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O My America: Baby Bonds

WHY CAN’T WE CELEBRATE THE END OF WORK? by Lawrence Bush   THERE’S A NEW proposal by two economists that’s being discussed in the media these days, for Baby Bonds — that every child born as a citizen of the U.S. would receive a bond ranging from $500 for very rich babies to $50,000 for very poor […]

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O My America: The Good Neighbor

by Lawrence Bush   I WAS EXCHANGING holiday gifts and family reports with a neighbor tonight and, for the first time in years, I waded into political waters with him. I talked about the poverty rate, especially among children, in our country — about 21 percent — and about the merciless quality of political culture in our […]

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James M. Buchanan and the Radical Right

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, by Nancy MacLean. Viking, 2017, 366 pages. JANE MAYER’S book, Dark Money, taught us that billionaires like the Koch brothers are able to influence how we think and vote. Now a worthy successor, Democracy in […]

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The Uncivil Servant: “Making It” and Escaping It

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Making It, by Norman Podhoretz, NYRB Classics edition, 254 pages, 2017; and Confessions of a Heretic, by Roger Scruton, Notting Hill Editions, 196 pages, 2016. LET US BE CLEAR: Norman Podhoretz is now and has long been one of the least attractive characters on the American political scene. […]

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OpEdge: The Koch Administration

by Marc Jampole FUNNY HOW everything seems to always work out well for some people. Take the Koch brothers, David and Charles, who kept a billion dollars in their and their associates’ pockets that they had planned to spend to sway the 2016 presidential election for just about any Republican candidate other than Donald Trump. […]

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November 30: David Mamet

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (in 1984, for Glengarry Glen Ross) David Mamet was born in Chicago on this date in 1947. Through such plays as Sexual Perversion in Chicago (1974), American Buffalo (1975), Glengarry Glen Ross (1983) and Oleanna (1992), Mamet became associated in public consciousness with a dialogue style filled with interruptions, street smarts, and […]

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O My America: Corporate America Deluxe

by Lawrence Bush I’M IN COLUMBIA, South Carolina, visiting my pregnant daughter and looking with wondering eyes at the world that elected Donald Trump. Among those I shared Thanksgiving with was a young father who works in military intelligence and who voiced to me, over the course of two days, his strong objections to Southern […]

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September 27: William Safire

William Safire (Safir), the favorite conservative of New York liberals because of his humorous, shrewd, and authoritative writing on language usage in the New York TImes, died at 79 on this date in 2009. A college dropout, Safire became a successful public relations professional who arranged the Nixon-Khrushchev “kitchen debate” at an U.S. home products […]

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