CHUCK MUTH'S NEWS & VIEWS

The good, the bad & the ugly. Liberal excesses. Conservative successes. Clowns to the Left. Jokers to the Right. Read all about 'em in Chuck's FREE hard-hitting, no B.S. newsletter of current events and political goings-on you won't find in the "mainstream press."

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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.

Saturday

News & Views, 2/5/05


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FUN WITH DICK AND GEN. JAMES

“Actually it's quite fun to fight them (Muslim terrorists), you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up (front) with you; I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

- Lt. Gen. James Mattis

GOIN’ ON A ZARQAWI SAFARI

“(T)here was nothing wrong with Lieutenant General Mattis' remarks. Hell, if given the chance to shoot and kill Osama Bin Laden, Al-Zarqawi or any of the other insurgents, you're damned right it would be a lot of fun. Might even be worth stuffing the head and mounting it on the wall.”

- Talk show host Neal Boortz

DEMS DUMP ON HISPANIC, HUG TERRORISTS

“The Senate has finally confirmed Alberto Gonzales as attorney general. The vote was 60-36, with only six Democrats voting ‘aye’. It boggles the mind that 36 Democrats would vote against the first Hispanic attorney general out of tender concern for the well-being of terrorists, but there you are.”

- James Taranto, Best of the Web, 2/4/05

FRIST READY TO PULL NUCLEAR TRIGGER

“Senate Republican leaders have decided to begin their use of the ‘nuclear option’ -- forcing confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominations with a majority Senate vote -- on an African-American woman blocked by Democrats from a federal judgeship. Associate Justice Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court was one of 16 Bush nominees for U.S. appellate courts whose confirmation was prevented by Democratic filibusters in the last Congress.”

- Columnist Robert Novak

WHAT’S A FEW TRILLION AMONG FRIENDS?

“President Bush next week will release his 2006 budget, requesting slightly more than $2.6 trillion in spending. That's $2,600,000,000,000. If a Democrat proposed a budget this big, Republican fiscal hawks would squawk to the top of the Capitol dome.”

- Stephen Moore, president of the Free Enterprise Fund (Read Moore’s full column, “Seven Rules for Cutting Government Spending,” on our “Issues & Answers” page at www.citizenoutreach.com)

WELL, HERE’S A SHOCKER

“Senate budget-makers yesterday said President Bush’s goal to scale back or eliminate 150 programs has a slim chance of winning congressional approval.”

- Washington Times, 3/5/05 (NOTE: My “Muth’s Truths column tomorrow deals with this exact subject...and it’s going to depress the hell out of you. If you’re a “my-GOP-can-do-no-wrong” partisan flack, you might want skip reading it.)

BIG DEAL

“In his State of the Union speech Wednesday night President Bush, much in the manner of a reformed drunk telling the world of his reformation, promised to end his spending spree of the last four years. ‘America’s prosperity requires restraining the spending appetite of the federal government,’ he said—about four years too late. He boasted that the budget he will send to the congress this year will hold the growth of discretionary spending below inflation and stay on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009...

“Notice he’s not talking about the national debt which will continue to mount; he’s talking about the annual deficit, much of which can be blamed on the fact that he has never vetoed a spending bill. In other words, during Bush’s entire eight years in office he will never have had a balanced budget, meaning the only thing he can brag about is that in 2009 the deficit will be half as much as it is this year. Big deal.”

- Lyn Nofziger’s “Musings,” 2/4/05

HEAD GAMES

“Every parent in America should be made aware of a presidential initiative called the ‘New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.’ This commission issued a report last year calling for the mandatory mental health screening of American schoolchildren, meaning millions of kids will be forced to undergo psychiatric screening whether their parents consent or not. At issue is the fundamental right of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children.

“Forced mental health screening simply has no place in a free or decent society. The government does not own you or your kids, and it has no legitimate authority to interfere in your family’s intimate health matters. Psychiatric diagnoses are inherently subjective, and the drugs regularly prescribed produce serious side effects, especially in children’s developing brains. The bottom line is that mental health issues are a matter for parents, children, and their doctors, not government.”

- Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), “Texas Straight Talk,” 1/31/05

GOP STRAIN: LIBERTARIANS VS. SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES

“With the media's sudden discovery of ‘values voters,’ another key component of the GOP coalition feels largely overlooked. Libertarian-leaning Republicans—the ones who put small government ahead of godly government—are beginning to wonder if they have a future in the party they have long considered their own.

“‘I think the problem they have at the moment is that they don't have a figure like Reagan to get behind,’ says Doug Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a leading libertarian think tank. ‘If you're libertarian-minded, Bush has been a tremendous disappointment. [Libertarians] see social issues pushed to the forefront, and at the same time they see massive spending increases and government growth, and they're pretty dissatisfied.’

