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The New York Times is continuing its tradition of enlisting summer substitute op-ed columnists who run the risk of showing up the regular team. Last summer Barbara Ehrenreich treated readers to a series of serious, well crafted and genuinely progressive pieces. And now humorist, This American Life contributor, essayist, and author (not to mention The Incredibles star) Sarah Vowell has been asked to pen in Maureen Dowd’s stead.

Today’s contribution draws some G8 opening day attention to the One Campaign, a new initiative to boost African aid that counts members as diverse as Pat Robertson and P. Diddy. Vowell gives Robertson extra praise for a new willingness to recognize the practical and necessity of condoms in fighting AIDS, which admittedly is a big step for a man who once “warned the city of Orlando that the flying of homosexuals’ upbeat rainbow flags might incite divine retribution in the form of hurricanes or ‘possibly a meteor’?” Asking Vowell onboard was a smart move; The Times’ op-ed page gets a younger voice. And readers can count on reading something humorous–besides Thomas Friedman.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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