Jeff Sessions Is Right About Violent Crime

Jeff Sessions just said we’ve seen a spike in violent crime “the likes of which we haven’t seen since the 1960s.” Is that true? Let’s roll the tape:

Sessions should have said “since the 1980s,” but that’s a minor mistake. In fact, the violent crime rate rose more than 3 percent in both 2015 and 2016, and that’s the biggest spike since 1991. Hate crimes were even worse, rising about 5 percent last year. So Sessions is on solid ground if he just changes his decade.

Now, I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape about this. The gasoline lead phaseout that led to the big crime drop of the 90s and aughts has mostly been played out. At this point, we’re probably going to see fairly flat crime rates with small spikes up and down from year to year. The current increase is worrisome, but not something to panic about unless it continues for several years. That said, Sessions is well within his rights to call it out.

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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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