TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Monday, Aug 31, 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.

What Planned Parenthood’s stenographers omitted from their happy dance

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Planned Parenthood and its supporters waxed triumphant Thursday afternoon over what they’re touting as smoking-gun evidence that their worst nightmare — undercover videos from anti-abortion crusaders exposing nightmare activities — amounts to a manipulation of the truth. Why, it might even be an utter fabrication.

Closer inspection of the inspectors suggests Abortion Inc.’s celebration is at least exaggerated, probably premature and perhaps even downright unfounded.

Claims against the products of Centers for Medical Progress were lodged by Planned Parenthood client Fusion GPS, a Washington D.C.-based opposition-research firm with deep ties to the Democratic Party — a fact none of those touring the gleeful news sought fit to report.

Click to continue reading this post

Anti-gunners renew push for irrelevant restrictions

Published:
By Tom Jackson

That didn’t take long. Of course it didn’t. Never mind which demons drove the heinous activities of Vester Lee Flanagan II — aka Bryce Williams — just after dawn Wednesday. We’ll sort those in the fullness of time. Just now, while the energy effervesces, we have one of those “serious crises” that must not be allowed to go to waste.

And so, even as compassionate minds attempt to wrangle the miserable prospect of funerals for a couple of barely-more-than kids from the Virginia’s mesmerizing Roanoke Valley, reliable opportunists on the left called for — what else? — a fresh round of gun control.

From the White House briefing room, administration spokesman Josh Earnest reiterated President Obama’s desire for Congress to enact “common sense” steps that won’t infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Astonishingly, he did not wink as he spoke the words.

Click to continue reading this post

The Donald’s trolling calculation

Published:
By Tom Jackson

It’s been three weeks — wow, how time does fly — since the Republican presidential kickoff debate hosted by Fox News, and it seems Donald Trump was eager to resurrect the post-event’s lead story.

Well, why wouldn’t he, since he played a starring role? (One thing The Donald apparently learned during his years as a reality TV star: There’s no such thing as bad publicity.)

For a couple of those three weeks, Megyn Kelly — the questioner with all those bleeding orifices — was off the air, on vacation. Her return Monday night was greeted by Trump with a hail of we’re-finished-when-I-say-we’re-finished invective in the Twitterverse.

Click to continue reading this post

The horror Planned Parenthood thinks is ‘neat’

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Video No. 7 exposing Planned Parenthood’s ghoulish culture from the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress dropped Wednesday, establishing this above all else: The series’ producers are building toward a crescendo.

By now we know all too well: The next episode will be more gruesome than the last.

The latest, in which a former parts-procurer for San Jose, Calif.-based StemExpress describes the process for cutting the brain from a five-to-six-month fetus (with a thumping heart), resets the already soaring bar for grotesquery.

Click to continue reading this post

If you thought the Iran bargain was bad before ...

Published:
By Tom Jackson

What was revealed Wednesday about the U.S.-led deal — strike that — uh, agreement — still wrong — um, arrangement (there we go) with Iran over the latter’s nuclear research/development/bomb program merely reaffirms what many of us (Democratic senators Chuck Schumer and Robert Menendez included) suspected already: The more we learn, the worse it gets.

On the plus side, at least it’s the first time the Obama administration has pulled this kind of stunt. Oh, wait. The complete opposite of that.

The examples (Fast and Furious) of the-more-we-know (carbon emissions edict) the-worse-it-gets (YouTube caused Benghazi massacre) are far to numerous (DREAM executive action extended to parents) to rehearse (illegal, non-recess appointments) here (Obamacare).

Click to continue reading this post

For Hillary, a summer’s worth of bad weeks in one day

Published:
By Tom Jackson

It’s premature — probably way premature — to conclude the dark specks floating above Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign are buzzards, or that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s march seems headed more toward Bataan than the White House.

Then again, when you’ve lost The Hill plus a meaningful portion of the Washington Post’s political and opinion teams — and lately, all are writing things unimaginable as recently as Memorial Day — it doesn’t look exactly like the coronation is coming off as planned.

Nor should it. Events that have been tumbling downhill for most of three years, maybe four — maybe seven, if you care to go all back to Clinton’s goofy “reset” ceremony with Russia — suddenly resemble the harbinger stones of an avalanche.

Click to continue reading this post

Peddling hysteria to the ‘fearless’

Published:
By Tom Jackson

The alleged differences between the brains of conservatives and liberals is making the social media rounds again. Wouldn’t you know it, the so-called results are spread mostly by smug lefties who imagine the so-called study affirms their superiority within the hierarchy of sentient humankind.

The key to their self-satisfied joy: The area of the brain that is open to new possibilities tends to be larger in liberals than it does in conservatives. Conversely, the area of the brain that is sensitive to fear is larger in conservatives than it is in liberals.

It’s difficult to tell, even after reading some of the abstracts, whether this is exactly how researchers phrased their findings, or if — as seems plausible — this was the phraseology applied by liberals wanting to conjure up hurrah-for-our-side spin.

Click to continue reading this post

Hillary’s top-secret trouble

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency might be a multi-faceted prism — that’s “prism,” not “prison” — that may yet emerge as a finely polished gem, but any way you gaze upon it just now, it’s dispersing a troublesome light for the Democratic frontrunner.

On the political front — the front that could, in time, seem quaint by comparison — a Boston Herald poll finds Clinton trailing Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist running as a Democrat, by seven points in New Hampshire (44-37), which amounts to something like a 40-point swing since March ... which, probably not coincidentally, is when news broke about the email server Clinton kept in her Chappaqua, N.Y., home during her time as secretary of State, and her trustworthiness quotient began sliding downhill.

Not without cause, by the way. As Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the Benghazi massacre, noted Wednesday, “Every explanation that Sec. Clinton has provided about a week later was proved to be demonstrably false. This was just the latest one of these.”

Click to continue reading this post

Wendy’s hot-’n-juicy minimum wage plan

Published:
By Tom Jackson

Now comes Wendy’s — the fast-food giant named for founder Dave Thomas’ daughter — to declare, with in-your-face boldness ordinarily reserved for its spicy chicken selections, that at which coy McDonald’s executives only winked.

What will the lefties at Snopes.com say now?

As pressure to hike the minimum wage surges nationwide and some states and localities pass laws that swoon before the #Fightfor15 crowd’s pie-in-the-sky circular arguments while denying immutable market forces, Wendy’s has laid plans to remain viable in a world that failed Economics 101.

Click to continue reading this post

The Trump unpredictability factor

Published:
By Tom Jackson

I don’t know if Thursday’s prime-time debate on Fox News marked, for Donald Trump’s White House dreams, the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning.

I rarely claim prescience, having been in the vicinity to observe a lesson in humiliation taught an Atlanta sportswriter who, on the Sunday before the start of the 1986 Masters golf tournament, wrote that, at 46, Jack Nicklaus was finished, over, and, rather than tarnish his legend, ought to retire to Thursday morning’s ceremonial tee-off, then go hang out with the other legends under the clubhouse oak trees.

Naturally, all the Olden Bear did was go out and win the whole thing, and his record-extending sixth green jacket. But only after taping the offending article to the refrigerator in the Augusta, Ga., house where he spent the week.

Click to continue reading this post