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

| Sun Sep. 6, 2015 3:30 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."

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

| Thu Sep. 3, 2015 5:10 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. 

You Will Die Alone in a Ditch With a Headache—But at Least the Headache Won't Have Been Your Fault

| Wed Sep. 2, 2015 9:18 AM EDT

Alcohol is great. Maybe not health-wise, and maybe not for your uncle who has a bunch of DUIs, but, in general, society has long agreed that alcohol is great. The bad thing about alcohol is that sometimes drinking it makes your head hurt the next day. In the world, we call this a hangover. Some people get them worse than other people. The lucky ducks who seem spry and dandy no matter how much they put away the night before often offer unluckier ducks #smarttips for not getting hangovers. Drink water! Eat grease! Meditate! Pray! Have you tried barre classes? These tips probably never work for you—or at least never work consistently for you. (Everything works anecdotally once in a while.) But that's probably your fault, right? I mean everything is your fault. That's why you drink so much in the first place. Your parents got divorced because of you. Your spouse is unhappy because of you. The Dow Jones is down because of you. America is entangled in a never-ending mess in the Middle East because of you. Hollywood keeps rebooting Spider-Man because of you. These hangover tips aren't working because of you, too, right?


Raiding the fridge or downing glasses of water after a night of heavy drinking won't improve your sore head the next day, Dutch research suggests.

Instead, a study concluded, the only way to prevent a hangover is to drink less alcohol.

The bad news is: You will die with a headache. The good news is: It won't be your fault.

You Are Haunted By Regret. Soon You Will Be Haunted By Even More Regret.

| Wed Sep. 2, 2015 8:32 AM EDT

You shouldn't eat fast food because fast food is bad for you but if you do eat fast food—and you will eat fast food at least once in a while because no one can be perfect all the time—then you could probably do worse than eat a Sausage McMuffin with Egg, which will finally be available all-day, along with the rest of McDonald's breakfast menu, starting October 6.

Mon Jan. 25, 2016 12:23 PM EST
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