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Wednesday, Aug 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.

Already, GOP wringing wrong lesson from Ferguson

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By Tom Jackson

Not all the hollering out of sad, strife-gashed Ferguson, Mo., is coming from demonstrators, cop-bashers, cop-supporters, opportunistic looters or even roughed-up media. To that chorus of complaint now add the Missouri Republican Party, which sent up a yowl of righteous indignation at news of liberal group having established a voter-registration kiosk just a few paces up the block from the makeshift memorial where black, 18-year-old Michael Brown went down last week under a hail of bullets fired by a white policeman.

“If that’s not fanning the political flames, I don’t know what is,” Missouri GOP executive director Matt Wills told Breitbart News. “I think it’s not only disgusting but completely inappropriate.”

Well. It wouldn’t be the first time a political official got bent over one group or another spinning tragic straw into gold for Election Day and beyond. And it’s unlikely to be the last. Remember what Rahm Emanuel thought about how to invest the currency of crisis.

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‘Dreamers’ plan to make case for GOP resistance

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By Tom Jackson

Marco Rubio, Florida’s junior U.S. senator, possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate and lapsed member of the “Gang of Eight” immigration pack, is the target of a demonstration by so-called “Dreamers” — illegal immigrants who arrived in America as children — scheduled to “descend” on Rubio’s Miami offices Tuesday.

Their beef, according to a press release: Rubio’s “attacks on Dreamers and his advocacy to repeal DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, President Obama’s 2012 directive).” Quoting the release:

Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, Deputy Managing Director for United We Dream from Miami issued the following statement,

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Publishers and the Bergdahl book blockade

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By Tom Jackson

Six veterans who were deployed to Afghanistan with Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are peddling a memoir surrounding their experiences connected to the disappearance and subsequent capture by Taliban forces of their former colleague.

We’ve seen them with Megyn Kelly. We know the gist of the stories. Bergdahl deserted his post. He betrayed his oath. He jeopardized his platoon-mates’ safety. He compromised their mission. Heard it. Know it. Sympathize with much of it.

Still, the six are eager to commit to print the texture and details of their harrowing experiences and heartfelt anger over Bergdahl’s desertion, possible cooperation with the enemy and eventual high-priced release. It’s hard to imagine there wouldn’t be at least as large an audience for those books as for, say, the high-toned ramblings of a former U.S. secretary of state.

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Look out, Greenlight; here comes the driverless car

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By Tom Jackson

Regarding transportation, the question for all of us — but especially for Pinellas County voters, who in November will decide about their near-term future — isn’t whether we’d like it to be easier to get from here to there. As the kids say: Duh.

No, the question is what methods are likely to produce the best outcome at the best price. And by best price, The Right Stuff doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest, but instead the proverbial most bang for the buck. Just now you could make a fair argument that nobody really knows what that arrangement is, or even what it is likely to be over the next half-dozen years or so.

That said, the lead article in Sunday’s View establishes in compelling detail that the worst way for us to go about our business is by looking backward. Consultants who plot a forward course by studying what’s disappearing in the rearview mirror find themselves in a constant state of surprise by innovation that disrupts unexpectedly and ruthlessly.

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Robin Williams: Heartbreak redefined

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By Tom Jackson

From the moment he burst upon our consciousness as the manic, mischievous and innocent Mork, it was clear Robin Williams was not merely a unique mash-up of genius and energy; he was a marvelous freak of nature, the perfect storm of perpetual creativity. Williams’ just-try-to-keep-up performances could exhaust us, but himself? Impossible.

It is beyond conception, then, that his spark had failed, that his spring, forever effervescent, ran dry. And yet, there it is. The inconceivable headline.

“Robin Williams dead of apparent suicide.”

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Godspeed, Robin Williams; we hardly knew ye

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By Tom Jackson

Damn. Rats. Shazbat.

Comedian Robin Williams, known for his rapid-fire comedy, died Monday morning in his residence in Tiburon, California, in an apparent suicide, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s Coroner Division suspects the death to be a “suicide due to asphyxia,” but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made, according to a press release.

Words fail.

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Politico detects GOP-flavored Democrats

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By Tom Jackson

Well, son of a gun. Politico detects Democrats running away from President Obama not only in red districts, as you might expect, but in zones that are purple and even solid blue as well.

Faced with a treacherous political environment, many Democrats are trotting out campaign ads that call for balanced budgets, tax cuts and other more traditionally GOP positions. Some of them are running in congressional districts that just two years ago broke sharply for President Barack Obama.

The Republican-flavored ads provide an early glimpse of how Democrats will wage their 2014 campaign. Democrats, hampered by Obama’s rising unpopularity and the tendency for conservatives to turn out at higher levels than liberals in midterm years, face the reality that swing congressional districts favorable to them in 2012 will be far less so in 2014.

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Inside Bondi’s thoughtful recommendation

Published:   |   Updated: August 11, 2014 at 06:00 AM
By Tom Jackson

Proponents of same-sex marriage in Florida, who have had their way in recent circuit court rulings down south, leapt Friday to accuse Attorney General Pam Bondi of committing political intrigue and wasting taxpayer dollars by refusing to abandon her defense of the state’s “bigoted” (also known as “traditional”) definition of marriage.

Moreover, they hiss Bondi’s persistent reminders that she took an oath to defend all the state’s laws, not — as has become regrettably fashionable in other states and the District of Columbia — simply those that are convenient, enjoy widespread support or to which she is philosophically aligned.

Instead, she clings, barnacle-like, to the notion that remaining a state and nation of laws, not people, is still the optimal course. How antique. How totally 19th Century.

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Obamarail jumps the track

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By Tom Jackson

Increasingly, it appears Florida dodged a bullet when Gov. Rick Scott declined to enlist in President Obama’s plan for a national high-speed train network. Volunteer states have seen misspent millions and cost overruns in the billions.

It’s bad enough onetime Democrat enthusiasts are flipping and even the New York Times has taken note. The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein extracts the essence:

In an article that appeared on the front page of the Times’ Thursday print edition, Ron Nixon wrote that “despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009 to develop faster passenger trains, the projects have gone mostly nowhere.”

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Jim Brady, once more a gun-crime statistic

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By Tom Jackson

So, this happened:

This week’s death of former White House press secretary James Brady, who survived a gunshot wound to the head in a 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, has been ruled a homicide, District of Columbia police said Friday. ...

An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a gunshot wound and its health consequences, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide, according to a news release Friday from District police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump. Nancy Bull, district administrator for the Virginia medical examiner’s office, which made the ruling, declined to disclose any more results of the autopsy and referred inquiries to District police.

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