President Obama hasn’t been able to do it. Republicans and Democrats have failed too. But Starbucks thinks it can put an end to the government shutdown by asking coffee- (and tea-) drinking Americans to sign a petition calling for an end to the stalemate.

Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz posted an open letter online announcing that, starting today, Starbucks and others will encourage Americans to sign a petition demanding that the federal government reopen its doors, pay its debts on time to avoid another financial crisis, and pass a bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget deal by the end of the year.

Petitions will be available in Starbucks shops, or online via Come Together Petition. (It will probably be circulated in other places as well, but these are the two we know of at this time. If you know of others, please let readers know by posting a note in the comments section.)

"What has become clear to me over these past few days – aside from the continued dysfunction we see from our elected leaders – is the sad and striking realization that the American people have no platform with which to voice their frustration with Washington and the current stalemate that threatens our nation," Schultz said in the letter.

Is it too cynical to point out that if you happen to stop into your local Starbucks to sign the petition and, well, you're there anyway and might as well buy a pumpkin spice latte, Schultz probably wouldn't complain? On the other hand, that's the kind of cynicism that helps contribute to Washington gridlock, so we'll knock it off. At least Schultz is doing something, unlike many of our elected leaders.  

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