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Today is my birthday. I am now old enough to collect Social Security. Hooray.

This is surely one of the most discouraging birthdays in a long time. In my head I remain optimistic about America waking up from its four-year nightmare and finally flushing Donald Trump and his entire hateful movement down one of those toilets he’s always complaining about. But in my heart—

Well, that’s a different matter. Ratfucking operations are hardly new to American politics, but the Trump/Giuliani campaign against Hunter Biden is truly without precedent in the annals of repellent personal attacks. Partly this is because it’s so obviously a ratfuck, and yet Republicans are mostly just whistling into the wind and letting it play out. But mostly it’s because of what Trump is doing. He’s a man with a chilling instinct for what will hurt someone the most and a conscience that never gets in the way of carrying it out. In the case of Joe Biden, he knows that what will hurt him the most is an attack on his family, so that’s what he directed Giuliani to come up with. He doesn’t care if there’s any truth to it. He doesn’t care who’s behind it. He doesn’t care what damage it does. Win or lose, he wants revenge on Joe Biden, and this is his way of getting it. This is what it’s like having a sociopath for president, and the fact that he has even a chance of being reelected is profoundly depressing.

But on the bright side, I’ll get a cake today. I’m not sure that will make up for things, but it’s a start.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

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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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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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