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Citigroup Inc. lowered its rating on Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to hold from buy on Tuesday, citing concern that legislation intended to make it easier for employees to unionize would raise the retail giant’s labor costs and hurt its competitiveness. Deborah Weinswig, a Citigroup analyst, cut her price target on the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer to $48 from $53…
The proposed Employee Free Choice Act, a top priority for unions this year, was formally introduced Tuesday by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa., and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.
Wal-Mart would be the “primary target” if any such bill were to be passed, especially because the U.S. food retail industry has historically been unionized with the exception of Wal-Mart, which is the largest food retailer, she said.
John Duncan writes, “Very interesting, considering Wal-Mart hasn’t been at 53 in a couple of months. So Citibank is lowering its “target” from something that wasn’t very achievable to something close to where Wal-Mart is currently running, claiming that it’s the scary unions that are causing the problem. I call BS.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”