Interesting result from last week’s online question: 57 percent of you said that “government assistance” programs such as Social Security and prescription drugs should NOT be “means tested,” that is, reserved only for lower-income folks who are not self-sufficient on their own. And based upon some of the email traffic I received, the result has more to do with Social Security than prescription drugs. So let’s take this another step in this week’s question...
How would you best describe the nature of the Social Security system?
* A welfare program
* A government assistance program
* An insurance program
* An entitlement
* Something else
Cast your vote by clicking the “Survey Says!” tab at www.citizenoutreach.com
“In case you missed this, Le Grande Weasel Jacques Chirac joined George Bush yesterday in warning Syria that the time has come for Syria to remove its troops from Lebanon. Did Bush slip something in Chirac's wine? Or is it just possible that Chirac is growing a spine. How convenient for him. Now he won't have to drag himself across the floor like a slug. Maybe, just maybe, we're seeing a grudging admission here that U.S. actions in deposing Saddam Hussein and bringing free elections to Afghanistan and Iraq have actually contributed to the cause of peace.”
- Talk show host Neal Boortz
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF “DUH”
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, California Democrat: “Unfortunately, as I said, this committee has had a hard time assessing where we really stand with the Iraqi army as an effective fighting force. Over the past year, we've received incredibly widely fluctuating estimates of that. And I think you have a real credibility problem on this issue.”
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld: “Fluctuations of what?”
Sanchez: “The fluctuations of--the numbers that you bandy around about how many troops we really have out there that are Iraqi police, et cetera, et cetera. . . .”
Rumsfeld: “Now, you say we bandy around numbers. They're not my numbers. I don't invent them. They come from Gen. Petraeus. . . .”
Sanchez: “I have Petraeus's numbers. They're different than your numbers, by the way.”
Rumsfeld: “Well, what's the date? They aren't different because these came from Petraeus. He may have two sets of numbers, but they are not different if the date's the same. The date on my paper here is Feb. 14. What's yours?”
Sanchez: “December 20.”
Rumsfeld: “Not surprising there's a difference.”
- Tip o’ the Hat to James Taranto’s Best of the Web for bringing this exchange from last week to our attention
“It's early yet, but at this point we'd say the most likely next president of the United States is Hillary Clinton. We're not saying the odds of a Clinton presidency are higher than 50%, just that they're higher than for any other individual. In part this reflects the weakness of the Democratic Party. Whereas the GOP has a surfeit of plausible candidates, Hillary stands tall because her party is almost entirely populated by vertically challenged diminutive-Americans. She's charismatic when compared with Nancy Reid and Harry Pelosi. She's charming when compared with Barbara Boxer and Howard Dean. And her views are sensible, moderate and patriotic when compared with the cynical defeatism of John Kerry and the borderline anti-Americanism of Ted Kennedy.”
- James Taranto, Best of the Web, 2/22/05
“Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared at the Conservative Political Action conference in Washington on Saturday and by the time he left there was little doubt among the 4,000 attendees that he was running for president in 2008. Mr. Gingrich pushed just about every conservative hot button in a hard-charging 25-minute speech. He called for changing U.S. law so illegal aliens can be deported within 72 hours of their arrest, with the courts being prohibited from reviewing such deportations. . . . Afterwards, audience members were convinced they had seen an early version of Mr. Gingrich's presidential stump speech. . . . Some people are ready to sign up for a Newt in '08 campaign. ‘I'm there with him,’ says Vern McCarthy, a Republican national committeeman from Illinois.”
- John Fund, Political Diary, 2/22/05
ALL THE “RIGHT” MOVES
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) has reintroduced legislation (H.R. 43) to restore separate recognition of George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays--rather than a joint Presidents’ Day. For more information go to:http://johnshadegg.house.gov/rsc/word/Bartlett--GW.pdf
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) introduced the Financial Customer Identification Verification Improvement Act (H.R. 815), which would prohibit the use of identification cards issued by foreign governments, including matricula consular cards, for purposes of verifying the identity of a person who wants to open an account at a U.S. financial institution. Click here to read more:
- Republican Study Committee Update, 2/22/05
VOTERS: TAKE THIS TAX HIKE AND SHOVE IT
“From Erie County, New York, home to the city of Buffalo, comes a useful lesson in what can happen when local governments get caught in a spiral of ever-higher spending and taxes. Voters finally said, ‘enough!’ last week and demanded that the legislature balance the $1 billion county budget by cutting spending rather than raising taxes one more time. . . . Pro-tax legislators -- led by Republican County Executive Joel Giambra -- issued dire warnings about cuts in services should the tax increase not pass. But even the threat of reductions in snow-plowing -- no minor matter in February in Buffalo -- wasn't enough to persuade fed-up voters.”
- “Review & Outlook,” Wall Street Journal, 2/22/05
DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT LINES
I don’t think there’s a more interesting, if not important, issue facing the country today than that of illegal (and legal, for that matter) immigration - especially considering the fact that there is SUCH a huge gulf of opinion on the issue between the GOP “establishment” inside the beltway and the grassroots voters in the heartland.
Should illegal immigrants get government issued drivers licenses and taxpayer subsidized college educations? Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, doesn’t think so...and he doesn’t care who knows it. Not only is Rep. Tancredo an outspoken and active critic of the present situation, he doesn’t tuck his tail between his legs and head for the hills whenever the left (or even the White House) says “boo,” unlike all too many of his colleagues.
If illegal immigration is an issue of interest to you, then consider getting news on this issue directly from the man in Congress who is leading the charge for more rational, common sense policies. Sign up for his FREE email updates by going to: http://www.tancredo.org/newsletter/newsletter_signup_200501.html
YESTERDAY IN DC CONFIDNETIAL...
* Hunter S. Thompson’s excellent example for liberals * Dr. Diva pitches a fit * The shocking number of government programs deemed “effective” - by a government organization * A stark double standard on the immigration front in Nebraska * Lesbian told to pay up her child support * Religious right group chickens out of debate with gay Republican * The “real” stories revealed by Doug Wead’s secret tapes
An annual subscription to Chuck Muth’s 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.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies."
- Groucho Marx
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Middle River, MD 21220
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.