Good Ol’ Housekeeping…

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Two quick housekeeping notes. First, the good news. Starting Monday you’ll see a couple of new faces ’round these parts: I’ve asked three of my favorite bloggers — Diane Dees of D.E.D. Space, Charles Norman Todd of Freiheit und Wissen, and Julie Saltman — to join us here at MoJo Blog for the next few weeks. I’ll let them introduce themselves, but suffice to say, they’re all fantastic writers and we’re excited to have them here at Mother Jones.

The second item is a bit more depressing, at least as far as the content goes. If you haven’t seen Kurt Pitzer’s story on Iraqi nuclear scientists, now up on our homepage, be sure to give it a read; it’s important stuff and a stellar piece of reporting. Way back in 2003, of course, Iraq had only the tiniest scraps of a nuclear program — certainly nothing worth going to war over. What the country did have, however, was a whole slew of very capable nuclear scientists who, under the right conditions, really could start up a program. Surely in the aftermath of the invasion, then, the Bush administration, being so concerned about Iraq’s latent nuclear research program, would have scooped those scientists up and made sure they didn’t fall into the wrong hands, right? Er, right? Apparently not, Pitzer found out: “Nobody knows how many Iraqi scientists may have been lured over the borders into Iran, Syria, or beyond. Nobody knows because no one is keeping tabs.” Oy. So which adjective in the daily rotation should we use for this occasion: Appalling? Unbelievable? Disastrous? Go with something new, perhaps? I can’t decide, but give the article a look.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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