What Should Come Next for the Build Back Better Act?

After passing the house, the Democrats’ social spending bill, the Build Back Better Act, is headed to Senate, where its fate is uncertain.

Several key areas will see alterations; nearly all of them will either reduce the bill’s price tag or raise its revenue. Either way creates a pool of money that must be put to use to make some of the major elements of BBB permanent or more financially secure.

The Senate should kill this bill and pour salt in the sand on its burial site so it never comes back. More debt, spending and printing of money at this stage of our economic recovery would be the equivalent of pouring gasoline on an inflation forest fire.

On climate change, the bill lacks any enforceable carbon tax, cap or regulatory program to force down greenhouse emissions. Instead, it proposes vast subsidy programs… Improving the legislation should not be too much for Americans to expect.

Could Kyle Rittenhouse Sue for Defamation?

Now that Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted on all counts, will he seek to settle scores with media companies and politicians who called him a white supremacist?

It should surprise no one if the first thing 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse does with his freedom is sue several media outlets for defamation. He would have every right to.

Kyle Rittenhouse is no hero… But none of that excuses the way the media handled this case…

Kinda hard for the Kyle Rittenhouse enablers threatening defamation lawsuits for anyone referring to him as a white nationalist when there’s [a] photo of him in bar — a watering hole of the Proud Boys — giving the white power sign.

Will This Be a Less Materialistic Holiday Season?

Overspending during the holiday season is an American tradition, and even Jews get pulled into the madness of it all. This year, however, prices are high and supplies are low. Does this mean we can take this year off from materialism?

This holiday season offers a bizarre, supply-chain-induced opportunity to change our shopping habits, to give more thoughtfully, to buy more locally and less overall.

…realistically, I’m not sure my family will ever forgo holiday gift-giving entirely. My mom’s annual Yankee swap exchange — you might know it as a “white elephant” gift party — is a real highlight of the season.

More conscientious spending is one option — shopping at smaller local retailers that desperately need our business, and selecting a small number of thoughtfully-chosen gifts. Another: choosing to spend nothing on items at all, and instead investing your money in gathering, entertaining, and feeding your loved ones.

How Are Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Connected?

This year, Thanksgiving falls during Hanukkah. Other than sharing a date on the calendar this year, do the holidays have anything in common?

…similar to Hanukkah, for Native Americans it represents resistance against cultural assimilation. One is a holiday celebrating cultural survival and the other, especially for the Wampanoag whose first contacts Thanksgiving mythologizes, a day of mourning.

Where does the name “Jew” come from?

When our matriarch Leah gave birth to her fourth son she said, “I will give thanks to You, G-d.” She called him Yehuda, from the word “hodaah,” thanks. Leah felt so grateful for all the blessings granted to her by G-d, which had exceeded her prayers.

Although their origins are entirely distinct from one another, the close proximity of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah this year adds special meaning to a holiday season of giving thanks and counting our blessings.

Twitter Talk: Is the “Shuffle” Feature Bad for Music?

For her new album, Adele asked the streaming service Spotify to remove the option of shuffling her tracks. They agreed. Here’s what Twitter thinks:

This was the only request I had in our ever changing industry! We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended. Thank you Spotify for listening

Hey ⁦@Adele⁩ can you ask ⁦@Spotify⁩ for fairer rates for musicians?

adele getting spotify to remove the shuffle button seems cute but it also signals a possible reemergence of pax britannica

What Does Judaism Teach About Angels?

Winged messengers of God? Or spiritual beings with no corporeality? Here are three takes on the Jewish conception of angels:

By late antiquity, Ahuvia’s book makes clear, Jews had significantly expanded their lineup of named angels. Some had special traits… However, they all had the same lack of free will, the same commitment to doing God’s work, and the same appearance, or lack thereof.

Rambam (Moreh Nevukhim 2:42; Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Yesodei Ha-Torah 2:3-4) writes that any time the Bible speaks of people seeing angels, it occurs in a vision. Angels are incorporeal and cannot be seen.

Angels are created through the deeds of humankind as explained in the words of the Talmud: “He who fulfills one mitzvah, acquires for himself one angel-advocate; he who commits one transgression, acquires against himself one angel-accuser.” (Ethics 4:11.)

Today’s Hot Issues

What Should Come Next for the Build Back Better Act? Could Kyle Rittenhouse Sue for Defamation? Will This Be a Less Materialistic Holiday Season? How Are Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Connected? Twitter Talk: Is the “Shuffle” Feature Bad for Music? What Does Judaism Teach About Angels?