Starbucks Seeking Volunteers for Sociology Experiment

Previously Starbucks’ customer base had its own individual criteria for choosing a favorite coffee spot among the company’s many outlets. It might be a comely barista, the pastry selection or the free Wi–Fi signal’s clarity.

For the immediate future, however, I suggest abandoning all criteria but one: The strength of the cellphone connection, because chances are you’re going to need it.

Since two trespassers were arrested in a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks in April, the corporate has been doing the Social Justice Limbo where management sees just how far it can bend over backwards and still maintain a functioning business.

Now that headquarters has decreed it’s ‘Come One, Come All’, everyone is welcome to use the bathroom, occupy furniture and log on to the Internet. If they happen to buy something, so much the better, but it’s no longer required.

It’s a brave new business model that’s a combination of temporary office suite and homeless day shelter.

This week saw the company issue new guidelines for employees who might want to tempt fate and call 911. It’s a bureaucrat’s dream. The decision–making process includes observation, self–doubt, second–guessing, second opinions, re–checking the manual, calling corporate and then hoping the problem went away while the staff was negotiating with itself.

Incidents that qualify for an immediate 911 include: Fire, robbery, selling drugs, destruction of store property or a gas leak (although God help the employee if the leak was simply Venti bean burrito exhaust).

Other incidents are a judgment call and require a corporate–choreographed decision–making process. First the ‘partner,’ as Starbucks laughingly calls its employees, is to “assess” the ‘guest’s’ behavior. Is it culturally appropriate or is it cultural appropriation? It’s important for the partner to separate the behavior from the individual. The process resembles Evangelicals and homosexuality — hate the sin, while loving the sinner.

Behaviors that are currently held in corporate disrepute include “being unreasonably noisy, viewing inappropriate media, verbally abusing people, making unwanted sexual advances and indecent exposure
.”

Step three of the pre–emergency call journey is the partner “[considering] how any decision will affect the customer’s experience.” Will not cursing out the person who tripped over his shopping cart mean the guest suffers increased stress? Will he/she/zir experience heightened sexual tension if they’re prevented from groping an adjacent guest? And could the partner be judgmentally assuming “indecent exposure” when the guest was only trying to increase air circulation?

Assuming the incident hasn’t been resolved by customers acting on their own initiative, the partner will then ponder “whether the customer or situation is safe to approach and whether an employee’s chosen response would be the same for any customer in the same circumstance.
”

Before this glacial minuet brings the partner within hailing distance of the disruptive guest, another partner must be asked to “observe and verify” the behavior. Only then is management to approach and introduce themselves and ask for the person’s name.

In no time at all I predict Starbucks will be home to the type of colorful human–interest stories — often featuring bodycam footage — that are commonly associated with Waffle House and Walmart parking lots. As one observer commented to CBS, the new Starbucks “will be a homeless camp. But at least we won’t have to deal with them on the street.”

That’s the current action plan, but savvy Starbucks employees know corporate policy can change on a dime. The Philly manager was following store policy when she called the cops, but that didn’t stop her from being fired when the media called corporate.

The real partner policy will be a series of informal questions designed to insure they keep their job. The first will be: Is the unruly guest a minority or passing as one? If the answer is ‘yes,’ the call decision is ‘no.’

If the guest isn’t a minority, but is also not wearing a MAGA hat, the partner must investigate further. Is the guest part of a protected group that may include whites? This normally involves something of a sexual nature and may require the use of intuition, Gaydar or checking for wallets attached to pants with a chain.

If the answer is even a remotely possible ‘yes’ the call is still a ‘no.’

The truth is no Starbucks employee was ever fired for the customer calling 911, and since under new policy the customer is always right, let them make the call.

And all this is before the May 29th shutdown of all Starbucks’ outlets for ‘Re–Education Day’ where highly paid trainers will hector the white partners in an attempt to stamp out “unconscious bias.” My last prediction is once that’s complete, all 175,000 Starbucks employees will be easy to spot: They’re the people not on the phone when all hell breaks loose.

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What If Obamacare Sold Homeowner’s Insurance?

