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Inside the Beltway: Choosing the dream
Can Americans discern between the "dreams" of President Obama and those of the Founding Fathers? The makers of the upcoming documentary film "2016: Obama's America" hope so. "I've got a strong desire to defend against the changes in our culture, our life, our laws, our freedom. We now have someone in office who has professed a desire for change, and this has disturbed me," producer Gerald R. Molen tells Inside the Beltway.
Mr. Molen, 77, is the Hollywood heavyweight and Oscar-winning producer behind "Schindler's List," "Rain Man,"and "Jurassic Park" among many other blockbusters. But he prefers life in Montana to that in Tinseltown, and as a former U.S. Marine, he has a strong memory of a traditional, cheerful, can-do America. He's also not too keen on Mr. Obama's penchant to "go around Congress," among other things.
"We don't have an imperial presidency. He's not the king," Mr. Molen says.
Above all, he hopes the film will jar a passive audience with proof of the political and cultural change that may not be for the better in the long run.
"I hope people find out that it's time to do their own research, get involved and ask this question: What kind of country do we want?" the producer says, predicting that public reaction to the project "will come alive" once the film is released nationwide July 27. The documentary itself is based on conservative author Dinesh D'Souza's best-seller "The Roots of Obama's Rage," published last year.
"All Americans want the same kind of country. Being united would be wonderful. But we're divided now, and it's frightening," Mr. Molen says.
Is there similar fare to come - perhaps another documentary meant to detect dangerous fissures in the bedrock of America?
"I hope it's not necessary for me to stay in this genre. But if the need arises, I'm there. I'll stand up," Mr. Molen says.
THE CHENEY TOUCH
It is a meeting of the minds amid spectacular scenery and sumptuous mountain lodges. On Thursday, former Vice President Dick Cheney will open the doors to his own home near Jackson Hole, Wyo., to host a campaign fundraiser for Mitt Romney.
There's a preliminary reception at Teton Pines Country Club, where the fare typically includes such delicacies as bacon-wrapped tiger prawns upon cheddar cheese grits and "sterling silver" beef tenderloins. The reception will be followed by a private dinner with Mr. Cheney and Mr. Romney, attended by notables from the oil, agriculture and venture-capitalist realms.
"It's the old guard handing off the torch to the new guard here," Republican strategist Ron Bonjean tells the Beltway. "They share a philosophy. A new Romney administration would follow the same Republican principles. And it would definitely foster a new age as well."
But there's never a dull moment, even in the towering Tetons. Protesters lurk: a counterrally is planned at a nearby crossroads. Organizers are described as "local rabble-rousers and non-Republicans" by Jake Nichols, a columnist for Planet Jackson Hole, an independent paper.
"Maybe a Romney effigy will be in order," he predicts, adding, "Mitt masks will be distributed. Participants are urged to follow a code of conduct and dress in a patriotic manner " And among their protest signs: "Romney: Government of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, and for the 1 percent."
"Americans' confidence in television news is at a new low, with 21 percent of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. This marks a decline from 27 percent last year and from 46 percent when Gallup started tracking confidence in television news in 1993," says Gallup analyst Lymari Morales.
It's tough all over.
"Liberals and moderates lost so much confidence in television news this year - 11 and 10 points, respectively - that their views are now more akin to conservatives' views," the analyst says. Actually, their views are worse: 19 percent of liberals, 20 percent of moderates and 22 percent of conservatives say they still have that coveted confidence.
Remember all the alarmist claims that cow flatulence causes global warming? Now it's the cows who are victims. A line from a new University of Washington study tells all: "Got milk? Climate change means stressed cows in southern U.S. may have less." Lead author and economist Yoram Bauman, who compared high-resolution climate data and county-level dairy industry data, presents his findings Friday at the 4th International Conference on Climate Change.
"Quiero decirles como es mi padre, Mitt Romney. El es un hombre de grandes convicciones."
(Translated: "I want to tell you about my father, Mitt Romney. He is a man of great convictions").
And so says Craig Romney in a new Spanish-language campaign spot on behalf of his father. The bilingual Craig Romney, the youngest of the five Romney sons, learned the language as a missionary in Chile. The campaign also has launched a new website to woo the Hispanic voting bloc, which numbers about 31 million registered voters. The feisty new site is www.juntosconromney.com -- the address meaning "Together with Romney."
POLL DU JOUR
• 36 percent of Americans say President Obama is "very liberal"; 20 percent say he is liberal; 21 percent say he is moderate.
• 17 percent are not sure of his ideology; 4 percent say the president is conservative; 1 percent, "very conservative."
• 28 percent say Mitt Romney is conservative; 19 percent say he is "very conservative"; 24 percent say he is moderate.
• 23 percent are unsure of his ideology; 4 percent say Mr. Romney is liberal; 2 percent, "very liberal."
• 33 percent of American currently describe themselves as political moderates.
• 24 percent are conservative; 9 percent are "very conservative."
*11 percent are liberal; 8 percent are "very liberal"; 16 percent are "not sure" of their ideology.
Source: The Economist/YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted July 7-9.
• Hue and cry, yelps and missives to firstname.lastname@example.org
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