The Presidential Daily Brief


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    ‘The Colored Girls’ Curate for OZY

    We strive to ensure that OZY readers hear from a wide range of voices and perspectives — a particularly important mission given today’s polarized political climate. That’s why we reach out to interesting, impactful figures from around the globe and across the political spectrum. 

    Today, Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry and Minyon Moore — they call themselves “The Colored Girls” — join the ranks of OZY guest editors like Sen. Marco Rubio and Hasan Minhaj to share the news that’s most on their mind. These four prominent African-American women have been on the front lines of American political history for the past three decades. They’ve just released a new book, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, offering a glimpse at their friendships and career decisions, as well as tips on how to enter a life of public service.

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    Hurricane Leaves Floridians on Long Road to Recovery

    We’re praying for Florida. As a result of warmer oceans, our storm seasons are lasting longer. The Carolinas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence, suffered billions of dollars in losses, and we fear it’ll be even worse for the Sunshine State. With Michael, forecasters thought the storm might stall in the lower Gulf, but once you reach the “gumbo bowl,” anything can happen. The death toll, currently at 18, will likely rise, while many are without power and facing months of waiting for insurance assessments before everyday life — from attending school to worshipping in church — can return to normal.

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    The Mystery Over Nikki Haley’s Resignation Must Be Solved

    The outgoing U.N. ambassador’s long-term legacy will reflect having been at the table when the U.S. detached itself from the rest of the world. But she garnered respect, so why leave now? The timing of her sudden departure, just weeks before the midterm elections, is interesting given that the Trump administration needs everyone on board. We suspect something’s afoot — and the popular theory that the commander in chief plans to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replace him with Sen. Lindsey Graham, leaving open a Senate seat for Haley to fill, seems more than plausible.

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    Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance Demands Sanctions Now

    We’re glad Turkish officials are doing their part to figure out what happened to the Washington Post journalist who many believe was killed. President Trump responded a bit late, but he has vowed “severe punishment” if Khashoggi is dead. It’s time the world stood up to Saudi Arabia by imposing immediate sanctions until they show Khashoggi was not hurt. While he’s not a U.S. citizen, he is a green-card-holding resident of Virginia, and if he was tortured and dismembered, we need to know. 

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    Beware Voter Suppression, Even Before the Storm

    Go to and check your voting status. Nothing can be taken for granted, and in districts where candidates are proving disruptive, we need to be mindful of possible voter suppression. Even before Hurricane Michael struck Florida, for example, voter registration tools were down. In Georgia, a hold has been put on more than 53,000 voter registration applications, and nearly 70 percent of them are for African Americans. Surprise, surprise. We’re still a few weeks out, so expect more scandals, and subsequent lawsuits. We must pressure our leaders to push back against voter interference, both foreign and domestic.

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    Women of Color Run for Political Office Like Never Before

    This isn’t about Black rage. Truth is, we feel more empowered than ever before. Rather than simply propping up male candidates as we’ve done throughout history, we are seeing female candidates, for the first time, who weren’t recruited by either party’s national committee but decided on their own to step up. This year, women stopped asking for permission, and we applaud them. Being a public servant today isn’t easy; you’re exposing yourself and your family to enormous scrutiny. So if a woman feels she is qualified and has the passion, she should go for it.

  7. Briefly From OZY: Mo-Joe, Portuguese Storm and Tree Power

    Know This: New polling shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading a crowded field of potential 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, while 46 percent of Americans believe President Trump will win a second term. Hurricane-force winds have uprooted trees and left 300,000 homes without power in Portugal. And state inspectors have found the bodies of 11 infants in a hidden chamber in a shuttered funeral home in Detroit.

    Watch This: “Some parts look like someone literally came down with a hammer and smashed some of those homes and buildings.” — a reporter flying with Coast Guard rescue crews picking up Hurricane Michael survivors.

    Smart Growth: “The smaller down in scale we go, I thought it would be harder and harder to identify these climate responses … These smaller forest losses still do have big impacts.” — climate scientist Abigail Swann, on how new research indicates that plants are a more powerful tool against global warming than previously understood.


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    Angie Thomas, Please Write Part 2 to ‘The Hate U Give’

    If you want to know what it’s like to grow up Black in America, read this profound story, or see the film. It touches on code-switching, how one navigates an all-White environment, and how to deal with White people who believe they’re “woke,” when really all they have are a few Black friends. This psychological roller coaster follows 16-year-old Starr, who reminds us of so many young Black women today who have to navigate between two worlds to find their true selves.

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    Finding Time for Dinner With Friends … and Applying to the WNBA

    Yolanda is the Martha Stewart of the Black world, and she especially loves putting her own spin on Italian and soul food dishes. Donna cooks jambalaya and gumbo, using herbs from her own garden. The four of us enjoy getting together to share good food and conversation — it’s been central to our friendship. And no, we don’t talk just politics; we catch up on everything from job openings — Donna wants to apply for WNBA president, and says she’d actually play in games (WNBA, you’ve been warned) — to our favorite TV shows.

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    Anyone Can Forge a Path in Public Service

    Our new book, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, is a love story to Black women. It tells the story of our friendship, and of the mentors who helped give us seats at the table. We have a lot of stories. Like the time we asked candidate Barack Obama what his race strategy would be, and he demurred: “Oh, race won’t be an issue. America is past that.” Wrong! But the book’s also a primer — a game plan for getting involved in public service and being a trailblazer for future generations.

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    Rev. William Barber Takes Nonviolence Movement a Step Further 

    He’s the closest thing we have today to Dr. King. Reverend Barber was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant last week for his street activism and longtime civil rights campaigns on behalf of the poor and to fight voter suppression. But rather than basking in glory, Barber was busy protesting for higher minimum wages and union rights for fast-food workers — and getting arrested for his efforts. We consider him a champion for putting poverty back at the forefront as an issue of social justice while moving the nonviolence movement ahead in the 21st century.

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    Unexpected Voices Are Piping Up in Politics

    Taylor Swift’s singing a new tune. The Reputation star and Rihanna both surprised us this week by turning political. They joined the ranks of people like Yara Shahidi, Kerry Washington and America Ferrera to convey the message that your vote is your power. Swift used Instagram to endorse Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, Dems running for Congress in Tennessee, urging fans to register to vote. Meanwhile, Rihanna — who can’t vote herself as she’s not a citizen but a green-card-holder from Barbados — took to Twitter to encourage her fans to vote. We wish more stars would follow suit.

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    Kanye, What Were You Thinking?

    We’re with Diddy: Not Black excellence. West visited the White House this week, telling reporters he felt like Superman with his “Make America Great Again” hat and dropping the F-bomb in the Oval Office. Rat Pack entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. was Republican, too, but when it came to values, the famous Black jazz singer stood beside Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement. The controversial rapper, on the other hand, has flip-flopped on whether slavery should’ve been abolished and lends his voice to shameful stereotypes and lies about Black Americans. He needs to reflect on our history.