Brodner’s Cartoon du Jour: My Little Congress

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Despite the recent Supreme Court ruling that frees corporations to go as wild as they’d like in political campaign spending, a new report shows that this past year the money game was getting much worse all by itself. That could be one big reason the government has stopped working, it seems, altogether:

“The Center for Responsive Politics puts the total at nearly $3.5 billion, a five percent increase over 2008. The pharmaceutical and health-products industry spent nearly $267 million on lobbying, the greatest amount ever spent on lobbying efforts by a single industry. The Chamber of Commerce spent more than $144 million dollars on lobbying, a 60 percent increase over 2008. Other big spenders on lobbying included ExxonMobil, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PHARMA, General Electric, Pfizer, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, AARP, the American Medical Association, Chevron, the National Association of Realtors, and the American Beverage Association. Says Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics, “Lobbying appears recession proof. Even when companies are scaling back other operations, many view lobbying as a critical tool in protecting their future interests.”

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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