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Ben Zycher reports that even the deep thinkers in the Biden administration are bound by reality. A slice:

However costly, environmentally destructive, and doomed to failure it may be, the intended transformation of the electricity system at least does not depend upon efforts to convince power consumers to buy one form of electricity rather than another. Bureaucrats and various government regulatory agencies can merely force (or try to force) a large shift in power technologies. The producers of electrical power, on the receiving end of regulations, mandates, and politicized decisions affecting their bottom lines, have little choice but to comply, even though they will be blamed for the resulting sharp rise in electricity bills. Consumers? Who do they think they are?

The policy push to shift the vehicle fleet from conventional internal combustion engines to electric vehicles is sharply different. Large numbers of consumers must be induced to move away from conventional vehicles in favor of purchasing EVs, or else it simply won’t happen.

They have to be convinced to accept the severe economic and performance limitations characterizing EVs. They are significantly more expensive than conventional vehicles to purchase, maintain, repair and even to operate, once depreciation costs are included. Under a wide set of operating conditions — cold or hot weather in particular — driving range for a full battery charge is poor. The availability of charging facilities (with the partial exception of the Tesla network) is highly limited, an indication that market forces do not view a large expansion of the EV fleet as likely. (The market-driven growth of the private-sector gasoline station refueling system over the 20th century offers a sharp contrast.) And can anyone trust the prospective reliability and quality characteristics of a government recharging system?

GMU Econ alum Nikolai Wenzel reports that even the deep thinkers in Europe are bound by reality.

Jeff Jacoby praises the courage of the late Alexei Navalny. A slice:

The charismatic reformer and resistance leader was a rarity: a Russian politician intrepid enough to challenge President Vladimir Putin. Navalny nearly died four years ago, when he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok — a lethal compound that Russian agents have used to assassinate other dissidents. Miraculously, he survived. He was airlifted to Germany, where doctors neutralized the toxin and restored him to health. Whereupon, with a heroism few of us could muster, Navalny returned to Russia, knowing full well that he was going to his doom. He was arrested by Putin’s agents as soon as his plane landed in Moscow. Three years later, he is dead at 47.

The cause he fought for, however, lives. Navalny’s lionhearted strength is turning more doublethinkers into dissidents. Thousands of Russians attended his funeral and burial in Moscow on Friday, filing slowly past his casket in defiance of the Kremlin’s warning that anyone attending a gathering to memorialize Navalny “will be held accountable.” It was no idle threat. More than 400 people were arrested across Russia in the days following his death, many for simply laying flowers or lighting candles in his honor. But the courage of dissidents is infectious.

AIER’s Will Ruger reviews, in City Journal, Jennifer Burns’s excellent biography of Milton Friedman.

James Taranto writes about why Justice Samuel Alito no longer attends the State of the Union spectacle. A slice:

“Unless you’re there on the floor, you don’t really appreciate what’s going on,” Justice Alito told the Journal in an interview last spring. “The members [of Congress] are extremely vocal. . . . I remember during one where President Bush was speaking, and the leaders behind us were saying, ‘Bulls—! That’s bulls—!’ They’re always making these comments, and loud enough so you could hear it two or three rows away.”

That’s awkward for members of the court, whose official role requires them to rise above partisanship. Applause lines are even trickier, since silence can seem like dissent. “We sit there like potted plants, and then we look out of the corner of our eye to see whether any of our colleagues are going to stand up, or the Joint Chiefs are,” Justice Alito said. “There are some times when you have to stand up. Like, ‘Don’t we honor the brave men and women who are fighting and dying for this country?’—you can’t not stand up for that. But then you say, ‘Isn’t the United States a great country’—you stand up—‘because we are going to enact this legislation’—maybe you have to sit down.”

Peter Suderman lays out the details of a challenge to Chevron deference.

John O. McGinnis reviews Willard Sterne Randall’s The Founders’ Fortunes.