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Persistent high unemployment keeps ruining families and damaging futures while driving up deficits — but political leaders, pundits, and a significant portion of the electorate remain obsessed with laying off teachers and other public workers, slashing Social Security and Medicare, and ignoring real national needs.

So distracted are we by the cry to cut spending, in fact, that even budget proposals resulting in grossly higher deficits, such as Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s “pathway,” are lauded simply because they would decimate social, environmental, and infrastructure spending. If you’re wondering how our discourse became so mindless, Ari Berman explains in this critical dissection of the “austerity class,” whose privileged members in Washington and New York care far less about deficits than they do about slashing entitlements. And as he points out, their loud voices have badly distorted the most influential media coverage of these issues, too:

Much of the mainstream media…remain enthusiastic cheerleaders for austerity. A recent story in the Washington Post, “Experts Dubious of Obama Deficit Plan,” featured criticism from MacGuineas, Bixby, an unnamed GOP aide and a corporate tax lobbyist as its lone sources. “That’s fair and balanced budget reporting at the Washington Post,” joked [liberal economist] Dean Baker.

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MAGA Children's Books

The GOP descent into full-blown conspiracy and fascist hell has not gone unnoticed as of late. With the right-wing dominated Supreme Court poised to finally overturn Roe V Wade and 2022 races focusing on backing Republicans who support Trump's 2020 election lies, democracy and decency are all but dead and Democrats are going to have to turn out big in the midterms to prevent a GOP takeover over the House or Senate.

But while the focus of progressive ire has been over the GOP's assault on reproductive rights, Republicans have also been waging a war on facts and education quite well. After all, they need their voters nice and ignorant to remain in power. Book banning and, sickeningly, book burning is a thing for the GOP in the year 2022. The state of Tennessee, for example, is banning books. In fact, a psychotic trump zealot pastor led an actual book-burning event.

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Pat McCrory

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If former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is any indication, the GOP primary wounds wrought in the last several months stand a good chance of bleeding into the general election this fall.

McCrory, who lost his bid Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for the Tar Heel State's open Senate seat, declined to endorse his GOP rival, Rep. Ted Budd, the Trump endorsee.

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