First, Happy Mothers’ Day.

Trump Promised To ‘Drain the Swamp.’ He Did the Opposite.

By John Stossel, Reason, May 8, 2024.


In 2020, then-President Trump said he was succeeding: “We’re draining the Washington swamp!”

But it’s not true.

“He made government bigger,” Economist Ed Stringham says in my new video. ‘That’s going in the wrong direction. Looking through a list of agencies, every single one I could see, there were more employees after his presidency than before.”

Trump added almost 2 million jobs to the federal workforce.

The most stunning number here is the 2 million jobs number. I haven’t fact-checked it. Is it true?

US Is Losing In Ukraine. Blame China, Says Blinken.

by John V. Walsh,, May 9, 2024.


At the close of his recent trip to China, on April 26 while still in Beijing, Sec. of State, Anthony [sic] Blinken, made an extremely bellicose statement to the press.  Blinken’s words marked a new phase in the narrative to prepare the American and European public for more conflict with China.   As Caitlin Johnstone has reminded us, “Before they drop the bombs, they drop the narrative.”  What, then, is the narrative that Blinken dropped?

In his statement, Blinken tells us that the US has “serious concern” over “components” from China that are “powering” Russia’s war with Ukraine.  He goes on to say that China is the top supplier “of dual use items that Moscow is using to ramp up its industrial base, a defense industrial base…”  It is widely accepted that the US is losing its Ukraine proxy war.  Blinken now informs us that the US-installed Ukrainian regime is losing because China is aiding Russia.  Blaming China is nothing new in the argot of the West, but here it is put to a new use, as an excuse for yet another embarrassing defeat for the US.

Blinken lists “machine tools, microelectronics, nitrocellulose” as key components that China provides to Russia.  But “dual use items” is an ill-defined and malleable category.  Potentially, every item of trade can be subsumed under the term.  For example, if Russia imports Chinese machine tools to make cars, then it can readily be claimed that they are being used to build tanks.  Or if Russia imports nitrocellulose to make fingernail polish, it can be charged that the chemical is being used for gun powder or explosives.  So, when the US demands that China stop “indirect” support for Russia’s war effort, it is ultimately demanding that China cut off all trade with Russia.

Blinken offers no evidence that such “dual use” items are responsible for the drubbing that its Ukraine proxies are taking.  And China has no obligation to curtail its commerce with Russia.  As with India and other genuinely sovereign nations which continue to trade with Russia, China is not bound by the edicts of the United States.


Jones Act Exacerbates US Ferry System Struggles

by Colin Grabow, Cato at Liberty, May 7, 2024,

Washington responded by rebidding the contract and changing its law so shipyards outside the state could compete to build the vessels. That, however, has meant delays in the acquisition process, mounting frustration among ferry users, and the ongoing exchange of barbs over the new propulsion system.

But this controversy misses the bigger picture. Washington’s chief obstacle to cost‐​effectively acquiring new ferries isn’t rooted in technology but protectionism. One only needs to look across Washington’s international border to see why.

In late 2019, only two months after Washington announced its plan to purchase new hybrid electric ferries, Canadian ferry operator BC Ferries ordered four vessels with the same technology from a European shipbuilder. All four were delivered before the end of 2021. Featuring a capacity approximately one‐​third that of the vessels sought by WSF (450 passengers and crew and 47 vehicles versus 1,500 passengers and 144 vehicles), the ferries cost about $38 million each—less than a sixth of the new WSF ferries’ estimated price.

I don’t have my usual 4 highlights this week. I got a bad cold on my return trip from Dallas last Saturday and have been sick or low-energy for most of the week. But I’m back!