Good Tuesday morning, and happy 10th to Joe, Mika, Willie, Alex, Daniel, Jesse and the whole "Morning Joe" family. I'll be joining today's special anniversary show — many years of good times and "Hap-PY Friday!"s.
Situational awareness: Vice President Pence, who was scheduled to be at the U.N. all day, is returning to D.C. "to attend the GOP Senate policy lunch ... with the message that Congress should deliver on the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare," per his office.
The Kelly Effect ... Who is around President Trump matters much more than with most presidents, because of his impulsiveness, lack of ideology and willingness to make snap decisions.
Why it matters: Kelly and Staff Secretary Rob Porter pick and choose what information gets to Trump and who's allowed to weigh in, that's supreme power. Trump is totally willing to flip positions — or take an instant stance on a new issue — if presented with compelling evidence in the moment.
Here's how we're seeing the effect, based on reporting by Jonathan Swan and me:
Be smart: Now that Steve Bannon and other circumventers are gone or marginalized, it's easier for the team to shape Trump's perceptions on certain issues. Some Trump decisions — that would have been surprising in the past — are the natural result of the highly controlled information he sees and voices he hears.
"U.S. investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, ... an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe," per CNN's Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown:"The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.""As part of the FISA warrant, ... earlier this year, the FBI conducted a search of a storage facility belonging to Manafort."The reporters said on CNN that Trump may have been picked up on the Manafort recordings, and said it's unknown if the warrant remains in effect.
"Dispensing with the plodding pace typical of many white-collar investigations, Mr. Mueller's team has used what some describe as shock-and-awe tactics to intimidate witnesses and potential targets of the inquiry," the N.Y. Times' Sharon LaFraniere, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman report in the paper's lead story:
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Solomon Wisenberg, a veteran of the investigation that led to the impeachment trial of President Clinton, referring to aggressive tactics by Mueller and his prosecutors, "They are setting a tone. It's important early on to strike terror in the hearts of people in Washington, or else you will be rolled."
"Facebook's openness questioned on the Hill," WashPost's Carol Leonnig, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg report on the front page:
Axios' David McCabe goes inside Facebook's response: "Facebook's top security executive Alex Stamos, who used to work for Yahoo, ... bylined the disclosure of $100,000 worth of ad buys Russian-linked actors used in some cases to promote posts about divisive political issues before and after the election, and co-authored a paper that tackled the issue back in April."
Glenn Thrush, N.Y. Times White House correspondent, signs off Twitter: "This account is dormant as of 9/19/17."
His original plan to "delete" his account was obviated by practicality: "Deleting just means someone else, maybe someone bad, grabs the name and ppl think it's me. Corp. folks insisted."
"Emmys bump Hulu to a new level," by L.A. Times' David Ng and Ryan Faughnder:
"Not long ago, Hulu was known primarily as a streaming service for viewers who wanted to relive the glory days of 'Seinfeld.'""All that changed this year with 'The Handmaid's Tale,' Hulu's feminist sci-fi series that became a national conversation starter and its biggest success to date.""On Sunday, the series ... took home five Emmy Awards ... tying HBO's 'Big Little Lies' for the most wins of the year."Why it matters: "'The Handmaid's Tale' is the first streaming show to win the [outstanding] drama series award — a feat that neither Netflix nor Amazon could accomplish — and signals Hulu's ascent to the top ranks of TV."More on Hulu's big night.See the scoops from today's edition of Sara Fischer's weekly Media Trends newsletter.
David Brooks column in N.Y. Times today, on "The Four Kinds of Happiness": '
The lowest kind of happiness is material pleasure, having nice food and clothing and a nice house. Then there is achievement, the pleasure we get from earned and recognized success. Third, there is generativity, the pleasure we get from giving back to others. Finally, the highest kind of happiness is moral joy, the glowing satisfaction we get when we have surrendered ourselves to some noble cause or unconditional love.
Worth pondering when you're walking, running, riding: Which of these do you have for yourself? And which of these are you giving away sharing with those you love, respect and serve?
"Morning Joe" — which originally drove breakfast conversation from then-MSNBC HQ in Secaucus, N.J. — today celebrates 10 years on the air, with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaiming "Morning Joe Day" in the city, live from 30 Rock's Studio 8H.
The Federal Reserve "is likely to announce [tomorrow] it will start slowly shrinking its $4.2 trillion portfolio of mortgage and Treasury bonds purchased during and after the financial crisis," the Wall Street Journal's Nick Timiraos writes on the front page:
P.S. "Toys 'R' Us, Once a Category Killer, Is Forced Into Bankruptcy: After falling behind online, the big-box chain seeks relief from debt added in leverage buyout," per The Journal's front page:
USA Today front page, "Asian women fight to crack through Silicon Valley ceiling," by Jessica Guynn in S.F.:
Sebastian Gorka has found a new home. It's called the "MAGA Coalition" — a new outside group to support political candidates that will "compete against globalist corporatists interests," Jonathan Swan reports:
Summer of the slugger ... "Major League Baseball is on track to break its season record for home runs [today] with nearly two weeks left in the season," per AP's Ronald Blum: