☕️ Good Sunday morning ...
Classic Maureen Dowd: “Papadopoulos, Flynn and now Gates have all flipped. How long can Manafort keep his lips zipped? Those Russian indictments show that Mueller is digging like mad, so the special counsel’s path could ultimately lead to Vlad. Sad!”
Be it guns or global warming, a fascinating trend is unfolding in the Trump era: Corporations, under intense social pressure, are filling a void left by governmental gridlock or avoidance.
The backdrop: A similar civic wave started post 9/11, with increased respect for military reserve duty and National Guard call-up. It waned under the pressure of the post-2008 recession, returning with marriage equality. And now it's cresting in the era of Trump’s anti-establishment populism.
Just in the past year, there's been a huge change in consumer sentiment — and therefore in corporate incentives, Axios' Sara Fischer points out:
So corporate social activism is actually good politics — internally and externally:
Social media is the big driver of all of this, as witnessed this past week:
Another engine ... Fossil-fuel companies are being driven less by pressure from social media or millennials and much more by activist investors urging responsibility and disclosure, Axios' Amy Harder points out.
One Wall Street executive's thought bubble, via email: "Companies respond to reputational risk aggressively. Activist shareholders, public pressure from customers amplified through social media, and business press all combine to move corporate leadership to engage on issues to protect brands."
But, but, but ... Even though businesses have the opportunity to fill a leadership void, Axios' Kim Hart points out that not everyone thinks business leaders can be trusted to do so.
The bottom line: This political environment, and pressures from the new generation of employees, are making the job of CEOs much trickier:
Be smart: These are corporate policies and pronouncements, not laws. They can be easily undone when public attention abates.
President Trump said last night that he's aiming for Veterans Day, in November, for a military parade "up and down Pennsylvania Avenue" with "a lot of plane fly-overs."
Democrats' rebuttal memo on the Russia investigation, released in a redacted version yesterday, says that contrary to claims in Republicans' memo, the FBI and Justice Department "did not 'abuse' the [FISA] process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign."
Trump suggests Mueller should investigate Dems ... Discussing the new memo in a phone interview last night with Fox News' Judge Jeanine Pirro, Trump said:
"Political end to Olympics" — AP:
Cameron Kasky, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School junior, questions Sen. Marco Rubio during Wednesday's CNN town hall in Sunrise, Fla. (Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
"[C]aregivers have been stocking up on bulletproof backpacks, tracking devices and doorstops ... to give children a fighting chance at surviving a gunman’s attack at school," the N.Y. Post reports:
Bite of the Day ... President Trump to Fox News' Judge Jeanine Pirro: A gun-free zone around a school is "like target practice for these guys. ... Gun-free zones are very dangerous because bad guys loved gun-free zones."
Debate ahead: Death penalty for shooter, which the N.Y. Times says would mean "years of public agony" through trial and appeals? ... Howard Finkelstein, Broward County public defender, whose office represents Nikolas Cruz, who is charged in the school shooting and could face the death penalty:
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper headlined an Axios News Shapers event on Friday. (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) — who has a countdown clock on his iPhone showing how many days he has left in office — left little mystery about his plans when I asked him about running for president:
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) — who ate dinner with Hickenlooper on Thursday night, as part of a buddy act that has included a health-care policy rollout — told ABC's Jonathan Karl on "This Week":
Brian Blanco / Getty Images
The motorcade carrying the body of the Rev. Billy Graham to Charlotte's Billy Graham Library rolled through the shopping district in Black Mountain, N.C., yesterday.
And Graham in his prime ...
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department / St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP
Which public figure had the worst week in the world? We have a tie:
This is the booking photo of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who was indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking a compromising photo of a tied-up woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.
And this is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was mocked at home and around the world for his attire while visiting India.
N.Y. Times columnist Frank Bruni, on the cover of the Sunday Review section, "Am I Going Blind?":
Amid a federal investigation of corruption in college basketball, students at SMU in Dallas yesterday chanted "FBI! FBI!" and brandished balloons spelling out F-B-I while Wichita State tried to make free throws, AP reports:
🥞🍳🍹 Thanks for reading. Enjoy brunch, and see you on Axios.com ...