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It’s getting harder and harder for us progressives to stay chipper these days, isn’t it? Today’s deflating news for lefties was Obama’s spending freeze proposal, and conservative Rich Lowry shows via Twitter that he understands why, even if the White House doesn’t: “spending freeze, no matter how notional, is a huge ceding of rhetorical grnd by WH. will give GOP more leverage in makng anti-hcr, stim case.” Sigh.

But I don’t want to sign off for the night on a grim note. So here are a couple of things to brighten your day a bit. First off, it seems there’s trouble brewing in America’s fastest growing bunch of wackos:

A Tea Party convention billed as the coming together of the grass-roots groups that began sprouting up around the country a year ago is unraveling as sponsors and participants pull out to protest its expense and express concerns about “profiteering.”

….Erick Erickson, the editor of the influential conservative blog RedState.com, wrote this month that something seemed “scammy” about the convention. And the American Liberty Alliance withdrew as a sponsor after its members expressed concerns about the convention’s finances being channeled through private bank accounts and its organizer being “for profit.”

“When we look at the $500 price tag for the event and the fact that many of the original leaders in the group left over similar issues, it’s hard for us not to assume the worst,” Eric Odom, the executive director of the American Liberty Alliance and an organizer of the tax day rallies last April, wrote on the group’s Web site.

So sad. I know that schadenfreude is sort of an ugly thing, but right now I could use some. So I thought I might as well share. It turns out that when you put together a movement of cranky paranoids, they tend to be as suspicious of each other as they are of everyone else. Who knew?

And for a bit of more innocent fun, here’s “Fear the Boom and Bust,” a rap video from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center featuring a showdown between John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek. It’s astonishingly good — though I confess I don’t actually understand what it’s for. It’s not educational, really, since no one who doesn’t already understand what Keynes and Hayek are about will really figure it out from watching this. So I guess it’s just for pure, nerdy, highbrow entertainment. Works for me! Watch and enjoy.

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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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