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Lobbyist Dick Armey's "Freedom Works" Is Orchestrating HC Riots on Behalf of His Corporate Clients

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:54 PM
Original message
Lobbyist Dick Armey's "Freedom Works" Is Orchestrating HC Riots on Behalf of His Corporate Clients
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 01:57 PM by Stephanie
From ThinkProgress:



FreedomWorks Orchestrates Grassroots Movements To Serve Dick Armeys Corporate Clients

ThinkProgress reported last week that corporate lobbyists are helping to orchestrate the anti-Obama tea party protests. These lobbying-run front groups, along with promotion help from Fox News, are organizing the tea parties by calling right-wing activists and asking them to organize. They are also coordinating conference calls among activists, writing press releases, providing sign ideas, building websites supporting the protests, and distributing talking points so that the protesters can stay on message.

Today, FreedomWorks Adam Brandon responded to the criticism that its efforts to organize these anti-Obama protests are astroturf, saying that the organizations work in coordinating and planning the events would be akin to MoveOns model. However, MoveOn is not run by corporate lobbyists and is funded by actual grassroots activists. On the other hand, the leader of FreedomWorks, Dick Armey, who is ranked as one of DCs top hired guns, is a corporate lobbyist with a history of directing FreedomWorks to support the goals of his lobbying clients. For example:

  • Armeys FreedomWorks is actively organizing against health care reform. Indeed, Armeys lobbying firm represents pharmaceutical companies, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, that oppose comparative effectiveness research in the health reform plan because such a program may cut into revenue for branded drugs.

  • Armeys lobbying firm represents the trade group for the life insurance industry. Indeed, FreedomWorks mobilizes its members for deregulated life insurance reform.


==snip==

Last year, the Wall Street Journal exposed FreedomWorks for building amateur-looking websites to promote the lobbying interests of Armey.

FreedomWorks represents a top-down, corporate-friendly approach that has been the norm for conservative organizations for years. As Obama prepares to push to close corporate tax loopholes, reform health care, and transition to a clean energy economy, we can expect more corporate lobbyists to create astroturf protests to oppose change.


So that's why you see the Teabaggers rioting in "912" t-shirts, sold to them by Dick Armey and his corporate clients. Suckers!


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3waygeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Quelle surprise...
a guy named Dick Armey has organized an army of dicks.
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Tommy_Carcetti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
26. Ah, you beat me to it......
.....and here I thought I was being clever and original hours later.

Well, kudos to you, my friend.

Nice how the situation sets up the joke so perfectly. Even better than "Teabaggers".
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47of74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. I wish some U.S. Attorney would draw up a shitload of RICO charges
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. Dick Armey should be painted as Jim Jones. Nothing more cynical than
getting people to do harm to themselves.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. is FW a nonprofit, like Tim Phillips' group?
that's the most outrageous thing for me: these guys get away with being strident activist for corporate interests, pay NO taxes on the millions they get in 'donations,' and don't have to DISCLOSE whence the money comes.

how disgusting is that?
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Funded by a "Foundation"
Headed by Dick Armey and Steve Forbes: http://www.freedomworks.org/about/board-of-directors

Looks like 20 on staff. http://www.freedomworks.org/about/staff
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
7.  freedomworks isn't allowed deductible contributions, but freedomworks FOUNDATION is:
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 03:40 PM by Gabi Hayes
they're another. now, I dunno if that's a typo bewtween the two, but here:

FreedomWorks Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and advocacy organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax deductible as charitable gifts

https://www.freedomworks.org/contribute?form=c3

..............

FreedomWorks is a 501(c)(4) organization, gifts to which are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.

http://www.freedomworks.org/disclaimer-and-additional-i...

so, I guess most of their money comes from the foundation. where do they get THEIR money?

congress absolutely MUST make funding of ANY 'charitable' public, otherwise, they shouldn't be able to receive a tax break

WTF?
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Christ! Exempt from paying taxes, no required disclosure of contributions
Unbelieveable. Donations are not tax-deductible.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=The_U.S._tax...
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. On their donations page they claim 501(c)3, but when you click thru they identify as 501(c)4
https://www.freedomworks.org/contribute?form=c3

FreedomWorks Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and advocacy organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax deductible as charitable gifts.

_________________________________________________


http://www.freedomworks.org/disclaimer-and-additional-i...

