He’s feeling presidential … at least today. Congressman Paul Ryan didn’t throw his hat into the White House ring this time, but he’s still a terrific candidate to curate OZY’s Presidential Daily Brief. Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee, is serving his ninth term in the House, where he chairs the all-powerful Ways and Means Committee. The Wisconsin native and father of three is bullish on strengthening Medicare and Social Security, and today he joins the ranks of past curators like Susan Wojcicki, Michelle Peluso, Satya Nadella and Jeb Bush to share his take on today’s must-know news and trends.
The Presidential Daily Brief
What’s in a debate? Underneath all the swinging and jab-taking of the GOP’s second debate this week, there was something surprising: a significantly clearer focus on policy and the issues. Candidates went beyond the rhetoric and the cults of personality — as former Texas Gov. Rick Perry advised when he withdrew from the race — and addressed everything from Syria and ISIS to religious freedom, the economy and criminal justice reform. This is just what our party needs, and it bodes well for a substantive third round in Boulder next month.
Many prayers have been answered. Ahead of the first-ever papal address to the U.S. Congress next Thursday, a bipartisan group of staffers have come together to volunteer with preparation and assist with the large crowds. Pundits have been busy prognosticating what Pope Francis will say, but as a practicing Catholic, I’m just excited to hear His Holiness speak — it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope everyone will take the time to tune in and hear what he has to say.
What a difference a day makes. Within 24 hours of the U.S. House of Representatives voting to reject the controversial nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic claimed to have found an “unexpectedly” large cache of uranium. This contradicts numerous reports and testimonies from administration officials that Tehran was close to exhausting its domestic supply, and highlights well-founded concerns about the agreement. As our world grows less stable each month, trusting a violent regime that has been nothing but hostile to America is a mistake we cannot afford to make.
Greek conservatives admit defeat to Tsipras’s Syriza Party. (BBC)
Kerry says U.S. will welcome 100,000 refugees by 2017. (The Guardian)
U.N. nuclear agency says its chief visited Iranian military site. (Reuters)
Pope Francis implores Columbian factions to end conflict. (AP)
British best-selling author Jackie Collins dies at age 77. (NYT)
We have to be visionaries. If Republicans are to win the White House, we need to put forward a positive, uplifting vision for the future. Too many people no longer believe they can achieve the American dream, and that must change. To get there we need tangible improvements in education, including making college affordable. By scaling back occupational licensing requirements and promoting policies that incentivize businesses to hire long-term staff, we can boost employment levels nationwide — and get folks to believe in a brighter future once again.
You can go home again. The 31-year-old wide receiver was cut from two teams within four months, but Jordy Nelson’s knee injury opened a door. Jones crashed through it last Sunday in the season opener, scoring two touchdowns to help Green Bay beat Chicago 31-23. Returning to his first NFL home of seven years, the California native proved he was exactly where he belonged. “Nobody wants to be told they can’t do the job,” Jones said, inspiring fans like me to believe it’ll be a great year. Tonight, Jones and the Packers take on the Seattle Seahawks.
We need city slickers! It’s become increasingly expensive for middle-class Americans to live in bigger cities throughout the U.S. Overly burdensome regulations and high taxes drive up living costs, and bloated local governments are driving some metropolitan areas into bankruptcy, which adds up to concrete jungles with little or no opportunity for growth. Policies governing these hubs are ripe for reform, and I think we can — and need to — once again make urban living a possibility for more Americans from all socioeconomic levels.
The fight against poverty needs a healthy dose of economic conservatism, and Bob Woodson is among the people providing it. The idea behind his Center for Neighborhood Enterprise is that low-income people, community organizations and a free-market ethos are key to the fight. History provides evidence that the current approach to poverty reduction just hasn’t delivered the results we need: In 1966, when the Great Society programs went into effect, the U.S. poverty rate was 14.7 percent — today, nearly 50 years later, it stands at 14.8 percent. Woodson’s alternative strategies aim to get America back to work.
We need to fully embrace social justice. I enjoyed reading The Conservative Heart, a new book by Arthur Brooks that details how to “build a fairer, happier, and more prosperous America.” I believe it offers a road map for the GOP at all levels of government, making a case for why conservative principles should be at the center of our fight against inequality. Brooks is one of the brightest minds on these issues, and demonstrates why it’s important that we engage in our communities and learn from those on the front lines.