“Winning back libertarian loyalties while satisfying his social-conservative base could prove to be one of the trickiest political maneuvers of Mr. Bush's second term. And how well he executes that maneuver just might decide whether the Republican Revolution marches on after its general retires in 2008…

“Despite Mr. Bush's bigger-than-expected margin last November, a mass exodus by disaffected libertarians would likely doom GOP hopes for holding the White House in 2008. Evangelicals may have strengthened their hold on the Southeast and made gains in the Midwest, but libertarians still seem to be the backbone of the Republican Party in much of the West, thanks to the region's frontier mentality and its tradition of rugged individualism. Without winning back a single state east of the Mississippi, Democrats in 2008 could triumph by picking off two or three Western states that have trended increasingly Democratic of late.”

- World magazine columnist Bob Jones

SURVEY SAYS!

Which is the biggest looming national crisis at this time?

* Social Security
* Medicare
* Terrorism
* Gay Marriage
* Hillary’s 2008 presidential run
* Illegal immigration
* Something else

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

YESTERDAY IN DC CONFIDNETIAL...

* A “money quote” from Rich Galen on Nancy Pelosi’s appearance during the Democrat rebuttal Wednesday night * A “money quote” from Lyn Nofziger dealing with farmers, pigs, Democrats and Republicans * The growing exodus from AARP * My “double-dare” to Harry Reid * An hysterical ScrappleFace satire on plans by the Dems to stage their own “hug” * Having “fun” shooting Muslim men who slap around their women-folk * The leading candidates to become the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs * My unpopular defense of that goofball professor in Colorado * A likely victory by grassroots activists against the “shoot-me-first” dress code for air marshals * And a New York judge gives gay marriage a thumbs up

An annual subscription for DC Confidential is just $2.95 per month...or $25 per year. Subscribe online using PayPal by going to: http://chuckmuth.com/onlinestore.htm . Or simply mail a check or money order to: Chuck Muth & Associates, 1315 Wilson Point Road, Middle River, MD, 21220.

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

Friday

News & Views, 2/4/05


THE REVIEWS ARE IN!

“There may have been better State of the Union speeches, but last night’s was the best I can remember. In fact, it was the only one that didn’t bore me, that didn’t make me pinch myself to stay awake. Let me say at the outset that the president stands for things I disagree with and last night proposed things that I oppose. But that fact in no way lessens the effectiveness of the speech. Parts of it were eloquent, parts were tough, little was conciliatory, all was delivered by a confident and self-assured president who has become a smooth and effective speaker who, last night, at least, gave every indication he was enjoying himself.”

- Former Reagan press secretary Lyn Nofziger, “Musings,” 2/3/05

DO YA FEEL LUCKY...WELL DO YA, PUNKS?

“Peering down from the press gallery, I was looking at a man who obviously feels that the winds of history are at his back. I’ve covered (George W. Bush) long enough to know when he is faking it … The guy I just saw was a man at the top of his game, all but daring the Democrats to make his day.”

- Newsweek’s Howard Fineman on the State of the Union speech

DON’T MEND IT...END IT

“In his State of the Union Address, President Bush said that many options were ‘on the table’ to deal with Social Security’s problems, and that he ‘will listen to anyone who has a good idea to offer.’ But there is one idea he will not listen to: the idea that Social Security should be phased out and ended altogether.

“...Social Security in any form is morally irredeemable. We should be debating, not how to save Social Security, but how to end it--how to phase it out so as to best protect both the rights of those who have paid into it, and those who are forced to pay for it today. This will be a painful task. But it will make possible a world in which Americans enjoy far greater freedom to secure their own futures.”

- Alex Epstein of the Ayn Rand Institute

A SMALL FIRST STEP

“The Libertarian Party, which has been urging Social Security privatization for decades, today credited President Bush for starting the debate but said his proposal falls far short of the truly private, no-strings-attached plan that the American people really want. ‘The first step toward solving a problem is admitting that a problem exists, and Bush has done that,’ said Libertarian Party Executive Director Joseph Seehusen.”

- LP press release, 2/3/05

THE TRILLION DOLLAR QUESTION

“A Republican president sits in the White House. The GOP enjoys clear majorities in both houses of Congress. If now isn't the time to control federal spending, when will it be?”

- John Fund, Political Diary, 2/3/05

LOT OF PROMISE, BUT PROOF WILL BE IN PUDDING

“There is a lot of promise in Bush’s statement. But there is also the peril that this won’t matter much. It seems that Bush is now committed to reining in discretionary spending. That’s a good thing--under his watch that portion of the budget grew by 43 percent. But his goal of substantially reducing or eliminating over 150 federal programs might be too little.