DISCLAIMER AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
FreedomWorks is a 501(c)(4) organization, gifts to which are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes. A copy of the latest financial report and registration filed by this organization may be obtained by contacting us at: 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, North Bldg, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20004, (202) 783-3870 or by contacting any of the state agencies:

*California: FreedomWorkss audited financial statement is available upon request to FreedomWorks. 0 percent of your gift may be deducted under Federal and State income tax laws.

*Florida: A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-435-7352. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION, BY THE STATE. 100 percent of your gift is received by FreedomWorks.

*Georgia: Upon request, FreedomWorks will provide a full and fair description of this and its other programs, and a financial statement or summary.

*Illinois: Contracts and reports regarding FreedomWorks are on file with the Illinois Attorney General.

*Kansas: The Kansas registration number is 219-7226. The annual financial report for the preceding fiscal year is on file with the Secretary of State.

*Maryland: Documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from the Maryland Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401, (410) 974-5534.

*Minnesota: 0 percent of your gift may be deducted as a charitable contribution under Federal and State income tax laws.

*Mississippi: The official registration and financial information of FreedomWorks may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of States office by calling 1-888-236-6167. Registration by the Secretary of State does not imply endorsement by the Secretary of State.

*New Jersey: INFORMATION FILED WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING THIS CHARITABLE SOLICITATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY BY CALLING (973) 504-6215. REGISTRATION WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT.

*New York: Upon request, a copy of FreedomWorkss last annual report filed with the Department of State is available from FreedomWorks or the Office of the Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.

*North Carolina: FINANCIAL INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ORGANIZATION AND A COPY OF ITS LICENSE ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE STATE SOLICITATION LICENSING BRANCH AT (919) 733-4510. THE LICENSE IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT BY THE STATE.

*Pennsylvania: The official registration and financial information of FreedomWorks may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

*Virginia: A financial statement is available from the State Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services upon request.

*Washington: The registration statement required by the Charitable Solicitation Act is on file with the Secretary of State. Additional information can be obtained by calling 1-800-332-4483.

*West Virginia: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, West Virginia 25305. Registration does not imply endorsement.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. They are both 501(c)3 and 501(c)4
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/freedomworks

FreedomWorks was formed with the 2004 merger of Citizens for a Sound Economy, headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and Empower America, co-founded by supply-side pioneer Jack Kemp, to push for lower taxes especially on investment and inheritance smaller safety-net programs, and fewer regulations on business and industry.

FreedomWorks
1775 Pennsylvania Avenue NW - 11th Floor
Washington, DC 20006-5805
Website: www.freedomworks.org

Chairman: Dick Armey
President: Matt Kibbe
Formed: 2004, with the merger of Citizens for a Sound Economy (founded 1984) and Empower America (founded 1993)
Board of Directors: Dick Armey; Matt Kibbe; James H. Burnley; Thomas Knudson; Richard J. Stephenson; Bill Jaeger; Ted Abram (American Institute for Full Employment); and Frank M. Sands, Sr.
Finances: $5,772,520 ($3,082,191, 2004 revenue for FreedomWorks, Inc., a 501(c)4, and $2,690,329, 2004 revenue for FreedomWorks Foundation, a 501(c)3. In addition, FreedomWorks PAC spent just $1,862 on 2006 candidates by September 30.
Publications: Congressional scorecard, candidate survey, FreedomTalks (blog), various reports and opinion columns
Affiliate Groups: FreedomWorks Foundation, FreedomWorks PAC
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. yeah.....FreedomWorks is non-deductible. FreedomWorks Foundation is.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 04:10 PM by Gabi Hayes
so about 60% of their money is non deduct

interesting that bit about fooling insurance purchasers

they really have all the bases covered, don't they?

did you hear about that "Better Government Association" scam? some RW sleaze group named themselves after the BGA, who is in the process of suing them
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Check this out - they duped insurance purchasers into joining and donating
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

With Insurance Policy Comes Membership
Unbeknown to Some, Those Signing Up With Firm Are Joining Conservative Group

==snip==

Chace's experience has brought to light an obscure arrangement between a prominent Republican businessman, J. Patrick Rooney, and a free-market interest group that has netted the grass-roots organization hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of new members. Citizens for a Sound Economy -- now called FreedomWorks and headed by former House majority leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) -- has netted more than $638,000 and about 16,000 members through the sale of insurance policies.

