Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Saturday, November 30, 2013

From Walmart to the White House

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
As Wal-Mart workers are engaging in protests and Black Friday job actions nationwide, to shine another spotlight on the company's anti-worker policies and unlivable wages, the Obama White House is building a new, cozy relationship with the company.

Remember back in 2007, when candidate Barack Obama told union voters, "I won't shop at Wal-Mart" and when 8 days later, Michelle Obama resigned from the board of the anti-union company's supplier? My, how times have changed.

Since April, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the former president of the Walmart Foundation, has been serving as Pres. Obama's Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Before her stint at Walmart, Burwell held various top-level positions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,

Burwell's appointment marked a thaw in the relationship between the Obama's and the Walton family and Walmart has become one of their biggest business supporters. The Walton Family Foundation is the largest single funder of non-union, privately-managed charter schools, which lie at the very heart of Obama's education policies.

"Obviously Wal-Mart has a lot of interests in, say, labor rights that are not in alignment with the best interests of the country. If she shares those views that would be an issue," said Dean Baker of the Center for Economic Policy & Research, reported The Daily Kos shortly after her nomination.

After being on the job for only six months, Burwell, became notable as the bureaucrat who wrote the memo that initiated the government shutdown.

I guess you could say, the circle is complete.

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