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Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn harshly criticizes the brutes in Beijing for their persecution of the great Jimmy Lai. Three slices:

No one doubts that the government will get its conviction in the end. But what all the testimony against Mr. Lai really shows is a passionate media proprietor who used his wealth and newspaper to advance his principles.


Mark Clifford, a newspaperman who served on Apple Daily’s board, says the trial itself is an example of the trends Mr. Lai worried about. The proceedings resemble more a communist Chinese show trial than the fair judicial proceedings that once gave international investors confidence in Hong Kong as a global financial center.

“First they took his newspaper from him, and then they denied him his choice of lawyer in the most important trial of his life,” says Mr. Clifford, author of “The Troublemaker,” a forthcoming biography of Mr. Lai. “He’s being tried before three national-security judges rather than a jury.

“Foreign investors in Hong Kong now have to worry about something they never did before—could my company be next if we run afoul of the party line?”


One longtime Hong Konger who asks not to be named for security reasons put it this way: “The old narrative that foreign money was behind the whole thing has disappeared. By Hong Kong standards Jimmy Lai is not that rich. Yet he’s funding the whole movement. He was even alleged to be buying influence in America.

“It’s a case of reverse collusion: Evil Americans were not trying to overthrow the dictatorship, it was one man’s desperate effort to save freedom in Hong Kong. The shame is that he was the only one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest business leaders to stand up for the system that made them rich.”

Back in the Fall of 2018, Simon Lester rightly criticized American trade hypocrisy. A slice:

And Trump’s claims about the WTO have no basis in fact. He says, “We lose the lawsuits, almost all of the lawsuits in the WTO—within the WTO. Because we have fewer judges than other countries.” The reality is that the U.S. record in WTO dispute settlement is very similar to that of other countries.

But the cheating narrative is not just wrong, it is dan- gerous. When we accuse foreigners of behaving unfairly, we fan the flames of nativism. Spreading the myth that others are taking advantage of us gives rise to xenophobia, which we have seen intensify in recent years. When politi- cal leaders and commentators continually cast aspersions on foreigners, people start to believe the foreigners are do- ing something wrong. Trump may be an extreme version of this, but people on both sides have been guilty over the years. The result has been a largely mistaken conception of how other governments behave on trade, and growing anti-foreigner sentiment.

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal decries “Biden’s latest lawless student loan forgiveness.” A slice:

Mr. Biden’s new loan forgiveness is still illegal. The High Court stressed that student loan forgiveness is a major question that requires clear authorization from Congress. But Mr. Biden seems to believe he can jam the courts by automatically forgiving debt before a judge has time to stop him.

The White House says most borrowers won’t even have to apply for loan relief. Sometime before the November election, Mr. Biden will simply declare their debt forgiven. That means a future Congress and a President Trump might be unable to undo the lawless act. Where are the press scolds who warn about a President who threatens democracy?

Mr. Biden is setting an awful precedent that Donald Trump will no doubt exploit. If courts say he can’t re-purpose defense money to build a wall on the southern border, he could simply use another means to do so. The right will cheer him on as the left is Mr. Biden. The rule of law and taxpayers are the losers.

Barton Swain has the measure of Biden the man – a measure that is as unflattering as it is accurate. Two slices:

He puts one in mind of Earl Haig’s remark about the Earl of Derby: “A very weak-minded fellow I am afraid, and, like the feather pillow, bears the marks of the last person who sat on him!”

Mr. Biden bears the marks of many a backside. For most of his career he supported the Hyde Amendment barring the use of federal funds for abortion. Running for president in 2020, Mr. Biden announced he favored repealing the amendment. In 2019, during an early Democratic primary debate, Sen. Kamala Harris lashed Mr. Biden for opposing forced busing in the 1970s. He had taken that position a half-century before for the excellent reason that the public overwhelmingly hated busing, but in 2019 he felt obliged to sound as if he half-supported it.


If the left’s avant-garde wants a 32-hour workweek today—Mr. Sanders is pushing it—you’re safe to assume that a second-term Biden administration will make that demand, too. Racial reparations? The criminalization of “misgendering” and other forms of “hate speech”? Denuclearization? Nationalization of industries? Mr. Biden isn’t there yet, but give him time. It’ll only take the right people to sit on him.

Jeff Yass writes that “Biden is the worst president ever for [school] choice.” A slice:

I was wrong to think that Democrats would support school choice to help their constituents out of poverty. Although polling consistently shows that a majority of minority parents want school choice, progressive politicians consistently oppose all such programs.

To understand why, consider who’s funding their campaigns: teachers unions. For unions, choice means competition, and urban public schools with low proficiency ratings can’t compete. Unions know the only way to keep their political power is to keep children trapped in failing schools. Give parents access to other educational options, and they’ll ditch the schools that take them for granted.

Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle understandably worries about the U.S. government’s fiscal incontinence.

Also worrying about the U.S. government’s fiscal incontinence is Doug Bandow. A slice:

As the Federal Reserve unwinds its essentially zero interest “quantitative easing” policy, Uncle Sam is now paying higher rates. Moreover, Washington must refinance maturing debt. Explained CBO: “The projected increase in 2024 occurs primarily because the average interest rate that the Treasury pays on its debt is higher this year and is expected to rise further as maturing securities are refinanced at rates that exceed those that prevailed when the securities were issued.” As a result, interest costs are rising faster than any other federal program and have doubled since 2020. This year, interest payments on the debt will exceed the cost of every federal program other than Social Security.

Sally Satel reports that officials at Massachusetts General are sacrificing the health of their patients to the woke god devil.