The Rushmore Report: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Brady Bunch

Here’s the story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls. That lovely lady, Florence Henderson, or Carol Brady to my generation, died last week at the age of 82. That makes this a good time to reflect on the iconic show – and ten things you didn’t know about The Brady Bunch.

1. Florence Henderson wasn’t the first choice for Carol Brady.

Comedic actress Joyce Bulifant (Murray’s wife on The Mary Tyler Moore Show) was the first choice of producer Sherwood Schwartz. He envisioned a wacky mom-type, which fit Bulifant perfectly. But when Ann B. Davis agreed to play “Alice,” the wacky role was filled. A more serious person was needed to play Carol Brady, and Henderson was given the role at the last minute.

2. Henderson missed the first six episodes.

Sure, you see her now. But when they decided to give the role to Henderson, she was filming another project out of the country. They had to add in her parts after the other scenes of the first six shows had already been filmed.

3. Schwartz wanted Gene Hackman to play Mike Brady.

Paramount wouldn’t agree to a Hackman interview, because he was not seen as a popular enough actor for the job. Robert Reed was already under contract with Paramount, so it was less expensive to give him the role.

4. Eve Plumb should never have been on the show.

I’ll admit it. I was in love with Jan Brady. Sure, I was 13 and it was puppy love, but it was real to this puppy! But Eve Plumb only landed the role because of a bizarre set of events. In short, she got the role because she resembled Bulifant, assumed to be Carol Brady on the show. Had they hired Henderson first, Plumb would have never been on the show, and my first crush would have been put on hold.

5. Carol Brady was supposed to be a divorcee.

While Mike Brady was depicted as a widower, Carol’s pre-Brady marital status was a bit of a mystery. Sherwood Schwartz has said in several interviews that his intention was for Carol to have been a divorcee. (Her maiden name was “Tyler” and her married name was “Martin,” as revealed in the pilot episode.) But a divorce was still considered to be taboo for prime time television, especially for a family-friendly show, so the fate of Mr. Martin was always left a mystery.

6. The show was never a big hit.

The show never cracked Nielsen’s top 30 shows. But it did well enough to run for five seasons, which gave Paramount enough episodes to sell as a package for sydication. The show has been far more popular in reruns than it was in the 1970s.

7. Tiger met a tragic ending.

One evening after filming, Tiger’s trainer let the pooch out for daily exercise. But a careless driver didn’t see the dog. Tiger was hit and killed. A replacement dog was found at a local pound, but he was never the actor that Tiger #1 had become.

8. Marcia really took a football to the nose.

Christopher Knight was never able to hit his target when filming the crucial football-tossing scene in “The Subject Was Noses” (a.k.a. the “Oh, my nose!” episode). So Schwartz stepped in off-screen, threw a perfect spiral, and pegged Maureen’s nose with the pigskin in one take.

9. Six kids shared one bathroom with no toilet.

Toilets couldn’t be seen on television back then. So they didn’t have one.

10. Marcia and Greg shared romance.

In his book, Growing Up Brady, Barry Williams wrote that he and Maureen McCormick shared their first kiss while in Hawaii filming a three-episode story during the fourth season. A brief romance ensued.

From September 26, 1969 until March 8, 1974, ABC brought The Brady Bunch into our homes. No one was a bigger part of the show than Carol Brady, played by Florence Henderson. We will miss America’s favorite mom.

And that’s the story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls.

The Rushmore Report: The #1 Reason You Should Pray for President-elect Trump

Donald Trump has been named President-elect of the United States. Like it or not, he won. And half the country does not like it. Still, we are all called to pray for the new president. We are commanded to “pray for kings and all those in authority” (1 Timothy 2:2). And keep in mind, when Paul wrote that, Nero, no friend to Christians, sat on the throne. But what is the #1 reason to pray for Mr. Trump, and how do we pray?

Joe McKeever, a vocal opponent of Mr. Trump, acknowledges the call on believers to now pray for him. He suggests one overriding reason to pray for the new president . . .

So much is riding on this.

McKeever writes, “Donald Trump is weak. He does not have what it takes to do this right. But no one does. Please don’t miss that. No. One. Does.

Indeed, the job is too big, the pressures too great, and the needs too overwhelming. We need to pray for our new president for one overriding reason.

So much is riding on this.

