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Greg Sargent gets the prize today for reporting the least surprising news of the week:

Republican leaders are gearing up to critize Obama’s eventual decision on the way forward in Afghanistan even if it falls modestly short of sending an additional 40,000 troops, a senior GOP aide says.

What a shocker.  But as Spencer Ackerman says, why stop at 40,000?  After all, there’s an 80,000 number that’s been making the rounds too.  “As long as the GOP is indicating to Sargent that it’s interested primarily in playing politics with the war, why not go for a number with real differences from any 30,000-plus option Obama is likely to favor?”

In any case, it’s sort of odd that all these patriots never had a problem with the 30,000 troops George Bush had in Afghanistan for the past couple of years.  Or the 20,000 he had before that.  Or the 10,000 before that.  But Obama’s 100,000+?  Why, that’s practically treason, my friends.

But like I said: hardly surprising.  So here’s the real question: how seriously will the media take this when it happens?  Will they give plenty of coverage to criticism that’s so patently contrived that a five-year-old would see though it?  Or will they treat it as if it’s a serious national security debate?  Wait and see!

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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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