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The ‘Maskaholics’ are back, watch out, Joe and other commentary

COVID journal: The ‘Maskaholics’ Are Back

“Unfazed by data, scientific research, or common sense, the maskaholics are back,” roars City Journal’s John Tierney.

“In response to an uptick in Covid cases, they’ve begun reinstating mask mandates.”

Never mind that at least 97% of Americans have COVID antibodies. Or that pre-pandemic expert advice against masks proved right.

Or that studies show that masks — unlike the harmless scarecrows Cambodian villagers erected to ward off the bug — led to numerous breathing-related medical issues, as well as learning loss.

“No drug with all these potential side effects” would ever be recommended, yet the CDC still recommends masking in certain places.

“The next time someone urges you to put on a mask, tell them you’re already protected” by your “magic scarecrow.”

Libertarian: Hollywood’s AI Agita

The actors’/writers’ walkouts “center around the impact artificial intelligence” might “have on their livelihoods,” but “fears around tech-driven job losses in the entertainment industry are not novel,” observes Jennifer Huddleston at Reason.

Not long ago, “the studios were decrying the VCR as something that could kill movies. Instead it furthered their opportunities to reach audiences.”

Fact is, AI “can dramatically reduce the cost” of “visual effects and other expensive elements of film production,” allowing “smaller studios to make more movies at a lower cost,” which “could bring more competition to the industry and more opportunities for filmmakers who the big studios might have ignored.”

Shows like “Black Mirror” aren’t real life: “New technologies mean new opportunities too.”

The Washington Examiner editorial board is calling on several GOP candidates to drop out of the race following the first debate.
The Washington Examiner editorial board is calling on several GOP candidates to drop out of the race following the first debate.
Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

From the right: Thin the GOP ’24 Herd

After the first Republican debate, “it is time for several candidates to exit the race,” argues the Washington Examiner editorial board.

“Four candidates have what it takes to take command in the Oval Office”: Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence and Tim Scott would all “be much more effective general election candidates, and presidents, than Trump.”

And none of the others except Vivek Ramaswamy has “a snowball’s chance of winning the nomination,” and his “shallow, glib approach” is “disqualifying.”

The 2016 race’s lesson: “The longer the candidates without a real chance of winning the nomination stay in the race, the better it is for Trump.”

So all who “want to make sure Trump isn’t the nominee” must “ask themselves what their continued participation in the primary will accomplish.”

According to The Hill's Douglas Schoen & Carly Cooperman, polling shows President Biden behind former President Donald Trump in a rematch election in 2024.
According to The Hill’s Douglas Schoen & Carly Cooperman, polling shows President Biden behind former President Donald Trump in a rematch election in 2024.
Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

From the center: Watch Out, Joe

“If 2024 turns into another ‘lesser of two evils’ election” between President Biden and ex-President Donald Trump, polling data show “Biden could become a one-term president,” as he is “trailing Trump,” 44% to 45%, “in a general election matchup,” Douglas Schoen & Carly Cooperman warn at The Hill.

“The economy remains the major pain point for the president,” as “inflation fatigue has fostered widespread economic pessimism.”

But voters also “cite immigration as Biden’s main failure, a sentiment that will almost certainly harden in light of July’s spike in illegal southern border crossings.”

His “age and competency” are other concerns, especially since Vice President Kamala Harris, who’d take over if he’s sidelined, “is even less well-liked” than he is.

Eye on NY: Albany’s Alt-Energy Con

“A major deception on emissions reductions lies at the heart” the state “Department of Public Service’s first annual report on implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” grumbles the Empire Center’s James E. Hanley.

“More than half of the claimed reductions are inaccurately attributed to” a program paying subsidies “to keep the state’s nuclear power plants open,” when those plants have neither replaced “greenhouse gas-emitting energy sources nor reduced their own emissions below zero.”

And the lack of spending details makes it “impossible for the public to know where the money is going or whether they are receiving any real benefit from it.”

Future reports should avoid “fudging the numbers to make the state appear to be making more progress than it actually is.” The public “is footing the bill,” so it deserves “a clear statement of accounts.”

Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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