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For some time, there was a short, lively feature in this magazine called Conspiracy Watch. It did not have an exclamation point, but I read it as such: Conspiracy Watch!

Sometimes mimicking the zeal and verve of the conspiracy writers themselves, staff members would break down why a Lady Gaga music video was probably not an Illuminati plot or why it didn’t sound quite right that infamous superdollars (counterfeit bills traced back to North Korea) were, in fact, produced by the CIA. Each is affixed with a “kookiness rating”: “1=maybe they’re on to something, 5=break out the tinfoil hat!” CIA superdollars got a 3; Lady Gaga droning you into submission got a 5.

There are others to enjoy. Rumors of Operation Couch Potato, a plan to give us better TVs so we can sit on our butts and watch in high definition instead of overturning the government. And the idea that all the gold in Fort Knox is gone. A classic? The idea that the Mafia caused the stock market crash.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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