Human Waste

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The latest edition of the Bonehead Compendium is up, this week focusing exclusively on the tragedy of Katrina and the federal mismanagement it has exposed:

It now appears that when presented with some 1400 firefighters and paramedics from around the country and who possessed expertise in search and rescue and hazmat operations, FEMA saw fit to assign this regiment of life-saving men and women to wander around the devastated regions of the south and hand out information fliers to already rescued hurricane victims. But within this frustrating waste of human capital an even more egregious abuse of these good people occurred. As Bush made his way to New Orleans for some priceless footage of him hugging black people, FEMA had 50 of these firefighters flown to Louisiana to walk around with the President while he toured the wreckage.

Maybe the government figures rescue and cleanup personnel have been overcommitted to operations since, as former first lady Barbara Bush so tactfully stated this week of the underprivileged victims, the hurricane “is working very well for them.”

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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