This Day in History

It all happened in a day . . . November 30. How many of these events do you remember, that all occurred this day in history?

  • Earliest eclipse on record (3340 B.C.)
  • Second siege of Pensacola, ending with Britain’s failure to capture Pensacola, Florida (1707)
  • U.S. Senate begins impeachment trial of Federalist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase (1804)
  • Civil War Battle of Franklin, Tennessee; the South lost six generals (1864)
  • Lucille Ball marries Desi Arnaz in Greenwich, Connecticut (1940)
  • Civil War begins in Palestine, resulting in creation of the State of Israel (1947)
  • Only documented meteorite to hit a human directly, crashes through house in Sylacauga, Alabama (1954)
  • Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” is released; becomes best-selling record in music history (1982)
  • Official end of Operation Desert Storm (1995)
  • Exxon and Mobil merge to form ExxonMobil, the largest company in the world (1998)
  • Jeopardy Show champion Ken Jennings finally loses, having won a game-show record $2.5 million (2004)

Yes, a lot can happen in a day. How ’bout these for good days – the resurrection of Christ, the creation of the heavens and the earth, the Sermon on the Mount, the parting of the Red Sea.

It’s amazing what God can do in a day. And only heaven knows what God plans to do in your life – today!

The Rushmore Report: MSNBC – Funniest Fake News Ever!

For the past year, President Donald Trump has railed against what he calls “fake news.” And he has made no secret of who these fake news sources are: The New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC. Whether or not his claims have been valid has been a topic of debate. But what they just did at MSNBC removes all doubt. MSNBC just committed fake news in as clear – and hilarious – a way imaginable.

It seems the folks over at “Morning Joe” thought it would be good to be the only major television news outlet to broadcast a live show with their normal anchors – the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is a holiday. Viewership is always down. So while other networks ran out their “B” teams – consisting of lesser known anchors – viewers who tuned into “Morning Joe” were surprisingly treated to their top anchors: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Mika led with “Day after Thanksgiving! Hoo! I’m stuffed. I always cook the turkey with the guts in it!”

Co-host Willie Geist chimed in, “Joe didn’t notice. He ate the bag.” [Joe is married to Mika, which explains Willie’s comment.]

For his part, Joe even commented on how he enjoyed the Thanksgiving football games. Turning to guest Rick Tyler, he asked, “So how was your Thanksgiving?”

“Very successful,” said Tyler.

There was just one problem. The entire show was taped earlier in the week. MSNBC would have successfully carried off the charade – if not for a viewer. (Yes, they still have a viewer.)

An anonymous viewer noticed that this “live” show on Friday had no news coverage of any events of the past two days – most notably the terrorist attack on the Egyptian mosque. The viewer contacted the Washington Post, who reluctantly admitted the scheme by their related network.

An MSNBC executive confirmed the show wasn’t live. But, he said, “There was no intention to trick viewers. Would it have helped if there was a disclaimer? Maybe. But that’s not typically done.”

Actually, what’s not typically done is for an organization masquerading as a news network to openly and intentionally deceive its viewers into believing a recorded news program is actually live.

To quote columnist Timothy Meads, “You have to wonder, if MSNBC is willing to be dishonest about something as trivial as a post-Thanksgiving morning show, what else are they hiding?”

The Rushmore Report: The 20 Richest Americans

2017 has been another good year for the wealthiest people in America, as the price of admission to the country’s most exclusive club jumped by nearly 18 percent. The minimum net worth to make The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans is now a record $2 billion, up from $1.7 billion a year ago. The group’s total net worth climbed to $2.7 trillion, up from $2.4 trillion, and the average worth rose to $6.7 billion.

Here is the list of the 20 wealthiest Americans, along with how they made their money. Try not to be jealous!

