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Friday, August 04, 2006

Repent John, Repent!!

Earlier today, in Pittsburgh PA, former Senator John Edwards (and loser in 2004) held a town hall meeting, sponsored by "Wake Up Wal-Mart" to speak of the evils of the megacorp.

I wonder if John will be asked to repent his sins, of owning Wal-Mart Stock, and allowing his campaign staffers to shop there during the 2004 election season? In fact, I posted that very question on Wake Up Wal-Mart's blog, we'll see if it gets posted or screened out.

Paidcritics.com has the "smoking guns" of John's financial disclosures up through 2003 available on their website, showing Mr. Edwards actively buying Wal-Mart stock, and collecting dividends from them.

One of the bad things about being a public figure, and in Edwards case, an elected official, is that the whole world knows more about you than you'd like. Senators, Congressmen and women, and Presidents all have to file financial disclosures annually.

Since he's left public office, it's harder to know if he still holds any of the stock, but according to the disclosures available during his term in office, he was buying somewhere between 50 and 100 shares a year, and at the peak had between 50 and 100k worth of their stocks.

Also, if anyone looked, they'd see that he had a fair amount of stock in WorldCom, before it collapsed in an Enron like scandal.

(Yes, Edelman did send me a link to the PaidCritics financial disclosures).

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25Comments:

Blogger benny06 said...

I've been wondering who you were. Finally, I found your blog. Your Blog Title fits very well for what I am about to type.

While Senator Edwards may not personally shop at Wal-Mart, there is nothing to preclude him from buying stock via mutual funds, whatever, if indeed this is the case. I saw the Press Release from Working Families for Wal-Mart earlier today that claims he has stock.

Well, I have Wal-Mart stock too via a mutual fund. But I suppose in the Republican world there is or should not be such a thing as shareholder activism. If I had been in Pittsburgh, I would have been cheering Senator Edwards on. He has a right to challenge Wal-Mart and stand up for many who cannot get a job somewhere else, in which many folks have become the working poor as a result of layoffs at industrial plants in big and smaller communities. Wal-Mart needs to start treating its workers with the dignity that Sam Walton had for them when he was alive. After he died, the children didn't want to work at Wal-Mart, and certainly, Helen Walton was in no position to head the company either. Thus, the ones in high management who hijacked the company have been playing games with their employees for years and there have been a number of lawsuits filed against them on work discrimination.

Wal-Mart relies on the state's Medicaid programs as health care That's big rip-off to the taxpayer, who also shops at Wal-mart. Wal-mart needs to pony up for benes to the worker. Better yet, universal health care, but until this country wakes up and smells the health care crisis coffee, employees in service organizations need to have the right to unionize and bargin for better wages and benefits. After all, China made Wal-Mart to allow unions in their country. Wal-Mart needs to step up and allow it in the US too.

4:53 PM  
Blogger benny06 said...

One other thing. I'm surprised for someone who blog rolls progressive blogs, that you would say this about Edwards.

4:58 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

With conservatives it is what you say and do that counts.

With liberals it's what you say to the press that matters. What you do is unimportant.

9:33 PM  
Blogger benny06 said...

Well, I guess with some people, they walk the walk and talk the walk. I haven't found that to be true of GWB and his ilk.

"Still regarded as a potential candidate for president in 2008, Mr. Edwards was himself once an owner of Wal-Mart stock. He sold it during his presidential bid two years ago." This was just published by the Post-Gazette this morning.

3:58 AM  
Blogger LargeBill said...

It is so ridiculous that the maroons on the left are demonizing a great American company. Walmart employs millions of people and provides good at a reasonable price. Why does the left hate Walmart? Because their employees don't send part of their paycheck to the corrupt unions which fund the Democrat party.

