TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Saturday, Dec 20, 2014

The Right Stuff

A politics blog by Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson's baseball card - if he had one - would report he throws left, writes right. In his columns and blog, "The Right Stuff," southpaw Jackson provides insight into the evolving human condition from a distinctly conservative point of view.

On Cuba, Obama applied bad history, worse analysis

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Even the most enthusiastic fan of President Obama’s announcement on Cuba should know this: Virtually everything on which he says he based his decision is pure invention. The rest, says Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez, is the most convenient — and therefore dishonest — sort of distortion.

Why did President Obama go for broke on Cuba, announcing the United States would normalize relations with that repressive regime? The answer appears in his statement to the nation. There, the president not only made clear that this change has been on his bucket list for some time, but also that his knowledge of Cuba comes straight out of the international Left’s playbook.

“When I came into office, I promised to re-examine our Cuba policy,” Obama said, proving once again that last month’s midterm shellacking seems to have had an odd effect on our president. Rather than make him humble, rejection at the polls has liberated him to do all the things he wants in his “legacy.”

Click to continue reading this post

Not exactly a Target of racism

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Michelle Obama’s recasting of her three-year-old Target experience in an effort to portray the episode as an example of everyday racism is as artless as it is insincere.

For openers, in the original telling on the David Letterman Show, it was an anecdote spiced with charm. An older woman who wasn’t very tall approached her in the laundry detergent aisle and, failing to recognize her as the First Lady — “Cover’s blown,” thought Mrs. Obama — asked if she wouldn’t mind handing down a bottle of her brand.

Bottom line on the story then: “I felt good.”

Click to continue reading this post

On Cuba, Obama drives another soft bargain

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Assuming he has the interests of the nation he leads as his primary interest — this requires a leap of faith — the planet’s worst negotiator is at it again. Only a few weeks removed from striking a one-sided carbon emissions “deal” with China that obligates the United States to draconian energy choices while putting no burdens on Beijing, President Obama has found yet another international thorn — Cuba — on whom to bestow American largess requiring no change of behavior on the recipient.

Take a bow, Castro brothers. You’re living — in the loosest definition of the term — proof that hanging tough is its own reward, as well as an example to the rest of the world’s bad actors.

The mullahs of Iran have to figure they’re next to be appeased in exchange for nothing, if only because Russia already got from this White House everything it desires: absolute and ongoing indifference to Vladimir Putin’s adventurism.

Click to continue reading this post

Judge: Obama’s immigration order unconstitutional

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Let’s be clear — not least of all because we’re wandering into the president’s territory, and he likes the phrase, but also because confusion is the enemy of progress — about the federal judge’s attention-gathering ruling that emerged from western Pennsylvania today (Tuesday).

Forcefully written as it is, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab’s 38-page declaration that President Obama’s executive amnesty is unconstitutional — hooray for that — does not alone put an end to his Nov. 20 order. But it is, nonetheless, hint-full of the minefield ahead for administration attorneys attempting to defend Obama’s blatant overreach.

The occasion involved Schwab’s consideration of the case of an unlawful immigrant who’d been deported but reentered the country illegally. Unprompted by the defendant’s attorneys, Schwab requested clarification from the administration about how the order might apply to the interloper before him.

Click to continue reading this post

Shiekh Haron’s horrible, exquisite, instructive timing

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Once in a while, the timing of events is so perfect you’d think they were scripted. But that’s just life, once again, imitating art.

Scarcely had the microphones gone silent on the Sunday shows, where they were debating the report on harsh interrogation techniques of Islamist terror suspects during the Bush administration, than Man Haron Monis — an Iranian national and self-styled “Sheikh Haron” — laid siege to a chocolate cafe in the heart of Sydney, Australia, taking at the outset 30 hostages.

Sydney police at last stormed the cafe, ending a 17-hour standoff with flash-bang grenades and gunfire; three died in the climax, including the hostage-taker, whom authorities had known for hours was a militant Muslim with an extensive rap sheet.

Click to continue reading this post

Hillary Clinton’s ongoing test of the ‘rusty’ theory

Published:
The Right Stuff

Tom Jackson’s “The Right Stuff” blog updates throughout the week at TBO.com.

Hillary Clinton’s shadow campaign for the White House has entered its seventh month, long enough for Democrats to begin reconsidering that whole inevitability thing.

They might be ready for Hillary, but is Hillary ready for the run? Increasingly, the only highlights revealed by the glare of the spotlight on the former First Lady are in her darn fine volume ’do.

Click to continue reading this post

Hillary Clinton’s ongoing test of the “rusty” theory

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Hillary Clinton’s shadow campaign for the White House has entered its seventh month, long enough for Democrats to begin reconsidering that whole inevitability thing.

They might be ready for Hillary, but is Hillary ready for the run? Increasingly, the only highlights revealed by the glare of the spotlight on the former First Lady are in her darn fine volume ’do.

Remember those early book tour whoppers? The Clintons emerged from the White House “not only flat broke, but in debt.” Never mind the nearly limitless income stream that started flowing the moment George W. Bush raised his right hand. Well, OK, not broke, exactly, but not truly well off, either. Another absurdity from a woman with two mansions, an equal partner in a household with an annual eight-figure income. Fans credited these early stumbles to political rust.

Click to continue reading this post

Ferguson’s epidemic of fictional symptoms

Published:
By Tom Jackson

The Right Stuff could scarcely believe its ears Tuesday morning when they heard a reliably lefty guest tell a reliably lefty host on a reliably lefty network, “What happened in Ferguson should not happen in any community across this country.”

Admittedly, I had just walked in from another room, and what the speaker — GlobalGrind.com chief Michael Skolnik — was telling MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart and his other viewer amounted to Skolnik’s closing remark.

Still, I found myself in complete, albeit astonished, agreement: Nothing about last week’s rioting, vandalism, looting and arson in response to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson recommends itself to other communities across America. It should not happen.

Click to continue reading this post

Reinventing history, again

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Just four weeks after a midterm elections drubbing in which President Obama’s threatened executive amnesty provided the sound track, Democrats are doing what they do best: They’re reinventing history.

Republicans would do well to pay close attention.

Never mind that, fearing voter backlash, Democrats across the board urged Obama to delay his unilateral action on immigration until after the election, lest he turn the anticipated GOP wave into a tsunami. Having bided his time, the president appears no longer to care how voters would have responded if he’d acted sooner. And Democrats are eager to have us believe he’s done the right and proper thing.

Click to continue reading this post

See who squawks when it’s a GOP chief wielding the Obama Doctrine

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson’s “The Right Stuff” blog updates throughout the week at TBO.com.

This truly is a remarkable new world to which Barack Obama has introduced us: A brief preamble on the history and virtues of deliberative democracy followed by a lengthy lecture on how and why none of that means a whit to this particular president.

On the topic of our “broken” immigration system, Congress — specifically the Republican-led House of Representatives — has not behaved as he believes it should. To cure that inactivity, he announced Thursday and signed Friday executive orders granting quasi-legal status to potentially 5 million illegal immigrants.

Click to continue reading this post