Meet TAC’s New President

By TAC Staff

The American Conservative is pleased to announce Bradley J. Birzer as the new president of the American Ideas Institute, which publishes TAC. Mr. Birzer’s appointment takes effect today, August 1. Mr. Birzer will serve a one-year term while maintaining his full-time position as the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies at Hillsdale College. He replaces Jeremy Beer, who will become chairman of the board of directors.

We are thrilled to be adding Mr. Birzer to our publication’s leadership. He has written for TAC for years, recently contributing pieces on novelist Margaret Atwood, the television series Stranger Things, and the great sociologist Robert Nisbet, a range of output that gives some indication of his extraordinary versatility. Mr. Birzer is the biographer of Russell Kirk, an icon of the type of Burkean conservatism that lies at the core of TAC’s identity. And he is an outspoken critic of recent American foreign policy and interventionist outreach.

Thanks to our readers, supporters, and all those who have helped steer TAC in recent years, TAC now reaches at least three times as many people as it did in 2014. We have thrived, even as other magazines and websites have folded. Our articles, programs, and events are helping to shape the conversation and the way people on the right, in the center, and even on the left think. Bradley Birzer will do a great deal to help TAC continue to grow its readership and expand its influence in these strange and turbulent times.

For all press inquiries, please contact Emile Doak, director of events & outreach, at edoak@theamericanconservative.com

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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How the GOP Can Win on Healthcare

By Ed Dolan

Republican attempts to reform the U.S. healthcare system have fallen short, yet again. Sen. John McCain, who cast the deciding vote against the last-ditch version of repeal-and-replace put forward by the Senate leadership, told his colleagues,

We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”

More tinkering won’t do it. It is time to get serious about keeping the promises GOP leaders made at the very outset of the debate over healthcare reform—not just to repeal Obamacare, but to replace it with something that provides “coverage protections and peace of mind for all Americans—regardless of age, income, medical conditions, or circumstances,” while ensuring “more choices, lower costs, and greater control over your health care.” There is no point in making a new push for healthcare reform without putting some bold new ideas on the table.

Universal catastrophic coverage (UCC) would make an excellent centerpiece for the next round of healthcare reform. In fact, UCC is not even particularly new to the conservative playbook. Respected thinkers like Martin Feldstein, who would go on to serve as Ronald Reagan’s chief economic adviser, promoted the idea already in the 1970s. In 2004, Milton Friedman, then a fellow at the Hoover Institution, also endorsed the concept. UCC would make healthcare affordable, both for the federal budget and for American families. And because it would throw no one off the healthcare roles—not 22 million people, not 2 million, not anyone—it offers a realistic chance of the bipartisanship that polls show both the Republican and Democratic rank and file want.

How UCC would work

Universal catastrophic coverage is not meant to cover every healthcare need of every citizen. Instead, UCC would offer protection from those relatively rare but ruinous healthcare expenses that are truly unaffordable. (Note: As we use the term UCC here, it is not to be confused with the more narrowly defined catastrophic insurance that is available, in limited circumstances, under the ACA.)

Here is how UCC might work, as outlined in National Affairs by Kip Hagopian and Dana Goldman. Their version of the policy would scale each family’s deductible according to household income. The exact parameters would be subject to negotiation, but to use some simplified numbers, the deductible might be set equal to 10 percent of the amount by which a household’s income exceeds the Medicaid eligibility level, now about $40,000 for a family of four. Under that formula, a middle-class family earning $85,000 a year would face a deductible of $4,500 per family member, perhaps capped at twice that amount for households of more than two people. Following the same formula, the deductible for a household with $1 million of income would be $96,000.

The cost of the …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Scaramucci out: “The Mooch” that roared — Will communications director’s departure be part of the taming Trump?

By John Fund Retired Gen. John Kelly made it very clear he was in charge as White House chief of staff on is first day on the job Monday. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Confederate Jesus Coming For Public Schools!

By Rod Dreher

Our houseguest now is Andrew Pudewa, the classical schooling and homeschooling guru, who is in town to give a talk tonight (7pm, Christ Covenant Church, 1700 Lee Drive in Baton Rouge; free and open to the public). Last night, we hosted a dinner for him and teachers from Sequitur Classical Academy. He talked to the group about the importance of alternative education, and how in his travels around the world, he sees governments abroad (e.g., in Russia, and in the Philippines) actually embracing homeschooling and classical Christian schooling. Those government see these Christian initiatives as helping build up their societies, not tear them down.

Sequitur has been doing teacher training all day today. Headmaster Brian Daigle posted to social media something that teacher Thomas Achord said in his talk there this morning:

“The difference of classical Christian education can be boiled down to ideas, identity, and instruction.”