What folks like Benny06 don't understand about the hypocrisy is these politicians want to pretend they are for the little guy while profitting from the same corporations they excoriate. Just like Edwards railing about the two America's and complaining abuot tax cuts for the rich when he personally avoided taxes for years by pretending to be a corporation so instead of a salary he drew dividends which are taxed at a lower rate.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

Trust me largebill, if Bennyboy had a clue, he wouldn't even post his diatribe here. Who does he think he is appealing to??

The Limo Liberals still have the black vote and if they ever lose it, they are DONE!!!! Without the black vote, they are history. Bennyboy and those like him just plant their "garbage" on any site they find, to promote more garbage.

John Edwards is just a guy with a hairdo and a shyster lawyer. People like him are the reason there are lawyer jokes. Bennyboy is the reason there are moron jokes.

Yes Benny, this is a personal attack but you matching wits with me is like drawing on Wyatt Earp with a squirt gun. Get over it.

You are nothing more than a liberal with an agenda which is more dangerous than a Hells Angel with an Attitude. (sans Ted Nugent)

Get over yourself and don't come back here again! You are too stupid to be someone allowed to vote - I hope!!!!

4:40 AM  
Blogger benny06 said...

CP Readers,

Like Karl Rove and those at Freeprepublic.com, Ted has chosen to attack me and Senator Edwards on a personal level because of fear that Senator Edwards is making a correct stance about Wal-Mart's poor business practices. I think it's unfortunate that Ted has to resort to calling people he disagrees with "stupid" and telling me "not to return" when it's not even his own blog. I'm not intimidated by his comments, especially since he knows nothing about me or my politics. But I'll provide one tip: I am a blue moderate, and I happen to live in Bob's state.

Where my error was is that is a conservative blog--I didn't read the blogroll very carefully.

Incidentally, my spouse is a conservative, but he doesn't call me stupid for my support for many stances which concur with Senator Edwards's views.

12:16 PM  
Blogger MDConservative said...

One of the frontlines in this fight was Maryland. All were so excited with the anti-WalMart legislation, which has now been shot down by the court. Is what is really funny is that even the State Government here doesn’t provide, across the board, the same type of medical assistance to many state employees.

So it is a little hypocritical for state lawmakers to go after a private company for something when they don’t even address the fact that state employees are not receiving such attention. As stated earlier it is mostly because the left is mad that they are not receiving the union money.

The left is more than willing to go after a private business, while ignoring the state employees in this Democratic controlled bastion known as Maryland.

1:43 PM  
Blogger benny06 said...

MDC--I haven't heard about the court ruling and that may explain the motivation behind the tour being the second or third day in Baltimore.

Wal-Mart is a huge corporation, not just a private business. It has stock and while it was helpful in some ways in the Katrina tragegy last year, it's pretty well known that W-M has more than financial capability (looking at Income Statements, Balance Sheets, and Shareholder's Equity in their 10-K's) to stay in business by paying benefits to its service workers; it's just not choosing to do so and the company has been playing games with workers' hours to get around the state's and fed's worker's rules. Not unusual.

Sam Walton would have been glad to listen to the workers before this tour was conceived, and could have avoided all of this, but alas, he is gone, and has been a long time.

W-M capitulated in China because they were afraid of losing big suppliers there--bottom line. Sam Walton always felt it was important to be very connected to suppliers, although he was very astute to make better bargins with them. Today, a second union shop in China was announced.

The WUM peeps are suggesting that Wal-Mart do the right thing, especially when some smaller businesses are choosing to do so. It's my preference that Wal-Mart not be sued or forced by big government to do the right thing, but I think it is OK for a tour to happen, as a matter of freedoms, one of them being free speech.

MDC, if you have a link to the MD court ruling, I'd appreciate it as I'm always interested in the legalise and why, along with data. If what you report is true, then it's up to the state to provide good health care to its workers first, then figure out how to solve the Medicaid problem, albeit, it could be the cat chasing its tail. Thanks.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Benny, if you read the financial disclosures, you'd see it wasn't "Wal-Mart Stock via a Mutual fund", those are listed separately. Instead, it was outright ownership, sales, and purchases over a 6 year period of Wal-Mart stock, at face value.

