Thursday Executive Summary

Historic GDP contraction, Portland impasse, Big Tech testimony, and more.

Jordan Candler · Jul. 30, 2020

Above the Fold

  • According to NPR, “The coronavirus pandemic triggered the sharpest economic contraction in modern American history, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic activity — shrank at an annual rate of 32.9% in the second quarter. … GDP swings are typically reported at an annual rate — as if they were to continue for a full year — which can be misleading in a volatile period like this. The overall economy in the second quarter was 9.5% smaller than during the same period a year ago.” Furthermore, “After a sharp drop in March and April, economic activity began to rebound in May and June, although that recovery remains halting and could be jeopardized by a new surge of infections.” And that’s exactly what Democrats are hoping for.

  • “The Trump administration is pushing on a claim by Oregon’s governor that federal officers are withdrawing from Portland’s riot zone starting [today] and instead said that forces ‘will not back down’ until the state police get control of the nightly firebombing of the federal courthouse they are protecting,” the Washington Examiner reveals. “Acting Homeland Secretary Chad Wolf said that he and Gov. Kate Brown have agreed to a deal that will put state police and local police both outside and inside the federal zone. If those police can end the nightly violence, then federal agents will begin to withdraw.” According to Wolf, “The department will continue to maintain our current, augmented federal law enforcement personnel in Portland until we are assured that the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and other federal properties will no longer be attacked and that the seat of justice in Portland will remain secure.”

Government & Politics

  • Google CEO dodges question on blacklisting of conservative websites (The Federalist)

  • Four key points as Big Tech CEOs testify on Capitol Hill (The Daily Signal)

  • Commerce Department moves towards curtailing online giants’ liability carveout — and not a moment too soon (The Federalist)

  • Chief of Staff Mark Meadows “not optimistic” on stimulus deal, as lawmakers debate unemployment boost (USA Today)

National Security

  • 11,900 U.S. troops leaving Germany; 6,400 returning home (American Military News)

  • Operation Legend expanded to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee (Department of Justice)

  • Beyond Russia: FBI director warns of China election interference (Axios)

The Latest on COVID-19

  • Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain dies after battle with coronavirus (CNBC)

  • FDA opens the door to rapid, at-home testing (USA Today)

  • Not the guinea pig: Majority of people say they won’t take a vaccine within first year (New York Post)

Around the Nation

  • Fed holds rates steady, says economic growth is “well below” pre-pandemic level (CNBC)

  • Seattle residents slam “defund the police” as “radical experiment” during city budget meeting (Fox News)

  • Double standards: Activist teachers say it’s not safe to go back to work, while many attend mass protests (Matt Walsh)

Other Notables

  • Coaches at NBA China academies complained of player abuse, lack of schooling (ESPN)

  • The transgender movement seduces teenage girls (The Daily Signal)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: The future of de-escalation: Police are most effective when they diminish conflict (City Journal)

  • Policy: Trump administration shouldn’t extend DACA amnesty (The Daily Signal)

  • Satire: Founding Fathers strapped down in graves to prevent further spinning (The Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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