Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I mentioned last month the book Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy by Peter Schweizer but I think a few more details about what it says are in order:

"Staunch union supporter Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has received the Cesar Chavez Award from the United Farmworkers Union. But the $25 million Northern California vineyard she and her husband own is a non-union shop. The hypocrisy doesn't end there. Pelosi has received more money from the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union than any other member of Congress in recent election cycles. But the Pelosis own a large stake in an exclusive hotel in Rutherford, Calif. It has more than 250 employees. But none of them are in a union, according to Schweizer, author of "The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty" and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other periodicals. The Pelosis are also partners in a restaurant chain called Piatti, which has 900 employees. The chain is - that's right, a non-union shop.

Ralph Nader is another liberal who claims that unions are essential to protect worker rights. But when an editor of one of his publications tried to form a union to ameliorate miserable working conditions, the editor was fired and the locks changed on the office door.

Self-described socialist Noam Chomsky has described the Pentagon as "the most vile institution on the face of the earth" and lashed out against tax havens and trusts that benefit only the rich. But Chomsky has been paid millions of dollars by the Pentagon over the last 40 years, and he used a venerable law firm to set up his irrevocable trust to shield his assets from the IRS.

Air America radio host Al Franken says conservatives are racist because they lack diversity and oppose affirmative action. But fewer than 1 percent of the people he has hired over the past 15 years have been African-American.

Ted Kennedy has fought for the estate tax and spoken out against tax shelters. But he has repeatedly benefited from an intricate web of trusts and private foundations that have shielded most of his family's fortune from the IRS. One Kennedy family trust wasn't even set up in the U.S., but in Fiji. Another family member, environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr., has said that it is not moral to profit from natural resources. But he receives an annual check from the family's large holdings in the oil industry.

Barbra Streisand has talked about the necessity of unions to protect a "living wage." But she prefers to do her filming and postproduction work in Canada, where she can pay less than American union wages.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have spoken in favor of the estate tax, and in 2000 Bill vetoed a bill seeking to end it. But the Clintons have set up a contract trust that allows them to substantially reduce the amount of inheritance tax their estate will pay when they die. Hillary, for her part, has written and spoken extensively about the right of children to make major decisions regarding their own lives, including having abortions without parental notification. But she barred 13-year-old daughter Chelsea from getting her ears pierced and forbid the teen from watching MTV or HBO.

Billionaire Bush-basher George Soros says the wealthy should pay higher, more progressive tax rates. But he holds the bulk of his money in tax-free overseas accounts in Curacao, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.


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