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Rob Bradley describes the battle between classical liberals and warm-mongers. A slice:

“War is the health of the state,” Randolph Bourne wrote during World War I. Robert Higgs’s 1987 book Crisis and Leviathan generalized the principle: Crises are typically exploited by statist ideologues to justify Leviathan. That is the perspective from which classical liberals have viewed climate alarmism and forced energy transformation from the start. Warm-mongering had joined war-mongering.

Interestingly, the hard facts behind the Times story were actually presented in its first paragraph. (Old-fashioned journalism still had a toehold in those days.) But imagine if the headline read “Recent Hot Weather Alarms a Scientist,” with the piece buried deep inside the so-called newspaper of record.

The headline writer knew what his environmentalist audience wanted to hear. Human interference is changing Nature, courting disaster. Massive government intervention is required to arrest the threat.

Ben Zycher rightly criticizes the Biden administration’s administrative lawlessness.

Also from Ben Zycher is this astute, critical assessment of the proposed new merger guidelines. Here’s his opening paragraph:

The Draft Guidelines are fatally flawed analytically, the implementation of which in regulatory merger analysis is likely to yield inefficient decisions, higher costs in the affected sectors, and a reduction in aggregate economic efficiency and consumer welfare. Under the Draft Guidelines, regulatory review of proposed mergers incorporates analysis of demand conditions — elasticities — as relevant indicators of “monopoly power,” whether existing or prospective. Regardless of the degree to which the given market is “competitive,” the Draft Guidelines in effect allow the regulators in a fashion wholly ad hoc to define any set of market conditions as exhibiting ongoing “market power” to be exacerbated by a proposed merger, or potential “market power” to be created or advanced by a proposed merger. Nowhere in the Draft Guidelines is there a delineation of conditions that would lead regulators to approve a proposed merger.

George Will – no admirer of Trump (to put it mildly) – is correct: “Trying to disqualify Trump is lawlessness masquerading as legality.” Two slices:

Many advocates of this idea [that Trump is disqualified to run for president by the 14th Amendment] are academics eager to infect presidential politics with the cancel culture of their campuses: Do not refute your adversaries, ban them. Less nakedly partisan people might think that using the 14th Amendment to remove Trump would thereby prompt President Biden to totter off into the sunset. But recourse to the amendment would be lawlessness masquerading as legality. And there already is a surfeit of illegality.


Today, progressives’ silence conveys complacency about Julie Su’s imminent illegality. She is wielding power as Biden’s labor secretary, even though the Democratic-controlled Senate has not confirmed her (at least 51 senators seem opposed). The Vacancies Act limits to 210 days the time someone can serve unconfirmed in an advice-and-consent position in a federal department. Su’s legality expires Oct. 7. Her supporters say a Labor Department succession statute stipulates no time limit on her ability to serve as acting secretary, so she can continue. But this would be an unconstitutional abridgment of the Senate’s power to advise and consent.

Juliette Sellgren talks with Jeremy Horpedahl about the many flaws in American Compass’s “Cost of Thriving Index.”

Daniel Drezner explains some of “the dangers of misunderstanding economic interdependence.” A slice:

As for China’s foreign policy more generally, the evidence that complex interdependence has failed is scant. By one metric, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) surpassed the United States in recent years. As Graham Allison has noted, over the past few centuries, such a great power transition caused a war 75 percent of the time. While Sino‐​American relations have grown more fraught in recent years, war has not broken out—and that dog not barking might be the most important data point in favor of complex interdependence. Stacie Goddard argues that China’s rise within the liberal international order has enabled it to engage in some revisionist actions, but its interdependence with the rest of the world has also constrained that revisionism. The evidence that China seeks to upend this order wholesale remains scant. Iain Johnston concluded, “It is problematic to claim that China is less economically open to trade today than in 1997, or less supportive of the arms control regimes it has joined than in 1997, or less committed to global counterterrorism today than in 1997, or less committed to dealing with greenhouse gases today than in 1997.” My own research suggests that if China is intending to upend the global economic order, it is doing so in a radically suboptimal manner.

China’s autonomy has grown as its wealth has increased—but like every other actor in the international system, it remains constrained by its reliance on the global economy. Perhaps the best evidence for this is its constrained response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia is China’s most important geopolitical partner on the global stage. Just a few weeks before the invasion, Russia and China publicly proclaimed a friendship without limits. Despite this bonhomie and confluence of national interests, China’s support of Russia since the start of the war has been decidedly meager. China has refrained from shipping weapons or other forms of materiel support to a Russia that badly needs it. That is due in no small part to the fact that China values its economic relationship with the West far more than it does its relationship with Russia.