Bernanke’s Hammer

It’s an old saying that if your only tool is a hammer everything begins to look like a nail. Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, has now decided to take a third whack at unemployment by another round of “quantitative easing,” using “open market operations” to manipulate interest rates.

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Bernanke’s Hammer

Must-Reads from Magazine

Is Trumpism Starting to Take Shape?

Commentary podcast: Deportations, the DNC, and conservatism's devolution.

On the last of this week’s podcast, the COMMENTARY crew discusses the problems with the new deportation policies, ventilates on the Democratic National Committee’s race for chair, and wonders whether Trump is wooing the conservative movement or whether the conservative movement has already surrendered its purity to his seductions. Give a listen.

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Whom Do You Trust?

No one outside media or the White House thinks either is trusted.

For a window into the reporting industry’s crisis of confidence, look no further than the Washington Post’s new motto: “Democracy dies in darkness.” This is about as close to a self-indulgent pep rally for the beleaguered press as there is. The admission implicit in this new mission statement is that the public’s mistrust of journalism and the president’s attacks on the vocation are taking their toll. As CBS News anchor John Dickerson put it, and for reasons cataloged in countless studies and think pieces, the press did the “work of ruining its reputation on its own.” There will, however, always be ways in which the press can lift its spirits. The latest reprieve comes courtesy of the pollsters at Quinnipiac University. But this, too, may be illusory.

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Our Despised Majority

Balancing majority and minority rights and privileges is lawmaker's task.

If you wanted to distill the breathtaking stupidity of our modern age into a single anecdote, you could do no better than New York Times reporter Daniel Victor’s latest effort.

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The Ethics Cloud over Trump

The Trump presidency is redefining “conflict of interest.” The kind of ethical concerns that would have been major news in a previous administration receive barely any attention in this one—in no small part because Trump is such a genius for garnering media attention for his other excesses, such as calling the news media “the enemy of the American People.”

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Microaggressing Against Science

Those who object to the study of a sensitive topic aren't academicians.

Widespread interest in microaggressions–mostly subtle, mostly inadvertent slights directed at racial minorities and other “marginalized” groups–is relatively new. According to Scott Lilienfeld, a professor of psychology at Emory University, who recently reviewed the state of research on the topic, it “began to filter into the academic mainstream” just ten years ago. Yet universities are already investing in training programs for students and faculty to combat microaggressions. Microaggressions are also the subject of some of the demands issued by student activists last year. At Providence College, students included microaggressions in the “Rigorous Sensitivity Training” they wanted all students to undergo. At Wesleyan University, students demanded “tracking of faculty [and] staff . . . microaggressions.”

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