2008 Pledge Drive

I know how annoying this is. Truly, I do.

I am always annoyed when my favorite websites beg for money. Or when PBS holds television shows hostage to their pledge drives. So I know this isn't pleasant for you, nor is it for me. I just wanted to say that up front.

I have been blogging on The Huffington Post for two and a half years now, and has been in existence for about a year and a half. In that time, I have strenuously resisted ever overtly asking my readers for money.

But financial realities are financial realities. Huffington Post has never paid me one thin dime for my posts, and the ads here don't bring in much more than that. Now, in a normal year, I just grin and bear it and personally absorb the costs of buying server space for the blog (and other incidentals), because I believe what I'm doing is worth doing.

But this is a special occasion. So I hereby announce the Help Send Chris To The Inauguration 2008 Pledge Drive. That's right, I will be attending the forty-fourth Inauguration, of President Barack Hussein Obama, in Washington, D.C. -- and I am asking for your help in getting there.




I have already secured sleeping space with friends in the area, so I won't be wasting your money on fancy hotels or anything like that, but our goal here at is to raise enough money to cover the airfare and costs just to get there.

Make no mistake about it, is (theoretically, at least) a "for-profit" organization, so I cannot even offer you a tax write-off for your donation. I am asking for your money so I can attend what is sure to be a historic event. I am promising absolutely nothing in return -- except a series of first-person reports from the event, with pictures (if I can get close enough to anything worth photographing).

I'll even promise to call it "an historic event" if I get enough money... (ahem).

I most likely will be denied press credentials to the event by Congress (I gave it my best shot, but they're pretty strict on Capitol Hill). As some of you are aware, I applied for such press credentials to attend the Democratic National Convention this year in Denver, but for all the DCCC's talk of "welcoming bloggers into the fold," they upped their quota of national bloggers from 55 (in 2004) to only 65 (in 2008) -- out of over 1,500 applicants -- so I guess all that happy talk of welcoming us in was just a smokescreen, after all. Thanks, guys. [Sorry, I shouldn't sound so bitter...]

But this one they can't keep me out of! I grew up near Washington, D.C., and I have been to one previous Inauguration (Jimmy Carter), so I know full well that it is a public event. Unlike the convention, this is held for all citizens. And I will be there to see it.

I have pulled every string I know how to pull to get tickets to the actual inauguration itself, and while I can't afford the cool Inaugural Balls (some charge tens of thousands of dollars for admittance) there will be other ways to have fun in D.C. during Inauguration Week. I cannot promise anything more than that I will be standing on a curb somewhere cheering President Obama's limousine as it drives by, but -- come snow, sleet, or high water -- I will be there. I have already bought airline tickets, and am counting on the generosity of my readers to help me defray the costs of this adventure.

So the question you have to ask yourself is: what is reading this site on a daily basis worth to you? All donations are cheerfully accepted, no matter how small or large, so even if you just want to toss five bucks my way, the thanks will be just as genuine as if you had paid for the entire trip. (Anyone who wants to pay for the entire trip, please feel free to contact me, and I will give you an exact figure!)

I am throwing myself on my readers' mercy here, in the hopes of breaking even. That's all I'm asking. The thermometer graphic on the donation graphic will show how close we are to this goal, and will be updated to reflect the current status.


How To Make A Donation -- by credit card, PayPal account, or check

Donate by credit card by clicking on the PayPal button at the top of the right-hand column of this page (under the heading "Donations"). It will take you to PayPal's site, which will list a donation to "" for the company "Pamphleteering Press." Enter the amount you'd like to donate at the top of this page, and then go to the bottom left and click the "continue" link next to the list of credit cards (where it says "Don't have a PayPal account?"). If you already have a PayPal account of your own, after entering the amount at the top, you can use the "log in" section at the bottom right of the page to donate from your PayPal account.

Your donations will show up on your credit card statements (or your PayPal account) as a charge from Pamphleteering Press (the official business entity which runs this site).


If you'd prefer to send me a check or money order by snail mail, then email me and I will provide you with an address to send it to.


Thank you all in advance -- even if George W. Bush's economy makes it impossible for you to donate at this time.


Best Inaugural Cartoon (yet...)

Finally, on the "always leave them laughing" theory, here is the funniest inauguration cartoon yet: Toles on the seating arrangements (the city is expecting to be besieged by millions of people...).