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Macron’s Moscow muddle, a Disney-Florida truce and other commentary

War watch: Macron’s Moscow Muddle

At The Hill, Alexander J. Motyl tees off on French President Emmanuel Macron’s call to ponder “how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table” addressing Moscow’s “fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia.” Notes Motyl: “With Finland’s admission into NATO, the alliance has come right up to Russia’s door,” while the alliance’s nukes are based “in the United States, the United Kingdom and — oh, yes — France.” But “both Putin and Macron know full well that” the NATO armies “are, with the exception of those of the United States, United Kingdom and Poland, in miserable shape.” So “America may pose a threat to Russia, but NATO does not.” In short, “the West needs to counter collective Russia’s mendacity or fantasies not with mollycoddling but with straightforward explanations of reality.”

Civil-liberties beat: ACLU Ignorance on Speech

ACLU legal director David Cole claims in a New York Times op-ed to “believe that states cannot compel” people “to express messages with which they disagree. But…” — and that “but,” observes the Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll, shows the outfit’s been “overtaken by the authoritarian woke Left.” Cole’s “legal error” is to argue a web firm must design websites for gay weddings or it’d be turning away gay customers. In reality: “The customer’s identity has nothing to do with the content of the compelled speech.” The company is “happy to serve gay people;” the key “is the specific event [it’s] being forced to support.” “That the ACLU can’t” or won’t “recognize this very clear legal distinction . . . shows just how far the organization has fallen.”

Republican: Beat Dems at Early-Vote Game

“The GOP is dead,” argues Townhall’s Scott Morefield, if it follows Donald Trump’s whining about voting by mail. “Since the 2020 election, Democrats beat Republicans by 9 percentage points [in] voting by mail.” Yet “Republicans are quite capable of voting by mail,” so “it’s time to start at least attempting to beat Democrats at their own game.” To win “in an age of early voting and mail-in ballots,” the GOP needs “to match Democratic efforts and . . . bank every vote possible for as long and as early as you’re legally allowed.” This will take “take boots on the ground” and “a paradigm shift. But if the choice is between that and losing perpetually, the path forward seems abundantly clear.”

Libertarian: A Disney-Florida Truce?

It seems Florida will “back down from the culture war” with Disney after Bob Chapek’s exit as CEO, reversing legislation to strip it of its special tax status, reports Reason’s Eric Boehm. “Looks like it was never much more than a pissing match between [Gov. Ron] DeSantis and Chapek, who drew the governor’s ire when he sharply criticized Florida’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.” Plus, the anti-Disney law would’ve “put local taxpayers on the hook” for services Disney pays for. Indeed, DeSantis’ move looks like “a grotesque misuse of state power that forced a private company to change its leadership” in response its ex-boss’ exercise of “his free speech rights.”

Eye on NY: Tip of Nursing-Home Iceberg

“The attorney general’s just-filed lawsuit against the Villages of Orleans nursing home has implications that reach far beyond a single facility,” notes the Empire Center’s Bill Hammond. Beyond citing “ ‘egregious’ neglect and mistreatment of patients,” it flags “financial fraud based on outsourcing arrangements that are widely used by for-profit homes.” These involve homes buying “goods and services” from businesses with the same or overlapping ownership. In this case, the related companies netted $18.6 million, “almost 22 percent of the home’s total revenue — even as residents allegedly suffered and died for lack of adequate staffing and basic supplies.” In fact, the same pattern may well “apply to a wide swath of New York’s nursing homes,” but the AG likely can’t bring enough suits “to have a deterrent effect.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board