Mother Jones 04/01/16
Issue
Contributors
Following up on her widely cited investigation into the plaintiffs in last year’s Obamacare Supreme Court case, Stephanie Mencimer now profiles the man behind a new crop of litigants challenging long-standing civil rights laws (“Claim of Privilege,”
Claim Of Privilege
Meet the brains behind a string of Supreme Court cases chipping away at the legacy of the civil rights movement.
Take Me To Your Leader
AJ Vicens The morning after I contacted the Defense Department, I got a voice mail message. “Man, we were looking at your query from yesterday on the UFO stuff,” the public affairs officer said. He sounded as if he was trying not to laugh. “You’re k
The Smartest Guns In The Room
Josh Harkinson Jonathan Mossberg wanted to be the Steve Jobs of firearms. In 1999, a few years before the invention of the iPod, Mossberg began to build the iGun, a computer-chip-equipped “smart gun” that could only be fired by its owner. (The “i”
Sheldon Adelson Goes All In
The billions he made in Chinese casinos may decide the presidential race. But has he overplayed his hand?
High Stakes
MEDIA Long before buying the Las Vegas Review-Journal for $140 MILLION, up to three times its value, Sheldon Adelson spent nearly $200 MILLION to back Israel Hayom, which launched in 2007. The staunchly pro-Netanyahu paper now claims Israel’s large
Paper Trail
Russ Choma Why did casino magnate Sheldon Adelson try to secretly buy the Las Vegas Review-Journal? Was it a civic-minded investment, or a power play to gain control over Nevada’s largest paper? One thing’s for sure: all the drama attracted plenty o
Sex Negative
When my state passed one of the most rigid abstinence-only sex education laws in the nation, I went back to school.
Dreamers Of The Golden Dream
JENNIFER GILL got pregnant with her first child when she was in eighth grade. She didn’t finish high school, but she got her GED during a stint in prison for forgery. For most of her working life she was a waitress in and around the town of Oildale,
Red, Blue, And Green
1967 Gov. Ronald Reagan creates the California Air Resources Board (ARB), which will become the state’s chief enforcer of climate change policy. The same year, the federal Air Quality Act gives California the right to enact fuel emissions standards h
Car Trouble
A subprime boom, insane interest rates, predatory lending, a private-equity frenzy. Sound familiar?
No Credit? Big Problem.
Edwin Rios INTEREST RATE MARKUPS: Used-car dealers often act as middlemen between the buyer and a financier like Credit Acceptance Corp. The financier sets a minimum interest rate based on the customer’s financial circumstances and lets the dealer m
Repo Madness
Jaeah Lee ONE SPRING EVENING in 2012, after getting off a shift at Señor Frog’s bar and grill in Las Vegas, Candice Smith drove to the Palace Station casino to cash her paycheck. When she returned to her car, it wouldn’t start. She knew what the pro
Contemptible Collectibles
DAVID PILGRIM bought his first piece of racist memorabilia in the early 1970s, when he was a youngster in Mobile, Alabama. It was a set of salt and pepper shakers meant to caricature African Americans. “I purchased it and broke it” on purpose, recall
Explain That Tune
Delphine d’Amora THE SEEDS of the popular podcast Song Exploder were sown in the mid-2000s, when Los Angeles musician Hrishikesh Hirway first sat down to remix other people’s songs and found himself spellbound by the nuances and complexities of the
Books
Hell Is a Very Small Place Edited by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway, and Sarah Shourd THE NEW PRESS Reading this collection of essays by people who have experienced solitary confinement, it’s not hard to see why UN officials view solitary as a means
Game Of Clones
Becca Andrews WHEN I TRY TO TELL my friends about Orphan Black, I get excited and things come out garbled: “It’s about clones, but it’s also a mystery. The clones get sick, and there’s this race for a cure, but also a quest to find out where they co
Killer App
It’s hard to gross out Cindy Zipf. Three decades of cleaning up beaches have inured her to the horrors of, say, a washed-up diaper. But there’s one kind of trash that Zipf, executive director of the New Jersey-based marine protection coalition Clean
The Kitchen Sink
ERIK NEUMANN When John Wick and his wife, Peggy Rathmann, bought their 540-acre ranch in 1998, it was in bad shape. Located in California’s Marin County, a windswept region northwest of San Francisco Bay, the land had been worn down by overgrazing;