Washington watch: Biden’s Bureaucrat Buds
While “poor souls who helped America and even some US citizens” were “left to the horrors of Kabul,” there is a “key constituency” President Biden “didn’t forget,” snarks The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman. He invoked “his legal authority under ‘national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare’ to increase salaries for” 2 million federal workers. “Yes,” the prez “decided this is the moment to declare a swamp-wide pay raise. What on earth does this latest raid on taxpayers have to do with addressing national emergencies?” It’s “especially generous, because the average federal worker already makes significantly more than the average person toiling away in the productive economy” — who is seeing big cuts in real pay thanks to Biden’s inflation.
Libertarian: Unions Emptying Gov’t Schools
After “enrollment in government-run K-12 schools” dropped “by 3 percent in COVID-marred 2020–21 (including 13 percent for kindergarten and pre-K),” while “homeschooling tripled, the $122 billion question facing this new school year is whether that defection is an aberration or inflection point,” writes Reason’s Matt Welch. “An early bellwether came clanging in last week,” when a “highly coveted” Brooklyn elementary lost one-third of its students — and, because “funding is pegged to enrollment,” had to dismiss four teachers. Teacher unions “got their work-at-home carve-outs, their school closures, their preferred party running the federal government” and “created a product that’s literally repellant to millions of parents, even at the cost of free.”
Conservative: Capitol Officer’s ‘Bad Shooting’
In his interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, who fatally shot protester Ashli Babbitt on Jan. 6, “was inconsistent,” “self-contradictory” and “ill-informed on the law,” charges Jack Dunphy at PJ Media. The Supreme Court, for example, has “held that any force used by police must be judged by a standard of ‘objective reasonableness.’ ” Yet by Byrd’s “own admission, there were avenues of escape available to those in the House Chamber.” Byrd might have had good intentions, but it was still a “bad shooting.” Indeed, most police officers “can readily recognize him for what he is: a long-serving middle manager of modest abilities,” who should be “nowhere near any situation requiring split-second, life-and-death decisions.”
From the right: Kamala, Come Out of the Closet
Kamala Harris was “lauded as a historic, consequential figure,” recalls The Hill’s Joe Concha, with Team Biden insisting she “be known as her boss’s equal” in “the Biden-Harris administration.” Yet she has “been taken off the field almost completely” and “has yet to hold even one formal solo press conference.” Why? “Her handlers” know there is “little upside in having her say anything unscripted on the crisis at the southern border, where the migrant numbers are at 20-year highs.” But the White House’s out-of-sight, out-of-mind strategy isn’t working: We “haven’t seen vice-presidential approval numbers this low so early in an administration since Dan Quayle under George H.W. Bush.” It’s “very hard to see Harris becoming” the 2024 nominee.
Foreign desk: Beijing’s Risky War on Gaming
China’s government just put new limits on kids’ video-game playing, “with only one hour of gaming on Friday, Saturday and Sunday permitted, and none from Monday through Thursday,” Ben Sixsmith notes at Spectator World. “But how will the kids feel about it?” After all, “trying to stop kids from gaming is not the same as doing it. The Chinese are smart, of course, but that applies to lawbreakers as well as to lawmakers.” The state bans porn yet citizens “still find means of creating, disseminating and consuming it.” Indeed, “evidence suggests that two-thirds of young adults still access it.” So the Chinese Communist Party risks “raising a generation of kids who have trained themselves in the art of” what “the Polish people call kombinowa: creative, mildly illegal scheming.” The CCP has “staked a lot on the national and ideological loyalty and ardor of the coming generations — it will be interesting to see if that can be sustained in the Information Age.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/08/31/bidens-bureaucrat-buds-and-other-commentary/ on .