- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Bergdahl matter, unrest in Iraq, assorted alarming uprisings, Hillary Clinton’s book tour — oh, it’s a complicated weekend, indeed. But political life goes on, and the siren call of Democratic fundraisers is now going off at the White House. Yes, it’s time to fire up the magnificent, but expensive Air Force One again for a three-day excursion to the always friendly West Coast.

Though the trip will include a stopover at a North Dakota Indian reservation along the way, President Obama and first lady Michelle depart Friday, ultimately bound for Palm Springs, California. Then it’s on to the Los Angeles area in 24 hours for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser and a commencement address for the University of California at Irvine.

About that fundraiser, sited near Laguna Beach, the resort beachtown in the “heart of the California Riviera,” according to local tour guides. Yeah, well. The event is an invitation-only breakfast and “round table discussion,” commands $32,000 per person, and will be staged at the home of a political strategist who once raised $1.5 million for Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Then it’s on to Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the graduation exercises.

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This is Mr. Obama’s 18th trip to the California since taking office; he was last in the Sunshine State in early May, when he attended six fundraisers in two days. But wait. Is golf somehow involved this time around? No one can really confirm or deny the presence of, say, a 5-iron yet, but the schedule also reveals that the first couple will not be heading home until Monday. So we will just leave it at that.


“I say to the President of the United States, get a new national security team in place. You have been ill-served by the national security team you have in place now, and the decisions you have made. Have that new national security team come up with a strategy to do whatever we can to prevent this direct threat to the national security of this nation Because the President of the United States declares a conflict over does mean that in the eyes of the enemy it is over. Conflicts end when the enemy is defeated.”

— Sen. John McCain in a floor speech in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, responding to news that Islamic militants continue their march across Iraq.

The Arizona Republican now suggests that David Petraeus, former commander of U.S. Central Command and the CIA, be put in charge of a new team that includes Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, retired Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Jack Keane, and Robert Kagan, once Mr. McCain’s foreign policy adviser.


While gleeful journalists stoke stories about polarization between the Democratic and Republican parties, the Libertarians are continuing to carry on. And in more ways than one. Indeed, the Libertarians seem oblivious to partisan angst, touting their write-in candidates on primary ballots around the nation, and quietly noting that their voter registration has increased by 11 percent in the past year.

They’re also readying to, well, carry on. The three-day Libertarian Convention begins June 26 in Columbus, Ohio. It is a cavalcade of all-Libertarian stars that includes 25 speakers, splashy receptions, caucus meetings, strategy sessions, cocktail hours, entertainment and the “Grand Banquet” featuring former presidential hopeful Gary Johnson, his vice presidential running mate Judge Jim Gray and Kmele Foster, co-host of the Fox Business network’s “The Independents”.

So the Libertarians will carry on. See their big doings here: Lpcon2014.org

“The theme of this convention is character matters. I was inspired by a little book by Lawrence W. Reed titled ‘Are We Good Enough for Liberty?” says Nancy Neale, convention chairman, who offers shorthand insight on political rivals.

“As Larry writes, ‘Without character, a free society is not just unlikely, it’s impossible. While the D’s and R’s lie and steal, we L’s must take the high ground, even though it may not be the politically expedient way,” she observes.

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