Friday Cat, Squirrel, and Fundraising Blogging – 30 September 2016

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Our squirrel made an appearance this morning, hopping from tree to tree and catching the attention of our two furballs—who were predictably entranced. They both wanted to climb up the nearest tree and go squirrel hunting, but Hilbert could only look up longingly. Hopper, however, could do more than that: she could climb up the tree and look into the neighboring tree longingly. You can see the mighty huntress on the prowl below. For those of you who worry about such things, I can assure you that our squirrel was entirely safe the whole time. I think you’d probably have to break all four of its legs before either of our cats would have a 50-50 chance of catching it.

In other cat news, a recently completed study has “sequenced DNA from 209 cats that lived between 15,000 and [300] years ago.” Researchers discovered that after being domesticated and exalted by the Egyptians, there was a second big wave of cat expansion a couple thousand years ago, “attributed to ancient sea-faring people — farmers, sailors, and Vikings — because the cats were likely encouraged to stay on board to keep their rodent problem in check.” Response was immediate: “I didn’t even know there were Viking cats,” Pontus Skoglund, a population geneticist from Harvard Medical School, told Nature.

Finally, in fundraising news, our cats urge you once more to sign up as a Mother Jones sustaining donor. We’re close to our $30,000 goal, but not quite there yet. You can do it by credit card here. If you prefer PayPal, you can give monthly here—just be sure to check the box next to your gift amount.

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Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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