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While everyone else is parceling out blame for the inept response to Hurricane Katrina, and even Michelle Malkin—Michelle Malkin!—is calling for FEMA director Michael Brown to be fired, I think it’s worth pointing the finger in a different, somewhat unexpected direction: the Senate Democrats who approved Brown’s nomination on a voice vote in 2002. Obviously this pales beside the issue of having a president tap one of his cronies’ former roommates—whose previous experience included being fired from the Arabian Horse Association—for a top disaster relief spot. But it does put the lie to the idea that Congress should just defer to the president when he makes his picks for various federal agencies. A little more scrutiny would have been appreciated.

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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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