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polarization is so far gone these days that I doubt it would make much of a difference if the current pork ban were rescinded, but it might someday.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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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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