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Message on a Coffee Cup at D.C. Starbucks

Hot & Cool Food Trends

Coffee and cappuccino fans in the Washington, D.C., area are getting a special political message scrawled on their drink cups this week, directed at members of Congress and the White House.

The simple message: Come Together.

Update: The "Message On a Cup" program has now been expanded to Starbucks locations nationwide, at the request of baristas at the chain's coffee shops across the USA.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says the words are intended as a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive wrangling over the “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

It’s believed to be the first time Starbucks staffers have been asked to write anything on cups other than customers’ names.

Most companies tend to avoid political controversies for fear it may alienate some customers (see: Chick-fil-A). But the “come together” plea is really a message people on both sides of the issue can embrace.

But this isn’t the first time Schultz has used his platform to send a political message. In 2011, Schultz asked other CEOs and the public to stop making campaign contributions until politicians found a way to deal with a crisis over the debt ceiling that led to a downgrade in the country's credit rating.

This week the coffee chain is running an ad in the Washington Post showing a cup with the words "Come Together'' on it.

The "fiscal cliff'' refers to the steep tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1, unless the White House and Congress reach an agreement to avoid them. Schultz says he isn't taking any sides on the issues of tax increases or spending cuts.

He just wants the two sides to come together. And, in this holiday season, is that really too much to ask of our elected representatives?

Here’s hoping the pols drink some strong black coffee and get their act together by New Year’s Eve.