The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Senator Mike Lee 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 climate. That’s why we reach out to interesting, impactful figures from around the globe and across the political spectrum. 

    Utah Senator Mike Lee joins the ranks of OZY guest editors like Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Paul Ryan and Jeff Bridges to share the news that’s most on his mind. A lifelong defender of basic liberties, this Brigham Young University alum developed a love for the U.S. Constitution early on — by hearing his father, Solicitor General Rex Lee, argue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. A Republican, Lee has worked as an attorney for several years and served Utah’s governor before being elected in 2010. Today, the father of three wishes fellow dads everywhere a happy Father’s Day.

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    We Need (More) Paid Family Leave

    The nuclear family is the fundamental building block of civil society. Without strong families, the institutions that support all of our liberties are at risk. That’s why I am working on a paid family leave plan to give parents the option of taking their Social Security benefits early in the form of paid parental leave. And as this National Review article shows, paid parental leave has proven long-term benefits for both kids and parents. Moreover, pregnancy discrimination is rampant, and we need to do a better job ensuring that working mothers are treated fairly.

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    Hungary May Hold the Key to Lower Abortion Rates

    Americans may disagree about whether or not abortion should be legal, but everyone believes abortion should be as rare as possible. The disagreement is just over how to make it as rare as possible. Hungary may be a country to look to as a model. Abortion numbers in this East European nation have plunged by a third since 2010, while the number of marriages has risen steadily. Hungary’s secret? Generous benefits for married families with kids, including tax benefits, maternity support, housing allowances and free holiday camps for kids.

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    Will Congress Trump Trump on Trade?

    Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to “regulate commerce with foreign nations.” So why does President Trump now have the power to unilaterally start a trade war by raising tariffs on any nation he chooses? The problem goes back over 100 years to the dawning of the Progressive movement when Congress began surrendering more and more legislative power to the executive branch. Congress can take this power back. Will they?

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    We Are Fighting for American Due Process

    The U.S. Congress has passed a National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that sets national defense priorities for the nation, every year since 1961. But this year Senate Republicans are locked in a fight over how much, if any, due-process protections American citizens arrested on American soil are owed. Even worse, some senators are trying to prevent even a vote on the issue. Things got heated at the Senate Republican lunch Wednesday.

  6. Arts Fair Gunfire, Immigration Strategy and a Tenuous Truce

    Know This: One gunman is dead and 22 are injured after a fight and gunfire erupted at a crowded New Jersey arts festival early today. President Trump plans to meet Tuesday with House Republicans to confer on legislation that would overhaul immigration policy. A second Wyandotte County, Kansas, sheriff’s deputy died early Saturday after she and another deputy were shot by an inmate they were transporting to a hearing.

    Enemy at the Gates: Afghan cities saw Taliban fighters arrive this weekend to celebrate — and take selfies — alongside Afghan government forces during a cease-fire for the Eid-al-Fitr holiday. One eastern Taliban-government gathering was attacked by Islamic State, killing 36, and some fear what will happen if fighters don’t heed President Ashraf Ghani’s call to extend the cease-fire. 

    Fit to Be Tied: Iceland has done it again. After winning the hearts of the soccer world at the European Championship in 2016, Iceland, coached by a dentist, scored its first World Cup goal in Moscow Saturday, holding powerhouse Argentina and superstar Lionel Messi in a 1-1 draw.


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    Nothing Morbid About Loving Funeral Potatoes

    While the recipes may vary from home to home, the staple ingredients of potatoes, cheese, cream of chicken and family gathering stays the same. Served at potlucks, Thanksgiving, Sunday dinner and, of course, funerals, this potato dish is more than just a classic Mormon dish; it’s also a window into the lives of members of the Church of Latter Day Saints. This is one of my all-time favorites — I also enjoy a good Dirty Diet Coke.

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    Polyamory Agenda Overlooks the Stabilizing Force of Monogamy

    Vox recently premiered a series on Netflix with a so-called “explainer” on monogamy. Unfortunately, this was nothing short of propaganda, to my mind, and it spent a lot of time pushing a polyamorous agenda and very little time on the science and history of monogamy. Quillette, a new platform for exchanging ideas, published a response essay documenting the facts Vox left out of their narrative. Monogamy is actually one of the most equitable, stabilizing institutions of human history, and the alternatives are not quite as utopian as Vox would have us believe.

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    If These Walls Could Talk …

    Built in 1878, the American Fork Community Presbyterian Church in Utah County has a colorful history, which includes a role in the movie Footloose and the television series Touched by an Angel. But this iconic building of worship is about more than good looks. The number of lives changed for the better within it are beyond measure. It truly embodies Winston Churchill’s observation after the Nazis bombed England’s parliament building: “We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.” My favorite historic building is the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

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    What Happened to U.S. Soccer?

    American fans of the “beautiful game” were thrilled Wednesday when FIFA announced that the 2026 World Cup would be hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico. But enthusiasts can’t ignore the fact that the U.S. men’s national team failed to qualify this year — the first time that’s happened since 1986. What happened? This article argues that the American team is going through some predictable growing pains on its way to becoming a contender. I’ll be pulling for Mexico this year in honor of the many Mexican families I worked with on my mission along the Texas border.

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    We Need Another Baby Boom, and Quick

    Fertility drops during a recession. Happens every time. And it happened in spades during the Great Recession when births per woman fell from 2.12 in 2007 to 1.93 by 2010. Normally, fertility bounces back along with the economy, but not this time. Births per woman have continued to drop throughout the economic recovery, falling to 1.76 in 2017 (a minimum of 2.1 births per woman is needed to keep our population from collapsing). Why hasn’t fertility bounced back this time? Turns out housing prices may have something to do with it.