As far as "their employees costing the states millions", so do hundreds of thousands of small businesses who don't provide the level of benefits that Wal-Mart should be required to under some arbitrary formula. Neither does McDonalds, though they make billions per year. Neither do Sears(& KMart), Kohls, Penny's or dozens of other fairly major retailers. (Kohl's is pretty close, though)

The only reason Wal-Mart is the target of such actions is the AFL-CIO and Service Workers International see them (being America's largest employer) as being the "savior" of the American Union Movement. If they could just get all those folks paying dues!

8:22 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

CP
You hit the nail right on the head.

The greedy union bosses are drooling over all the potential dues of these people. Of course the zombies on the left will never acknowledge this because in their make-believe world only conservatives are greedy.

9:28 PM  
Blogger benny06 said...

Regarding disclosures, Edwards sold his stock. He was not likely in charge of his trust funds, as we all know with those in the Congress, but he sold it. I've provided the link. Let's move on to the other points you make.

You have a point about other than Wal-Mart large service companies not being having their feet held to the fire of the 21st economics called Global Service Economy. You are right in my view, but you may not see it that way.

I will give an example.

When I worked at McDonald's as a teen 34 years ago, I had a lot of duties and some responsibilities. In some instances, they were responsibilities as much as factory workers in GM Plants, albeit barring McDonald's was more scientific in their operations approach and attempted to make it more risk-adverse. There were risks, such as not tending to the french fries or getting grill orders out, especially at 1 am with hungry customers from discos at the time. I had to know temps at which the fries were frying, how long, etc But it was my first regular paying job, and I didn't know much better that I was doing more at the time, because it was considered minimum wage. I was also responsible for keeping my "til" close to be accurate, something bankers would demand.

The only thing is that Wal-Mart hires a lot more folks who are older, and not as many teens, and they presume older folks will take a minimum wage. The answer is if they know they are hiring laid off folks with life experience, unlike the teens, they should be hiring them at a living wage. They shouldn't play games of hiring them at 29 hours a week, or the like, just to get around the Fed or state Rules in order to deny benes. Walgreens has been known to do the same.

But today's service jobs are no longer minimum. Workers are expected to take on some tasks of middle managers, yet places like Wal-Mart have chosen to push those tasks on the workers without incentives...at times.

I might add that Union bosses (not necessarily of the SEIU) could use some trimming. I agree at times they remind me of big corporate execs. I think they are wrong for not implementing re-training their auto workers who could have meaningful jobs that could be more entrepreneurial and still pay well. As the WSJ pointed out a couple of months ago, many GM workers which are considered idle plant workers, but not laid off, were given day programs in which they learn how to play Trivial Pursuit. I would argue GM screwed up on that one, but possibly, the GM management thought little of their worker's intellectual capacities. But also my understanding is that idleless workers believe they may be called back to work and do not perceive they have to have a semester to go to a community college to learn a new skill, which is the fault of management and unions alike. The recent NYT article today about high school grads with little or no college education suggests the same when one looks at their work patterns as industrial workers, but no accountability is in the article of both sides.

Industrial jobs are pretty much gone, as David Cay Johnson reported on C-SPAN last Friday, and Tom Friedman of the NYT has been touting via his book "The World is Flat". So we are in the new millenium of.. service jobs. They dominate, and should. We are a service economy. Will they be service jobs in the next century? I'm guessing so, but in the Second Life sense or Web 4.0...maybe more than 4.0.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

LOVE IT, KNEE-SLAPPING FUNNY!!

Wal-Mart, I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Someone with a lobotomy can successfully hold down a job there. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do any job there; hence the pay and lack of benefits. If it's really that big of a concern to you, push education on the folks who work there so they can pull themselves away from the evil empire.

