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Some Non-Covid Links

George Will is rightly disgusted by Biden’s pandering to teachers’ (so called) unions – pandering that directly harms schoolchildren. A slice:

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools authorized to exercise wider discretion in educational practices than most public schools that are tightly enveloped in union rules. Although charters do not divert public funds from public education, teachers unions generally oppose them because charters expand parents’ choices, thereby infusing into public education something teachers unions dread: competition.

Last month, President Biden’s Education Department released 13 pages of pettifogging rules patently written to discourage and impede charter schools from accessing a $440 million federal program of support for charters.

Juliette Sellgren talks with the great UVA economist and teacher Ken Elzinga.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy ponders Macron and Le Pen. A slice:

In 2020, COVID-19 gave Macron another excuse to re-up the state of emergency. As a result, the French endured curfews for months on end, restrictions on going more than three miles from home without filling out a form, indoor and outdoor mask mandates, vaccine mandates and an explicit commitment to make the lives of the unvaccinated “miserable.” Some of these measures were enforced by French police and punishing fines.

Meanwhile, the state consumes 62 percent of France’s GDP, public hospitals are in shambles with fewer beds and workers than before COVID-19, and—as the French like to say—”everything that is not forbidden is mandated.” This record explains why Macron’s having a difficult time convincing the electorate that voting for him is voting for liberalism.

Macron is clearly still the more liberal candidate. However, if he wins, it will not be a mandate that he is governing wisely. If he fails to change, it’s only a matter of time before France elects an authoritarian—one quite likely worse than Le Pen.

Fr. James Dominic Rooney warns against the renewed attacks on liberalism.

The first “Earth Day” was 52 years ago, notes Ron Bailey. Humanity is still here.

Also writing about “Earth Day” is Pierre Desrochers.

Wall Street Journal columnist Allysia Finley rightly praises EQT Corp. CEO Toby Rice for defending fossil fuels. A slice:

Ms. [Elizabeth] Warren and her ideological compatriots style themselves champions of the little guy and the environment. Nonsense, Mr. Rice says: Their policies mean higher prices for consumers and more carbon emissions. “If you’re blocking pipelines, you’re blocking the biggest green initiative on the planet,” he says in a Zoom interview from his office in Carnegie, Pa., a former karate studio in a walk-up above a liquor store. In the background are colorful portraits of Andrew Carnegie, Nikola Tesla, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan.

Mr. Rice is a general on the frontlines of an energy war whose outcome matters more than ever after Russian’s invasion of Ukraine. The anti-fossil-fuel left is waging a multifront campaign to keep natural gas “in the ground,” as activists like to say. Along with political efforts, they are leveraging the administrative state and courts to block new pipelines that are essential to deliver more natural gas to customers in the U.S. and overseas.

Energy companies have already given up on two major pipelines in the Northeast (PennEast and Atlantic Coast) in the past two years. Even after winning legal challenges at the Supreme Court, they faced mounting costs from permitting and legal challenges raising different objections. “The 4,000 pages of permits that we have to submit have created 4,000 opportunities for environmental groups to attack,” Mr. Rice says.

Colin Grabow identifies yet another reason to reject protectionism.

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