- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Libertarian Party made a big noise in the nation’s capital Thursday. Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld descended on the National Press Club for a sold-out public event broadcast live on  C-SPAN. The two former governors plan to outlined — very clearly — why their third-party effort is more likely to succeed this year than in past elections. Persistent voter disenchantment with establishment politics is a significant factor.

“We are becoming factors in the presidential campaign that can no longer be ignored. We are already disrupting the two-party duopoly — and neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton is happy about it. Americans are ready for a third way. As they learn about us and the small-government, greater-freedom principles we offer, more and more voters are, indeed, saying, ‘I’m in,’” says Mr. Johnson, who ran for the White House in 2012 and snagged 1.2 million votes with a minimum of public outreach.

Times have changed since then. The Johnson/Weld campaign has formal fundraising apparatus in place, a spiffy new video and a full calendar of public appearances. A Morning Consult poll released Tuesday found Mr. Johnson with 11 percent of the vote; Mr. Trump garnered 37 percent, Mrs. Clinton 38 percent. The Libertarian candidate, however, has his eye fixed on 15 percent — which would qualify him to participate in the sanctioned, nationally televised presidential debates, just over two months off.

“The key is to reach 15 percent consistently in these major national polls. Fifteen percent makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for the Commission on Presidential Debates to exclude Bill Weld and me from the debates this fall,” Mr. Johnson reasons.

MR. TRUMP INVADES WASHINGTON

Donald Trump may be a little more Republican-y very soon.

The likely GOP presidential nominee paid a call on the U.S. Capitol on Thursday to visit House Republicans, followed by a gathering with the Senate Republican Conference, the longtime, formal organization for the lawmakers, currently chaired by Sen. John Thune of South Dakota.

Was the encounter a board meeting or job interview? Both sides deemed it a “positive encounter.” Details are few, but the canny Mr. Trump had already sent his national political director, Jim Murphy, as a forward scout to meet with lawmakers who are especially receptive to the Trump candidacy.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Presidential Mood Swings.” That’s a useful new term invented by country music superstar Dolly Parton, who explains it in a new Facebook post.

“I have not endorsed Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump. I try not to get political, but if I am, I might as well just run myself ‘cause I’ve got the hair for it, it’s huge, and they could always use more boobs in the race. But seriously, I have not decided who I’m voting for, but no matter what, we’re gonna be suffering from PMS — Presidential Mood Swings,” she wrote.

AND ABOUT THE EMAIL MATTER

FBI Director James B. Comey’s decision not to seek a criminal indictment of Hillary Clinton over her misuse of a private email server as secretary of state has brought out some pronounced reactions among American voters.

“Many critics of the FBI’s decision claim that lower-level individuals caught mishandling classified information have been subject to prosecution and severe penalties. But 81 percent of all voters believe powerful people get preferential treatment when they break the law. Just 10 percent disagree,” stated a new Rasmussen Reports survey of likely U.S. voters released Wednesday, which also found that 54 percent think the FBI should have instead sought a criminal indictment of Mrs. Clinton.

THE CROWDED VEEPSTAKES

Breitbart News has launched an expansive “Pick Trump’s VP” poll asking respondents to vote for Donald Trump’s running mate. There are 19 choices — including Sens. Joni Ernst and Bob Corker, who have already announced they don’t want the job — along with oft-mentioned names like Newt Gingrich.

Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich appear, along with Sen. Tim Scott, Rep. Ryan K. Zinke and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker and Sarah Palin are also in the mix.

“Breitbart readers have proven that they have their collective finger on the pulse of American politics more than pundits and talking heads,” the news organization advises. Find their poll at Breitbart.com.

‘UNPRECEDENTED GLOBAL WAR’

“We are in an unprecedented global war against Islamist terrorists, as the jihadi atrocities in the past weeks in Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh demonstrated. The enemy spurs its supporters in our midst to violence while it grooms operatives to dispatch globally,” says Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, which has just released its monthly terrorist threat “snapshot.”

Among other things, it reveals that 15 people have been arrested on potential terrorism charges in 11 states so far this year.

In a hearing Thursday, the committee addresses the hair-raising prospect of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons smuggled into the U.S. by terrorists via cargo containers at the nation’s ports.

“Iran and its terrorist proxies have continued to threaten vital American interests after the Obama administration dangerously legitimized the Iranian regime’s nuclear ambitions. The failure to recognize the nature of these threats and to lay out a clear, viable plan for confronting them will sadly continue to endanger Americans and our allies,” Mr. McCaul says.

POLL DU JOUR

81 percent of Americans say their mobile phone is a “favorite travel accessory”; 53 percent call “a loved one” that; and 32 percent say a camera is.

51 percent say their phone is their main source of information on vacation; 50 percent upload photos to social media while traveling “just to show off.”

45 percent say the phone makes them feel more “spontaneous.”

43 percent book their hotel reservation on their phone; within this group, 27 percent has done so while in bed, and 10 percent while sitting on the toilet.

Source: A Hotel.com survey of 9,200 U.S. adults conducted throughout May and released Wednesday.

• Chatter and mumbles to [email protected]

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide