Closing Hours of 2021 Mini-Fundraiser for Water Cooler!

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Dear Readers,

We have not met our goal of 325 donors: We are at 210 214 — thank you! — so I hope there are 325 – 214 = 111 of you who can step up and throw a tip into the jar for all last year’s Water Coolers, thereby encouraging me to keep going for the coming year (which is shaping up to be very, very busy). As I promised last year: If I come down with the virus, heaven forfend, I promise to keep blogging right through it!

Here are some of the reasons contributers give for supporting Water Cooler*:


“Thank you for your great work.”

“Thanks for all your work!”

“Thank you for water cooler, from a long time lurker.”

“Thanks! I look forward to the Water Cooler every day.”

“Thank You! Ever so grateful for your filtration work! — No idea how I’d stay even half as well informed without you.”

“Lambert, thanks for the Water Coolers – my daily evening read! From an irishman(ahimsa) in Bavaria, Deutschland .”

“Many thanks for your service to your fellow citizens.”

“‘Living in America’, etc”

“To keep those hamsters in kibble! Long may they run!”

“I figure I get *at least* $20/month value from water cooler”

Last year’s reasons for donating still hold true:

1) You should support Water Cooler to protect us all against increased levels of ambient bullshit. If we had a Bullshit Meter, in 2020-2021 — the year you are now, hopefully, tipping me for — it would be pinned.

2) You should support Water Cooler to help us become even more knowledgeable citizens and voters. This includes all aspects of citizenship, from elections through sewing masks and choosing remedies, if need be.

3) You should support Water Cooler for random, serendipitous reasons. Like lots of Dad jokes, snowclones, artbot tweets, feral hog watch, and the occasional foray into gaming.

Also, although I do not wish to bring the really personal aspects of my life into the blog, I do have people who it is my pleasure and duty to support, and I really, really, really want to keep doing that for them, especially now. This is still new thing for this introvert, and I’m quite nervous about it.

So, if you can’t contemplate social distancing without the day’s Water Cooler, please go to the Tip Jar and give what you can. If you can give a lot, give a lot. If you can give a little, give a little. Bullshit Meters don’t come cheap, and they need to be constantly recalibrated! Thank you!

NOTE * It would be remiss of me not to mention all the plant images, links, and suggestions sent in by readers. The NC commentariat is truly the best commentariat, and Water Cooler would not be what it is without you.

* * *

2020’s Water Cooler fundraiser went very well, and we would like 2021’s to go just as well. Our goal is 325 donors. What Yves wrote in 2017 is true this year as well:

To be crass, Lambert is making well under a living wage for his work on Water Cooler and that is not right. We need you to live up to what we hope is one of the widely-held values in the commentariat, that people should be paid fairly for their work, especially work that has already been done! That means digging into your wallets, whether a little or for a lot, and chipping in for Water Cooler.

Readers, I couldn’t write Water Cooler without independent funding from you; there’s no mainstream market for calling out bullshit. You are paying me for work I have already done — unlike the Naked Capitalism fundraiser proper, which sets the budget for the following year — and so having played the fiddle, I am now passing my cap. Please click the Donate button below and contribute what you can. Even if you can only make a small contribution, we’d still appreciate that, because we also have readers who can make much bigger donations. Again, our target is 300 donors, and we’d like to return to our regularly scheduled programming as soon as possible. I really enjoy writing Water Cooler, and I hope you enjoy reading it. Thank you!

* * *

To make the business relationships clear, Yves writes:

Water Cooler is a separate store front within Naked Capitalism to pay for [Lambert’s] considerable effort on it over and above all the work he already does on the site… Yes, Lambert also gets paid out of the annual fundraiser, but that is for the considerable amount of work he does besides Water Cooler, such as DJing the site, helping manage the comments section, managing a lot of the tech issues, and helping in tooth-gnashing over other “business of running the business” matters.

* * *

Readers, you may donate here:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

If you hate PayPal — even though you can use a credit card or debit card on PayPal — you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check.

And if you have any technical difficulties, do feel free to send me a note at the address above.

NOTE: If you have PayPal One-Touch™ enabled — maybe from donating through ActBlue? — PayPal will take you directly to a PayPal screen, by-passing the credit card option. You can disable it from inside PayPal, although — do this at your own risk — I blew away all my cookies at one point and it went away.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. CCinco

    I deeply appreciate all that you do with the Water Cooler and for the Naked Capitalism blog. I truly believe that it is in large part because of you that I never succumbed to TDS despite the hysteria that was swirling around me during those years. You have provided me with an insight into politics and the zeitgeist of USAian culture that I would not have had without the Water Cooler and your contributions to NC. Thank you!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I never succumbed to TDS

      I wish I understood what was happening to the zeitgeist in The Biden Era. I feel like an anesthesia mask is slowly being fitted over my face. I don’t like it at all.

  2. cocomaan

    You know you’re reading Water Cooler every day, so just chip in.

    Besides, all your fiat is losing value!

  3. IM

    Thanks for everything you do! WC drops at 11AM on the west coast, always in time for the end of the COVID emergency operations committee meeting at the hospital. It’s a welcome change from the vid!

  4. Maggie

    50 thank you dollars… Our cats are enjoying the daily bird songs… some more than others!

  5. LaRuse

    Thank you for the reminder. I was lazy and assumed I had a few more days. I sincerely look forward to the WaterCooler every day at 1400 because it helps me fight the afternoon doldrums while getting just a little bit smarter. And seriously, I love the bird calls – I have become quite a bird watcher since Work From Home life kicked off and I am always especially tickled when you feature a bird I happen to see at my feeder on the same day. You should check out the Brown Headed Cowbird next time you are looking for a bird suggestion – one landed on my car antenna while I was pulling weeds in the flower bed this evening and his song was lovely!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > , I love the bird calls – I have become quite a bird watcher since Work From Home life kicked off and I am always especially tickled when you feature a bird I happen to see at my feeder on the same day

      At some point I will revise my format to include a place for requests. It never occurred to me that there would be a WFH aspect to this!

  6. JTMcPhee

    How are we doing? Do two donations count individually toward the total? Asking for a friend…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      We did very well, and I don’t keep tabs on the count to that level of granularity. (I stop reading the PayPal email confirmations when the fundraiser begins, and so the count is the number of unread messages in the PayPal donation folder (which filters out non-donation email like notices, yes)). Not that many people donate multiple times.

  7. WillyBgood

    I’ve been out of work for months, have a bad heart (22% EF), wife and kid but still-sanity is priceless. It may be minuscule, but I’m giving what I can because the watercooler is worth it!

  8. Altandmain

    I am giving a bit of money as well.

    Right now, my job is about to be “restructured”, that is I’m about to be out of a job, but it is the thought that counts.

  9. Geo

    Sorry I’m not able to contribute right now (short on bills as it is) but soon as I get a few checks I’m awaiting will make a contribution. Thanks for all you do!

Comments are closed.