Starbucks Spoiler


Howard Schultz is thinking about running for president as an independent. Who? Schultz is the answer no one is looking for. He’s also the former CEO of Starbucks, which also pisses people off. A lot of people have strong opinions about Starbucks. It’s too watery. It’s too corporate. It’s too liberal. What’s the difference between venti and grande? Can I pee here without making a purchase?

The term “starbucking” refers to something corporate coming into your community and making it just like every other community. With Schultz being a rich, white billionaire, he’s starbucking the 2020 presidential election.

Democrats are not excited about Schultz’s potential presidential bid. Republicans love it. Donald Trump even taunted Schultz to run by using schoolyard bullying tactics by saying he’s unintelligent and doesn’t “have the guts.” Hey, if he was dumb enough to fall for reverse psychology from Trump, he’d be a Republican senator from Texas. Trump even told supporters at a fundraiser that he was using reverse psychology, which breaks the first rule of using reverse psychology. Someone probably told Trump that he better not tell supporters he was using reverse psychology.

Trump tweeted, “Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the ‘smartest person.’ Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!” Trump is correct in that we already have a president who is not the smartest person. Also, I’m glad the president can tear himself away from solving, or starting, all the nation’s problems to pay attention to who’s paying rent in Trump Tower.

He’s also correct (I’ve never said that about Trump twice in one column before) in that we already have what Schultz is presenting. No, not the racist, Nazi-defending part. The egotistical billionaire asshole that’ll make it a priority to give himself a tax cut.

After his first two years in office, what was Trump’s biggest accomplishment? Ending Obamacare? Building a wall? Building a Trump Tower in Moscow? Losing the nuclear football at Mar-a-Lago (if you find it, please call)? None of the above. It was giving himself a tax cut. Schultz is actually promising to give himself a tax cut. The only difference between rich-guy Schultz and rich-guy Trump is that Schultz is actually a billionaire.

Schultz has already argued against a “60-70% tax increases on the rich and a health care system we can’t pay.” So basically, he’s against healthcare for all and taxing the rich. He’s not going to take votes away from Trump with that campaign message.

It’s taking away votes from the Democrats that have Democrats worried. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by fewer than 80,000 votes combined in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, which was lower than Jill Stein’s total in those states. People are still arguing that Ralph Nader spoiled the 2000 election for Al Gore, who lost to Bush in Florida by just 537 votes, and Nader scored over 92,000.

The animosity toward Schultz and the potential of handing the 2020 election Trump was well represented at a book signing in New York City this week (oh yeah, he’s promoting a new book).

The protester yelled, “Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical, billionaire asshole!”

If he does run and Trump wins, he better get used to hearing the word “asshole,” because he’ll be hearing it for the rest of his life.

Creative note: Coming up with fake names for Starbucks beverages that are more ridiculous than the real thing is like caricaturing Trump. You can’t do it. It’s almost impossible to make Trump look more absurd than he actually does, which is why I draw him the way I do. The drink in this cartoon, a venti, soy, no-foam, chestnut-praline frappuccino is actually on the Starbucks menu.

Second creative note: There are two versions of this cartoon. One dirty-word version for news sites and altie newspapers, and a clean non-dirty word version for family newspapers.

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
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Color Me Starbucks


When I started my self-syndication business a few years ago, I needed to collect the contact information for every editor in the nation. It was a daunting task made even more difficult with the lack of internet in my home at that time. So, I went to McDonald’s nearly every day to use their Wi-Fi.

Visiting every newspaper’s website in the nation is extremely tedious. Some make it very hard to find the contact information. I understand not wanting to be spammed, but it’s like some newspapers don’t ever want to hear from their readers. But, I’d sit at McDonald’s, sometimes up to six hours at a time collecting this information. Sometimes, I only bought a cup of coffee. Know how many times I was harassed for loitering? Zero.

Maybe nobody bothered me because of my sparkling personality. Maybe it was because they really didn’t mind anyone hanging out for hours without giving them business. I saw quite a few other people using their Wi-Fi without purchasing. But maybe, the reason I wasn’t bothered was because of my white privilege.

There are not a lot of white people who admit to having white privilege. On the contrary, you often hear a white person say they know what it’s like to be a minority because once, they visited a foreign country, walked through a different neighborhood, or was the only white person in a restaurant or at a party. Bullshit. Even when you are the only white person in a place, you’re still white when you leave. You do not face a lifetime of discrimination in a nation with a long history of disparity in treatment and justice. At the very least, if you’re white then you have an extremely low chance of being arrested for sitting at Starbucks.

Yes. Starbucks. That liberal Utopian franchise that’s setting an example for other corporations to follow for social responsibility.

The corporation has instituted environmentally friendly policies like using wind energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and contributing to clean water projects globally. Partners, which are what they call their employees, join community projects, like tree planting.

