Really, the Whole Cohen Thing Is Just a Big Nothingburger

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Remember a few months ago when Rudy Giuliani casually admitted on the Hannity show that Donald Trump had paid hush money to keep Stormy Daniels quiet about their affair? Then the next day he said it was all a big mistake and he hadn’t really meant any of it? Everybody went nuts. It was a bizarre clusterfuck even by Trumpian standards, and no one could figure out how and why it happened.

I think now we know. Consider this tidbit yesterday from John Hinderaker:

Today’s legal developments unquestionably represent a step forward for the Democrats….But in principle, there is no reason why they should change the landscape. Manafort’s conviction has nothing to do with Trump. And no matter how Mueller may try to dress it up with talk about campaign finance—which voters don’t care about, anyway—the Cohen plea simply confirms what we already knew–that Trump tried to keep Stephanie Clifford quiet. That may be a big deal to Melania, I can’t speak for her. But I doubt that it is a big deal to a significant number of voters, and I doubt that tomorrow’s headlines will move the needle on the midterm election.

You see what happened there? There’s nothing new here. We already knew all about Stormy. This just adds some obscure campaign finance stuff that no one cares about except for a few lawyers.

That’s how it works: you let the news drop early so everyone has time to absorb it and move on. Then, when Cohen officially admits Trump knew all about the payoff, it gets some big headlines but it’s basically old news. All that’s left is to go on TV and muddy the waters about how every campaign has some finance violations because campaign finance law is so complex. It’s really nothing that hasn’t happened before a hundred times. We’ll let the green eyeshade guys work it out.

Now then: who wants to talk about those WHITE FARMERS whose land is being BRUTALLY EXPROPRIATED by the BLACK government in South Africa? And white farmers have been MURDERED! That’s what we should be outraged about, amirite?

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WE'LL BE BLUNT

We need to start raising significantly more in donations from our online community of readers, especially from those who read Mother Jones regularly but have never decided to pitch in because you figured others always will. We also need long-time and new donors, everyone, to keep showing up for us.

In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

Please learn more about how Mother Jones works and our 47-year history of doing nonprofit journalism that you don't elsewhere—and help us do it with a donation if you can. We've already cut expenses and hitting our online goal is critical right now.

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