- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

LIBERTARIANS GET A HELPING HAND

The frugal, focused Libertarian Party has announced that Dan Fylstra, one of the original fathers of analytic software, plans to personally match donations made to the organization, which is picking up considerable public interest now that third-party fascination has broken out among many Americans. Sometimes referred to as one of the “godfathers of the spreadsheet,” Mr. Fylstra says he’ll match donations up to $15,000 for the party’s most immediate need — petitioning for access to election ballots in races both big and small. The Libertarians are determined to be a viable presence on the voting landscape.

“This is one election cycle when many Americans may not be happy with either the Democratic or Republican nominee. They ought to have another choice, and the Libertarian Party is practically the only organized, national alternative,” Mr. Fylstra tells Inside the Beltway.

“But unlike the Republicans and Democrats, a third party must overcome many barriers with petition signatures just to appear on the ballot in all 50 states — for the Libertarians, this is still achievable, but expensive. I’m simply supporting their petition drive with a matching donation, because I’d like to have a choice myself. I don’t know who the Libertarian presidential candidate will be, but I’m looking forward to a choice who’s closer to my idea of American values than socialism or Trumpism,” Mr. Fylstra observes.

Currently, voters in 32 states will see Libertarians on their ballots when polling time comes; voters in 18 states and the District of Columbia will not. But there’s big doings ahead. The Libertarian Party stages its “Legalize Freedom” national convention at month’s end in Florida and will reveal the choice of their presidential and vice presidential nominee with a little pomp, some limited circumstance and much interesting talk.

IN CASE YOU WONDERED

“By a wide margin, the U.S. has more immigrants than any other country in the world. As of 2015, the United Nations estimates that 46.6 million people living in the United States were not born there. This means that about one-in-five international migrants (19 percent) live in the U.S. The U.S. immigrant population is nearly four times that of the world’s next largest immigrant destination — Germany, with about 12 million immigrants.”

— From a new Pew Research Center analysis of United Nations data by researchers Phillip Connor and Gustavo Lopez, released Wednesday.

KEEP ON TOUCHING THOSE TOES

Who’s the sveltest of them all? Here are the nation’s top-10 “fittest” metropolitan areas, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual American Fitness Index, which bases judgment on “personal health indicators” from the Centers for Disease Control, the Dept. of Agriculture and other federal sources.

Amazingly, the greater Washington, D.C. area including northern Virginia is rated No. 1 — followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul; Denver, Aurora and Lakewood, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; Hillsboro, Washington; Boston, Cambridge and Newton, Massachusetts; Salt Lake City, Utah; Hartford, West Hartford, East Hartford and Connecticut; and San Diego and Carlsbad, California.

ABOUT THAT OVERTIME

One lawmaker in particular is not happy about the new White House rule which will potentially grant some 12.5 million lesser paid workers access to overtime. Sen. Tim Scott predicts it will have “swift and damaging impacts” on taxpayers and small businesses who must come up with the extra money.

“This president and his administration continue to disregard the full economic realities of their policies, and their lack of foresight is clearly evident in the final overtime rule,” says the South Carolina Republican, a member of the Senate Labor Committee. “Our nation’s economy, which is still struggling to recover, simply cannot afford to have the Obama administration continue to implement more damaging rules and regulations. Bureaucrats in Washington cannot create jobs, but they certainly can destroy them.”

In March, Mr. Scott introduced the “Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act” which would nullify the rule; the legislation has particular support from Sen. Lamar Alexander and Reps. Tim Walberg and John Kline — all Republicans. Some are delighted with the new rule, however.

“We are pleased with the announcements that will make millions of lower- and middle-class Latino workers eligible for overtime pay. This is a measure that our community deserves and recognizes the contribution that millions of hard-working individuals make to our country’s economy,” observes Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, a nonprofit. “It is also important to recognize that this measure shows that elections have consequences and that our community will make an impact.”

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

“Violence against Christians is not just physical, it is also political, ideological and cultural. This form of religious persecution is equally damaging, yet more hidden. It does not destroy physically but spiritually; it demolishes the teaching of Jesus and his church and, hence, the foundations of faith by leading souls astray. By this violence, political leaders, lobby groups and mass media seek to neutralize and depersonalize the conscience of Christians so as to dissolve them in a fluid society without religion and without God. This is the will of the evil one: to close heaven out of envy.”

— Cardinal Robert Sarah to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in the nation’s capital on Tuesday, an event also attended by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Sister Constance Veit of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

POLL DU JOUR

95 percent of partners or chairmen in U.S. law firms say there is “more price competition” in the field.

88 percent say there is fewer support staff for the nation’s maw firms.

82 percent say they face competition from “non traditional service providers.”

73 percent say there are more “part-time lawyers.”

69 percent say corporate clients now do more work “in-house.”

61 percent say there is an “erosion of demand for law firms.”

From an Altman/Weil “Law Firms in Transition Survey” of 800 Managing Partners and Chairs at 800 U.S. law firms with 50 or more lawyers, conducted through March and April and released Wednesday.

Ballyhoo and assorted hoopla to [email protected]

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