Mother Jones Magazine Cover : September + October 2014

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The Warrior Cops Suit Up

By Shane Bauer

Drones, sniper rifles, armored vehicles, and a billion-dollar credit line: 72 hours with the nation’s top SWAT teams

What’s the Matter With Sam Brownback?

By Patrick Caldwell

The Kansas governor’s right-wing policy experiment has backfired—in the Koch brothers’ backyard, no less.

California Goes Nuts

By Tom Philpott

The insane, hedge-fund-fueled race to plant thirsty trees in the middle of a catastrophic drought

The Hunger Game

By Shane Bauer

The Assad regime made headlines for using chemical weapons against its own people. But its main weapon is far more archaic and brutal.

Is Your Judge for Sale?

By Andy Kroll and AJ Vicens

How Karl Rove turned judicial elections dirty. PLUS: What happens when corporate money decides who’s on the bench?

Down in the Hole

By Josh Harkinson

Young, bored, bitter—and babysitting 150 megatons of nuclear doom

The Demonstration Plot

By Kiera Butler

4-H used to be about kids and goats at the county fair. So when did it turn into a global powerhouse helping US agribusiness make inroads in Africa?


Mixed Media

Food + Health


For this issue, 1 David Corn spent hours watching conspiracy theory videos (“Truther Consequences”), while 2 Tasneem Raja plowed through whale sperm studies (“SeaWorld’s Weird Science“) and cronut sci-fi (“William Gibson’s Peripheral Vision“).

3 Shane Bauer interviewed swat teams (“The Warrior Cops Suit Up“) and learned about Syrian snipers (“The Hunger Game”).

Tom Philpott snacked on straight-from-the-tree almonds (“California Goes Nuts”) while reporting in California’s Central Valley, the home turf of photographer 4 Matt Black, who’s documented local farm life for more than a decade.

This was Andy Kroll‘s fifth reporting trip to Wisconsin (“Is Your Judge for Sale?“): He got hooked covering the 2011 state Capitol occupation.

A skateboarding aficionado, 5 AJ Vicens helps ESPN cover the X Games, where judges’ picks aren’t for sale (“May It Sleaze the Court“).

While in rural Montana reporting on nuclear missileers, Josh Harkinson (“Down in the Hole“) spent his downtime at a mermaid bar.

For her new book about 4-H, Raise, 6 Kiera Butler(“The Demonstration Plot“) received grants from the Fund for Environmental Journalism, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, and The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund.

David Corn
Tasneem Raja Shane Bauer
Matt Black
AJ Vicens Kiera Butler