The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Sen. Rand Paul Curates 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, we welcome Kentucky Senator Rand Paul to share the news that’s most on his mind. An eye doctor by training, this former Baylor student and Duke University graduate was elected in a 2010 upset and then made a bid for the presidency in 2016. Raised in Texas by former Congressman Ron Paul and his wife, Carol, Dr. Paul — a father of three — is an influential lawmaker, weighing in on everything from constitutional liberties and foreign affairs to education, fiscal responsibility and government overreach.

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    We Must Defend America’s Freedom of Speech

    Right now, fierce debates are raging across the country over the limits of free speech. This piece from The Federalist cites a cautionary tale from France — related to controversial tweets by the National Front’s Marine Le Pen — to remind us why our unique liberties are so important, and what can happen if we limit the right to free expression to only those who share our views. We must always stand up for liberty. As President Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” I couldn’t agree more.

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    America’s Criminal Justice System Is Broken

    One of the most visible examples of how the U.S. criminal justice system is failing is the way in which it treats juvenile offenders. This article is an eye-opening read on the long-term effects and unintended consequences that our system can have on young Americans, and it strongly challenges the notion that simply locking up more people is the answer to fighting crime. We desperately need to reform our criminal justice system. I have introduced multiple pieces of legislation to do so, including expunging juvenile criminal records to allow these young men and women to have a fresh start.

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    How Medical Marijuana Could Aid Opioid Crisis

    As the growing opioid-addiction epidemic tears apart families in Kentucky and across our nation, recent peer-reviewed studies reveal a substantial drop in opioid prescriptions in states that have eased restrictions on medical marijuana. Where states have opened doors to marijuana dispensaries, the data shows, opioid prescriptions plummeted. Is this a solution? We won’t know until more studies are conducted, but I am all for thinking outside the box.

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    Liberty Restrictions Aren’t Helping London’s Crime Rate

    If you’ve never read, it’s a great place for liberty-loving readers. As America grapples with how to respond to recent mass shootings, we are often told to look to other nations for examples of how to curb violence by limiting gun rights. But this article discussing the rising crime rate in London — which has seen a surge in stabbing attacks and more than 50 murders already this year — reminds us that those intent on causing harm will always find a way. My belief? Violence doesn’t disappear when liberties do.

  6. Japanese Diplomacy, Advertising Shift and Shark Parties

    Know This: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be heading to Florida on Tuesday for talks at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Syria has been warned that the U.S. remains “locked and loaded” if the regime uses chemical weapons again. Martin Sorrell is stepping down as chief executive of advertising giant WPP amid allegations of misconduct, which he denies.

    Read This: Long considered solitary creatures, basking sharks — the second largest fish in the sea — are now known to gather occasionally for “shark jamborees.” Learn more here

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    Come for the Kentucky Derby, Stay for Our ‘Food Renaissance’

    It’s no secret that one of the Bluegrass State’s most-cherished events, the Kentucky Derby, is just around the corner. Less well known? The fact that visitors coming to the state for the famed horse race have a chance to indulge in an extraordinary culinary experience that this article calls a “food renaissance” — made possible, it claims, by a growing bourbon industry. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods, Bowling Green, check out the main square, where you’ll also find a number of great spots to discover!

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    Giant Sequoias Capture My Imagination

    For many years, I attempted to grow a giant sequoia in my backyard in Bowling Green. The tree managed to grow, reaching almost 15 feet, but it couldn’t survive a particularly cold winter and sadly had to be felled. Americans have long been in love with these amazing trees, which can live more than 3,000 years and reach more than 10 times the height of my garden experiment. After timbermen destroyed many sequoias in the 19th century, a conservation movement took hold … and two of the earliest national parks were established to protect these majestic giants.

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    Pope Francis Focuses on Cataract Surgery in 2019 

    As an eye surgeon, I have performed thousands of cataract procedures over the course of my career. While I no longer practice regularly, I do still conduct free surgeries both in Kentucky and internationally. In years past, I have traveled with the Moran Eye Center to Guatemala and Haiti to perform hundreds of free cataract removal surgeries. The 81-year-old pope should not worry about his plans to undergo cataract surgery next year, as it is a very standard procedure.

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    Enjoy the Sights and Flights Around Your Home

    Over the last few years, I’ve watched as an interesting pair of birds return to our backyard time and again: bald eagles! Right behind our home, a pair of these gorgeous creatures decided to build a nest and raise their young. My wife, Kelley, is a bird-watching enthusiast, and having two of these magnificent animals move into our backyard has been awe-inspiring. Who knows what might be flying above your house?

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    Teachers Should Push Pupils to See Outside Their Bubbles

    Last fall, I had the privilege of teaching a class at George Washington University. As educators, our objective should be to foster ideas and encourage broad, civil discourse. Taking students out of their comfort zone and exposing them to varied political schools of thought will lead to greater intellectual growth — and better prepare them to enter the professional world.

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    Helping Veterans, Always a Worthy Cause

    Earlier this month I joined country music icon Lee Greenwood in unveiling a home for a heroic veteran. Helping a Hero is a tremendous organization that builds homes specially adapted for our injured veterans to enable them to live independently and integrate into their communities. I salute this group for making such a difference in the lives of the men and women who sacrificed so much for our country.