10:32 AM  
Blogger MDConservative said...

A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a Maryland law that would have required Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to spend more on employee health care, arguing the retail giant "faces threatened injury" from the law's spending requirement.

http://wbal.com/news/story.asp?articleid=47168

11:04 AM  
Blogger Maricopa Mark said...

Dude, get out of town and enjoy. If you don't deserve who does? OK, me. But that's not my point.

Drink beer, belch, fart, be one with your manliness!

8:03 PM  
Blogger benny06 said...

Stacy said...LOVE IT, KNEE-SLAPPING FUNNY!!

Wal-Mart, I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Someone with a lobotomy can successfully hold down a job there. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do any job there; hence the pay and lack of benefits. If it's really that big of a concern to you, push education on the folks who work there so they can pull themselves away from the evil empire.

My answer:
You don't have to work, from what I can tell on your blog, just as Ann Coulter doesn't have to either. Many Wal-Mart employees don't have a rich or upper middle class spouse and you as a Mom who can spout off about Wal-Mart jobs being simpletons. You have insulted the Wal-Mart workers, something that John Edwards would not do.

I challenge you to work their jobs without the financial or emotional support of a spouse, then come back and prove your point.

Bob was very civil in his discourse on my blog. Too bad others here have chosen not to exhbit intellect or respect, (or manners) he showed a guest blogger here.

I'll be back because I am more interested in ideas than insults, and I think this group can pony up a few.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Oh, boo hoo, you know nothing of my life. I do work asshole, and I've worked some pretty simple/stupid jobs in the past. And guess what? Those jobs made my husband and I want more, to raise ourselves up from our situation; and we did just that. He and I are self-employed and the office is in my home. Hence, I am around my children; although I work all day long. Don't go assuming shit.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Now now folks, take a deep breath.

Benny, Stacy is directly on point with her comment, whether the limo-liberals like John Edwards (and his millions in the bank) wish to admit it or not.

No one starts as a CEO or CFO, they start somewhere lower.

Wal-Mart is, at best, entry level work. However, you start at the bottom, as a cashier, stocker, or anything, else, and work your way up to head of something, supervisor, and parlay that experience into a better paying job somewhere else.

Which is, oddly, why I make decent money now, which I didn't always. Leadership skills, knowledge on the stuff I work on, and general knowledge on how to deal with clients, customers, students and others has allowed me to continue moving up, in different fields, for over 25 working years.

My stints as dishwasher, short order cook, scorekeeper, and junior sales/service person didn't pay 'living wages', or offer benefits. But each of those jobs gave me skills I could apply to the next, paying a little better.

9:42 PM  
Blogger benny06 said...

Thanks Stacy, for your very uncivil discourse, but at least you clarified that you and your spouse are entrepreneurs.

I happen to work for state government, and I work on the avg of 53 hours a week as I am a manager(16 more than the average union worker in my state), which may be more than Ward Churchill does in your state. (That is a jab at him as I don't like what he espouses about 9/11 and convenience of being a Native American when it suits his purpose).

I can only say that I started working when I was 13 and I am 47 now. My dad was disabled, but still hussled. But when I went to college, because of his disability, I had a chance to get a degree by receiving some checks and some grants. I worked 20 hours a week, even dropped a semester to work full time for awhile to get money to go back to school.

Even though I worked in corporate for awhile, I found my niche by working in higher education. In my view, have more than repaid my "debts" to society by working in state jobs to educate the many who wish to get ahead via education. I happen to be p*****d at my and Bob's Dem governor, who enjoys raiding my hard earned pensions for paying for pork in Chicago.

I have had students who worked for me recently that said that working in my place was the best thing ever and how they were able to secure positions because of what my staff and I taught them.

I'm proud to help anyone along. I was helped a little by the government, and I think it's not wrong, as long as I am willing to work hard and pay taxes like the rest.

