This Is Key To Recovery

We’ll never have a strong economic recovery if small businesses, schools, and doctors can be sued into the ground. That’s why Senate Republicans are pushing for a “liability shield” that would put an end to frivolous lawsuits related to the coronavirus. While that debate plays out, states are rightly taking the lead.

At least 12 states are moving forward with policies that protect employers and other institutions as they reopen. These policies ensure that companies, schools, and healthcare providers can make good-faith efforts to get the economy moving again. But trial lawyers want to be able sue them for failing to stop the coronavirus. If they get their way, more businesses will close, more people will get laid off, and the recovery will be slower. The whole country will suffer.

States should be praised for putting common-sense first. It’s happening from Utah to Ohio to Iowa to Georgia and many other places. It’s anyone’s guess whether Congress will do what’s right. But if Congress won’t act, then more states should.

→ Read more: It’s time for action on COVID liability (National Review)

→ Read more: Employers get major protections in GOP liability shield bill (Bloomberg)

The New Crime Wave

America is getting less safe by the day. According to a new Wall Street Journal analysis, murders are up by nearly 25% this year. This crisis isn’t contained in just a handful of cities — it’s happening across the nation. 

The Journal found that homicide is rising by double-digit percentages in at least 36 of America’s largest cities. The usual suspects are on the list, like Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia. But so are cities like Omaha and Phoenix. Austin has seen homicides rise by a staggering 64%. Amidst the pandemic, murders “are up because violent criminals have been emboldened by the sidelining of police, courts, schools, churches and an array of other social institutions,” as the Journal puts it. 

This crisis deserves far more attention — and action — from policymakers. Crime begets crime, and if this new wave isn’t stopped, it will claim even more lives and spread even farther. If our elected leaders won’t keep us safe, then the American people need to hold them accountable.

→ Read more: Homicide spike hits most large U.S. cities (Wall Street Journal)

→ Read more: Feds send agents into three U.S. cities for Operation Legend (New York Post)

Sanity in American cities

This week, police declared riots in at least four American cities as protests turned violent and protesters clashed with both federal agents and police. Dozens of law enforcement members were injured.   

In Portland, as protests stretched into their 60th consecutive night, the situation descended into chaos and protesters breached the fence around a federal courthouse. An AP reporter spent a weekend inside the federal courthouse and reported: “Mortars were being fired off repeatedly, fireworks & flares shot into the lobby, frozen bottles, concrete, cans & bouncy balls regularly whizzed over the fence at high speeds.” Portland police called the actions “criminal and dangerous.”

Seattle once again erupted in violence with smashed windows, damaged cars, spontaneous fires, and explosives thrown at police. In last Saturday’s riot, fifty-nine officers were injured and at least 47 agitators were arrested for assaulting officers, among other charges. The situation was bad enough with CHOP. Now, by demonizing law enforcement, the violence has grown beyond a six-block radius. 

Our take: The damage, injuries, and deaths will have long-lasting effects on our communities, and the physical and verbal attacks on law enforcement will not be easily healed. When liberal mayors tolerate violence and give a free pass to lawlessness, we are all worse off. Businesses are destroyed, families are hurt, and trust is broken. 

Violence does nothing to solve the challenges Americans face. Our leaders must stand up to the idea that looting and rioting advance any cause, and our mayors need to send a clear message that they will work with law enforcement to stop the anarchy and crime, not oppose them. 

→ Read more: Ben Shapiro: In Seattle, Portland left’s willingness to tolerate violence should frighten all Americans (Fox News)

→ Read more: Waiting for the counterrevolution (National Review)

The Case Against A Spending Spree

Calls are growing for Congress to spend trillions more on coronavirus relief. It’s true that Congress should take action to help the people and businesses who’ve been devastated — yesterday’s economic news showed just how deep the damage runs. But it’s also true that a lot of the money Congress has already made available hasn’t been spent. 

To date, Congress has authorized a staggering $3.7 trillion in federal spending on the pandemic. Yet only 60% of that money has been used so far. About $1.5 trillion is still up for grabs. For example, while Congress gave states and local governments about $150 billion, less than 25% of that money has been spent. With so much cash still on the table, this is no time for trillions more in state bailouts and corporate handouts.

What should Congress do? Simple: Help turn the economy around. We need to get a handle on the virus, get people back to work, get schools and businesses to reopen safely, and get America growing again. Anything more is totally unhelpful — especially with so much leftover relief funding to spend.

→ Read more: Fiscal conservatives revolt over price tag of coronavirus relief package (Fox News)

→ Read more: States have spent little of $150 billion COVID relief fund (Free Beacon)

Send China’s Spies Home

Communist China is spying on us, and the Trump administration is working to stop it. The United States is expected to announce a major cut to the number of Chinese diplomats in America, many of whom are actually seeking to steal information from our companies and universities.

The United States has long known that China uses its embassies and consulates as a cover for espionage. Last fall, two Chinese diplomats were expelled from the United States after sneaking onto a military base. Chinese officials routinely show up without warning or explanation at research labs and government offices. And Chinese embassy staff keep track of Chinese dissidents and students and help spread communist propaganda.

America is dealing with an espionage epidemic. The FBI already has 2,000 agents investigating Chinese espionage, with new China-related cases being opened every 10 hours. For the sake of our national security and global leadership, America needs to do a lot more to find and stop China’s army of spies.

