11/15/2018

11.15.2018 | The Editors

Editor’s Note: One way we hope Today’s Essentials will serve you is by helping you plug into landscape-shifting debates and issues before they catch on. On Monday, we highlighted for you burgeoning arguments around corporate subsidies related to the Amazon HQ2 announcement. Well, it’s Thursday and this issue has taken a central place in our public discourse this week. As just one example, check out “The Argument,” The New York Times’ podcast featuring David Leonhardt, Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg which discusses the issue. Watch for potential 2020 candidates to get involved here, and for new legislation to address it. There is a problem though: the issue is difficult politically for both parties. Republicans might determine they can’t afford to turn on corporate allies, while Democrats are in control of many of the cities/states that have been most effective at offering these kinds of corporate subsidy packages to lure business to their constituencies.

ESSENTIAL #1: “DELAY, DENY AND DEFLECT: HOW FACEBOOK’S LEADERS FOUGHT THROUGH CRISIS” SHEERA FRANKEL, NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, CECILIA KANG, MATTHEW ROSENBERG AND JACK NICAS, THE NEW YORK TIMES

From the article: “But as evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled. Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.

When Facebook users learned last spring that the company had compromised their privacy in its rush to expand, allowing access to the personal information of tens of millions of people to a political data firm linked to President Trump, Facebook sought to deflect blame and mask the extent of the problem.

And when that failed — as the company’s stock price plummeted and it faced a consumer backlash — Facebook went on the attack.”

ESSENTIAL #2: “CONSERVATIVE LAWYERS SAY TRUMP HAS UNDERMINED THE RULE OF LAW” ADAM LIPTAK, THE NEW YORK TIMES

From the article: “The annual convention of the Federalist Society, the conservative legal group, has long been a glittering and bustling affair. In the Trump era, though, the group has become more powerful than ever, supplying intellectual energy and judicial candidates to an assertive administration eager to reshape the legal landscape.

But as the group prepares to gather on Thursday for the start of this year’s convention, more than a dozen prominent conservative lawyers have joined together to sound a note of caution. They are urging their fellow conservatives to speak up about what they say are the Trump administration’s betrayals of bedrock legal norms.

‘Conservative lawyers are not doing enough to protect constitutional principles that are being undermined by the statements and actions of this president,’ said John B. Bellinger III, a top State Department and White House lawyer under President George W. Bush.”

ESSENTIAL #3: “TAX ON CHURCHES LOOMS, ERLC COALITION URGES REPEAL” TOM STRODE, BP NEWS

From the article: “A diverse coalition led by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has urged members of Congress to repeal a section of a federal law that could force churches to file tax returns for the first time in American history.

The ERLC -- joined by 32 other organizations -- sent a letter Nov. 13 to leaders of two congressional committees and some other members of Congress asking them to rescind before 2019 a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect Jan. 1 of this year.

Without repeal, the cost to the charitable sector would be a congressionally estimated $1.7 billion over 10 years, the religious groups and nonprofit organizations said in the letter.”

ESSENTIAL #4: “THERESA MAY VOWS BREXIT WILL HAPPEN DESPITE WAVE A WAVE OF RESIGNATIONS OVER HER PLAN TO EXIT THE EUROPEAN UNION” WILLIAM BOOTH AND KARLA ADAM, THE WASHINGTON POST

From the article: “Following a string of devastating resignations from her cabinet over Brexit plans, Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament on Thursday that Britain will leave the European Union in March, deal or no deal.  

May faced a torrent of criticism in the chambers as members of Parliament, including those from her own Conservative Party, stood and denounced her Brexit plans as either a weak capitulation, an act of naive folly or a looming disaster.

Some members pleaded with May to stage a second “People’s Vote” to give citizens another chance to rethink Brexit. Others decried her proposals as condemning Britain to years of unbreakable alliance with European rules and regulations — and failing to make good on the vow to “take back control” as the pro-Brexit campaigns promised two years ago.”

Today's EssentialsEditors