Sunday, September 18, 2005

Arianna

If the world ended tomorrow, two things would likely survive: cockroaches and Arianna Huffington. And I mean no disrespect to cockroaches in writing this. The latest from Cindy Sheehan, who is still flogging her son's death, along with the misfortune of those affected by hurricane Katrina, to gin up publicity:

Join Cindy Sheehan & CODEPINK for the spirit of Camp Casey as we send Cindy off to the bus tour and send aid to Louisiana ... Friday, September 9 7:30-9pm Agape Spiritual Center 5700 Buckingham Parkway Culver City, CA 90230

Speakers will include: Cindy Sheehan, Arianna Huffington, Jodie Evans of CODEPINK, Jeff Key of Mehadi Foundation & Iraq Veterans Against the War, Eisha Mason of Agape International Spiritual Center & AFSC, Members of Veterans for Peace, Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, as well as inspiring music from LA women!

Arianna Huffington, the former Miss Ariadne Stassinopoulos, was an author, living in Greece as her name might reflect, who moved to this country in 1980. In 1985 she was introduced to Michael Huffington through Ann Getty, who was kind enough to make a list of the ten wealthiest and available bachelors in California as prospects for her new friend. (Regrettably, Ann forgot to include "sexual orientation" on her list.) The Huffingtons were married in 1986.

After serving in the Reagan Defense Department, Michael Huffington moved to Santa Barbara and effectively bought a seat in the House of Representatives, ousting an incumbent Republican by running to the right of him. At the time, Huffington described himself as a "staunch conservative." After one term in the House, he ran for the Senate against Dianne Feinstein in what was, up until that point, the most expensive non-presidential election in America's history. He spent $28 million, most of it his own money, in losing the race. Arianna was right along side her husband, describing herself as "a political soulmate" of Newt Gingrich.

After losing the Senate race, Michael Huffington publicly announced he was gay and he and Arianna divorced. Shortly thereafter Arianna made the facile switch from conservative to liberal faster than you can say gyros.

She does profess a rather interesting type of liberalism, however. In 2003, when she was contemplating a run for governor in the recall election of Gray Davis, it emerged that:

Although she rails against tax loopholes, Huffington -- despite being wealthy -- paid very little federal income tax the past two years. Her campaign made her tax documents available for several days after she announced she was running but no longer will show them to reporters.

"We've moved on," said Parker Blackman, her press secretary. "That's an old story."

Huffington's federal tax was less than $1,000 for the two past years, despite the fact that she lives in a $7 million Brentwood mansion.

Equally incongruent is her support of the Detroit Project, a group lobbying Detroit to make more fuel efficient cars (which is, in my opinion, a great idea.) while traveling the country often by private jet. (In fairness, Ms. Huffington does drive a Toyota Prius, although it seems to have low mileage. Here is what the Sierra Club sent to shuttle her around in. Thank you, Michelle)
















You can't make this stuff up. Also, it should be noted that Ms. Huffington's wealth, in no small part derived from her marriage, came from the company founded by her in-laws. The industry? Wait for it... oil and gas.

How does one say chutzpah in Greek?

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