President Obama blasted Republicans as the party of “billionaires” on Tuesday while mingling with high-rollers at the $26 million estate of Rich Richman — yes, that’s his real name — in Greenwich, Conn. Richman, who built his $10 billion company developing rental housing, lives in the Conyers Farm area, where the minimum lot size is 10 acres. Twenty-five donors paid $32,400 each to get their photo taken with the president. Others paid $10,000 for dinner.
Obama arrived from New York City — where he had attended a fundraiser with hedge-fund billionaires George Soros and Paul Tudor Jones — in a convoy of four helicopters that landed at the Greenwich Polo Club.And the irony just keeps on coming. The Washington Post has all the rich dirt:
... New details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.The team member was a well-heeled young Yalie named Jonathan Dach. So not only did the Obama administration cover it all up, it rewarded the young stud muffin with -- get this -- a job at the State Department's Office of Global Women's Issues. One night in Cartagena with an exploited sex worker is apparently more than enough to qualify a male as an expert in "women's issues" in the Obama administration. According to the State Department website, Dach's role is to foster "participation of women and girls in the political, economic, and social realms of their countries (as) a key goal of U.S. foreign policy. When women and girls are empowered, educated, and equipped to contribute to their societies, their families and countries are more likely to prosper, and be more stable and secure."
Meanwhile, according to the Post, government investigators looking into the Secret Service prostitution scandal were fired when they started asking too many questions about young Dach. The White House was afraid the truth might hurt Obama's re-election chances.
Could it get even richer? Yes, it could. It turns out that the wealthy father (Leslie Dach) of the aforementioned Ivy League Lothario was one of those generous high-roller Obama campaign donors while also working as the top lobbyist for Walmart. Dach and first lady Michelle Obama later became partners in a short-lived Let's Move publicity campaign, in which Walmart promised to someday day stock its shelves with healthier foods -- thus helping divert public attention from a class action lawsuit then being brought by the retail chain's underpaid women employees. (The Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the case, on grounds that women wage slaves don't constitute a class.)
|Leslie Dach (the chin-stroker at the left) with Michelle Obama|
And guess what Leslie Dach is doing now? He's spun through the revolving doors right into the very heart of the Obama administration in order to help his former Walmart colleague, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews-Burwell, to implement the next phase of Obamacare!
In 2011, Mr. Dach recruited Ms. Burwell to become president of the Walmart Foundation, where she worked for just over a year before heading back to Washington. As we noted earlier, Mr. Dach has spoken well of the work she did there.
HHS announced Wednesday that Mr. Dach would be coming to the department for a newly-created job that will include working on the next sign-up period for coverage under the health law. “Leslie’s experience, which spans the business, government, and civil society sectors, will further enhance our ability to deliver impact for the American people,” said Ms. Burwell, in a statement.The impact is already being delivered good and hard, with all the intensity of a sledge hammer. Just this week, only one day after Walmart announced that it is getting into the lucrative for-profit Obamacare marketplace itself, it cut off tens of thousands of its own part-time employees from their company-subsidized health insurance plans. It was just getting way too expensive for the Walton family, who own more wealth than the poorest 40-plus percent of all American families combined. From Common Dreams:
For the fiscal year of 2014, Walmart "increased net sales by 1.6% to $473.1 billion and returned $12.8 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases," the company states on its website. Furthermore, in 2014, Walmart was ranked number one on the Fortune 500 list for its large revenues. The Walton family is one of the most wealthy on earth and has consistently been in the Forbes 400 top ten wealthiest list since 2001.Now, let's ironically take a stroll back through the revolving doors, from Burwell to Wellborn -- the ironically-named Sally Wellborn that is, head of Walmart's ironically named Benefits Division. She said the policy axing employee medical benefits for part-timers (legally defined as workers putting in slightly less than 40 hours per week) was one of those "tough decisions," made by tough bosses not afraid to say "tough shit" to minimum wage workers. This begs the question: will Sally Wellborn's own job be discontinued? Will Wellborn be hired by Burwell? Or is Wellborn, like young Jonathan Dach, well-born enough to not have a care in the world?
Always the high public cost of low prices, low wages, low moral corporate standards, outsourced manufacturing. Always.
The trouble is, while the Cartagena tawdriness is getting all the headlines, the political prostitution is not. It's just the way business gets done in an oligarchy. And it's by no means a victimless crime. Tens of thousands of low-wage Walmart victims, tens of millions of victims of the predatory health insurance industry, seven billion victims of unfettered capitalism the wide world over.
Delivering impact? Quite the understatement.