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We were chatting about the LA Times during dinner on Sunday, and it turns out that pretty much everyone in my family wonders how much longer we’re going to read it.  The conversation got started when I mentioned that I used to link to LAT stories fairly frequently on the blog, but that I find myself doing this very rarely anymore.  I deal almost exclusively with national and international news here, and in the past the Times frequently covered different stories, or had different takes on the same story, that provided a perspective the other national outlets didn’t.  Today, not so much.  It’s mostly just routine coverage of the standard set of major events.  You can read the whole paper in a few minutes.  And the op-ed page is so consistently dull that I barely even skim it these days.

What’s more, our subscription costs $42 per month.  Marian pays the bills around here, so I hadn’t seen a LAT bill for ages, and I was surprised the cost had gotten so high.  I’ve been reading the Times since I was five, but now I’m beginning to wonder how much longer I’m going to bother paying $500 per year for a paper that’s such a shadow of its former self.

There’s nothing new here, of course.  It’s just part of the decline of American newspapers generally.  But suddenly it feels an awful lot more real around here.

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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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