Starbucks Blew $20 Billion on Share Buybacks and Dividends

On his first day as the new old interim CEO of Starbucks, which has been in the news for a series of successful union votes by frustrated employees, Howard Schultz told employees in a letter this morning that the company would end its share buyback program.

It promptly blew, wasted, and incinerated $3.5 billion in cash on buying back its own shares in Q4, according to its 10-Q filing. Since 2005, Starbucks has blown, wasted, and incinerated $30.8 billion on share buybacks, most of it ($22 billion) since 2017 under Kevin Johnson (data via YCharts).

Wolfstreet.com

The Beer Hall Project – Never Forget Jan. 6

Jan. 6, 2021, provided the fuel for a new project. The insurrection, an attempted coup by Trump and his supporters, seeking to overturn the election he lost to President Joe Biden, marked the sort of scary turn to authoritarianism that so many people like Wellman feared during Trump’s first run for office.

Now a year later, Wellman and co-founder Cyrus Shick introduced the world last week to The Beer Hall Project, a new super PAC with a goal of battling those in the Trump orbit who are trying to erase the devastation of what Jan. 6 really was: an attack on American democracy.

Beer Hall Project

Faux News as “Presidential Advisors”

New texts reveal the influence of Fox hosts on previous White House,

Stephanie Grisham, former press secretary to President Donald Trump, remembers the challenges that came from so many Fox News hosts having the direct number to reach Trump in the White House residence.

“There were times the president would come down the next morning and say, ‘Well, Sean thinks we should do this,’ or, ‘Judge Jeanine thinks we should do this,’” said Grisham, referring to Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, both of whom host prime-time Fox News shows.

Washington Post

White House, intelligence agencies, Pentagon issue reports warning that climate change threatens global security

“We assess that climate change will increasingly exacerbate risks to U.S. national security interests as the physical impacts increase and geopolitical tensions mount about how to respond to the challenge,” the document states. It also concludes that while momentum to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases is growing, “current policies and pledges are insufficient” to meet the goals that countries laid out in the landmark Paris climate accord.

Washington Post

[Of course, we’ve known this for years.]

How AT&T helped build far-right One America News

A Reuters review of court records shows the role AT&T played in creating and funding OAN, a network that continues to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic.

OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr has testified that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives.

“They told us they wanted a conservative network,” Herring said during a 2019 deposition seen by Reuters. “They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other [leftwing] side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one.”

Reuters

Now we have definitive proof that masks really are effective.

This week, a group of scientists from Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other institutions published the final results of a randomized study of community-wide masking behavior in Bangladesh.

Their conclusion? Masks work, period. Surgical masks are particularly effective at preventing coronavirus transmission. And community-wide mask wearing is excellent at protecting older people, who are at much higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The Atlantic