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Latest player in the fiscal cliff negotiations: Starbucks

By Doug Powers  •  December 26, 2012 02:14 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

DC coffee shops provide a diplomatic immunity of sorts to disclosure rules and self-imposed transparency pledges of administration officials and other lawmakers, which is why you’ll find plenty of them at places like Starbucks. Knowing that, the CEO of Starbucks wants to take advantage of their patronage and send them a message:

Starbucks is launching a political campaign this week it hopes will get the attention of Washington policymakers who have been unable to reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.

In a letter to Starbucks employees made public on Wednesday, Chief Executive Howard Schultz asked employees at its approximately 120 D.C.-area stores to write “Come Together” on coffee cups when serving customers on Thursday and Friday.

“Rather than be bystanders, you and your customers have an opportunity — and I believe we all have a responsibility — to send our elected officials a respectful but potent message, urging them to come together to find common ground,” Schultz wrote.

I’m not sure that a message promoting responsible spending targeted to somebody who just shelled out $5.50 for a latte will resonate much. Then again, the Starbucks initiative isn’t really about reining in deficits, but rather the government “coming together” — which means that going to fiscal hell is okay as long as both sides agree on the descent speed of the handbasket.

Speaking of the looming fiscal cliff, President Obama will return to Washington from Hawaii tomorrow for the negotiations (if any), but Michelle Obama will remain on the island at an additional cost to taxpayers similar to last year.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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