With the Islamic State claiming responsibility for the shooting death of a policeman on Paris' iconic Champs-Élysées just ahead of Sunday's first-round French elections, social media and commentators see a change in the voting atmosphere that could benefit the far-right populist Marine Le Pen.
If she won the runoff May 7, it would be a seismic manifestation of the global populist and nationalist trends that propelled Trump and the Brexit.
Trump tweeted this morning: "Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!"
Axios' Shane Savitsky says she could win, and notes she has promised a referendum to leave the EU:
AM in-box ... Axios' Steve LeVine, a longtime foreign correspondent for the big papers, sees a "better than 50-50 chance" LePen goes all the way, based partly on the "rule of threes" following the upset victories for Trump and Brexit. Steve emails me:
A win for Bannon ... Financial Times lead story, "Trump fires protectionist warning over steel industry," by Shawn Donnan in D.C. (paywall): "The US has set the stage for a global showdown over steel, launching a national security investigation that could lead to sweeping tariffs on steel imports in what would be the first significant act of economic protectionism by President Donald Trump."
The autocratic turn in Turkey, the rise of the nationalists, a free-speech crisis on campuses ... David Brooks' column, "The Crisis of Western Civ," says it's all part of a collapse of the "higher reaches of the humanistic ideal":
A Wall Street Journal front-pager, "Moves in Markets Show Signs Investors Souring on Economy," by James Mackintosh, warns that "markets are flashing red on growth as investors begin to return to pre-election bets on the 'new normal' — a persistently weak economic expansion":
The case for "AMZN $1T" by Scott Galloway, founder of marketing company L2 and an NYU professor, is spelled out in a MarketWatch post:
P.S. "Facebook's record lobbying quarter," by Axios' David McCabe: "Facebook spent more on [federal] lobbying in the first three months of 2017 [$3.21 million] than it has in any previous quarter since registering in 2009."
The ultimate megatrend, from the N.Y. Times Magazine's forthcoming Climate Issue ... "Our Climate Future Is Actually Our Climate Present: How do we live with the fact that the world we knew is going and, in some cases, already gone?" by Jon Mooallem:
The future we've been warned about is beginning to saturate the present. We tend to imagine climate change as a destroyer. But it also traffics in disruption, disarray: increasingly frequent and more powerful storms and droughts; heightened flooding; expanded ranges of pests turning forests into fuel for wildfires; stretches of inhospitable heat. So many facets of our existence — agriculture, transportation, cities and the architecture they spawned — were designed to suit specific environments. Now they are being slowly transplanted into different, more volatile ones, without ever actually moving.
And in case that wasn't enough, from the same issue ... "Why the Menace of Mosquitoes Will Only Get Worse: Climate change is altering the environment in ways that increase the potential for viruses like Zika," by Maryn McKenna:
The unpredictable weather patterns stimulated by climate change affect infectious diseases, as well as chronic ones. Warmer weather encourages food-borne organisms like salmonella to multiply more rapidly, and warmer seas foster the growth of bacteria like Vibrio that make oysters unsafe to eat. Spikes in heat and humidity have less visible effects, too, changing the numbers and distribution of the insect intermediaries that carry diseases to people.
Get smart fast ... "Dealmaker, meet deal-breaker," says The Economist's cover story, "How to deal with the world's most dangerous regime":
Pulling back the camera from Bill O'Reilly and the $25 million he was paid to leave (the value of one year on his contract), the Hollywood Reporter's Michael Wolff nails the generational fallout in "It's James Murdoch's Fox News Now":
WashPost's Bob Costa (who'll continue with the paper) writes to viewers of PBS' Friday night classic, "Washington Week," after being named moderator, succeeding the late Gwen Ifill:
"Washington Week is a treasured resource for so many viewers who value civil conversation and who care about how our democracy works. The past moderators of the program, and most especially Gwen Ifill, earned the trust and affection of a large and loyal audience."
"I met Gwen when I was a first-time guest on Washington Week in 2014 and she told me about her values, a conversation I'll always remember. ... Early in the 2016 campaign, I remember being with Gwen in New Hampshire during the primaries. It was a crazy day on the campaign trail, but somehow it didn't seem to faze Gwen. Even after her decades in the business, she still loved being there. Gwen loved politics, her colleagues and her viewers. "
Jonathan Swan tweets at Costa: "Congrats to a generous guy and old fashioned (in a good way!) reporter."
GQ's 10 Best New Restaurants in America (alphabetical order), by Brett Martin, "exploring everything from neo-Nordic in Brooklyn to Korean pizza in Minneapolis to ecstatic Mexican food in LA":