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Forum Post: Why Barack & Michelle Obama Relentlessly Shill For Wal-Mart

Posted 3 years ago on May 23, 2014, 2:45 a.m. EST by Demian (497) from San Francisco, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Democrats in labor unions and figures like former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and others were justly outraged at Barack Obama's latest wet kiss to Wal-Mart earlier this month. But First Lady Michelle Obama has been in bed with the giant retailer for years. Is this a nasty bug in the Obama presidency, or a corrupt core feature?

Earlier this month President Obama visited a Bay Area Wal-Mart to praise the world's largest and most anti-union retailer for its supposed environmental responsibility. The fact is that Wal-Mart's maintenance of diesel-fueled supply chains between its stores and wherever on the planet wages are lowest and environmental restrictions are totally absent make it a major ongoing contributor to runaway climate change. The president's appearance therefore, was simply a hypocritical exercise in greenwashing for Wal-Mart.

Though it was an insult to working people and to many of his abject and fervent supporters, it should have been no surprise. It wasn't President Obama's first wet kiss to Wal-Mart and with almost three more years in office to go it won't be his last. Still the willingness of the Obama Administration to do the bidding of Wal-Mart shows just how hollow has become the pretense of elected black Democrats to representing the poor and oppressed.

There was a time when Democrats in the White House did not dare openly shill for the giant retailer. Hillary Clinton served on Wal-Mart's board of directors through most of the 1980s, while her husband Bill was governor of Arkansas. Even then, Wal-Mart was notorious for overworking and underpaying its workers, violating labor laws to thwart unions, and sopping up prodigious amounts of corporate welfare in the forms of tax breaks and subsidies of all kinds. Being in bed with those crooks wasn't just an embarrassment, it was a hypocritical affront to Democratic voters, so somewhere on the 1992 road to the White House, Hillary resigned from Wal-Mart's board. Similarly in 2007 with her husband on the way to the White House, Michelle Obama felt compelled to resign from the board of TreeHouse Foods, a major Wal-Mart vendor. “I won't shop there,” said presidential candidate Barack Obama when questioned about Wal-Mart at an AFL-CIO labor forum.

Of course labor audiences in 2007 and 2008 were where Obama pledged to renegotiate NAFTA, and immediately raise the minimum wage as soon as he took office. The president never mentioned raising the minimum wage again till about 2012 when Republicans were safely in control of the House of Representatives, and instead of renegotiating NAFTA, President Obama is engaged in secret negotiations to extend it across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Evidently the Obama that promises is a different guy, and far less powerful, than the Obama that acts.

Safely in office, Michelle and Barack Obama have enthusiastically embraced Wal-Mart. The first lady allowed the unscrupulous retailer to leverage her personal image as an advocate of exercise and healthy eating in her “Let's Move” initiative, and spouting the company line that the best solution to urban “food deserts” is opening more Wal-Mart neighborhood grocery stores. Michelle Obama's many appearances at and pronouncements around Wal-Mart have done the retailer more good than she and Hillary could ever have done in another decade or two apiece on its board of directors.

Right now Wal-Mart is approaching 30% of the US retail grocery market, with far lower wages, fewer hours, skimpier benefits, and longer and dirtier supply chains than its major competitors. As I said a couple years ago in an article about Michelle Obama's cynical embrace of Wal-Mart:

Wal-Mart's business model of corrupting public officials, lying about job creation numbers, rampant sex and race discrimination, relentlessly low wage and benefit levels, and aspirations to monopoly control of local markets across the country make it a bad neighbor, a worse boss, an unfair competitor and sometimes a criminal enterprise.

Wal-Mart has been a leader in the corporate practice of weaponizing its charitable giving, turning it into a lever to open new markets in urban America, to neutralize and isolate opposition, and to curry favor with local political figures. Wal-Mart made it rain on selected charities and ministries in areas like Newark and Chicago when it needed to colonize those new markets. President Obama recognized this “achievement” in the corruption of Democratic party politics in March 2014 by nominating Wal-Mart's chief of charitable giving to head up his Office of Management and Budget.

Wal-Mart was even allowed, along with McDonalds and other large, low-wage employers, to shape the drafting of regulations governing Obamacare, in ways that exempted the retailer from having to ensure large numbers of its workers for the first several years.

The fiction that elected Democrats represent poor and working people and stand for safeguarding the environment is just that – a fiction. There is a new neoliberal paradigm that allows Democrats to mumble a few words about raising the minimum wage when the other party controls Congress, that claims the moment they took office was the day the oceans stopped rising. If these were curable bugs in the political system, votes and advocacy would wake enough people up to change them. But what if they're not bugs in the system at all. What if these are its core and immutable features? What then? Isn't it time to step outside their two-party, capitalist box, to dream and begin to build something else?

