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Friday, Mar 27, 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.

Rubio’s healthcare iPhone corollary

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By Tom Jackson

Doing the other thing he does best — that is, the thing besides telling the wonder of America as seen through the eyes of the offspring of working-class immigrants — presumptive presidential candidate Marco Rubio is flooding his pre-announcement zone with ideas. On tax reform. On foreign policy. On, a little belatedly, immigration.

Now, to acknowledge the fifth anniversary of the signing (and at last revealing, which prompted postponing, recasting and/or waiving key segments) of the Affordable Care Act, the first-term U.S. senator from Miami has unveiled his three-part plan for a post-Obamacare America.

Rubio’s proposal mostly involves putting federal tax dollars into the hands of individuals and allowing them to make choices. I know; more government redistribution. But if we have decided as a nation that society — and therefore government — has a role in helping its legal residents get medical care (we have), there are worse ways to go about it. In fact, we’re living one of the worst right now.

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Hillary’s media homers

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By Tom Jackson

Just about the first thing they teach you in sports writing — right after, “Make sure you get the score right” — is this: There is no cheering in the press box.

The rule extends beyond the mere physical locality of the press box itself to wherever a working sports journalist might find himself in pursuit of his task: on the sidelines, inside the ropes of a golf tournament, even in the winning team’s champagne-soaked clubhouse or locker room after a championship.

Simply put, a proper sports journalist never, ever acts like a fan. Not even when you witness the astonishing: Kirk Gibson’s improbable homer to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series; Joe Montana beating Cincinnati with a strike to John Taylor in the dying moments of Super Bowl XXIII; Jack Nicklaus rolling back the years to win a sixth green jacket at the 1986 Masters; Mary Lou Retton spiking that landing to win overall gymnastics gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

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Obama and the mandatory ballot-box miscalculation

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The Right Stuff

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

The remedy for money’s influence in politics, President Obama was saying the other day in Cleveland, is simple. Make voting compulsory.

Pitched a question at a town hall meeting that was unintentionally rich with irony — What can be done about the influence of big spenders on elections? — Obama, history’s all-time biggest campaign spender, replied, “It would be transformative if everyone voted.” And how to reach that happy end? Easy: Frog-march the reluctant to the polls.

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The Mandatory Ballot-Box Miscalculation

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By Tom Jackson

The remedy for money’s influence in politics, President Obama was saying the other day in Cleveland, is simple. Make voting compulsory.

Pitched a question at a town hall meeting that was unintentionally rich with irony — What can be done about the influence of big spenders on elections? — Obama, history’s all-time biggest campaign spender replied, “It would be transformative if everyone voted.” And how to reach that happy end? Easy: Frog-march the reluctant to the polls.

“Other countries have mandatory voting,” he said. And because other countries do — as many as 26 of them, according to the Institute on Democracy and Electoral Assistance — why shouldn’t the non-exceptional United States?

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The Criminal Alien Boomerang Effect

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By Tom Jackson

Remember — it was just last month — when bereaved dad Jamiel Shaw testified before a congressional committee about the murder of his son by an illegal immigrant?

In a hushed hearing room, Shaw told a story that was in every way heartbreaking and horrifying in its own right, the senseless shooting in March 2008 of a promising high school athlete for the crime of carrying a Spider-Man — that is, mostly red — backpack through a neighborhood where young thugs render instant, permanent judgments based on a flash of color.

Worse, and you’re darn right the description applies, the killer of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw II — Pedro Espinoza, then 18 and a known gang-banger — had emerged from Los Angeles County jail only a day earlier after serving half of an eight-month sentence for displaying a firearm in a park and resisting arrest.

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The Obama Rejection Reoccurrence

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By Tom Jackson

Of everything The Right Stuff has read since Benjamin Netanyahu’s rally to triumph, handily, in this week’s election in Israel, what it has liked best — so far — was this tweet from Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard:

BREAKING: British PM Cameron, in close reelection contest, has called WH to ask that Obama intervene against him.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty said it with comically captioned pictures.

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The Launderette Equivalency

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By Tom Jackson

In Tuesday’s Morning Jolt newsletter, National Review’s Jim Geraghty — a fine Irish name on such a bonny day — commends our attention to colleague Brendan Bordelon’s timely piece, “The Other Problem With Hillary’s Foreign Donors.”

It seems while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, there existed a cozy, possibly opportunistic relationship between two countries that rely heavily on foreign aid — a chunk of it paid by U.S. taxpayers — and the Clinton Family Foundation.

Algeria and the Dominican Republic, whose largesses are seldom but reliably strategic, steered $500,000 and as much as $25 million, respectively, to the Foundation during four years Hillary was the real Téa Leoni. Not that the causes aren’t worthy. The Algerian grant was for Haitian earthquake relief in 2010; the Dominican Republic’s was targeted to the Foundation’s work with HIV/AIDS.

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The Advocacy Disconnection

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By Tom Jackson

One is failing his duty as a healthy skeptic if he fails to arch, at least slightly, an award presented by Florida’s tax collectors. Especially when the award is entitled “Taxpayer Advocate of the Year,” and nowhere in the citation does it mention the recipient’s efforts to cut the amount or reduce the numbers of taxes paid by those on whom his advocacy soared.

Not that this year’s winner isn’t gung-ho on policies most taxpayers would consider genuine advocacy. Still, it is instructive what the Florida Tax Collectors Association really, really liked about the activities of Senator Wilton Simpson, the Trilby Republican businessman, is he helped get its members additional duties.

Here’s what the release from Simpson’s office says about it:

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Hillary’s media briefing settled absolutely nothing

Published:   |   Updated: March 15, 2015 at 09:55 AM
By Tom Jackson

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

Well, hey, who isn’t glad that little detour is over with? For a moment, weren’t you afraid Hillary Clinton’s Inevitability Parade to the White House® had steered into trouble? Me, too.

There she was, sailing toward an April announcement, the first step toward her January 2017 coronation — or not; who knows? — when suddenly all of Ready for Hillary World is breathless over an unfortunate and — I think we can all agree on this — utterly unnecessary focus on some off-the-books server and cloaked email account(s) used exclusively by destiny’s darling (aka “hdr22@clintonemail.com”) and her intimates during her service to a grateful nation as its secretary of state.

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Hillary’s media briefing settled absolutely nothing

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Well, hey, who isn’t glad that little detour is over with? I mean, for a moment, weren’t you afraid Hillary Clinton’s Inevitability Parade to the White House® had steered into trouble? Me, too.

There she was, sailing toward an April announcement, the first step toward her January 2017 coronation — or not; who knows? — when suddenly all of Ready for Hillary World is breathless over an unfortunate and — I think we can all agree on this — utterly unnecessary focus on some home-brew server and cloaked email account(s) used exclusively by destiny’s darling (aka “hdr22@clintonemail.com”) and her intimates during her service to a grateful nation as its secretary of state.

As if, with the world in desperate for many post-Dubyah resets and — c’mon, man — overwrought hurdles placed between foreign contributors and the Clinton Foundation, she hadn’t made perfectly reasonable arrangements. With all that on her Royal Doulton fine china plate, who needed the prospective hassle of inspectors doing Republicans’ bidding and meddlesome journalists with their Freedom-of-Information-Act requests?

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