“A similar attempt to reduce or eliminate 130 programs in his last budget saved a puny amount of money--only about $14 billion in a $2.3 trillion budget. Yet Congress ignored those cuts and added even more overall spending--an average of $47 billion each year above and beyond Bush’s original request. Bush was happy to encourage this budget ratchet by not vetoing a single spending bill. If Bush doesn’t threaten a veto of spending bills this year, this budget ratchet effect will doom the president’s promised fiscal discipline.”

- Stephen Slivinski of the Cato Institute

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE - I

“Did you catch the Democratic response to the State of the Union address? This one was a complete bust...a real snoozer. It's hard to believe...but it's true: the Democrats have selected a worse communicator than Tom Daschle to represent them in the Senate. Watching Harry Reid is about as exciting as reading an apartment lease. Anyway, it was Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, sitting there looking like they should be selling jewelry or sex aids on the shopping channel.”

- Talk show host Neal Boortz

DEMOCRAT RESPONSE II

“Nancy Pelosi's Democratic rebuttal may have served a public purpose after all -- by illustrating in prime time just how thoroughly ‘homeland security’ has been transmuted into political humbug. Can you imagine a politician ever solemnly declaring that we're spending ‘enough,’ let alone ‘too much,’ on homeland security? Of course not. It'll never happen. This is why Democrats love the issue -- and because the spending goes directly to unionized public-sector employees in every congressional district in the country.”

- Holman W Jenkins Jr., Political Diary, 2/3/05

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE - III

“We watched last night's speech with a mostly right-leaning group of friends, and over their objections we kept the TV on for the Democratic response, for we were really curious as to what Barack Obama was going to say. But as it turned out, the Democrats apparently couldn't get Obama and instead had to go with the B team of Nancy Reid and Harry Pelosi...

“Reid and Pelosi do not, to say the least, present an attractive face to America. As our friend Rich Miniter observed, Reid looked like a doctor who refuses to administer painkillers. As for Pelosi--who is known mostly for being more charming than Barbara Boxer--she stiffly stared at the camera with a deer-in-the-headlights look.”

- James Taranto, Best of the Web, 2/3/05

THE DEMOCRAT RESPONSE - IV

“As for the televised Democratic responses to Mr. Bush's speech, party insiders are already calling Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's talk one of the worst they've ever seen. ‘He veered from a bizarre anecdote about a 10-year-old boy he met in a casino back in Nevada to a joke about the movie 'Groundhog Day,' ’ sighed one Democratic consultant. . . . All in all, Mr. Reid's performance suggested the Democratic Party truly deserves Howard Dean's leadership.”

- John Fund, Political Diary, 2/3/05

FRENCH DEMOCRATS

“After the voting, all of Iraq's highest-ranking interim leaders - the president, prime minister, defense minister and army commander - declared it would be ‘complete nonsense’ and ‘very dangerous’ for U.S. forces to leave Iraq in the foreseeable future, because it would leave ‘chaos’ behind. “And yet, the Democratic Party's most visible leaders - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), 2004 presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.) - all are emphasizing withdrawal of U.S. forces, instead of staying until democracy and security are stable. It's little wonder that on national security issues, American voters consistently trust Republicans over Democrats.”

- Roll Call columnist Morton Kondrake

GETTING IT ALL WRONG

“Every so often, an American politician takes an unpopular stand for the sake of what's right... Frequently, he takes an unprincipled stand for the sake of what's popular ...Sometimes, even, he does what's right, which also happens to be popular… Only in the rarest of instances, however, do politicians take positions that are both unpopular and unprincipled. That is where the Democratic Party leadership finds itself today on Iraq.”

- Wall Street Journal, 2/3/05

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR HOWARD DEAN

“Speaking to a DNC forum in New York over the weekend, (Howard) Dean indulged once again in some of the undisguised loathing of the GOP that was such a hallmark of Democratic Party activism last year. ‘I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for,’ he told the audience, ‘but I admire their discipline and their organization.’

“ *I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for.* Not ‘I oppose the Republicans and everything they stand for.’ Not ‘I'm determined to beat the Republicans.’ Not ‘I reject the Republican message.’ No -- Dean wants it understood that he *hates* the Republicans and all their works. That is the banner under which he is marching as a candidate to lead his party.”

- Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby

SELF-INFLICTED POLITICAL WOUNDS

“As the Democrats continue their search for a new party chairman, I would like to nominate the perfect symbol for the American Democratic Party today: Wile. E. Coyote, Genius. Instead, it appears that the Democrats are going to choose ‘The Anvil,’ aka Howard Dean. They are getting exactly what they deserve. As a Republican, I would love for my party to be able to take credit for the disasters befalling the Democrats at the moment, but like Wile E. Coyote, all of their injuries are self-inflicted. “After all, no Republican urged Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Margaritaville) to give a speech denouncing America's military presence in Iraq as "part of the problem, not the solution." No GOP speechwriter conned Kennedy into calling for a withdrawal of American forces just 72 hours before 8 million Iraqis defied bombs and bullets to pack polling places protected by our soldiers. Ted Kennedy did that all by himself. And, thanks to the Democrat-leaning national media, he did it on millions of TV screens across the nation.”

