Forget the theater, the palace intrigue, the stumbles. One thing you should know on Day 40 (and soon the 40th night) of President Trump is this: This a Bannon-Miller presidency in the making. Think about the dark view of the state of the world, of the state of our nation, of the state of media. This is the worldview of the Stephens -- chief strategist Bannon and policy guru Miller -- trumpeted by Trump. We see this in ...
Stephen Miller, 31, is the "Minister of Truth" on the cover of the forthcoming Bloomberg Businessweek, profiled by Josh Green. Bannon, of course, is quoted extensively.
"Economic nationalism, as defined by Trump's advisers, would seize the levers of government and the presidential bully pulpit to direct resources to helping marginalized U.S. workers. ... Miller's us-vs.-them vision for overhauling U.S. policy and his combative defense of Trump have all the elements of a compelling talk-radio rant.
"But actually enacting Trump's agenda would deliver a tremendous shock to the political system, one sure to spark massive resistance. ... For all the impact his executive actions have had on U.S. immigration policy, the bulk of his agenda is legislative—and it has slowed to a crawl, despite Republican majorities in the House and Senate. ... 'I understand his vision, his ideas,' Miller says. 'I can be an implementer.'"
Classic Miller: "I'm prepared to to on any show, anywhere, anytime, and repeat it, and say the president of the United States is correct. One. Hundred. Percent."
What we'll be listening for at 9 p.m. ET:
The White House is casting President Trump's speech tonight as "an optimistic vision for all Americans." Axios' Jonathan Swan has a reality check:
"The Obamacare repeal-and-replace process is buckling under enormous strain. (Tax reform is a mess, too. But let's stick with healthcare as it's the first priority for Republicans.) House GOP leaders need much more from Trump than a gauzy vision speech. They need a specific, forceful declaration of support for the House's Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan.
Here's what the White House wants you to hear tonight (per an administration background briefing with reporters last night):
Trump on the N.Y. Times, in Oval Office interview with Breitbart's Matt Boyle: "[I]f you read the New York Times, it's—the intent is so evil and so bad … The stories are wrong in many cases, but it's the overall intent. Look at that paper over the last two years. … [T]hey write lies.
We told you in our first preview of tonight's speech that lawmakers want specific plans and paths, not campaign slogans. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) has a checklist in a New York Times Op-Ed, "What the G.O.P. Wants Trump to Say Tonight," calling for Trump to "become an active participant in the legislative process":
Guests who'll be seated with First Lady Melania Trump tonight, as described by the White House:
The WSJ dives into how Snap is different than Twitter and Facebook.
The office: "[T]he company defiantly operates unlike most Silicon Valley outfits, where collaboration and wide-open office spaces are prized. ... Snap doesn't have a headquarters."
The founder: "Former employees say often the only way they knew co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel was at work was by seeing his chauffeured SUV. He avoids holding companywide meetings and prefers to dispense information to individuals or small groups, they say."
And the quotes:
For our "Smarter, Faster" video series, Bob Gates — the former SecDef and CIA director, and lifelong practitioner of reforming massive organizations — says a key is making the people beneath you "believe that the changes are their changes."
"Buffett reveals $18bn Apple stake" -- top of Financial Times second front: "Berkshire had $7bn of its $122bn equity portfolio invested in Apple at the end of 2016 after almost a year of incremental purchases ... Berkshire is now one of Apple's top five shareholders, with a stake worth $18.2bn."
3,800 executives, analysts, directors, and experts voted. These are the top All-Stars, winning votes from inside and outside their industries:
Jimmy Kimmel uses his monologue to give the host's-eye-view of the #OscarFail: "I don't know if you know this but I hosted the Oscars last night. ... Any of you ever host the Oscars before? ... Except for the end, it was a lot of fun. It went very well. We were chugging along, and then, all of a sudden out of nowhere, it turned into one of those Maury Povich paternity-test shows. It was the weirdest TV finale since 'Lost' ... 'La La Land' was simultaneously, somehow, the biggest winner and loser last night. You know it's a strange night when the word 'envelope' is trending on Twitter. ...
"I'm now sitting in the audience, watching these speeches. The plan is for me to end the show from the audience in a seat next to Matt Damon, who, ... whatever confusion there was about who won, Matt Damon lost. He was a loser. He is a loser.
"But we're sitting there and we notice some commotion going on and Matt says, 'I think I heard the stage manager say they got the winner wrong.' Because the stage manager is on the stage -- the stage manager is never on-camera. ... So we're sitting there -- you just kinda figure: Well, the host will go onstage and clear this up. And then I remember, 'Oh, I'm the host!' ...
"My first instinct was to tell [the producer of 'La La Land'] to run! ... I'm standing there like an idiot, feeling bad for these guys. But also trying really hard not to laugh, to be honest. ... As I walked offstage, people started speculating ... 'Did you pull a prank?' ... If I pulled a prank, ... when they opened it, there woulda been like a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon."
"A Transcript of the Best-Picture Mixup: It Was 'La La Land,' Until It Was 'Moonlight.'"