Chuck Muth’s News & Views – December 22, 2009

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By: Chuck Muth
Citizen Outreach


“A majority of Americans believe an increased government role in health care would lead to more government corruption, while a plurality of Americans think that scientific data supporting man-made global warming is ‘mostly falsified.’ The poll also shows that 58 percent of Americans believe that decisions by the Obama administration have been ‘bad for America,’ as opposed to 37 percent who think Obama’s decisions have been ‘good for America.'”

CNS News, 12/21/09


“We usually associate presidential leadership with the pursuit of goals that, though initially unpopular, serve America’s long-term interests. Obama has reversed this. He’s championing increasingly unpopular legislation that threatens the country’s long-term interests. ‘This isn’t about me,’ he likes to say, ‘I have great health insurance.’ But of course, it is about him: about the legacy he covets as the president who achieved ‘universal’ health insurance.”

Columnist Robert Samuelson


“President Obama’s approval rating has sunk below 50% for the first time, but for our money the bigger polling news is the way his agenda is turning the public against activist government. . . . One of Mr. Obama’s not so subtle political goals has been to rehabilitate the public’s confidence in government as a way to further his policies of expanding the entitlement and welfare state. . . . So far, however, his Administration’s enormous and helter-skelter expansions of the federal government seem to be having the opposite political effect.”

Wall Street Journal editorial, 12/22/09


“POLITICO has learned that Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Alabama, will announce today that he’s switching parties to become a Republican. According to two senior GOP aides familiar with the decision, the announcement will take place this afternoon in Griffith’s district in northern Alabama.

Griffith’s party switch comes on the eve of a pivotal congressional health care vote and will send a jolt through a Democratic House Caucus that has already been unnerved by the recent retirements of a handful of members who, like Griffith, hail from districts that offer prime pickup opportunities for the GOP in 2010.”

Politico, 12/22/09


“Federal economic stimulus money is being used to finance University of Hawai’i research into how honeybees learn, the evolution of moths and Icelandic geology. . . . The research projects – including the $210,000 grant to study bee learning behavior – have been criticized as a sign of waste and mismanagement within the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment program.”

Honolulu Advertiser, 12/21/09


“U.S. taxpayers are spending more than $40,000 per month on office space, staff, cell phones and a leased SUV for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, even as he works as a lobbyist for private corporations and foreign governments.”

Politico, 12/21/09


“The U.S. Postal Service spent more than $792,000 ‘without justification’ on meals and events in one five-month period even as it reported losing $3.8 billion this year, the agency’s inspector general says in a report. . . . Among the purchases were crab cakes, beef Wellington and scallops at an installation ceremony for one of several postmasters in the United States, the report says.

The report cited two Postal Service districts that purchased movie tickets for $14,140 to give incentives to employees after the postmaster general ‘issued a memo directing a curtailment of spending.’ It also documented the purchase of 30 retirement watches, costing $216 each, in another district.

A CNN investigation this year revealed that the Postal Service spent $1.2 million to buy the lakefront home of an employee who was relocating. The purchase was part of a policy that allowed the Postal Service to pay for employee homes when they moved, whatever the cost.”, 12/18/09


As many of you discovered last Friday when you tried to call Sen. Ben Nelson’s office in Washington, DC, or any of his five district offices in Nebraska, United States Senators have found a new way to ignore American citizens: Don’t answer the phone and don’t empty your voicemail messages.

It was bad enough when Congress stopped accepting emails from Americans by forcing them to use “web forms” instead (which allow them to ignore electronic messages from non-resident citizens who will be, nevertheless, impacted by their votes).

And it’s bad enough that a snail-mail letter is lucky to get to them before the year 2929 thanks to increased security because of the anthrax scare a few years ago.

But now when a hot issue such as health care reform comes up, many in Congress are simply routing incoming calls to voice-mail boxes..which wouldn’t be quite so bad if you could, you know, leave a voice-mail.

However, a number of congressional offices aren’t bothering to clear out their voice-mail boxes so callers can’t even do THAT anymore – including Sens. Bayh, Casey, Kohl and Feingold.

Ah, yes. Change we can believe in, right?


The Hill: Sen. DeMint battling NRSC chair Cornyn over conservative primary candidates

“As we move into 2010,” writes Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute, “our current president appears to be even more spendthrift than the last one. But now that final data is out for fiscal 2009, I took a last look at Bush’s spending record compared to prior presidents. Bottom line: Bush was the biggest spender since LBJ.” Read it and weep here.


Do you think Harry Reid is a strong leader or a weak leader?

  • Strong
  • Weak
  • He’s not a leader at all

To cast your vote in today’s online survey, click here!


“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

Groucho Marx

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