- Columnist Michael Graham

SURVEY SAYS!

Which is the biggest looming national crisis at this time?

* Social Security
* Medicare
* Terrorism
* Gay Marriage
* Hillary’s 2008 presidential run
* Illegal immigration
* Something else

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

YESTERDAY IN DC CONFIDNETIAL...

* Teresa Heinz drops Kerry * Amtrak’s coming train wreck over taxpayer subsidies * The McCainiacs ride again, this time against 527s * state’s rights live as Kansas & Idaho come to different conclusions on marriage * AARP continues to crank out whoppers * and my “kid” brother really ticks off a local Democrat in a letter-to-the-editor battle royale...

An annual subscription for DC Confidential is just $2.95 per month...or $25 per year. Subscribe online by going to: http://chuckmuth.com/onlinestore.htm . Or simply mail a check or money order to: Chuck Muth & Associates, 1315 Wilson Point Road, Middle River, MD, 21220.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

Thursday

News & Views, 2/3/05


LEADING THE WAY

“Chile was the first country in the Western Hemisphere to start a [government-run] social security program, and it was the first to privatize [its] social security program. It led the way on both counts, and Chile's program is very successful."

- John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis

LET THE OBSTRUCTION BEGIN (CONTINUE)

“Do I know of a senator who will support privatization of Social Security? The answer is no. No, I don't know of a single Democratic senator. They all agree that there should be no privatization of Social Security. I agree with them."

- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

SOCIAL INSECURITY

“Democrats have used Social Security to frighten our senior citizens in every election for the past 50 years. Year after year it's the same thing. Vote for Republicans and they'll take your Social Security away, yet Social Security remains. Democrats know that if you own your own account they can no longer threaten you with its loss. Fighting Social Security reform is all about protecting Democrats long-standing scare tactics.”

- Talk show host Neal Boortz, 2/2/05

ILLEGAL FAMILY VALUES

“(President Bush) brought forth his rallying cry that family values don't stop at the Rio Grande. I would hope that one value every family would respect is the rule of law."

- Rep. J.D. Hayworth on President Bush’s renewed push for his amnesty program for illegal aliens at a GOP retreat last week

LEARNED NOTHING AT THE MASTER’S FEET

“Indiana's GOP Governor Mitch Daniels has responded to criticism of his plan to impose a ‘temporary’ one-percent surtax on incomes over $100,000 by pointing out that Ronald Reagan became governor of California in 1967 also facing a large deficit. ‘He did everything he could think of to reduce it on the spending side, and reluctantly asked for a tax increase,’ Mr. Daniels said. ‘He probably felt much as I do that this is the very last thing you do. And he, like I, had a constitutional duty.’

“Mr. Daniels is right that two months into his first term, the rookie governor agreed to a tax hike. But he capitulated only AFTER spending two months trying to convince a Democratic legislature to agree to more spending cuts. Mr. Reagan later admitted the tax increase was too big and allowed state government to keep expanding after the budget ‘emergency’ ended. That prompted him to work with Milton Friedman and others to craft a constitutional limitation on state expenditures. It was rejected by voters, but later became the inspiration for the Proposition 13 tax limitation in 1978.

“In contrast, Mr. Daniels announced his tax hike in his very first speech to the legislature, after keeping it a secret from even close aides. Unlike Mr. Reagan, he benefits from having a GOP legislature but he chose not to consult with its leaders on alternatives to a tax hike. He also hasn't proposed a permanent curb on the growth of state government as Mr. Reagan did. Mr. Daniels certainly knew Ronald Reagan, having worked for him in the White House as his political director. That makes it all the more disappointing that in his first days as governor he has misread history and failed to grasp the lessons Mr. Reagan learned from his tax debacle.”

- John Fund, Political Diary, 2/2/05

SUNDAY MAIL

Following up on last week’s “Survey Says!” question on whether or not the “just-like-a-business” post office should offer more convenient Sunday services, 69% of you answered “Yes.” And I think the figure would have been higher; however, a number of emails I received on the topic said they voted “No” simply because the addition of Sunday service would only lead to higher prices. Excellent point.

I’d like to see the post office offer more convenience for folks who work during the hours the post office is currently open, but that’s the sort of thing a private business would find a way to do WITHOUT penalizing the customer for it. I suspect those who fear the USPS would only use Sunday services as an excuse to again boost postage rates are dead on right.

Here’s another thought: Why do they only pick up our garbage once or twice a week, but the post office needs to have it delivered six days a week?

The overwhelming majority of my mail these days is “junk mail.” Probably yours, too. Seems to me that home mail delivery two or three times a week would be fine. Perhaps businesses could continue receiving daily delivery. Or perhaps daily delivery would be an option which folks could voluntarily pay a small fee each month to receive. But that’s another issue for another day.

