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Tuesday, Mar 03, 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.

Moral relativism and Curt Schilling’s knockdown pitch

Published:   |   Updated: March 3, 2015 at 06:39 PM
By Tom Jackson

We’ve all heard that while facts are facts, opinions are like an orifice in the body’s nether region: Everybody has one. And, by extension, no one’s is more worthwhile than another’s.

Such dismissiveness has found purchase in (especially) public schools, much to the lament of Justin P. McBrayer, a professor of philosophy who only recently discovered that the phenomenon was being taught in elementary schools when, at his son’s second-grade open house, he stumbled upon two troubling signs:

Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.

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Obama’s Nixonian maximization

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By Tom Jackson

As if we needed more evidence to confirm top law professor Jonathan Turley’s infamous assessment of Barack Obama — he had become “the president that [Richard] Nixon always wanted to be” — along comes (yet another) federal judge to scold an executive-branch agency for targeting the administration’s political rivals.

A federal judge warned the EPA on Monday not to discriminate against conservative groups in how it responds to open-records requests, issuing a legal spanking to the agency that he said may have lied to the court and showed “apathy and carelessness” in carrying out the law.

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The importance of being Bibi

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By Tom Jackson

Need a clear-eyed preview of Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a (semi-) joint session of Congress Tuesday? Of course you do. It would be hard to do better than Matthew Continetti’s contribution in the Washington Free Beacon Monday.

Here’s the introduction.

The emerging nuclear deal with Iran is indefensible. The White House knows it. That is why President Obama does not want to subject an agreement to congressional approval, why critics of the deal are dismissed as warmongers, and why the president, his secretary of state, and his national-security adviser have spent several weeks demonizing the prime minister of Israel for having the temerity to accept an invitation by the U.S. Congress to deliver a speech on a subject of existential import for his small country. These tactics distract public attention. They turn a subject of enormous significance to American foreign policy into a petty personal drama. They prevent us from discussing what America is about to give away.

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Judicial Watch: Emails prove Hillary concocted Benghazi video trigger

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By Tom Jackson

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

Anybody who thinks we know everything worth knowing about what went down in the Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead, including an ambassador, either is kidding himself or finds convenient comfort in the embrace of deniability.

Well, good luck with all that, because Judicial Watch’s insatiable curiosity, determination and expertise with Freedom Of Information Act forms struck fresh gold this month: Half a world away from the chaotic, degenerating conditions at the U.S. consulate on Sept. 11, 2012, State Department officials including top aides to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “knew from the outset,” says Judicial Watch, “that the Benghazi mission compound was under attack by armed assailants tied to a terrorist group.”

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Judicial Watch: Hillary concocted Benghazi video trigger

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Anybody who thinks we know everything worth knowing about what went down in the Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead, including an ambassador, either is kidding himself or finds convenient comfort in the embrace of deniability.

Well, good luck with both of those, because Judicial Watch’s insatiable curiosity, determination and expertise with Freedom Of Information Act forms struck fresh gold this month: Half a world away from the chaotic, degenerating conditions at the U.S. consulate on Sept. 11, 2012, State Department officials — up to and including top aides to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — “knew from the outset,” says the Judicial Watch account, “that the Benghazi mission compound was under attack by armed assailants tied to a terrorist group.”

The subject line of an email received some 90 minutes left no doubt: “Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”

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Obama’s Keystone veto: The game is afoot

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By Tom Jackson

With an unceremonious sweep of his trusty Cross Townsend rollerball Tuesday, President Obama made good on an old promise. No, not that one. You still can’t keep your plan, or your doctor. This one: He vetoed a bill authorizing commencement of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would link to a network in Nebraska to bring crude oil from Canadian tar sands to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

The explanation was a howler: “[T]his act of Congress ... cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment.” Executive agencies have been reviewing Keystone more than six years. It’s been endorsed five times by the State Department.

Then again, if it’s any Obama knows, it’s how to shortchange consideration of issues.

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Oscars, we have a problem

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By Tom Jackson

It will not come as a shock to nearly nine in 10 Americans that this year’s Academy Awards show — which ended only a few minutes ago with Neil Patrick Harris launching a new line of hard-to-open briefcases — scored historically awful viewership numbers.

Roughly 36.6 million watched in the U.S., which sounds healthy enough, but not only did it mark a 16 percent dip from last year, it was the lowest tune-in rate since 2009.

There was plenty of blame to go around, some of it actually deserved.

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Family: Kayla doomed after Bergdahl swap

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By Tom Jackson

For months after she was abducted in August 2013, the family of Prescott, Ariz., aid worker Kayla Mueller was in routine contact with her ISIS kidnappers, who gave every impression they were eager to negotiate her release. While the price was steep — $6.2 million — and against United States law to pay in the first place, the Muellers clung to the hope that something reasonable could be worked out.

This was not entirely delusional. ISIS has a history of releasing hostages to wealthy western Europeans who pay fat ransoms.

Then last May, the White House struck the controversial swap in which five former Taliban commanders were released from the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay for, putting it generously, AWOL Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and, regarding Kayla, everything changed.

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Hillary’s tangled web; violence about nothing in particular

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The Right Stuff

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

Remember back before Christmas when former Florida governor Jeb Bush declared he was exploring a run for the presidency? And how in short order Bloomberg dropped a bomb on his coming out party about the financial ties to offshore investors he might have trouble explaining?

And remember how much fun Democrats had with that? Why, Jeb was nothing more than Mini-Mitt.

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Hillary Clinton’s tangled web

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Remember back before Christmas when Jeb Bush declared he was exploring a run for the presidency? And remember how almost immediately Bloomberg dropped a bomb on his coming out party about the financial ties to offshore investors he might have trouble explaining?

And remember how much fun Democrats had with that? Why, Jeb was nothing more than Mini-Mitt.

Good times.

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