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CREW's First Annual Turkey Awards

"In truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on." --Ben Franklin

Melanie Sloan, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

We all know the bald eagle is America's national bird, but many people forget Ben Franklin lobbied for a different choice; Franklin preferred the turkey.

"In truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

Had Franklin gotten his wish, the modern American Thanksgiving table might look far different than it does today, as would the English language. We certainly wouldn’t be calling people of questionable morals "turkeys."

But Franklin lost the argument, and as a result there are plenty of turkeys in Washington D.C. these days. So, we figured we’d highlight some of the best of the worst with CREW’s first ever Turkey Awards!

First Place: The Federal Elections Commission

The FEC gets our Turkey Award for not taking action this election season, despite watching millions of dollars funneled into political advertisements. Coporations and shadowy fly-by-night organizations spent vast amounts of money this year without disclosing their donors.

Second Place: The House Ethics Committee

Just last week the House Ethics Committee found one of our Most Corrupt - Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) - guilty of 11 ethics violations. But did the committee miss the fact that there are 18 members of the House on the list coming back in January for the 112th Congress?

Tie for Third Place: Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

Why on earth are two of the most corrupt members of the Senate not only currently sitting in office, but returning to Washington next year? Sen. Vitter will be returning to Congress despite a checkered past that includes soliciting prostitutes and misusing taxpayer funds to assist a staffer convicted of crimes. Meanwhile, Sen. Ensign has a closet full of skeletons, and is under investigation by the Department of Justice.

It’s because of supporters like you that CREW has been able to hunt down corrupt turkeys of all forms in Washington, as well as unmask those trying to influence elections with corporate cash. We need your help to tell the new Congress, loud and clear, that a stronger ethics process is vital. You can continue to help us build a better Washington by supporting CREW.

Thank you for all of your help this year,

Melanie Sloan
Executive Director
CREW

Summary | Barack Obama, Change We Can Believe In: Week of November 21

4 New Items including:

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  • A Lame and Spineless Duck?
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  • Some Kind of Manly
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

John Cole

A Lame and Spineless Duck? E.J. Dionne, Jr., TruthDig.com
Imagine a Congress still controlled by Democrats passing an extension of the Bush tax cuts for millionaires but leaving the unemployed out in the cold. If this happens, laugh out loud the next time a Democrat claims to be on the side of working people.

Obama -- are you KIDDING?? Adam Green, BoldProgressives.org

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  • White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts
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  • Proposing compromise with the current Republicans is like getting punched in the face repeatedly and then proposing that "both sides" stop punching each other in the face.
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Some Kind of Manly, Molly Ivins, Common Dreams

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  • Obushma administration, dead to morality, says torture is the American way.
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  • Why did we bother to beat the Soviet Union if we were just going to become it? Shame. Shame. Shame.
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Groups Condemn Merger of Criminal Justice & Immigration Systems, B. Loewe, National Day Laborers Organizing Network/Common Dreams
The day after cities begin process to opt-out from Secure Communities, 500+ groups demand President Obama end Police/Ice Collaborations
Lawless Courts

Click on deficit problem

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Play With This Toy

BooMan, Booman Tribune

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Photo Credit: AMagill

Yes, you can solve the deficit problem, and you don't have to touch Social Security to do it. You don't have to charge admission to the Smithsonian museums to do it. You don't have to defund NPR and PBS to do it. You don't have to slash veteran's health benefits to do it. See for yourself.

More...

A Lame and Spineless Duck?

Imagine a Congress still controlled by Democrats passing an extension of the Bush tax cuts for millionaires but leaving the unemployed out in the cold. If this happens, laugh out loud the next time a Democrat claims to be on the side of working people.

E.J. Dionne, Jr., TruthDig.com

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

The lame-duck session of Congress that kicks off this week (Nov 14-20) will test whether Democrats have spines made of Play-Doh, and whether President Obama has decided to pretend that capitulation is conciliation.

Congress faces an enormous amount of unfinished business, largely because of successful GOP obstruction tactics during the regular session. Republican senators who declare themselves moderate helped block action on important bills, objecting either to provisions they didn’t like or to Democratic procedural maneuvers.

