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GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino reports, at National Review, on Biden’s “alternate economic universe.” A slice:

[60 Minutes’s Scott] Pelley should have called out Biden for his comments on the deficit. The American Rescue Plan was the most expensive spending bill of the past 50 years, adding $1.9 trillion to the debt. The savings from the so-called Inflation Reduction Act (which Pelley referenced in his introduction as “the largest investment ever on climate change,” never mentioning inflation reduction) are largely based on gimmicks. And even if they weren’t, they are more than completely wiped out by the estimated cost of Biden’s illegal student-loan “forgiveness.” The continued torrent of government spending certainly isn’t helping to lower inflation.

Nick Gillespie interviews Ken Burns and Lynn Novick about their new documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust.

Pete Boettke recommends this video of a talk about immigration given by Michael Clemens, who, I’m delighted to say, will soon join the full-time faculty of GMU Economics.

Juliette Sellgren talks with Michael Cannon about employer-sponsored health care.

Barry Brownstein warns against the impulse to fall for the deceptions of power-seekers and their enablers.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Lois McLatchie decries the growing disrespect for freedom of speech in Scotland. A slice:

Ironically, it was the democratically elected Scottish government that cracked the authoritarian whip last week. Moments before Charles IIIwas proclaimed king in Scotland’s capital on Sunday, a 22-year-old woman was arrested on the street for holding an antimonarchy sign that included an obscenity. The next day, as the royals walked somberly behind the late queen’s coffin, only a single voice in the crowd called the notorious Prince Andrew a “sick old man.” Barely a week ago, that would have likely been met by a thundering cheer.

Was it morally appropriate, at that moment, to heckle a grieving procession? Probably not. Was it legally appropriate for the police of the state to throw the heckler to the ground and arrest him? Absolutely not, if the fundamental right to freedom of expression is of any weight and relevance.

For a country famed for its ancient cry of freedom from English rule, the incident could not have better highlighted the ironic authoritarianism of our current government. It’s hardly plausible that our nationalist ruling party was so overcome with reckless enthusiasm for the British sovereign that it sanctioned the arrests on an ideological vendetta. Rather, our mechanics of policing have become so scrupulously censorial that this was the instinct of a police officer faced with a view deemed to be at risk of causing offense.

Matt Ridley rightly complains that “[t]he search for Covid-19’s origins continues to be hindered by fear of offending China.” A slice:

The Lancet Commission into “lessons for the future from the Covid-19 pandemic”, chaired by the economist Jeffrey Sachs, has concluded that “the origin of the virus remains unknown” and that “both natural and laboratory spillovers are in play and need further investigation”. This conclusion matters because there has been an attempt to shut down all curiosity about the origin of the pandemic. The media has been flooded with claims from a small number of virologists that the source of the virus was definitely an infected animal on sale in a market in Wuhan. Yet no such infected animal has been found in the market or elsewhere. In the absence of evidence for a natural spillover of the virus from animals, it is likely that the centrally located market with its vast retail space was the site of an early “superspreader” event among people.

The Sachs Commission points out that a great many related viruses were collected from bats and engineered by a laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in collaboration with US partners in the years leading up to the outbreak. That simple fact puts the Wuhan lab under suspicion. Further, SARS-CoV-2 contains a dangerous feature called a furin cleavage site in its spike gene that is found in no other virus of this kind (the sarbecoviruses). Many scientists admitted early in the pandemic to being baffled as to how it could have acquired this feature naturally yet with minimal other mutations in its spike gene. Last year a document surfaced showing that scientists in Wuhan and elsewhere were in 2018 considering inserting exactly such a furin cleavage site into newly discovered sarbecoviruses to test their virulence in human cells.

Will wonders never cease?! This passage is from a piece in the New York Times Magazine:

With his early bet on reopening and his concede-nothing posture, [Florida governor Ron] DeSantis has plainly won the political argument on Covid. The economic advantages and day-to-day freedoms of his hands-off approach were undeniable, and state-to-state virus statistics are rarely as clean as his opponents would like.

Martin Kulldorff tweets:

In 2020, I was a lonely voice in the Twitter wilderness, opposing lockdowns with a few scattered friends.
In 2022, I am preaching to the choir; a choir with a wonderful, beautiful voice. Thank you for singing!