One former employee, er, partner, described a problem with the company and said to Shaun Frankson, a business strategist who also blogs, “All the pieces for a great culture were present. We all were told exactly how to live the company values. However, management failed to live by example, so quickly each employee started to deviate from the desired culture and create subcultures based on each branch managers behaviors.”

Maybe, that’s the problem at the Philadelphia Starbucks that had two black men arrested who were waiting on a friend before ordering. Perhaps the sub-culture at that location is, black is suspicious, and I’m not talking about the coffee.

The location of this Starbucks is in a very ritzy part of Philadelphia. It’s two blocks away from a luxury apartment building where rent can go as high as $10,000 a month. And yet, while making up only three percent of the population black men account for 67 percent of stops by the police. This is not a subculture. This is national.

Starbucks is going to close every single one of their more than 8,000 stores for an afternoon in May to provide training to their employees to treat all of their customers alike, even the black guys.

I’m not sure all the racial ills of this nation can be cured in a single afternoon, or if it will make anyone victimized feel better, but at least it’s a start. Maybe the entire nation should shut down for an afternoon and learn to treat everyone the same.

Even the black guys.

Here’s the video.

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A Haunted Hounding


Commercials have become a huge thing now for Super Bowls. Companies spend millions for airtime and many go over the top for creativity and humor. Others do not. During this year’s Super Bowl a few had small political messages in them. Budweiser aired a commercial that was pro Immigration (as their founder immigrated here) and now wacked-out-of-their-gourds conservatives are boycotting the company.

The company had another commercial which was non-political but kinda creepy. It featured the ghost of Spuds Mackenzie, their advertising icon from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Nobody wants to see a dead dog.

Back to this boycott thing: There’s a special irony and stupidity for any white person to be anti-immigrant. And why are you anti-immigrant and hating on refugees? Is there no compassion in your soul?

People are boycotting Starbucks because they plan to hire 10,000 refugees across 75 countries. Why hate on that? Now a much smaller coffee company called the Black Rifle Coffee Company pledges to hire 10,000 veterans. How is that supposed to hurt people who are in favor of helping refugees? Good for them for wanting to hire veterans. Bad for them making a publicity stunt on something they’ll never do. Meanwhile, Starbucks will hire 10,000 refugees and they’ve already initiated a program to hire veterans too.

The Tiny Penis Coffee Company will not be hiring 10,000 veterans. They don’t have stores. They’re based in Utah and they’re a mail-order company. They’re not going to be able to fit 10,000 veterans into their mail room. Another thing, their coffee beans are imported. What, did you think Utah was prime farm country for coffee beans? They’ll create 10,000 jobs for Colombians before they hire 10,000 veterans.

Trump’s ban on Muslims is failing. A federal judge in Washington State temporarily struck it down. Trump replied on Twitter by calling the judge a “so-called judge” and saying if anything bad happens then the judge should be blamed. Our so-called president needs to read his executive orders better and lay off the Twitter and Cable news.

Now 127 companies are opposing Trump’s travel ban. If you want to boycott businesses that are pro-refugees, and pro-law, then you’re gonna have to do without Adobe, HP, Pandora, Tesla, TripAdvisor, Apple, DocuSign, DropBox, eBay, Facebook, Google, GoPro, Indiegogo, Intel, Kickstarter, Levi, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Netgear, Patreon, Paypal, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, Shutterstock, Spotify, Squarespace, Uber, Yelp, Wikimedia, and finally, Twitter.

If you’re boycotting Budweiser for their pro-immigrant commercial (and not for their watery beer), but using Facebook and Twitter to express your outrage, then you’re a hypocrite. But then again, conservatives are always hypocrites.

If you’re really against immigrants and everything about them, then you need to boycott yourself.

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Trump Cup


While many Trump supporters are going to Starbucks and demanding that “Trump” be written on their $5.00 caramel creme brulee frappuccino while whining they’re being mistreated because they’re white, white nationalists are holding rallies and victory parades and sieg heiling Donald Trump.

I’m not talking about a couple of good-ole boys from the backwoods of North Carolina in a rusty pickup truck yee-hawing about Trump while waving the Confederate flag. These racists are partying in the nation’s capital.

During the weekend an organization that calls itself the National Policy Institute held a gathering in Washington. While the name lends the impression they huddled together to get all wonky, what they actually did was “hail Trump” and talk about the white race.

Their leader, Richard Spencer, made remarks that suggested Jews are not human, and quoted the old Nazi term “luegenpresse” in “the original German,” as he put it, to lambast the “lying press.” He talked a lot about the European race and questioned if some people are people at all, and calling fellow human beings “the most despicable creatures ever to populate the planet.” He finished his speech with a “hail Trump” which the audience joined in. It’s not clear if the “hail” remained a “hail” or if it degenerated into a “heil” but what is clear is that many members were captured on video giving the old “sieg heil” Nazi salute. If you ever want to hail something, make sure you’re firm with that enunciation. It’s important.


