The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Sen. John McCain Curates for OZY

    He knows how to serve. Today, the longtime U.S. senator and former naval aviator — who was notably shot down during the Vietnam War and kept as a POW from 1967 to 1973 — joins the ranks of OZY guest editors like Jeff Bridges, Von Miller and Sen. Kamala Harris to share the news that’s on his mind most these days. You’ve seen him lead congressional hearings and stare down presidential hopefuls on the campaign trail. Throughout his decades-long career, McCain, a 2008 presidential candidate, has been respected by peers on both sides of the aisle.

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    Senate Boldly Moves Forward on Tax Reform

    On Friday, the Senate took an important step forward in passing comprehensive tax-reform legislation. For too long, Americans have not received a raise. This bill contains important reforms to our tax system that will provide middle-class tax relief, make it easier for businesses to invest in the United States and deliver a much-needed boost to the economy. As a stalwart for regular order, I’m pleased this bill went through the normal legislative process with several hearings, full debate and consideration of numerous amendments from both sides.

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    China Must Help Denuclearize North Korea

    With yet another missile test last week, Pyongyang attempted to demonstrate it can strike anywhere inside the United States. We have two unacceptable, unthinkable options in North Korea: allowing the nuclear threat to continue to evolve, or engaging in conflict to eliminate that threat. The only acceptable alternative is for China to exert the leverage it has over Pyongyang to find a peaceful solution on the Korean peninsula.

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    Air Force Must Address Gun Warning Gaps

    Devin Kelley, the shooter in Sutherland Springs, Texas, wasn’t the only one to slip through the cracks. Preliminary results from the Air Force’s review of criminal reporting has revealed dozens of cases in which the military failed to properly report convicted criminals to the federal gun background-check database. It’s critical that the Air Force and each of the military branches take the steps necessary to ensure that similar mistakes have not occurred and will never happen again, because this puts lives at risk.

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    Diplomatic Minds Are a Terrible Thing to Waste

    They are America’s front line. In this op-ed, former Ambassadors Nicholas Burns and Ryan Crocker warn against the recent managerial decisions that have significantly depleted experienced personnel at the U.S. State Department. Foreign Service and Civil Service career professionals represent a unique national security asset, and “a 31 percent budget reduction for the State Department … would cripple its global reach,” Burns and Crocker say. They promote our safety, security and prosperity, often in dangerous places. Changes made in the name of efficiency should not come at the expense of American diplomacy.

  6. Presidential Overshare, Hope for Yemen and Mueller’s Political Filter

    Know This: While celebrating his tax bill victory, President Donald Trump faces multiple difficulties relating to the probe into his campaign’s Russia ties, including an apparent revelation he tweeted concerning ex-aide Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI, but whose campaign activities were “lawful,” Trump wrote. Authorities in North Carolina believe they have found the body of a missing 3-year-old girl. And there may be a break in Yemen’s civil war now that the Saudi-led coalition fighting forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have accepted an offer of peace talks.

    Awkward Subtext: “But the existence of the text messages is likely to fuel claims by Mr. Trump that he is the target of a witch hunt.” — New York Times analysis of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s removal of an FBI agent from his investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties. The agent reportedly exchanged text messages reacting to news events “in ways that could appear critical of Mr. Trump.”

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    Two Great American Writers Met During World War II

    How many literary legends does it take to prop up a Nazi-era Parisian hotel? Ernest Hemingway, then 45, helped boost the spirits of young J.D. Salinger — these are two of my favorite writers — during the war. This feature, and The Thread podcast, offer a wonderful depiction of the relationship between these great American authors. I had never heard this story before, but it’s no surprise that Hemingway and Salinger became fast friends over champagne in the midst of such devastation. I’d highly recommend reading For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Catcher in the Rye.

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    Seeing My Daughter as a Beautiful Bride Was a Thrill

    There’s no greater blessing in life than to see your children grow up to be happy, healthy and successful. Last month, I had the honor of giving away my daughter Meghan at a ceremony surrounded by friends and family at our home in Cornville, Arizona. Meghan did a wonderful job planning her Western hunting-lodge-themed wedding, complete with a cowhide-covered aisle and wild game menu. The entire day was an opportunity to celebrate life, and our family couldn’t be happier for Meghan and her new husband, Ben.

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    ISIS Leverages Climate Change as Recruiting Tool

    Would you ever guess the effects of climate change could be a boon to ISIS recruitment? The terrorist organization is finding its sales pitch is falling on more welcoming ears than ever before. Taking advantage of a series of natural disasters and environmental crises, they’ve been scooping up some of the most impressionable young men in the region to join their cause. Their supposed reward? Riches on Earth and in the afterlife. 

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    Missing Baseball? Check Out These Top Plays

    My Arizona D-backs didn’t make it to the World Series this year, but they sure had some exciting moments. My favorite D-backs game ever was Game Three of the 2001 World Series, when they played New York at Yankee Stadium. Taking place in the wake of 9/11, the game had special meaning for the city and the nation. President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch, and I sat next to then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The Yankees won, but the D-backs rallied on to Game Seven, with legend Luis Gonzalez sealing the championship for Arizona with a walk-off single. 

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    The Opioid Tragedy Knows No Boundaries 

    It’s no secret that we aren’t doing enough to combat the opioid epidemic in America. Navy Admiral James Winnefeld, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, wrote this piece about his son’s tragic struggle with addiction and eventual overdose. Winnefeld led the most powerful military in the world, but as he found out, no family is safe from this disease. In fact, drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. I’ve introduced bills to tackle this challenge, including legislation to limit the initial supply of highly addictive prescription painkillers to seven days. We must do more to end this tragedy.