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/always-low-wages-more-pollution-why-barack-michelle-obama-relentlessly-shill-wal-mart

3 Comments

3 Comments


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[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (343) 3 years ago

It's about time. I have been ripping on the Obama's for their repeated favors and commercial plugs for Wal-Mart for three or four years now. Starting with their decision to divert a portion of tax payer money to help Wal-Mart open more stores in less developed areas. Which would have been a good thing with virtually no downside if they had done a similar favor for one of the struggling chains like K-Mart Instead. Not that I believe in ANY government funding for any commercial entity that doesn't have a legitimate need or at least a strong likelihood to benefit the little guy IN PARTICULAR over the big guy. In other words, NO JUGGERNAUTS.

As far as the 'environmental responsibility' goes, it's an outright lie. Nobody gives a damn about the environment when there is a penny to be made. Certainly not anyone at Wal-Mart. But they aren't the only frauds who pretend to be 'green'. The list is a mile long. I have a BIG issue with virtually the entire business world lately for their totally unnecessary waste of energy in order to tweak profits just a little higher. For example, a wall of TV sets all running at once in order to hopefully influence just one more sale. Or video screens running at every register in order to advertise just a little more over-priced crap. Giant video billboards, countless plugs for commercial websites, smart phone aps, ect. All of this in addition to the more traditional forms of advertising. It's gone too damn far. I say buy your airtime, run the occasional newspaper or magazine ad, put a man or woman in every department to sell product and DROP ALL THAT UNNECESSARY ENERGY WASTING CRAP.

and gxx dxxx it Obama's. STOP KISSING WAL-MART'S FAT CORPORATE ASS.

Then again, this post is also a waste of energy. They are all. Every gxx damn one of them. I've been at this for nearly a decade now. I've posted over 20,000 entries informing the masses of how incredibly concentrated the world's wealth is, how corrupt virtually every industry is and just how much power they have within their wallets to effect REAL change.

NOBODY LISTENS. I MEAN GXX DXXX NOBODY. I tell the people to stop supporting corporate juggernauts because it has been proven a thousand times over that smaller companies share a larger percentage of their business revenue with the little guy AND tend to pay higher taxes in the process (fewer breaks and subsidies). NO EFFECT. SMART PHONE AND TABLET SALES CONTINUE TO SOAR.

I tell the people to stop making excuses for the 1% as individuals and as a group. NO EFFECT. THE MASSES STILL DON'T GET IT. THEY NEVER WILL. THE BEST YOU CAN HOPE FOR IS THAT A FEW OF THEM SINGLE OUT A HANDFUL OF RICH PEOPLE BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION AND RIP ON THEM ONCE OR TWICE. MEANWHILE, THEY STILL SUPPORT ALL OF THE MAJOR CORPORATIONS THAT MAKE THOSE PEOPLE RICH TO BEGIN WITH.

I tell the people that our health care industry is sold out, horribly corrupt, hell-bent on brainwashing the masses, and incredibly profitable representing no less than 17% of our GDP. NO EFFECT. THE MASSES CONTINUE TO LIVE THE DRUG AND DOCTOR LIFESTYLE. THEY CONTINUE TO RUN OUT FOR A MEDICAL TEST EVERY TIME THEY GET A TUMMY ACHE OR A MOSQUITO BITE. THEY CONTINUE TO DRUG AWAY EVERY LITTLE ACHE, PAIN, WORRY AND JITTER. NOT TO MENTION OUTRAGEOUS CRAP LIKE ED, ADD, ADHD, BIPOLAR, LUPUS, SHORT EYE-LASHES, ORDINARY WRINKLES, AND YELLOW FXXXXXX TOE-NAILS. THEY HAVE EVEN FALLEN FOR THE SAME LINE OF OUTRAGEOUS DRUG AND DOCTOR CRAP NOW BEING PEDDLED BY THE PET HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY. THATS RIGHT. FXXXXXX PROZAC FOR FIDO.

I tell the people to support newly developed areas less and the de-industrialized areas more. NO EFFECT. THE VAST OVERWHELMING MAJORITY CONTINUE TO PUT THEIR OWN CONVENIENCE AND ENTERTAINMENT BEFORE EVERYTHING ELSE. THEY CONTINUE TO SWARM THE AREAS THAT NEED THEIR BUSINESS THE LEAST AND NEGLECT THE AREAS THAT NEED IT THE MOST.

I tell the people to stop falling head over heels for the non-stop barrage of commercially motivated publicity stunts designed to improve the image of the rich and their respective juggernaut industries. NO EFFECT. AS FAR AS I KNOW, I AM THE ONE AND ONLY PERSON ON THE ENTIRE PLANET RIPPING ON THE MONEY HIDING PIG FOR WHAT WILL SOON PROVE TO BE JUST ANOTHER COMMERCIALLY MOTIVATED PUBLICITY STUNT. I AM THE ONLY PERSON ON THE ENTIRE PLANET WHO HAS ANY REGARD WHATSOEVER FOR THE WEALTH THAT MR HIDDEN CASH HAS ALREADY REAPED FROM THE MASSES AND CONCENTRATED IN HIS OWN BACK YARD. I AM THE ONLY PERSON ON THE ENTIRE GXX DXXX FXXXXXX PLANET WHO UNDERSTANDS THE FACT THAT HE IS 'GIVING BACK' JUST A TINY MINUSCULE FRACTION OF THAT ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH AND WILL SURELY CONCENTRATE MORE THAN EVER ONCE HIS IDENTITY IS REVEALED.

