Groceries. Radial tires. Cabinet-level political appointees.
There's nothing you can't get from Walmart, as proven by President Obama this morning, when he nominated Walmart Foundation head Sylvia Mathews Burwell to bring the "Save Money, Live Better" spirit to the Office of Management and Budget. (If this ends with Joe Biden handing out smiley face stickers at the West Wing entrance, we'll know she's gone too damn far.)
Burwell's resume includes a position in the Treasury Department during the Clinton years, a previous stint at OMB and being the only thing President Obama could have gotten from Walmart that wasn't made in China.
Nor will Burwell be the only veteran of corporate America to join the great socialist conspiracy in Obama's cabinet. Interior Secretary nominee Sally Jewell was CEO of sporting-goods store REI before backpacking her way to Washington, DC.
At this point, Ben and Jerry are going to feel very left out if one of them doesn't get to run something in Washington. Is there a Department of Watching Movies at Home Alone While Crying?
Photo by Daniel Aguilar/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Budget, Corporations
The answer to this question depends on the outcome of a traffic court hearing set to take place today in Marin County, California.
When San Rafael resident Jonathan Frieman was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer for driving solo in the high-occupancy lane, Frieman claimed he wasn't alone: sitting in the passenger seat were the incorporation papers of Frieman's non-profit.
If corporations are people, Frieman explained to the officer (who probably has to deal with wackier theories from Bay Area drivers on a weekly basis), then he had two people in the car and was within his rights to use the carpool lane.
Frieman wasn't just trying to avoid a traffic ticket. He wants to upend corporate personhood.
Tags: California, Cars & Vehicles, Citizens United v. FEC, Corporations
When it became clear that Barack Obama was going to win re-election over Mitt Romney on the promise of raising taxes on the wealthy and upping the capital gains tax rate, he truly achieved something that nobody thought was possible.
He wrested control of the Star Wars franchise away from George Lucas and put it in the hands of younger filmmakers who might actually turn it into something worth watching…
As the law currently stands, the capital gains tax rate will see the largest year-over-year increase in history. Some intelligent investors didn't wait for election results to lock in the low capital gains tax rate.
A good example is Star Wars creator George Lucas, who recently sold his Lucas Films empire to Disney (DIS) for $4.05 billion. Lucas built his empire over many years and is sitting on a very large capital gain. Although Lucas has not publicly stated that tax policies had anything to do with the timing of the sale, there is speculation that it was a large factor.
Now he just needs to have the CIA scrub the films and all records of any reference to midi-chlorians and have Jar Jar Binks sent to the Tatooinean equivalent of Gitmo, and his legacy will be complete.
As a wizened old hunched and hair-thinning mentor would say, "A big fucking deal this is."
Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Corporations, Money, Nerdiness, Star Wars, Taxes
Hey, there's one thing that we know for sure about Mitt Romney, it's that he knows all about being the boss. He might not be familiar with those round-shaped non-French pastries the commoners eat. He might not have been properly schooled in the etiquette of seating oneself atop a beer-drinker's resting-device. But he is goddamned good at sitting in the penthouse suite and telling people what to do.
So, naturally, Romney knows that, as boss, you can tell your employees how you think the should vote. You can't tell them how they have to vote. (Not yet, at any rate — give him time.) But you can strongly suggest. And, since he's running for president as a champion of the free-market — in a sense — he is the boss of all the bosses.
Which means, he gets to tell the bossses how he thinks that they should tell their employees how they think that those employees should vote. Here's Mitt Romney on a conference call with the National Federation of Independent Business…
Tags: Corporations, Mitt Romney
You may have noticed an odd feeling this election cycle. It's kind of hard to put your finger on, but it's kind of like an absence of a beige-ish grayness. That's the sensation of not having Ralph Nader running for office for the first time since forever.
Though, he's still doing his best be a part of the debate. At least, to the degree to which he ever was…
On issues related to the military and foreign policy, Obama’s worse than Bush, "in the sense that he’s more aggressive, more illegal worldwide," Nader told Politico, going so far as to call Obama a "war criminal."…
"He's gone beyond George W. Bush in drones, for example. He thinks the world is his plate, that national sovereignties mean nothing, drones can go anywhere. They can kill anybody that he suspects and every Tuesday he makes the call on who lives and who dies, supposed suspects in places like Yemen and Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that is a war crime and he ought to be held to account."…
Tags: Barack Obama, Corporations, Military, Mitt Romney, Ralph Nader