9:52 PM  
Blogger benny06 said...

Bob,

I thank you here.

In case you didn't know, Edwards worked his way through school. He worked for UPS, moving companies, etc. His parents worked more hours to help the family along.

He represents me, the person who struggled to get out of lower class family, who went to college, went to grad school, and in his case, was successful to help families who at the last resort, because of crappy service from doctors, etc, he helped them. Did he make a few mil? You bet. Like any entrepreneur, he had to take big risks and spend hours to get information, plus strategize and speak on behalf of his clients, something that Ann Coulter could have done being born into a rich family, went to Ivy Schools, and got lucky as a pundit. She chose to be a limo person (as you state) who has no answers but plenty of insults.

This neighborhood is interesting to me. And as I say, I anticipate ideas, solutions, not just insults and crips.

Thanks, Benny

10:01 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

And . . . I am aware of Edwards' work history. However, him being a trial lawyer automatically drops him several levels. He's a hypocrite, but then again, most politicians are.

Ninety-nine percent of the people I know who work for a business such as Wal-Mart are either students, or retirees. These are not individuals who plan on spending there lives there. And the longer you do stay at a place like WM, they do start offering incentives. My MIL works at Kmart, just to pass some time and earn some extra $$ now that she's retired.

Never, ever, ever, compare me to Ann Coulter; she's way too far out there for me.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

Okay, I was going to leave this alone but benny wants this to be an issue. First of all, "benny" or who ever you are, John Edwards NEVER belonged to a UNION and I am going to go out a limb and state you haven't either! This IS what this is all about.

I will give you 2 examples of your precious UNIONS.

Example # 1 -

A man worked for more than 35 years as a truck driver and was a union member ALL of those years. When he finally reached retirement age, he applied for his retirement from all those years of paying union dues. He was told that he really wasn't qualified for a retirement since "THEIR" records didn't show his payments from his employers for all those years. The man got a lawyer and tried to fight it. The man even had proof of his payments for all those years. It may have worked had he not lived in a county where the liberal judges were all "owned" by the unions. He finally received $30.05 a month for all of the years of service and huge payments to the union. Of course, your friend John Edwards can tell you that the lawyer took all of the man's life savings to get that $30.05 per month. The man couldn't live on social security and pay the taxes and insurance on the place where he lived. His #2 son was called on to pay all of that. No problem, he (the son) made plenty of money and thank god, he wasn't a union member.

Example #2

A man works in a coal mine for more than 20 years. He is crushed under a conveyor weighing more than 4 tons. He is rushed to the hospital and of course, when you are in the UNION, you can only use UNION doctors. He had numerous internal injuries including his heart, lungs, spine, kidneys, spleen, liver and etc. Well, he had over 20 years in the mine but that didn't mean anything. He went back to work after a few weeks and worked for nearly a year but was just so tired all the time. Of course he was tired, he had developed "hairy cell leukemia". It's caused by damage to the spleen. Well, that couldn't have happened when the conveyor landed on him could it????? Of course, the "UNION" doctors said "No Way." His younger brother paid his doctor and hospital bills because the "UNION" refused to pay them. It wasn't their fault. In addition, the same brother paid his other bills and kept him and his family alive. Yes, the coal mine fired him because he couldn't work any more and the "UNION" said "WE CAN"T HELP YOU". Well, there is a comforting message, don't you think??????

I just gave you 2 examples of your precious UNION in action. Neither did a damn thing other than screw the person they were dealing with.

Now comes the "Paul Harvey - Rest of the Story". Example # 1 was my Father and Example # 2 was my Oldest Brother. Yes, #2 son was me who paid for and supported both families.

My Father died a year ago at the age of 88 and my oldest brother is very much alive to this day, no thanks to any UNION. And certainly, NO THANKS TO YOU AND THE MORON YOU IDOLIZE!!!! Thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I even paid for the funerals of both my parents since, when the UNION did them in financially, they couldn't afford to pay for the insurance anymore. Had I known or if they had said something, I would have continued to pay it as well. They were proud people and were more afraid they would lose the home they lived in and didn't want to burden me further with their debt. I wish they had.

