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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.

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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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