Phi Beta Cons

Explaining College as Oversold and Underperforming

George Leef joins Andy Nash on for this week’s conversation exploring college’s distorted sense of institutional importance, and what alternatives students might have outside of a campus education. Leef, of the John William Pope Center, is of course also a regular contributor to Phi Beta Cons. This is a good episode, worth sharing with sons, daughters, nieces and nephews, on a core aspect of the higher ed debate, and their future. You can watch more at or subscribe on YouTube for each week’s new episode.

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Politics & Policy

‘We Will Reduce Abortion’

Conor Lamb’s success has revived interest in “I’m personally opposed, but.” It’s a rhetorical convention — a cliché, really — that many Catholic Democrats have resorted to ever since Mario Cuomo popularized it with his speech at Notre Dame in 1984, as Alexandra DeSanctis explained a few days ... Read More

The Pope Francis Challenge

An unforced error from a Vatican communications office the other day drove me a little something like crazy. The nature of the unforced error is that it is wholly unnecessary and typically distracting. And so it was. Days before, as the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s election as pope was approaching, a ... Read More