ESSENTIAL #1: “THE FLEECING OF MILLENNIALS” DAVID LEONHARDT, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “For Americans under the age of 40, the 21st century has resembled one long recession.
I realize that may sound like an exaggeration, given that the economy has now been growing for almost a decade. But the truth is that younger Americans have not benefited much.”
ESSENTIAL #2: “CAN KAMALA HARRIS REPEAT OBAMA’S SUCCESS WITH BLACK VOTERS? IT’S COMPLICATED” ASTEAD HERNDON AND SUSAN CHIRA, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “As Senator Kamala Harris attempts her own version of former President Barack Obama’s historic rise from first-term senator to the White House, one of her political tests will be trying to secure the overwhelming support from black voters that buoyed Mr. Obama in 2008. Ms. Harris wants that support, but it does not come automatically.
In many ways, she is well positioned: Ms. Harris is the most high-profile and politically connected black woman ever to run for president, and she can also draw on her powerful alumni networks from Howard University, one of the most prominent historically black colleges, and Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest black sorority.
Yet interviews with more than 30 black voters and political leaders in early primary states like South Carolina and her home state, California, show that Ms. Harris faces challenges. She will have to persuade black activists skeptical of her record as a prosecutor; overcome sexism and a bias on the part of some voters that a female candidate cannot beat President Trump; and work to gain broader support from black men, who generally expressed more wariness about Ms. Harris in interviews than black women.”
ESSENTIAL #3: “AN OBSCURE WHITE HOUSE STAFFER’S JAW-DROPPING TRUMP TELL-ALL” ELAINA PLOTT, THE ATLANTIC
From the article: “Sims told me his aim in writing the book was not to scorch or, alternatively, deify the president. In large part, Sims said, it was a way for him to gain clarity and closure on how the experience changed him personally—and how he became, at many points, a person he didn’t like. Throughout the book, he calls himself “nakedly ambitious,” “selfish,” and “a coward.” He writes about his struggle to reconcile his Christian faith with working for a president who, for example, “totally lacked nuance” in his attitude toward refugees—particularly “persecuted Christians,” whom Trump “promise[d]” to help but “[never] did.” Sims writes that he took this concern at one point to Stephen Miller, who, he writes, told him, “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched America’s soil.”
Meanwhile, he writes, he “never heard any of the faith leaders who actually had access to Trump” press him on the issue. He describes Trump’s evangelical advisory board as a collection largely of televangelist adherents to the prosperity gospel, people he “doubted” were “positive moral and spiritual influence[s] on the president.” “When the president occasionally struggled … to unify the country on divisive cultural issues, the silence of his ‘spiritual advisers’ was deafening,” Sims writes. “What is the point of having moral authority, as all these advisers claimed to, if you don’t stand up for morality?
“But as is so often the case, when I point my accusatory finger at someone, I have three more pointing back at me,” he continues, writing that his “greatest regret” from his time in the White House was “that I wasn’t a better picture of my faith.””
From the article: “Many of the far-left's proposed solutions would be devastating in their effects on work, industry, and the federal debt. But Democrats' themes of inclusivity, fairness, and equity strike a chord because, by many measures, the gains of economic growth have not been reasonably shared — and Republicans have done little about it. In a 2016 poll, 71% of Americans said they believe the economy is rigged "in favor of certain groups," leaving many behind. Furthermore, Democrats can now claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility — even as they propose massively expensive government programs — because the pursuit of growth alone has often overlooked the country's long-term fiscal sustainability.
This must change. Conservatives are right to emphasize economic growth, but they must go further, helping to build an economy that is dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable. This will require thoughtfulness and creative approaches to strengthening communities and families at their most basic levels, as these connections are the primary sources of upward mobility and opportunity. It will require targeted investment to support American workers, above and beyond what's currently being done to help restore dignity to work and results to our education system, to make sure economic growth benefits everyone. And it will require a plan to restore fiscal balance — the most daunting challenge to both the growth and inclusivity of the economy — and to reform our entitlement system so it can better care for those in need.”