  1. Bill Gates – $89 billion (Microsoft)
  2. Jeff Bezos – $81.5 billion (Amazon)
  3. Warren Buffet – $78 billion (Berkshire Hathaway)
  4. Mark Zuckerberg – $71 billion (Facebook)
  5. Larry Ellison – $59 billion (Oracle)
  6. Charles Koch – $48.5 billion (diversified)
  7. David Koch – $48.5 billion (diversified)
  8. Michael Bloomberg – $46.8 billion (Bloomberg LP)
  9. Larry Page – $44.6 billion (Google)
  10. Sergey Brin – $43.4 billion (Google)
  11. Jim Walton – $38.4 billion (Walmart)
  12. Robson Walton – $38.3 billion (Walmart)
  13. Alice Walton – $38.2 billion (Walmart)
  14. Sheldon Adelson – $35.4 billion (Las Vegas Sands)
  15. Steve Ballmer – $33.6 billion (Microsoft)
  16. Jacqueline Mars – $25.5 billion (candy, pet food)
  17. John Mars – $25.5 billion (candy, pet food)
  18. Phil Knight – $25.2 billion (Nike)
  19. Michael Dell – $23.2 billion (Dell Computer)
  20. George Soros – $23 billion (hedge funds)

The Rushmore Report: Why Did Trump Tell the Media to Go Away?

On Thanksgiving Day, President Trump did something he is not known for. He shunned media attention. When the media anxiously waited for his latest words and controversial statements, they got nothing. And it’s not that Trump didn’t have something to say. He did. He just didn’t want the media – or our country – to know what it was. So why would Donald Trump tell the press to go away?

It’s simple. He called some of our brave men and women serving overseas to wish them happy holidays and to thank them for fighting for freedom. But he wanted to keep it between himself and them.

“You’re very special to me and to everyone in this country, that I can tell you,” Trump told the five deployed units who were representing each branch of the military during the video conference. The troops on the call are currently serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, and aboard the U.S.S. Monterey.

“It’s an honor to speak with you all and to give God thanks for the blessings of freedom and to the heroes who have this tremendous courage as you do to defend freedom and to the heroes who have this tremendous courage as you do to defend us and to defend freedom.”

The president then asked the press to leave so he and the troops on the video call could have a “personal, confidential conversation.”

Following the call, Trump went to help hand out food to Coast Guardsmen in Riviera Beach, Florida.

Early on Thursday, Trump tweeted a Happy Thanksgiving to his followers, noting that Americans can feel content with the state of the nation.

Trump’s tweet read, “HAPPY THANKSGIVING, your Country is starting to do really well. Jobs coming back, highest Stock Market EVER, Military getting really strong, we will build the WALL, V.A. taking care of our Vets, great Supreme Court Justice, RECORD CUT IN REGS, lowest unemployment in 17 years….!”

Trump concluded, “God bless America and God bless our troops.”

About the Author

Cortney O’Brien writes for Townhall.

The Rushmore Report: The JFK You Never Hear About

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a man of many complexities. He was the first and so far only Catholic president of the United States. He continues to be the youngest president to be voted into office. (Teddy Roosevelt, a year younger, was sworn in after the assassination of President McKinley.) He was a Democrat who took a hard line stance against the Soviet Union. Let’s talk about the JFK you never hear about today.

President Kennedy simplified tax brackets to help the working men and women of America. In his Inaugural Address, he used the word “freedom” – a word embraced by conservatives – often.

He was everything America needed in the 1960s – and needs today. He had a refined attitude (rumors of extramarital shenanigans aside), he had intelligence, he had charm. And he had a great sense of American beliefs and American exceptionalism. These are sorely lacking in today’s Republican Party, if not American politics in general. JFK was courageous, proving it in World War II, and he saw America as courageous.

During his inauguration on January 20, 1961, Kennedy gave one of his most famous sayings during his short term: “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” The reason this short sentence is so prevalent in politics, and so memorable, is because it hit right in the heart of American pride. We are not a country, like the nations of Europe, where government takes care of us. The United States is not a nation of top-down power. We are not dependent people. We are free from government oversight and free as individuals. That is precisely the mindset that Kennedy believed, especially when tackling the Soviet Union’s aggression in Cuba.

