Last week you got pictures of the MLK Memorial, a butterfly, and a flame azalea. But no pictures of the Blue Ridge Parkway itself. What’s going on?

Just this: flowers and butterflies are easy. A little cropping, a little exposure correction, and you’re good to go. Views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are another thing entirely. First, you have to sort through dozens of views to pick out the one or two that truly show off the mountains best. Then you need to composite two frames together. With grand vistas, it’s all but impossible to get a well-exposed picture of both the sky and the foreground at once, so instead you have to take two pictures with different exposures and then merge them together later. It’s not that hard, but it’s better done at home where I’ve got a fast computer with a big screen and plenty of time to muck around.

So I waited until I got home. And now I am. Home, that is. Which means that finally you get a picture of the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains themselves.

May 8, 2019 — Yadkin Valley Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

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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