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Thursday, Jul 30, 2015

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.

Seeking an intact spinal column

Published:
By Tom Jackson

As promised, the hits on the nation’s top provider of abortions keep on coming. No. 3 in the series, “Human Capital — Episode 1: Planned Parenthood’s Black Market in Baby Parts,” dropped Tuesday morning, and this one makes its gruesome predecessors resemble a merry romp — possibly through Berchtesgaden, but never mind — by comparison.

It is, simply, more horrific — believe it — and more than earns its exquisitely understated disclaimer: “Some viewers may find this content disturbing.” Some? It would be difficult to imagine the viewer who can maintain tranquility all the way to the credits.

Unlike the enthusiastically noshing PPFA executive Deborah Nucatola we met in the debut video, you might want to confront this latest grotesquery on an empty stomach.

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Hillary vs. Nancy’s Obamacare promise

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By Tom Jackson

Know who’s suspicious of Uber and Uber-like upstarts, all these digital wildcatters that match consumer spontaneity and at-will providers? The Democratic frontrunner for president, Hillary Clinton, is who.

Show me your shocked face.

Let’s give her a little credit. Laying out her economic platform in an address to The New School, in Manhattan, a couple of weeks back, she conceded the whole idea of the on-demand “gig economy” is exciting, as is the unleashing of innovation that allows people to turn empty rooms into extra cash (Airbnb), peddle homemade designs (Etsy) or even, indeed, hire themselves out as drivers.

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The Uber Instructional Effect

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By Tom Jackson

From our playlists to our dining options to our vacation itineraries to how we consume TV (or don’t), Americans are increasingly all about individual choice. We want stuff on demand and a la carte.

This is particularly true of younger Americans, those categorized as Generation Xers and Millennials, who organize their lives on smart phones bristling with apps that fulfill their (if Ashley Madison is to be believed) wildest desires at the touch of a finger.

And yet it remains a mystery why so many young people who invest so much effort at carving out bespoke personal lives remain politically loyal to the one-size-fits-all party. The party that prefers to dictate, to mandate, to instruct, to coerce, to demand. The party that not only requires them to own medical insurance, but tells them what it must cover; identified which K-12 schools they had to attend (and will do so, if unchecked, for their offspring); specifies how far their cars must travel on a gallon of gas, and how long they must hold onto a financial investment; and, in the name of Gaia, forces them to overpay for a kilowatt of electricity.

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Hillary’s fib could, at this point, make a difference

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By Tom Jackson

Fresh and richly deserved hoopla surrounds, once more, Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as the Queen of Foggy Bottom — er, Secretary of State.

And, once again, it seems she wasn’t being absolutely forthcoming when she said, back in March, she’d never sent anything designated classified from that account. How do we know about this absence of accuracy, this misstatement that some uncharitable observers would call, um, “a lie”?

No, silly. It’s not because her lips were moving. Good one, though. It’s because a pair of inspectors general — career bureaucrats whose jobs hinge on being impartial referees — are urging the Justice Department to determine “whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with Clinton’s account — but not necessarily by Clinton.” (Wink.)

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More crushing details about Planned Parenthood

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By Tom Jackson

The second in an anticipated series of sting videos by anti-abortion guerilla activists targeting Planned Parenthood seems to answer, directly, those who shrieked in condemnation of the first that it was heavily edited and out of context.

What’s stunning is defenders of Planned Parenthood imagining a context in which an abortion doctor’s methodical description of knowing where to crush an unborn targeted for parts harvesting would be acceptable.

No matter. Deborah Nucatola’s chilling highlight video has been eclipsed by the even more grotesque Mary Gatter, the ice queen who oversees Planned Parenthood’s Los Angeles operation.

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Iran nuclear deal: Worser and worser

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By Tom Jackson

Did I mention I really wanted to like the deal the United States struck with Iran over its nuclear program? I believe I did. And because I endorse the old honey-beats-vinegar axiom, I still think invading Persia with Western goods, entrepreneurs and investment has a chance to create a moderating influence that works to the benefit of America and its allies. Even, yes, Israel.

But that aspirational outcome dangles by the thinnest of threads, one that grows more frayed with every fresh revelation. Such as this one: Not only did we cave on “anytime, anywhere” raids, the idea that inspectors can be stalled only 24 days is an absolute mirage.

Remember how we were supposed to be reassured there’s no way evidence of cheating can elude experts’ sophisticated sensors in so little time? What if the lead time is three months, minimum? Still feeling confident? Me neither.

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Charlie Hebdo’s white flag

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By Tom Jackson

The boss at Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satire magazine, say he’s finished publishing depictions of Muhammad. At a practical level, The Right Stuff cannot say it disagrees with this decision, or even faults him for it.

After all, Islam claims any image of its founder is blasphemous, and its more rigorous followers rebuke such transgressions with violent prejudice. The world witnessed this capacity for ultimate retribution in January when a team of Islamist henchmen conquered several layers of security to murder 12 Charlie Hebdo staffers.

This left the survivors with a real-life dilemma: Is it worth giving Islam the occasional editorial poke in the eye — which every person, group, organization, government or religion that grows too full of itself requires from time to time — when death is on the line?

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Run, Charlie, run

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By Tom Jackson

Regarding Charlie Crist, the politically undead and record-setting loser is taking a provisional on the will-he-or-won’t-he question. Will he run for Congress when, if as expected, most of Pinellas County south of Gus Bilirakis’ back yard is unified in a single district?

If the district includes his home address, he’s in, tweets the only Floridian known to have lost statewide elections as a Republican (to Bill Nelson, Senate), independent (to Marco Rubio, Senate) and Democrat (to Rick Scott, governor).

To this The Right Stuff would simply add: Ladies and gentlemen of the Legislature, do your duty. We need Crist in this race. If only to be reminded of how empty that suit is during a year in which the various factions of the left will be vying for the soul of the Democratic Party.

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Run, Charlie, run

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Regarding Charlie Crist, the politically undead and record-setting loser is taking a provisional on the will-he-or-won’t-he question. Will he run for Congress when, if as expected, most of Pinellas County south of Gus Bilirakis’ back yard is unified in a single district?

If the district includes his home address, he’s in, tweets the only Floridian known to have lost statewide elections as a Republican (to Bill Nelson, Senate), independent (to Marco Rubio, Senate) and Democrat (to Rick Scott, governor).

To this The Right Stuff would simply add: Ladies and gentlemen of the Legislature, do your duty. We need Crist in this race. If only to be reminded of how empty that suit is during a year in which the various factions of the left will be vying for the soul of the Democratic Party.

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David Jolly’s get-along conservatism

Published:
By Tom Jackson

The Right Stuff thinks David Jolly makes an interesting — and simultaneously ironic — addition to the field of Republicans seeking to succeed Marco Rubio in the United States Senate.

Interesting because he occupies a pragmatic space to the center of the right-center-right and right-right positions staked out by earlier entrants into the race, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, respectively.

Ironic because, with the Legislature poised to redraw congressional district maps under direction from the state Supreme Court — I still can’t quite figure out how that works, and unless there’s an appeal, I suppose I never will — Jolly might have a better shot at winning statewide than retaining his current Pinellas County seat.

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