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From Monday’s “Sgt. Shaft” column in the Washington Times…
* * * QUOTE * * *
The No. 1 request at Walter Reed hospital is phone cards. The government doesn't pay long-distance phone charges, and these wounded soldiers are rationing their calls home. Many will be there throughout the holidays. Really support our troops. Send phone cards of any amount to:
Medical Family Assistance Center
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001
They say they need an "endless" supply of these - any amount is greatly appreciated. Many of the discount warehouse stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco, BJ's Wholesale, etc., have good prices on phone cards.
* * * UNQUOTE * * *
Also, please note that the FCC is currently considering a regulatory change which would result in HIGHER costs for phone calls made with pre-paid phone cards. A group of veterans have organized to oppose the change. I hope you’ll take a minute to lend their effort some support by signing their online petition to FCC Chairman Michael Powell by going to: http://www.concernedvets.org
HO, HO, HO
“Perhaps lefty celebrities (such as Chevy Chase) should send President Bush a well-deserved Christmas card this season. After all, it is the season of giving, and the commander in chief has rejuvenated many of their failing careers just by being their sole source of inspiration.”
- Washington Times editorial, 12/18/04
“When U.N. ambassador John Danforth resigned earlier this month after less than six months on the job, we wondered what had happened. Danforth, in his resignation to the president, claimed that he wanted spend more time with his wife and family. Still, the explanation didn't fit.
“A Washington foreign policy insider tells NewsMax that Danforth took the U.N. job on the condition that he be considered as a top candidate to replace Colin Powell if and when Powell stepped down. President Bush nominated Condi Rice to the top diplomatic job last month. Danforth and his supporters felt betrayed. It was the second time Danforth felt let down by Bush. He was also Bush's top choice for the vice presidential slot in the 2000 election, but Bush opted for Dick Cheney instead.”
- NewsMax.com, 12/20/04
CONSERVATIVE MOON RISING
“Emboldened conservatives in Congress say they will oppose the White House next year on at least a half-dozen issues where they say President Bush has strayed from Republican values. . . . Now that Bush has been re-elected, they plan to take a harder line on issues such as federal spending and prescription drug coverage for seniors. ‘This White House will have a more difficult time convincing conservative members to vote for more government,’ says Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., the new chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee.”
- USA Today, 12/20/04
Should Congress approve another $80 billion in “emergency” aid for Iraq and Afghanistan?
· Not sure
Cast your vote by clicking the “Survey Says!” tab at www.citizenoutreach.com
THE USPS “DEATH SPIRAL” CONTINUES
“The holiday season is a robust time of year for the U.S. Postal Service, but the long-term future for the nation's mail system is not as bright. First-class mail, the financial backbone of the Postal Service, has been steadily declining as Americans turn to the Internet to pay bills and rely on e-mail, cell phones and cheap long-distance calls to keep in touch.
" ‘For the first time in history, in 2005 first-class mail is projected to fall below standard (advertising) mail as the largest volume product,’ Postal Service Chief Financial Officer Richard Strasser Jr. said last week. To put it another way, your mailbox will be jammed with more junk mail. And as the shift away from cards, letters and other first-class mail accelerates, so does the erosion of the revenue base that supports universal service -- the six-days-a-week delivery of mail to every city high-rise, suburban subdivision and remote hamlet in the country.”
- The Star-Ledger (NJ), 12/15/04
INQUIRING MINDS WANNA KNOW
“According to an article appearing in a recent edition of USA Today.com, the U.S. Postal Service is in the midst of re-branding itself to appeal to a younger generation. In an interview with the Associated Press, Postmaster General John Potter was quoted as saying that the Postal Service was innovating and trying to change its business practices to be more competitive. ‘We're embracing the Internet and saying, 'Hey, if that's the way 30-year-olds want to do business, then God bless 'em, we're going to do business where they want to do it and how they want to do it,' he said.