He was also a president who recognized American ingenuity. As well as a nation of individual freedoms, we are additionally a nation of advancements in the world of science, medicine, and politics. No other line of Kennedy’s is more praiseworthy of this theme than when he spoke at Rice University in 1962. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things,” he said, “not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Though the moon landing itself did not occur in his lifetime – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in July of 1969 – Kennedy personified the hard-working, “can do” nature of America. He personified Manifest Destiny as it had never been seen before.

Kennedy was a president who both parties today look to for inspiration. Ronald Reagan quoted Kennedy often. He is arguably the last of the presidents to unite the increasingly divided platforms. Part of that, certainly, could be due to his assassination. Because of his tragic death by the hand of communist-sympathizing Lee Harvey Oswald, the American people have memorialized him as someone akin to Washington or Lincoln. But both liberals and conservatives, who are more split than ever, see him as a hero. That’s not to say everyone must agree with every one of Kennedy’s policies – even Reagan, after paying tribute to him in 1985, admitted that he didn’t vote for him – but we as Americans should see this man tackling a hurt nation still recovering from World War II, and wounded by problems with civil rights, with respect and dignity that he deserves.

“If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place to live,” he had said to the Harvard Alumni Association in 1956. Perhaps we need again a politician with class, with intelligence, and with a sense of American purpose to lead this country.

About the Author

Craig Shirley is a political columnist and noted Ronald Reagan historian.

The Rushmore Report: Just Released – New Eyewitness Account of JFK Assassination

On Wednesday, the Secret Service agent who jumped onto the back of John Kennedy’s car seconds after he was shot published his personal notes describing his eyewitness account. As the man with the closest view of the actual events, Clint Hill’s record is astonishing and raw. Following are some of the notes he wrote within moments of the assassination of America’s 36th president.

On that fateful day 54 years ago, Hill was standing on the lip of the vehicle driving behind President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Hill heard Lee Harvey Oswald’s first gunshot, and immediately saw the president “grab at his throat.” Without thinking, he bolted toward the president’s car from behind, but was unable to reach the president before the fatal shot was fired. He then used his body to shield the First Lady as the car sped toward Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

This is the exact account of Kennedy’s assassination in the words of the closest eyewitness.

November 21 (4:00 pm)

“Couldn’t transport Secret Service cars from San Antonio to Houston in time, so we had leased cars on 11/21/63. Rather uncomfortable, and not ideal for protection, to ride straddling the door in follow-up car.”

November 21 (4:09 pm)

“We saw a few protestors in Houston on 11/21/63. But nothing violent. No specific threats.”

November 22 (10:12 am)

“President and Mrs. Kennedy held hands at Carswell Air Force as we prepared to depart Fort Worth for Dallas. They were thrilled with the reception they’d received thus far in Texas.”

November 22 (10:58 am)

“Seemed ridiculous to fly Ft. Worth to Dallas, but political staff wanted arrival of Air Force One in Dallas. An exuberant crowd greeted President and Mrs. Kennedy at Love Field.”

November 22 (11:29 am)

“They were supposed to get directly into the car, but President Kennedy went to the fence line to shake hands. Mrs. Kennedy followed. The press went crazy.”

November 22 (12:19 pm)

“As we proceeded down Main St. in Dallas, the crowds grew larger. 15-20 people deep on each side of the street. People hanging out of windows, on fire escapes, anywhere they could get to have a view of President and Mrs. Kennedy.”

November 22 (12:27 pm)

“There were 2 motorcycle cops immediately to my left. The noise of the engines very loud, mixed with the screams and cheers. As we came to end of Main St., turned onto Houston, the crowds suddenly dropped off.”

