Adam Serwer on Bloggingheads.tv: Memorial Day, Romney’s Conservatism, Bloomberg’s Soda Ban, and Obama’s Kill List


On Sunday, I did a Bloggingheads episode with Business Insider‘s Michael Brendan Dougherty. We talked about MSNBC’s Chris Hayes remarks about heroism and the military, Obama’s use of targeted killing, Romney’s conservatism, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on serving soda in containers larger than 16 ounces.

My point was that although the military is seen as apolitical and nonpartisan, in practice military leaders can be very adept at political maneuvering, whether we’re talking about raising troop levels in Afghanistan or repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The military’s apolitical reputation is probably one of the reasons public faith in it as an institution remains high even as respect for other public institutions has suffered.

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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