Expiring vs. Long-Term Knowledge

Expiring knowledge catches more attention than it should, for two reasons. One, there’s a lot of it, eager to buzz our short attention spans. Two, we chase it down, anxious to squeeze out insight before it loses relevance.

.. Long-term knowledge is harder to notice because it’s buried in books rather than blasted in headlines.

.. Take a company’s performance. Sales. Margins. Cash flow.

These are important pieces of information. But they expire. No one cares anymore about Microsoft’s Q2 2004 revenue growth. They care that Microsoft generates lots of cash over time because it has a moat. Understanding moats – why they exist, how they are defended, etc. – is long-term knowledge. When you view it this way you realize that the revenue and cash flow information is a short-term reflection of the moat.

.. I read newspapers and books every day. I can not recall one damn thing I read in a newspaper from, say, 2011. But I can tell you details about a few great books I read in 2011 and how they changed how I think. I’ll remember them forever. I’ll keep reading newspapers. But if I read more books I’d probably develop better filters and frameworks that would help me make better sense of the news.

Marc Kasowitz, ‘Toughest of the Tough Guys,’ Stands Beside Trump

He is, for lack of a better comparison, the Donald Trump of lawyering.

.. A walk through Mr. Kasowitz’s office at Kasowitz Benson Torres in Midtown shows magazine covers and framed pictures of him. He’s quick to tell you about his latest accomplishment and never shies from publicity. The first paragraph of the online biography on his firm’s website, before mentioning any of his work, cites the dozens of media outlets that have written about him, and how they have described him as the “toughest lawyer on Wall Street,” an “uberlitigator” and “the toughest of the tough guys.”

.. In case you didn’t get the message, he likes a good fight, the nastier the better.

.. Mr. Kasowitz was largely responsible for helping Liggett settle the huge class action suits it faced over the health impact of tobacco

.. Mr. Kasowitz’s firm was on the other side of Mr. Icahn in a dispute over casinos. The client? Mr. Trump, along with his daughter Ivanka.

.. Mr. Kasowitz recently added Sberbank, a Russian state-controlled bank, as a client in a case that accused it of conspiring to take over a Russian granite company — and asserting that the conspiracy involved lieutenants of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. The complaint called it a “textbook case of Russian corporate raiding.”

The big question in Washington is whether Mr. Kasowitz, who is not a criminal lawyer or a political hand, is the right person to be at Mr. Trump’s side. Some of Mr. Trump’s friends and advisers have privately raised questions about his hiring.

.. he does know about Mr. Trump — and he does know about the news media and the 24-hour news cycle.

.. He’s currently representing Bill O’Reilly

.. Mr. Kasowitz sent a letter to the paper threatening to sue over the publication of accusations from two women that Mr. Trump sexually harassed them.

.. Mr. Kasowitz’s law partner, David M. Friedman, was Mr. Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel.

.. And another of Mr. Kasowitz’s partners — one of his newest — is Joseph I. Lieberman

.. “I don’t read much. Mostly I read contracts, but usually my lawyers do most of the work.”

If Wonder Woman Can Do It, She Can Too

81 percent of working characters in 21 G-rated films released from September 2006 to September 2009 — that is, characters with jobs — are male.

.. Speaking roles are no better. Women fill less than a third in films across the world

.. Even Disney princesses don’t get to be the main speaking characters in their own films. In “Frozen,” male characters spoke 59 percent of the lines. By one tally, the total speaking time for female characters in “Star Wars” who are not named Princess Leia is 63 seconds. Total.

.. “The more media a girl consumes, the fewer options she thinks she has in life,” I heard Geena Davis say

Wanna Know What Donald Trump Is Really Thinking? Read Maggie Haberman

The New York Times reporter may be the greatest political reporter working today.

 .. Trump wants what she can give him access to—a kind of status he’s always craved in a newspaper that, she says, “holds an enormously large place in his imagination.” Haberman, for her part, has become a front-page fixture and a Fourth Estate folk hero. “This is a symbiotic relationship,” says an administration official. “Part of the reason” Haberman is so read in the Times “is because she is writing about Donald Trump.”
.. Haberman’s father, Clyde, is a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter, and her mother, Nancy, is a publicity powerhouse at Rubenstein—a communications firm founded by Howard Rubenstein, whose famous spinning prowess Trump availed himself of during various of his divorce and business contretemps. (Nancy worked on projects for Trump’s business but says she never met him.)
.. Haberman had her first byline in 1980, when she was seven years old, writing for the Daily News kids’ page about a meeting she had with then-mayor Ed Koch.
.. In those days, the future president was a fixture in Page Six, the Post‘s gossip column. In the midst of his second divorce, from Marla Maples, Trump was a maestro of controlling his tabloid image, calling in tidbits about himself.
.. The quick-hit rhythm that Trump and Haberman were both fine-tuning teed them up perfectly for today’s Twitter-paced news environment. “Maggie’s whole career has been about grabbing people by the lapels,” Burns says. She believes in the power of breaking incremental news—not holding every-thing back for a long read. She’s “wickedly competitive,
.. At first Thrush didn’t like her, mistaking her voraciousness for shtick. “My enduring image of her is, she’s standing outside the [press] van, she has a cigarette already lit in one hand, she’s lighting a second one because she’s forgotten that she has the first one lit, right? And she’s got a BlackBerry and a flip phone going at the same time. And I’m like, This is total bullshit, this is not a real person, nobody is this way,” Thrush recalls. Over time, however, as Haberman did not get beat, did not get beat, he realized she was for real.
.. In hindsight, Haberman was building a reservoir of knowledge and contacts that would make her probably the best-sourced reporter of the 2016 campaign. Significantly, she was accumulating sources who were close to Trump, who knew when he was angry and what he watched on TV and how he could only sleep well in his own bed. Her expertise wasn’t just Trump—it was the Trump psyche.

