Plumbing Ever Further Depths

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Just when I thought Republicans had plumbed the final depths of playground-level obstruction, they somehow manage to take things to yet another level. There is, it turns out, a rule stating that Senate hearings can’t go past 2 pm unless there’s unanimous consent to continue them. This consent was routine until this week. Amanda Terkel reports:

Today, during a Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on transparency, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) announced that he had to stop the proceedings because of Republican blocks….The AP also reported today that Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) had a hearing on the bark beetle canceled today “after Republicans angry over the passage of health insurance reform legislation blocked it by using an obscure Senate rule requiring a unanimous consent to hold hearings scheduled after 2 p.m.”

What’s next? Complaints on Fox that Democrats are using all the good hangars in the cloakroom? A refusal to come to order until Spongebob is over? To call this behavior childish would be an insult to children everywhere. Are we really expected to take a party like this seriously?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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