The Rushmore Report: What We Learned from the Sessions Hearing

Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions came before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He was grilled for about two and a half hours. In the process, he called criticisms of Russian collusion “detestable lies.” Democrats blasted Sessions for not divulging the details of his personal conversations with the President. Republicans defended his integrity. But what did we learn exactly?

Dr. Charles Krauthammer weighed in, saying that Sessions’ testimony “exposed the absurdity of the whole exercise.” He added that by Sessions stating for the record that he had no nefarious contact with the Russians, he continued the unraveling of Democrats’ case against Trump.

“This was supposed to be about Russia meddling in our election. Then it was supposed to be about collusion,” he said. “I’m open to empirical evidence.” Krauthammer added, “Trying to tag these allegations on Sessions is absurd.”

Still, Democratic Senators railed against the Attorney General for keeping his private conversations with the President private. Their hypocrisy is notable.

When President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice refused to even appear before Congress (May, 2017), none of them complained.

When President Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to answer Congressional questions about the Clinton investigation, (July 12, 2016), she said it was “inappropriate for me to comment on the underlying facts of the investigation.” And she would later refuse to answer the question as to who had approved an amazing $1.7 billion cash transfer to Iran (July 12, 2016). Again, not a single Democrat complained.

So this is where we are . . .

1. Still, zero evidence of any of Trump’s team colluding with the Russians on the 2016 election has been produced, after seven months of investigation.

2. Still, Democrats are claiming the Trump team colluded with Russians on the 2016 election.

3. Still, Attorney General Sessions has now appeared before Congress every time he has been asked to do so.

4. Still, Attorney General Sessions would not break the tradition that has been practiced for generations – by not divulging private conversations he had with the President.

5. Still, Democrats Susan Rice and Loretta Lynch have refused to even appear before Congress or answer any pertinent questions – and this will go unnoticed by fellow Democrats in Congress.

The Miracle of the Constitutional Convention

It happened this day in history, 230 years ago. On May 25, 1787, delegates convened a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States. George Washington presided.

Also known as the Federal Convention, the meeting lasted until September 17. The session was formed to cement the direction of the fledgling country, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from Great Britain. Although the Convention was intended to revise the Articles of Confederation, the objective from the outset, of many of its proponents, including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one.

The result of the Convention was the creation of the U.S. Constitution, placing the Convention among the most significant events in the history of the United States.

The most contentious disputes revolved around the composition and election of the Senate, how “proportional representation” was to be defined (whether to include slaves or other property), whether to divide the executive power between three persons or invest the power into a single president, how to elect the president, how long the term was to be, and whether he could stand for re-election, what offenses should be impeachable, the nature of a fugitive slave clause, whether to allow the abolition of the slave trade, and whether judges should be chosen by the legislature or executive branch. Most of the time during the Convention was spent on deciding these issues, while the powers of legislature, executive, and judiciary were not heavily disputed.

Once the Convention began, the delegates first agreed on the principles of the Convention, then they agreed on Madison’s Virginia Plan and began to modify it. A Committee of Detail assembled during the July 4 recess and produced a rough draft. Most of this rough draft remained in place, and can be found in the final version of the Constitution. After the final issues were resolved, the Committee on Style produced the final version, and it was voted on and sent to the states.

The miracle of the Constitutional Convention is that a group of men, with little experience is such things, produced a document that has guided the greatest nation on Earth for well over 200 years, with only limited amendments. Remember that, the next time a politician tries to circumvent this great document under the guise of calling it a “living, breathing document.” That is just code for “let’s ignore the Constitution for our own political purposes.”

The men who gathered 230 years ago today were statesmen and patriots. For them we should all be grateful – today and always.

The Rushmore Report: Seven Things You Didn’t Know about Ronald Reagan

Like none other, Ronald Reagan scaled the heights of both acting and politics. The conservative icon is still the man by whom all Republican candidates are measured. He served as President of the Screen Actors Guild during the golden age of cinema, and as the 40th President of the United States. But there are seven things you probably didn’t know about The Gipper.

