- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 5, 2018

“‘Do right and fear no man.’ That credo has served Ryan Zinke well in his tenure as secretary of the interior for President Trump,” writes Frank Miele, managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. “Zinke has become a lightning rod for criticism from the Democratic left, and yet he continues to move forward with his agenda of increasing access to federal public lands and developing funding to pay for infrastructure needs that have been left unaddressed for decades.”

Indeed, Mr. Zinke has been a hands-on secretary, shoveling the steps of major monuments on the National Mall following major snowstorms and offering spontaneous personal tours to surprised tourists. There are challenges. How does Mr. Zinke feel about the “non-stop onslaught of negative publicity that goes with being a member of the Trump Cabinet?” the editor asked the secretary in an interview.

“The fight for freedom never ends. We live in an environment where it seems anyone can write a salacious article. It’s immediately picked up on the web by a reporter that doesn’t do research. It’s highlighted and magnified in liberal papers that only want to attack and not address truth,” Mr. Zinke replied.

“They make a headline, so they get a lot of clicks — and when you read the story, the last paragraph is usually, ‘Well, we don’t really know,’ but they allege that ‘sources say,’” the secretary said. “I have called senior Washington bureau chiefs and said, ‘The story you are writing is not true,’ and the response from senior editors was, ‘We know.’ Where do you start when they say, ‘We know’? I think America sees through it. I believe in the American spirit more than I believe in a concocted agenda whose only interest is to ensure that President Trump gets discredited.”

OF HEROES AND HORSES

A round of applause, please, for the first annual Freedom Rocks Fest on Saturday at New Freedom Farm, which pairs military vets challenged by PTSD with therapeutic horses. Located in the Virginia countryside near the town of Buchanan, the farm was founded by Lois Fritz, a former forensic nurse.

“The sensitivity of the horse delivers an honesty and truth for the veteran who is having trouble trusting others,” she says.

The farm and the event have the support of Rolling Thunder, the ever-patriotic group devoted to vets, MIAs, POWs and magnificent motorcycles. The event features country music great Rockie Lynne, Rolling Thunder members from chapters across the country and patriotic salutes to vets and those who never made it home. Also present: food vendors, information resources, an F-4 Phantom II jet on static display, plus other military vehicles.

“New Freedom Farm is doing essential work helping our veterans, and literally saving lives every day. The mission of New Freedom Farm fits perfectly with our mission to aid all veterans in need,” says Artie Muller, founder of Rolling Thunder.

This worthy farm and sanctuary is home to 19 assorted equines — including three mares and their foals saved from slaughter, two rescued mustangs, plus mini-horses, mini-donkeys, a hinny and a mule. Find the event and the farm at NewFreedomFarm.net.

A REMINDER

The Second Amendment Foundation offers a quiet reminder to the nation regarding the Parkland, Florida, school massacre almost two months ago. Alan M. Gottlieb, executive vice president of the 650,000-member group based in Bellevue, Washington, says America should continue to mourn for the victims.

“They should also celebrate the lives of all the survivors of violence who are alive today because they had a firearm with which to fight back,” Mr. Gottlieb suggests. “Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans defend themselves with firearms, often without firing a shot. They are victims of violence, too, but they are alive today because they had the will and the tools to fight back. Each year, between 800,000 and 2.5 million people use guns to defend themselves and others. That’s 2,100 to 6,800 people every day whose lives are saved, thanks to guns. Lost in all of this debate is the fact that lives are saved every day because a properly used gun was available.”

NARROWING DOWN THE TICKET

Well, that’s one way to do it. Bob Fertik — president of the online progressive hub Democrats.com — has a poll for his party.

“Who should run for President in 2020?” he asks, supplying 16 names — and here they are, verbatim from the survey:

Joe Biden, former vice president; Cory Booker, New Jersey senator; Julian Castro, former HUD secretary; Andrew Cuomo, New York governor; Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles mayor; Kirsten Gillibrand, New York senator; Kamala Harris, California senator; Eric Holder, former attorney general; John Hickenlooper, Colorado governor; Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota senator; Deval Patrick, former Massachusetts governor; Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator; Tom Steyer, environment and Trump impeachment advocate; Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator; Oprah Winfrey, media entrepreneur; None of the above — I support Donald Trump.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Donald Trump’s former Georgian Colonial mansion, built in 1939 on a six-acre peninsula overlooking Long Island Sound near Greenwich, Connecticut. Eight bedrooms, 13 baths, three-story rotunda, “regal” main rooms, aristocratic details, library, indoor pool, gymnasium, full cinema room, eight fireplaces, staff quarters; 19,773 square feet. Guest house, putting green, in-ground pool, tennis courts, five-car garage. The president-to-be owned the home throughout the 1980s. Priced at $45 million through ColdwellBankerhomes.com/tri-states; find this bodacious home here.

POLL DU JOUR

50 percent of viewers who watched the debut of “Roseanne” approve of President Trump, 45 percent disapprove.

47 percent watched because they liked the original version.

44 watched because it’s “funny.”

31 percent of the viewers are Democrats, 30 percent are independents, 30 percent are Republicans.

18 percent watched because the show “supports Donald Trump.”

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted April 1-3.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.


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