Monika Bauerlein

Monika Bauerlein

Editor in Chief

Since taking the helm at Mother Jones in 2006, Monika and her co-editor, Clara Jeffery, have won two National Magazine Awards, launched a nine-person Washington bureau, relaunched the website, given birth, and forgotten what it’s like to sleep.

Full Bio | Get my RSS |

Monika Bauerlein is co-editor of Mother Jones, where, together with Clara Jeffery, she spearheaded an era of editorial growth and innovation, marked by two National Magazine Awards for general excellence, the addition of a seven-person Washington Bureau, and an overhaul of the organization’s digital strategy that tripled MotherJones.com's traffic. Previously she was Mother Jones' investigative editor, focusing on long-form projects marrying in-depth reportage, document sleuthing, and narrative appeal. She has also worked as an alternative-weekly editor (at Minneapolis/St. Paul’s City Pages), a correspondent for US and European publications in Washington, D.C. and at the United Nations, an AP stringer, corporate trainer, translator, sausage slinger and fishing-line packager. She lives in Oakland.

It's All About Iran

| Sat Aug. 12, 2006 2:58 AM EDT

Is it starting to look like the administration has trouble focusing on more than one thing at a time? For weeks now the not-so-subtle message from the White House has been that Lebanon is all about Iran (must rein in Hezbollah in order to contain Iran's ambitions); now comes word from Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador in Iraq (and, lest we forget, the neocons' favorite Afghan long before all this war stuff started), that increased carnage in Iraq is also about Iran.

Iran is pressing Shiite militias here to step up attacks against the American-led forces in retaliation for the Israeli assault on Lebanon, the American ambassador to Iraq said Friday. Iran may foment even more violence as it faces off with the United States and United Nations over its nuclear program in the coming weeks, he added.

This could keep going for a while. Oil prices? Iran. Climate heating up? Iran. Lieberman defeated? Iran, or maybe the terrorists... Read Bob Dreyfuss' Mother Jones piece here for one take on what the Iran focus is all about.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Israel Allowing Hezbollah Attacks for PR?

| Thu Aug. 10, 2006 3:40 AM EDT

Tom Ricks, the Washington Post reporter whose remarkable book, Fiasco, tells you everything you didn't want to know about the Iraq war, tells Howard Kurtz on "Reliable Sources" (via PR Watch)that in Lebanon and just about any other war today, "civilian casualties are part of the battlefield play for both sides." Now Ricks is not a shoot-from-the-hip sort of guy, so this should be taken pretty seriously:

One of the things that is going on, according to some U.S. military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.

KURTZ: Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of its fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?

RICKS: Yes, that's what military analysts have told me.

Hmm, using terror attacks to justify drastic military action that also serves other strategic objectives. Rings a bell somehow.

What Part of "Outrages Upon Personal Dignity" Don't They Understand?

| Wed Aug. 9, 2006 4:42 AM EDT

In the "international law is what we damn well say it is" department, the Bush administration is proposing a bill to revise the War Crimes Act, the law that essentially binds the U.S. to the Geneva Conventions. Apparently, reports the Washington Post, the administration is concerned with excessive vagueness in the Conventions' language (crafted, lest we forget, essentially by American negotiators), particularly the part about forbidding "outrages upon personal dignity." Because, you see, this administration is all about appreciating cultural differences:

"I mean, what is degrading in one society may not be degrading in another, or may be degrading in one religion, not in another religion," [Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon] England said.

Midnight Express, anyone? How long till we hear that exact same language out of a spokesman for some government, somewhere, to explain what's being done to some hapless American tourist (or CIA officer, for that matter) who's ended up in a bad, bad jail?

EPA: An Unknown Risk is an Acceptable Risk

| Thu Aug. 3, 2006 4:32 AM EDT

So there are about 82,000 industrial chemicals in use today. For 2,800 of those, industry has submitted--voluntarily, mind you--data on potential dangers to human health to the EPA. The remaining 79,200 are... a disaster waiting to happen? Something we really ought to look into more? Let's go now to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (chair: James "Global Warming is a Hoax" Imhofe) hearing on the Toxic Substances Control Act, covered by almost no one except the LA Times' invaluable Marla Cone, for a live update:


When asked by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) if all 82,000 chemicals on the market were safe, [EPA Assistant Administrator James B. Gulliford] said, "Their risks to human health and the environment are acceptable."

Any questions?

EPA Insider: Agency a "Private Industry Licensing Program"

| Wed Aug. 2, 2006 4:11 AM EDT

"Unions representing thousands of staff scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency say the agency is bending to political pressure and ignoring sound science in allowing a group of toxic chemicals to be used in agricultural pesticides," reports the Times. The story is based on a "newly disclosed letter" from the unions that was "given to the The New York Times on Tuesday by environmental advocacy organizations."

Minor point: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility posted a press release on the selfsame letter, which was sent May 24, more than two months ago. But we all know that things don't really exist until they are "given to the Times," and quibbles aside, the story is awfully good. The chemicals in question, carbamates and organophosphates, (as we reported six years ago) are known, to the EPA and everyone else, to be bad news. So why, you ask, are they still legal?

"It's how the game is played," said an E.P.A. specialist involved in the pesticide program who spoke on the condition of anonymity because, he said, critics within the agency often lose choice assignments.

"You go to a meeting, and word comes down that this is an important chemical, this is one we've got to save," he said. "It's all informal, of course. But it suggests that industry interests are governing the decisions of E.P.A. management. The pesticide program functions as a governmental cover for what is effectively a private industry licensing program."

Tue Mar. 12, 2013 9:40 PM EDT
Mon Feb. 18, 2013 1:02 AM EST
Fri Apr. 27, 2012 3:00 AM EDT
Sat Feb. 4, 2012 5:34 PM EST
Tue Jun. 21, 2011 5:47 PM EDT
Tue May. 3, 2011 3:19 AM EDT
Fri Feb. 4, 2011 5:00 AM EST
Mon Oct. 25, 2010 6:00 AM EDT
Mon Apr. 19, 2010 3:00 AM EDT
Mon Jan. 11, 2010 4:01 PM EST
Wed Dec. 30, 2009 6:33 AM EST
Mon Dec. 7, 2009 4:16 AM EST
Wed Nov. 4, 2009 12:42 PM EST
Fri Oct. 23, 2009 7:25 AM EDT
Thu Oct. 15, 2009 12:36 AM EDT
Wed Sep. 23, 2009 3:01 AM EDT
Thu Sep. 10, 2009 10:11 PM EDT
Thu Aug. 20, 2009 12:46 AM EDT
Sat Aug. 15, 2009 12:49 PM EDT
Thu Aug. 13, 2009 2:39 PM EDT
Tue Aug. 11, 2009 2:12 PM EDT
Tue Aug. 11, 2009 7:00 AM EDT
Thu Aug. 6, 2009 2:36 PM EDT
Thu Aug. 6, 2009 4:30 AM EDT
Mon Jun. 1, 2009 8:25 AM EDT
Wed Mar. 25, 2009 5:51 PM EDT
Thu Feb. 19, 2009 2:22 AM EST
Tue Feb. 17, 2009 7:55 PM EST
Tue Jan. 6, 2009 5:09 PM EST
Tue Dec. 23, 2008 6:00 PM EST
Wed Dec. 17, 2008 4:42 PM EST
Tue Nov. 4, 2008 3:46 AM EST
Fri Sep. 26, 2008 1:59 AM EDT