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What We're Reading

Article by Brittney Bain May 15, 2015 //   3 minute read

Anita McBride, former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush and a member of the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council, wrote last week for the State Department blog about the Afghan Fulbright program. She details a recent event with the students, which coincided with Mrs. Bush’s visit to Washington to receive an award from American University.

The Fulbright scholars from Afghanistan are particularly courageous, as McBride notes, “I see in them the resilience of the Afghan people … They are uniquely equipped to help establish a free, democratic, and prosperous Afghanistan that upholds the rights of men, women, and children alike.”

A recent article in National Review looks at the grim reality on the ground in Cuba, just months after an announcement that the United States would normalize relations with the country, the most dramatic shift in relations in more than 50 years. The writer, James Kirchick, speaks with Berta Soler, a founding member of the Ladies in White and a democratic dissident featured on the Bush Institute’s Freedom Collection.  As Soler tells Kirchick, the harassment of dissidents has continued and “[they] are in the same position or even worse.” It’s certainly not the reform many had hoped a change in relations would bring.

An editorial in The Tennessean makes the case for why reducing the federal role in education actually harms states. Writer Paul Pastorek explains that not all states will set the same goals or put effective interventions in place. He summarizes that officials in Washington should be “limited to following the law, not creating it. And they would be assuring the effective use of billions of dollars intended to address underperforming schools. It is the proper federalist role, respects local control and happens to be the right thing to do…education is a matter of national interest.”

Finally, next week former deputy director of the CIA Mike Morell will stop by as part of the ENGAGE at the Bush Center public programming. He’ll be discussing his new book, The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism--From al Qa'ida to ISIS, which he talked to Politico about this week.