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A possible link between Putin and the explosion of a refinery and other comments

Foreign desk: Is Putin linked to Refinery Blast?

As Russia was about to invade Ukraine, “a cyber unit” of its GRU military intelligence “conducted target-reconnaissance operations against” a liquefied natural gas company, Freeport, reports Tom Rogan of the Washington Examiner, citing two sources. “On June 8, Freeport LNG suffered an explosion” at a major export terminal in Texas – “spiking already rising European gas prices” and “reinforcing[ing] Russia’s ability to hold Europe’s gas supply hostage”. Remember that “American energy networks are a very high priority target” for Russian intelligence. And “if Russia is responsible,” then it “violated President Joe Biden’s explicit warnings against attacks on critical infrastructure. Technically, he would also have waged an act of war on American soil. The question is: will we ever know what happened?

Conservative: Biden’s ‘ignorant’ class war

National Review’s Jim Geraghty demolishes President Biden’s claim that buying a yacht ‘doesn’t help the economy much’: Almost all yachts Americans buy in a year are made in the United States ‘by an industry estimated at around $3.2 billion.” U.S. marine manufacturing supports 691,000 jobs and 35,000 businesses, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association; the Commerce Department links $31 billion in production and 4.3 million jobs to “boating and fishing.” The millionaires who buy yachts are not the ones who build or maintain them. ‘It’s ignorant, knee-jerk class warfare’ from ‘a man who owns four homes’, including a $2.74 million ‘4,800 square foot vacation home’ in Rehoboth Beach, Del. .

Liberal: Eric Adams could be “All Talk”

“‘I am the mayor’ is a phrase Eric Adams says frequently,” notes Errol Louis of New York magazine. “It’s as if Hizzoner felt the need to make sure his authority was recognized and respected.” Is it? “First reading is: not really” – particularly on crime, with 45% of New Yorkers deeming “its poor performance” on public safety. His “effort to recreate the pre-COVID economy. . . may be an outdated model. Indeed, “it’s unclear whether Adams has the wherewithal to address” concerns about crime or the economy. But “a majority of the same New Yorkers who are high on his performance say. . . they like his style. That means we’re in a lot more situations where Adams [is] will definitely let us know who is calling the shots.

Ukraine defeated: break Putin’s grain blockade

The 25 million tonnes of grain trapped by the Russian blockade of Ukraine is part of a Putin plan, Seth Cropsey explains to the Wall Street Journal“By disrupting the world’s food and energy supply, the Kremlin seeks to trigger multiple international crises, forcing the West to pressure Ukraine to negotiate.” But Washington can “spoil Russia’s strategy by establishing a maritime corridor with a naval coalition of the willing”. The fact is that “Russia does not have the combat power to conquer Ukraine or to interdict Western arms shipments” and “within time. . . will lack men, shells and guns. ‘Putin is betting that the European allies of the United States and Ukraine will break before Russia does’, but the fact that the United States is escorting cargo ships out of Ukraine with an ‘overwhelming naval task force’ will leave Russia “reluctant” to interfere.

Libertarian: Biden’s “lost” war on nicotine

“The Biden administration continues its misguided war on nicotine”, mourns Elizabeth Nolan Brown of Reason, revealing “plans to force cigarette manufacturers to drastically reduce the amount of nicotine in their products”. But nicotine “isn’t what makes cigarettes so dangerous”: “It’s the other ingredients in cigarettes and the byproducts of combustion that make cigarettes so bad for you.” So “low nicotine cigarettes” means that “people who are already addicted to nicotine will still be addicted – they just have to smoke more cigarettes to get their nicotine fix. “Reducing nicotine intake without reducing the total number of cigarettes smoked does not help anyone.” And Biden “attacked a healthier way” to reduce consumption of these chemicals, “vaping — which delivers nicotine without the tar and combustion — as an alternative to smoking.”

– Compiled by the Editorial Board of The Post