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Repeal DADT This Year

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  • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is considered the leading Republican voice on military issues in the Senate and he has repeatedly changed the standards by which he would support repealing DADT.
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  • URGENT: Calls needed on DADT now!
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The Progress Report, Think Progress

Last week (Nov 7-13) , the Washington Post reported that a Pentagon study group concluded that "the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts." The report, which is due to President Obama on Dec. 1, found that more than 70 percent of active-duty and reserve troop respondents said the effect of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) would be "positive, mixed, or nonexistent." More than that, the survey's authors concluded that once troops are allowed live and serve with openly gay soldiers, objections to ending DADT would drop. The Pentagon's findings closely mirror American civilian attitudes to ending the policy as well. Many recent public opinion polls have found that large majorities of Americans support ending DADT. Moreover, the findings suggest that, as the Center for American Progress has documented in several studies on DADT, the U.S. is likely to see the same smooth transition to open service experienced by its allies in the U.K. and Canada. Yet, the federal government appears loathe to act. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the courts would eventually strike down DADT but that he would like to see Congress take action in the lame duck session. And with Republicans -- many of whom support DADT -- set to take control of the House and more joining the Senate in January, repealing DADT this year is the best chance for ending the discriminatory policy.

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Related:

URGENT: Calls needed on DADT now! Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign

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  • The push to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has reached a fever pitch. And this week (Nov 15-20) could make or break it.
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  • Repeal DADT This Year
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Obama -- are you KIDDING??

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  • White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts
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  • Proposing compromise with the current Republicans is like getting punched in the face repeatedly and then proposing that "both sides" stop punching each other in the face.
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  • A Lame and Spineless Duck?
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Adam Green, BoldProgressives.org

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If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Since Thursday (Nov 11), over 100,000 people joined our campaign telling President Obama to "fight, don't cave" on tax cuts. The Washington Post, MSNBC, and others have covered our petition's progress.

But the Post also reports that while the President was out of the country, his advisers did some "soul searching" and decided that Obama must focus more on "forging partnerships with Republicans."

ARE YOU KIDDING??? Proposing compromise with the current Republicans is like getting punched in the face repeatedly and then proposing that "both sides" stop punching each other in the face.

Tell President Obama that Americans want him to START FIGHTING on issues like ending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires -- and Democrats will keep losing if he keeps caving. Sign the petition here.

Then, share this email with others.

Let's be clear: Republican leaders have zero interest in compromise. None. Zilch. Nada. "Bipartisanship" to them means Democrats vote for Republican ideas. Obama and his advisers need to understand that.

Even when the overwhelming majority of Americans supported the public option, not a single Republican leader said they'd consider voting for it. Instead, they called Obama a "socialist" for supporting the will of the people -- and Obama never fought back or rallied their constituents against them.

The American people don't want Obama to "compromise" just for the sake of compromising. And they certainly don't support cutting Social Security to pay for tax cuts for millionaires.

When Obama is right and Republicans are wrong, Americans want their President to fight and win.

Join 100,000 others in telling President Obama to "fight, not cave" on ending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires. Click here -- then, share with others.

The AFL-CIO and Democracy for America have joined us in calling for one vote on tax cuts -- for the middle class, not the rich -- and DARING Republicans to vote no.

Working together, we'll push Democratic leaders until they finally fight for "change we can believe in."

Thanks for being a bold progressive.

Related:

White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts, Howard Fineman and Sam Stein, Huffington Post
President Barack Obama's top adviser suggested to The Huffington Post late Wednesday that the administration is ready to accept an across-the-board, temporary continuation of steep Bush-era tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest taxpayers.

A Lame and Spineless Duck? E.J. Dionne, Jr., TruthDig.com
Imagine a Congress still controlled by Democrats passing an extension of the Bush tax cuts for millionaires but leaving the unemployed out in the cold. If this happens, laugh out loud the next time a Democrat claims to be on the side of working people.

Special Report | 2010 Election Post-Mortem

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  • The system is now so rigged via campaign finance, lobbying and the revolving door that it is almost impossible for people who represent us to even get into office, let alone stay in office and enact policies that will bring change.
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  • There is little reason to expect any useful legislation from the Tea Party-dominated House or the dysfunctional Senate. In fact, this Congress will do damage to anything even remotely progressive.
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  • Midterm Election Further Demonstrates Need for Revolution
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Mike Keefe

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Outrage, Misguided, Noam Chomsky, In These Times

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  • People rightly want answers, and they are not getting them except from voices that tell tales that have some internal coherence—if you suspend disbelief.
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  • Dead Political Party Walking
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And 2010's Biggest Winner IsDavid Corn, Mother Jones

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  • Dark money, shadowy groups, and secret millionaires.
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  • Shadowy players in a new class war
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Brutal, Michael Kieschnick, CREDO Action
There is little reason to expect any useful legislation from the Tea Party-dominated House or the dysfunctional Senate. In fact, this Congress will do damage to anything even remotely progressive.

