for “newsroom leaders — a half-century ago,” observes Politico’s John Harris. The “white male born into a wealthy family” has “an Ivy League diploma” and “proved his skill as a reporter at a young age.” How at “a moment of radical disruption in the news business” did “the Times settle on such a profoundly traditional choice?” Modern newsrooms “have been buffeted in recent years by ideological and cultural fissures . . . pitting older traditionalists against younger employees who believe the profession’s old conventions about objectivity and neutrality are an obstacle to illuminating the true moral stakes on questions of racial or sexual equality.” The Times hopes “a leader with a low-key temperament can tamp down conflict.”

Culture critic: A CRT Alternative

“Zora Neale Hurston offers an alternative to critical race theory,” argues John Hood at The American Spectator. During World War II, she “suggested her fellow Americans take comfort and inspiration” from quick-witted African-American folk hero John de Conquer: “White America, take a laugh out of our black mouths, and win!” She “thought laughter was one of humanity’s most powerful weapons against adversity, despair and tyranny,” notes Hood, and that white and black America should “lean into our common aspirations and values.” Hurston “rejected New Deal-style progressivism, socialism and other forms of collectivism that sought to subordinate personal agency or responsibility to group identity,” directing “special scorn at activists she termed ‘racial cardsharps’ who argued the only way for blacks to transcend past enslavement and mistreatment was to demand compensatory handouts and preferences.”

Russiagate report: Dems’ Document Hail Mary

Special counsel John Durham is targeting “Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee (via law firm Perkins Coie) in 2016 to concoct the infamous ‘dossier’ against Donald Trump,” recounts The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel. He’s “asked a federal judge to compel Fusion, the DNC and the Clinton campaign to hand over” 1,455 documents. Dems claim the docs are “covered under attorney-client privilege,” as “Fusion was retained not to do oppo-research, but to ‘support’ Perkins Coie’s ‘legal advice’ to Democrats.” This “absurd claim is the only refuge left to the first high-level campaign called out for funneling its political operations through a law firm.” 

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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