Mother Jones May/June 2020

Mother Jones is a nonprofit news organization with a bi-monthly magazine that delivers bold and original reporting on the urgent issues of our day, from politics and climate change to education and the food we eat. We investigate stories that are in the public’s interest. From revelatory scoops to deep-dive investigations, Mother Jones journalism is award-winning storytelling that informs and inspires 10 million monthly readers.

United States
Foundation For National Progress
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min

Reporting on the rough edges of a vaunted rehabilitation program in San Francisco (“The Toughest Love”) took Mother Jones senior reporter JULIA LURIE to the San Francisco courthouse, a diner in Los Angeles, and the California Institution for Men. On breaks from writing, Lurie went on long runs—often on a route that passed the Delancey Street Foundation’s headquarters. While traveling in a South Dakota city that has become a haven for refugees (“We Are Huron”) NOAH LANARD met middle schoolers who told him he resembled Joe Goldberg, the fictional stalker on the Netflix show You. He found South Dakotans to be otherwise lovely. Before becoming a Mother Jones reporter, Lanard wrote for the Washingtonian and freelanced from Mexico City for the Guardian, Fusion, and Vice. Mother Jones reporter PEMA LEVY spent hours…

3 min
building a social immune system

A MAGAZINE IS A postcard to the future, a message in a bottle—choose your vintage metaphor, because there’s something decidedly analog about the three-week gap between when we send these pages to the printer and when they show up in your mailbox. The words you’re reading come to you from the past. A very confused and uncertain past, circa mid-March. We began assigning the stories in this issue when the coronavirus was probably still slumbering in some animal host. We began editing them as the new illness was confirmed in a handful of Americans who’d traveled overseas. As we went to press, we were all working from our kitchen tables, kids’ bedrooms, and even (for quiet podcast recording) closets. By the time you read this, there will be things you know…

7 min
point of no entry

SAN DIEGO IMMIGRATION COURT, COURTROOM #2 Judge Lee O’Connor has been in his courtroom for all of two minutes before a look of annoyance washes over his face. Eleven children and six adults—all from Central America, all in immigration court for the first time—sit on the wooden benches before him. They’ve been awake since well before dawn so they could line up at the US-Mexico border to board buses to downtown San Diego, bulletproof-vested federal agents by their side. Like the dozens of families jam-packed in the lobby and six other courtrooms in this building, they’ve been waiting out their asylum cases in Mexico, as required by the Trump administration’s controversial Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico.” “The whole thing is a fucking disaster that is designed to…

4 min
border boondoggle

“WE NEED THE WALL more than ever!” President Trump tweeted on March 10—one day before the WHO declared the coronavirus a global pandemic—just another of his more than 400 tweets about his dream of building a wall along the US-Mexico border. According to a Mother Jones analysis of government contracts, the Trump administration has so far doled out $6.5 billion to build about 470 miles of wall—260 miles of replacement fencing and 210 miles of new construction. In Trumpian fashion, the project has been characterized by cost overruns, lawsuits, sycophantic contractors, and a notoriously ineffective (and incomplete) final product. In March 2018, Trump reviewed eight wall prototypes in San Diego. The Government Accountability Office noted that many, if not all, of the designs would be difficult to build along much of…

5 min
california’s uber allies

CARDELL CALLOWAY WAS at an Uber Eats Driver Appreciation Day pizza party when he realized he was getting screwed. It was just before Christmas 2017, and Calloway, who spent up to 80 hours a week delivering food for various gig companies including Uber’s food takeout service, had suspected he and his fellow drivers might be getting a bonus. Instead, an Uber Eats representative told the 40 or so people who’d gathered at a Southern California pizza parlor that the company’s pay model was changing. No reason to worry, the rep explained: Yes, drivers would be paid less per delivery, but this would mean more deliveries, so more money. “We pull out our calculators,” Calloway recalls. “We’re barely making $8 an hour.” Caught in a flurry of anxious questions from the drivers,…

1 min
none of my business

Audi: “We are a tech company that happens to make cars.” Zappos: “We’re a service company that just happens to sell shoes.” Big River Steel: “At our core, we’re a technology company. We just happen to make steel.” Shea Homes: “We’re a service company that just so happens to build homes.” Wild Alaskan: “Wild Alaskan is a tech company that happens to sell seafood.” Delta: “We’re a Customer Service Company that just happens to fly airplanes.” WestJet: “A digital company that happens to fly airplanes.” Fidelity: “A technology company that happens to be in financial services.” Sweetgreen: “We want to go beyond a food company and become a platform.” “We’re not really a gold and silver company, we’re a technology company.” Facebook: “We’re a technology company. We’re not a media company.” Marriott: “We are a media company now.” Juul: “We’re not…