Scripture is clear. “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself; nor is it in a man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). That’s why we need to pray for Donald Trump. He clearly has a propensity for “directing his own steps.” And that won’t work. A man who has said he has never asked for God’s forgiveness, Mr. Trump needs God’s direction all the more.

So much is riding on this.

Anyone can pray for those he supports and believes in. If you didn’t vote for Trump, pray for him all the more. Jesus said we are to pray for our enemies (Luke 6:27). For many of us who find some of Trump’s statements about minorities and women reprehensible, we still must pray for the new president. We as Christians can do this.

So much is riding on this.

Let me suggest ten ways to pray for the President-elect.

1. Pray for him to focus on God (Luke 4:1-2).

2. Pray for guidance and direction (Acts 13:2-3).

3. Pray for personal purity (Isaiah 55:6).

4. Pray for personal breakthroughs (Ezra 8:23).

5. Pray he has godly influence (Isaiah 58:8).

6. Pray for good health (Isaiah 58:8).

7. Pray for personal holiness (1 Samuel 7:6).

8. Pray for courage (Hebrews 13:6).

9. Pray for the compassion of Christ in his life (Matthew 14:14).

10. Pray for personal protection (Isaiah 58:8).

After his admonition to pray for our national leaders, Paul had a bit more to say to young Timothy. “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4). Paul said it. God inspired it. We, as followers of Christ, must do it. Every single one of us must pray for our new president. Why? It’s simple . . .

So much is riding on this.

The Rushmore Report: Government Waste You Won’t Believe

A $2 million study on how children don’t like to eat food that’s been sneezed on is one of the highlights of this year’s “Federal Fumbles” – a report on government waste released Monday by Oklahoma Senator James Lankford. The report, called “Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball,” lists $247 billion in wasteful spending. You won’t believe some of the things your government wastes money on.

“The American people have signaled a bold new direction for Washington with the election of President-elect Donald Trump,” Lankford said in a statement. “Although the federal debt wasn’t a major focus during the presidential campaign, it remains a serious impending crisis that must be addressed.

“This ‘Federal Fumbles’ report provides specific examples of wasteful spending and unnecessary regulations that are not in the taxpayer’s best interest, and shows specific solutions for how the federal government can become more efficient,” he said.

Other highlights of wasteful spending include $500,000 for a program that texted people encouraging them to not smoke, and $2 million in misused grants that included $1,000 for customized Snuggies.

The report highlighted the federal government spending almost half a million dollars on the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the medieval period, with $315,000 spent by the National Science Foundation to study how court rulings make people feel.

The report also found $1 billion was spent on hospitals and infrastructure in Palestine.

The report found that the total federal debt is now over $19.5 trillion and equals about $165,575 per person. It also projects that deficits will increase above $1 trillion within the decade due to America’s aging population, and will be approximately $594 billion in Fiscal 2017.

About the Author

Mike Emanuel is a reporter and writer for Fox News.

The Rushmore Report: How the Trump Win May Bury UFO Evidence Forever

Alien truth-seekers are mourning the fact that Hillary Clinton’s hopes of becoming the first female president of the United States have been dashed. Why? Because Mrs. Clinton had promised to open up classified UFO files if she made it to the White House. It seems Clinton had courted the UFO crowd for years. With her loss, the UFO mystery may be buried forever.

Clinton had wooed the so-called alien disclosure community for the past year after it was revealed that she and campaign manager John Podesta were ready to release any top-secret files held by the U.S. Government about the subject of aliens and UFOs.

Their pledge was closely followed by the Paradigm Research Group, a campaign organization set up by Steve Bassett, the only registered lobbyist on the UFO issue in the United States.

Mr. Bassett has been calling for an end to an alleged “truth embargo” that he and other UFO enthusiasts believe was put in place by global government to hide the truth about aliens visiting Earth from the public since the infamous 1947 Roswell UFO incident in New Mexico.

But now Mr. Bassett is hoping that Hillary Clinton and Mr. Podesta can still influence incumbent President Barack Obama to disclose the files and reveal the truth before he leaves office in January. A statement on the PRG website says, “There are 70 days left to persuade Secretary Clinton, John Podesta, and President Obama to engage the media on the extraterrestrial issue leading to a White House/Pentagon rapprochement and Disclosure under President Obama.”