Are you getting the picture??? I doubt it. When I called you stupid, I really under over estimated you - not so much for your intelligence but your moral integrity. Or the lack of it.

Take your "bloger cojones" and mail them back to Hillary. I saw your blog. You are overwhelmed with yourself. Get over it.

I also live in the State of Illinois, and I never want to think you even live anywhere close to me.

As for your personal attack on Ann Coulter, try a diet program and in 20 years, you might look as good as she does.

I was once married to a hateful, full of herself woman like you, I don't miss her.

Get over yourself!

4:26 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Everyone please take a deep breath and kill the personal attacks.

Now, on the topic, example 3 of the unions, Ted, would be the construction project I provided "technical guidance" on a few years back for the government.

A large firm with nation wide outfits was hired to do the demolition work on gutting a building. Because of Davis-Bacon they were required to hire union workers for the job. They have exactly 1 union member who works year round in each of their shops as a foreman. The rest came from the union hall, when they were done they were layed off.

However, they have a non-union portion of their outfit that has not (in over 25 years) ever laid a person off. They also pay 95% of union scale, match up to 7.5% into 401(k) plans, and pay 90% of health, dental and life insurance benefits.

It turned out that even with the extra expenses their non-union group averaged 25% more take home pay per year than the union workers that were on our job, since they never got laid off.

Yet the local laborers union was trying to explain to them how they were 'getting screwed'.

5:04 AM  
Blogger benny06 said...

The comments about the other side of unions have been interesting.

I'm sorry to see that your regular blogger Ted, while making a good point here and there about his friends and families' negative experiences with unions, tends to resort to personal attacks in attempting to intimidate people. I'm glad I don't have to live next door with Ted or work with Ted, but he is transparent; however, I disagree with Ted that I am filled with hate; I am not. If one looks at my blog, it is pretty upbeat. To me, it appears Ted prefers to yell at people because he seems to be a very angry person in general and is uncomfortable with those who are moderately progressive in political views. And Ted, I'm glad I am married to a very nice man, who is just as conservative as you, but takes life in stride. His dad did belong to a union, and through the union, his mom lived reasonably well (nothin' fancy) for 20 years after her husband passed away. My husband has mixed feelings about unions, but he confesses it helped his dad feed a family of four. Incidently, my spouse logs about 3000 miles in bike riding each year and perhaps that's one reason why he doesn't yell at me about our differences in beliefs. He's not a fan of Edwards and hopes Newt Gingrich will be a contender in 2008, but he'll likely vote for any GOP contender as long as it's not Alan Keyes. :)

One last note though. While John Edwards hasn't belonged to a union, his grandparents and parents, and his brother did and it has benefitted them, just like my husband's nuclear family. I think what Edwards is saying about Wal-Mart is that they should quit intimidating their workers (in many instances, they have fired folks who wanted to, but gave other reasons, hence lawsuits) and allow them to unionize, if they wish, similar to what one sees in the movie Norma Rae. Since this thread started, another union shop was formed at a Wal-mart in China. Now, who's been a hypocrite--China or Wal-Mart, or both?

Bob, I thank you for allowing me to be part of your neighborhood for a few days. Feel free to drop by my blog again and say hello.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Patty said...

I just love Wal_mart dis-cussin's. Having a sister-in-law and neice retired from wal-mart with nice stock accounts and living happily ever after. They have insurance and all the trimmings. That could be because they invested and believed in Wal-Mart.
Oh and the neice retired at 41.
The next generation of folks here local like are supporting themselves and going to college. Oh and the medical insurance they carry seems to be very good. Since they use it.
Guess we all to damn dumb to know a bad thing when we see it.

2:57 PM  

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