Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


The recent across-the-board cuts to food stamps not only hurt Walmart’s bottom line, it punishes their employees.

“According to Florida congressman Alan Grayson, in many states, Walmart employees are the largest group of Medicaid recipients,” Barry Riholtz recently noted. “They are also the single biggest group of food stamp recipients. Walmart’s ‘associates’ are paid so little, according to Grayson, that they receive $1,000 on average in public assistance. These amount to massive taxpayer subsidies for private companies.”

So it’s no surprise that this image was recently taken by a Walmart employee who did not want to disclose her name for fear of retribution, according to The Cleveland Plain-Dealer‘s Olivera Perkins:

This isn’t a merchandise display. It’s a food drive — not for the community, but for needy workers.

“Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner,” read signs affixed to the tablecloths.

This is a kindhearted gesture organized on the store level that reflects the Associates in Critical Need Trust, which uses associate donations to help employees in need. But it doesn’t change the fact that Walmart’s wages leave many of its employees struggling in poverty.

The average Walmart sales associate makes $8.81 per hour, according to the independent market research group IBISWorld,” Working America explained in a post on Daily Kos. “That translates into $15,576 a year if the associate works a full-time schedule of 34 hours a week. But that’s actually pegging it quite high, as many associates have highly erratic or meager work schedules that don’t allow them anywhere close to full-time status.”

The image above has already gone viral as groups on the left gear up for a long-term campaign to raise the minimum wage and nationwide protests against the nation’s largest retailer on Black Friday. Small protests against Walmart’s treatment of employees and threats of retaliation against those who organize them have been sporadic with minimal effect over the past few years. This year, the support of the AFL-CIO, rising awareness of income inequality and a decision by the National Labor Relations Board to prosecute the company for violating workers’ rights may bring new support to the store’s associates willing to be identified with the labor movement.

It should be noted that the heirs to the Walmart fortune can afford more canned goods than the bottom 40 percent of America combined.

Photo: Our Walmart

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)