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80 liberals each pledge $1 million - hope to copy success of think tanks run by conservatives
Houston Chronicle ^ | August 7, 2005 | THOMAS B. EDSALL

Posted on 08/07/2005 12:37:45 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Edited on 08/07/2005 9:27:21 AM PDT by Sidebar Moderator. [history]

WASHINGTON - At least 80 wealthy liberals have pledged to contribute at least $1 million each to fund a network of think tanks and advocacy groups, to compete with the potent conservative infrastructure built up during the last three decades.


(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: aaam; aig; amherst; apple; azimuth; berkshirehathaway; capitalz; centrereinsurance; china; choice; choiceprogram; conservative; democracyalliance; democraticparty; fundingtheleft; glaad; gluckstern; greenberg; hongkong; howardmilstein; insurance; intel; iran; kerrydefeat; liberal; liberals; michaelpalm; millionaires; milstein; noycefoundation; palm; peregrine; peregrineinvestments; pih; prc; shadowparty; stevegluckstern; stevengluckstern; tehran; telluride; thinktank; virginislands; zurich; zurichfinancial; zurichfinancialgroup; zurichgroup; zurichreinsurance
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Expanded article***.................As alliance officials see it, many liberal groups are designed to protect an agenda that was enacted by past Democratic majorities -- as opposed to generating new ideas and communication strategies to win support from voters who do not belong to labor or other traditionally Democratic constituencies.

Among those on the board are Ann S. Bowers, founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation and former executive at Intel Corp.; Albert C. Yates, former president of Colorado State University; and California high-tech entrepreneur Davidi Gilo.

The goal of the alliance, according to organizers, is to foster the growth of liberal or left-leaning institutions equipped to take on prominent think tanks on the right, including the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute, as well as such training centers as the Leadership Institute and the Young America's Foundation.

Almost all the alliance partners have been active donors of the Democratic Party and liberal interest groups. Many said they have concluded that their spending to date has lacked strategic coherence.

…………. John D. Podesta established the Center for American Progress; former Democratic congressional aide David Sirota recently set up the state-oriented Progressive Legislative Action Network; and author David Brock helped create Media Matters for America last year, among others. All these groups are potential recipients of money from alliance partners.

In addition, the number of liberal bloggers on the Web has been growing at a fast pace, and their blogs have become both central forums for debate over party strategies and hugely successful vehicles for campaign fundraising, including raising through online contributions more than two thirds of the $750,000 used in the surprisingly competitive House campaign of Democrat Paul Hackett in Ohio. Rosenberg has created the New Politics Institute, an organization that works with bloggers. …..***

1 posted on 08/07/2005 12:37:45 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Liberal think tank...

I picture lots of bubbles from the cranial flatulence.


2 posted on 08/07/2005 12:39:05 AM PDT by Keith in Iowa (Liberals...they're so quixotic - not to mention the #1 source of #2.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"It wasn't only the failure to win, it was the question 'what does it take to win?' "

They still can't come to grips with the concept that they LOST, nor the idea that they don't have a message.

3 posted on 08/07/2005 12:42:32 AM PDT by JRios1968 (Will work for a tagline.)
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To: Keith in Iowa

4 posted on 08/07/2005 12:42:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Keith in Iowa

No way could it possibly be that people are simply more in tune with the conservative agenda, especially given the way the dems have been running towards the hard left...

Nah... It's gotta be the fact that there simply aren't enough leftist "think tanks," as if nearly every university campus in the US isn't enough!

Mark


5 posted on 08/07/2005 12:43:17 AM PDT by MarkL (It was a shocking cock-up. The mice were furious!)
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To: JRios1968

The idea has dawned on progressives (I guess they've been listening to Rush) is they need their own ideas. All LIBERALS do is bash, obstruct and ridicule. Ugly, ugly, ugly.


6 posted on 08/07/2005 12:44:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

All they need is good ideas, honesty and vision.

