Need to Read, August 12, 2009

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Some must-reads from around the web:

Surprise, surprise: Judiciary Committee document dump reveals that Karl Rove was more involved in the US Attorney firings than has previously been acknowledged.

US general says Bagram needs less Popeyes, more cultural outreach.

Are the tea-baggers ripping a page from the Saul Alinsky playbook?

Extreme makeovers, Wall Street Journal style.

America’s last late-term abortion doctor.

The families of three hikers detained by Iran, one of whom is Mother Jones contributor Shane Bauer, issued a statement on Tuesday. Here is Bauer’s new MoJo piece, an investigation of the Pentagon’s “make-a-sheikh” program; editors-in-chief Clara Jeffrey and Monika Bauerlein provide further context here.

David Corn, Mother Jones‘ DC bureau chief, is on twitter, and so are my colleagues Daniel Schulman, Nick Baumann, and our editor, Clara Jeffery. You can follow me here. The magazine’s main account is @motherjones.

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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