In January, Mrs. Clinton said she also wanted to open up on what is happening at the mysterious Area 51 military base in Nevada, where UFO conspiracists believe evidence of alien technology is hidden away.

Clinton claimed she would “get to the bottom” once and for all of all questions and controversy over what the U.S. Government does or does not know about the mysterious subject. Responding to questions from a reporter during a campaign interview in New Hampshire, she said, “Yes, I am going to get to the bottom of it.”

About the Author

Jon Austin is a freelance writer in the United Kingdom. He covers science, nature, and the paranormal for the Daily Express, an online newspaper.

The Rushmore Report: What Will Hillary Do Next?

It has been three weeks since Hillary Clinton conceded the U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump – and what a three weeks it has been. Hillary supporters are beginning to recover from the shocking defeat, taking to the streets to protest and, as Lena Dunham said, organizing, rather than agonizing. But what of Hillary herself? After the Wisconsin recount, what will Hillary do next?

Clinton gave a speech at the annual Children’s Defense Fund gala, a commitment she’d agreed to before the election. In all likelihood, she imagined giving the speech as the newly elected president, glass ceiling shatterer, the person to give the U.S. its first female president. But that didn’t happen. Instead, Hillary spoke candidly about not wanting to leave the house, about curling up with a good book and her dogs. “Coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing,” she told the gala’s guests.

It’s still early, so we can forgive Hillary for retreating in an attempt to recover from the raw wounds inflicted by the election campaign and result. That said, many are now wondering what she will choose to do next.

In an interview with Zach Galifianakis in September, Hillary told the host that if she lost the election, she’d stay in the U.S. to try to prevent Donald Trump from ruining the country. Whether she does this inside politics is yet to be seen. She remains a figure of respect among Democrats, but may feel that she can do more from outside the world of politics.

The Clinton Foundation could be where Hillary decides to focus her efforts. Set up in 1997, the foundation has many charitable focuses and might be a fitting place for Hillary to focus her energies once she feels able. It might also be that she takes on a campaigning or consultation role in another charity or human rights organization, focusing her efforts on protecting areas she cares about, like women’s rights or disadvantaged children.

Another autobiography could be in the cards, too – Hillary published Living History in 2004, It Takes a Village in 2007, and Hard Choices in 2015. Needless to say, plenty has happened since then, and there’s more than enough material for a fourth book. We predict a bidding war like no other when it comes.

Like most towering political figures that came before her, Hillary may increase her presence on the corporate speech circuit, raking in millions of dollars. Trump attacked here during the election campaign for being paid $200,000 an hour to speak to Goldman Sachs execs (the hypocrisy knows no bounds) and this may be an avenue she chooses to pursue.

“Whisper it” in 2020. Hillary could run for President again. She will be 73, which means that if she were to win, she would be the oldest person ever elected to a first term. Unlikely, but not beyond the realm of possibility. It remains to be seen whether she’d be able to secure the Democrats’ nomination, though.

But no one could blame Hillary for retreating from the public eye altogether – she has made no secret of her love for her family: husband Bill, daughter Chelsea, son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky, and grandchildren Charlotte and Aidan. Perhaps she’ll indulge in being a grandmother, helping to raise her grandchildren in an ever more fearful world.

Whatever Hillary chooses to do, I hope history will remember her as an incredible Secretary of State, the first woman to win the popular vote in a U.S. election, and as a woman who fought for society’s most vulnerable. Or, maybe, just maybe, come 2020, the oldest person elected to a first term as U.S. president. As the past three weeks have shown, anything is possible.

About the Author

Cyan Turan is a featured writer for Hearst Magazine in the United Kingdom. She also writes for numerous newspapers and websites and is in the process of publishing her first book.

The Rushmore Report: Progressives Demand Gun Control After Knife Attack at Ohio State

You can’t make this stuff up. Following the horrific knife attack at Ohio State University (no guns involved), would-be Vice President Tim Kaine tweeted: “Deeply saddened by the senseless act of gun violence at Ohio State this morning.” Never mind, the only gun that was used was the one that killed the raging ISIS-inspired murderer, preventing the loss of dozens of more lives.

Still, progressives used the brutal knife attack as an excuse to demand more gun control, even after authorities declared that they had zero evidence that the attacker even owned a gun, let alone used one in the attack. But as is often the case, progressives, including the man who wanted to be Vice President, don’t let pesky facts derail their agenda.