If homeowner’s insurance worked like Obamacare, in no time at all homelessness would be a viable option for residents trying to lower their insurance cost.

Under Obamahome, construction contractors would talk endlessly about how compassionate their employees are. Edgy companies would assert that dealing with an English–speaking crew makes rebuilding your home a breeze. But no company would be talking prices or making binding estimates.

Instead homeowners would hire the company that was closest or had the most caring spokesperson. Really shrewd homeowners might check a Yelp review, but that would be the extent of the research. When it came time to sign the contract the homeowner would pay his deductible and the bill for the covered procedure would go direct to the insurance company.

The homeowner would remain blissfully unaware of what his newly repaired roof, siding, basement or deck cost to fix.

Under Obamahome, renters are also covered, but renters wouldn’t be required to pay a premium. And homeowners who had a loss, but weren’t covered by insurance — because they opted to make the final payment on their Sistine Chapel tattoo — can both buy a policy and file a claim during the same transaction.

At premium–setting time, homeowners would discover Obamahome rates had to be set high enough cover their house and their prorated portion of the renter’s and the pre–existing damage claims.

Soon they’re confronted with Obama’s Choice: To get an affordable premium, homeowners must choose between a much higher deductible for the same coverage or the same deductible for much less coverage.

The result is a $12,000 deductible that covers everything up to and including Hurricane Stormy or a $1,000 deductible that covers tornados and fire, but excludes hail, wind, lightening and floods.

Fortunately, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t malfunction like Obamacare, and with any luck the Texas Supreme Court may force hospitals to adopt pricing reform.

The Dallas Morning News reports Crystal Roberts was rushed to an emergency room after a car crash. The good news is she was home three hours later. The bad news is accompanying her was a bill for $11,037.35 for X–rays, CT scan, lab tests and ‘other’ services. Crystal was charged the ‘This Is Gonna Hurt’ rate because she lacked insurance.

But she didn’t lack a lawyer, so Crystal sued. The Texas Supremes ruled that if the hospital intended to prove Roberts’ bill “reasonable” it must “share … details about the discounted rates it had with health insurers, data that’s generally seen as proprietary and confidential.”

I’ll say it’s “confidential.” You’d have better luck finding Trump’s tax returns. The only price information a patient gets on a visit to the hospital is what it costs to park.

One wouldn’t know that from the story, though. Economics illiteracy among journalists continues unchecked, “While few dispute costs are out of control and transparency would help, the ruling is seen as unprecedented by some, who worry it could deal a big blow to free market competition in health care.”

The statement couldn’t be more wrong. It’s like saying if we banned Consumer Reports Car Buying Service and prohibited window stickers on new cars it would increase competition and lower prices.

The ability to compare prices encourages competition, while concealing prices encourages price–fixing.

The decision is a tentative step toward my simple, Constitutional, solution for increasing healthcare competition. First, require any hospital taking federal money to post turnkey prices for the 25 most common hospitalized surgical procedures; the 25 most common out–patient procedures and the 25 most common tests. All charges must match the best price offered insurance companies – the information the Texas hospital doesn’t want to share.

Second, allow insurance companies to compete across state lines, creating a national market. Any national policy won’t be subject to state-level regulations. This means state politicians with itchy legislative fingers can’t force companies to cover pap smears, prostate exams, birth control, or any medical fad do-gooders want to force on consumers. Individual buyers will be able to pay for the coverage they want and not be forced to pay for coverage a major campaign contributor wants them to have.

Policies must be offered in all states to escape individual state regulation. Any company selling a policy within a state must conform to that state’s financial stability rules.

Third, no exclusions for pre-existing conditions if the patient can prove continuous coverage for the prior six months. Otherwise, a six-month waiting period. Patients who don’t want to buy private insurance can participate in a federal high–risk pool.

Depending on judges to reform healthcare is spotty and imprecise.  We need Congress. The only negative impact my reform might have is on hospitals and the Medical Industrial Complex. That’s why it won’t happen. Those insiders make large campaign contributions and the likes of Crystal Roberts don’t.

