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From Maria Walter, United Airline’s director of merchandising, on the barrage of innovative, second generation fees coming soon to a flight near you:

[Walter] told conference attendees that the airline wants passengers to see the new offers as “options,” not as fees. “Options are different than fees,” she said.

Walter was speaking at the Ancillary Revenue Airline Conference, an entire event dedicated to brainstorming newer, subtler, and more annoying fees.  And then there’s this, from legendary LA talk show host Michael Jackson, on what the triumph of “vitriolic, unsympathetic, bombastic” talk radio means about America:

That we’re amazing. That we can put up with all of that and more! It’s the best country in the world.

I admire Jackson’s optimism.  I don’t really share it, but I admire it.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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