What Happened Today?

I can barely keep up with the news anymore. Here is just today:

  • Donald Trump’s inauguration committee is under investigation. Apparently they managed to spend twice as much as any other recent president for an inaugural celebration that was half the size of any other recent president.
  • Maria Butina pleaded guilty to infiltrating the NRA on behalf of Russia.
  • Trump is now on his fourth (fifth?) version of events surrounding hush money paid to his mistresses.
  • But wait. Trump was present at meetings where hush money was discussed (though note the source).
  • Republicans who eagerly impeached Bill Clinton and called for the prosecution of John Edwards are now busily taking to the airwaves to insist that extramarital sex is no big deal, payoffs don’t count as campaign contributions, and lying about trivial sex stuff is just something everyone does.
  • Before big events, Trump crushes up Adderall and snorts it.
  • Wait. What? I can’t tell if that one is a joke or not.
  • Both Newt Gingrich and Jared Kushner are rumored to be candidates for Trump’s chief of staff. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they were co-chiefs?
  • Trump has decided he doesn’t want to shut down the government after all.
  • The Senate voted to end US support for the war in Yemen.

I’m probably missing some stuff. I don’t even know anymore.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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