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Walmart blames tweet calling Sen. Hawley ‘#soreloser’ on employee’s mistake

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Walmart’s Twitter account on Wednesday posted, then deleted, a critical comment under a tweet of Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) in which he says he will object to the January 6 certifying of Electoral College votes by Congress and Vice President Mike Pence. After intense backlash from across the social media site, Walmart issued an apology, blaming the tweet calling the senator a “#soreloser” on an employee’s mistake.

“The tweet published earlier was mistakenly posted by a member of our social media team,” the corporation tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “We deleted the post and have no intention of commenting on the subject of certifying the electoral college. We apologize to Senator Hawley for this error and any confusion about our position.”

In a statement to Newsweek, Casey Staheli, Walmart’s senior manager of national media relations, said that the social media team member “intended to publish this comment to their personal account.”

Wednesday morning, the Missouri Republican tweeted that “Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard. I will object on January 6 on their behalf.”

Under that tweet, Walmart’s account commented “Go ahead. Get your 2 hour debate. #soreloser”

A couple of hours later, Hawley fired back at the incendiary comment, asking if the corporation would apologize “for using slave labor”.

“Thanks ⁦@Walmart⁩ for your insulting condescension,” the senator tweeted, with a screenshot of the comment. “Now that you’ve insulted 75 million Americans, will you at least apologize for using slave labor?”

“Or maybe you’d like to apologize for the pathetic wages you pay your workers as you drive mom and pop stores out of business,” he added.

Hawley’s objection, alongside the backing of Republican Congressman Mo Brooks (Ala.) and others, would usher in a two-hour debate in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Following which, they would vote on whether to approve or reject the objection. In order to successfully toss out the electoral votes, which experts overwhelmingly see as a longshot, both chambers of Congress would need to agree on the objection.

Over the past century, both chambers being forced to vote on whether they agree with a state’s Electoral College votes has only happened twice.

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders have been urging the members of their caucus to not object to the certification of the states’ electoral votes on January 6 in a joint-session of Congress, a vocal handful of members backed by President Donald Trump have stated they’ll object to it.

Despite the Electoral College votes already having been officially cast on December 14, solidifying President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, President Trump refuses to concede, alleging widespread election fraud and that the election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him. The slew of legal cases filed by the president’s associates and supporters in multiple states failed to properly demonstrate that widespread fraud occurred and changed the election results, with the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month striking down a multi-state suit trying to throw out the results in a few swing states.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Screen Shot 2021 01 08 at 11.55.24 AM

Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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