Editor in Chief
The Wall Street Journal
99 Days Down
Saturday marks President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office. The new administration is off to a turbulent start, as is often the case for new presidents, writes Gerald F. Seib, our executive Washington editor. Mr. Trump had planned to mark the occasion with a dramatic announcement of his intent to end the North American Free Trade Agreement deal at a Pennsylvania political rally. However, phone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Canada helped steer Mr. Trump away from an idea some of his own advisers feared was rash and unnecessary. As he closes in on the 100-day milestone, the president has begun a new fight, this time over axing a big tax break skewed toward Democratic-controlled blue states. Repealing the deduction for state and local taxes is politically divisive, and will serve as another test of the president’s ability to work with a GOP-controlled coequal branch of government. Meanwhile, the Pentagon opened an investigation into whether former national security adviser Mike Flynn violated the law by taking payments linked to foreign governments without permission after leaving the military, according to documents released by congressional Democrats. The White House has sought to distance itself from the controversy.
Uber is interviewing candidates with track records in large, established companies as it searches for a No. 2 to Chief Executive Travis Kalanick. This is a sign the ride-sharing titan is looking to temper Mr. Kalanick’s idiosyncrasies in exchange for a corporate culture more in tune with its size and ambitions. Mr. Kalanick built a defiantly competitive startup culture at Uber, turning it into a global concern valued at $68 billion but also leading to a series of missteps. The company’s search for a chief operating officer offers hints as to the type of executive it seeks. Mr. Kalanick has interviewed candidates including Thomas Staggs, the former Walt Disney COO, and Helena Foulkes, executive vice president of CVS Health, people familiar with the candidates said. Uber is also seeking prospects with experience in fields with complicated labor and operational structures, said people briefed on the search. Uber is describing the new COO to candidates as a partner to Mr. Kalanick, not merely a deputy, these people said.
Private Turned Public
Purdue University, a flagship public institution in Indiana, is jumping into online education by buying for-profit Kaplan University with the aim of creating a new, public online university. The highly unusual acquisition will extend Purdue’s reach to more working adults while building an additional revenue stream at a time when state funding is uncertain. Purdue President Mitch Daniels said the school wanted to stay true to its land-grant mission of educating as many people as possible, but he recognized it couldn’t build an online presence alone. The venture highlights the shifting higher-education market as public funding declines, tuitions rise and college students grow older, busier and more indebted. Purdue said it plans to acquire Kaplan University’s 32,000 students, 3,000 employees and 15 bricks-and-mortar campuses and learning centers from Graham Holdings, which will maintain Kaplan’s international, professional and test-prep businesses.
Going back to our story above, what are your thoughts on Mr. Trump’s decision to remain in the North American Free Trade Agreement deal? Send your comments, which we may edit before publication, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and location.
—Compiled by Charity L. Scott
Responding to yesterday’s question on Mr. Trump’s proposed overhaul to the tax code, John Mielke of Wisconsin wrote: “I hope Mr. Trump continues to level the playing field for U.S. businesses in a global marketplace. Then it’s on American companies to use American resources—no excuses.” Dennis Campagna of New York commented: “A revised tax code is long overdue. But without a firm and not theoretical plan to balance revenues lost through an overhaul, I fear that we may end up with the same type of deficit problem President Reagan’s trickle-down plan created.” Jim Hogan of Montana shared: “What tax law changes ultimately emerge from congressional ‘sausage making’ are likely to bear little resemblance to what President Trump and his team have proposed. I’ll wait to pay close attention to the details until a bill is actually passed and signed into law.”
This daily briefing is named "The 10-Point" after the nickname conferred by the editors of The Wall Street Journal on the lead column of the legendary "What's News" digest of top stories. Technically, "10-point" referred to the size of the typeface. The type is smaller now but the name lives on.
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