Officials from FreedomWorks say the insurance sales are just another way for grass-roots groups to garner members and are no different from the activities of such giants as AARP, the senior citizens lobby.

"This is one of several avenues through which nonprofits do their job," said Kent Lassman, vice president for strategy at FreedomWorks.

Critics see the effort as a way for political groups to inflate their membership rosters -- and their bottom lines -- by taking dues from people with no interest in the groups' politics.

"We have clearly concluded these folks had no idea what Citizens for a Sound Economy was," said Louis M. Silber, a lawyer involved in a Florida class-action suit against Rooney's firm. "They had no idea where their money was going."

Officials from Rooney's Medical Savings Insurance Co. did not respond to numerous telephone calls and e-mails.

Documents produced through the suit against Rooney's company show how FreedomWorks, a political group that made its name fighting for a flat income tax and questioning global warming, has joined the insurance business. Under the deal, proposed by Rooney in 2000, brokers for Medical Savings Insurance Co. sell high-deductible insurance policies and tax-free savings plans at a group discount to buyers who join the conservative political organization.

"We are pleased with your offer to benefit CSE and we are ready to go forward subject to alterations of the contract," Ann House Quinn, then vice president for development of Citizens for a Sound Economy, wrote to Rooney on Sept. 13, 2000.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. Remember Maha?
http://www.mahablog.com/?s=freedomworks

==snip==

Essentially, in 2004 Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two groups, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, and the FreedomWorks part merged with Empower America.

SourceWatch says that FreedomWorks has been accused of being a mouthpiece for hire, taking on any cause it is paid to take on.

The smaller spinoff, AFP, does not disclose the identity of corporate donors (wanna bet theres insurance company money involved?), but SourceWatch says AFP has received substantive grants from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation.

Last year AFP sponsored a hot air balloon cross-country tour with the slogan, Global Warming Alarmism: Lost Jobs, Higher Taxes, Less Freedom. Before that, they campaigned to oppose smoke-free workplace bans and cigarette excise tax increases (during which time it was learned AFP was getting money from big tobacco companies). Now its organizing protests of Democratic representatives to oppose health care reform and also cap and trade energy reform. As part of this, it has begun a patients first bus tour.

One suspects AFP is an astroturf-organization-for-hire. Special interest groups and corporations can pay them to organize protests against whatever reform they are trying to stop. Interestingly, there may be a connection between AFP and the infamous Mike Castle-birther lunatics episode, according to Think Progress. In that case, it seems the mob was supposed to protest Rep. Castles vote in favor of cap and trade, and it went off script.

Apparently the meetings are getting frightening. The Associated Press reports that after a recent meeting Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., needed a police escort to get to his car. If this continues, sooner or later somebody is going to be hurt. I say in the interest of public safety, town hall meetings could be held on the Web.
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Buns_of_Fire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. They don't even TRY to hide the connection, do they?
AS IF the tax-deductable donations to the FreedomWorks FOUNDATION aren't shoveled directly to the non-tax-deductable FreedomWorks.ORG.

"We're gonna screw you over now, RIGHT IN PLAIN SIGHT. And there's not a damned thing you can do about it."
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. No they don't
They roll the tax-deductible 501(c)3 donations over to the 501(c)4 and combine it with the millions in corporate donations to dupe the Freepers with lies about euthanasia. Nice job, Dick.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Is this a new incarnation of the now defunction Freedom's Watch?
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Don't think so
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/corporate-grassr...

FreedomWorks claims a membership of over 360,000 and a multi-tentacled legal structure that includes a 501 c(3), a 501 c(4), a 527, a federal PAC, and various state PACs. John Stauber, co-author of Banana Republicans: How The Right Wing is Turning America into a One-Party State, recently pointed out that that according to internal documents leaked to the Washington Post in January 2000, the bulk of Citizens for a Sound Economy's revenues ($15.5 million in 1998) came not from its members, but from contributions of $250,000 and up from large corporations, including Allied Signal, Archer Daniels Midland, DaimlerChrysler, Emerson Electric Company, Enron, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Philip Morris and U.S. West (now Qwest).

And like their progenitors they get millions from the conservative foundations.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. There's something under the rug, imho, because this is exactly
what Freedom's Watch claimed to be, aspired to be. Freedom's Watch was one of Cheney's projects.

