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This is getting ridiculous. First the president tasks one his top homeland security advisers with investigating the breakdown in… homeland security:

President Bush has named Frances Fragos Townsend, his domestic security adviser, to lead an internal White House inquiry into the administration’s performance in handling Hurricane Katrina, Scott McClellan, Mr. Bush’s spokesman, said Monday.

The White House investigating itself and all. Townsend’s previous work includes “recently overseeing the reorganization of the nation’s intelligence services,” a process that, from all appearances, mainly consisted of installing Bush loyalists into key posts and tossing out the dissidents. She does throw up a damn good smokescreen, however: check out this old Dan Froomkin piece catching Townsend in a filibuster when asked about the White House’s inflated al-Qaeda statistics. In other news, the administration may have—although there’s a lot of confusion on this front—floated a career veterinarian’s name, Norris Alderson, to head up the Office of Women’s Health at the FDA, before settling on the eventual nominee:

An FDA veteran trained in animal husbandry who spent much of his career in the agency’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, Alderson quickly became the subject of active and largely negative comment on the Internet and elsewhere. The Office of Women’s Health serves as a liaison with women’s health groups and as an advocate on women’s issues; critics said that a man with a primarily veterinary background could not properly fill the role.

What is wrong with these people?

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WE CAME UP SHORT.

We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. We really need to see if we'll be able to raise more with this real estate on a daily basis than we have been, so we're hoping to see a promising start.

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