China’s Advancing Efforts to Influence the U.S. Election Raise Alarms | Immigration and the U.S. National Security Talent Base | It Depends Who’s Doing the Jawboning, and more

This talent deficit isn’t a problem that money can fix. Breathtaking investment through the CHIPS and Science Act cannot be translated into outcomes without filling the need for an estimated 300,000 more engineers than U.S. universities will graduate by 2030. Even with significant CHIPS funding, the opening of a new semiconductor facility in Arizona has been delayed due to a shortage of skilled labor. The STEM talent vacuum is expected to reach 1.4 million people in the next six years. And while increasing our domestic STEM talent pipeline is vital, these efforts will take time to yield results — time that the United States doesn’t have in the innovation race with China. Addressing the talent deficit at the speed of relevance will require urgent action to both attract and retain foreign talent.

China’s Advancing Efforts to Influence the U.S. Election Raise Alarms  (Tiffany Hsu and Steven Lee Myers, New York Times)
Covert Chinese accounts are masquerading online as American supporters of former President Donald J. Trump, promoting conspiracy theories, stoking domestic divisions and attacking President Biden ahead of the election in November, according to researchers and government officials.
The accounts signal a potential tactical shift in how Beijing aims to influence American politics, with more of a willingness to target specific candidates and parties, including Mr. Biden.
In an echo of Russia’s influence campaign before the 2016 election, China appears to be trying to harness partisan divisions to undermine the Biden administration’s policies, despite recent efforts by the two countries to lower the temperature in their relations.
In February, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported that China was expanding its influence campaigns to “sow doubts about U.S. leadership, undermine democracy and extend Beijing’s influence.” The report expressed concern that Beijing could use increasingly sophisticated methods to try to influence the American election “to sideline critics of China.”

It Depends Who’s Doing the Jawboning  (Justin Levitt, Lawfare)
The Supreme Court on March 18 heard oral argument in Murthy v. Missouri, a case ostensibly about government restriction of speech. The plaintiffs have claimed that the federal government drove social media companies to throttle posts on topics spanning a bingo board of clickbait punditry: coronavirus vaccines, election denialism, and Hunter Biden’s laptop, to name a few. Lower courts agreed and issued a broad injunction prohibiting federal agencies from significantly encouraging platforms to limit content. Given the conduct the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found impermissible, the federal government asserts that the injunctionstayed for the moment, over a dissent—threatens its ability to criticize or cooperatively flag for the platforms’ consideration content implicating a wide variety of national security or public health harms. The stakes are pretty sizable, and the takes have been commensurate.
At issue here is not whether various government agencies expressed opinions about social media content the agencies thought harmful—rather, the Court’s decision will likely turn on whether the government’s advocacy with the platforms constituted coercion. 
Understanding the context of the case is essential to determine the line between persuasion and coercion. But one vital piece of context has gone unacknowledged, both in the briefs and at argument. Different administrations operate differently. The Biden administration adopted a different structure from its predecessor, driven by a different philosophy of governance—including rebuilt firewalls between White House personnel and officials with enforcement authority designed to ensure that particularized enforcement decisions would be independent from both policy and politics. And, in assessing the coercive potential of the government’s pushback, those differences in executive approach should matter.

Supporting Trump Means Supporting a Culture of Violence  (Tom Nichols, The Atlantic)
On Good Friday, Donald Trump shared a video that prominently featured a truck with a picture of a hog-tied Joe Biden on it. I’ve seen this art on a tailgate in person, and it looks like a kidnapped Biden is a captive in the truck bed.
The former president, running for his old office, knowingly transmitted a picture of the sitting president of the United States as a bound hostage.
I cannot recall prominent elected Democrats calling for hurting Trump or his family. The closest Biden got was when he once lost his temper six years ago and said that if he and Trump were in high school, he’d have wanted to beat him up behind the gym, a comment Biden later said he regretted. And there is certainly no evidence to suggest that Biden or his spokespeople ever promoted the idea that the 45th president should be taken hostage. Over the weekend, Trump’s defenders took to social media to keep raising the 2017 picture in which the comedian Kathy Griffin held up an effigy of Trump’s severed head. So let us all stipulate: Her stunt was ghastly. Griffin’s comedy—or parody, or protest art—was in bad taste and potentially a risk to a sitting president. She paid for it: The Secret Service investigated her, and her career at CNN was torched.
But Griffin is not a former president seeking once again to become commander in chief of the armed forces and the top law-enforcement authority in the United States. And Griffin did not incite a mob of rioters—some of whom were bent on homicide—to attack the Capitol. Donald Trump is, and he did.
Trump’s fan base will shrug off its leader’s condoning of violent fantasies and implied threats of violence as more harmless lib-owning. But what Trump is doing is dangerous, and the time is long past to stop treating support for his candidacy as just one of many ordinary political choices. As the historian of authoritarianism Ruth Ben-Ghiat posted on Friday on X: “This is an emergency. This is what authoritarian thugs and terrorists do. Trump is targeting the President of the United States.”

Trump’s Promise to Free Jan. 6 Inmates in DC Jail — Almost All of Them Assaulted Law Enforcement Officers  (Tom JoscelynFred Wertheimer, and Norman L. Eisen, Just Security)
27 of the 29 January 6th inmates held in D.C. have been charged with assaulting law enforcement officers in the U.S. Capitol or on its grounds. Most of the inmates have been charged with committing other crimes as well. Only 2 of them have not been charged with assaulting officers. 19 of the 27 January 6th inmates charged with assaulting law enforcement officers have already been convicted at trial (10 inmates) or pleaded guilty (9 inmates) to that charge. 8 of the 27 January 6th inmates charged with assaulting law enforcement officers are awaiting trial. Some of them may be in the process of negotiating plea deals with the government.