Need To Read, August 18, 2009

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Some essential reading you may have missed:

The public option is dead. Who cares?

Obama delivers tough words on defense spending to an audience of veterans.

The DOJ belatedly softens its harsh stance against gay marriage.

Both David Corn and Newt Gingrich think Obama could learn a thing or two from Ronald Reagan. Although for somewhat different reasons.

North Korea reopens border with South Korea.

At least someone’s paying attention: the Times-Herald of California’s Solano and Napa Counties condemns Obama’s use of signing statements.

More details emerge on the American Petroleum Institute’s anti-cap and trade astroturf ops.

MoJo = contraband? Virgina prisons bans our issue on the failure of the drug war.

David Corn, Mother Jones‘ DC bureau chief, is on twitter, and so are my colleagues Daniel Schulman, Nick Baumann, and our editor, Clara Jeffery. You can follow me here. (The magazine’s main account is @motherjones.)

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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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