On the other hand, the Republicans are now so few that it would be surprising if their various front groups didn't overlap a lot.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
6. Smarmey Armey is a BROWN SHIRT ASSHOLE who needs ReHabbing for 77656 years
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
9. I rec'd this thread and it went up by 4, not 1.
lol
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #9
22. While you were reading
Three other people thought this thread was worth recommending. :)
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
18. FreedomWorks 2006 tax return
http://www.hartwilliams.com/2006-found.pdf

Dick Armey paid himself $400,00 plus $100,000 from the other entity.

Found here:



http://hisvorpal.wordpress.com/2007/11/12/mannix-freedo... /

==snip==

From their OTHER 2006 tax return (That was FreedomWorks FOUNDATION, this is from FreedomWorks, Inc.), the following are listed as Related Organizations:

Citizens for a Sound Economy <"Dormant" since CSE was morphed INTO FreedomWorks in 2005>. FreedomWorks Chair, Dick Armey, the former GOP House Majority leader under Newt, back during the Impeachment days, made over a half million dollars for running it in 2006.

FreedomWorks Foundation, Inc.
FreedomWorks Political Action Committee
Oregon CSE Political Action Committee
Taxpayer Defense Fund
Citizens for PERS Reform
The FreedomWorks Fund
League of Freedom Voters
CSE Freedomworks, Inc.
Judicial Integrity Coalition
Citizens for a Sound Economy, Inc.
And for each of the officers, the explanation of one of the Related relationships is the same:

Historical relationship/Common board members and officers.

The reason for this is that FreedomWorks Foundation ALSO paid the officers. For instance, Honorable Richard K. Armey received $100,833 in compensation from FreedomWorks, Inc. BUT he also received $403,333 from FreedomWorks Foundation.

==snip==

And, the FreedomWorks, Inc. tax return shows that in 2006, they spent $5,198,677 for

Federal and State campaigns: Advocacy, research and education on reforming Federal and state policy in areas such as taxation, social security, spending policy, litigation reform and other related issues.

Adding Public Affairs and Other Programs you get $5,461,994 So, about 85% of FreedomWorks, Incs money is spent on advertising. The other two significant expenses are salaries and fundraising. The reason that FreedomWorks is an Inc is that its a 501(c)4, which means that it can spend money on political campaigns, but they dont have to reveal where they GOT the $6,507,198 that they spent in 2006.

They still have to pay tax on the money, but they dont have to reveal their donors. Got that? Now, FreedomWorks Foundation which, according to their tax returns, comprised 79.4% of Dick Armeys brain in 2006 is a Foundation because its a 501(c)3 CHARITABLE organization, which means that contributions are tax deductible, just like if Dick Armey was the head scoutmaster for the Girl Scouts of America or the Red Cross.

Because, whatever they do politically thats NOT charitable can be done by the 20.6% of Dick Armeys brain that isnt engaged in charitable pursuits through the FreedomWorks Foundation.

WE pay for the charitable foundation, of course, because we have to make up the tax deductions that the charitys donors have made. Happily they have to pay tax on their contributions to the Inc. but nobody needs to know who they are.

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
19. More:

http://www.nationalhustle.org/2009/08/freedomworks-fron... /

==snip==

But whos informing and organizing these groups? Clearly, this cant be a random gathering of concerned citizens, right? Last night, Chris Matthews had on a representative from FreedomWorks, the principal group behind these shouting-sessions:

(video at link)

Then, the next question is, whos really behind this non-profit, non-partisan organization? With former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey running Freedomworks, Rachel Maddow tracked down the link between his other role as Senior Policy Advisor for DLI Piper and a large pharmaceutical company, The Medicines Company:

(more video)

Surprised? If these protesters are scared or angry over what may be in the health care bill, then I applaud them for trying to be heard. But if they are being fed inaccurate talking points from a company with a vested interest in stopping health care reform that would bring competition to the industry, then that is a problem.

Take from it what you will, but in every national debate, remember to follow the money.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
23. I just want to point out that this is manufactured fear brought to you by corporate sponsors
This hysteria is the result of big bucks paid to Dick Armey, among others.
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Tommy_Carcetti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
24. So I guess what you might call this operation would be...wait for it....
Dick Armey's Army of Dicks.

:)


**Ta-Thump-Thump!**

Thank you, I'll be here all night. :)
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
25. Recommend
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