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Today is my birthday. I am now old enough to collect Social Security. Hooray.

This is surely one of the most discouraging birthdays in a long time. In my head I remain optimistic about America waking up from its four-year nightmare and finally flushing Donald Trump and his entire hateful movement down one of those toilets he’s always complaining about. But in my heart—

Well, that’s a different matter. Ratfucking operations are hardly new to American politics, but the Trump/Giuliani campaign against Hunter Biden is truly without precedent in the annals of repellent personal attacks. Partly this is because it’s so obviously a ratfuck, and yet Republicans are mostly just whistling into the wind and letting it play out. But mostly it’s because of what Trump is doing. He’s a man with a chilling instinct for what will hurt someone the most and a conscience that never gets in the way of carrying it out. In the case of Joe Biden, he knows that what will hurt him the most is an attack on his family, so that’s what he directed Giuliani to come up with. He doesn’t care if there’s any truth to it. He doesn’t care who’s behind it. He doesn’t care what damage it does. Win or lose, he wants revenge on Joe Biden, and this is his way of getting it. This is what it’s like having a sociopath for president, and the fact that he has even a chance of being reelected is profoundly depressing.

But on the bright side, I’ll get a cake today. I’m not sure that will make up for things, but it’s a start.

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AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

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