The event was held at an Italian restaurant in the District which really surprised the owners and staff as the white nationalists had booked the place under the guise of a family reunion. It has to be kinda alarming when you expect people to be enjoying lasagna and breadsticks with their grandchildren and instead you find them sieg heiling all around your minestrone. Bastards.

The only way this could get more bizarre would be if a porn star showed up, sieg heiled along, and tweeted out a “sieg heil” with a photo. Oh wait. That happened too. Tila Tequila (probably not her real name because if you name your kid “Tila Tequila” you’re pretty much mapping out a future life in the porn industry) tweeted out a sieg heil and was seen in photos smiling with the salute.

The restaurant ended up closing for the safety of everyone involved as protesters showed up. The establishment is so embarrassed by the incident (and who can blame them? Nobody wants to host a Nazi party. I don’t care if there’s cake and balloons), that they’re donating the entire night’s profit, which is $10,000, to the Anti-Defamation League. How about that, Nazis? Your money’s going to Jews. Ha! Ha!

We might have to stop using the “alt-right” to describe these people sieg heiling, praising Hitler and Donald Trump together, boycotting “Hamilton”, sprawling Nazi graffiti, intimidating minorities, and screaming about what’s on their coffee cups. They’re white nationalists. They’re racists. The National Policy Institute, Steve Bannon, and Breitbart might be trying to disguise it with new names and descriptions, but they’re hate groups. They’re the worst people in the world and our President is encouraging and surrounding himself with them.

And they don’t deserve Italian noodles.

Update: I was wondering when I wrote this if the Nazi event was actually two. I couldn’t find that information in any story early this morning when I wrote the blog. My friend David Kessler did. It is confusing as there was sieg heiling at both events. The first was at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building (go figure) and the other was an after party at the Italian place. Go figure that Nazis enjoy a nice after party to continue the sieg heiling and goose stepping. I wonder if there’s a dating app for Nazis? Maybe Nazi Hook Up?

Another update: This is on a more creative note. I drew the bulk of this cartoon and realized I hated it. Around 2:00 AM this morning I started over. This is what that looked like when I stopped working on it.


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A Caffeinated War On Christmas


It’s very bizarre to me that the group who says people should stop being so easily offended and politically correct goes ballistic when they receive a cup with nothing on it.

Sometimes we’re a really dumb country. One presidential candidate brags about attacking his mother with a hammer and trying to stab another relative while another candidate is saying if he could go back in time he’d kill baby Hitler. What’s even weirder is that neither of those candidates are Donald Trump.

Now religious freaks are up in arms over a cup that doesn’t have jingle bells on it.

Starbucks, like most establishments, issues assorted packaging with holiday decorations on them. This year they issued a red cup without any decorations. Conservatives have taken this as the first shot in the annual War On Christmas. Instead of going to another establishment that may serve expensive coffee in a Jesus cup they would rather make viral videos bemoaning that a cup has ruined their holiday. They’re also upset that there’s a mall that hasn’t put up a Christmas tree.

Is it too much to ask for Thanksgiving and Black Friday to get by us before we have ridiculous arguments about how much of your religion has to be shoved in society’s face? Apparently it is too much to ask.

This is very much a First World problem. While some in the world are starving, trying to escape a civil war, trying to survive, we have the luxury to argue over a cup.

Sometimes I have a hard time choosing which issue I’m going to draw because I can only tackle one ridiculous problem at a time.

Happy holidays!

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I drew this last Friday for The Daily Dot. Since then Starbucks has stopped their race initiative and the hanging story from Mississippi has kind of died down. The point of the cartoon still works.

I did a cartoon on the Starbucks issue last week and some commentators on blogs wrote that it was the best cartoon on the subject. Well thank you, anonymous blog posters.

With these two issues I felt compelled to draw on the issue because I started my career in Mississippi and I love Starbucks. They provide a great atmosphere, they’re a progressive company and the mochas are delicious. Plus, I get free WiFi at their establishments. Also, there are Starbucks at Targets which is another progressive anti-Walmart company.

On another personal inside note: Rob, I wrote a blog post like you requested. Since you got a blog post and a shout out you are now required to share this cartoon on Facebook. If you don’t I will come to Sacramento and force you to listen to “Wham!” for seven straight hours. Who am I kidding? You’d enjoy that and I’d be in Hell.

Conversations Are Hot


Starbucks has initiated a campaign for their employees to talk to customers about race. That’s nice. Really. Someone needs to talk about it.

I’ve noticed the only people who get upset about this are those who are actually racist. If you think it’s outrageous and out of place then you need to ask yourself what you’re really threatened by. I think you’re threatened more people will move forward and leave you behind.

I really like the black and white version of this one so I’m gonna post it too.