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.

"God has no pleasure in the legs of a man"

| Wed Jul. 5, 2006 3:40 PM EDT

Via the Center for Media and Democracy, a good Australian piece on the Exclusive Brethren, a religious group that forbids involvement in worldly politics, but has in recent years ventured into electioneering and campaign giving in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States (three guesses at which presidential candidate they liked in '04). It helps that quite a few members of the group are loaded and while historically publicity-shy, have felt more and more comfortable speaking out about their particular beliefs, which among other things proscribe movies, TV, college, and shorts (thus the bit about manly legs). So let's see your nominations for best photo of Bush in Brethren-prohibited attire.

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Revealed! How the Republican Party really works (and why Hillary will be the nominee, and...)

| Mon Jul. 3, 2006 5:42 PM EDT

Our man in Washington, Jim Ridgeway, filed a dispatch last week reporting on a breakfast with conservative political guru Grover Norquist (about whom there's lots more in Michael Scherer's Mother Jones profile). Now you, too, can be transported to the American Prospect-sponsored meeting via the magic of audio. Grab some coffee and refrigerator-cold Danishes to recreate the setting, put up your feet, and listen to Norquist explain how the right manages to hold together a "low-maintenance coalition" of gun owners, home schoolers, businesses (not including the kind who want big government subsidies—that's a different coalition) and various faith activists, by catering to them on only their "primary vote-moving issues" and to hell with all the rest.

On the issue that moves their vote, what they want from the government is to be left alone. They want to be left alone to practice their religion and raise their kids in that faith and not have schools throwing prophylactics at kids etc. That's why on the right, we're able to have evangelical Protestants, Pentecostals, as well as conservative Catholics and conservative Muslims and orthodox Jews etc. who may not agree on who goes to heaven and why, but they understand that if they are to have the right to raise their kids and go to heaven, the pagans over there have to have the same right to raise their kids to go to Hades.

So you've got Pat Buchanan and others saying there are all these fissures, on secondary and tertiary issues. But on the primary vote-moving issues, everyone has their foot in the center and they're not in conflict on anything. The guy who wants to spend all day counting his money, the guy who wants to spend all day fondling his weaponry, and the guy who wants to be in church all day, may look at each other and say, "Well that's pretty weird, and that's not what I want to do with my spare time, but that does not threaten my ability to go to church, have my guns, have my property, run my business, home school my kids.

And this handily helps explain why Republicans are the tax-and-spend party these days:

Spending is not a problem because it's not a primary vote-moving issue for anyone in the coalition. If you keep everybody happy on their primary issue and disappoint on a secondary issue, everyone grumbles, but no one walks out the door.

Bonus: How the left works, according to Norquist:


The way I see the vote-moving parts of the left, it's trial lawyers with resources, it's organized labor with resources, it's the two wings of the dependency movement—people who are locked into welfare and people who make $90,000 making sure they stay there—and what we cheerfully call the "coercive utopians" who spend their time telling us that toilets have to be too small to flush and cars have to be too small to have kids.

More (including Norquist responding to questions on his friend Jack Abramoff, on Social Security ("The otherwise very intelligent people at the White House made an error"), on Hillary and the Republican presidential field, on why the Republicans have kept the House and Senate election after election, and what Dems should say on the war:

The best position for Democratic Party is to stand here and go 'Bush and Iraq, how do you like that?' And then shut up. It's like the old joke, 'How's your wife?' 'Compared to what?' I know that there's this constant conversation, we've got to get a theme and all that, and at some point Republicans will say Democrats don't have any answers. But if you've had a problem hung around your neck, 'They don't have any answers' doesn't work as well.

In that spirit (and because a great debate, along with things like this, reminds us of what we love about America), go have a good Fourth.

Deep, cleansing breath

| Fri Jun. 30, 2006 4:27 AM EDT

Bikram Choudhury, the "hot yoga" entrepreneur/franchiser/guru who is fighting a string of legal battles over his claim that he owns the copyright to various ancient yoga practices, is in a spat with the L.A. building department. After finding, the LA Times reports, 160 people in Bikram's warehouse packed into a space suitable for 49, plus not enough fire exits and other violations, the city has slapped Bikram with 10 criminal charges. Ever mellow, Bikram "said that he's the victim of a five-year campaign of harassment by employees of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. He also said that he had had it with Los Angeles and was moving the world headquarters of his Yoga College of India to Honolulu. 'Thanks a lot, L.A.,' he said. 'I've made up my mind.'"

All We Need to Know We Learned from Tom DeLay

| Thu Jun. 29, 2006 6:00 PM EDT

Lesson for today: It pays to break the rules. In 2002, Tom DeLay conceived of and executed a scheme to raise money for Republican legislative candidates in Texas, who would take over the statehouse, then immediately turn around and redraw the state's Congressional districts to cement the GOP majority in Washington. It worked: Texas sent 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans to Congress the year before the redistricting; the year after, the delegation had 21 Republicans and 11 Democrats. And now we know that it was legal too: Yes, said Justice Kennedy in his opinion rejecting a challenge to the redistricting, the new Texas districts were drawn "with the sole purpose of achieving a Republican congressional majority"--and that's just fine. So what if DeLay is still in trouble for the possibly illegal means by which this enterprise was originally financed (for a primer, see Lou Dubose's DeLay profile)? Win some, lose some; as long as you lose the battle and win the war...

Scientists want libraries? What next?

| Thu Jun. 29, 2006 2:00 PM EDT

Here's a bright idea: Close he EPA scientific libraries so regulators can't get at the science that, under law, they are supposed to base their decisions on. No worries, a flack told the Washington Post--all that stuff is going to be digital anyway. Except that there's no money for that either. All but eliminating the agency's library network saves $2 million; according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the EPA estimates that "providing full library access saves an
estimated 214,000 hours in professional staff time worth some $7.5
million annually."

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