I got a personal note from Nancy Pelosi yesterday. She wanted me to be among the first to know the news – that the DCCC needs just 317 more donations to make their quota for the day. This was apparently a follow-up to a personal note the President sent me earlier in the day. Somehow between managing the Veteran’s crisis and defending his foreign policy, Obama found a moment to thumb a note to me on his blackberry!

Is a relationship built on a lie still a relationship? We’ve all tested our way into these absurdly implausible faux personal fundraising emails. We do it because it brings in more money, especially in the short run. And for fundraisers with monthly numbers to hit, the short run is all we have.

But let’s not kid ourselves. This isn’t philanthropy. It’s panhandling.