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From Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, wondering just what President Obama is going to do with all those letters that schoolkids send him after his classroom speech on Tuesday:

There are going to be questions about — well, what are they are going to do with those names and is that for the purpose of a mailing list?

Sometimes the classics are best, you know?  Fox News prepared the ground for this with its suggestion a couple of weeks ago that Obama was trying to create an enemies list when it asked for examples of healthcare myths, but now the Obama team is apparently creating an enemies list for future Democratic presidents.  Or a true believers list.  Or something.  Clever!

You know, this whole first-day-of-school-presidential-speech thing might not have been the greatest idea in the world, but the reaction to it makes death panels look practically sane by comparison.  Socialism!  Cult worship!  Jedi mind control!  And the worst part of it, just as it was with the death panels, is how eager party leaders have been to fan the flames of this stuff.  If it was just talk radio, that would be bad enough.  But Tim Pawlenty is a governor.  And he’s even reputed to be a fairly boring sort of governor.  But he knows the drill: if you want to survive in the Republican Party today, you have to prove that you can’t be out-crazied.  Consequences be damned.

This stuff just has to backfire on them eventually, doesn’t it?  Please tell me yes.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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