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.

Could he be talking about Karl Rove?

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 3:11 AM EDT

Fresh on the heels of revelations that he warned the Bush administration not to keep secret spying programs from Congress' intelligence committees, Rep. Peter Hoekstra is suggesting that terrorists, or their friends, are behind recent intelligence leaks. (Thanks to Laura Rozen.)

"More frequently than what we would like, we find out that the intelligence community has been penetrated, not necessarily by al Qaeda, but by other nations or organizations," Hoekstra tells Reuters. "I don't have any evidence. But from my perspective, when you have information that is leaked that is clearly helpful to our enemy, you cannot discount that possibility."

Of course the whole spy/counterspy scenario is real--but to assume that foreign spies are passing secrets to the media to undermine the war on terror... like the man said, "I don't have any evidence."

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Next assignment: Enron

| Wed Jul. 12, 2006 2:54 AM EDT

Having failed to sort out the mess that is the Indian Trust Fund, the Department of the Interior has finally gotten rid of Judge Royce Lamberth, the source of such memorable pronouncements as:

"This Court need not sit supinely by waiting, hoping that the Department of Interior complies with the orders of this Court and the fiduciary obligations mandated by Congress.... To do so would be futile. I may have life tenure, but at the rate the Department of Interior is progressing that is not a long enough appointment."

More on the $176 billion mismanagement case here.

"Incestuous, undemocratic, and potentially corrupting"

| Tue Jul. 11, 2006 2:56 AM EDT

... is what "critics are calling" the arrangement whereby a former top Congressional staffer goes to K Street, makes millions lobbying his former committee, then goes back to the committee and gets an $2 million handshake from his lobbying firm on the way out. ("Lobbyists," on the other hand, "say it's just the way things work in the complicated world of Washington." Yep. Real complicated.) Need we mention that the committee is Appropriations, aka Pork Central? Along the way, this excellent piece by the Post's Jeffrey Birnbaum notes that this is just one more glimpse into the GOP majority machine:

The Republican Revolution of 1994 ushered in a new congressional majority that professed to be distrustful of government but also worked overtime to maintain its control by directing federal aid into popular programs that would help reelect GOP members. Lawmakers were encouraged to earmark billions of dollars for thousands of home-state projects every year as a way to court their constituents.
And the lobbyists who make sure all that pork goes to the right people then hold Congressional fundraisers, which helps re-elect the incumbents, who turn around and hand out more earmarks, which keeps constituents happy and lobbyists cashy... ad infinitum. Nice work if you can get it.

Sorry about that 16 months of your life; here's a pair of sneakers

| Fri Jul. 7, 2006 4:52 AM EDT

There will be many more of these stories. As people begin walking out of Gitmo and the other terror war jails, blinking and trying to figure out if what they just went through was real, we'll hear over and over again how they were detained on some tip, hint, or clue that would prove to be worthless; how their interrogators first thought they'd caught some terror kingpin, only to lose interest when they realized their prisoner was a foot soldier at best, just an unlucky farmer at worst; how there were fewer and fewer interrogations, but still they were not released, for months or years, until some day they were given a pair of white shoes (what an odd souvenir) and a letter saying they were not deemed a threat by the United States, and put on a plane, and told when it landed that they were free. (Read Emily Bazelon's Mother Jones story on tracking the families of detainees here, and her investigation of torture at Bagram--which also notes the peculiar white-shoe detail--here).

And the awful thing here is, even if you stipulate that maybe, after a bloody attack, it's conceivable that a government would arrest anyone it has reason to believe might be connected to that attack or planned future attacks; even if some people might consider it useful to interrogate those people in secret offshore prisons where they are kept in dungeons and humiliated or worse; even then, why, why keep them locked up for so long after you know for sure that you're not getting any intel out of them?

What do they do, sell the stuff on Ebay?

| Thu Jul. 6, 2006 3:06 AM EDT

It's always fun, the annual roundup of gift-giving to U.S. officials from foreign dignitaries; under current ethics rules, presents worth more than $305 are considered property of the U.S. government while those less than that are the recipient's to keep, though exactly what you'd do with "a 16-inch bronze statuette of an Arab man helping a woman from a bath, mounted on a black-slate base, valued at $300" is not entirely clear (you'd have to ask former CIA head George Tenet, who got the artwork from an unnamed foreign official). Hillary Clinton turned a Versace wallet she was given in India over to the State Department, whose rummage sales must be something to see. Donald Rumsfeld, meanwhile, didn't get to keep the $380 aromatherapy gift set he got from the Jordanian royals around Christmas '04. Pity that.

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