July 19, 2024

Team Biden hinders Ukraine victory, politicians clueless on AI


Ukraine war: Team Biden Hinders Kyiv’s Victory

“The Biden administration doesn’t want Ukraine to win” against Russia, concludes Phillips P. O’Brien in The Wall Street Journal. Rather, it wants to “force a sordid deal” in which Kyiv cedes “large parts” of its territory, including Crimea. Proof? “The administration has bent over backward not to supply Ukraine with the weapons needed to hit Russian targets in Crimea.” As Ukrainian strikes nonetheless manage to drive the Russians from their naval bases, Moscow will become “almost entirely reliant” on the Kerch Bridge to maintain control of Crimea. Stopping movement across the bridge — with the help of US missiles — could help end the war and save lives. “An administration that wants Ukraine to win should see that and act accordingly.”

From the right: No to Trump and Ballot-Booting

“I am firmly opposed to Trump’s candidacy,” thunders former Attorney General Bill Barr at The Free Press — but “efforts to knock him off the ballot” in Maine and Colorado “are legally untenable, politically counterproductive, and, most ominously, destructive of our political order.” First, “these efforts are legally insupportable.” States simply lack “the power to enforce the disqualification provision of the Fourteenth Amendment by using their own ad hoc procedures to find that an individual has engaged in an insurrection.” Worse, “such tactics undercut the credibility of legitimate efforts to hold Trump accountable.” “The election of 2024 already will pose the gravest of challenges to our political institutions.” So: “The Supreme Court needs to act swiftly to strike down these foolish decisions.”

Libertarian: Politicians Clueless on AI

When it comes to artificial intelligence, “the biggest question is ‘who the hell is in charge here?’ ” snarks Reason’s Katherine Mangu-Ward. If “our best and brightest technologists and theorists are struggling to see the way forward for AI, what makes anyone think that the power elite in Washington, D.C., and state capitals are going to get there first?” “Politicians and regulators collectively swiveled their heads” toward regulating AI after ChatGPT’s launch a year ago, as state lawmakers “introduced 191 AI-related bills” — up 440% from 2022. When “the most prominent people in AI seem to spend most of their time asking if they should” pursue advances, then there’s “no reason to think politicians or bureaucrats will do a good job answering” that question.

Conservative: Joe’s Polls Have Fallen and . . .

“President Joe Biden’s job approval rating has been stuck below 50% for a long time, 2½ years, and shows no signs of rising above 50% anytime soon,” notes the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. Rather, he’s bounced in “an 8-point range between highs in the mid-40s and lows in the high 30s.” He’ll surely rise some as Election Day nears, but still needs “an energetic recovery” and “can only do so much to recover.” And “the one thing” he can’t do “is get any younger. Voters have watched in real time as the president slowed down in front of them. . . . Anyone who has ever had an elderly relative — and that is about everyone — knows what is going on.” In short: “He has fallen so badly that getting up again will be a very difficult proposition.”

White House watch: Unforgivable Staff Protest

“A group of junior staffers in the Biden administration recently chose to hold” a protest of “the administration’s approach to the Gaza war”; while “these young people have every right to express views radically at odds with those of the commander-in-chief,” they don’t “have the right to both engage in active insubordination and remain employed by the US government,” argue Victoria Coates & Jamie Metzl at The Hill. “Policy differences are an essential element of decision-making in free societies, but there is a radical difference between expressing them internally or resigning on the one hand, and White House staff actively seeking to subvert government policies on the other.” Without “consequences,” the staffers “will be further emboldened to pursue their own agenda over that of the president.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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