Ben Dreyfuss

Engagement Editor

Ben Dreyfuss is the engagement editor at Mother Jones. He's done some other stuff, too. You can email him at But you don't have to. But you can. But you really don't have to. 

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Donald Trump Just Got Called Out at the Miss America Pageant

| Sun Sep. 13, 2015 11:13 PM EDT

Good evening.

The Miss America pageant was tonight. I didn't watch it, but Twitter went all nuts when Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin called out Donald Trump. Here's a video.


It seems pretty screwed up to me that we have beauty pageants in 2015, but that's probably fodder for a future blog post.

Have a great night.

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Here Is a Video of the Moment Serena Williams Was Defeated at the US Open

| Fri Sep. 11, 2015 3:04 PM EDT

In a stunning upset, Serena Williams just lost to Italian Roberta Vinci in the semifinals of the US Open, ending Williams' hope of winning all four Grand Slam events in a calendar year. Vinci won 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Many Conservatives Are Just Fine With "Government Programs That Help the Right People"

| Sun Sep. 6, 2015 4:30 PM EDT

Josh Barro has a good piece up examining whether reform conservatives like David Frum are celebrating the rise of Donald Trump. Frum & friends have long pushed for the GOP to soften its stance on entitlement reform and Trump is leading in the GOP polls while simultaneously attacking his fellow Republican candidates for wanting to cut Social Security, so his ascendency in many ways vindicates the reform conservative point that American conservatism need not be about "going Galt."

Here is a very telling quote from Reihan Salam:

“There were a lot of people who wanted to think the Tea Party is a straightforward libertarian movement,” said Reihan Salam, the executive editor of National Review. But he said Mr. Trump’s ability to lead the polls while attacking Republicans for wanting to cut entitlement programs showed that conservative voters are open to “government programs that help the right people.”

Too true. A lot of conservatives are just fine with welfare as long as it goes to "the right people."

Germany Has Taken In 800,000 Refugees. Guess How Many the US Has Taken In?

| Thu Sep. 3, 2015 6:10 PM EDT

Germany is set to take in 800,000 refugees by the end of the year.

America, a country that won two World Wars, went to the moon, and did "the other things," has taken in, well, far fewer.

Quoth the Guardian:

The US has admitted approximately 1,500 Syrian refugees since the beginning of the civil war there in 2011, mostly within the last fiscal year. Since April, the number of admitted refugees has more than doubled from an estimate of 700.


Anna Greene, IRC’s director of policy & advocacy for US programs, said the 1,500 people the US has admitted thus far “doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what is needed and what could really make a difference”.

Oxfam wants the US to up that number to 70,000 by the end of 2016.

Correction: This post and its headline originally said that Germany planned to take in 800,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year. That is incorrect. It is 800,000 refugees total. 

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