Back to the Sunday services issue. Curiously, only one person emailed explaining their “No” vote was based on the religious admonition to keep holy the Sabbath. I say curious because this was a HUGE fight in the early 1800s. My, how times have changed. Did you know that we did, in fact, have Sunday mail in this country at one time? I didn’t either. Just read about it a couple weeks ago.

The issue of Sunday mail was at the heart of a major church/state debate in Congress for some twenty years. “From 1810 to 1830, Americans argued bitterly over whether U.S. mail would be transported on Sunday and whether post offices would be open seven days a week,” write authors Isaac Kramick & R. Laurence Moore. In the end, opponents of Sunday mail lost the battle in Congress...but eventually got what they wanted simply due to...get this...technological advancements which made Sunday mail obsolete and no longer necessary. Shades of the Internet!

Interestingly, it was a devout Christian and former Indian-fighter who led the opposition to the proposed ban on Sunday mail in the Senate citing church/state separation; a man who went on to be elected vice president of the United States. A fascinating and little-known look at American history addressing two current “hot button” issues still simmering in the country today: Postal services and church/state separation. You can read all about it by going to our “Issues & Answers” page at www.citizenoutreach.com. Enjoy.

SURVEY SAYS!

Which is the biggest looming national crisis at this time?

* Social Security
* Medicare
* Terrorism
* Gay Marriage
* Hillary’s 2008 presidential run
* Illegal immigration
* Something else

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

GET DC CONFIDNETIAL...

Chuck’s personal “blog” for advanced conservative thought and consideration...delivered (almost) daily right to your email inbox. An annual subscription to DC Confidential is just $2.95 per month...or $25 per year. Subscribe online by going to: http://chuckmuth.com/onlinestore.htm . Or simply mail a check or money order to: Chuck Muth & Associates, 1315 Wilson Point Road, Middle River, MD, 21220.

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

Wednesday

News & Views, 2/2/05


SURVEY SAYS!

Which is the biggest looming national crisis at this time?

* Social Security
* Medicare
* Terrorism
* Gay Marriage
* Hillary’s 2008 presidential run
* Illegal immigration
* Something else

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

ON SECOND THOUGHT…

So I’m on ABC satellite radio yesterday talking with my friend and show host Brian Wilson when it struck me that I made a mistake in changing the name of my op/ed column from Muth’s Truths to Uncommon Sense...while naming our new webpage of historical quotations about government Muth’s Truths. In reality, the quotes from our Founders were, at the time, common sense...but in this day and age, they are certainly and unfortunately all too UNcommon. So I’ll continue to publish the op/ed columns under the Muth’s Truths label...and you can find my treasure chest of invaluable political quotations on the Uncommon Sense page.

Does that make sense?

CRAZY BEARS

“The sensitivity police in Vermont have nothing better to do this winter than examine teddy bears for possible offenses against the emotionally thin-skinned. And so the Vermont Human Rights Commission has officially urged the Vermont Teddy Bear company to stop selling its ‘Crazy for You’ bear. The reason? The bear, which comes wrapped in a straight jacket with a little heart on it, might offend the mentally ill. . . .

“This letter was sent the day after the New Hampshire House voted against putting ‘Live free or die’ on the state flag because the state motto is allegedly ‘political’ and might offend some people. Next thing you know, Killington, Vt. and Greenland, N.H. will have to change their names. Pacifists and the colorblind might take offense.”

- The Manchester Union-Leader, 2/2/05

TIME’S UP

“The thing about (John) Kerry is: No one cared what he thought about important issues of the day before he became the Democratic nominee. And no one cares now. Fifteen minutes, baby. Fifteen minutes of fame.”

- Rich Galen’s “Mullings,” 2/2/05

THE ANGRY LEFT IS STILL PRETTY HOT

“I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for."

- Likely new Democrat Party chairman Howard Dean, quoted in the New York Daily News

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THIS…


“A recent Web chat that famed fantasizer Michael Moore had with the U.K.'s Channel 4 was quite revealing. When Moore was asked why most Democrats voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State, Moore replied that the vote ‘was a disgusting sight and indicative of who the Democrats are - they are lazy and they're cowards and I'm just hoping that the more they continue to act like that the more it will encourage Americans to run against them and put the U.S. back in the hands of the working class, where it belongs.’

“Moore's response to an inquiry about whether he thought Jeb Bush would run for the presidency in 2008 brought more Dem derision. ‘The Democrats are going to have a very hard time winning the next election,’ Moore moaned. ‘The Republicans have a number of star players and the Democrats have a lot of wimps and losers.’"