Mitch McConnell Is Just a Clerk at Heart

Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell has decided to re-define his role in public life. McConnell is moving away from characterizing himself as a conservative legislative titan. According to an obsequious profile in The Weekly Standard (a Never–Trumper hotbed), McConnell has found his true calling.

The curator believes the best use of his talents is to serve as the Human Resources Department for the federal judiciary. In his new role as head of HR McConnell contends that whatever happens to those losers in the House this November, the Senate must remain in his swampy hands.

Pat Begley The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

The Emperor of Inertia has come to the belated realization that voters were listening when he promised them electing a Republican–controlled Senate, House and White House would mean a rebirth of conservative legislation.

The reality was different. Voters got premature ejaculations on election night and nothing has been conceived since.

“The stuff we did last year was clearly a Republican agenda,” McConnell rationalizes. “…judges, taxes and regulations — that’s what we live to do, and virtually all of those are forever done on a party–line basis.”

Like Union Civil War Gen. George McClellan, in his mind McConnell is always outnumbered and facing overwhelming odds. Mitch is convinced LBJ couldn’t have done a better job, but the voters aren’t. That means McConnell’s first task is political alchemy. He must turn stagnation into steak.

 

Yet two of the three “accomplishments” are reactive at best. The only vaguely conservative legislation passed thru his initiative was the tax bill and taxes weren’t the driving issue during the 2016 campaign. None of the conservative legislation voters said they wanted has been passed. None of the leftist legislation conservatives want eliminated has been repealed.

The cocktail conservatives at the Weekly Standard don’t mind. They depict this weak, elderly placeholder as a victorious boxer with both gloves raised overhead. They would have you believe, “Republicans are better off than they look. The midterm election is six months away, and their chances of preserving a good–sized chunk of their power in Washington are good.”

This is supposed to be good news? Up until this November Republicans had 100 percent of the power and did nothing. Losing half their legislative clout is supposed to raise our morale? Any perceptive conservative voter will ask the obvious question: What’s in it for me?

The truth is, nothing, but McConnell gets to keep his big office if the GOP wins.

Hence McConnell’s makeover. He doesn’t want to move. The way to conceal his failure to repay the conservative base for its loyalty, is by completely changing voter expectations. Now instead of being Mr. Legislator, McConnell is telling voters he’s Mr. LinkedIn! The one–stop networking source for Republican lawyers looking for a soft landing in the judiciary.

“If we hold the Senate,” McConnell explains, “we can continue to confirm nominations to lifetime appointments for a full four years and finish the job of transforming the American judiciary, which is my number–one goal.” You might say it’s one lifetime incumbent eager to recruit more lifetime federal employees, which he hopes won’t ‘grow in office’ once they land on the bench.

Forget about resetting the dial on the family, immigration, religious freedom, federal spending or reducing the size of a bloated, wasteful federal government. Who has time for that when Mitch is conducting job interviews for circuit court?

Even if you’re a conservative who buys into Senate–as–headhunter, there is this nagging question. Where do those judicial nominations that McConnell is so eager to ratify originate? Is there a ticker–tape deep in the bowels of the Supreme Court building that generates a candidate whenever an opening appears?

Or does Mitch man a booth at legal job fairs where he lassos likely candidates?

All that’s immaterial to the Standard. They are in awe of the process, “In this ambitious effort, it takes two — a leader and a [Judiciary Committee] chairman — to tango.”

Well, no. Truthfully this matchmaker isn’t making any matches. Instead the nominations originate in a White House occupied by the dreaded President Donald Trump. I’m no cheerleader for Trump. His waffling on DACA, his short attention span and his embrace of the spend–a–palooza budget bill are infuriating.

Still, without Trump in the White House there wouldn’t be any nominations to “transform the American judiciary.” Hillary would be president and she’d be sending the names of leftist politicians who think they look good in black. But we are 800 words deep in a 994–word puff piece before Trump’s name is even mentioned and then it’s in connection with impeachment!

Mealy–mouthed, multi–chins like McConnell are the reason Trump won in the first place. Their continued failure to grasp that fact explains the trouble they face in November.

The Left and It’s Angry Brand of Comedy

What do Chipotle and the White House Correspondent’s Dinner have in Common?

