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Starbucks Flies Huge 800 Square Foot Gay Pride Flag Atop Its World Headquarters

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Starbucks.jpgCoffee icon Starbucks is celebrating pride month by flying a huge, 800 square foot gay pride flag atop its Seattle, Washington worldwide headquarters.

Starbucks chairman, CEO, and president Howard Schultz has stood up to repeated attacks over his company’s support of LGBT civil rights, including same-sex marriage. Even a National Organization For Marriage sponsored boycott, with a Dump Starbucks website and international campaign has not deterred the head of the $15 billion coffee giant standing for what he sees as right. And if this month’s foray into celebrating pride month is any indication, he never will.

Flying atop Starbucks world headquarters in Seattle, Washington is an enormous 800 square foot rainbow gay pride flag that measures 38 feet across and 19 feet high.

The idea wasn’t Schultz’s, it came from an employee, inspired after seeing Starbucks HQ fly the Seattle Seahawks’ flag to celebrate their Super Bowl win.

“It was such a surprise and it was so fun to see support for our hometown team,” Anthony Hesseltine, a Starbucks 10-year veteran, said in a company press release. “Then I thought, what if? No. Well, maybe?”

Months later, Hesseltine began floating the idea of having the Pride Flag raised on Starbucks headquarters for the first time.

“There was no resistance,” he said. “It was more difficult for me to find and purchase the flag than it was to get people in the building to support the idea of flying the Pride flag.”

As a sourcing manager for Starbucks supplier diversity program, Hesseltine has connections.

“Not everyone will approve of Starbucks flying the Pride flag. I don’t wish any harm by having the flag fly, but I do want people to reflect,” Hesseltine says. “The whole message is about diversity and accepting people for their differences. If you think about a rainbow, no one color is dominant. It’s a harmonization of different colors, each color contributing to the whole.”

At Starbucks’ annual stockholders meeting last year, a National Organization For Marriage-affiliated activist stood up and slammed Schultz for his decision to support same-sex marriage, wrongly blaming a dip in earnings to the move.

“Not every decision is an economic decision,” Schultz told him. “Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38 percent shareholder return over the last year. I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38 percent over the last 12 months. Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity of all kinds.”

“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country,” Schultz said. “You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

 

Image by Starbucks Partners via Twitter
Hat tip: Towleroad

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CRIME

Trumps Could ‘Turn on One Another’ as Investigations ‘Go Up the Food Chain’: MSNBC Analyst

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Former president Donald Trump and his family are facing “existential” threats from ongoing criminal investigations in New York and Georgia, according to MSNBC political analyst and Trump biographer Tim O’Brien.

“I think you’re going to start to see this vice squeeze in,” O’Brien said Saturday. “The Trumps will happily throw underlings under the bus as this gets hotter. I think the question is whether or not the family members will turn on one another as it goes up the food chain.”

“The Manhattan DA’s case has existential consequences to it,” O’Brien added. “Donald Trump and perhaps his children could end up in orange jumpsuits if that case goes the full route. That’s not going to be the case with (New York AG) Letitia James’ prosecution, that’s a civil case. I also think the Georgia case has an existential threat. Donald Trump acting like a 19th-century ward heeler, called up the secretary of state and said find me some votes, and there’s proof of that, there’s evidence.”

Watch the full interview below.

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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'TRYING TO OUT-TRUMP TRUMP'

Ron DeSantis Pounded by WaPo Editorial Board for Latest Attempt to ‘Poison Democracy’

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In a scathing opinion piece on Saturday morning, the editorial board of the Washington Post trashed Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for his plan to create an “election police squad” that board suggests will be used to disrupt elections and scare voters away.

According to the board, the DeSantis proposal reeks of Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn election results at the state level with them labeling the Florida Republican’s efforts a deliberate move to “poison democracy.”

Pointing out that DeSantis wants the Florida legislature to “pony up $6 million to hire 52 people for his election police squad — which, naturally, would be under the governor’s control and would investigate allegations of election crimes submitted by “government officials or any other persons,” the editors then warned, “If Mr. Trump had his way, government investigators would no doubt be impounding Dominion Voting Systems election machines and grilling election officials in Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania based on outlandish allegations about the 2020 vote. Whether Florida’s voting cops would field tips from partisans acting in bad faith or dupes who really believe that fraud is ubiquitous in U.S. elections, it is not hard to foresee them harassing election officials or voting rights groups who are simply trying to help people to vote.”

The editors added, “Mr. DeSantis’s proposal would be similar to an anti-voting law Texas lawmakers passed recently, which would threaten election workers with criminal penalties for transgressions as mild as proactively offering voters mail-in ballot applications. In both cases, the effect is to intimidate people into thinking twice about doing anything they fear state authorities might construe as illegal.”

They then concluded, “Mr. DeSantis, trying to rise from the former president’s shadow, looks as though he is trying to out-Trump Mr. Trump. Both seek to cater to a GOP base among whom fake allegations of fraud are not just believed, but considered a critical national crisis… Proposals such as Mr. DeSantis’s would only work to poison America’s democracy.”

You can read more here.

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'MARGINALLY'

‘Why Is That So Hard to Answer?’: GOP Candidate Squirms as CNN Host Forces Him to Admit Trump Lost

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A Republican congressional candidate from Alaska finally conceded that former president Donald Trump lost the 2020 election on Friday — but not until after being asked the question no fewer than four times by CNN host Alisyn Camerota.

Camerota was following up on a story about another candidate for Alaska’s only House seat, Greg Brelsford, who recently left the GOP to become an Independent, citing “attacks on democracy.”

On Friday, she interviewed GOP candidate Randy Purham.

“So you heard one of your opponents, who was saying that basically he’s tired of all the re-litigating of Donald Trump’s election loss,” Camerota told Purham. “Are you one of the Republicans he was speaking of who believes Donald Trump did not lose the 2020 presidential election?”

“I’m not going to say that he did not lose, but we realize there are some irregularities with the election,” Purham responded, before Camerota cut him off.

READ MORE: Typo-filled Trump voting machine order likely written by one of his ‘lunatic friends’: legal expert

“Just to be clear, do you think he lost?” the host said.

“Marginally,” Purham responded.

“But you believe that Donald Trump lost the election, and Joe Biden is the rightful president of the United States?”

“To a degree,” Purham said.

“Why is that so hard to answer?” Camerota asked.

“It’s not hard to answer,” Purham responded. “There’s a lot of issues that we’ve seen with the election, and we see how things are turning out right now with this administration, so —”

“But that’s different, Mr. Purham,” Camerota said, again cutting him off. “That’s different if you don’t like certain policies in the administration, it’s different than whether or not you can say definitively that Donald Trump lost and Joe Biden won.”

“I can, and I have,” Durham said, finally appearing to acknowledge Trump’s defeat.

Watch below.

 

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