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.

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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.

Bush Advisor: Oil Future "Looking So Ugly Nobody Wants to Face It"

| Wed Aug. 2, 2006 1:23 AM EDT

Do yourself a favor and read the Chicago Tribune's fantastic series tracing the oil that goes into your tank backward across the globe--to Africa, where more and more of it comes from (causing an affluent superpower to "rattle its half-empty oil can at the world's poorest continent"), to the Middle East, to places you may not have thought of. Along the way, Pulitzer winner Paul Salopek discovers that kicking oil habit is no longer just a matter of virtue, or environmental responsibility, or even finite resources (as Paul Roberts showed in his Mother Jones piece on "peak oil") but of getting out of the way of the inevitable collapse:

(The) globe-spanning energy network... today is so fragile, so beholden to hostile powers and so clearly unsustainable, that our car-centered lifestyle seems more at risk than ever.

"I truly think we're at one of those turning points where the future's looking so ugly nobody wants to face it," said Matthew Simmons, an energy investment banker in Houston who has advised the Bush administration on oil policy. "We're not talking some temporary Arab embargo anymore. We're not talking your father's energy crisis."

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Army: If They Screw up, Promote 'em?

| Wed Jul. 26, 2006 3:42 AM EDT

There is so much that is depressing, and so much that feels like you already kind of knew it but have never seen it laid out in such horrific detail, about Fiasco, the new book by the Washington Post's Thomas Ricks, now being serialized in the paper. One of those things is the pattern whereby grunts do bad things--always have, always will; that's a given if you're going to send hundreds of thousands of people into a creepy, scary, unknown environment--but it's the command structure that signals whether those things are to be tolerated, winked-and-nodded, or avoided at all costs. That is why it's a problem when, as Emily Bazelon documented in Mother Jones, torture was exported from Bagram to Abu Ghraib; or when you have an Army batallion commander who, even after he's been outed for helping his guys cover up a straight-out murder, can get away with saying that

"If I were to do it all over again, I would do the exact same thing, and I've thought about this long and hard. I was taught in the Army to win, and I was trying to win all the way."

Talk to women about embryos? What, is he crazy?

| Thu Jul. 20, 2006 2:59 PM EDT

The Seattle Times' Alicia Mundy reports that Congressman Dave Reichert (R-Wa.) changed his vote on stem cells after having a "heart-to-heart" talk with women ("potential mothers") on his staff.

The meeting with Reichert's female staffers was emotional, according to Reichert and one participant. "There were teary eyes, including mine," Reichert said, adding that, to his surprise, "It was unanimous, really, among the women." They all favored expanding the research.

Now, cynics among you might note that Reichert, a one-termer in a swing district who has been targeted for defeat in what has been called "the only seriously competitive House race in the Northwest," also wouldn't mind getting reelected in November. But that would be so cynical.

We'll tell you what you said, but don't tell anyone, OK?

| Fri Jul. 14, 2006 2:55 AM EDT

So Jose Padilla is getting to see "government secrets" to help prepare his defense, an "unusual" move for which security will be "extraordinarily tight": The guy who was, with such exquisitely convenient timing, accused of plotting a dirty bomb attack, and is now getting ready for trial on terrorism charges, will have to go with his defense lawyers to the inner sanctum of a courthouse, with a U.S. marshal standing in the doorway at all times. And those explosive, double super secrets? "32 Defense Department documents that summarize statements Padilla made during his years in military custody" as well as "57 videotapes of interrogations he underwent during that same period." Forgive us if we're missing something here...

Ill Wind

| Thu Jul. 13, 2006 3:02 AM EDT

Should people be entitled not to see windmills on the horizon? Just when you thought it was just the Kennedys & Co. vs. turbines off the Cape, here goes Long Island Power getting locals all worked up with a proposal to put 40 big whirlygigs in the Atlantic. And it's not hard to get bent out of shape about people who get bent out of shape about how horrible this looks. A more complicated, and perhaps more interesting conversation might have to do with why it is that wind, in particular, is catching on so fast with the energy industry--because, of course, it plugs right into the existing energy economy, based on big plants and big power lines and big money. But just maybe we should have that conversation even as we put up every wind mill we can get our hands on. If the feng shui doesn't work, we can always take them down once we've got this climate thing sorted out...

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