Send Ukraine tanks, endless, bipartisan political grift and other commentary

War watch: Send Ukraine Tanks

“High Mobility Artillery Rocket Support (HIMARS) . . . alone will not win the war” for Ukraine, warns Michael O’Hanlon at The Hill, as “Russian forces are diversifying and hardening their positions as a counter to the deadly strikes.” The best help now is 1) “more air and missile defense capability so that not only Kyiv but other safe or liberated cities can be protected more effectively from Russian missile and air attacks” and 2) “more tanks and associated support vehicles to complement its existing infantry and artillery strengths and create a more credible counteroffensive capability.” Ukraine has about 300 tanks now; the implied need is for “a grand total of 500 tanks or thereabouts.”

Labor beat: NY’s Public-Union Corruption Woes

The takeover of one of NYC’s largest public-sector unions by its national parent, notes the Empire Center’s Ken Girardin, is “the latest example of misconduct” enabled by New York’s labor laws. A draft audit of AFSCME Local 1549’s finances revealed “questionable payments to consultants and alleged misuse of the union’s credit card.” New York’s seen “at least 40 other similar incidents since 2009 . . . involving the theft or misuse of union funds.” Automatic dues-deduction “all but invites bad behavior because government agencies are required to deduct and remit hundreds of millions of dollars in dues annually” to unions with zero accountability. “Making it hard for public employees to withhold their dues limits the utility of what should be their best tool for demanding union accountability.”

Neocon: Inconvenient Truths on ‘Long COVID’

“What little we know about” long COVID “shouldn’t frighten the general public,” explains Commentary’s Noah Rothman. The symptoms can include everything from fatigue, difficulty breathing and persistent cough to muscle/joint/chest pain or memory issues as well as headache, intermittent fever, heart palpitations and even rash/blisters/welts. But a JAMA Psychology paper flags a key risk factor: “preexisting psychological distress.” Rothman elaborates: “People who struggled with . . . anxiety, depression, loneliness, dysmorphia, and so on” are “as much as 50 percent more likely to experience long-term Covid-related complications.” That doesn’t mean the syndrome’s not real, but: “There is little evidence to suggest ‘long Covid’ is a wholly epidemiological phenomenon and quite a lot of evidence to the contrary.”

The idea of "long COVID" shouldn't frighten the general public.
The idea of “long COVID” shouldn’t frighten the general public.
AP Photo/Andy Wong

Libertarian: Endless, Bipartisan Political Grift

“Trump’s critics are absolutely right to see the ex-president’s grift,” Reason’s Matt Welch points out. “But they fail to recognize” its universality in “the American political system . . . when it comes to people willing to fork over money and affection to obvious blowhards” — like New York AG Tish James, Steve Bannon, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation or the Lincoln Project — “as long as the recipients have the right enemies.” “Political hucksters” across the spectrum exploit “the willingness of political tribalists to believe that any alleged misconduct on their own side is just proof of further malfeasance from The Man,” and “the market for ideological pocket-stuffing exists everywhere.” Yes, “the battle for our democracy is just too important to stay on the sidelines, friends. We need your donations today.”

Eye on economy: Biden’s Perilous Blindness

Despite “ominous” signs, observes National Review’s Jim Geraghty, “Biden intends to tout his economic record as the midterm elections approach.” Huh? “Businesses don’t know what to expect in the coming months, except higher costs to heat their facilities this winter. The stock markets are jittery. Sooner or later, those rising interest rates will reduce customer demand — which should reduce inflation, but will also lower sales, profits, and eventually, jobs.” But “in some people’s minds, the economy can’t be sputtering, because the guy they like is in the White House, and the party they prefer controls Congress.” And White House flack Karine Jean-Pierre called “two consecutive quarters of declining GDP” “steady and stable growth” — meaning “the White House message is, ‘You’ve never had it so good.’ ”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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