Jane Chastain : Politically Direct

How to Stop the Democratic Party’s Temper Tantrums

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Never before have we witnessed such petty behavior by a losing party following a presidential election.  Traditionally, this is a time for the nation, led by our representatives in Washington, to come together in a spirt of bipartisanship and renew our efforts to work together to build a better, stronger and more prosperous country that works for every American.

It’s called the honeymoon period for good reason.  It is time to put aside the hurts leftover from the campaign in an effort to govern.   It is a time for a fresh start and new beginnings.  It is a time to put aside any differences that remain and help the new president get off to a good start for the sake of all concerned.

Instead, the Democrats, who were soundly defeated at every level of government, have staged a prolonged temper tantrum, playing the role of obstructionists at every turn.   Some 70 lawmakers refused to show up for the inauguration.  Then, they slow-walked the effort of Donald Trump to put his cabinet in place.   Most of Barack Obama’s Cabinet picks were approved by voice vote within a few days.  Did the Republicans like his choices or agree with their objectives?  Not at all, but they respected his right to select the team that would help him govern.

Now, many of those same Democratic congressmen and senators have decided to boycott President’s Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on the 28th of this month when he will lay out his vision for the country.   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

February 8th, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Report Card on President Trump’s First 12 Days

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Hate him or love him, you must admit that President Trump has been working overtime to do the things he believes will make this country great again.   In his first 11 days,  he has signed more executive actions that any other president in modern history.  In addition, he rounded out his cabinet, held meetings with business and union leaders, spent hours in person or on the phone with world leaders and gave us a Supreme Court nominee.

President’s can’t make law.  Therefore, Trump will have to depend on Congress to see that his major policy proposals become reality.  However, presidents have wide discretion how our laws are implemented and many of his moves have already changed the status quo.

Some initial actions are perfunctory and done by every president.   Therefore, for this report card I am focusing only on those that have a direct bearing on policy.

Cabinet Picks —  Tells us a lot about how serious a president is about keeping his campaign promises.  Trump’s picks, unlike Obama’s policy wonks, have real world experience.  They have achieved tremendous success and are willing to give the agencies they run the benefit of that experience.  Others such as Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos have spent years working to advance the policies on which Trump campaigned.

Grade A+

Executive Order 13765  —   Minimizes the economic effects of Obamacare by directing federal agencies to give states, insurance companies and consumers the maximum amount of flexibility in complying with the law.  Trump is laying down a marker that he intends to see Obamacare repealed and replaced.

Grade A

Presidential Memorandum:  Withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership — Trump is making good on his promise to negotiate trade deals to make sure they are both fair and profitable.

Grade A

Presidential Memorandum:  Mexico City Policy — Trump not only reimplemented the policy put in place by President Reagan that prevents our tax money from going to overseas family planning agencies that perform abortions, he expanded it.

Grade A+

Presidential Memorandums on the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines — Ordered agencies involved to expedite these projects.  Also ordered the Department of Commerce to review ways to mandate the use of American-made steel in all pipeline projects in the U.S.

Grade A+

Executive Order 13766  — Expedited Environmental Reviews for Infrastructure Projects.  Remember all those “shovel-ready” jobs that Obama promised?  By the time they saw the light of day they were loaded down with millions of dollars of bureaucratic waste.

Grade A

Presidential Memorandum:  Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing — The first step to bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.

Grade A+

Executive Order 13767:  Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements —

Build the wall and hire more border security officers.

Grade A+

Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior — Cuts off federal funds to Sanctuary Cities and gives immigrations officers the authority to deport any noncitizen judged to be a threat to pubic safety.

Grade A+

Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States  —  Immediate travel ban for the seven countries judged to be most dangerous for 90 days until we can reform the vetting process. Despite what you may have heard, the threat from refugees is real.  Since September 11, 2001, at least 40 people admitted to the U.S. as refugees have been implicated in terrorism. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/08/10/jeff-sessions-highlights-20-vetted-terrorist-refugees-obama-ramps-admissions-terror-hot-spots/ Trump was criticized for not giving our security agencies time to thoroughly brief all those involved with implementing this order.  However, this would have leaked and given those intent on doing us harm an opportunity to sneak in before the ban.  There was no perfect way to do this without inconveniencing the people affected by the ban.

Grade B

National Security Presidential Memorandum 1: Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces —Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget are to come up with a plan to bolster the military, examine our nuclear arsenal and missile-defense capabilities.

Grade A

National Security Presidential Memorandum 3 — Plan to Defeat ISIS to be delivered in 30 days

Grade A

Executive Order:  Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs —  Requires agencies to rescind two regulations for every new one.  Total cost of all new regulations for 2017, including those repealed, to be 0.

Grade A+

The Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court —  Another campaign promise delivered.  He picked this nominee from the list he presented to the voters which he compiled with the help of the Federalist Society.  Indications are that Judge Gorsuch is a strict constructionist in the mold of Antonin Scalia but only time will tell.

Grade Incomplete

Written by Jane Chastain

February 1st, 2017 at 5:30 pm

The Deplorables Versus the Nasties

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Last weekend was a demonstration of strength by the Deplorables, who turned out for the inauguration, and the Nasties, who marched on Saturday.

The Deplorables got their name from Hillary Clinton.  On September 11, the Democrat presidential nominee said, “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.  Right?  Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”

The Nasties came from a comment Donald Trump made to characterize Hillary Clinton — not her supporters —during the last presidential debate.  Clinton spoke of her plan to bring down the deficit by taxing the rich.  She then made a snarky comment that Trump would find a way to get out of paying his fair share.  That drew his ire.

Both sides, in this hotly contested political contest, in turn, adopted the epithets thrown by these opposing candidates during a knock-down, drag-out campaign and wore them like a badge of honor. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

January 25th, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Not This Hopeful Since Reagan

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As we prepare for Trump’s inauguration, I find myself more hopeful than I have been since the week Ronald Reagan took office. I am not alone.

http://www.investors.com/news/economy/ibdtipp-poll-economic-optimism-index/

This is in sharp contrasts to the president-elect’s approval ratings.

https://qz.com/885286/presidential-inauguration-donald-trump-has-the-lowest-approval-ratings-of-any-president-elect-in-recent-history/

Bottom line:  We may not like the slash and burn style that Donald Trump used to defeat 16 rivals for the nomination and win the presidency, but we have confidence that he is going to do whatever it takes to “Make America Great Again.”

What does that mean?   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

January 24th, 2017 at 9:41 pm

Why Obamacare must Go

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The first order of business for the new Congress is the repeal of Obamacare.  The American people demand it.  The only people who seem to be happy with Obama’s signature achievement are those who are rich or getting it for free, or nearly free.

Dig a little deeper you will find that the bleeding-heart liberal rich with their on-call concierge physicians or so-called Cadillac plans are the only ones truly happy because they are unaffected.  Those who get Obamacare free through the expansion of Medicaid, or nearly free, have found it is a trap because fewer and fewer doctors are willing to take these patients.  The doctors who do require long waits.  It’s call rationing which is a hallmark of socialized medicine or Obamacare-Lite, as the case may be.

For the average guy or gal, Obamacare has been a disaster.  My cousin Lori is a case in point.  As an adjunct college professor she was informed that she would no longer be eligible for company health benefits for 2017.  The college then offered her the ability to self-pay through Obamacare. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jane Chastain

January 11th, 2017 at 5:30 pm


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