- Left Coast Report, 2/1/05

AN IDEA LONG OVERDUE

“The chairman of the House aviation subcommittee said Monday he is drafting a proposal to get rid of all government security screeners at the nation's airports and replace them with employees working for private companies. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said that air travelers would face fewer long waits at checkpoints if the Transportation Security Administration hired companies to do airport screening. About 45,000 TSA screeners now handle airport security. ‘I want to get TSA totally out of operating screening,’ said Mica, who has accused the agency of being too bureaucratic and only marginally effective.”

- USA Today, 2/1/05

FAITH-BASED GOVERNMENT BOONDOGGLE

“Unfortunately, the president's program, in its current form, is truly a case of good intentions gone awry. The grant concept is deeply flawed and I predict that the organizations getting these federal grants will in short order start looking like the same government programs we were trying to get away from. For starters, the circular logic is compelling. Faith-based programs are successful because they are faith-based. If in order to get federal funding the services must be delivered devoid of the faith component, what exactly is a faith-based initiative? We serve up the doughnut on condition you only get the hole.”

- Star Parker of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education

YET ANOTHER GOVERNMENT FAILURE

“Since the CAN-SPAM Act went into effect in January 2004, unsolicited junk e-mail on the Internet has come to total perhaps 80 percent or more of all e-mail sent, according to most measures. That is up from 50 percent to 60 percent of all e-mail before the law went into effect."

- The New York Times

GOVERNMENT INDOCTRINATION CENTERS

“How can parents not understand that turning over their children to the state to be educated will have consequences? Can anyone truly expect that their child will survive such an experience with even the most shallow understanding of the dangers of too much government?

“If your child is educated in a Catholic private school you would reasonably expect that your child will come away believing that the Catholic way of looking at things is pretty much on mark. Ditto for a Baptist or a Hebrew school. And you somehow think that government schools don't work the same magic? Doesn't it stand to reason that if you send your child to a government school that your child will ‘learn,’ if that's the word, that government is the answer to most of the problems they will face in their lives?”

- Neal Boortz, Nealz Nuze, 2/1/05

A DEMOCRAT WORTH WATCHING?

“Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen is just two years into his first term, but already he's attracting attention as a possible presidential contender in 2008. His state of the state address last night shows why. He's a clear thinking, fiscally conservative Southern Democrat who enjoys hunting and fishing and is able to mention God without sounding politically patronizing. His address last night showed that he can pepper his speech with folksy metaphors and manage to come across as being effortlessly in tune with the concerns of average Americans in a way John Kerry, Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton simply don't.

“He's also begun to amass a fiscally conservative record that most Republicans would be hard-pressed to match. Facing tight budgets, he's leading the charge to cut health care costs by dismantling the state's costly entitlement program, TennCare. Although he wants to leave in place the benefits it provides for children, he's been successful at holding spending down and amassing the largest rainy day fund in the state's history. Notably, he has also firmly refused to go along with any proposal to raise taxes. In contrast, his predecessor in the governor's mansion, Republican Don Sundquist, spent much of his last years in office trying to enact an income tax.”

- Brendan Miniter, Political Diary, 2/1/05

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

Tuesday

News & Views, 2/1/05


CITIZEN OUTREACH UPDATE

What makes idiot leftist Michael Moore tick? Check out Lowell Ponte’s recent in-depth look at the anti-American propagandist on our “Issues & Answers” page at www.citizenoutreach.com. A real eye-opener.

Also, I’m changing the name of my op/ed column from Muth’s Truths to “Uncommon Sense.” An archive of past columns can be accessed on the Citizen Outreach website under the “Uncommon Sense” page.

Due to popular demand, I’ve changed the Muth’s Truths page to a master list of some of my favorite quotes which I’ve featured occasionally in News & Views, primarily dealing with the proper role of government as articulated by the Founders. If you have any additional quotes you think should be added to the list, please send ‘em to me at chuck@citizenoutreach.com. A great resource for those arguments with that “black sheep” liberal in your family or office!

Lastly, I’ve posted the following new Survey Says! question on the aptly-named Survey Says! page: “Which is the biggest potential national crisis facing the country today?”

* Social Security
* Medicare
* Gay Marriage
* Terrorism
* Hillary’s 2008 presidential run
* Illegal immigration
* Something else

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

DRAT...MORE GOOD NEWS

“Now...let's discuss Democratic reaction to this historic weekend. In short, this (elections in Iraq) is not what Democrats wanted to see. They wanted negative news this weekend, not positive. . . . We have reached a point in this country where one of our own political parties is rooting for the enemy. Their side lost. Stand by for the whining.”

- Neal Boortz, Nealz Nuze, 1/31/05

BLAMING THE MESSENGER

“(John) Kerry did not, actually, offer a credible and coherent alternative. That had a lot to do with Bush being re-elected."

