Sorry, But Not Really *Sorry*? ‘That’s So Facebook.’
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Welcome to Bloomberg Opinion Today, an afternoon roundup of our opinions on business, politics, markets, technology and more. New subscribers can sign up here.
- Facebook apparently hasn’t learned its lesson.
- Americans will pay a high price for saving coal.
- The Supreme Court’s gay wedding-cake decision may hint at its decision on President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.
- Trump claims not just that he is above the law, but that he is the law.
- No, you are probably not fabulously wealthy and just don’t know it.
Is Our Facebook Learning?
Larry David’s mantra at “Seinfeld” was “No hugging, no learning.” Facebook Inc. seems to live by the same code.
As mentioned here before, Facebook is really bad at apologizing, even after lots of practice. The reason we care, Faye Flam has noted, is that an inadequate, “mistakes were made” sort of apology suggests the person or thing apologizing won’t change their behavior.
Sure enough, Facebook has stumbled into yet another PR bear trap over its handling of private data: The New York Times reports it shared an uncomfortable amount of private user information with device-makers. Rather than coming clean and promising to do better, Facebook is throwing up distractions and evasions, writes Shira Ovide. That suggests it has learned nothing from many past mistakes. “As usual, when Facebook is given an option to be open and transparent, it opts for obfuscation,” Shira writes. “That’s so Facebook.”
Sure, fighting the haters is one way to respond to criticism (see Musk, Elon). But Facebook really can't afford to lose much more of the public’s confidence in it:
Click here to read more.
The Coal-Rolling Will Continue Until Morale Improves
The Trump administration wants to force utilities to buy power from dying coal-fired and nuclear plants. As Liam Denning discussed Friday, this idea is a thundering waterfall of dumb. Bloomberg’s editors would also like to know how much this boondoggle would cost; because it sure seems as if it will force millions of Americans power customers to pay higher-than-necessary prices (not to mention the costs in pollution and poorer health) to save a tiny number of coal jobs and/or Coal Country votes.
In other editorials: We need to make sure a bachelor’s degree isn’t the only path to success for our children.
The Supreme Court today ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. This seems like a setback for LGTBQ rights. But Noah Feldman points out Justice Anthony Kennedy's ruling is narrow and hangs on the idea that government shouldn't be hostile to religious belief. That – along with the fact that two liberal judges joined the decision – hints Kennedy may yet tip the high court to rule against Trump's Muslim ban, Noah writes.
What Is This ‘Law’ of Which You Speak?
In a series of tweets, legal memos and TV appearances by lawyer/attack dog Rudy Giuliani, Trump has carved out a novel legal position: The social construct we call “law” is a burden for lesser mortals than Trump, writes Tim O’Brien. Perhaps very soon, voters and politicians (or Republicans, at least) will have “to decide whether they favor an unfettered and fulsome presidency that takes flight at the expense of the rule of law,” Tim writes.
If, say, a President Hillary Clinton were making similar arguments in a similar situation, then impeachment proceedings against her would doubtless be underway already in a GOP Congress. But Trump benefits from double standards (among Republicans, at least) for pretty much everything he does, notes Al Hunt.
No, We Are Not Fabulously Wealthy
A recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece argued, basically, that all the noise over the past decade or so about stagnant wages, rising inequality and a shrinking middle class is so much uninformed whining. “The poor and middle class have it so good, but they just don’t know it!” is how Barry Ritholtz characterizes the argument, before effectively dismantling it.
CEO pay is a big problem in the U.S. oil patch. This little gas company is Exhibit A, writes Liam Denning.
What do you do if bad drug-trial data sends your stock plunging? If you’re Nektar Therapeutics Inc., you double down, writes Max Nisen.
OPEC is about to have another awkward meeting. – Julian Lee
Your worries about emerging market currencies aren’t wrong; just misplaced. – Nir Kaissar
Recent rosy economic numbers may be a mirage. – Conor Sen
America should welcome more Chinese students, not send them away. – Noah Smith
People will applaud pretty much anything at an Apple developer conference.
Note: Please send applause, suggestions and kicker ideas to Mark Gongloff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like Bloomberg Opinion Today? Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You'll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.