We All Live in the John Birch Society’s World Now

When Lionel Trilling dismissed America’s conservative intellectual tradition as a series of “irritable mental gestures,” it’s a safe bet that he had people like Robert Welch in mind. Welch, the irascible candy executive who founded the John Birch Society, spent an enormous amount of time and energy lovingly crafting irritable gestures in the minds of his hard-right acolytes, from the conviction that the New Deal was a Communist plot to the claim that Dwight D. Eisenhower was also a Communist.

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The Stupid Technicality That Could Down the Biden Agenda

This week is expected to be a defining one for the Biden agenda, bookended by the bipartisan infrastructure bill signing on Monday and the long-anticipated Congressional Budget Office score of the Build Back Better Act due on Friday. The CBO score is the contingency upon which the five conservative Democratic holdouts in the House have conditioned their support for the $1.85 billion package.
Already, that CBO score seems to be hitting a long-prophesied snag.

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Editorial: How can kids learn without homework and rigid deadlines? Quite well, it turns out

The usual system for grading students is, bit by bit, going by the wayside in favor of one that emphasizes learning over traditional measures. It’s a healthy shift, though traditionalists no doubt are raising their eyebrows and muttering darkly about lowered standards and kids skating through school. The skepticism is especially likely now that the changes are being hastened by the realization that the current system puts students of color and those from lower-income households at a distinct disadvantage.

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‘Our growing, authoritarian nightmare’: MSNBC host sounds the alarm about the right’s ‘book-burning stage’

Just two weeks after sounding the alarm about the rise in right-wing authoritarianism, MSNBC’s Medhi Hasan is back again to shed light on how some Americans have veered even further to the right.
On Thursday, November 11, Hasan discussed a recent school board meeting that took place in Spotsylvania County, Va., earlier this week. During that heated debate, far-right Republicans expressed the desire to burn books they are adamantly trying to keep away from students in an effort to censor the teaching of America’s real history.

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‘Our growing, authoritarian nightmare’: MSNBC host sounds the alarm about the right’s ‘book-burning stage’

Just two weeks after sounding the alarm about the rise in right-wing authoritarianism, MSNBC’s Medhi Hasan is back again to shed light on how some Americans have veered even further to the right.
On Thursday, November 11, Hasan discussed a recent school board meeting that took place in Spotsylvania County, Va., earlier this week. During that heated debate, far-right Republicans expressed the desire to burn books they are adamantly trying to keep away from students in an effort to censor the teaching of America’s real history.

Read original

‘Our growing, authoritarian nightmare’: MSNBC host sounds the alarm about the right’s ‘book-burning stage’

Just two weeks after sounding the alarm about the rise in right-wing authoritarianism, MSNBC’s Medhi Hasan is back again to shed light on how some Americans have veered even further to the right.
On Thursday, November 11, Hasan discussed a recent school board meeting that took place in Spotsylvania County, Va., earlier this week. During that heated debate, far-right Republicans expressed the desire to burn books they are adamantly trying to keep away from students in an effort to censor the teaching of America’s real history.

Read original

What Pundits Get Wrong About Child Care and Paid Leave

“The quality of the punditry is abysmal.” That’s the title of an excellent letter recently shared with me and submitted to the editor of The Washington Post by George Mason University economics professor Donald Boudreaux. Indeed, newspapers are full of questionable statements about child care costs, paid leave, and other economic matters that make me question the extent to which reporters and pundits have educated themselves on the topics.
Let’s start with the cost-of-child-care piece that prompted Boudreaux’s letter.

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What Pundits Get Wrong About Child Care and Paid Leave

“The quality of the punditry is abysmal.” That’s the title of an excellent letter recently shared with me and submitted to the editor of The Washington Post by George Mason University economics professor Donald Boudreaux. Indeed, newspapers are full of questionable statements about child care costs, paid leave, and other economic matters that make me question the extent to which reporters and pundits have educated themselves on the topics.
Let’s start with the cost-of-child-care piece that prompted Boudreaux’s letter.

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