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Thursday, May 28, 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.

Hillary’s limited liability

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By Tom Jackson

With every revelation that emerges about how the Clintons have financed themselves since they left the White House (packing household goods, flatware, electronics, rugs and computer “W” keys with them) in 2001, the clearer it grows that they should never, ever be allowed anywhere near the levers of power again.

Which raises an intriguing question: Would the highest of the high rollers who have eagerly flattered the Clinton family coffers continue their generous ways if it looked like Hillary Clinton’s path to the Oval Office was cut off? Perhaps this latest will help turn the test into something other than a brainteaser.

Nah, probably not. Never mind that the latest revelations would be disqualifying for all but Hillary Herself, who remains immune to the effects of the couples’ well-calibrated codependent corruption. She has “endured,” after all. Ask any Iowa Democrat.

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Jeb’s vacation/triangulation cottage

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By Tom Jackson

Those derisive howls you’re hearing are the left’s response to news that Jeb Bush has become the latest member of the family to have a “cottage” built on the slash of land that jabs into the Atlantic at the Bush compound in Kennebunkport.

What else would you expect?

As the next-of-kin to two presidents who also appears to be preparing a White House run of his own, Jeb is getting the usual Richie-Rich blow back ... from people who would never support his candidacy in the first place.

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Sydney Blumenthal: Exquisitely vile

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By Tom Jackson

No matter where you stand on Hillary Clinton and/or her despicable hitman Sydney Blumenthal, an article that begins with a paragraph as exquisitely turned as this one (by National Review’s Jim Geraghty) —

Which is more shocking — that Hillary Clinton used an unsecured, private e-mail system to get alleged “intelligence” about Libya’s political leaders and the Benghazi attack, or that her primary source was the one man the Obama team deemed too dishonest and unethical to work in the State Department?

— deserves to be read to the end.

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Benghazi’s ceaseless drip-drip-drip

Published:   |   Updated: May 20, 2015 at 05:03 PM
By Tom Jackson

It’s not waterboarding, exactly, but the drip-drip-drip of revelations from Benghazi is its own form of torture. It turns out — no, that’s not right; better: It has been further confirmed — Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew within hours the deadly attack on the diplomatic outpost was a planned event.

New documents obtained by Judicial Watch and made public Monday show that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other senior officials under President Obama were given intelligence within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack describing how it had been planned at least 10 days in advance “to kill as many Americans as possible.”

A heavily redacted copy of a Sept. 12, 2012, Defense Intelligence Agency memo to Clinton, then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the White House National Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff said “the attack was planned 10 or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings.”

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A world in which achievement doesn’t matter

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By Tom Jackson

Whatever else there is to say about Hillary Rodham Clinton — and there is, clearly, much — it must be conceded she has mesmerized her followers. While a large and, probably, expanding field of Republican contenders for president wrestles for the honor of being this week’s GOP frontrunner, Hillary Her-Own-Self leads her would-be Democrat challengers like American Pharaoh at the Preakness.

Never mind that her dug-in supporters can’t identify a single accomplishment during her tenure as secretary of state from which to hang their ardor. Ask them. You’ll get crickets. Because even they know that logging more airline miles than a Major League Baseball team isn’t really a mark of achievement. And then they’ll tell you it doesn’t matter. Because she’s Hillary.

Actually, you don’t have to ask. Conducting focus groups of Iowa Democrats recently, Mark Halperin, the Bloomberg politics editor and MSNBC regular, did it for you — and the result is absolutely fabulous.

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Amtrak and the infrastructure obfuscation

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By Tom Jackson

In retrospect, we should be grateful to Rahm Emanuel for his reptilian brashness, expressed with clarity accessible to anyone with an eighth-grade education, at the dawn of the Obama era.

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you thought you could not do before.”

Remember that? Of course you do. And you remember that so much that followed — the trillion-dollar “stimulus,” Obamacare, a stab at a carbon-strangling cap-and-trade plan — sprung from the new president’s eagerness to act while panicky Americans were in a “do something” frame of mind.

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Jeb shoulda learned from Mona Lisa Vito

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By Tom Jackson

As promised: How is Jeb Bush’s sit-down with Fox News’ Megan Kelly like a scene from “My Cousin Vinny”? Because, like DA Jim Trotter III’s voir dire of general automotive expert Mona Lisa Vito, the interview’s headline moment resulted from a bovine excrement question.

“Knowing what we know now,” Kelly asked, “would you have authorized the invasion” of Iraq? Just as questions that hinge on a “but” usually render the predicate meaningless, questions set up by “Knowing what we know now” are similarly bogus.

Life would be easier if it could be lived backward, with the clarity of hindsight guiding our footsteps. Knowing what I know now, I would have won Saturday’s PowerBall lottery and would already be shopping for cottages within a pitching wedge of the Old Course at St. Andrews and the back nine at Pebble Beach. Knowing what I know now, in 2009 I would have invested half my 401(k) in Netflix and the other half in Amazon.

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Brady’s magic grits moment

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By Tom Jackson

Two utterly unrelated issues are headlining news and commentary this Tuesday morning, and yet both of them remind me of defining moments in “My Cousin Vinny,” arguably the most perfect movie about lawyering ever. Yes, including “Inherit the Wind.”

In the interest of brevity and clarity, The Right Stuff will address each in separate posts.

To begin: Why is Deflategate like a scene from “My Cousin Vinny”? Because, just like the witness who guessed grits cooked faster on his stove than anywhere else in “the grit-eating world,” defenders of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots want us to believe atmospheric conditions in the American Football Conference title game behaved differently on the home team’s sideline than they did the visitors’.

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Medicaid’s disincentive maximization

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By Tom Jackson

There’s a certain amount of schadenfreude going around lately at the expense of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who hauled himself to Washington last week in the vain hope of reopening a spigot of federal dollars for hospitals that treat low-income patients.

And that’s fine, really. Who hasn’t known the guilty thrill of delight when something embarrassing happens to someone of whom we disapprove?

Still, despite what you perhaps read elsewhere, the request is not absurd, or even inappropriate; the beneficiaries are carrying out their mandate under a 1986 federal law, signed by the sainted Ronald Reagan: Hospitals accepting Medicare payments must provide emergency care to anyone regardless of citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay. The kicker: The law included no reimbursement provisions.

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70 years ago: Liberated French kiss GI nearly to death

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By Tom Jackson

And now for something completely different, this dispatch from U.S. Army Pfc. David P. Jackson, penned on the first V-E Day.

Nancy, March 8, 1945

“I wish I could describe France last night and tonight to you, but I haven’t the schooling to do that. One can’t walk down the streets because of the large crowds. The streets are jammed with people dancing, shouting, and just standing talking.

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