Libertarian: Cruz’s Lame Asylum-Ban Logic
Sen. Ted Cruz offered a “weak” rationale for his surprise move to block a bill to grant “political asylum to residents of Hong Kong fleeing China’s increasingly oppressive rule,” notes Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy: a claim that it would make it easier for Beijing to sneak spies into the US — though asylum applicants are expressly vetted for that. Indeed, this principle would have kept out Cruz’s own dad, who fled Castro’s Cuba. Notably, the same claim was “one of the justifications used for barring Jews fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s.” Welcoming these people is plainly “the right thing to do,” yet Cruz and his allies have “forgotten the lessons their ideological forbears learned during the Cold War.”
Hate watch: Beware Post-COVID Anti-Semitism
At The Jerusalem Post, Doron Kempel and former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly warn that, post-COVID, “deep-rooted anti-Semitism will continue its ascent” and “again pose a physical peril to the safety and security of the Jewish population.” Crime, generally, will probably rise amid “worsened economic conditions,” and “classic anti-Semitism always thrives when ‘the Jews’ are being blamed for societal problems.” Plus, “would-be assailants may be emboldened by a decline in police resources,” as the #DefundthePolice cry slashes budgets. Jewish communities should “be on a heightened state of awareness,” “strengthen relationships with local police agencies” and “embrace the expertise and technical knowledge” in the private-security field to significantly reduce the possibility” of anti-Semitic attacks.
Conservative: Don’t Forget Jim Biden’s Sleaze
In all the attention to Hunter Biden’s dealings, “Joe Biden’s brother, James, is too often overlooked in the corruption saga,” notes The Federalist’s Tristan Justice. “The same Chinese businessmen courting the former vice president through Hunter” treated James and his wife to a six-figure shopping spree, and “the family web of interests interlaced with the Chinese has given rise to new questions regarding Joe Biden’s knowledge and involvement with the family business.” James is now the subject of a federal probe “over a series of hospital deals struck under Americore Health,” with the now-bankrupt firm’s CEO accusing Biden of “diverting funds for the struggling Americore” to help himself. James has long been “leveraging his family name to cultivate trust in his ability to grow the business.” Joe Biden’s involvement is still unknown, but ProPublica reports that he would occasionally meet with James’ potential clients at his brother’s request.
Iconoclast: The Fall and Fall of California
Does California portend America’s future? Golden State progressives hope so — yet, Joel Kotkin counters at The American Mind, California is “losing domestic migrants and, increasingly, losing appeal to immigrants as well.” The toxic mixture of liberal utopianism and “ruthless” oligarchy embodied by such icons as the late Apple boss Steve Jobs has yielded massive inequality. “The coalition that rules the state — tech oligarchs, public employees and green nonprofits — have backed a draconian tax and regulatory environment that has reduced construction jobs and allowed manufacturing to stagnate.” Big Tech, meanwhile, doesn’t create that many jobs, and now quality-of-life declines are pushing even those firms to flee. California liberalism, in other words, may well have “peaked.”
Pandemic journal: Cheer Our Market Economy
A year after the outbreak of COVID-19 and 300,000 deaths, Joel Zinberg at City Journal credits the market economy and “remarkable scientific innovation” for providing “reasons for optimism.” We now seem “closer to the end of the pandemic than to the beginning, thanks to the innovative power of the market to discover, develop and provide lifesaving products.” It usually takes 10 years to develop vaccines, yet only 10 months after the novel coronavirus was identified, two vaccines are approved. “Developing new treatments and diagnostic testing is also normally a years-long process,” but “multiple” new treatments and tests have been green-lighted. America “endured much in 2020.” But thanks to our dynamic economy and “the fortitude of our citizens, we can see a path to better days.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board