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A FALL FROM GREATNESS….As American manufacturing prowess continues its long decline, even American crime is being affected. Secret Service agent Charles Green explains to the Kansas City Star:

More counterfeiters are using today’s ink-jet printers, computers and copiers to make money that’s just good enough to pass, he said, even though their product is awful.

In the past, he said, the best American counterfeiters were skilled printers who used heavy offset presses to turn out decent 20s, 50s and 100s. Now that kind of work is rare and almost all comes from abroad.

….Green pointed to a picture hanging in his downtown conference room. It’s a photo from a 1980s Lenexa case that involved heavy printing presses and about 2 million fake dollars. “That’s what we used to see,” he boomed. “That’s the kind of case we used to make.”

….Green’s voice sank as he described today’s sad-sack counterfeiters. These people call up pictures of bills on their computers, buy paper at an office supply store and print out a few bills. They cut the bills apart, go into a store or bar and pass one or two.

That is just a sad state of affairs, my friends. Whatever happened to taking pride in your work? I guess all the real crooks have decided that identify theft and computer fraud are the hot tickets these days.

As an aside, though, I have my doubts that the good stuff all “comes from abroad.” My guess is that it comes from right here in the U. S. of A. Just not from counterfeiters.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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