Jane Chastain : Politically Direct

How to Get Beyond the State of the Obama Union

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President Obama delivered his 6th State of the Union message to a Congress which is now completely controlled by Republicans.  In case you missed it, here is a brief synopsis:

“I fixed the economy (wages are stagnant and the work participation rate is a paltry 62.8 percent, the lowest since 1978) so it’s time to let the good times roll. I’m giving away free ice cream and we’ll make the rich pay for it.  Now who wants free ice cream? “

Before you grab your dish and line up for a scoop, let me warn you.  You may not get the flavor you want or need and, in the end, it will cost you more than you ever thought you would pay.   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

January 21st, 2015 at 5:30 pm

10 Predictions for the New Congress

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Despite, thousands of letters, emails and phone calls, John Boehner was re-elected speaker of the House of Representatives but it wasn’t an overwhelming show of support.  Twenty-five brave Republican congressmen (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/01/06/here-are-the-republicans-who-voted-against-john-boehner-for-speaker/ ) withstood pressure from within the conference and were willing to suffer retaliation in order to cast a vote for someone else or simply vote “present.”  It was the largest number of congressmen to vote against a sitting speaker from their own party in 100 years.

Boehner ran up the white flag of surrender shortly after the election.  It’s going to be a long, disappointing two years.  That said, here are my predictions for the new Congress, predictions that I hope and pray will not come true.   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

January 7th, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Ring in the New Year by Ringing out the old Budget

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The time has come to put away the holiday decorations and prepare for the new year.  It’s also time to deal with an old piece of business, the 2015 CRomnibus budget deal that was rammed down our throats at the 11th hour by an unholy trinity: John Boehner, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

The  1600+-page CRomnibus was passed much like ObamaCare, cloaked in secrecy until hours before the vote.   Lawmakers were urged to “pass it” before they could” find out what was in it.”

The time has come to take a cold, hard look at this pig in a poke.   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

December 31st, 2014 at 5:30 pm

The Christmas Difference

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Holidays are special times.  They offer a brief respite from our regular routine.   It’s a chance to get together with family and friends.  Holidays give us an opportunity to forget about our cares, have fun and celebrate whatever.

We use holidays to commemorate special events, to ring in a new year,  to show our love, to rest from our labor, to feast and help the less fortunate and to dress up in outrageous costumes.

But Christmas is different from all the other holidays.  It’s about giving and receiving.  It’s not about the gifts we buy and exchange with others, although we do a lot of that.  It’s about the greatest gift that was ever given.  Have you received it? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

December 24th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Christmas,Faith

Can Boehner really be Dumped? (Yes! Here’s How)

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Our system of government was designed to be run from the bottom up.  Our founding fathers wanted to be sure that we the people would have the final say in matters of great importance, not the president or congressional leaders, and certainly not the Supreme Court.

They also recognized that it was we the people who must have absolute control of the power of the purse, not the other way around.  That is why the Constitution mandates that all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives and that the members of that illustrious body must stand for re-election every other year.  They gave us the ability to rein in congressmen if they overstep their bounds.

To say that John Boehner has failed as Speaker of the House is to state the obvious.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to dump a sitting speaker.  As the old saying goes, “Power corrupts, and absolutely power corrupts absolutely.”  Congressional leaders have a lot of power and they do everything they can to maintain it.  That is why the current Congress holds the elections for party leadership positions for the next Congress before the new members are seated.  It’s all supposed to be a fait accompli but is it? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

December 17th, 2014 at 5:30 pm


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