Good Friday morning. Situational awareness: "Bomb cyclone" flight cancellations at U.S. airports yesterday, per FlightAware: 4,395. Cancellations today: 1,128.
There are definitely parts of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" that are wrong, sloppy, or betray off-the-record confidence. But there are two things he gets absolutely right, even in the eyes of White House officials who think some of the book's scenes are fiction: his spot-on portrait of Trump as an emotionally erratic president, and the low opinion of him among some of those serving him.
In the past year, we have had many of the same conversations with the same sources Wolff used. We won't betray them, or put on the record what was off. But, we can say that the following lines from the book ring unambiguously true:
How Trump processes (and resists) information:
Instinct over expertise:
Low regard by key aides:
Be smart: More than half a dozen of the more skilled White House staff are contemplating imminent departures. Many leaving are quite fearful about the next chapter of the Trump presidency.
President Trump is so furious about Michael Wolff's book that some aides are just trying to avoid him.
P.S. WashPost Style front, "Breitbart may see a Bannon backlash," by Paul Farhi:
Be smart: Key conservatives tell us Bannon could wind up being ousted from Breitbart.
"Legal experts said that of the two primary issues ... Mueller appears to be investigating — whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice ... and whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia — there is currently a larger body of public evidence tying the president to a possible crime of obstruction," the N.Y. Times' Michael Schmidt writes in the paper's lead story:
"The disclosure of security flaws in computer chips dealt Intel Corp.what seemed like a sudden crisis, but behind the scenes it and other tech companies and experts have been grappling with the problem for months," the Wall Street Journal reports on the front page:
Go deeper: Axios' Ina Fried on the chip vulnerability
"2017 turned out to be the global economy's best year since 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund, and 2018 looks even better," the WashPost's David Lynch writes on A1:
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... From a front-page James Stewart "Common Sense" column, "The Dow Hits 25,000: The Party Will End One Day, but When?":
Republicans have begun the year divided over whether their legislative agenda should include the use of a special budget tool (reconciliation) allowing them to pass legislation without Democrats — and whether to use it for health care or a welfare overhaul, Axios' Caitlin Owens writes:
"The buzz kill long dreaded in the marijuana industry came just days after California opened what is expected to be the world's largest legal pot market," AP reports from L.A.:
What's next: Citing states' rights, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he found Sessions' announcement "extremely alarming," and said he was prepared to place a hold on Justice Department nominees."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his 2018 personal challenge: "fixing" the platform he created so that "we'll end 2018 on a much better trajectory."
Why it matters: Zuckerberg's post is the latest indication that Facebook leaders recognize that misuse of the platform during the 2016 election — including fake news, and infiltration by Russian manipulators — are no passing blip, and require fixes from the top.
For each of us: What's your singular personal challenge for 2018? If you have an interesting one, shoot me a note at email@example.com (or must reply to this email!), and I'll share your idea with other AMers.
Power struggle at Foxboro: "For Kraft, Brady and Belichick, is this the beginning of the end?" by ESPN The Magazine senior writer Seth Wickersham:
Coming Feb. 16 ... "Superhero fans, movie fans and especially connoisseurs of black culture — American and African — are eagerly awaiting the debut of Marvel's 'Black Panther' movie starring comic books' first black superhero with an enthusiasm not often seen in American cinema," AP's Jesse Holland writes: