The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Shannon Bream Curates for OZY

    Today the anchor of Fox News @ Night and the network’s chief legal correspondent joins the ranks of OZY guest editors like Senator Kamala Harris, Chelsea Clinton, Senator John McCain and others to share the news that’s on her mind most these days. Though she spends her days covering politics and the U.S. Supreme Court, Bream started her career as a sexual harassment attorney. She counts it a great privilege to cover the news of the day at such a pivotal moment in history. Away from work, she enjoys running, fly-fishing, reading and traveling the world with her partner in crime: her husband, Sheldon.

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    Government Shutdown Leads to Finger-Pointing by Both Sides

    Their high-stakes game of chicken ended in gridlock. Lawmakers worked well into Friday night but failed to beat the midnight deadline to continue funding the U.S. government. Democrats insisted they wouldn’t back another short-term funding measure that didn’t address the situation for an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients. Republicans, meanwhile, said the funding measure wasn’t the vehicle for negotiating a major policy issue and began using the phrase “Schumer shutdown,” referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. So, who pays the price now that the shutdown has occurred?

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    DACA Drama Fuels Shutdown Fire

    Much of the government shutdown drama centered on negotiations over DACA, a program created under Obama to provide legal status protection to an estimated 800,000 people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The primary proposals in the House and Senate are substantially different, and neither seems ready to budge. While there appears to be bipartisan agreement on some measure of legal status for DACA individuals and increased border security, the devil is truly in the details. A federal judge has blocked the administration from undoing DACA as planned on March 5, which has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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    Top Athletes Point Fingers at Olympic Doctor

    Dozens of athletes spoke out this week against a physician accused of repeated abuse. Larry Nassar treated hundreds of girls and women, including top gymnasts. They say he insisted his unconventional methods were the key to recovering from injuries that could end their careers. Nassar is accused of sexually violating the athletes while trying to build strong emotional attachments with them. Awaiting sentencing, he faces more than 125 criminal allegations and 140 civil suits, and he’s already been sentenced to federal prison on child pornography charges. USA Gymnastics, meanwhile, also faces legal claims that it knew about the abuse and did not act.

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    President Trump Addresses March for Life 

    For the first time in its 45-year history, the largest anti-abortion rally in the world was addressed by the sitting U.S. president via live feed from the White House Rose Garden on Friday. Supporters credit the commander in chief for appointing conservative judges and taking executive actions to bolster their cause. Pro-choice advocates warn about “dangerous anti-choice” developments at both the state and federal level, though Planned Parenthood successfully fought back a recent defunding effort. Meanwhile, Trump’s urging the Senate to pass a measure banning abortions after the 20-week mark.

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    Las Vegas Shooting Mystery Continues

    In a press conference Friday, Las Vegas authorities said they’re still working to determine Stephen Paddock’s motive for the murder of 58 people from the window of his high-rise hotel room as they were enjoying a country music concert. While that mystery persists, other new details are surfacing: Not only did police find evidence that he had searched online for information regarding SWAT team tactics, they also say they found child pornography. More charges may be coming in the case based on things investigators uncovered while executing search warrants.

  7. New Womens’ Marches, Kabul Hotel Attack and Rep-Remand

    Know This: Thousands participated in women’s marches across America Saturday, and more marches on gender issues are planned today. Afghan and western security forces have killed three attackers and ended a fiery Kabul hotel siege that began Saturday and resulted in 18 other deaths. And yesterday’s demonstrations in Honduras challenging the results of November presidential elections prompted police to fire on protesters, fatally wounding a 60-year-old man.

    Read This: “Speaker Ryan takes the allegations against Mr. Meehan very seriously. The speaker is committed to rooting out sexual misconduct in the House and providing victims the resources they need.” — spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan after the removal of Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan from the chamber’s ethics committee following a report that he had settled an employee’s sexual harassment claim with taxpayers’ funds.

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    Oscar Buzz or No, Hugh Jackman Flick a Must-See

    Need a January pick-me-up? While Dunkirk and Darkest Hour may earn more Oscar nods, I loved The Greatest Showman, a wonderful, feel-good film. Over the holidays, our group of nine, ranging from teens to nearly 80, fell in love with this musical. No, it’s not gritty. No, it didn’t make the hardcore critics swoon. But it did leave us singing and dancing our way out of the cinema with huge smiles. And now the movie’s soundtrack is topping the charts, helping millions of listeners chase away the January blues.

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    A New Year Offers a Great Opportunity for Eating Greens

    Salad days, for real! Three weeks in, how’s that resolution coming? I’ve always loved salad as a part of my daily diet. What I don’t like is buying tons of ingredients only to see them go bad before I can eat my fill of greens. I adore the fast-food salad outlets that allow consumers to craft their perfect bowl without having to do any of the shopping, washing, prepping or chopping! And if you need help in sticking to your 2018 health plan, check out London’s new “fatberg,” designed to keep dieters on the straight and narrow.

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    Religious Freedom Takes Front and Center

    This week marked National Religious Freedom Day. The administration announced new conscience protections for medical workers and business owners and vowed to protect the rights of every person of faith — and no faith. Some fear this will lead to “legalized bigotry.” Abroad, the focus has been on persecuted religious minorities. I will join Vice President Mike Pence in Israel this week, where he is hoping to jump-start peace talks and bring attention to those facing displacement and threats because of their beliefs. It’ll be a jam-packed schedule, but I hope to spend some time visiting the Old City.

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    This Liberal Law Professor Took Me by Surprise

    Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar appears to be a jumble of contradictions. The author of The Constitution Today has spent more than a decade covering the Supreme Court in the classroom. I enjoyed learning how this nonconforming educator is becoming a leading expounder of American constitutional history and how, despite his left-leaning views, he agrees with Clarence Thomas and the late Antonin Scalia. His views were recently referenced in an article about the 25th Amendment, which enables the removal of an incapacitated president. Expect to see Amar more in the year ahead.

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    New War Memorial and Veterans Film Help Us Pay Tribute

    If you haven’t seen the documentary Honor Flight, please do so. The story about bringing aging veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the monuments dedicated to their bravery is humbling and inspiring. I sobbed so hard while watching it on a flight that a fellow passenger asked me if I needed some assistance. And Native American veterans, who served in America’s armed forces at a higher rate than any other ethnic group in the 20th century, will soon be honored with their own, well-deserved memorial on the National Mall.