Holiday Fundraising Kickoff (With Mesmerizing Kittens)!

[ Posted Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 – 19:49 UTC ]

Has it really been a year already? My, how time flies! Of course, this time of year, everyone's running around like crazy trying to get everything done. Which brings us to our first shameless segue to our traditional year-end parade of adorable Christmas kittens, craftily designed (as always) to soften hearts and open wallets for our pledge drive. You have been warned, so there.

Dashing through the snow


We've heard the criticism over the years, that exploiting kittens in such a fashion is simply not fair to the average consumer of political commentary, and that we truly have no shame when it comes to this sort of thing.

We plead guilty, as always (Santa's watching, after all...). In fact, this year we are taking kittenology-in-advertising to a whole new level, designed to sap your willpower entirely and put you under the kittens' mind control. Are you sitting down? Comfortable? Then we'll proceed.

Stare deep into my eyes...


Yes, it's Mesmerkitten! If this trick of the light doesn't work, we have other methods, too!

Watch the colored lights twinkle...


You are getting sleepy... very sleepy... you are reaching for your credit card...

Heh. OK, maybe that went a little too far. Our apologies.

Seriously, though, this website is kept running through the donations of our readers. Two years ago, we failed (for the first time) to "break even," which we define as "having enough to pay all the bills to keep open as a business and always live for your online entertainment." However, last year we did indeed reach our goal and were thus able to offer the site advertising-free all year long.

This is important, because we all hate ads. We have to admit, we have been approached by another web ad company who is trying to entice us into posting ads in 2016. This will be an election year, which generally means higher levels of users (page views and clicks), so unlike previous ad packages we've run, we might actually make some money by allowing them on the site.

However, we sincerely do not wish to do this. As we said, we hate ads too, when trying to read a story online. So we're really really hoping for a good pledge drive this year, where we reach our fundraising goal. The " Holiday Fund Drive" logo will appear on the top of every article on the site all month long, and will show (in the thermometer at the bottom) how close we are to reaching our goal (note: right now it's at zero, but hopefully it'll need updating soon).

Donating here is easy. You don't have to wrap anything, you don't have to go to the post office, just sit back and with a few clicks you can send your support our way.

But I was just getting the hang of wrapping presents!


We should also mention that next year may be a big travel year for We intend to apply for press credentials for both political conventions (the Republican one might be a whole lot of fun, although we're skeptical we'll be high on their list of favorite media outlets, personally). And then there's always Netroots Nation, which will be in Saint Louis this year.

But, as always, we hasten to point out that these trips are not included in our fundraising goal. All we're asking for is enough to keep the lights on here at headquarters until next December. So we won't be living it up on your dime, as it were, if we do get the chance to cover our second (or even third!) national convention. Wish us luck with the credentialing committees, though, as it certainly would be fun to see both conventions and compare the differences -- and offer up some first-hand reporting on the events to you at home.

Hanging around waiting for your donation


There are many ways to get to our donations page. There is always a top menu item "Donate" which you can click on (this stays year-round, for those interested in making smaller donations over the course of the year, we might add). It's even in red, to catch your eye!

There is also a Donate button on the right side of every page here, which looks like this:



Clicking on this takes you to the PayPal donations page we have set up. Donations are accepted from PayPal accounts here, but also from all major credit cards (without having to set up a PayPal account). Another technical note: you do not have to be registered as a site user to donate via PayPal in this fashion.

And one final method to donate is to click on the " Holiday Fund Drive" logo at the top of every page this month. This will take you to our 2015 Holiday Pledge Drive page which explains how to donate in much more detail, in case anyone has any questions. It also explains how to donate via snail-mail and check, for those who don't trust PayPal.

Use any of these methods to donate, whichever is easiest for you. It's as easy as swatting a mouse ornament off a tree, in fact.

Oh, I'm all over this one!


As previously mentioned, we're taking our kitten level to maximum this year, so if a shot of a kitten in a tree didn't work, and a shot of kittens in stockings didn't do it, then how about a photo of a kitten in a stocking in a tree?!?

I've donated to have you?


The quicker you succumb, the quicker you'll be able to move on to a well-deserved rest, as visions of sugarplum-flavored mice dance in your head. Christmas is just around the corner... could those be sleighbells up on the roof?

Ready for a long winter's catnap


So that's our pitch. Our goal is to get enough support to provide an ad-free site to you for all of next year, and it's looking like it'll be an epic presidential fight -- one for the ages, in fact (especially if Trump becomes the GOP nominee). We'll be here all year long, dishing up our regular diet of reality-based political commentary, and we sincerely hope that it's valuable enough for you to send in what amounts to the price of a coffee or two each week, so that we can keep going.

I've been ever so good this year, Santa!

We thank everyone in advance for your support. If your personal economics aren't good enough to donate this year, we completely understand. If you do have a little to give, though, we would certainly appreciate it. One way or another, though, we hope that all your holiday wishes come true this year and that everyone has a very happy holiday season.


-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


5 Comments on “Holiday Fundraising Kickoff (With Mesmerizing Kittens)!”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    We are pleased to announce that the thermometer has already moved up from zero! Many thanks to our early-bird supporters....



  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Admit it... it was the kittens, wasn't it?

    You awoke from a doze to the clatter of you putting your credit card back in your wallet, and wondered "What exactly just happened?" -- didn't you?




  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    And AWAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYy we go......


    As always, I will donate 50cents for each comment I make between Thanksgiving and New Years Day..

    So, keep them coming, people.. This can't happen in a vacuum... :D

    I did something different this year.. I actually went back and counted my comments from Thanksgiving til now.. I THOUGHT I was going to have to fudge a little to reach my standard '50' comments, but I actually exceeded that..

    Bodes well for a great fundraiser!! :D


  4. [4] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    honestly i'm not really a cat person; i'd be much more moved by puppies. nonetheless, reality-based political commentary doesn't exactly grow on trees...

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mapping out a strategy for my contribution to the Holiday Fund Drive has been, admittedly, extremely difficult. The reasons for this are many and varied and, for the most part, well known.

    So, I've decided finally to keeps things simple:

    I pledge $1 US Dollar for every Michale comment that doesn't focus only on the Republican-Democrat divide and that does provoke and contribute to an enlightened discussion of issues and solutions to the critical challenges of the day, or $150, whichever is higher. Ahem.

    After a review of Michale's comments thus far (as of December 6th at 3pm in the eastern time zone) my count will begin with comments he makes after this post until just before the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day.

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