If they can fake those things, there's no limit to what they can accomplish.


7 posted on 08/07/2005 12:46:59 AM PDT by Tax Government (Put down the judicial insurrection. Contribute to FR.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
All the money in the world won't buy the libs good ideas, common sense and decency.

Let the libs flush their $$$ down the toilet.
Fine with me.

8 posted on 08/07/2005 12:47:51 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Hey, you know what they say about a fool and his money...if those rich liberals want to throw their money away, who are we to stop them?


9 posted on 08/07/2005 12:48:17 AM PDT by JRios1968 (Will work for a tagline.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Wake me up when they come up with an idea, any idea, other than raising taxes.


10 posted on 08/07/2005 12:49:13 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

11 posted on 08/07/2005 12:53:04 AM PDT by Pro-Bush (We're not vigilantes! We're undocumented Border Patrol agents!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Gee, I thought we already had a bunch of liberal think tanks: Brookings, Twentieth Century Fund, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Economic Policy Institute, Center for Law and Policy, etc. As for 80 new ones, bring 'em on. They will just provide more targets for Freeperville.


12 posted on 08/07/2005 12:53:49 AM PDT by gpapa (Voice of reason from the left coast)
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To: Tax Government; sphinx; Cindy
All they need is good ideas, honesty and vision.

All the money in the world won't buy the libs good ideas, common sense and decency

Wake me up when they come up with an idea, any idea, other than raising taxes

They're boxed in and I don't see any way out.

13 posted on 08/07/2005 12:55:35 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: JRios1968
Hey, you know what they say about a fool and his money...if those rich liberals want to throw their money away, who are we to stop them?

But they're the elite, they can't miss. He he he.

14 posted on 08/07/2005 12:56:22 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

There's a new idea from the libs...throw money at the problem.. ROTFL


15 posted on 08/07/2005 12:58:08 AM PDT by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: gpapa
Gee, I thought we already had a bunch of liberal think tanks: .................

I think the idea is to cement their progressive agenda under one roof and then doll out the cash to those who follow the script.

16 posted on 08/07/2005 12:59:09 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

They built the box and climbed in.
It's just a matter of time before they put their own
lid on the box and that will be the end of the story.


17 posted on 08/07/2005 1:00:02 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: Pro-Bush

Poor Algore, he doesn't look good in green either.


18 posted on 08/07/2005 1:00:16 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
How can I get a million? Hell I'll tell them that almost every American hates the federal goverment and thinks that the state government sucks also. Is there any question? Is there any need for 80 million dollars to find out the obvious?
19 posted on 08/07/2005 1:01:18 AM PDT by Porterville (Don't make me go Bushi on your a$$)
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To: Keith in Iowa

should it be called a think tank or a feeling tank?

if it is a feeling tank, they can all chat while they smoke crack and play with cigars


20 posted on 08/07/2005 1:01:24 AM PDT by dila813
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Let's let them think so!


21 posted on 08/07/2005 1:01:41 AM PDT by JRios1968 (Will work for a tagline.)
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To: Cindy

Hillary will be a handful of nails pounded into the top of that box.

Could it be, they don't want Hillary and are getting an advance team together to find another candidate?


22 posted on 08/07/2005 1:02:07 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Can't figure out that ideas are also needed!


23 posted on 08/07/2005 1:03:06 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Well, everything else has failed. Heh heh heh...

One nice thing about that $80 million. It's toast. It will be wasted, the project won't work and demcrats won't have access to it after they've squandered it.


24 posted on 08/07/2005 1:04:06 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservative.)
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To: Porterville

You just made me spill my coffee!!

Send them a bill for that info!

LOL


25 posted on 08/07/2005 1:04:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Just another dimocRATic "financial clearing house". Isn't the market already flooded with those freakin things.


26 posted on 08/07/2005 1:04:55 AM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I don't know.


27 posted on 08/07/2005 1:05:33 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Several Clintonists listed.


