- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Expect a rising buzz and bombast over “Clinton Cash,” a new documentary which debuts at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday and opens in the U.S. on the very eve if the Democratic National Convention in late July. But wait. There’s a sneak preview of the film for a very select audience in New York City on Thursday night, sure to jump-start the mainstream media narrative about the provocative movie. Sparks could fly.

Based on a best-seller of the same name by Peter Schweizer, the project parses foreign cash donations made to the family foundation of former President Bill Clinton and aspiring president Hillary Clinton. The film has much input from veteran producer Stephen K. Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News and the man behind 17 other films, including “The Undefeated,” a 2011 documentary about Sarah Palin.

Like kryptonite, “Clinton Cash,” has gotten some carefully controlled public exposure. There is a edgy trailer on YouTube, and a surprising review from MSNBC, which got an early peek.

“The film portrays the Clintons as a greedy tag team who used the family’s controversial Clinton Foundation and her position as secretary of state to help billionaires make shady deals around the world with corrupt dictators, all while enriching themselves to the tune of millions,” noted reviewer Dana Kennedy, who added that the film “powerfully connects the dots — whether you believe them or not.”

Mr. Schweizer himself, who appears in the documentary, conveniently sums up the Clinton’s modus operandi and his own take on it. “They created a model for massive self enrichment that allows you to go into so-called public service, but get extremely rich at the same time,” he says. “I believe in the oldest adage in American politics. Which is follow the money.”

CONCERN FOR A FIT PRESIDENT


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An outspoken Libertarian activist and intense fitness expert has wrestled with the presidential race, done a few bench presses and weighed in on the bout.

“Who is fit for bingo night — and who is fit for the Oval Office?” asks Michael Karolchyk, who is both muscular gym consultant and politically incorrect contributor to ClashDaily.com, a conservative news and opinion site. He is concerned that the high energy demands of the White House could overwhelm Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“Say what you want about George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But they were in good shape,” Mr. Karolchyk points out. “I have a great duty to my country and my readers to expose the truth on Hillary’s fitness. Sadly, my research has led me to conclude that Hillary should be in charge of her bingo card and not our country.”

TRUMP’S IMPECCABLE TIMING

He is a master showman, which could come in handy should he make it to the White House. Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump plans to let public anticipation and curiosity build over his choice for vice presidential nominee. He won’t reveal his running mate until the Republican national convention on July 18 — which offers plenty of time for delicious speculation.

Why wait until then? Mr. Trump was very clear about his intent.

“Because I think that’s traditionally the way it’s done, and I like tradition and I think suspense is a good thing. And honestly right now I’m vetting various people and I’ll make a determination before the convention, and announce it during the convention,” the candidate told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.

SOME TEA PARTY COMMON SENSE

The close encounter of the first kind on Thursday between Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan gets polite applause and some advice from longtime tea party activist Mark Meckler.

“I’m glad to see Trump and Ryan meeting. While they disagree on narrative, they can and should unite around a message that promotes the guiding principles of conservatism, which both at least say they believe in,” Mr. Meckler says. “Their methods for delivering that message will diverge, but the underlying narrative should be the same; fiscal responsibility, free and fair market capitalism, individual liberty, building a wall and stemming the tide of dangerous, illegal immigration and a respect for the rule of law, beginning with the Constitution.”

CANNABIS AT THE CAPITOL

Three Democratic lawmakers will herald the start of a two-day lobbying effort by marijuana entrepreneurs on Capitol Hill which begins Thursday. Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Ed Perlmutter of Colorado plus Denny Heck of Washington join the National Cannabis Industry Association for a press conference just outside the U.S. House to talk up policy and “advocate for fair treatment of the legal cannabis industry,” the organizers say.

The trade group is troubled that “legitimate cannabis businesses” often can’t access basic financial services. They take issue with cannabis business who must pay “double or triple the effective federal tax rates of any other industry.” They want marijuana “descheduled” from the Controlled Substances Act.

The old hippies of yore would be amazed at such things, but no matter. The association itself has a formal code of conduct for its membership and officers them this message: “Lobby Days provide the best opportunity to show our nation’s decision-makers what a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry looks like.”

POLL DU JOUR

82 percent of registered U.S. voters are “frustrated” with the U.S. government; 87 percent of conservatives, 82 percent of moderates, 74 percent of liberals and 87 percent of evangelicals agree.

72 percent of voters overall say the U.S. is headed in the “wrong direction”; 87 percent of conservatives, 69 percent of moderates, 45 percent of liberals and 93 percent of evangelicals agree.

45 percent overall would prefer a smaller, less intrusive government; 70 percent of conservatives, 44 percent of moderates, 21 percent of liberals and 64 percent of evangelicals agree.

21 percent overall want more government outreach; 13 percent of conservatives, 19 percent of moderates, 39 percent of liberals and 16 percent of evangelicals agree.

Source: A Barna Group Poll of 920 registered U.S. voters conducted April 7-14 and released Wednesday.

Howls, growls, glib talk to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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