Fast Food Nation: Trump's Labor Pick, Carl's Jr. CEO, Will Replace Your Job With Robots, Brawndo

Enjoy your Extra Big Ass National 'Right To Work' law

It only makes sense that after naming a Secretary of Education who can't stand public schools, an EPA Administrator who wants to bulldoze the environment, and an Attorney General who doesn't believe in voting rights, Donald Trump would name a fast food mogul who opposes increasing the minimum wage and who earlier this year fantasized about the elimination of workers as Secretary of Labor. Let's all meet Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company that franchises Hardee's and Carl's Junior, and see what he thinks the ideal labor force for his own fast food places might look like. Surprise, it is robots!

“We could have a restaurant that’s focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.” [...]

“They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” says Puzder of swapping employees for machines.

Why, yes, that does sound familiar:

And they won't pitch a fit if you replace them with Mexican robots. As Fast Company said of the announcement, vis a vis yet another star in the "brought to you by Idiocracy" firmament: "The universe is trolling us." After all, Trump already named professional wrestling CEO Linda McMahon to head up the Small Business Administration, though she's no Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. McMahon was, of course, a huge donor to Trump's campaign, and wouldn't you know it, so was Andy Puzder. That seems like a trend of some sort, too.

Beyond Puzder's achievements in echoing Idiocracy, he's also opposed to increasing the minimum wage, which like all Republicans he sincerely believes would kill jobs. His new boss, Donald Trump, has been all over the place on that question himself, saying in one Republican debate that "wages are too high," but then during the campaign saying he'd support a $10 per hour minimum wage, but who knows whether Trump will even remember what his most recent position on the minimum wage was? He might Tweet tomorrow that the current minimum wage is what's driving factories to Mexico.

Puzder is very definitely against the Obama administration's recent expansion of workers' eligibility for overtime, which is currently tied up in the courts. Needless to say, Puzder thinks paying people more for working harder and longer hours will actually hurt employment, because monetary incentives only motivate CEOs.

It should go without saying Puzder also opposed the Affordable Care Act, which hurts jobs, not just at his crappy restaurants, but all across America: In Puzder's opinion, never mind that unemployment is down and wages are beginning to rise. He believes the ACA "has created a 'government-mandated restaurant recession' because rising premiums have left people with less money to spend dining out." Because they're wasting a bit more money on health insurance, which they don't need anyway because they can always go to an ER for health care, just like the employees of Carl's Jr. do.

You want Andy Puzder the champion of Political Correctness? How about his company's commercials with the hot wimmen having a 3-way and doing sex to burgers?

Puzder doesn't see why selling meat by depicting women as meat is such a big deal, and as far as he's concerned he doesn't have to worry about you cucks and man-hating feminists:

“We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers,” said the CEO in a 2011 press release. “We target hungry guys, and we get young kids that want to be young hungry guys.” He continued defending the commercials as recently as last year, when he said: “I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American.”

With such enlightened attitudes, it's nigh unto unbelievable that Puzder just might have a problem with women, as in maybe abusing his first wife: In a 1989 divorce filing and a subsequent request for a protective order, Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Henning (now Lisa Fierstein) claimed Puzder had

attacked me, choked me, threw me to the floor, hit me in the head, pushed his knee into my chest twisted my ar​m and dr​agged me​ ​on the floor, threw me against a wall, tried to stop my call to 911 and kicked me in the back.

Puzder claimed at the time that he had merely pushed his wife as she was yelling at him, and that she tripped and fell backwards. The Riverfront Times, which broke the story in 1989 and reported on it again Thursday after Puzder's nomination, was contacted by a spokesperson for Puzder, who gave them a copy of a 2016 email in which Puzder's ex retracted the abuse allegations:

You know how deeply I regret many of the rash decisions I made at that time and I sincerely hope that none of those decisions will become an issue for you at this time. I impulsively filed for a divorce without your knowledge and was counseled then to file an allegation of abuse. I regretted and still regret that decision and I withdrew those allegations over thirty years ago. You were not abusive.

I will most definitely confirm to anyone who may ask that in no way was there abuse. We had a heated argument. We both said things to one another that we regret to this day. I have always been grateful that we have been able to forgive one another for the hurt we caused caused each other.

The St. Louis Dispatch noted it was unable to contact Mr. Puzder's ex Thursday to confirm the retraction, but added the Trump transition office helped out, too:

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump transition office, issued a statement he said came from Lisa Fierstein, Puzder’s ex-wife, that repeated part of the email, and added: “Andy is one of the finest men I have ever known. … Andy is a wonderful father, a great person, and was a good husband.”

We imagine that Puzder's ex-wife will eventually issue a statement that isn't delivered through an intermediary for Mr. Puzder or TrumpWorld. Besides, what's a little alleged spousal abuse to this crowd? Trump himself won the presidency even after being accused of several sexual assaults on women, not to mention that accusation of marital rape that Ivana later retracted, so shut up with the innuendo already.

Everything's perfectly normal and this is a perfectly normal administration. Now all we need is an Agriculture Secretary to recommend spraying crops with Brawndo, as it's what plants crave.

[NYT / Buzzfeed / Fast Company / Forbes /Fortune / Riverfront Times via TPM / Post-Dispatch]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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