- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The big day has arrived for the official Libertarian Party, which now reports that its numbers have increased by 11 percent in the last year. It’s convention time. Some 500 card-carrying Libertarians head to scenic Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday to celebrate their independent ways, fiscally conservative mindset and less government leanings, cheered on by former presidential hopeful Gary Johnson, among others. But do not use their name in vain.

“Today, people commonly call themselves libertarian,” says Carla Howell, political director of the Libertarian National Committee, “but only the Libertarian Party is the real deal.”

Media heavyweights such as Glenn Beck, Juan Williams and Sean Hannity bandy the designation about, while “hundreds” of radio hosts use the word libertarian to describe their views, she notes.

“The Libertarian Party walks the talk,” explains Ms. Howell. “We run candidates for the express purpose of actually creating a libertarian society by ending our involvement in unnecessary wars, repealing laws that violate the Bill of Rights, removing government from the many areas where it doesn’t belong and dramatically cutting today’s high government spending and taxation.”

The candidates who support that will be out in force, she adds, “stumping for much less government, low taxes, peace and freedom.”

YES, THEY MISS HIM A LITTLE


PHOTOS: Conservatives in Hollywood: Celebrities who lean right


Behold, some noteworthy findings from Fox News, released Wednesday.

Former President George W. Bush now has a higher favorability rating among registered voters than President Obama. The numbers: 49 percent have a favorable opinion of Mr. Bush; 45 percent felt the same about Mr. Obama. But wait, 47 percent of the respondents gave an unfavorable report about Mr. Bush, compared to 53 percent for Mr. Obama.

PARTY IN DALLAS — OR CLEVELAND

When the time comes for the National Republican Convention, the Grand Old Party will party in either Dallas or Cleveland. So says the Republican National Committee site committee, which has narrowed down the list of six cities to just two. Both towns appear to exhibit the most important trait of all.

“They have the ability to provide our next presidential nominee a launching pad that will put a Republican in the White House in 2016,” says chairwoman Enid Mickelsen.

POLARIZED

Climate activists. Sheesh. They’re as bad as wedding crashers. When President Obama arrives Thursday in Minneapolis for this week’s private Democratic fundraiser, he’ll encounter the host, a former U.S. ambassador, a gaggle of Minnesota Democrats and all those folks happy to pay up to $32,400 for face time and a photo op. Mr. Obama may also spot Frostpaw nearby — essentially a guy in a polar bear suit who’ll be milling around near the event site vying for attention, but officially representing the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity.

The nonprofit conservation group is vexed about fossil fuels and advises that Mr. Paw himself is available for media interviews. Well, swell. Maybe the hosts should ask him in. Meanwhile, the organization is eager and on message.

“If President Obama is serious about tackling the climate crisis, then he should start with rejecting Keystone XL and the Enbridge expansion,” explains spokesperson Valerie Love. “Allowing these kinds of fossil fuel projects to move ahead only raises the risk of climate catastrophe.”

HILLARITY

“You have to be a little bit crazy to run for president, let me just put it like that.”

Hillary Clinton to PBS host Gwen Ifill on Wednesday night.

AND IN SUMMATION

“Liberals race to save Hillary from herself.”

— Snappy headline from Noah Rothman, a Hot Air contributor.

ALOHA AMERICA, MARS

Aw, just go ahead and call it a flying saucer. It’s OK. Really. No one will freak out. It could cheer the public, in fact. NASA will soon launch what it bills as either a “saucer-shaped test vehicle” or a “Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator project” from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii. Yes, it flies, is saucer-shaped, sports multiple onboard cameras and will eventually be used to send heavy payloads to, yes, Mars.

The rocket-powered “vehicle” will be carried aloft aboard a high-altitude balloon to an altitude of 120,000 feet, then dropped. “Seconds later, its motor will fire, carrying it to 180,000 feet and as fast as about Mach 3.8,” the space agency explains.

The launch window is officially Saturday, about 2:15 p.m. ET — that is, unless the weather or some other unidentified flying object horns in. The test will be carried live via Ustream and simulcast on NASA Television. Consult NASA.gov for information.

SIX TERMS THE CHARM

There was drama on Tuesday among Republicans in Mississippi. There’s still drama. It is likely of small comfort to tea partyers, but there was also a certain historic inevitability in longtime incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran’s narrow victory over Chris McDaniel, a spirited grass-roots challenger.

Mr. Cochran was the 18th six-term U.S. Senator who vied for his party’s nomination to a seventh term in recent days — and the 16th to successfully do so. Only Tennessee Democrat Kenneth McKellar — who lost to Al Gore Sr. in 1952 — and Indiana Republican Dick Lugar — who lost to Richard Mourdock in 2012 — failed to win their party’s nomination for a seventh term under similar circumstances. So says a new analysis from the University of Minnesota’s ever-curious Smart Politics research team.

“More members of the U.S. Senate’s six-term club have actually died in office than lost their party’s nomination over the last century,” points out Eric Ostermeier, the political professor who led the team, which is fond of minutiae.

“Cochran’s win marked the 22nd consecutive renomination victory by a Mississippi U.S. Senator since Democrat Wall Doxey’s loss in 1942 to James Eastland. The only other U.S. Senator from the Magnolia State to lose a renomination bid during the direct-election era was James Vardaman in 1918,” Mr. Ostermeier points out.

POLL DU JOUR

• 76 percent of U.S. voters say the IRS “deliberately destroyed” employee emails related to the agency’s targeting of conservative and tea party groups.

• 90 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of independents agree.

• 12 percent overall think the emails were “accidentally destroyed”; 90 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of independents agree.

• 74 percent of voters overall say Congress should continue to investigate the IRS matter; 86 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents agree.

• 60 percent overall do not believe President Obama’s claims that he learned of the IRS targeting, “Fast and Furious” and other matters from news media accounts; 73 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents also don’t believe Mr. Obama.

• 31 percent overall believe that Mr. Obama heard of these issues through the media; 21 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of independents agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,018 registered U.S. voters conducted June 21-23.

• Peevish remarks, guffaws to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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