Pork: The Pragmatic Politician’s Best Friend

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One of the weird things about writing for magazines is the lead time. Before I left for Ireland, I had just finished all the final proofing on my piece for the next issue. It’s been pretty much the only thing on my mind for the past two months.

But today, up popped “Bring Back Pork” on my RSS feed. What? When did I write that? Oh yeah: back in May. Then it missed the next issue, and ended up in the current one. And now it’s online. I practically don’t even remember it.

But it’s great! You should read it! It’s all about how pork barrel politics is one of those malodorous things that unfortunately seems to be necessary to well-lubricated dealmaking among homo sapiens. So we should hold our noses and let it happen as long as it stays within reasonable bounds.

Party polarization is so far gone these days that I doubt it would make much of a difference if the current pork ban were rescinded, but it might someday. For better or worse, we’re humans, not Vulcans, and this is a case where being too virtuous can actually make things worse.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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