THESE ARE JUST A FEW EXAMPLES. IT'S ALL A GXX DXXX FXXXXXX WASTE OF TIME AND EFFORT. NOTHING WILL GET THROUGH TO THE IDIOT MASSES. I MEAN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BUT PAIN, MISERY, SUFFERING, AND DEATH. THE PEOPLE DESERVE ANOTHER GREAT DEPRESSION. THEY GXX DXXX FXXXXXX DESERVE IT FOR BEING SO GXX DXXX FXXXXXX STUPID. THEY DESERVE TO GO COLD AND HUNGRY FOR YEARS WHILE THE RICH BATHE IN THE OBSCENE WEALTH THAT WAS REAPED SO EASILY FROM THE MOST IGNORANT GENERATION OF CONSUMER JUNKIE MORONS THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN.

I SAY BRING IT ON. LET THE ECONOMY COLLAPSE ONCE AGAIN FROM IT'S OWN LOPSIDED WEIGHT. LET THE PEOPLE STARVE. LET THEM SHIVER IN THE COLD. LET THEM STRUGGLE JUST TO KEEP A ROOF OVER THEIR HEAD. LET THEM SUFFER FOR A SOLID DECADE. THEN MAYBE, JUST MAYBE TWO OR THREE OF THE SURVIVORS WILL GROW A FXXXXXX BRAIN, GROW A FXXXXXX SPINE, AND STOP GIVING SO MUCH OF THEIR MONEY TO RICH PEOPLE.

GXX DXXX FXXXXXX BRAIN DEAD CONSUMER JUNKIE MORONS.

By the way, I practice what I preach. I'm using an 8 year old laptop with Windows XP, on locally provided dial-up access. I never click on internet ads, I haven't taken a drug of any kind in nearly 26 years, I haven't had a medical test of any kind in over 5 years, I haven't purchased a 'new' movie, video game, or CD in nearly 8 years, I will NEVER upgrade to Blu Ray or high def, I don't have cable or satellite TV, I prefer K-Mart over Wal-Mart, brick and mortar over online retail, and a landline over a cell phone, I don't use Twitter, Skype, Facebook, Reddit, or any other brain rotting for profit social network, I can't name a single big celebrity, athlete, politician, or executive that I have an ounce of admiration for, I don't support any political party, I don't give to ANY charity that isn't worthy of a good independent rating from CharityWatch or GuideStar unless it's locally based and very small with open books, I NEVER SUPPORT HEALTH CARE RESEARCH because it's a farce which benefits too many major corporations by reducing their costs for R&D and allowing them EXCLUSIVE patent rights in most cases, I don't play the lottery because I don't want to be rich and I don't want to concentrate anymore wealth and I haven't raised my own hourly charges in a decade.

In other words, I'm a gxx dxxx twisted freak. One of only a handful of people in the entire world who make any real attempt to practice what they preach.

But nevermind all of that. Go buy another smart phone.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1220) 3 years ago

I'm concerned that some within the Occupy Movement think the primary solution is to blast those who oppose unions. My way of thinking this is just one plank to consider.

Consider this. Walmart is the welcome mat for illegal and legal immigrationists who are poor and extremely grateful for the low prices. Seniors love Walmart as well.

I don't shop at Walmart, I do shop at Target and hate Target for their 23% interest rate credit card.

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[-] 0 points by grapes (4987) 3 years ago

Speaking with a forked tongue became a job requirement for political offices. Who made that so?

The reason why we have so many "political animals" in our "zoo" is because the keepers clamored for and got jobs, jobs, jobs! - as one exasperated keeper said about the THREE jobs he had (to make ends meet) when Bill Clinton boasted of the many jobs created under his administration. Walmart flourished under the Clinton administration's trade deals by outsourcing manufacturing jobs to cheap and dirty overseas countries and hollowed out the U.S. middle class. What good are dirt-cheap goods if one does not have the income from a job to pay for them?

We, to free ourselves from the brain-muddling control of the eelites, must stop thinking about jobs and instead start thinking about livelihoods. It is NOT money we lack - the money was created by the eelites and they can e-print us a billion here and a trillion there with no qualms. LOOK at the money! What DOES it say? There were/are many people who live happily without jobs or using money, notably eelites who KNOW better.

Walmart is a leading company and it can do far better for its workers. Its princeling owners are extremely wealthy and should not miss a billion here and a billion there to improve their workers' welfare (of course, I may be wrong if insatiable desires burn in them). Noblesse Obligee (Com Pan-y means eating bread Together)!

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