Midterm Election Further Demonstrates Need for Revolution, David DeGraw, AmpedStatus

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  • The system is now so rigged via campaign finance, lobbying and the revolving door that it is almost impossible for people who represent us to even get into office, let alone stay in office and enact policies that will bring change.
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  • The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of America
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10 Commandments to Revive Progressives After the November Defeat, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Huffington Post

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  • Follow these ten commandments and the progressive forces will finally be able to reshape this country before it is too late.
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  • Midterm Election Further Demonstrates Need for Revolution
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Media Misreading Midterms, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
As usual, press urge a move to the right

Dead Political Party Walking, The Pen
The Democratic party has so totally betrayed the people who voted for them, who had faith in them, who believed in them, we must confront the real possibility that nobody will believe a word coming out of the mouth of anyone running as a Democrat ever again.

Dead Political Party Walking

The Democratic party has so totally betrayed the people who voted for them, who had faith in them, who believed in them, we must confront the real possibility that nobody will believe a word coming out of the mouth of anyone running as a Democrat ever again.

The Pen

Of all the commentary we have heard in the aftermath of this week's (Oct 31-Nov 6) election debacle, we have heard not one pundit yet who actually has a clue about what is really going on. So you will have to hear it from us. Of course, if you have been on our list any length of time you already have, but maybe you did not believe us the first time.

We must respectfully remind you that we told you that all this is exactly what would happen unless we took stronger action to demand a REAL health care reform bill in particular, instead of that groaning load of corporate special interest dictated and favoring rubbish we ended up with. And by the way, if we were official prophets you would owe us a new pair of sandals right about now.

It was March of earlier this year and the title of our alert was "The Democratic Party's Plan To Throw The Next Couple Elections". Look it up, the text was published on OpEdNews.com and is still there.

For those with short attention spans (from corporate media conditioning) who think our alerts are too long, we suggest you knuckle down and actually read our words this time and see if they start to make sense to you. And please take particular note we said  "The Next Couple Elections" PLURAL. Because this is just round one of the dynamic we foretold.

As we predicted then, in round two the Republicans will use their electoral gains to push to repeal the almost universally despised health care bill, despised by the right because it does anything even cosmetically good, and despised by the left because it was fundamentally just a total sell out.

If the Republicans fall short on repeal this time, they will campaign in 2012 on the platform that they need to take over the Senate and the White House so that the bill can be repealed, and they will win in ANOTHER landslide of historic proportions.

Alternatively, if the Democrats set a new Guiness world record in the publicly perceived as wet noodles department, they will all lose their seats anyway so the result will be the same.

Either way, the Democratic party as a viable political power force is finished for at least the next election cycle. Stick a fork in it, it's done. We see no scenario of possible recovery from this. It's over. The only reason they did not lose back the Senate in round one is because only a third of the seats were in play. They rest they will lose the next time for sure.

We are skeptical that primary challenges are even a productive option anymore. The Democratic party has so totally betrayed the people who voted for them, who had faith in them, who believed in them, we must confront the real possibility that nobody will believe a word coming out of the mouth of anyone running AS a Democrat ever again.

And the thing that really aggravates us the most about all this are people still whining that the Democrats need to get a spine. Democrats have plenty of spine when they are arresting people calling for single payer and dragging them out of hearing rooms. They have plenty of spine when they are refusing to allow a vote on even the most feeble of public options. They have plenty of spine when they
are calling us bleepity-bleep retards.

Rather, Democrats tolerate being PERCEIVED as cowards. Because if people thought for one nanosecond that they were not cowards, then people would have to confront the stark truth that the Democrats are IN ON IT.

They are in on the corporate corruption. They are nothing but enablers, all of them, from top the bottom, front to back, ESPECIALLY the so-called progressives, without exception. They are willingly and knowingly playing the role of Judy in this Punch and Judy show, and NOTHING is going to change about that for them, for ever and ever, end of story, period.

We told you after the final health care vote what needed to be done about it. We told you that we needed to build a massive Independent Voters movement, with greater numbers than either the Democratic or Republican parties. We asked you to go to a Facebook page we created for this purpose and just become a fan, that's all, just become a fan. Here is that page.

Something shy of 7,000 of you did then. Obviously it was not enough. So we ask you again. Go the page above and just become a fan. Talk among yourselves. When we see 100,000 over there we will know there is some chance for real change. Until then, we are fooling nobody but ourselves.

And we close with an exact quote from an even earlier alert, from September of 2009, which again you can still reading in its entirety on OpEdNews.com, where we warned you that the whole health care reform debate was a total fraud and that no "public option" of any kind would survive in the final bill.

Here is the quote from the conclusion of the alert documented on the page above.

"And THAT is Obama's REAL plan, the one he won't talk about in a public speech, to let the weakest possible 'public option' hang around for a little while as an illusory sop for the terminally gullible, only to bleed it to death before it can actually go into effect. Yes, THIS is Obama's new 'improved' leech therapy."

Lord, the hate mail we got about that one. People yelling at us telling us we were full of it. Calling us racists. Read the words again. And now ask yourself in all candor, "Ain't it the truth?"

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

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