While my wife was at teacher training, I’ve been at home working. We had called a maid service to come clean the house. They sent over a woman this morning who has never been to our place. She and I got to talking as she was cleaning the kitchen. N. is a white working-class woman in her late 30s. When I told her that my wife is a teacher at a classical Christian school, she said, “God bless her for that.”

N. told me that she has four kids, the oldest of whom is 18. “I don’t envy any teacher these days,” N. said. “My God, it is so hard out there. It’s horrible.”

I asked her what she meant. She told me that she has girls, and they all go to public school (except for the oldest, who just graduated). She never once complained about the quality of instruction at the schools her kids attend. It was entirely about the social environment. She said her older girls are constantly being hit on for sex “even by other girls,” she said.

There is the problem of pornography, she added, and how social media and technology dominate their lives. I told her that a lot of kids in private and Christian schools are just as caught up in that as public school kids are.

“Kids are so cruel,” N. said. “And you can’t get them off of social media. My nine-year-old is on her tablet all the time, because she likes to look up DIY projects to do. You’d be shocked by what comes up in a search if only one wrong letter gets put in.”

“Did you ever think about taking the tablet away from her?” I asked.

N. looked confused, then said, “It wouldn’t do any good. I tried limiting my oldest’s access to a smartphone, but when all her friends have them, what’s the point? I figure all I can do is tell them right from wrong, and stay on my knees praying that God protects them.”

She added that the thing most unnerving to her is how much power kids have today relative to their parents …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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TAC Urbanism Event To Be Broadcast Live on C-SPAN

By TAC Staff

This afternoon, The American Conservative and the R Street Institute will host a series of discussions to explore the conservative case for traditional urbanism, and outline the way forward for responsible development of our cities and towns. The discussions will feature Ross Douthat, Jonathan Coppage, Aaron Renn, Benjamin Schwarz, Jason Segedy, Lewis McCrary, and Gracy Olmstead.

The event will begin at 5:30pm today, Monday, at the Hillsdale College Kirby Center in Washington, D.C. It is currently sold out, but those unable to attend in person will be able to watch a live broadcast on C-SPAN starting at 5:30pm.

For all press inquiries, please contact Emile Doak, director of events & outreach, at edoak@theamericanconservative.com.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Against The New Optimism

By Rod Dreher

Oliver Burkeman has a long-read piece in The Guardian about whether or not life is getting better or worse. It is mostly a defense of the claims by the “New Optimists” that pessimism is grounded on willful blindness to the spectacular material improvements modernity has brought us. But it’s not entirely a defense. Excerpt:

The argument that we should be feeling happier than we are because life on the planet as a whole is getting better, on average, also misunderstands a fundamental truth about how happiness works: our judgments of the world result from making specific comparisons that feel relevant to us, not on adopting what David Runciman refers to as “the view from outer space”. If people in your small American town are far less economically secure than they were in living memory, or if you’re a young British person facing the prospect that you might never own a home, it’s not particularly consoling to be told that more and more Chinese people are entering the middle classes. At book readings in the US midwest, Ridley recalls, audience members frequently questioned his optimism on the grounds that their own lives didn’t seem to be on an upward trajectory. “They’d say, ‘You keep saying the world’s getting better, but it doesn’t feel like that round here.’ And I would say, ‘Yes, but this isn’t the whole world! Are you not even a little bit cheered by the fact that really poor Africans are getting a bit less poor?’” There is a sense in which this is a fair point. But there’s another sense in which it’s a completely irrelevant one.

At its heart, the New Optimism is an ideological argument: broadly speaking, its proponents are advocates for the power of free markets, and they intend their sunny picture of humanity’s recent past and imminent future to vindicate their politics. This is a perfectly legitimate political argument to make – but it’s still a political argument, not a straightforward, neutral reliance on objective facts. The claim that we are living in a golden age, and that our dominant mood of pessimism is unwarranted, is not an antidote to the Age of the Take, but a Take like any other – and it makes just as much sense to adopt the opposite view. “What I dislike,” Runciman says, “is this assumption that if you push back against their argument, what you’re saying is that all these things are not worth valuing … For people to feel deeply uneasy about the world we inhabit now, despite all these indicators pointing up, seems to me reasonable, given the relative instability of the evidence of this progress, and the [unpredictability] that overhangs it. Everything really is pretty fragile.”

This seems right to me. Yesterday I was talking to a woman whose family has for the past few years been taking care of a foster kid who is part of their wider family. The child’s father is absent, and his mother is in and out of jail, lost …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Jeff Sessions is making America safer. He should stay in the job as attorney general

By Ron Hosko Will President Trump fire or demand the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, after repeatedly attacking Sessions on Twitter and in statements and interviews? …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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