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THE MODERN GOP….You know, in its own way this may be greatest political lead ever written. It comes from Jonathan Weisman and Robert Barnes in the Washington Post:

Sen. John McCain’s inability to recall the number of homes he owns during an interview yesterday jeopardized his campaign’s carefully constructed strategy to frame Democratic rival Barack Obama as an out-of-touch elitist….

There’s something about the bland, nonjudgmental way that it describes both the standard modern GOP smear campaign strategy against all Democratic contenders and the perverse but deliciously fitting way in which it’s finally been turned against them this year that just might sum up all of current American politics in a mere single sentence. Congratulations, guys!

As for McCain himself, he huddled yesterday with his campaign advisors to work on some strategery to restore his regular guy image. But first he had to fuel up:

A nine-car motorcade took him to a nearby Starbucks early in the morning, where he ordered a large cappuccino. McCain otherwise avoided reporters.

Jeez, couldn’t he just send his valet out instead?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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