They’ve known about Foley for almost a YEAR?

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One of the many questions that beg answering in the Foley disaster: How exactly, now that we’ve all lived through a decade’s worth of Catholic priest scandal and outrage over institutional hierarchy whitewashing–how, after all that, do you go from late 2005 to September 2006 convincing yourself that “suspiciously friendly” emails from a powerful man to a teenage boy are not a problem? How, Bishop Hastert?

Now for the cluelessness sweepstakes:

Rich Galen, a Republican political strategist, worried that voters might lump Foley’s name with former representatives Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.), all of whom were forced to resign or were indicted amid various scandals this year.

No, Rich. You’d be lucky if people thought this was only as bad as Ney/DeLay/Duke.

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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.

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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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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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