Easy. After the meal, everyone’s a little queasy.

Except for Kathy Griffin. She’s furious. The White House Correspondents’ Dinner proved conclusively one picture is still worth a thousand words. The photo of Griffin holding a decapitated Trump head torpedoed her career. For months her reputation was in such bad shape that when Griffin appeared in the news it was like a sighting of Sasquatch or Harvey Weinstein.

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MN

And irony of ironies, Kathy was at the correspondent’s dinner! She sat through Michelle Wolf’s crude and vulgar 2,400–word routine that savaged President Trump, the Trump family and his administration. Griffin defended Wolf in the face of widespread backlash, but I’m guessing when she got home, Kathy’s Trump head was in for a very rough time.

It was the injustice of it all. After only one photo Griffin can’t book a lunchtime public appearance at Costco giving away pot stickers, while Michelle Wolf will enjoy an audience bump when her Netflix series begins later in May.

If Kathy had waited until after the Correspondent’s Dinner to unveil her decapitated Trump on a #Resistance–filled world, she could have had a co–hosting gig with Joy Reid on MSLSD. But Griffin was too early. And, as any good comedian will tell you, timing is everything in comedy.

Dinner organizers and Opposition Media attendees are still having trouble digesting Wolf’s routine. Even employees of media outlets regularly slow–roasted by Trump were taken aback by the sheer unfunny savagery of Wolf’s rant. It’s fortunate the one–year term of the WHCA president concludes shortly after the dinner, otherwise there might have been calls for resignations or an Adam Schiff investigation.

When the dinner controversy popped up on Drudge, I assumed the unprofessional vulgarity–fest must have been part of an open mic portion of the program, and Wolf was the first exhibitionist to reach the podium. Instead, Wolf was recruited and paid to perform. Outgoing WHCA president Margaret Talev didn’t go so far as to apologize for the Wolf pack assault but she did her best to spin the disaster and shift the blame.

She told CNN, “Comedy is meant to be provocative. My interest overwhelmingly was in unifying the country, and I understand that we may have fallen a little bit short on that goal.” Unless her idea of unification only extends from Antifa to the Deep State. Talev also assured America that she didn’t see or otherwise examine Wolf’s monologue prior to the event, as if ignorance was absolution.

That’s not a dog–ate–my–homework excuse. It’s a dog–did–my–homework excuse.

You could tell Talev was perplexed that anyone would hold her responsible for Wolf’s performance. This is probably due to leftists’ unfamiliarity with how capitalism functions. The person who signs the check, bears the responsibility — unless he has really good lawyers.

Talev, a Bloomberg News reporter, simply employed the industry–standard OpMedia research practices when she booked Wolf. Verification was confined to discovering if Wolf hated Trump. With that established, it’s a given that what would come out of her mouth was sure to be enjoyed by the audience.

And what a potty mouth it was!

I read the complete transcript of the speech to save my readers the trouble. What struck me was buried under the steaming pile of invective was a very funny speech that would have been perfectly acceptable to a nationwide audience. Cutting the vulgar, unfunny and insulting portions would have reduced the length by 1,000 words. The edited version was sharp, creative and parts were slightly risqué. Wolf’s membership in the ‘Resistance’ would have remained unchallenged and association honchos would not have been fielding high, hard ones,

Unfortunately, as far as the left is concerned, today there is no room for peaceful coexistence with Trump and/or conservatives. This is why for Michelle Wolf poking fun wasn’t enough. She had to poke out some eyes.

The WHCD program held no surprises for the Trump administration. They know the OpMedia hates them. The dinner simply revealed the truth to the rest of America.

The Morning Consult did a nationwide survey in early April a few weeks before the dinner. One of the questions asked if the respondents considered the “national news” to be “liberal, conservative or centrist/non–partisan.” 36 percent of the pre–dinner sample either had no opinion or thought the media was centrist/non–partisan.

Meg Kinnard, of the virulently anti–Trump Associated Press, had an epiphany after the dinner. She tweeted, “If the #WHCD dinner did anything tonight, it made the chasm between journalists and those who don’t trust us, even wider.”

