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.

The First Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! They started saying that in these parts back in 1621, with the first Thanksgiving celebration at Plymouth in modern-day Massachusetts. They had quite a feast that day, bringing the Pilgrims and Puritans together. The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, precipitated the Plymouth event. The group’s charter from the London Company required “that the day of our ships’ arrival at the place assigned, in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

The day of national thanksgiving was later sealed by the U.S. Congress as set apart on the fourth Thursday of November each year. The original word for “Thanksgiving” actually means the malls open at midnight for Christmas sales.

Perhaps you are celebrating Thanksgiving today with turkey and dressing. Maybe family is involved. If you are a true American, football will be on TV for at least 23 hours today.

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? I suggest the reason is far greater than because it is a national holiday. We offer thanks because we have much for which to be thankful. The Apostle Paul said it best – “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Start today. Start right now. Pause and give Him thanks.

He Died Today

On this day in 1963, we lost a president to an assassin’s bullet. But we lost another great man that same day. His name was Clive Staples.

Clive was the most brilliant man of his day. He published nine best-selling books. In his honor stands a statue in the Church of England. He was a published poet, knew ancient Greek, and was a student of Irish mythology. He cherished his faith, along with his brother, who died young.

For those of you over 60, you probably remember where you were the day Clive died, because John Kennedy died the same day. It may have been Clive who had the greatest impact on his world, not Kennedy. The great theologian, philosopher, and writer still lives through his books, which are required reading in colleges and seminaries to this day.

Is it even necessary to give his full name? Surely you are familiar with Clive Staples. If not, I’ll throw in his last name – Lewis. C. S. Lewis – one of God’s giants.

The Rushmore Report: Sen. Al Franken Should Resign Immediately

Those popping sounds you hear aren’t light bulbs breaking as they hit the frozen surface of Lake Wobegon. Instead, that sound comes  from political heads exploding in the Democratic Media Complex. Because liberal Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota was exposed, completely, for what he really is by West Coast radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden. What does this mean for Franken’s future?

There’s that photo of Franken smiling and grabbing at her breasts as Tweeden, a former model, slept on the way home from a USO tour in 2006. Franken leered and posed, fingers spread on her, like some cartoon of a sex-crazed sixth grade boy.

“You knew exactly what you were doing,” Tweeden wrote in an online post. “You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping, and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later, and be ashamed.”

And just like that, the Democratic strategy to politicize sexual abuse and use it to beat Republicans to death at the polls must undergo a drastic rewrite.

So what do they do? Do they demand that Franken resign?

Franken and Democratic and Republican leaders want to send all this to the Senate Ethics Committee for an investigation. But there it will be lost in dusty vaults away from public scrutiny.

We already know what happened. An ethics committee investigation won’t tell us what happened. The only question is: What are Democrats going to do about it?

Franken apologized, says he’s sorry, says he respects women. But if he truly means it, there’s one thing for him to do: Resign immediately, disappear out into the woods.

It’s exactly what I recommended for the repugnant Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore: Take a long walk in the woods and disappear.

Republican senators want Moore to drop out of the race. But will Democrats demand en masse that Franken resign? No. They’ll want to study this, and spin it somehow, and mitigate differences between Franken and Moore, the former a simple creep, the latter accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. But all that is just playing for time.

And what will the media half of the Democratic Media Complex do?

Years ago many of them, particularly liberal pundits in Washington and New York, defended President Bill Clinton’s alleged assaults on women and dismissed allegations that he raped Juanita Broaddrick.

Leading feminists and liberal men trashed Clinton’s female accusers, because Clinton was their guy and he promised them what they wanted.

And what did a few women from Arkansas matter to the elite feminists of Washington and New York and Chicago and L.A. who were willing to forgive Clinton in exchange for a prize?

After all, Clinton was president. He promised he’d protect abortion. And they got what they wanted.

In recent days, though, as many on the left and right peeled (and rightfully so) the skin off creepy Roy Moore, an amazing thing has happened.

Pundits on the left began to wring their hands and confess their guilt about what they did to Clinton’s accusers.

It all rings hollow, of course, but there’s a good reason that it rings hollow.

It is hollow.

But without the icy tears of calculated contrition, they couldn’t proceed on the Democratic action plan.

Now the Franken explosion complicates that strategy, which only a few days ago was quite clear: Hound Moore as a monster, cast Republicans as either abusers of women or supporters of sexual abuse, and shame them, shame them, shame them.

And forge all of it into another Year of the Woman campaign to be used ultimately against President Donald Trump, whose history with women is ugly and boorish at best.

But now, that strategy – smelting gender identity politics with the real pain women have suffered at the hands of men – has been undercut.

And anything less than Franken’s departure from the Senate will be seen as just more political hypocrisy.

Tweeden, now news anchor on “McIntyire in the Morning” on KABC-AM in Los Angeles, posted her account and then talked at length about it.

She detailed Franken’s behavior, his grabbing and groping and aggressive kiss – actually more than just a “kiss,” during a USO tour before he was elected to the Senate, before he was a champion of women.

“Franken came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and . . . [we won’t recount the exact words here],” Tweeden wrote. “I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible. I felt disgusted and violated.”

Other women might come forward, accusing both Republicans and Democrats. Let it all come out. All of it.

This is what happens when the levee breaks.

And Franken, a comedian by trade, must realize that with the photo out there, with another accuser, it just might be time for him to exit stage left.

I can see him walking alone along the frozen banks of Lake Wobegon, laughing at his own jokes.

About the Author

John Kass is a writer for the Chicago Tribune.

The Rushmore Report: Look Who’s Running for Senate – Maybe

Mitt Romney is one step closer to replacing Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, after prospective rival Boyd Matheson announced Monday that he will not run for the Senate. “I have decided that I will not seek a seat in the United States Senate,” said Matheson, former chief of staff to Utah Sen. Mike Lee and current president of the Sutherland Institute. The decision opens the door for a political comeback for Mr. Romney.

Matheson explained his decision. “I will focus my effort and attention on the desperate need in the nation for strengthening and building leaders while advancing real dialogue about the principles and policies that will create a better tomorrow for America.”

Although Hatch has yet to announce plans to retire, multiple reports have emerged that he plans to do so. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is one of the most prominent names floated to replace him, along with Reps. Chris Stewart and Mia Love and Republican National Committee member Thomas Wright.

The former GOP presidential nominee moved to Utah in 2013, and has recently stepped up his fundraising activity for Republicans in the state.

“I don’t think anybody would beat Mitt Romney if he decided to do it,” former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz told Politico.

About the Author

Theodore Bunker is a writer for Newsmax.