- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2018

The national Libertarian Party appears pretty cheerful these days. The organization is busy planning its four-day national convention in New Orleans in late June, where the event theme is “I’m that Libertarian!”

The speakers’ roster includes such notables as Zoltan Istvan, a “transhumanist Libertarian futurist” who is running for governor of California and Amaryllis Fox, a former CIA analyst and host of the History Channel’s “American Ripper,” a historic investigation of a serial killer. A record-breaking number of people have registered for the event, according to organizers.

Business is also picking up for the nation’s official third party.

Libertarian leadership has news for members, undecided voters, the news media and the major-party competitors. The number of U.S. voters registered as Libertarian has surged by 92 percent since 2008 according to Ballot Access News, which tracks such trends. Interest in the Republican and Democratic parties is down according to the same source — thus making Libertarians the “fastest growing” political party in the nation, their leaders reason.

Things are percolating. There are currently 619 Libertarian candidates on state and local ballots this year, and the party has attained all-important ballot access in 39 sates. There are Libertarians who already hold elective office — 158 to be exact.

“The grassroots energy we are seeing in 2018 is amazing,” observes Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark, who is running for mayor of Phoenix himself and warns that both major political parties spend too much, and voters are anxious about the national debt, foreign civil wars and other issues.

“Democrats and Republicans are in denial that we have a problem. Libertarians recognize both the problems and the necessary solutions, and have the courage to ask the American people to let our candidates for public office help restore freedom and sanity,” says Mr. Sarwark.

Libertarians have also gone into feisty campaign mode, borrowing the “Don’t Tread On Me” motto from the tea party and splashing it across classy T-shirts, complete with signature snake graphic and “1776” front and center. Also telling: the party is offering their printed “Introduction to the Libertarian Party” brochure in Spanish, and at a reasonable price from the characteristically frugal-minded Libertarian family. It’s 10 cents.

THE ZUCKERBERG PRESS

The nation knows a great deal more about Facebook founder and 33-year-old billionaire Mark Zuckerberg these days. He appears as the sole witness at several hearings in the Senate and House in the next 48 hours,

He has already released much of his testimony ahead of time, for better or worse. The press is already very busy, however. Here are a few select headlines.

“The psychology of apologies: Is Mark Zuckerberg getting it right?” (Forbes); “How much does Facebook make off you? The amount may surprise you” (Fox News); “Mark Zuckerberg runs a nation-state, and he’s the king” (Vox); “Mark Zuckerberg Says He’s Not Resigning” (The Atlantic); “Facebook: The art of sharing” (Toledo Blade); “Mark Zuckerberg can still fix this mess” (The New York Times); “Facebook could face record fine, say former FTC officials” (Washington Post); “Some Facebook employees are reportedly quitting or asking to switch departments over ethical concerns” (Business Insider); and “Facebook launches project to study social media’s impact on elections” (The Hill).

OPERATION DEER HEART

There’s a surprising side to the National Park Service, and proof they remain an outdoorsy bunch. Four national parks in Maryland and the District of Columbia recently conducted humane, after-hours operations by “highly-trained firearms experts” from the Department of Agriculture to reduce an overabundant population of white-tailed deer.

The results? The parks are providing 50,000 meals to their neighbors with donated venison, the National Park Service says.

Two Civil War battlefields, a 5,810-acre hardwood mountain forest and a national park in the heart of our nation’s capital, donated more than 14,000 pounds of professionally processed venison to local non-profits that serve those in need, such as DC Central Kitchen and the Maryland Food Bank.

PETITION SUPPORTING MELANIA TRUMP TRIUMPHS

An instant online public petition which emerged following ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel’s mockery of first lady Melania Trump quickly reached and surpassed its original participation goals. And then some.

Private organizers using the name “Extremely Deplorable” launched the petition — which calls for a “boycott” of Mr. Kimmel and his show — hoping to get 50,000 signatures. Over 179,000 signatures appeared so quickly that the group is now poised to send the petition to the Disney/ABC studio in Burbank, California — home base for Mr. Kimmel.

The events warranted national coverage on Fox News, The Washington Post and Brietbart.com, among other news sources.

“Let’s send a message that these attacks on our first lady will not be tolerated!” the petition organizers say in their public message.

Mr. Kimmel has since apologized, and the petition is still active.

POLL DU JOUR

68 percent of the nation’s mayors are in small cities (30-000-100,000 population); 26 percent are in medium-sized cities (population 100,000-499,999); and 6 percent are in large cities (populations over 500,000).

33 percent of the nation’s mayors live in the South, 29 percent live in the West, 22 percent in the Midwest and 15 percent in the Northeast.

24 percent of the nation’s mayors are female.

16 percent are “nonwhite” or Hispanic.

Source: Bloomberg American Cities Initiative survey of 156 mayors in 42 states and the District of Columbia conducted Nov. 29, 2017 -Jan. 21, 2018 and released Friday.

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