OZY is pleased to have former Florida governor Jeb Bush present today’s Presidential Daily Brief, part of an ongoing series where OZY features interesting figures from around the world. Previously, OZY has done a five-part series with former President Bill Clinton, and interviewed former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who also curated an edition of the Presidential Daily Brief. These stories, curated by Bush, touch on key world issues and the topics most important and intriguing to him.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Once every three years, 15-year-olds in 65 developed countries take the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardized test of reading, math and science. The results, unfortunately, are perpetually alarming. U.S. teenagers are now ranked 26th in math, 21st in science and 17th in reading. Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong are leading the pack, while countries like Poland and Ireland surpassed us for the first time. This editorial by the Wall Street Journal nails the economic and moral imperatives of shaking complacency in education in America, while accurately identifying the political challenges we must overcome in this cause, chiefly union special interests.
Source: Wall Sreet Journal
The news that “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is forecasting a difficult holiday season, but Tiffany & Co. just exceeded their earnings estimates by the simple expedient of raising their prices” is striking commentary on the state of our nation. Right now, America finds itself struggling with how to realize policies that expand, not contract, opportunity for more Americans. The antidote to this is to restore, as Paul Ryan coined it, the Right to Rise, the right to pursue economic opportunity and happiness. Ensuring the return of social mobility begins with transforming education, fixing a broken immigration system, establishing a market-based North American energy strategy and expanding economic freedom.
Former U.S. Secretaries of State Kissinger and Shultz raise key points about the ramifications of the interim nuclear deal with Iran and what must be addressed in the long-term agreement. I agree with the authors that we must avoid at any cost an “outcome in which Iran, freed from an onerous sanctions regime, emerges as a de facto nuclear power leading an Islamist camp, while traditional allies lose confidence in the credibility of American commitments and follow the Iranian model toward a nuclear-weapons capability, if only to balance it.”
Source: Wall Street Journal
Ukrainian president agrees to meet with protesters. (NYT).
Dangerous winter storm wallops the U.S. (CNN).
A week of Mandela remembrance begins in South Africa. (Al Jazeera).
Thai prime minister dissolves parliament. (Washington Post).
U.N. inspectors arrive in Iran to assess plant. (NYT).
South Korea extends its air defense zone to overlap with China’s. (The Guardian).
A Harvard University Institute of Politics poll out this week shows that only 41 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds approve of President Obama’s job performance, a 23 point drop since the beginning of the year. The reason? A huge gulf between the rhetoric of the President’s campaign promises and the results of his policies, especially when it comes to the disastrous implementation of Obamacare. Republicans must now capitalize on this opportunity to communicate and appeal to young Americans based on the promise conservative ideas hold for spurring economic growth and improving our quality of life.
Source: Washington Post
Last week we were reminded that nothing in politics is certain when Democratic Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz was attacked by progressive activist groups. While the media has made much of analyzing the state and future of the Republican Party, Democrats should be doing some soul searching of their own. We may soon see a crack in the liberal coalition or see a Democratic Party pulled even more dramatically to the left in the vein of New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.
Source: Washington Times
Kimberly Strassel’s story on the FTC’s war on the Music Teachers National Association is simultaneously amusing and terrifying. Either way, it is a revealing example of just how far the government can overreach. When “antitrust laws created to tackle megamonopolies end up being used to hound and hammer a nonprofit devoted to piano teachers,” it’s clear evidence there is plenty of room to downsize government.
Source: Wall Street Journal
In Pope Francis’s short tenure, he has done much to awaken, inspire and challenge Catholics and individuals of faith across the world. His actions have spoken volumes and reminded us of the transformative powers of humility and kindness. Recently the pope overhauled the office of the Vatican Almoner. This is how the Washington Post describes Archbishop Konrad Krajewski’s new job: “Krajewski gets his marching orders each morning: A Vatican gendarme goes from the Vatican hotel where Francis lives to Krajewski’s office across the Vatican gardens, bringing a bundle of letters that the pope has received from the faithful asking for help. On the top of each letter, Francis might write, ‘You know what to do’ or ‘Go find them’ or ‘Go talk to them.’” We can all learn something from this model of engaged leadership.
Source: Washington Post
Until the sad passing of Nelson Mandela, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s announcement that his company may be only four to five years away from using drones to revolutionize commerce dominated headlines. Here is my take: The technological, security and privacy issues will be resolved long before the myriad of regulations and laws will be harmonized. A great threat to societal advancement are the stifling rules around commerce. Nonetheless it is one more reassuring sign the United States remains the global leader in innovation and ingenuity.
Tony Barnhart has it right – regardless of how you may feel about the different outcomes and events during the many intense games, it has been a great time for college football fans. Undefeated Ohio State finally snapped their 24-game winning streak. And now we’re set for next month’s national championship game between Florida State and miracle child Auburn. Coming up this week: Heisman ballots are due this afternoon and the award will be announced on Saturday.
Art Basel recently took over my hometown. Since the first time this international art show opened in Miami in 2002, it has accelerated the city’s emergence as one of our nation’s premier cultural centers. As First Lady of Florida, one of my wife Columba’s key priorities was promoting arts and arts education. We have been supporters of this incredible event over the years.
Source: Miami Herald