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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.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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