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Sunday, Feb 01, 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.

No shifting runaway soldier’s responsibility

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The Right Stuff

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

Depending upon whom you believe, the announcement of charges against runaway soldier Bowe Bergdahl is either imminent or not likely to happen until after the spring thaw ... of 2017, well after you-know-who is back tending his Oahu hibiscus garden.

Sources talking to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski — one a retired lieutenant colonel with suspected axes to grind, the others unnamed “senior military officials” — say it’s all over but the perp walk. Bergdahl, who wandered off his base in an Afghanistan combat zone in 2009, will be charged with desertion ... although early scuttlebutt suggests it will be sort of misdemeanor desertion, rather like an enhanced absent-without-leave accusation.

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White House redefines “terrorist” beyond parody

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By Tom Jackson

A Fox News poll released Wednesday found a slender plurality of Americans — 47 percent — say President Obama underestimates the threat of Islamic terrorism. Close behind, 43 percent say he gets it “about right.”

That was then. Wonder what the same survey would show now, after Deputy White House spokesman Eric Schultz redefined what constitutes terrorists and in the process revealed the Obama administration’s willingness to waterboard established definitions in pursuit of policy goals.

Attempting to draw an acceptable line between Jordan negotiating with ISIS to swap a confessed would-be mass murderer for a captured air force pilot — this is bad, says the White House — and the springing of five Taliban commanders in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, the Army PFC who infamously walked off his base in an Afghanistan combat zone into the hands of the enemy, this was Schultz Wednesday:

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No shifting runaway soldier’s guilt

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By Tom Jackson

Depending upon whom you believe, the announcement of charges against runaway soldier Bowe Bergdahl is either imminent or not likely to happen until after the spring thaw ... of 2017, well after you-know-who is back tending his Oahu hibiscus garden.

Sources talking to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski — one a retired lieutenant colonel with suspected axes to grind, the others unnamed “senior military officials” — say it’s all over but the perp walk. Bergdahl, who wandered off his base in an Afghanistan combat zone, will be charged with desertion ... although early scuttlebutt suggests it will be sort of misdemeanor desertion, rather like an enhanced absent-without-leave accusation.

The upshot, according to Miklaszewski — assuming buy-in from the defense team — is Bergdahl could buy his way out of prison time by sacrificing $300,000 in back pay and accepting a less-than-honorable discharge.

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GOP ‘House Freedom Caucus’ to challenge Boehner’s leadership

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By Tom Jackson

Well, now, this is interesting. Perhaps the most interesting development since the midterm election results were finalized.

About 30 House Republicans [met] Monday evening to establish the bylaws of a new caucus animated by two principles: First, rank-and-file Republicans must pressure leadership to enact a more conservative agenda. And second, this pressure should never involve frantic scurrying on the House floor.

The House Freedom Caucus, an invitation-only group, will work in concert in order to guide the House Republican Conference at key junctures, starting with the debate over a border-security bill that has conservatives alarmed.

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Wisconsin Democrats worried meteoric Walker might go nationwide

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By Tom Jackson

Now we know, don’t we? Now we know why our email in-box buzzed with white-hot complaint Friday afternoon from the likes of ActBlue and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker’s near-term itinerary:

Not only did he weekend in neighboring Iowa, he’s added plans to visit New Hampshire. You know what that means.

The same coalition of progressives that has battled — and been defeated by — Walker three times in four years claimed outrage Friday that the governor they most despise was putting on his traveling shoes, and possibly neglecting Wisconsin.

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Obama’s fact-challenged, graceless SOTU; of course lefties loved it

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The Right Stuff

The best thing that can be said for President Obama’s penultimate State of the Union address is that it’s over.

Seven down, a blessed one to go.

The latest was an exercise in tedium wrapped in delusion topped with snark, with a side dish of subterfuge. Remember the plucky Rebekah Erler, Michelle Obama’s guest and proof that the administration’s policies were spreading rewards? Yeah. Good times. It seems Erler was a Democratic operative before she personified the passing of the “shadow of crisis.” Not that the president’s palace guards in the mainstream media rushed to report this inconvenient connection.

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Obama’s ‘struggling mom’ was Democratic operative

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By Tom Jackson

Regarding Rebekah Erler, First Lady Michelle Obama’s guest and the introductory human prop referenced in President Obama’s penultimate State of the Union speech, it seems even White House speech writers are not immune to the story-too-good-to-be-checked-out syndrome.

OK, that’s not entirely true. Obama’s communicators surely were acutely aware of what they were conspiring to perpetrate on the American public; they simply were hoping we wouldn’t find out. Well. Mission blown.

While no one can gainsay Ms. Erler and her construction-worker husband weren’t among those savagely whipsawed by the Great Recession, the idea that her story, described in a letter sent last March, emerged from millions of similar tales to be the one that captured the president’s heart was debunked within hours of her appearance in Mrs. Obama’s box.

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‘Deflatriots’ should lose Super Bowl berth

Published:   |   Updated: January 22, 2015 at 07:56 AM
By Tom Jackson

They played one of the three most important professional football games of the season in Foxboro, Mass., Sunday, and despite what others are saying, all that matters just now is this: There is strong evidence the home team cheated.

Everything else is garnish. The New England Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts by 38 points, and it wasn’t even that close. The Colts were outmanned, out-coached and outplayed. Irrelevancies, all, if the suspicions are correct.

On a raw, rainy night that made gripping the ball problematic, 11 of the 12 balls provided by the Patriots for their offense were under-inflated by about two pounds. Does that matter? Having tossed representative samples of each to a crew member on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday, Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Marino declared, “It seems like you could throw it a little better, maybe, if it’s deflated a little.”

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Obama’s graceless SOTU; of course lefties loved it

Published:
By Tom Jackson

The best thing that can be said for President Obama’s penultimate State of the Union address is that it’s over.

Seven down, a blessed one to go.

The latest was an exercise in tedium wrapped in delusion topped with snark. Naturally, it earned praise from lefties as one of his best, possibly because Obama at last feels free to indulge his least responsible progressive impulses (you might have heard he has no more campaigns to wage); possibly because he gave scant indication that he was aware of, or cared the first thing about, November’s election results; and possibly because he harked to the halcyon days when he was a fresh blank slate on which a critical mass of Americans could write their aspirations.

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Adventures in ‘free’ government stuff

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By Tom Jackson

A tweet from @chartsandmaps led The Right Stuff to an illustration that, anticipating President Obama’s penultimate State of the Union speech, is so fascinating and instructive it borders on being revelatory.

According to the Pew Research Center’s “Chart of the Week” from May 2, 2014 — originally published by the New York Times, the prices of things generally outside the realm of government subsidies — housing, personal care, electronics, toys, clothing, new and used vehicles — have gone down, in some cases sharply, since 2005.

What’s gone up over the same span? Child care, health care, food and, curiously, vehicle maintenance each edged up between 5 and 15 percent. With one outstanding exception, the price of each is influenced one way or another by influence from Washington.

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