Exactly. It revealed the ugly truth to the confused 36 percent who formerly gave the news media the benefit of the doubt.

The Constitutional Work–Around for Term Limits

I’ve always wondered why the National Education Association (NEA) and the country club conservatives in the Republican House and Senate leadership aren’t allies, instead of enemies. Both organizations use the same tired talking points to defend inert members from the forces of accountability.

When education reformers urge legislative bodies to adopt merit pay for teachers and thereby reward the best teachers with the most money, the NEA counters that experience is crucial and paying teachers according to seniority rewards that excellent system.

Bill Schorr, San Clemente, CA

In the same fashion, when congressional reformers urge House and Senate leadership to adopt an amendment adding term limits to the Constitution, leadership rejects the proposal out of hand, claiming seniority is crucial to keeping Congress the paragon of competence it is today.

It’s no accident that education, Congress and penal institutions all grant more privileges based solely on how much time you’ve served.

Cong. Francis Rooney (R–Doomed) wants to remove Congress from that list. Rooney has formulated a brilliant method of implementing term limits that does not require an amendment to the Constitution. Rooney’s Thomas Jefferson Public Service Act would place no limits on how long a member could warm a seat in Congress — that requires an amendment — instead Rooney would reduce a member’s paycheck to $1 per year after they served six terms in the House or two terms in the Senate.

My wife is skeptical. She believes after 12 years our ‘public servants’ have already made themselves millionaires, so the $173,999.00 pay cut won’t bother them. She is not alone.

FedSmith.com downplays Rooney’s bill, too, “…most Congressmen make a career out of remaining in Congress (often moving on to the Senate). Many become millionaires within a few years after their election and, of course, they also receive a pension under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).”

What both overlook is the loss of status if Rooney’s bill passes.

When Newt Gingrich was running the show, Republicans imposed term limits on committee chairmen. In the House and Senate, Republicans are limited to six years as the jefe of any committee.

At the end of their term as chairman these members must surrender the gavel, without any reduction in salary or benefits. Many retiring chairmen look upon that gavel as the closest thing to Thor’s Hammer they will ever wield. Giving it up is such a personal Ragnarök that they retire from Congress rather than revert to being hammerless rank–and–file member regardless of their salary.

I’m thinking not getting an envelope on payday would have the same effect. It’s one thing to talk about being a ‘public servant.’ Becoming one and working for free is something entirely different.

I’m willing to grasp at Rooney’s straw if there’s even a slim chance of success.

Rooney is so serious he’s prepared to become very unpopular with his colleagues. In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Rooney correctly termed arguments against term limits legislation as “elitist paternalism.” He already has seven co–sponsors for his bill and he intends to put the heat on nominal term limits supporters.

“There are 90 co–sponsors on term limit by [constitutional] amendment bills and there’s something called the ‘Term Limit Caucus.’ Let’s see what they want to do,” Rooney explained. This is where Rooney drops off Christmas card lists.

Co–sponsoring a term limits constitutional amendment is exactly like promising to repeal Obamacare. It’s showy and consequence–free.

The chance of the amendment coming up for a vote is exactly the same as the chance of Donald Trump being named Man of the Year by La Raza. If the unthinkable happens — see Obamacare vote — and term limits comes to the floor, co–sponsors will cheerfully betray their voters just as Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins did.

Rooney’s bill will put these poseurs on the spot. There are 26 members of the Term Limits Caucus, yet only two are co–sponsoring his bill. Rooney should have 31 co–sponsors and that’s before he goes after the amendment popinjays.

Baier went to Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell for a comment on Rooney’s bill. In a voice dripping with disdain, McConnell gargled, “I would say we have term limits now, they’re called elections, and it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.”

True and the current system has given us McConnell as an example of what term limits would prevent.

Rooney’s only misstep so far came in his announcement. He quoted former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R–Great American) who said Americans “are frustrated with the federal government.” True again. But Coburn is no longer in the Senate, because he imposed term limits on himself.

I fear the time–servers Rooney is trying to persuade will hear that name and ask themselves, “yeah, and when was the last time Coburn was on TV?”