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PolicySphere Morning Briefing – March 12, 2024

Exciting! Our first morning briefing!

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Here’s what you need to know this morning on policy:

#bigtech #freespeech – AEI’s Clay Calvert: “The First Amendment’s First Principle Dictates Why Social Media Platforms Must Prevail in the NetChoice Cases

This is a straightforward First Amendment argument against attempts by Florida and Texas to punish social media platforms for censoring conservatives. Just a few years ago, such an amendment would have been a no-brainer on the right. Today, however, things are much more complex. More and more conservatives are leery of the power of big tech platforms, and are making the case that, as natural monopolies, they can sensor speech as effectively as any government, and therefore the way to protect speech is to regulate them in some form.

This debate is behind ideas such as Section 230 reform, most prominently pushed by Sen. Josh Hawley, and the idea of common carrier regulation, which was recently put forward in a concurrence by Justice Clarence Thomas. This is an important debate, and look to PolicySphere to cover it in depth…

#BigTech #TikTokMarco Rubio: “FBI Director Wray confirms ByteDance, owner of TikTok, can’t refuse requests made by the Chinese Communist Party.”

There’s going to be lots of talk in the next few weeks about the various TikTok “ban” efforts and we will of course keep you updated.

WSJ: “The House on Wednesday is expected to vote on a bill that would give popular social-media app TikTok an ultimatum: Break up with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), or break up with the U.S. It didn’t need to come to this, but Beijing and TikTok’s Chinese-owner ByteDance left Washington with no choice.” via Heritage’s Kara Frederick

#AI #BigTechThe New Atlantis: Create a President’s Council for AI Ethics

#immigration – Lots of immigration news this morning (and every morning, if we had to bet). Sens. Marshall and Lee have introduced a bill to stop abuse of the CBP One mobile app, which (apparently) immigrants can use as a valid form of ID, even though it is not secure.

From the release: “The fact that over half a million illegal immigrants have been registered via the CBP One App, effectively circumventing the identification requirements expected of actual U.S. citizens, shows just how dangerous and out of control this administration’s open border policy has become,” Senator Lee said. “Allowing this practice to continue is putting American lives at risk, which is why I’m proud to support Senator Roger Marshall’s long overdue End Aerial Invasion Act to address the loopholes that have allowed illegal aliens to exploit our immigration processes.”

As ever, it seems like it’s a lot easier to enter the US by walking through the border with no ID than through a legal port of entry with a valid passport…

#immigrationTwo more measles cases reported in Chicago migrant shelter (News Nation) Nothing to worry about, probably.

#immigration – FBI Director Wray to Congress: “From an FBI perspective, we are seeing a wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border… There is a particular network — where some of the overseas facilitators of the smuggling network have ISIS ties that we’re very concerned about” (Source)

#immigration – Breitbart: “Nobel Economist Reverses His Support for Migration” (it’s Prof. Angus Deaton) The most famous Serious Economist and immigration skeptic is Harvard’s George Borjas, but if we were to recommend a book on the issue it would be Oxford Prof. Paul Collier’s Exodus, which is an excellent case for immigration moderation from a centrist, pragmatic perspective.

#higheredShocking news: students who pick SAT-optional admissions routes have worse grades and worse SAT scores than those who don’t. So clearly nothing can go wrong with SAT-optional admissions.

#highered #science #freespeech – Harvard drove one of its Professors of Medicine, Martin Kulldorff, a Covid lockdown skeptic, to resign. He writes about it for City Journal.

#crime – R Street Institute has a new report out on bail reform, looking at policies state-by-state. Its approach is definitely “doveish.” It’s an interesting look at policies in all 50 states.

#poverty #opportunityNew NBER paper on the intergenerational impact of welfare. AEI’s Scott Winship sums it up: “Dutch policy that encouraged work by tightening disability benefits eligibility improved outcomes of kids & grandkids. This is the kind of thing that conservatives have in mind when we push back against ‘just give people cash'”

#self-recommendingYuval Levin on Mitch McConnell’s legacy ($)

#transkiddos – Arthur Long Chu, a trans-identified male who now goes by the name Andrea, has written a cover story for New York Magazine making the “moral” case for allowing children to transition their gender, including by modifying their body.

There’s really nothing to say, here… Except this: Chu is not a marginal figure. He is often published in “prestige” progressive outlets like the New York Times. He has won a Pulitzer Prize for defining womanhood as pure passivity, “vacant eyes”, and sexual availability (in terms we cannot print here). The trans issue is not going away.

#InsideDC – Roll Call: “Capitol Police could bolster staffing, security under Biden budget proposal

#InsideDC #popcorn – Roll Call: “Markey staffers begin collective bargaining, a win for union organizers

#chartoftheday – Via Heritage’s David Ditch: “The new Biden budget says “hold my ice cream cone,” increasing spending by an average 1% of GDP above expected levels. Even with his brutal tax hikes, there would be permanent $1.5 trillion deficits. To put it another way, even if Biden got literally everything he wants the country would still be on the fast track to bankruptcy.”

Mental Health Break: Watch this college student sink a 94-foot putt on a basketball court to win a car

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