Today, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio joins the ranks of OZY guest editors like Nancy Pelosi, Jeff Bridges and Hasan Minhaj to share the news that’s most on his mind. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, Rubio is fighting to bring the American dream back to those who feel it’s slipping away. The father of four has spent most of his life in west Miami, having served as both a city commissioner and a Florida state representative. Fiercely proud of his Cuban heritage — his parents arrived in America in 1956 — Rubio is driven by the principles of work and family.
The Presidential Daily Brief
We are in a battle with China over the direction of the 21st century, as reflected in the recent arrest of Xiaolang Zhang — the former Apple engineer who allegedly tried to fly to Beijing with stolen proprietary information about the company’s autonomous car research. The incident is just one disturbing glimpse into China’s plans to overtake the United States as the wealthiest and most powerful country while leaving an authoritarian imprint on the world. Through a comprehensive strategy of theft and industrial policy, China is actively focused on displacing advanced American manufacturing, which hurts U.S. workers and compromises national security.
Vladimir Putin is always looking to exploit what he perceives as vulnerabilities in his foreign counterparts. Rather than seeking better relations with the United States, he wants equality, which he seems to believe is only possible by America growing weaker and Russia stronger. No one’s been a harsher critic of Putin than I, but with many of the world’s nuclear weapons controlled by Moscow, we need to keep the lines of communication open. So before we meet with him, we must understand precisely what Putin wants and how far he’s willing to go to get it.
This tragic story of a newborn dying in his sleep at a state-licensed day care facility is a reminder of the profound burdens our economy places on the backs of working American families. Stagnant wages mean people have to work longer just to make ends meet — while having and raising children costs more than ever before. Strong families are the foundation of a healthy society, and from wages to parental paid leave, we need to make it affordable to raise a family in America again.
My home state of Florida is experiencing an environmental and economic catastrophe — a crisis that dates back decades and reflects years of bad decisions based on neglect and shortsighted water management. Nowhere is this more acute than at Lake Okeechobee, the liquid heart of the Everglades and our surrounding coastal communities. I am encouraged by the administration’s continued engagement on Florida’s water issues and look forward to working with the president to fund the expedited construction of these critical Everglades restoration projects.
Nicaragua is in the throes of the worst popular unrest — pitting supporters and protesters of the Ortega regime against one another in deadly demonstrations — the country has seen since the end of its civil war in 1990. From violent attacks on innocent civilians exercising their right to protest peacefully to ordering the shutdown of media outlets covering the pro-democracy demonstrations, Ortega’s regime has launched an all-out campaign of repression. This tyranny is escalating, and as the death toll and stakes climb ever higher, America must offer its support to the defenders of democracy there and throughout the region.
Know This: France has beaten Croatia, 4-2, in the World Cup final in Moscow to capture its second global soccer championship. After a day of exchanging rockets and airstrikes that killed two Palestinian teenagers in Gaza and injured three Israelis, Israel has agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Hamas. And Serbian Novak Djokovic, after an injury-prompted majors slump, has won his fourth Wimbledon title, defeating South African Kevin Anderson, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6.
Watch This Video: British diver Vern Unsworth, who was instrumental in rescuing 12 boys trapped in Thai caverns last week, explains why Elon Musk’s “kid-sized submarine” would not have worked and was just a “publicity stunt.”
Far-Out View: “Africa has many challenges more pressing than exploring the universe. But … astronomy occupies a special place among the many efforts to address development challenges. It has a unique ability to stimulate thoughts of ‘what is possible’ in the minds of marginalized communities, women and children.” — Astronomer Vanessa McBride, on Friday’s unveiling of the MeerKAT radio telescope array in South Africa.
Human ingenuity tends to shine during dark times. In Puerto Rico, in the wake of a hurricane that left millions without power, some remote parts of the island still struggle to access electricity for daily necessities. Cue the know-how of California-based Jehu Garcia, who built a solar generator that pulls energy from solar panels. He has worked with Javier Camacho, a San Juan resident and unemployed software engineer, to produce and distribute this “battery in a box,” bringing immediate short-term power restoration to thousands of Puerto Ricans.
I’m baffled by the so-called “conventional wisdom” that religious belief in America is on the decline. Quite the opposite is true. According to new Harvard research, only those with moderate religious ties are diminishing in number, but those who hold serious religious beliefs are rock steady in their faith. Americans are among the most religious people in the world — I myself am a devout Catholic — and in an era marked by economic and communal struggle, churches are thriving as sources of hope, support and guidance. To quote the Gospel of Saint Matthew, it’s from these small “mustard seeds” that we can grow and strengthen our families and communities.
Growing up, I believed that the American dream meant working hard, starting a family and providing a better life for your children. But in the face of falling fertility rates in the U.S. — a trend that has profound consequences for our culture, economy and fiscal future — I’m most troubled by the fact that more and more Americans are choosing not to start families at all. What’s more, this “failure to launch” is most prevalent in areas of high economic growth, which sends a clear signal that we need to do more to build an economy that works for young Americans and their dreams for the future.
A low unemployment rate is great for many reasons, but among the less obvious advantages is how it helps to fundamentally reshape the job market in ways that benefit American workers. For one, it forces businesses to compete for labor, opening up new opportunities to workers who may previously have faced barriers to good jobs and pay. This in turn can chip away at a bloated and costly higher education system that plunges many people into massive debt in a bid to land desirable jobs, while at the same time elevating the value of a technical and skills-based education.
I feel more prepared for the 2018 college football season now after reading about some of today’s top wide receivers — a position I played during my undergraduate days. Far from being a position that only matters for the occasional “highlight reel” moment, wide receivers frame the field for every play. The best ones are smart players who seal corners and misdirect the defense even when there’s no chance the ball is headed their way. These guys are a whole lot better than I ever was.