Tuesday, November 01, 2005

News In Brief 1 November 2005

With New War Room, Bush Calls On Wal-Mart To Join Coalition Forces

Retail Giant 'Could Outfit Millions of Troops"; Military Will Limit Benefits and Consider Waiver For Illegal Workers

After finding out the retail giant Wal-Mart has launched a "war room", President Bush has called on the Bentonville, Arkansas company to join with the coalition fighting terrorism and waging the war to free Iraq.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, answering one of the few questions that White House Council would allow him, confirmed that the President called Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. to make the request.

"I can't go into detail," said McClellan. "We don't know yet if anyone in the investigation has shopped at Wal-Mart and we don’t want to compromise the integrity of the matter."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield was buoyed and optimistic about adding Wal-Mart to the Coalition force.

"Heavens, they could bring hundreds-of-thousands of new soldiers … Full-Time, Part-Time, we'll fit them in there alright."

Rumsfield said he hasn't seen the final proposal but indicated the U.S. Military is prepared to make concessions in order to gain Wal-Mart's support.

"We can maintain low or no benefits," said Rumsfield, "And, we can file waivers for all their undocumented workers."

Wal-Mart opened its' "war room", staffed by veterans of the 2004 Bush and Kerry presidential campaigns, to sell a new, improved image to reluctant consumers. Wal-Mart faces declining growth and an expected backlash to the new documentary opening, "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" by director Robert Greenwald.

To keep up with its critics, Wal-Mart "has to run a campaign," said Robert McAdam, a former political strategist at the Tobacco Institute who now oversees Wal-Mart's corporate communications.

Members of the new "war room" include Michael K. Deaver, who was Ronald Reagan's Assistant and Deputy Chief of Staff, and Leslie Dach, one of Bill Clinton's media consultants.

Unconfirmed rumors are being reported that, in Iraq, a growing number petitions have been started to keep Wal-Mart Coalition forces out of their towns and cities.

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