Wal-Mart hates America | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 5, 2006

Wal-Mart hates America

Posted By on Fri, May 5, 2006 at 1:11 PM

Or maybe you should just say they like their imports from China more.

Here's Rep. Jerry Nadler writing for Talking Points Memo about how Wal-Mart oppositition killed his bill to require scanning of all containers shipped to the U.S. from overseas for radiological weapons.

Wal-Mart and other mega-importers, under the umbrella of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, have been lobbying fiercely against 100-percent scanning. The industry alleges that scanning every container would slow down commerce and harm their profits. If that sounds achingly familiar, it's because that's the same objection raised by industry groups when Congress decided, after 9/11, that every airline passenger and every piece of luggage needed to be scanned. Lobbyists foretold clogged airports, massive delays, and the death of the airline industry. But, as so often happens, common sense trumped corporate paranoia. Our flights depart on-schedule, and every bag is scanned.

The House faced a similar decision today. The logic couldn't be simpler: we don't let bags onto airplanes unless we know the contents pose not threat, and we ought to impose the same standard on shipping containers. Every House Democrat voted for 100-percent scanning, joined by six Republicans. But, alas, the other 222 Republicans just couldn't bring themselves to vote Aye. Was it threats from Wal-Mart, or was it simple unwillingness to think big? I don't know which is more worrisome for our country. One thing is clear: this Republican Congress cannot be trusted with our security.


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