The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.
CNN: Lawmakers offer helping of holiday thanks with side dish of debt worries
After a heated campaign season, lawmakers expressed gratitude in their Thanksgiving remarks but not without the political undertones of an economy limping back to life and impending fiscal crisis. In their weekly addresses, both sides first thanked members of the military serving abroad and those on the East Coast still suffering in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
CNN: Chambliss fires off on Norquist's anti-tax pledge
A top Republican U.S. senator brushed off the anti-tax pledge pushed by activist Grover Norquist and embraced widely for years by GOP lawmakers. "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge," Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Georgia television station WMAZ, a CNN affiliate, on Wednesday. "If we do it his way, then we'll continue in debt and I just have a disagreement with him about that."
CNNMoney: Newark Mayor Cory Booker to live on food stamp budget
Newark Mayor Cory Booker rescued a neighbor from a burning building, invited Hurricane Sandy victims to his home, and rushed to the aid of a pedestrian hit by a car. Now he's going to live on a food stamp budget for a week in solidarity with Americans who feed their families on the government assistance program.
CNN: By the numbers: Thanksgiving and the Presidents
Throughout American history, the annual celebration of family and gratitude known as Thanksgiving has been a central part of The White House and the U.S. presidency.
CNN: Fog suspected in 100-vehicle Texas wrecks that claim at least two lives
At least two people were killed and as many as 120 injured in Thanksgiving pileups involving an estimated 100 cars on a foggy stretch of highway in southeast Texas, authorities said. The first accident - a multi-car wreck in the eastbound lands of Interstate 10 - occurred about 8:45 a.m., according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Chain-reaction crashes followed, the department said in a news release, and included several accidents in the westbound lanes of the interstate, southwest of Beaumont in Jefferson County.
CNN: Airline 'pit crews' work to keep flights on time
If you are heading home after Thanksgiving still groggy from L-tryptophan and an early morning Black Friday shopping spree, you're counting on a team of airline workers you might never see to get your plane out safely and on time. "I think the pit crew analogy is actually a really good analogy," explains Stephanie Buchanan, vice president of the Houston hub for United Airlines. "We like to call it a highly choreographed ballet. There are a lot of moving pieces, a lot of teamwork that has to happen."
CNN: Gas leak sickens 49 Pennsylvania inmates
A carbon monoxide leak sickened 49 inmates at a county jail in York, Pennsylvania, with five hospitalized overnight, county officials said Thursday. Investigators suspect the heating and ventilation system in a unit housing female inmates was the source of the odorless, colorless gas. The women began showing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning on Wednesday evening, York County officials said in a written statement.
CNN: What the frack? U.S. set for energy bonanza, says historian Ferguson
If there's been one consistent thread running through the U.S. economic story since 2008, it's been the steady drumbeat of gloom. Outright recession or sub-standard growth, stubbornly high unemployment and fiscal crises have been the topics du jour when it comes to the world's biggest economy. But now an unlikely champion for U.S. growth under the Obama administration has emerged.
CNN: Opposition: Fighting across Syria leaves 151 dead
One day after Syrian rebels accused government forces of a deadly bombing near a hospital in the besieged city of Aleppo, opposition groups said another 151 people had been killed in the fighting Thursday. The majority of those deaths occurred in the Syrian capital of Damascus and its suburbs, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based opposition group.
CNN: Egypt's Morsy gives himself new powers, orders retrials in protester deaths
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has issued an order preventing any court from overturning his decisions, essentially allowing him to run the country unchecked until a new constitution is drafted, his spokesman announced on state TV Thursday.
CNN: Gaza conflict leaves a 'cruel paradox' for Palestinians
Palestinian Authority leaders renewed calls for unity with their Hamas-led rivals after the latest Israel-Gaza conflict, but the fighting may have left Hamas with the upper hand. The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority announced Thursday that the leadership of Hamas and its allies in the Islamic Jihad movement had decided to support the Palestinian Authority's bid for recognition as an independent state at the United Nations. But that statement was quickly contradicted by leaders of both Gaza-based factions, which have long opposed the gambit that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas launched last year.
CNN: Rebel leader in Uganda for Congo crisis talks
A fight for the control of Sake, a strategically placed town in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, raged Thursday, while regional leaders sought to end the crisis. The political leader of M23, the rebel group that captured Goma, a key city near Sake, two days earlier, flew to Uganda Thursday for talks with that country's president.
CNNMoney: Wal-mart workers get ready for Black Friday protest
Shoppers and stores around the country are preparing for big Black Friday sales, but a group of Wal-Mart workers are getting ready for a protest. "I'll do whatever it takes to speak out about our concerns - I'm willing to put my job on the line," says Monique Velasquez, a single mother of five who works in Wal-Mart's photo department in Pico Rivera, California. Velasquez plans to join the protest on Friday.
CNNMoney: Service sector adds to eurozone gloom
Service industry companies in the eurozone are more pessimistic about their prospects than at any time since early 2009, pointing to little chance of a return to growth for the region soon, according to business surveys published Thursday.
CNNMoney: Black Friday brings festive scene to Macy's
Black Friday at Macy's flagship store in midtown Manhattan has a different vibe than the typical hometown mall. For many in the crowd, the shopping is secondary: The real fun was in the spectacle. Television crews recorded the event, a lone preacher ranted against greed and a mass of humanity waited for the store's doors to open.
In case you missed it…
CNN's Kyung Lah takes a look at the lengths some people will go for a good deal.
In a democracy one should never be pledging allegiance to any particular person anyways. It should be to the country and its constitution. If we do pledge allegiance to any one person for any matter or cause, it is not democracy but a dictatorship. This should not happen in our country no matter which party one is from.
Signing the Pledge for GOPers was like paying the mafia for 'protection'.
Calling this man an activist is inaccurate. Norquist and his cult followers are traitors.
BREAKING NEWS: John McCain admits that he was wrong about Amb. Susan Rice.
Afraid that you'll lose one of your boys in a primary fight now that he's repudiated the people?
Or are you just afraid of the truth, that we're taxed too highly already and need all the help you can get convincing the people to allow the government to steal more of our money?