Debate Preview: The Electrified Fence

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Last week, Herman Cain twice suggested that we should build an electrified fence along the border with Mexico that would kill anyone who touched it. On Sunday he reversed course, insisting he had just been joking, even though video of his remarks makes it pretty clear that he was perfectly serious. Today, he reversed course again, admitting that his original remarks weren’t a joke at all.

This is a pretty obvious subject for tonight’s Republican debate. You can see it coming a mile away and every candidate should have a pretty well-prepared response about it. Two questions, then. First: What do you think Herman Cain will say about this? Second: with plenty of time to prepare, what do you think Rick Perry will say about it? Will he be able to string together 30 seconds worth of coherent thoughts on the issue? Or will he screw up completely as he usually does?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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