5 min

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In today’s edition:

Look around. How are you liking Bidenomics?

Welcome to Bidenomics 101. Have a seat and listen up; this will be on the exam.

Professor (and, yes, columnist) E.J. Dionne offers in his latest piece a survey of President Biden’s economic plans, currently the subject of a big boost by the White House.

E.J. explains that the economic agenda — a departure from not only trickle-down Reaganomics but also a lot of the free-trade orthodoxies of the Clinton and Obama years — was borne of Biden’s “long-standing alarm over the Democratic Party’s alienation from working- and middle-class voters.”

With the goal of improving conditions for those and other Americans, Bidenomics leans on systemic levers such as industrial policy, public-works spending and a second look at those once-instinctive free-trade agreements.

If the administration starts to get results, Professor E.J. wonders whether other countries might end up copying Biden’s work. He already sees signs that Bidenomics could become “an international template for the center-left as Reaganomics was for the center-right.”

From another perspective, though, aspects of Bidenomics are already operating all around us — and working well, too. Columnist Jennifer Rubin writes that Biden just needs to get people to see that so he can win reelection and keep Bidenomizing.

Jen also takes a long view in her column, writing that she suspects Bidenomics will eventually be viewed favorably by history. “The challenge for Biden ... will be to get the public to focus on these developments now,” she writes.

Chaser: Columnist Fareed Zakaria explained last month — before the embrace of the term “Bidenomics” — why the protectionist “Biden Doctrine” makes him so nervous.

Slow doesn’t mean defeated

Last weekend’s Wagner Group mutiny in Russia was like a shot of adrenaline right into Ukraine watchers’ arms. But now that we’re back to what columnist Max Boot calls the “plodding pace” of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, it’s tempting to write off the slow campaign.

Not yet, Max says. The less-than-lightning fighting from Ukrainian forces is still well within reasonable expectations, he writes, especially considering that Russia is working with more men, more minefields and more fortifications than last year.

If the West really wants to speed up Ukraine’s advance, it ought to start doing more to aid the country, Max says. He describes some of the bum equipment Ukraine has been given — as well as the top-shelf stuff it’s still missing.

Really “backing Ukraine to the hilt,” Max writes, could make a huge difference, especially if Russia’s Vladimir Putin has to withdraw Yevgeniy Prigozhin’s Wagner troops.

And what of ol’ Yev? Surely he’s somewhere deep in a Russian prison by now, right?

Incredibly, no. Putin has seen fit not to prosecute his would-be-overthrower. That’s not true of the 19,735 people who’ve been detained for criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Editorial Board points out; they “have not had the benefit of such lenience.”

The board goes one by one through some of Russia’s foremost detained dissidents, calling for the release of each. They and the many thousand antiwar innocents should all be free, the board writes, while it’s Putin who should face unsparing prosecution.

Cartoonist Edith Pritchett’s comic last week might not have had the most statistical figures, but they’re thought-provoking in their own way. In a world where rising temperatures are such an enormous problem, why are we giving it so little attention?

Check out one of her charts (or “charts”?) here, and click through to see the rest.

More (fictional) politics

You’ve been keeping your eyes peeled, looking over your shoulder. You know it’s supposed to be coming. Where is the next installment of “The Tao of Deception”?

Luckily, David Ignatius completed his end of the dead drop, and the second chunk of his new spy thriller is all ready for you to pick up. But if you think things are going to go so smoothly for the characters therein, you’ve … never read a spy novel.

These latest pages bring the story into 2007 as the Cranes attempt to run their Chinese asset for all he’s worth. The formidable Ma Wei — a fictional woman high up in the real-life rebuilding of Chinese intelligence — will do whatever it takes to stop that.

Smartest, fastest

It’s a goodbye. It’s a haiku. It’s… The Bye-Ku.

Polar ice caps melt

And slip seaward, speeding up

Our rising screen times


Have your own newsy haiku? Email it to me, along with any questions/comments/ambiguities. See you tomorrow!