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Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016

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.

Left’s alarmism prompts fresh look at meh Super Bowl commercials

By now, regarding the commercials that aired during Super Bowl 50 — Have we done away with Roman numerals for good? — the water cooler and social media reviews are in with an over-arching theme that seems to be: Meh. We’ve seen better.

Most of the 112-odd-million viewers probably didn’t think much about them one way or the other, but we live in an age in which no widely disseminated creative work goes uncritiqued. And so it was with the latest round of Super Bowl commercials. Even now, the subplot of hysterical outrage from the left that exploded all over Twitter early and endured through the night with Von Miller relentlessness continues to reverberate, to effect that is both comical and troubling.

NARAL, the promoters of abortion, complained, variously, about the “humanizing” of a near-term “fetus” in a Doritos ad; the NFL’s celebration of Super Bowl “babies”; and the dad who infringed on his teen daughter’s “autonomy” by “stalking” her on a date.

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Hillary’s rotten week ... and no relief in sight

Tom Jackson’s “The Right Stuff” blog updates weekdays at TBO.com.

Let’s review Hillary Clinton’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week — the latest in a recurring series.

In a process so oblique the revered Des Moines Register demanded major reforms, she eked out — maybe, although the result cannot be audited — an Iowa caucus win (with an improbable series of coin flips) over a rival she led by double digits only weeks ago.

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Hillary’s rotten week ... and no relief in sight

Let’s review Hillary Clinton’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week — the latest in a recurring series.

In a process so oblique the revered Des Moines Register called for major reforms, she eked out — maybe, although the result cannot be audited — an Iowa caucus win (with an improbable series of coin flips) over a rival she led by double digits only weeks ago.

Just before the Democratic frontrunner dashed off to New Hampshire, she rewarded innocent Iowans — OK, her supporters, so not all that innocent — with a ranting speech in a nails-on-a-blackboard voice that evoked the epic Howard Dean 12 years earlier, an episode that reduced former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea to mere houseplants.

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Lucky for us, Iowa keeps on giving

Just when we’d decided Iowa wasn’t especially important in the Great Scheme of Things, we discovered differently. Besides accomplishing the salutary winnowing of both major parties’ presidential fields — its fundamental purpose — Iowa managed a bonus: It exposed a whiner, an incompetent and at least one opportunist ... and that was only on the Republican side.

Democrats hoping to turn their gaze to New Hampshire might be stuck through the weekend with a narrative over how a purposely oblique process gave a politician long associated with corruption a much-needed, if razor-thin, victory.

As the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto notes:

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Quirky Iowa’s message: Nobody knows nothin’

Now that the first votes have been cast in the long journey leading to Election Day 2016, it is safe to write out loud what plenty have been thinking all along: Nobody knows nothin’.

The last, traditionally most golden, of polls before the Iowa caucuses wasn’t even close. Predictions of what sort of turnout would benefit which candidates were upside down. And those glowing reports about Donald Trump’s masterful skip-the-debate strategery? Donald ducks was all shine and no substance. You have to believe these same bloviators buy a car for its color.

Similarly, then, the old saw about there being three tickets out of Iowa — for Republicans, anyway; Democrats are already down to two — must also be viewed skeptically as well. With the Hawkeye State receding quickly in the rearview mirror, who knows what fresh astonishments lie ahead in New Hampshire and beyond?

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Hillary’s dark-matter emails: A big you-know-what deal

Tom Jackson’s “The Right Stuff” blog updates weekdays at TBO.com.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Hillary Clinton’s email scandal just got worse. No, don’t stop me, because it did. Get worse. Way worse. Like DefCon 1 worse.

Friday afternoon, the State Department declared 22 emails that turned up on Clinton’s private server contain material that is so incredibly secret no part of them can be released. Not the headers. Not the dates. Not the subject lines. Not even the correspondents.

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Hillary’s dark-matter emails: A big you-know-what deal

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Hillary Clinton’s email just got worse. No, don’t stop me, because it did. Get worse. Way worse. Like DefCon 1 worse.

Friday afternoon, the State Department declared 22 emails that turned up on Clinton’s private server contain material that is so incredibly secret no part of them can be released. Not the headers. Not the dates. Not the subject lines. Not even the correspondents.

None. Of. It.

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Open carry: An ancient right seeking codification

The Right Stuff has no personal investment in the hot debate over whether civilians should be able to strap on their trusty sidearms for the world to see. But, since it seems personal ownership of one or more guns lends gravitas to critics of the open-carry bill knocking around in the Legislature this session, let me say as someone who could take it or leave it: I do not own, and never have owned, a gun.

Moreover, as a non-owner, neither my feelings nor my sense of safety will be injured in the least if open carry becomes state law.

I am sanguine on the topic not simply because open-carry prevails in 45 states (Florida would become the 46th), and that 36 of those states rules are at least as permissive — if not moreso — than Florida’s would be.

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Can Trump answer Sasse’s questions?

Knowing Donald Trump’s penchant for discoursing on Twitter, Ben Sasse, a thoughtful, principled, Ivy League-sharpened conservative freshman senator from Nebraska, has gone there seeking, in a respectful manner worthy of his reputation, knowledge about where the Republican presidential frontrunner stands on certain key issues.

Twitchy helpfully compiled Sasse’s inquiries (and editorial remarks) in one convenient location, viewable here. The subjects include single-payer healthcare, gun ownership, taxes, unilateralism in the executive branch and — oh, yes — Trump’s boasts about his affairs with married women.

If he engages honestly and fully, Trump’s answers would be useful not only for those still making up their minds about the mega-billionaire celebrity blowhar-, er, candidate, but also for those who — for reasons known only to themselves — are solid-gold Trumpets.

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If you thought Hillary was in trouble before ...

Tom Jackson’s “The Right Stuff” blog updates weekdays at TBO.com.

Hillary Clinton’s defense of her private, unsecured email server — nothing marked classified passed through — is both silly and demonstrably false. But, as we have seen with this week’s revelation from the intelligence communities’ inspector general (appointed by President Obama), even if her long-expired excuse were 100 percent accurate, use of the server by her and several top aides was at least reckless and at worst compromised U.S. national security.

It’s one fascinating term of art she’s clinging to, that nothing was “marked” in such a way that it would raise an eyebrow. In short, she’s asking us to believe she was the first secretary of state in the modern age whose electronic correspondence never included anything remotely sensitive.

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