Your Daily Newt: Bringing Back the Dinosaurs

Newt GingrichMark Avery/Orange County Register/ZumaPress

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As a service to our readers, every day we are delivering a classic moment from the political life of Newt Gingrich—until he either clinches the nomination or bows out.

Gingrich signed a $4.5 million contract with HarperCollins to write his third book, To Renew America, in 1995. He ultimately gave the advance to charity—taking millions from News Corp., Harper’s parent company, while shepherding major telecommunications legislation didn’t sit well with the public.

The book was overflowing with big ideas and five-step plans, from how to win the War on Drugs, to how to fix Medicare, to where to take the family on your family vacation (Ocmulgee Indian Mounds Park in Macon, Georgia). Most of Gingrich’s ideas wouldn’t result in the full-scale destruction of the human race at the hands of a science experiment gone horribly wrong. But as the Los Angeles Times found out, there was one exception:

[E]ven as Gingrich knocks best-selling author Michael Crichton for works that he calls “just standard alarmist environmentalism in which humans are forever messing up nature,” the one-time aspiring zookeeper wonders: “Why not aspire to build a real Jurassic Park? (It may not be at all impossible, you know.) Wouldn’t that be one of the most spectacular accomplishments of human history? What if we can bring back extinct species?”

That’s one way of looking at it. Here’s a counter-point:

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So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

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