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Sarah Kliff reports on a new study of presidential pets:

Crunching the numbers, the article finds that White House dogs could be playing a diversionary role: They tend to get trotted out during times of international conflict and presidential scandal (no similar effect, it’s worth noting, was found for cats).

Of course not. No self-respecting cat would allow itself to be used as a prop for a scandal-ridden president. The very idea is laughable.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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