28 posted on 08/07/2005 1:06:06 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Let them piss their money away.

They still don't get it- that they stand for NOTHING.
29 posted on 08/07/2005 1:08:19 AM PDT by ChefKeith (If Diplomacy worked, then we would be sitting here talking.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Air America II


30 posted on 08/07/2005 1:08:24 AM PDT by kenth
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

A ______ and his _______ are soon ________.


31 posted on 08/07/2005 1:08:50 AM PDT by Peelod (Decentia est fragilis. Curatoribus validis indiget.)
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To: Cindy
A few friends and I are forming a small local "liberal" group to organize several activities. We are going to apply for some funding from this group, organize (that is post a few flyers and the like) a few totally unorganized liberal wastes of time, and pocket the money. Works for me. Any ideas for what sort of liberal circle jerks we could organize that would make lefties look stupid and at the same time allow us proper cover for pocketing the money? It's hard to come up with stupider stuff than they already do. Of course, those could already be undercover conservatives trying to make the left look stupid.
32 posted on 08/07/2005 1:10:24 AM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: Cindy
On second thought, they'll probably back Hillary and spend the money on the House and Senate races. That's the ticket. Go Hillary!


33 posted on 08/07/2005 1:10:41 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The left constantly whines and complains that there's never enough money spent on social programs, yet they always find money to spend on pushing politics.

On a side note, one of the more amusing DU threads I saw a while back started out with the question, "What would you do if you got a hundred million dollars?" The posts were well into the double digits before anyone thought of donating to help other people, which they pretend is their shtick. Most were all schemes that they thought would take back the White House.


34 posted on 08/07/2005 1:12:43 AM PDT by kenth
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To: ncountylee

Yes.

See post #27.

I guess they're just swirling in that Hillary bowl along with the rest of them.


35 posted on 08/07/2005 1:13:10 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: kenth

Of course.

To them, the universe is out of wack if a LIBERAL isn't running the show.


36 posted on 08/07/2005 1:14:07 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: gpapa

They could just fund that fake Indian freak in Colorado; let him have freedom to bombastically teach "what it takes to win."


37 posted on 08/07/2005 1:19:53 AM PDT by 185JHP ( "The thing thou purposest shall come to pass: And over all thy ways the light shall shine.")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
They're boxed in and I don't see any way out.

There is a perfectly easy way out, but it requires that some democrat of stature stand up to the special interests.

If I were advising Hillary, I'd tell her to come out in favor of voluntary private investment accounts in Social Security coupled with a guarantee that everyone would get at least as much as Social Security promises. Eliminate the downside risk. Maybe throw in a sweetener for low income folks in the form of an additional federal payment, to be phased out as income rises. Then she should have a Sister Souljah moment with the NEA and come out for school choice.

Hillary could do these things and still get the nomination. She would be the next President. Other democrats could and should do them. Their route to the nomination would be tougher, but they could still break the Party out of its rut.

IOW, all it would take for the 'rats to get healthy is to come unstuck on a couple of big issues. Sooner or later they will, first and foremost because they want to win elections.

38 posted on 08/07/2005 1:20:18 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: sphinx
First Hillary has to win the primary and your idea for her calling for school choice, just won't fly. She knows the NEA is the cash and the muscle behind any win she would have.

The current Democratic Party ISN'T about doing what is right, it's about getting power back and running our lives, the way they see fit.

If Hillary says anything else, she's a liar. But then we already know she's a liar.

Hillary Clinton and the Radical Left - Hillary Clinton and the Third Way***.......If others could understand your truth, you would not think of yourself as a "vanguard." You would no longer inhabit the morally charmed world of an elite, whose members alone can see the light and whose mission is to lead the unenlightened towards it. If everybody could see the promised horizon and knew the path to reach it, the future would already have happened and there would be no need for the vanguard of the saints. ...........***

39 posted on 08/07/2005 1:28:30 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
October 26, 1998

New York Islanders owners Steven Gluckstern and Howard Milstein, embroiled in similar battle with SMG over their lease at Nassau Coliseum, are reportedly considering filing Chapter 7 and liquidating their interest in the team, in which case the franchise could end up being run by the league. Both sets of owners are ultimately seeking new publicly funded arenas.