An Ohio State police officer used his gun to shoot and kill the machete-wielding attacker, believed to be an immigrant from Somalia, inspired by ISIS.

Yet, in the aftermath of the rampage, the talking heads at CNN, MSNBC, and ABC didn’t hold back. Joined by progressive activists and celebrities, they spent the next 48 hours using the attack as a pretext for demanding stricter gun control laws.

Let’s be clear. The attacker did not use a gun. A good guy who did have a gun ended the attack. Therefore, guns are the problem. Am I missing something here?

Shannon Watts, who runs a gun control group funded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, claimed during the attack that America “gives dangerous people guns,” and intimated that a gun-free zone would have stopped the OSU attack. She did not explain why the campus ban on machetes did not prevent the attacker from striking and stabbing at least nine individuals.

So if a machete-free zone didn’t keep out machetes, why would a gun-free zone keep out guns? Actually, in the Ohio State example, it would have made things much worse. Presumably, the gun-free zone would have affected campus police. So here’s my question. While nine people were stabbed, several more would have been had the attacker not been shot by the officer. Which of the would-be victims, looking back, wish the gun had not been used?

Of course, the media is complicit with the craziness. Tim Kaine lamented the “gun attack” when there were no guns. Yet, not one report from CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, or ABC criticized him for his obvious misstatement. But if Donald Trump predicts the weather incorrectly, he is branded a liar, manipulator, and danger to our democracy.

From this, we learn two things.

1. Gun-free zones don’t work any better than machete-free zones.

2. Honest journalism in America is pretty much dead.

Mark Twain Is Born – 1835

He has no equal. On this date in 1835, Samuel Clemens, later known as Mark Twain, was born in Missouri. Clemens apprenticed for a printer at age 13 and later worked for his older brother, who established the Hannibal Journal. In 1857, the Keokuk Daily Post commissioned him to write a series of comic travel letters. After writing just five, Clemens decided to become a steamboat captain instead.

He signed on as a pilot’s apprentice later that year, and he received his pilot’s license in 1859, when he was 23 years of age. Clemens piloted boats for two years, until the Civil War halted steamboat traffic. During his time as a pilot, he picked up the name “Mark Twain,” a boatman’s call noting that the river was only two fathoms deep, the minimum depth for safe navigation. When Clemens returned to writing in 1861, working for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, he wrote a humorous travel letter signed by “Mark Twain,” and continued to use the pseudonym for nearly 50 years.

In 1875, Mark Twain penned what would become his most famous novel: Tom Sawyer. He followed that with Life on the Mississippi and his masterpiece, Huckleberry Finn.

So who was this one-of-a-kind man – Samuel Clemens or Mark Twain? The answer – both.

Most people haven’t heard the name “Samuel Clemens.” They know “Mark Twain,” the person Clemens became. The same can be said of you. You can be known for your past or your future, what you were or what you are becoming.

The Bible says we are new creations in Christ, transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The “old” you doesn’t need to define the “new” you. The choice is yours.

 

The Rushmore Report: The Man Who Can Beat Trump in 2020

Now that the 2016 presidential election is in the books – discounting the ridiculous Wisconsin recount backed by Hillary Clinton – it’s time to start the next election cycle. With the 2020 election a mere 1,439 days away, let’s look at the potential candidates best positioned to take the presidency from Mr. Trump. While there are several viable candidates looming, there is one man in particular that should worry Republican leaders.

It’s only a matter of time before some potential candidates stick out their heads to evaluate the competition – and not just Democrats, either. President-elect Donald Trump may have to fend off primary challenges, as well. Before we get to the one man best positioned to win in 2020, here’s a quick look at the other contestants.

Democrats

John Bel Edwards – This is the “bubba” candidate for the Democrats. The newly elected Governor of Louisiana is also pro-life. He is perfect to cut into the Republican base of pro-life white voters in the South.

Bill de Blasio – The mayor of New York City is a big-city progressive, just what the base wants. His problem is a 40 percent approval rating in his own city.

Cory Booker – The New Jersey Senator is the best chance for America to have its next black president. He can also rival Donald Trump on social media use.

Julian Castro – The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former mayor of San Antonio would bring more Hispanics into the party and perhaps even put Texas in play.

Andrew Cuomo – The attractive New York Governor is better connected than any other potential candidate. His strength will be in fund-raising.