.. Haberman jumped to Politico in 2010, where she covered him full-bore for the first time; he was then flirting with the idea of joining the 2012 Republican primary and beginning to spread the lie that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Three years later, she moved to the Times as it beefed up its political staff in advance of the 2016 campaign. By the time Trump formally announced his candidacy in June 2015 and Haberman was assigned to his campaign, she’d been reporting on him for a decade.

.. Whereas most of the country knows Trump foremost as a reality-TV star from his time on The Apprentice, Haberman remembers that he was a New York institution before he became a national figure. “The Triborough and Empire State view of Trump is very different from the national view of Trump,” she points out. “His whole thing has always been to be accepted among the New York elites, whom he sort of preemptively sneers at—that thing that people do when they are not really sure if they will be completely validated, where they push away people whose approval they are seeking.

.. “You’re going to bring this up every time, aren’t you?” she says she told him. He “kind of chuckled” and replied, “It’s like therapy.”

.. Haberman is growing weary of the DC establishment’s seeming inability to metabolize the president’s personality. “There has been a very protracted shocked stage in Washington, and I think people have to move past that. Because otherwise you’re just never going to be able to cover him,” she says. “Every moment cannot be, ‘Wow! Can you believe what he just did?’ Yes, I can! Because he is the same person he was during the campaign.”

Her measured stance infuriates Trump’s detractors, who harangue her on Twitter for “normalizing” the president. But it gives her added credibility when she argues, as she did when Trump fired Comey, that one of Trump’s aberrant moves is a big deal.

.. “What is amazing is capacity of people who watched the campaign to be surprised by what they are seeing. Trump is 70. Ppl don’t change.”

.. Just as he didn’t back down after being accused of sexual assault, she says he is unlikely to walk away from this fight or resign. “I do not think he is enjoying the job particularly, and that is based on reporting,” she says. “But I also know he can’t allow himself to ever quit.”

.. they see Trump’s presidency more as a “national mayoralty…it’s got that scale, it has that informality,” Thrush says. “And it’s not just any mayoralty; it’s a late-’80s, early ’90s New York mayoralty.” Adds Haberman, “Some Ed Koch. A lot of Rudy Giuliani.”

.. One communications staffer after another told me that they appreciate the fact that she never blindsides them. “Maggie doesn’t camouflage. She’s perfectly willing to walk like a redcoat into the middle of the field and let everyone know she’s there because she’s going to get [her story],”

.. She never hedges her angle to try to protect her access, only to give politicians an unwelcome surprise when they read the story in the morning—a practice some journalists follow that Haberman calls “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. They’re going to lose [their access] anyway,” she says. “What do they think—that it’s going in a secret newspaper?”

.. she doesn’t keep an actual calendar, not on paper, not on her phone; it’s all in her head.

.. Friends and colleagues say this is her standard operating procedure. “She is literally always doing four things,” says her friend and former New York Post colleague Annie Karni. Haberman once said in an interview that she talked to 50 people a day. Not true, says Risa Heller, a spokesperson for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner: “She speaks to 100 people a day.” One colleague says she didn’t realize there was a limit to how many Gchats you could have going at one time until she saw Haberman hit the maximum.

.. ‘Oh, did Maggie just tell you that?’ Because she was literally talking to 16 people within our campaign at the same time.”

.. She almost never turns her phone off. “She’s got it with her at all times,” says her husband, Dareh Gregorian. She’ll wake up in the middle of the night and, instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, pick up her phone and start working.

.. “Maggie’s magic is that she’s the dominant reporter on the [White House] beat, and she doesn’t even live in Washington. She was the dominant Trump reporter on the campaign, and she didn’t travel with him. She’s so well-sourced and so well-connected that she doesn’t need to,”

.. Greenfield introduced Haberman by saying that he couldn’t remember a reporter having established a relationship with a president quite like hers with Trump

.. Lyndon Johnson gave preference to Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Walter Lippmann, and Lippmann had once gone so far as to secretly write part of a speech for Johnson—and then write a story praising the speech.

.. Kellyanne Conway defended Haberman last April in an interview, calling her “a very hard-working, honest journalist who happens to be a very good person.” Hicks echoed Conway, e-mailing me a few days later that Haberman was “a true professional.”

.. Haberman has reached the point in her career where sources are now chasing her, instead of the other way around—lying to her risks banishment and access to her news-promulgating prowess. “If you’re going to come at her,” says a Democratic operative, “you’ve got to come correct.”

.. “This is a president who is always selling. When I speak to him, it’s because he’s trying to sell me,” Haberman tells the audience at the 92nd Street Y.

.. “When we as a culture can’t agree on a simple, basic fact set—that is very scary. That [Trump] is unconcerned by that, I think, is the big issue,”

.. But effective salesmanship must be based in credibility—an area in which his administration has suffered significant set-backs in recent days.