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Photo: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Silicon Valley has been shaken over the past two years by the recognition that Americans don't always believe big tech is making the world a better place. It was a tough epiphany for the leaders of companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google, who have vacillated between defensive and apologetic — working through their stages of grief.

Why it matters: Amazon wasn't paying attention.

And when finally confronted with disapproval, it lashed out. Like the popular but insecure kid who just learned that some classmates said unkind thing behind his back.

  • Amazon spent more than a year, and countless dollars and hours, to determine the ideal location(s) to house tens of thousands of new employees. It was a strategic imperative. And now, suddenly, it's not?
  • What are shareholders to make of that reversal?

Amazon seems to feel burned by NYC Mayor De Blasio and NY Gov. Cuomo, likely following their advice to cut out certain local politicians from the negotiation process. But Amazon should have enough savvy to know that the success of any such project requires buy-in, or at least transparency, among all major stakeholders.

  • It's mind-numbing that certain NYC politicians, including AOC, are gloating over Amazon's decision to bail. Maybe if she and others had worked for months to negotiate and ultimately couldn't find a workable compromise. But that's not what happened.
  • And the notion that this somehow frees up $3 billion for other efforts is just plain wrong (the actual figure is around $500 million).

Our thought bubble: But, at the same time, it's disingenuous for an Amazon policy spox to tell NBC that AOC's criticism was a significant factor. AOC is a federal representative who has no say over state or local tax incentives. Plus, Amazon made its initial picks after progressives helped Democrats retake the House. The new politics were known.

The bottom line: New York City is now reminiscent of Washington, D.C., where both sides too often allow viral rhetoric to overwhelm common-sense compromise. And, although Jeff Bezos nor Donald Trump will appreciate the comparison, an ultimate arbiter who becomes capricious when criticized.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.