November 22 (12:30 pm)

“The cars had to slow way down as we made the sharp turn from Houston onto Elm. Suddenly, I heard an explosive noise over my right shoulder, from the rear. I turned toward the noise. Notice the other agents are turning back toward the noise, too.”

November 22 (12:32 pm)

“As I turned my head toward the noise, I stopped when I saw JFK’s reaction. He grabbed at his throat and lurched to the left. I realized it was a gunshot. I jumped off the running board and ran toward the presidential limo.”

November 22 (12:35 pm)

“As I was running, two more shots were fired. Unfortunately, I was not faster than the bullets.”

November 22 (2:55 pm)

“The other agents and I carried the casket up the stairs to Air Force One as Mrs. K watched. We got to the door, and it was too wide to fit through the door … we had to rip the handles off to make it fit.”

November 23 (6:41 am)

“After the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, we returned to the White House around 4:30 am 11/23/63 with President John F. Kennedy in a new flag-draped casket. Mrs. Kennedy & me still in our blood-stained clothes.”

November 23 (8:35 am)

“The casket was placed on a catafalque in East Room & surrounded by Honor Guard. I went home @ 6:30 am. Shaved, showered, returned to White House. No time off. All other agents were w/LBJ. Only Paul Landis & me w/Mrs. Kennedy. There was no one to replace us.”

The Rushmore Report: What If Roy Moore Wins?

When Donald Trump appointed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General, it was widely assumed that his permanent replacement would be a Republican. But the scandals and allegations surrounding Republican nominee Roy Moore have challenged that assumption. It would be a stunning turn of events for a Democrat to win in a state Donald Trump won by 28 percentage points. If that happens, Democrats might win control of the Senate in 2018.

But what would it mean if Roy Moore wins?

A few things are pretty obvious. First, it would indicate that the Democrats have no realistic chance of winning anywhere in the South. The toxicity of the Democratic brand in rural states might also indicate problems for Democratic Senators running for re-election in West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and Montana.

Second, a Moore victory would be further proof of how little credibility the national media has outside the political class. Many who are troubled and offended by Moore are also troubled and offended by the apparently partisan behavior of the Washington Post. Why didn’t the left-leaning paper report Moore’s problems before the Republican primary? If they had done so, Moore wouldn’t be the GOP nominee and the Democrats wouldn’t have a chance.

Third, it would also show the complete rejection of the Republican establishment in Washington. Mitch McConnell and his team did everything possible to block Moore. If the tarnished candidate wins, it will be because running against both national Republicans and the national media is a potent strategy.

But the deeper implications of a Moore victory would be to again show that voters grade politicians on an ethical curve. No matter what the offense, voters assume that others in office have done the same or worse.

This goes to the core of the dispute between voters and the political elite. The elite view themselves as noble public servants whose wise leadership is needed to move the country forward. They believe politicians should be role models for society to follow. Most voters find such a job description laughable. Instead, politicians are generally viewed as mercenaries or brokers sent to do a particular job.

This was clear in 2016 when Donald Trump won 87 percent of the evangelical vote. It’s not that evangelical voters approved of his lifestyle or thought he was one of them.

Instead, they recognized that one of the most important tasks of a president is to appoint people to the Supreme Court. Many evangelicals believe that Hillary Clinton would appoint Justices hostile to religious liberty, whereas Trump had promised to do the opposite. In other words, they voted for Trump so they could get someone like Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.

If Roy Moore wins, it will be with the votes of many people who find him reprehensible. They will not be voicing approval of his behavior, but sending him to do a job in the political swamp. Some will hold their noses and conclude that voting for Moore is a necessary evil. They will vote for him to help repeal Obamacare, reform taxes, cut spending, and deal with immigration.

For many Alabama voters, electing Moore may be seen as a lesser evil than giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

About the Author

Scott Rasmussen is an American political analyst and digital media entrepreneur. He is the president of Styrk.com, a digital media company he founded in 2014. His political commentary is distributed through a nationally syndicated newspaper column.

