Cheeseheads Rule Judiciary Committee

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Usually when people complain that the make-up of the Senate gives small, sparsely populated states too much power, they’re thinking about Wyoming. But this week, with the Senate Judiciary Committee running the Sotomayor confirmation hearings, that dynamic has changed a bit. The Uptake, an outfit that’s been streaming the hearings live through our website, has come up with a nice map to demonstrate the regional powerhouses in the confirmation hearing.

The obvious conclusion: Cheeseheads rule. Both senators from Wisconsin (Feingold and Kohl) are on the committee, as are both senators from Minnesota (Franken and Klobuchar), giving those states a big voice in how the hearings proceed and also, their ultimate outcome. Who knew Al Franken would end up such a player after only five days on the job?

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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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