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Tuesday, Sep 16, 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.

What went down in that Foggy Bottom basement?

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By Tom Jackson

The Right Stuff isn’t saying the Benghazi scandal has finally identified its John Dean, exactly. The complaint lodged by career diplomat Raymond Maxwell, a former deputy assistant secretary of state under Hillary Clinton, does not rise to the level of the long-ago White House counsel’s chilling “cancer on the presidency” debriefing with Richard Nixon.

Still, if we are to believe what the investigations to date have had to say about the higher-ups’ lack of culpability in foreseeing, heading off and/or responding to the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate that ended with the massacre of four Americans — including Ambassador Christopher Stevens — then we also must believe investigators had all pertinent materials at their disposal, and also were not predisposed to a convenient political conclusion.

What Maxwell told Daily Signal reporter Sharyll Attkisson — yes, her again — combined with her previous reporting throws the worthiness of those conclusions into serious question. Reports Attkisson:

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White House ‘transparency’ revisited

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By Tom Jackson

The most transparent administration in history, the one without a smidgen of corruption, rolls on. The Daily Caller has been alerted to fresh evidence that the Department of Labor was coordinating with the White House to cover evidence that then-Labor Sec. Hilda Solis raised funds for President Obama’s reelection campaign while performing official business, a serious federal elections no-no.

New emails provided to The Daily Caller from the nonprofit legal research firm Cause of Action show the White House thanking the Department of Labor for “flagging” a public information request for “withheld” portions of Solis’ schedule. (SEE THE EMAIL CHAIN). The White House then asked for the name of the conservative group making the request — information that Labor officials were eager to give up.

As TheDC previously reported, Solis illegally fundraised for the Obama campaign and headlined a Latino-themed Obama fundraiser while on a trip in her official capacity as a Cabinet member, which is forbidden by the Hatch Act.

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The conundrum found in Obama’s definition of Islamic

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By Tom Jackson

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

It’s days later, yes, but The Right Stuff simply has to get this on the record.

What in the name of a pilgrimage to Mecca is President Obama thinking? He can’t possibly think, really, he’s such a gifted orator we’ll believe every last outlandish thing he says. Can he?

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A bromance made in rugby heaven, sealed with a trip

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By Tom Jackson

This is amusing. Two straight New Zealand men, taking vows to each other — but mostly to rugby — “married” Friday morning to win the ultimate rugby fan honeymoon: A trip to see their team play in the 2015 Rugby World Cup in the United Kingdom.

And, as Katherine Timpf of National Review Online discovered, gay marriage activists are not amused.

“Something like this trivializes what we fought for,” said Neill Ballantyne, coordinator of Queer Support. “The competition promoted the marriage of two men as something negative, as something outrageous that you’d never consider.”

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The Islamic definition conundrum

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By Tom Jackson

The Right Stuff simply has to get this on the record.

What in the name of a pilgrimage to Mecca is President Obama thinking? He can’t possibly think, really, he’s such a gifted orator we’ll believe every last outlandish thing he says. Can he?

I mean, even after “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” and “Not even a smidgen of corruption” and “As a general proposition, vouchers have not significantly improved the performance of kids that are in these poorest communities”? Of course, it is possible to go on, but the point about what flows like so much snake oil from the president is plain: It simply cannot be trusted.

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The wisdom attached to Ray Rice’s conditional carrot

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By Tom Jackson

Now that the NFL — which is to say Commissioner Roger Goodell — has, belatedly, gotten things just about right in the Ray Rice affair (an indefinite suspension and mandatory counseling), and we are all super-engaged on the topic of domestic violence, a proper question to ask is this: OK, what comes next?

Tampa-based blogger Larry Thornberry, posts this at the American Spectator:

Not that I’m questioning the decision. It probably had to be made. But it’s hard to see how La Rice’s life is made any better by it. Before she was just married to a dangerous sumbitch. Now she’s married to a dangerous sumbitch who isn’t bringing home any money and who is around the house all day, frustrated and angry. These are perilous times for her. Sometimes there are just bad options and worse options.

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Even without new video, we (and NFL) knew what Ray Rice did

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By Tom Jackson

The Right Stuff understands completely that humans are acutely reliant on visual cues. Otherwise, we’d have been content with radio.

But some things we know without seeing, and one of those was that in February Ray Rice knocked Janay Palmer, his future wife, unconscious on a Atlantic City casino elevator.

The evidence of his deed was starkly evident in the hallway security video: the mirrored doors schussing open and Rice hauling Palmer, like a bag of grain, out of the car, reaching back for a shoe, sweeping her feet almost out of the track of the doors and, under the gaze of an inconvenient security guard, rousting her roughly to her knees.

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Egyptian picks wrong week to laser-target airliner

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By Tom Jackson

This would be better coming from someone with Middle Eastern heritage, just as it always is better when, say, black young man are cautioned against the dangers of feeding unpleasant stereotypes by Bill Cosby or Al Sharpton or President Obama. None being handy, this descendant of Southern farmers and merchants whose forebears were, apparently, English farmers and merchants, is compelled to ask:

What in the name of 9/11 anniversary week was Ahmed Maher Elhewl thinking? Elhewl, 24, was arrested for and confessed to illuminating aircraft — four commercial airliners and, repeatedly, a Tampa police helicopter — with a laser pointer Sunday night. There’s more about his activities and why authorities regard them with dead seriousness here, but, in short, laser light has the potential to blind pilots temporarily, introducing the potential for disaster.

I mean, the Middle East is blowing up, or melting down, or spiralling into deadly chaos — chose your metaphor — and we’re alternating among flashbacks, recriminations and arguments about what America’s role should be now, even as final preparations come together to mark the 13th anniversary of the day we’ll always remember, and here comes a guy about the same age as many of the 9/11 hijackers, born, according to the FBI, in Egypt, and he’s targeting commercial airliners with a laser.

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Jackson: On gay marriage, U.S. judge affirms Bondi’s resolve

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THE RIGHT STUFF

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

A ruling out of a federal court in Louisiana //on// Wednesday will not please the commentariate that has taken The Right Stuff to abundant task for supporting the tactical position established by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi regarding same-sex marriage.

Bondi, you may recall, recently urged state’s appellate courts to postpone further litigation until the U.S. Supreme Court has its say, which she argues is almost certain to happen no later than the June 2015 conclusion of its next term. The ripening of the issue seems upon us, similar state bans having been overturned in Oklahoma, Virginia and Utah, accompanied by stays issued by the high court.

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About that warming ‘pause,’ revisited

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By Tom Jackson

Matt Ridley, author (“The Rational Optimist,” Harper, 2010) and member of the British House of Lords, is not a scientist. But he does know how to cite, quote and otherwise reference them to stinging purpose. In an op-ed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, he achieves all of that in a thoroughgoing rebuke of climatistas clinging to their faith in man-made global warming, despite a pause that has reached — everyone agrees — at least 15 years, although some records make it as many as 26 years.

The piece is tucked behind the Journal’s lucrative pay wall, but if you lack a subscription, Watts Up With That has a pretty good start.

Ridley notes with wry fascination that leaders of countries who once flexed grave faces over the threat of climate change will skip the Sept. 23 party hosted by the United Nations where urgent action on curbing carbon dioxide emissions will be the theme. OK, so it’s not exactly “A Night in Old Casa Blanca.” But that’s not, Ridley presumes, why representatives from China, India and Germany are pleading previous engagements despite an I’m Going! from President Obama.

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