Banks

A farmer who had experienced several bad years went to see the manager of his bank. “I’ve got some good news and some bad news to tell you. Which would you like to hear first?” asked the farmer.

“Why don’t you tell me the bad news first, and get it over with?” the banker replied.

“Okay. With a bad drought and inflation and all, I won’t be able to pay anything on my mortgage this year, either on the principal or the interest.”

“Well, that is pretty bad,” said the banker.

“It gets worse,” the farmer continued. “I also won’t be able to pay anything on the loan you gave me for that great machinery I bought.”

“Wow, is that ever bad!” said the banker.

“It’s worse than that. You remember I also borrowed money to buy seed and fertilizer and other supplies? Well, I can’t pay anything on those things, either.”

The banker said, “That’s enough! Tell me what the good news is.”

“The good news,” replied the farmer, “is that I intend to keep on doing business with you.”

You and I have the greatest Banker in the universe. Despite our defaults and faults, debts and moral bankruptcies, he still does business with us.

The Great Portuguese Discovery – 497 Days Ago Today

Okay, let’s take a shot at a history question. For whom did they name the Strait of Magellan? I’ll give you a hint. We have his picture here. Was it . . .

A. Columbus

B. Magellan

C. George Strait

I’ll go ahead and remove the suspense. The correct answer is Magellan.

Born to a wealthy Portuguese family in 1480, Magellan became a skilled sailor and naval officer. He would eventually be picked by King Charles I of Spain to lead a search for a westward route to the Spice Islands. Commanding a fleet of five vessels, he headed south through the Atlantic Ocean to Patagonia, passing through what would become known as the Strait of Magellan.

What he found on the other side, he called the “Peaceful Sea.” We call it the Pacific Ocean. Despite a series of storms and mutinies, the expedition reached the Spice Islands a year later, and returned home via the Indian Ocean. This completed the first trip around the earth.

Unfortunately for Magellan, he did not complete the voyage himself, as he was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines in early 1521.

It was on this day in history – November 28, 1520 – that three of Magellan’s ships passed South America into the Pacific Ocean. Was this by design? Of course not. Magellan had little idea what lay ahead when he set out across the Atlantic Ocean. But his was an exercise in vision and perseverance.

Magellan did what no one had done before. For that he has a strait named after him. Not many of us can say that. But it came at a high price. Magellan would not live long enough to see his name on an elementary school globe. Nor would he live long enough to make it back home.

Life is a lot like that. As with the great Portuguese explorer, we often don’t live to see the fruits of our labor. But if we pay the price of vision and perseverance, results will come.

We aren’t called to know what lays ahead. But we are called to set sail. You may never discover an oceanic passageway. You may not even have a strait named after you. But you will go places you never imagined.

It’s time to set sail.

A Matter of Perspective

Sugar Ray Leonard was one of the greats of boxing. He was asked to speak to the intellectual crowd of Harvard.

“I consider myself blessed. I consider you blessed. We’ve all been blessed with God-given talents. Some of you have the talent to create rockets that will inhabit the universe. Others can cure disease. My God-given talent happens to be beating people up.”

That’s an interesting perspective.

Agatha Christie once offered this perspective on marriage. “An archaeologist is the best husband a wife can have. The older she gets, the more interesting she will be to him.”

The great Picasso once asked his friend Rodin if he liked Picasso’s latest painting that was yet unsigned. Rodin studied the painting from all directions and, only after careful deliberation answered Picasso. “Whatever else you do, sign it. If you do that, we will know which way to hold it.”

God has signed his handiwork with a sunrise, a rainbow, a gentle breeze. But until you recognize the hand of God, you will never know which way is up.

The Old Testament tells us of a man named Ahithophel, who killed himself simply because he never discovered the right perspective. Only a close walk with the Creator can give you the perspective you really need.