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David Bentley Hart on Daniel Dennett

Every ten years or so, Hart gives Dennett a good drubbing. This time it’s in The New Atlantis. Here, as it happens, lurks the most incorrigibly problematic aspect of Dennett’s project. The very concept of memes — Richard Dawkins’s irredeemably vague notion of cultural units of meaning or practice that ...

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Tuition Waiver Tax Deduction — Graduate Students & Republican Tax Bill

I was on PBS the other night to talk about the House and Senate versions of the tax plan. At some point, we started talking about how the House reform plan treats graduate-student tuition waivers as taxable income. In response to the other guest on the show saying that it ...

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November Jobs Report — Brighter Picture for American Workers

The labor-market picture keeps getting brighter for American workers. Nonfarm payrolls increased 228,000 in November, beating consensus expectations. In the past year, payrolls are up an average of 173,000 per month. Although civilian employment, an alternative measure of jobs that includes small-business start-ups, increased only 57,000 in November, that gauge ...

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Ethics Committee Devin Nunes Case: Nunes Cleared of Wrongdoing

Yesterday, the House Ethics Committee cleared House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) of disclosing classified information during a March press conference, when Nunes verified that President Barack Obama had wiretapped President Donald Trump’s transition team. The allegations emerged after Nunes admitted to receiving the information that led to his conclusion from confidential White House ...

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Last Minute Changes to the Senate Tax Form Seem to Have Resulted in Miscalculations

Who would have thought that manually amending a multi-trillion-dollar tax-cut bill in the wee hours of the morning would pose problems? It turns out that when the JCT economists were pulled from their beds last Friday night to score and estimate the last-minute, hand-written deals of the GOP’s tax bill, they made some ...

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Congress’ First In-Vitro Fertilization Sex Scandal

Congress’ First In-Vitro Fertilization Sex Scandal Picture the scene: a busy, overworked office of the House Ethics Committee. Staffer One: Urgh. Well, that completes another case. What a weirdo. Who’s next? Staffer Two: Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona. Staffer One: And what did he do? Allegedly? Staffer Two: He asked ...

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Rufus Wainwright Talks Politics; A Trumpeter Walks Off the Stage

In 2009, we published a piece called “My Kingdom for a Safe Zone.” I was talking about the intrusion of politics into places where it really didn’t belong: concerts, sports events, and the like. Was there no refuge from politics — and partisan politics — anywhere? Readers sent me their ...

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A Podcast with Ash Carter, Hosted by Jay Nordlinger, December 7, 2017

Ash Carter has worn many hats. He is a scientist (having earned his doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford). He is an academic and professor (spending his career at Harvard). He is a defense official (serving in government, periodically, from Reagan onward). From 2015 to 2017, he was SecDef. He ...

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Tax ‘Reform’: Motivating the Wrong Base

One of the reasons for the speed at which the Republican tax proposals are being pushed through has been the belief that the GOP needs to have a major legislative achievement to its credit before the midterms. There’s something to that, but, as I mentioned the other day that rather assumes that ...

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Another UK Hospital NO to Baby Transfer + End Life Support

Readers here may recall the infamous Charlie Gard case earlier this year. Charlie was a terminally ill baby with a progressive and terminal genetic disease. Charlie’s parents wanted to take their boy to a specialist in the US, but was refused permission by the hospital, later supported by a judge. Further, the ...

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