On Bullshit Dectectors

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When it comes to politics, it really helps to have a bullshit dectector. I won’t pretend that the government never does crazy, stupid things. But when a big, politically controversial bill like health care reform is being written, you should generally assume that the people who are writing it want it to pass. Thus it is unlikely that they will include provisions in the bill that are likely to be universally unpopular and drag the whole bill down with them.

If someone tells you that the bill is going to require that seniors get Soylent Green-style “end-of-life counseling” that will advise them to die, you should immediately recognize that they are bullshitting you. This is doubly true if the person saying this is a notorious liar. Likewise, if someone tells you that health care reform would mean “a doctor would lose his license for providing health care to someone over age 59,” you should probably recognize that person is also an insane liar.

Turn on your bullshit detectors, folks. This is not that hard.

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.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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