Inside the Beltway: Libertarians strut stuff, defend turf

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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.”


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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

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.


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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.”

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