→ Read more: U.S. to order drastic reduction in Chinese diplomats amid surge in spy cases (Washington Times)

→ Read more: China’s consulates do a lot more than spy (AXIOS)

Democrats’ Dangerous Platform

Beware the Democratic Party’s 2020 foreign policy plan. The official party platform, which the party will vote on this week, calls on the United States to rejoin anti-American organizations and re-sign bad deals with America’s adversaries. Here’s the proof:
  ·         UN Human Rights Council. The platform calls to rejoin the corrupt body after the Trump administration rightly withdrew. Never mind that the Council is filled with human rights abusers, or that Cuba, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are running for seats. The Council also routinely targets America as well as our free and democratic ally, Israel.
  ·         Iran Nuclear Deal. Democrats want to re-enter the the Obama-era agreement that gave the Iranian regime billions of dollars it used to support terrorism. It only delayed Iran from getting a nuclear weapon while allowing its bad behavior to continue, which is why the Trump administration exited the deal in 2018. 
  ·         Paris Climate Accord. America would re-sign the global agreement that would kill jobs, shrink the economy, and put the U.S. at a global disadvantage. Case in point: While the Paris Agreement would injure America, it gives China a free pass, allowing the world’s largest polluter to keep on dumping, pumping, and spewing. 
@NikkiHaley tweeted: Incredibly, the 2020 Dem platform calls for the US to rejoin the corrupt UN Human Rights Council.  Which thing do the Dems like best, the extreme bias against Israel, the refusal to denounce China’s concentration camps, or the support for communist dictators in Cuba & Venezuela? 8:22 PM · Jul 27, 2020

Amb. Haley strongly supported America’s withdrawal from each of these, and even announced the U.S. decision to leave the UN Human Rights Council. For the sake of America’s values and interests, the Democrats can’t be allowed to enact their foolish plans.

→ Read more: Democratic platform calls for rejoining Human Rights Council (Free Beacon)

→ Read more: Democrats meet virtually to approve platform that builds off Biden-Sanders effort (NPR)

Law Enforcement Under Fire

The violence is back. Anarchists and extremists took to the streets of Portland and Seattle over the weekend, turning their rage toward federal agents and local law enforcement. Police officially declared riots in both cities. 

Here’s how National Review summed up the scene in Portland: “Federal agents were shot at with ball bearings launched from slingshots, pelted with frozen water bottles, and hit with commercial-grade fireworks, one of which hit a federal agent in the head and left him with a concussion. Other federal agents have lingering vision problems thanks to roving bands of black-clad anarchists… pointing lasers into the eyes of anyone in uniform.”

So far, 20 federal agents have been injured in Portland. It’s even worse in Seattle, where 59 police officers were injured in the most recent riots. Where are the politicians who are supposed to keep their citizens and cities safe?

→ Read more: Portland rioters use “cover of crowd” to commit crimes, launch fireworks at officers (Fox News)

Time To Stop TikTok

Is Communist China’s most popular social media platform safe? A growing number of lawmakers and global leaders say no. They’re calling for a ban on the video-sharing app TikTok to protect people’s personal information and America’s national security.

Twenty-five Republicans in Congress recently called for a TikTok ban in a letter sent to the Trump administration. They point out that TikTok can be forced by the Chinese government to hand over user data. Considering that TikTok has been downloaded more than 175 million times in America alone, we should all be worried about Beijing’s ability to abuse the app.

The House has already voted to ban TikTok from federal phones. But it’s still worth considering a broader ban that covers the entire nation, which the Trump administration is mulling. India made that move at the end of June on national security grounds. It’s smart to be wary of Communist China’s most popular app.

→ Read more: Is TikTok getting banned? 25 Members of Congress urge Trump to follow India’s example (NewsBreak)

→ Read more: TikTok really is the central front in the U.S.-China tech war (Foreign Policy)

American manufacturing

As a former governor who created thousands of jobs, Amb. Nikki Haley knows how important it is to bring manufacturing home. In her latest op-ed, she talks about the lessons the United States can learn from her time as governor of South Carolina as we tackle the coronavirus pandemic. 

→ Read Nikki’s op-ed here.

In 2011, then-Gov. Haley teamed up with then-Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon as part of its Made in America program. The program sought to strengthen American manufacturing by connecting business owners with business-friendly states. 

Under Amb. Haley’s leadership, South Carolina became known as the “Beast of the Southeast” — creating jobs, slashing taxes and regulations, building infrastructure, and investing in workforce training to build a strong talent pool. As a result, businesses came to South Carolina, including Kent International, which moved its bike assembly from China to Manning, SC.

Now, as the United States confronts the coronavirus pandemic, it’s clear our country needs to bring more manufacturing home. The reasons are twofold. First, America should not rely on hostile countries like China for vital supplies, like masks or medicine. Second, in times of crisis, the United States needs to increase production capability, and that’s always easier to do on home turf. 

“State leaders should be on the front lines of this effort. While Washington has a role to play by enacting sensible policies at the national level, America is at her best when our states and their people shine. Every state is different, and so is every business, which means states should compete to be the best fit for specific firms. The more involved Washington gets, the more it risks becoming an exercise in counterproductive top-down control, rather than bottom-up innovation.”

→ Read more: Nikki Haley and former Walmart U.S. president Bill Simon: Coronavirus makes the case for bringing manufacturing back to America (Fortune)

→ Read more: U.S. manufacturing activity hits 14-month high (Reuters)

Punish Foreign Hackers

Congress may soon go after the foreign hackers trying to steal American secrets. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has introduced a bill that would allow sanctions on anyone who endangers U.S. national security

The backdrop to this bill includes unprecedented efforts by China, Russia, Iran, and others to hack both the U.S. government and private companies. The hackers are after classified information, cutting-edge military blueprints, and especially coronavirus vaccine research. Not only do they want to weaken America — they want to strengthen their own countries.

The time to act is now. Foreign countries will only step up their cyber-warfare in the coming years. The smart thing to do is punish those who try… and prevent them from trying again.

→ Read more: Congress moves to sanction Chinese, Russian, Iranian hackers (Free Beacon)

→ Read more: Pompeo: U.S. to counter election disinformation (Washington Times)