“The question that needs to be answered from a taxpayer perspective is ‘competitive against whom? Or what?’ Or perhaps the obvious – why should any federal agency compete in selling products and services with the private sector? After all, if the private sector can do the work, how does it fit the criteria of being inherently governmental? After years of losing billions in operating costs, is the American public supposed to simply continue funding the fiscal nightmare just because it's the Postal Service?”
- FedSmith.com, 12/20/04
OPEN YOUR EYES AND PRIVATIZE
“USPS enjoys legal privileges unlike those enjoyed by any private firm. Foremost among these is the ban on other companies delivering regular letters for consumers. . . . Congress should allow any company to carry any mail over any distance, and charge any amount it wishes.“At first this idea might sound frightening. Right now we can send a letter across town or across the country for the same 37-cent price. What if rates suddenly soar? But let’s remember that, in recent decades, the government has lifted price controls on airline fares and long-distance phone calls, and the resulting competition has sent prices plunging. There’s no reason to believe the same thing wouldn’t happen with mail delivery.”
- Ed Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation (NOTE: Dr. Feulner’s full column on this subject can be found on the “Issues & Answers” page at www.citizenoutreach.com )
“We are not yet living in a total police state, but it is fast approaching. . . . Terror, fear, and crises like 9-11 are used to achieve complacency and obedience, especially when citizens are deluded into believing they are still a free people. The loss of liberty, we are assured, will be minimal, short-lived, and necessary...
“Washington DC provides a vivid illustration of what our future might look like. Visitors to Capitol Hill encounter police barricades, metal detectors, paramilitary officers carrying fully automatic rifles, police dogs, ID checks, and vehicle stops. The people are totally disarmed; only the police and criminals have guns. Surveillance cameras are everywhere, monitoring street activity, subway travel, parks, and federal buildings. There's not much evidence of an open society in Washington, DC, yet most folks do not complain-- anything goes if it's for government-provided safety and security.”
- Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Texas Straight Talk, 12/20/04
GO LEFT, YOUNG MAN
“(California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger) has proposed that the Republican Party move leftward. And that, my friends, done kills him with us right-wingers. Arnie has been two places in his life - Austria and California. Austria is a socialist nation. California is populated and run by loonies. There is a true saying about Californians in general - what ain’t fruits are nuts. Which is why Arnie not only belongs there but is also the governor.”
- Lyn Nofziger’s “Musings,” 12/20/04
ONLY IN AMERICA
“Some news organizations have suggested other ethical and moral lapses doomed (Bernie) Kerik's nomination (as Director of Homeland Security), but this does not appear to be so. The Washington Post reports, ‘White House officials said they knew in advance about other disclosures now emerging about Kerik's background, including alleged extramarital affairs and reported ties to a construction company with supposed mob connections, but had concluded that they were not disqualifying.’ So suspicions about mob ties don't doom a nomination but hiring an illegal alien does? Something is very wrong here..”
- Columnist Linda Chavez
THE COLLEGE OF “DUH”
“A recent column discussed the sad and tragic state of affairs in higher education. According to loads of letters received in response to that column, it's worse than I thought. Let me share just a few of them.
“One person wrote that he knows an elementary school teacher and said, ‘She believed, until just this past summer, that the state of Alaska was an island because it is so often shown as an inset on many U.S. maps, appearing somewhat like an island.’
“Another professor said that while he was trying to help a student with a problem, he asked her, ‘What is 20,000 minus 600?’ He went on to say, ‘She literally could not answer without the calculator.’ He rhetorically questioned, ‘Should a person receive a college degree that cannot answer that in their head?’
“An English professor wrote, ‘One of the items that I assigned was a two-page essay that described a favorite vacation or holiday. One student turned in two pictures drawn with crayon depicting the beach. When I gave her a failing grade, she was indignant and said that she put a great deal of work into the pictures. When I told her that she did not do the assignment and that she was supposed to write an essay, she said, 'But I don't know what an essay is.' ’
“Such students are academic cripples and do not belong in college in the first place.”
- Columnist Walter Williams
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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."
- Name: Chuck Muth
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.