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Good news!  The Washington Post has picked the ten finalists in its “America’s Next Great Pundit” contest.  I know you don’t have time to read them all, so I’ll summarize:

Richter: Bring back the Office of Technology Assessment.
Haber: Where I come from, five plus one equals eight.  What’s more, Nevada will both lose and gain a congressional seat after the 2010 census.
Martin: These days, everybody wants it all.  Also: my dad is driving my mother crazy.
Jackson: Barack Obama needs to stop whining.  Bush 43 wasn’t so bad.
Gyamfi: Cable news is stupid.
Huffman: I want to be the next Dave Barry.
Esper: Healthcare is an important issue.
Khalil: Surprise! Arab-Americans watch Fox News.
Khan: Women like to yak, and Obama should capitalize on this.

I know what you’re thinking: this is only nine columnists.  What’s the deal?  Answer: there’s a tenth, but for some reason her column isn’t up yet.  Not sure why.

By the way, the ten winners include a Nobel Prize winner, a Bush 43 assistant secretary of commerce (guess which one), a senior correspondent for the American Prospect, an analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations, a former researcher at the Kennedy School of Government, an Atlantic Media fellow, and a small-town newspaper editor.  Not exactly a crowd of just plain folks.  It might have been more fun to read the other 4,790 entries.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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