CHUCK MUTH'S NEWS & VIEWS

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Chuck Muth is President and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a professional political consultant. Mr. Muth is a professional campaign trainer, a newsletter publisher and talk-show host who regularly appears on political TV and radio programs.

Wednesday

News & Views, 12/1/04


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ABOUT THAT INTELLIGENCE CZAR

Pressure is mounting on House Republicans to cave in and pass a hurriedly drafted intelligence reform bill which has a humongous problem. A provision in the bill creates a new “intelligence czar.” This guy (or gal) would have complete control over all aspects of America’s intelligence gathering assets, including those at the Pentagon. Why is this a potentially serious problem? Here, let our friend Rich Galen of “Mullings” explain…

“Let's say there is an intelligence satellite which is positioned over Afghanistan looking for Osama bin Laden. Now, let's say that field commanders in Iraq believe they have a line on Abu Musab al-Zarqari near Fallujah and need satellite imagery to zero in on him. Who decides whether, when, where, and for how long to move the satellite?

“By the time the decision moves up the chain from a commander on the ground in al-Anbar province to Central Command to the Pentagon, then hops across the national security synapse to the new intelligence agency, then back down to the folks with the joy stick controlling the satellite, the French will be our friends again.”

That long, huh?

ODE TO DAN RATHER

Dan Rather at last is leaving

No longer will he be deceiving
Though his work was deft
He slanted it left
Which is why nobody is grieving.

- Lyn Nofziger’s “Musings,” 11/24/04

MAJOR LEAGUE SPIN FROM THE NO-SPIN ZONE

“I worked with Dan Rather and have known him for more than 20 years. Listen to me: There is no way on this Earth that he would have knowingly used fake documents on any story. . . . Dan Rather was slimed. It was disgraceful.”

- Fox News host Bill O’Reilly

THE IMPERIAL CONGRESS

“Rob Richie, executive director of FairVote-The Center for Voting and Democracy, said in a memo last week that ‘this House election was the least competitive in history.’ He based that claim, he told me, on the fact that outside of Texas, where a controversial Republican redistricting in 2003 succeeded in defeating four of five targeted Democrats, only three incumbents lost their seats. That's a 99 percent success rate outside Texas...“At the founding of this republic, House members were given the shortest terms -- half the length of the president's, one-third that of senators -- to ensure that they would be sensitive to any shifts in public opinion. Now they have more job security than the queen of England -- and as little need to seek their subjects' assent.”

- Columnist David Broder

THE PRESIDENT’S MANDATE

“The Christian right has sought to portray the president's re-election as a victory for their moral agenda, claiming that it was a mandate to legislate further curbs on abortion and to approve draconian Supreme Court nominees. In fact, the president's victory was about terrorism, terrorism and terrorism.”

- Columnist Dick Morris

THE COMING CONSERVATIVE LET-DOWN

“Many (social conservatives) only supported Mr. Bush so he would owe them big. And the Supreme Court will most likely be the place where they will expect to collect the debt. Fat chance. When Mr. Bush nominates a moderate Supreme Court judge, the conservatives won't waste any time calling him a traitor. But they shouldn't be surprised. The president has said he has no agenda to see Roe vs. Wade overturned and would rather see such an important social issue fought in Congress and at the state level -- by the will of the people -- where it belongs.”

- Blogger Chris Ward

MELON-HEAD AMERICANS

“A poll shows that most Americans want a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices. So what! Most Americans think that the United States is supposed to be a democracy. Fact is that the ‘most Americans’ they're talking about are almost completely ignorant about the basics of American government and should be kept away from the polls with pit bulls.”

- Talk show host Neal Boortz

THE CASE AGAINST THE “NUCLEAR OPTION”

“(Senate) Republicans could get a ruling from the chair - from Vice President Cheney presiding - that filibustering judicial nominees is an abuse of the Senate's power to advise and consent to nominations (the “nuclear option”). The ruling, which 51 senators could enforce, would be that such filibusters are unconstitutional because they prevent the president from fulfilling his constitutional duty to staff the federal judiciary.

“But that argument fails, on two counts. First, his duty is not to staff the judiciary but to initiate a staffing process in which the Senate has a constitutional role. . . . Second, a filibuster, which effectively requires a supermajority for a confirmation, does not prevent the president from doing his duty; it prevents him only from getting exactly what he wants, when he wants it...

“The filibuster is an important defense of minority rights, enabling democratic government to measure and respect not merely numbers but also intensity in public controversies. Filibusters enable intense minorities to slow the governmental juggernaut. Conservatives, who do not think government is sufficiently inhibited, should cherish this blocking mechanism. And someone should puncture Republicans' current triumphalism by reminding them that someday they will again be in the minority.”

- Columnist George Will

NEW SURVEY SAYS!

Who should President Bush nominate to be the next chief justice of the Supreme Court when Justice Rehnquist retires?

· Judge Clarence Thomas
· Judge Antonin Scalia
· Somebody else

Cast your vote by clicking the “Survey Says!” tab at www.citizenoutreach.com

APOLOGIZE? FOR WHAT?

“The principal of Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Ga., apologized Monday for reading a poem called ‘The New School Prayer’ over the school's intercom, which brought complaints from some parents who said it violated the principle of separation of church and state. Tommy Craft said he wanted not to promote religion but to provoke thought and discussion among students about the changing political climate in school when he read the poem the Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break.

“The poem, which has circulated on the Internet since at least 1992, is written in the rhyming style of the children's prayer that begins ‘Now I lay me down to sleep.’ It refers to prayer not being allowed in school, although students can ‘dress like freaks, and pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks’ or ‘elect a pregnant Senior Queen.’ The poem mentions the ability to get condoms and birth control, as well as study ‘witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.’

"‘But the Ten Commandments are not allowed, no word of God must reach this crowd,’ the poem said.

“Some parents have complained to both Craft and Clarke County School Superintendent Lewis Holloway. ‘Basically, I found the poem offensive, but even if I didn't, I still would believe it crossed the line between church and state,’ said Ginger Smith, whose daughter is a junior at Cedar Shoals.”

- Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/30/04

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Published by:
Chuck Muth
1315 Wilson Point Road
Middle River, MD 21220
E-mail: chuckmuth@earthlink.net

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess separation of church and state is supposed to trump free speech in Public Schools. Oh, wait. My mistake, only speech that is pre-approved by the board of education is free. Free of thought, free of controversy, free of feeling, free of intelligence. Have fun with your "free" speech. I like my version better.

December 2, 2004 at 1:43 AM  

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