- George Soros, who dumped $26 million of his own money into campaign efforts to defeat Bush last year

KOOL-AID...SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED

“Now, in choosing their new national leader, the Democratic Party is publishing a much more succinct suicide note. It reads 'Chairman Howard Dean'... So why are the Democrats selecting Dean? And why is Harold Ickes, the putative spokesperson for the Clintons, embracing the choice? Because Dean's momentum is unstoppable and nobody wants to stand in the way of the avalanche of self-destructiveness which is pouring onto the Democrats from their left-wing supporters.”

- Columnist and former Clinton adviser Dick Morris

DISORDER IN THE COURT

“A multibillion dollar lawsuit against McDonald's for making people fat has twice been laughed out of court since it was first filed in 2002. But last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit partially reinstated it on a technicality...

“What has the personal-injury set so excited is that the appellate court ruling will allow them to collect more ‘evidence’ to support their far-fetched case. These discovery proceedings will cost defendants millions of dollars, which gives the plaintiffs leverage in any potential settlement talks.

“The main effect of the ruling, notes legal scholar Ted Frank in the Web log Overlawyered.com, ‘will be to raise the cost of defending against meritless claims -- which will encourage nuisance settlements, which in turn will encourage more meritless claims in the hopes of extorting such nuisance settlements.’ This is the economic damage wrought by frivolous lawsuits and a legal system that doesn't do nearly enough to discourage them.”

- “Review & Outlook,” Wall Street Journal, 2/1/05

GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT IMMIGRATION REFORM

“Immigration is certainly more complex than many border-control advocates would have you believe. But supporters of rational reform that would regularize the flow of immigrant labor should recognize that it must be accompanied by measures to address the legitimate concerns of Americans who worry the federal government has completely lost control of the borders. Many voters don't trust any plan coming out of Washington, whether it's by Mr. Bush or anyone else.”

- John Fund On the Trail, OpinionJournal.com, 1/31/05

STABBING TAXPAYERS IN THE BACK

“The political lust for ever-more tax revenue is a bipartisan affliction, as Indiana voters are finding out to their regret. Their reward for electing their first Republican Governor in 16 years looks like it will be a big tax increase.

“This pocketbook raid comes courtesy of Mitch Daniels, the former White House budget director whose victory last November also brought in GOP control of the Indiana house. (The party already controlled the senate.) He's now helping to define Republicanism in the Hoosier state by proposing a 29% tax increase, levied largely on anyone making $100,000 or more -- including married couples filing jointly and small business owners.

“...In Washington, President Bush called Mr. Daniels ‘The Blade’ for his budget carving. It's a shame that the people he's giving the knife to in Indianapolis are his own voters.”

- “Review & Outlook,” Wall Street Journal, 1/31/05

THE BRUSHFIRE ALERT THAT ALMOST WAS

On Saturday, the Providence Journal reported on a decision by Lincoln, Rhode Island’s school district NOT to participate in the state’s annual spelling bee because, as the Assistant Schools Superintendent Linda Newman explained it, spelling bees violate the spirit of the No Child Left Behind Act, jeopardize students’ self-esteem...and spelling really isn’t all that important. According to Newman, it’s “writing” which is important...though I fail to see how writing misspelled words is consistent with the No Child Left Behind Act. But I digress.

The decision not to allow kids to participate in this year’s spelling bee was apparently made a year ago, but only became public knowledge last week when it was reported in a weekly community newspaper...followed quickly by talk radio. Then more mainstream media picked up on the story, including our friend James Taranto over at Best of the Web. A “hubbub” over the decision then broke out in the community, with a lot of folks apparently agreeing with state Education Commissioner Peter McWalters who said, “This is just so bizarre.”

According to the Providence Journal, “Newman doesn’t understand what all the hubbub is about.” She told the paper that she never even considered sending a letter home to parents informing them of the decision and had only received three phone calls from parents over it. Of course, maybe if Ms. Newman had informed the parents, she might have received more calls. But we’re probably just being nit-picky.

Now, I was all prepared to help get Ms. Newman a few additional calls by posting this incident and her phone number as a Brushfire Alert. I mean, this would be RIGHT UP OUR ALLEY. A stupid decision by government bureaucrats in our public schools which offends common sense.

But when I called the school district to confirm the accuracy of the story, I was informed that a meeting was held yesterday morning and the bone-headed decision was reversed. The kids in Lincoln’s elementary schools WILL participate in the spelling bee on February 17th.

I guess just the THOUGHT of News & Views readers getting tuned up was enough to rattle their chains and force them into making the “right” decision! :)

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Published by:
Chuck Muth
1315 Wilson Point Road
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E-mail: chuck@chuckmuth.com

Monday

News & Views, 1/31/05


POSTMASTER BONUSES TO INCREASE

“The first pay raises for postmasters and other U.S. Postal Service managers under a new performance-based pay system will likely be larger than raises and bonuses under past systems.”

