Mom has always loved cats. Where do you think I got it from, after all?

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I’m going out of my mind. In addition to three years of Donald Trump; my own energy-sucking dex problems; the COVID-19 pandemic; and some annoying work stuff, my mother has suddenly become extremely ill. Two weeks ago she was her usual self: gardening, painting, swimming 50 laps, and cursing our president. Then she suddenly started getting weak. Within three days she could barely move herself to an upright position—which is when I called 911 and had her taken to the hospital. Three days after that she was entirely immobile, able to move her arms to her head and nothing more. Her voice is so weak and slurry that it’s basically gone, so we can’t communicate with her. She won’t eat more than a few bites a day, and doesn’t drink much either.

And nobody knows what caused this. Not even a guess. Her lungs are OK, her heart is OK, and her brain seems to be OK. What on earth could do this in the space of six days?

Anyway, this is the “family business” I mentioned a few days ago, and it’s why the blog is moving a little slower than usual these days.

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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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