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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The origins of a pledge by Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and 38 other billionaires to donate more than half their wealth to charity began last year in New York, at a clandestine meeting of the mega-rich. The very existence of such an event, organized by Buffett, Gates, and David Rockefeller and featuring such names as Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey, and George Soros, touched off a frenzy of speculation in the press when it was revealed almost two weeks after the fact by IrishCentral.com. Pete Peterson, who attended the meeting and has pledged his own fortune to raising awareness of America’s budget deficit, told The Daily Beast that it was there the group planted the seeds of Wednesday’s 'Giving Pledge' announcement. 'Each of us went around the table and talked about our philanthropic experiences and why it was a very important part of our life,' Peterson said. 'We reached a very interesting kind of conclusion in that most of the philanthropists there said that they enjoyed giving money away more than they had enjoyed making it, and that’s a pleasurable experience. At the end of that session, we went around the table and asked, given all the problems in this country, how we felt about trying to expand the list of major philanthropists, and there was a unanimity that we ought to do it—if we did it very quietly—which is what happened.'" (TheDailyBeast)



"Tom Fleming is a classics scholar, as is his wife Gail. He runs the Rockford Institute and edits Chronicles magazine. Mark Brennan is a history PhD and teaches capitalism and world war two, while Chris Myers is a Marine major who fought in Iraq and knows politics and history like no other, and knows how to hit a target with an RPG to boot. All three men and their wives also can kill a bottle of wine quicker than you can say Henry Fairlie, which is saying something. We sailed to Nafplion, Greece’s first capital, then back to Porto Heli and then Spetses, never getting off the boat, talking late into the night about Sophocles, Aeschylous and my old buddy, 'you ripi dese trousers you will have to pay for them.'" (Takimag)



"There are many states that will have ballots chock-filled with exciting and competitive races, but if you are looking for a place where a big GOP political wave might show up early in the evening of Nov. 2 — or for evidence that it won’t be as big as some Republicans hope — you could do worse than focusing on Pennsylvania. Voters in the commonwealth will be choosing a new governor and a new Senator in the fall, but in addition, 10 of the state’s 19 Congressional districts have races worth watching. Going back at least to the end of World War II, the two major parties have alternated eight-year control of the governorship, so Republicans have reason to be optimistic about their chances of winning that office. State Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) has been holding a 7- to 10-point lead over Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato (D), no doubt partially a reflection of Democratic Gov. Edward G. Rendell’s problems with the state economy and budget. Both Corbett and Onorato come from Western Pennsylvania — the Republican is a former assistant district attorney in Allegheny County and a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania — so the geographic voting that often takes place in Pennsylvania won’t be a factor this year." (Stuart Rothenberg)



"By the time I wrote that piece, although I did not state it, Mortimer’s had had its day. They still did business, and the clientele who made it famous still came by – if they were around, or living. But the thrill, so to speak, was gone, had been gone for quite some time. The world had changed. For one thing, the downtown, Soho, East Village, the Meatpacking, which were just barely getting under way as a destination or a place of residence for 'uptown' people, Mortimer's and uptown still reigned. It was also a time when the younger crowd also liked to be in the company of the older ones of the society, of the club, and vice versa. This barely exists anymore." (NYSocialDiary)

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