- Federal Times, 1/20/05

SO MUCH FOR THE SANCTITY OF THE MAILBOX

“On Jan. 16, when trooper Joel Anderson walked up to what appeared to be a distressed driver, he encountered a man who authorities believe is responsible for stealing more than $700,000 worth of checks from mailboxes across Snohomish County, WA. Troopers who arrested the 39-year-old man found three large trash bags filled with stolen mail, including one un-cashed check for $375,000.”

- Seattle Times, 1/26/05

MAIL FRAUD AN INSIDE JOB

“A U.S. postal inspector has been sentenced in Camden, N.J., for a mail fraud scheme involving credit cards, the Justice Department said Friday. The inspector, Frank Aversa of Ridgewood, N.J., was sentenced to 10 months in prison, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $16,000 in restitution for his guilty plea in August 2004 to a charge of defrauding the United States.

“In his plea, Aversa admitted beginning in late 2003 he was principally engaged in the investigation of credit card fraud schemes as a U.S. postal inspector. Aversa used his official position to access a U.S. Postal Service mail depository from which he stole several individuals' credit cards, the department said. Aversa then used those individuals' personal information to obtain additional credit cards in their names. Aversa fraudulently charged more than $19,000 worth of merchandise on the stolen credit cards for his personal benefit, the department said.”

- Washington Times, 1/21/05

BLEAK PICTURE

“Business use of the mails is declining as alternatives such as e-mail, faxes, and cell phones substitute for hard copy letters. Despite three rate increases in 18 months, USPS lost well over $2 billion in FY2001 and FY2002, and built up an $11.9 billion debt to the Treasury. It has a negative net worth and mounting obligations for retiree health benefits. USPS would be bankrupt but for the fact that it is a government entity, with Treasury borrowing rights.”

- Congressional Research Service

HIGH RISK

“In its 2005 update for the 109th Congress published last week, the Government Accountability Office outlined the status of 25 high-risk areas identified in 2003 that it said warranted attention by Congress and the Bush administration. The U.S. Postal Service's transformation efforts and long-term outlook remain on the GAO's high-risk list. The GAO first designated the postal service's transformation efforts and long-term outlook as high risk in April 2001 because of the growing risk that the USPS would be unable to continue providing universal postal service at reasonable rates while staying self-supporting through postal revenue.”

- DM News, 1/31/05

OTHER THAN THAT, EVERYTHING IS PEACHY

“The financial viability of the U.S. Postal Service is at risk because its business model is outdated and not sustainable, according to the Government Accountability Office. As part of its High-Risk Series, GAO said USPS faces major financial, operational, governance and human capital challenges as it looks to remain viable in an increasingly competitive environment.

"‘Key trends that demonstrate the need for reform include declining mail volume, particularly for First-Class Mail; changes in the mail mix from high-margin to lower-margin products; changing demographics of the aging postal workforce; growing competition from private delivery companies; and projected revenue declines while expenses increase. The Service continues to face challenges in addressing its large financial liabilities and obligations (e.g., retiree health obligations), as well as in restructuring its infrastructure and workforce to become more efficient and performance based,’ GAO’s report stated.”

- FedSmith.com, 1/28/05

THE DEATH SPIRAL

“First-class mail volume is declining while the number of addresses is increasing, and the Postal Service has but one mechanism - raising rates - to make up the difference between its falling revenues and rising costs…Observers have likened this to a 'death spiral,' where declining business leads to higher rates, which in turn leads to a further decline in business, and so on, and so on, and so on.”

- Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.)

STOP THE MAIL MONOPOLY

“(I)n 1825, Congress outlawed private mail delivery within cities and gave the USPS a monopoly over first-class letters and third-class items like magazines, catalogs, and junk mail (a prize if you can tell the difference).

“But why does the USPS still have this monopoly?

“The only possible argument is that the US economy would grind to a halt without the postal service. It is, after all, one of the largest civilian employers. Its 707,000 workers need 37,000 post offices, 200,000 vehicles, and 15,000 daily flights to deliver some 550 million pieces of mail a day.

“Sure, the numbers look impressive. But so would track miles of horse-drawn trolleys if that industry had a monopoly on travel. Consider that each day 35 billion emails are sent, 1 billion SMS messages traverse the ether, and 2 billion instant messages are delivered by AOL alone. Does any of this take almost three-quarters of a million workers? Nah, just a few latte sippers in data centers to reboot the servers a couple of times a day.”

- Columnist Andy Kessler, Wired Magazine, February ‘05 (NOTE: You can read Mr. Kessler’s full column at www.postalreform.com)

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GOIN’ POSTAL is published by:

Citizen Outreach
Chuck Muth
President/Editor
611 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, #439
Washington, DC 20003
(410) 391-7408

For more information on the issue of postal reform, visit www.postalreform.com