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Friday, Nov 21, 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.

Liberals’ latest Reagan misinterpretation

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By Tom Jackson

At least part of what lefties are claiming in defense of whatever President Obama has stuffed into his executive order on immigration (Reagan did it, and so did Bush 41) is — how to put this gently? — a fabrication.

Washington-based attorney Gabriel Malor vivisects this deception at length for The Federalist, but here’s a little something to get you started:

[A]s usual for Progressive commentators, they elide the crucial facts that distinguish those actions from Obama’s. The sign that you’re being swindled isn’t so much what the con artist tells you, but what he does not tell you. What the Progressive commentariat is not telling you is that the Reagan and Bush immigration orders looked nothing like Obama’s creation of a new, open-ended form of immigration relief.

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Democrats’ feeble evasions affirm Gruber

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By Tom Jackson

By now, only a truly disciplined mind could harbor doubts about whether Jonathan Gruber’s assessment of the American voter — specifically the left-leaning American voter, as explained here — is shared by elected liberal elites.

The evidence, spilling out in the wake of an expanding series of video revelations starring the MIT economist as an eager co-conspirator in the peddling of Obamacare snake oil, is obvious and abundant. Of course they think you’re stupid, gullible and exploitable.

The only difference is they have the good sense not to say so in front of recording devices. This, however, has not prevented digital sleuths from juxtaposing their recent protests against what they said back in the day, and allowing the public to reach its own conclusions.

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The Gunner Girls reassessment

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By Tom Jackson

So now it appears Rosetta and Philae, the deep-space tag team having the closest possible encounter with a comet 310 million miles from Earth, have confirmed what scientists have long predicted: Comets — this comet, anyway, and there’s no reason to believe it’s not a fairly representative family member — carry some of the ingredients essential to carbon-based life. Including carbon itself.

The Philae lander, which thumped down on the comet late last week, identified organic molecules by “sniffing” the surrounding atmosphere. It also bored into the comet’s surface, but what it extracted has not yet been fully analyzed. Questions persist whether the organic stuff it contains or is throwing off is simple or complex.

If the former, the argument for comet strikes triggering life on Earth becomes a tougher sell. If the latter — if, for instance, the probe detects amino acids, the foundation for proteins — then scientists may have identified God’s smoking gun.

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Democrat base: Exploited tonight, laughed at in the morning

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The Right Stuff

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

Increasingly, it seems, the problem with — or perhaps the right preposition is “for” — Jonathan Gruber is the same one commonly associated with locker-room lotharios: Surrounded by fanboys fawning over his exploits, the MIT economist and Obamacare architect was too eager to spill insider gossip.

Now, like football heroes who kiss and tell, Gruber’s emerging revelations — what’re we up to now, six video embarrassments? — are wrecking equally his reputation and those with whom he dallied at the expense of certain gullible Americans. The upside is that every new episode exposes liberalism’s contempt for the American people, a population not confined to conservatives — you’d expect that — but also, and perhaps especially, to their supporters.

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Democrat base: Exploited tonight, laughed at in the morning

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Increasingly, it seems, the problem with — or perhaps the right preposition is “for” — Jonathan Gruber is the same one commonly associated with locker-room lotharios: Surrounded by fanboys fawning over his exploits, the MIT economist and Obamacare architect was too eager to spill insider gossip.

Now, like football heroes who kiss and tell, Gruber’s emerging revelations are wrecking equally his reputation and those with whom he dallied at the expense of certain gullible Americans. The upside is that every new episode exposes liberalism’s contempt for the American people, a population not confined to conservatives — you’d expect that — but also, and perhaps especially, to their supporters.

This was abundantly clear in Gruber’s description of how the Affordable Care Act’s drafters rendered palatable a tax on so-called “Cadillac” policies. Not that there isn’t a reasonable argument for doing so, and Gruber — before he was outed as a well-compensated consultant attached to the Department of Health and Human Services (nearly $400,000 for two years’ work) — pitched it, affiliation undisclosed, in a Dec. 28, 2009 op-ed for the Washington Post.

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Gruber on MSNBC: Four vacuous minutes

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By Tom Jackson

Jonathan Gruber — the MIT economist, well-paid Obamacare consultant/architect and one-man gaffe machine — reemerged in the media spotlight Tuesday in the one place on the planet he was likely to find a supine interviewer.

Yes, we’re talking MSNBC, where, a week after Democrats’ Election Day walloping, all the hosts probably still are wearing mourning bands in places the camera cannot see.

So there was Ronan Farrow, having learned the Look of Grave Concern at the Rachel Maddow Anchor School for the Children of Celebrities and eager to be considered the Most Insightful Progressive in the Room, and there was the utterly poised Gruber, ready to deliver the mea culpa he’d been practicing in the faculty men’s room and confident he would spend the balance of his four on-camera minutes being asked nothing more complicated than what he’d had for breakfast.

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Video: Obamacare architect glad you’re stupid

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By Tom Jackson

Already notorious for explaining why state exchanges were designed to be the only legal conduit for tax subsidies under Obamacare — a point of dispute the Supreme Court voted to resolve last week — Jonathan Gruber returns in a recently unearthed video that should permanently affix the consultant/architect’s infamy in the public’s consciousness.

In clip a from an Oct. 2013 panel discussion on the economics of healthcare at the University of Pennsylvania — posted Friday by Philadelphia researcher Rich Weinstein — the Obamacare consultant/architect and MIT economist dishes on a gullible American public that lawmakers vigorously hoodwinked.

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber said. “Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever. But basically, that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”

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On Obamacare, Supreme Court tees up a mulligan

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By Tom Jackson

So, what are we to make of this?

Three days after a sweeping Republican triumph in the midterm elections, ahead of which GOP candidates and their surrogates ran thousands of commercials attacking the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — the U.S. Supreme Court voted to tackle a pivotal, but hotly contested, portion of the act.

The unusual decision preempts the D.C. Court of Appeals’ full-court rehearing, scheduled for December, of a case — Halbig v. Burwell (originally Sebelius) — that went badly for the administration when it was ruled on by a three-judge panel in July.

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Gay marriage momentum sidetracked

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By Tom Jackson

Among the most persistent claims against continuing to defend Florida’s traditional marriage amendment is that few, if any, courts — and no federal appeals courts — have agreed that same-sex marriage bans are constitutional. With all that momentum going against it, and in the absence of evidence it had much of a chance of being upheld, why continue to bother? Why spend the tax dollars?

All that changed Thursday with a decision out of the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, where a three-judge panel affirmed the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in their jurisdiction: Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.

Now all bets are off. The Sixth Circuit’s majority opinion not only sets out with elegant precision the logic behind why only the U.S. Supreme Court has the authority to overturn legal precedent, it provides the appeals-court split that should compel the high court to rule definitively.

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It was a tough year for false advertising

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By Tom Jackson

The story of the Republicans’ electoral tsunami has many authors, from disgust with White House incompetence to Harry Reid’s methodical gridlock, but if there is a unifying theme, it is this:

Across the board and across the country, Americans rejected false advertising.

Consider: Even as we were being told Obamacare had ebbed as a campaign issue, Republican senate candidates were running thousands of spots, more than on any other issue, reminding voters about the radical differences between what was promised — if you like your plan, or doctor, etc.; your premiums will drop $2,500; people who already have insurance won’t notice a difference; taxes won’t increase on anyone earning less than $250,000; medical inflation will be curbed — and what was delivered.

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