She just made history as the second African-American woman ever to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Today, Harris joins the ranks of OZY guest editors like Karl Rove, Katie Couric and Tucker Carlson to share her take on current must-know news and trends. A lifelong public-safety and civil-rights leader, Harris was the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s attorney general. From the courtroom to setting policy, this Oakland native has always focused on children and family wellness, and as a U.S. senator she is pushing hard on health care access and immigration.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The health care debate isn’t just about medicine or math — it’s about morals. As a country, we are asking ourselves a fundamental question: Do we believe health care should be a right for all or a privilege for the few? The cornerstone of the Republicans’ health care plan is to repeal the Affordable Care Act — a law that has given 20 million people health insurance. I believe health care is a right for all. We should defend the Affordable Care Act and keep working to make Americans’ health care better. That’s what I will fight for.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to revive sentencing laws that have already given us the world’s highest incarceration rates — a whopping two million-plus. We should never hesitate to punish those who victimize others, but I’ve seen firsthand the devastating and disproportionate effects of mass incarceration on communities of color. Instead of reviving archaic laws that have proven ineffective, the Justice Department should be addressing systemic inequalities in our criminal justice system. It’s not about being tough or soft on criminals; it’s about being smart on crime.
Human-rights abuses are reportedly being perpetrated against men in Chechnya who are suspected of being gay. Scores are said to have been rounded up by authorities, and I believe this demands action. Earlier this week, Republican Senator Susan Collins and I contacted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to demand that he press the Russian government to investigate and hold the perpetrators of human-rights violations to account. These atrocities must end.
Know This: North Korea test-fired a medium-range missile this morning in defiance of U.N. sanctions, U.S. officials say. President Trump says he’s trying to name fired FBI director James Comey’s replacement before he leaves for the Middle East and Europe Friday. And a new ransomware attack has hit 100,000 groups in some 150 nations.
Senator Kamala Harris: I’ve said it before and will again — we must have a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI’s Russia investigation. This cannot wait.
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This issue is near and dear to my heart. My mother was a scientist, and she would say she had two roles and two responsibilities in her life: One was to raise her two daughters, and the other was to end breast cancer. It’s so critical that we fully fund the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control — for everything from the Human Genome Project and heart disease to HIV. We simply cannot allow the Trump administration to cut that funding by $5.8 billion in 2018.
The “Mother’s Day bailout” will free women who are in jail awaiting trial for low-level offenses like loitering. Prisoners at more than 12 detention centers — many of whom get trapped inside simply because they can’t afford to post bail — will be able to return home to their families. I can’t think of a better Mother’s Day gift than that. The experiences of these women exemplify just some of the racial and economic disparities that we must address in our criminal justice system.
They can’t see the forest for the trees. This administration has already signaled that they want to open up some of our most iconic protected landscapes to drilling, mining and logging. They are now reviewing a host of national monuments for this purpose, including six in California. The public-comment period to save many of these monuments has already begun. I’ve submitted my comments, and I encourage you to do the same. Please make your voices heard.
I’m a huge fan of all the X-Men movies, and especially Logan, the latest edition. I happen to believe there are parts of it that are a pretty accurate depiction of the near future — things like driverless cars. This one explores Hugh Jackman’s final adventure as Logan, and his character learns that a young girl, Laura, carries his DNA. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to claw out some time to do so.
Successfully defending the rule that restricts harmful methane emissions from oil and gas wells was a win for public health and for our climate. Energy firms now must catch methane that’s burned off where they drill. Repealing this rule was on the agenda of Republicans and the fossil fuel industry. The GOP’s failure to repeal this rule on Wednesday morning, in a 51-49 vote, came as a surprise even to them. Keep up the fight.