******

How did AIG use insurance contracts to sell accounting fraud?

Steven Gluckstern and Michael Palm figured out how to minimize insurers' risk and give customers an accounting edge and a tax break: Multiyear contracts in which the premiums covered most if not all of the potential losses -- but refunded much of the unclaimed money at the end of the contract. Buyers loved the policies because they could offset losses with loan-like proceeds without disclosing liabilities that would muddy their bottom lines. And the premiums were tax deductible. Such policies became among the industry's hottest products. Now, two decades later, they are the focus of multiple state and federal investigations into companies suspected of using them to manipulate earnings. And this week, those probes helped topple Mr. Greenberg as chief executive, although he will remain chairman. His company sold one policy later declared a sham by federal authorities and itself bought another -- now the focus of intense scrutiny -- from Berkshire Hathaway Inc., where Messrs. Gluckstern and Palm got their start. "If used improperly, these contracts can enable a company to conceal the bottom-line impact of a loss and thus misrepresent its financial results," says the Securities and Exchange Commission's Mark Schonfeld, who is overseeing the agency's probe of such policies as the head of its Northeast office.




March 5, 1999
Capital Z is run by partner Steven Gluckstern, the CEO of Zurich Reinsurance (North America), Inc., the principal underwriting affiliate of the Zurich Group in the North American market for property and casualty reinsurance. Gluckstern also made recent headlines locally by acquiring the troubled New York Islanders hockey franchise

40 posted on 08/07/2005 1:39:42 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Keith in Iowa

Steven M. Gluckstern is a founding managing director of Azimuth Alternative Asset Management, LLLP, a global alternative asset management company based in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1998, he co-founded Capital Z Partners, and 10 years earlier, he was a founder of Centre Reinsurance, which was subsequently acquired by the Zurich Financial Group in 1993. Prior to entering the world of business, Gluckstern spent seven years as a teacher and school administrator. After he received his Ed.D. from the University in 1974, he founded the CHOICE program at Scarsdale Jr. High School, an alternative educational curriculum still in use today. He subsequently was a principal at the Community School in Tehran, Iran, and superintendent of schools in Telluride, Col. In 2001, a $1.7 million gift from Gluckstern was used to help endow two professorships: the Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professorship in Education Policy and Reform, honoring Dwight Allen, former dean of the School of Education; and the Robert L. Gluckstern Distinguished Professorship of Physics, recognizing Gluckstern's father, Robert, who was professor and head of the department of physics and provost at UMass Amherst during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In addition to his doctorate from UMass Amherst, Gluckstern holds an MBA from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree from Amherst College.

41 posted on 08/07/2005 1:43:26 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl
.......................Alliance chairman Steven Gluckstern, a retired investment banker, said President Bush's victory over Sen. John Kerry after millions were put into pro-Democratic "527" groups caused many contributors to think that a dramatically new approach was needed. ...............

I don't doubt he sees an angle to put some money in his pocket. Thank you for the information in Post #40. Most interesting.

42 posted on 08/07/2005 1:46:49 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: FreedomCalls
Say, this is a great find: Kudos to you.

I particularly like this bit:

PETA has a powerful DVD with shocking undercover videos documenting chicken abuse

Quite a peckish lot, I'd say.

I will forgo the obvious pun about "foul play," but will remark that I am surprised that the reporter managed to restrain himself here.

Too funny.

If our civilization survives these idiots and common sense prevails, some cultural historian somewhere in the future will have a high old time rooting around in the lunacies of our age.

43 posted on 08/07/2005 1:47:53 AM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: kcvl

Good grief!!


