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This is getting ridiculous. First the president tasks one his top homeland security advisers with investigating the breakdown in… homeland security:

President Bush has named Frances Fragos Townsend, his domestic security adviser, to lead an internal White House inquiry into the administration’s performance in handling Hurricane Katrina, Scott McClellan, Mr. Bush’s spokesman, said Monday.

The White House investigating itself and all. Townsend’s previous work includes “recently overseeing the reorganization of the nation’s intelligence services,” a process that, from all appearances, mainly consisted of installing Bush loyalists into key posts and tossing out the dissidents. She does throw up a damn good smokescreen, however: check out this old Dan Froomkin piece catching Townsend in a filibuster when asked about the White House’s inflated al-Qaeda statistics. In other news, the administration may have—although there’s a lot of confusion on this front—floated a career veterinarian’s name, Norris Alderson, to head up the Office of Women’s Health at the FDA, before settling on the eventual nominee:

An FDA veteran trained in animal husbandry who spent much of his career in the agency’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, Alderson quickly became the subject of active and largely negative comment on the Internet and elsewhere. The Office of Women’s Health serves as a liaison with women’s health groups and as an advocate on women’s issues; critics said that a man with a primarily veterinary background could not properly fill the role.

What is wrong with these people?

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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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