Sunday, May 11, 2014

Whoring the office yet again

On Friday, Wal-Mart was in the news.  Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) reported the latest scandal for the corporation whose image makes Simon Legree look like Mary Poppins.  US Magistrate Judge Erin Setser declared there was no merit in Wal-Mart Stores motion to dismiss "a lawsuit claiming it defrauded shareholders by concealing suspected corruption at its Mexico operations, even after learning that a damaging media report detailing alleged bribery was being prepared."

There's even suspicion that Wal-Mart "violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act."

So you'd think people would avoid associating themselves with the monster corporation.

You would be wrong.

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, took time out from his hoops, golfing and photo sessions to abuse the office by whoring for Wal-Mart.

In fact, his visit took place as the judge was denying Wal-Mart's motion.

Despite this, Barack used the media power of the office to highlight the corrupt corporation which was the topic of Robert Greenwald's documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices.


His whoring may have shocked the last few faithful still in the Cult of St. Barack.  As Dave Jamieson (Huffington Post) reminded:

The White House's coziness with Walmart was a little harder to imagine around the time of Obama's first presidential run. Back then, candidate Obama took the standard progressive line of denouncing Walmart as a low-wage boogeyman. In 2007, the then-senator declared to an AFL-CIO town hall forum that he wouldn't shop at Walmart stores. "As profitable as they are, there's no reason they can't afford to pay" their workers a higher wage, he said.
During Obama's bruising primary with Hillary Clinton, he even lambasted his opponent for her work on Walmart's board of directors. "If [Clinton staffers] want to defend her service to one of the least environmentally-friendly, least labor union-friendly companies in the country, they're welcome to do that," an Obama spokesman said at the time.

Workers and their representatives didn't miss the visit, they noticed it and they decried it.  John Wildermuth (San Francisco Chronicle) reported on the outrage from labor groups and quoted the president of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Joe Hansen stating that Barack "will stand side by side with a company known for low wages, few benefits, unreliable hours, discrimination against women, violating workers rights and, yes, environmental degradation."

Jim Kuhnhenn (AP) quoted the AFL-CIO's Maria Elena Durazo stating, "While he's in California, I would hope President Obama would speak directly to Wal-Mart employees and hear from them about their daily struggles to pay the rent and put food on the table."  Durazo can hope but no such meet-up took place.  Barack played footsie with Wal-Mart while he continued to keep labor at arms' length.

Robert Reich was the Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997.  He decried the president promoting Wal-Mart:

More to the point, Walmart is one of the nation’s largest and worst employers – low wages, unreliable hours, few benefits, discrimination against women, and anti-union. The NLRB is investigating charges it discriminates against workers who speak out. And most of the rest of us are subsidizing Walmart by paying for the food stamps and Medicaid its workers need because Walmart doesn't pay them enough to keep them out of poverty. 

That's who and what Barack whored for.

B-b-but they're going green!

No, they're using p.r. stunts to give the appearance of going green.  Stacy Mitchell (Grist) explains:

Walmart -- despite its skill in attracting publicity like this -- is a laggard on renewable energy and one of the biggest and fastest-growing climate polluters on the planet. While many competing retailers are already running on 100 percent renewable power, Walmart’s wind and solar projects supply just 3 percent of its U.S. electricity -- and that’s down from 4 percent two years ago.
Walmart’s fossil fuel consumption and climate emissions, meanwhile, are growing rapidly. In the last year alone, Walmart’s climate emissions rose 2 percent, or more than 500,000 metric tonnes. It now ranks just behind Chevron on the list of biggest climate polluters.

Even worse, they're crooks.  No, we're not going back to the bribery allegations again.  We're talking about the environment:

Walmart Stores Inc. pleaded guilty today in cases filed by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at its retail stores across the United States. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company also pleaded guilty today in Kansas City, Missouri, to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country.
As a result of the three criminal cases brought by the Justice Department, as well as a related civil case filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Walmart will pay approximately $81.6 million for its unlawful conduct. Coupled with previous actions brought by the states of California and Missouri for the same conduct, Walmart will pay a combined total of more than $110 million to resolve cases alleging violations of federal and state environmental laws.

The news outlet we're quoting from above?  It's not one.  That's an FBI press release entitled "Walmart Pleads Guilty to Federal Environmental Crimes, Admits Civil Violations, and Will Pay More Than $81 Million" and issued May 28, 2013.

Grasp that less than a year later, less than a year after the FBI issues the press release about Wal-Mart breaking laws, last week Barack Obama whored the office of the President of the United States to pimp for the corporation.

He never did a damn thing to create jobs for Americans but maybe Barack's finally thinking about the future? His own.  Maybe he's setting up his end for his post-presidency whoring and possibly a seat on Wal-Mart's board of directors awaits him?

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