Tulsi Gabbard – The Representative from Hawaii endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016. With his backing, and as the lone woman in the race, she could go a long way.

Tim Kaine – As the 2016 Vice Presidential candidate, he is expected to be a lead candidate early on. But Kaine will run into one problem. He is boring.

Amy Klobuchar – See Tulsi Gabbard.

Thomas Perez – As President Obama’s Secretary of Labor, Perez did an outstanding job. As a Hispanic, he could rival Castro for a growing segment of the Democratic base.

Bernie Sanders – Yes, he’ll be 105 on Inauguration Day, 2021. But his followers will “feel the burn” one more time. Sanders is the wildcard in the 2020 race. He probably won’t run, but if he does, he could surprise – again.

Elizabeth Warren – The early frontrunner is a darling among Progressives. But early frontrunners rarely win. Just ask Presidents Gary Hart and Rudy Giuliani.

Republicans

Ted Cruz – The “rebel without a pause” may jump in early, if Trump backs off any promises made to hardline conservatives. Trump’s best move may be to appoint him to the Supreme Court.

John Kasich – The maverick from Ohio never endorsed Trump; he would be on good footing to make an outsider bid. But his party loyalty may keep him from running.

Now – The One Man to Really Watch

Sherrod Brown – Haven’t heard of him? That works in his favor. Had you heard of Bernie Sanders before he ran? Sherrod Brown is the Democrats’ best hopes for three reasons . . .

1. He is a Senator from Ohio. No Republican has won the White House without carrying Ohio since Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860. Brown has won four statewide races in Ohio. If nominated, he will carry Ohio for the Democrats. And that makes it nearly impossible for the Republicans to win the national election.

2. He is a beloved progressive. Brown can garner the support of fellow-Senator Bernie Sanders. He is a populist/progressive who can run within the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

3. Brown can run as an outsider. Sure, he is a U.S. Senator. But had you heard of him? At a time when Americans want an outsider, he fits the bill.

So there you go . . . I am the first to declare the name of Trump’s greatest challenge in 2020. Does that mean the Democratic Party will nominate Sherrod Brown? No. Does it mean they should? Probably.

The Warren Commission

One week after President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot, President Lyndon Johnson established a special commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, to investigate the assassination – on this date in 1963. After ten months of gathering evidence, the Warren Commission released their report, concluding there was no evidence of a conspiracy, either domestic or international, in the assassination, and that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, acted alone.

The presidential commission also found that Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner who murdered Oswald on live national television, had no prior contact with Oswald. According to the report, the bullets that killed President Kennedy and injured Texas Governor John Connally were fired by Oswald in three shots from a rifle pointed out of a sixth floor window in the Texas School Book Depository.

Despite its seemingly firm conclusions, the report failed to silence conspiracy theories surrounding the event. In 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a preliminary report that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy” that may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime. The committee’s findings, as with the findings of the Warren Commission, continue to  be widely disputed.

So what happened that fatal day in Dallas, 53 years ago? In a recent survey, nearly 70 percent of the American people indicated they believe the Warren Commission had it wrong, and there were multiple shooters.

I have my own opinion. I’m sure you have yours. The fact is, no one really knows for sure. That’s how it is with life. Despite millions of hours spent by experts pouring over the evidence, despite re-examination upon re-examination of the famous Zupruder film, no one knows.

There are some things in this life that no one knows or understands. And that is a good thing. It serves to remind us that there is One to whom we can turn that has answers man can never find on his own.

The Right Book

There is one thing we all have in common. It doesn’t matter if you are liberal or conservative, tall or short, young or old. We all want to be successful.

Admittedly, we define “success” in a myriad of ways. But however you define it, you want it. We all do, and that’s okay.

I love to visit bookstores. I often find myself gravitating to the self-help section. On a recent perusal of a local store, I came across the following titles: Passport to Prosperity, Winning Moves, Good Greed, Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, Winning Through Intimidation, Cashing In On the American Dream, The Art of Selfishness, How to Retire at 35, Techniques that Take You to the Top, How to Get What You Really Want, and Secrets to Quick Success.

Who are we kidding? Even if these books worked, is there really anything to be gained by being selfish or rich?

Jesus said the dumbest thing anyone can do is to get lots of worldly goods, but lose his own soul. I found that in another book. It’s called the Bible.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).