The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Sessions Up to Old Tricks on Affirmative Action

    This country was built off of systemic racism. So we should not be surprised that Jeff Sessions is moving to investigate whether affirmative action discriminates against white students. The punchline? They’re using money meant for civil-rights enforcement to fund it. Everybody benefits from affirmative action, but it’s a lot easier for white people to get mad about it because they see it as minorities getting something over them. After 300 years of abusing people of color, the least they could do is spend 100 years trying to level the playing field.

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    Michael Che Curates the PDB

    This is truly a weekend update. OZY is excited to welcome the famed Saturday Night Live comedian and co-anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update to curate today’s PDB. The New York native and former Daily Show correspondent recently debuted a hit special on Netflix, Michael Che Matters, and graced the stage at OZY Fest in Central Park. Today, this stand-up — named after Che Guevara — joins the ranks of past curators like Bill Gates, Condoleezza Rice, Jason Derulo and Von Miller to share his take on today’s must-know news.

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    We Should Demand Qualified Leaders

    Every party’s got a pleaser and at rural America’s barbecues, it’s Donald Trump. He is hilarious and has a cult-like following that supports him no matter how ridiculous it all gets. This article on immigration made me laugh — do you think a real estate mogul gives a damn about smart immigrants coming into this country? No! But does his loyal audience? Hell yes, because they’re the ones competing with immigrants for jobs. If we’re going to insist on a merit-based system of skills to determine residency, shouldn’t we also have one for running the country? Too late! #Covfefe

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    Trump’s Cuban Travel Ban Could Backfire

    You know how President Trump wanted to stiff-arm Cuba by restricting American tourism to the island? It might not work. Recent research suggests that we overestimate how helpful tourism is to economies. If tourists are the best ingredient for a region’s success, then why is nearly a third of the Caribbean poor? Maybe fewer tourists would be a blessing for Cuba. Selfishly, I still hope I get to go to Cuba before they close that border, to see those beautiful old cars and beaches, even if it does mean ruining their economy.

  5. Abortive Venezuelan Military Uprising, Pence 2020 Bid Denial and Counterfeit Sleuths

    Know This: The embattled Venezuelan government has put down a small military uprising in the city of Valencia. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed new sanctions against North Korea over its efforts to perfect a long-range nuclear missile. And the search has been suspended for three missing U.S. Marines whose tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off Australia Saturday.

    Interpret This: Several Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are making what appear to be exploratory campaign stops as President Trump’s future grows more uncertain. Pence denies it.

    Make What You Will of This: The Pinkerton Detective Agency became famous for protecting President Abraham Lincoln and tracking Wild West outlaws. Now it’s a leading investigator of Chinese knockoff manufacturers, who counterfeit everything from iPhones to Ford automobiles.


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    Parents of Color, Read This!

    A new study says being told that society is fair and hard work will spell success can lead disadvantaged (read: minority) youths to engage in risky behavior. Why? Research suggests it creates a disconnect between what these teens are told and what they’re seeing around them, causes a loss of self-esteem and makes them internalize negative stereotypes. I don’t have kids, but if I did, I’d make them read this article and write a two-page report on how they feel about it. And I’d probably be an obnoxious dad. 

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    The Germans Are Invading the World of Comedy

    They’re laughing in Deutschland …. at Nazi jokes and accented jabs at Americans. What’s German for “ouch”? While some folks get irate about these kinds of jokes, I think the audience is always fine. When a joke is written down, that’s when it sometimes becomes horrifying. But comedy is written in the back of the classroom, not the front. So the next time you go to a comedy show, especially in Germany, maybe don’t record it.

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    Stores, Treat Me Like a Knucklehead 

    I’m single, so I think this is great. Guys are going to supermarkets more than ever before — owing to new gender roles, the putting off of marriage and simply because some guys are foodies. So to make things easy, stores are reorganizing and adding special displays of stuff men want, like pricey steaks and six-packs of beer. They’re dumbing it down. Game on! “Men are not terribly strategic,” like the article says, and stores are welcome to continue making my grocery runs easy. I don’t want to be asking random old ladies how to pick fruit.

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    Prime Wheel Estate? Sure, But Bikers Oughta Give Back

    When I was in my teens, the Lower East Side where I grew up was exciting but gritty. Now that I’m 34, I don’t mind the artisanal barbecue — thanks, gentrification! The latest trend is the booming number of bikes all over the city, partly because of a program called Citi Bike. My take differs from this article: Citi Bike costs a fair amount each year — so it’s great for a guy riding from his nearby apartment to Wall Street with disposable income in his pockets, but you just hope it’s inclusive of every community.

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    How Low Will These Coaches Go?

    I was shocked when Southern Cal basketball coach Andy Enfield (RIP Dunk City) offered scholarships to Marvin Bagley III’s two younger brothers. Shameless scholarship offers are nothing new, but with the Bagleys — namely 7-year-old Martay — it’s different. The NCAA vehemently opposes players earning any cash, but a coach who likely won’t work at the school in five years using a first-grader as a recruiting prop is cool? Schools go above and beyond not to pay the talent. I’m a die-hard Knicks fan, but as I grow older, it’s hard to feel invested in college sports.