- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It debuts in 1,000 nationwide theaters Wednesday: That would be “America: Imagine the World Without Her,” the unapologetic feature film written and produced by Dinesh D’Souza and Gerald R. Molen that offers rare applause for American exceptionalism.

The film had an exuberant premiere, and after party Monday night in Hollywood with guests that included Oscar-winning actor and “Ray Donovan” star Jon Voight, cast members, plus a host of impeccably costumed historic characters that included the likes of George Washington, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. A good time was had by all, a source says.

But a rough ride could be in store for Mr. D’Souza and company. Though some critics have praised the production values of “America,” an unfriendly press has already begun to hammer on the film, not to mention its makers. There are allies, though. Mr. D’Souza has already contacted 120,000 churches nationwide, urging the assorted flocks to attend a showing. The American Conservative Union has emerged to lend a hand as well.

“‘America’ has a real chance to help shape the future of our nation, but it needs your help to succeed,” the organization told its membership. “The progressive narrative about our country has dominated our discourse for far too long, and it is time for people all over the country to hear a different story: the story of American justice and freedom. This nation stands at a crossroads. Will we accept the narrative of American theft and exploitation, dooming our country to slip into decline and obscurity, or will we allow America to remain great, with the strength and courage to meet new challenges in the days ahead?”

ROMNEY STEPS UP FOR SCOTT BROWN

The big moment has arrived for Scott Brown. On Wednesday, he’ll receive the glittering endorsement and kindly nod from Mitt Romney himself as the sun sets upon a picturesque New Hampshire farm, a powerful jump-start for Mr. Brown’s quest for the U.S. Senate seat in the Granite State. On hand to help, and no doubt dressed in rustic casual: former New Hampshire House Speaker Doug Scamman, former Gov. John H. Sununu and State Senate President Chuck Morse.

But Mr. Romney, already cited as a “kingmaker” by several major news organizations, has done a little more for Mr. Brown than show up and smile.

“A fund-raiser hosted by 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney helped push Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown’s second-quarter fund-raising total to more than $2 million,” reports the New Hampshire Journal, noting that the mystery event took place in Chicago on Sunday night.

A CLINTON/CASTRO MOMENT

It is a cultural moment. Or something. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Juanita Castro Ruz — the Florida-based sister of former and current presidents of Cuba Fidel and Raul Castro — have a common interest. And it relates to 2016.

“According to the latest filings of Ready For Hillary PAC, the committee set up to support Clinton’s possible 2016 White House run, Castro is on the front lines of supporters backing Clinton’s presidential ambitions,” reports Lalita Clozel, an analyst for OpenSecrets.org, an online repository of campaign finance issues.

“She made donations to Ready for Hillary as early as January and February 2014, amounting to a modest total of $270 so far. But if the past is any indication, there’s more where that came from. Rejecting the Republican politics of many older Cuban exiles, Castro previously gave $13,700 to Clinton’s campaign and leadership PAC, mostly during the presidential primaries leading up to the 2008 election,” Ms. Clozel says. “She gave only $600 to support President Obama’s re-election bid in 2012.”

BUGGING OUT

Be prepared. Be very prepared. A veritable swarm of academes hopes to steer Americans toward eating bugs. Whoops. We mean “food insects.” Consider that crickets, they say, contain as much omega-3 fatty acids as salmon. The idea was presented recently before the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting in New Orleans.

“Insects require less feed, less water, less land, and less energy to produce and their production generates substantially lower environmental pollutants, such as pesticides and greenhouse gases,” says Aaron Dossey, founder of All Things Bugs, a source for protein-rich insect powder for commercial use.

“Some insects are as much as 80 percent protein by weight and provide more essential amino acids than most animal proteins,” Mr. Dossey declares.

But wait. According to Florence Dunkel, associate professor of entomology at Montana State University, 85 insect species in the U.S. are documented food sources — including locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, silk moth pupae and assorted larvae. People eat such fare elsewhere. Why not here?

“We have to overcome the ‘ick’ factor,” says Laurie Keeler, a food product specialist at the University of Nebraska. “It’s a cultural barrier that has to be overcome. We have spent a lot of time worried about insects getting into food; now we want to encourage eating insects as food.”

NEWS LAPSE ON VETERANS COVERAGE

The ever-fickle news media strike again.

“In May, Americans were horrified by the scandal enveloping the Veterans Administration and the media seemed to agree. World News anchor Diane Sawyer denounced the secret lists and substandard care as a ‘national outrage.’ But as the story grew and evolved in June, ABC, CBS and NBC seem to have already moved past the outrage. In June, the networks allowed a scant 30 minutes, compared to 180 minutes in May. This is a drop of 84 percent,” says Scott Whitlock, an analyst for the Media Research Center.

It is a very similar pattern to coverage of the Internal Revenue Service scandal, he notes.

“Journalists may not be interested in investigating the Obama administration’s culpability and response to this widening scandal,” Mr. Whitlock adds. “But the story is still ongoing and has real-world implications for veterans. Men and women who serve this country deserve tenacious reporters who will investigate what went wrong at the VA and why — regardless of how it impacts the Democratic administration in power.”

FOR THE LEXICON

“One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty”

— Feature-length documentary now in production from EchoLight Productions, which counts Rick Santorum as CEO. The film is due in theaters Sept. 1, addressing what were once American basics: “As our founders wrote, this is the freedom to exercise of religion, not the freedom from religion,” notes the film’s trailer, which also suggests that political forces are promoting “a sanitized corridor where no religious viewpoint can be expressed.”

Find the trailer here at Onegenerationawaymovie.com.

POLL DU JOUR

81 percent of Americans do not follow soccer when the World Cup is not being played; 87 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of independents agree.

18 percent of Americans follow soccer when the World Cup is not being played; 13 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of Democrats and 19 percent of independents agree.

70 percent of Americans overall say they are not following the World Cup this year; 71 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents agree.

30 percent overall say they are following the sports event; 28 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of Democrats and 28 percent of independents agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 990 U.S. adults conducted June 27-30.

Chortles, fly swatters to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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