44 posted on 08/07/2005 1:48:38 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The current Democratic Party ISN'T about doing what is right, it's about getting power back and running our lives, the way they see fit.

Agreed. The current democrats are pretty pathetic. I would love to be a fly on the wall at one of their meetings, where they must go around a room full of people -- every one of whom has his/her own kids in private school -- rehearsing their answers as to why school choice is a bad idea.

My point is, they know what they're doing here is a corrupt sellout. And they know the primary victims are their own base voters. It's the same on investment accounts. All the prominent 'rat pols have their own money in 401(k)'s and know the benefits. All of them can read the polls that show every demographic group except current retirees favors reform, with support rising the younger and/or more financially literate a voter is. That is the future. On the other side, there is the short term politics of scaring a dwindling number of old folks -- and the terminally dimwitted (just check DU) -- with bogeymen. How much longer will dems stay locked into the stupid side of this argument?

I don't predict that Hillary will do these things -- I don't think she's that bright or independent. But she should if she wants to be president. Sooner or later, some prominent democrat will break ranks. These are emperor's new clothes issues. I am astonished the dems have conceded them to us for so long.

45 posted on 08/07/2005 1:54:00 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Gluckstern also is a businessman with a clear focus on the bottom line. And local officials will be facing off across the bargaining table with a man whose rise -- to the top echelon of one of the world's biggest insurance conglomerates, to political big-donor lunches with President Bill Clinton and to global deal-making with some of Hong Kong's top tycoons -- has not been without controversy.

Indeed, over his rapid 10-year rise to fame and fortune in the insurance industry, Gluckstern's out-of-the-box financial approaches and corporate tactics have occasionally rankled accounting regulators, industry competitors, environmentalists, legislators and even some of his own shareholders.

Just last year, for example, his company -- in an unusual use of a 1994 statute that a Zurich affiliate had a hand in drafting -- reeled in the biggest tax subsidy in Connecticut history, $190 million in tax credits for moving 400 jobs from Manhattan to Stamford. The deal was so controversial that legislators threatened to block it by retroactively amending the law until Zurich agreed to make a $12.5-million economic development grant.

46 posted on 08/07/2005 1:56:06 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
January 18, 1998

In 1995, for example, $70,000 in contributions to the Democratic National Committee bought Gluckstern a seat at Clinton's right hand during a controversial lunch with big donors at which the president praised them for helping fund an early ad blitz through a "soft-money" loophole.

More recently, Gluckstern was Zurich's point man in an attempted rescue of Peregrine Investments Holdings, a controversial Hong Kong investment bank with strong ties to the People's Republic of China.

Gluckstern grew up in Amherst, Mass., the son of a psychologist and a physicist. He began his professional career as a teacher.

47 posted on 08/07/2005 1:59:19 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: FreedomCalls
Gee, it gets even better. From the golf article:

The first meeting she'll seek, she said, will be with Chuck Fruit, senior president of worldwide media and alliances for Coca-Cola, the world's No. 1 soft-drink company.

What hilarity! One cannot make this stuff up. Bet Chick got his position purely based on his name. I know I would hind that moniker hard to resist if I were looking to hire a "senior president of worldwide media and alliances." Take that, Tropicana!

Now i have to ask: If we could get Mr Chuck Fruit to hitch up with the PETA crowd over at KFC, would they "throw in the fowl?"

48 posted on 08/07/2005 2:00:18 AM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: Cindy
Wisdom always flows through the zeitgeist to the righteous. Repentance is free. Money doesn't buy honour or integrity.

"Paying" for wisdom without prayer, vigilance and right action is akin to ripping up $100 bills whilst standing in a tornado.
49 posted on 08/07/2005 2:01:48 AM PDT by Supercomputer One
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To: CasearianDaoist

In the Philosophical Supermarket of Life groups like PETA are in the Nearly-Use-By Date Throw Away Bin.


50 posted on 08/07/2005 2:03:57 AM PDT by Supercomputer One
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