Ding Dongs Don’t Kill People…

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With health advocates threatening to sue McDonald’s and impose “fat taxes” on snacks, what’s the junk-food industry to do? The answer: Borrow a page from the gun lobby’s playbook and launch a PR campaign to convince Americans that it’s not the food’s fault if you’re fat. Leading the charge is the Center for Consumer Freedom, an organization created to defend “the freedoms we hold dear, like nachos, Ding Dongs, and powdered-sugar doughnuts.” The center is using opinion pieces, magazine ads, websites, and talk shows to attack what it calls the “food police.”

Founded by Rick Berman, a longtime lobbyist for the food industry, the center won’t disclose its backers, but documents show that it has received at least $2 million from Philip Morris, maker of Oreos, Doo Dads, and Cheez Whiz. To beef up their presence in Washington, junk-food companies have also backed several other lobbying groups, including the American Council on Science and Health. As part of its mission to keep America fit, the council has issued a list of “summer tips for staying healthy.” Its title: “For Your Upcoming Picnic, Don’t Hold the Mayo.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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