1. Love for jelly beans

President Reagan loved jelly beans. During his tenure in the White House, the Jelly Belly company sent tons of jelly beans to the White House. They did this because their jelly beans were on display in all the meeting rooms where cameras were present. Talk about smart advertising!

2. Incredible generosity

While Governor of California and President of the United States, he received countless letters from constituents. And he read as many letters as he could. Often, he received odd requests for personal financial assistance. Nancy Reagan said he would sit at his desk for hours, writing out checks for $5,000 to people he would never meet.

3. He wanted to play baseball

Reagan loved baseball. He even dedicated May of 1983 as National Amateur Baseball Month, in an effort to get more kids out to play the sport. His favorite team was the Chicago Cubs, though he never got to see them win a World Series.

4. Reagan was a squirrel’s best friend

The president loved feeding the squirrels on the White House lawn. They became so used to him that they’d come right up to him for their daily treats. But when Reagan’s second term neared its end, he knew his successor, George Bush, was no fan of squirrels. So he left a farewell note in his White House desk, for Bush to pass along to the squirrels. It read: “Beware of Bush’s dog.”

5. Only divorcee

Throughout history, we have had single presidents and married presidents, but only one divorced president – until Donald Trump. Known as a consummate family man, Reagan had been married to Jane Wyman from 1940-1948, long before meeting Nancy.

6. Once a Democrat

Born in 1911, Reagan lived through the Great Depression, and was impressed with President Franklin Roosevelt’s compassion for the poor. Like most of his era, he pledged his allegiance to the Democratic Party as a young man, But by the early 1960s he registered as a Republican.

7. Biggest presidential landslide ever

In his bid for re-election in 1984, Reagan won the biggest Electoral College landslide ever. While winning 49 of 50 states, the final tally in the Electoral College was 525 for Reagan and 13 for Walter Mondale.

The Rushmore Report: America’s Top Ten Conservative Universities

Conservative colleges provide an important counterbalance to the liberalism that pervades so much of American higher education. For students raised with traditional values, entering the world of higher education is too often an alienating experience. But for conservative students, there is hope. These are the top ten conservative universities in America, according to the most recent research by The Best Schools.

1. Hillsdale College

Hillsdale is a private, non-sectarian, liberal arts college. It has a long tradition of patriotism. It was the first college in America to officially prohibit any discrimination based on race, religion, or gender. Hillsdale College does not accept federal or state subsidies.

2. Grove City College

A private Christian college, the Pennsylvania school seeks to foster intellectual, moral, spiritual, and social development consistent with a commitment to Christian principles. Grove City has remained independent of any government funding.

3. Biola University

Biola is a private Christian university located in the heart of Southern California. It describes itself as “a community where all faculty, staff, and students are professing Christians.”

4. University of Dallas

Located in the heart of Dallas, this Roman Catholic school is “committed to the recovery and renewal of the Western heritage of liberal education.” Regardless of their majors, all students study the great philosophers of history.

5. Liberty University

Founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971, Liberty has become the world’s largest Christian university. With a mission of “training champions for Christ,” the school seeks to produce graduates with the values, knowledge, and skills to impact the world.

6. College of the Ozarks

Situated in Point Lookout, Missouri, the Christian college is dubbed “Hard Work U” by the Wall Street Journal. The school encourages patriotic growth and requires regular chapel services for all students.

7. Houston Baptist University

Founded in 1960, the liberal arts university is tied to the Southern Baptist denomination. Its stated objective is to “provide a learning experience that instills in students a passion for academic, spiritual, and professional excellence.” HBU is home to the Bible in America Musuem and competes in NCAA Division I athletics.

8. Regent University

Regent is located on the Virginia coast, near Norfolk. It maintains a rigorous academic environment, offering degrees in divinity, government, and law. The school takes stands for smaller government and a strong national defense.

9. Patrick Henry College

A classical Christian college, the school’s motto is Pro Christo et Libertate (For Christ and Liberty). The small college focuses on the great books of Western Civilization. It does not accept federal funds.

10. Brigham Young University

Owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), BYU is the largest religious university – and third largest private university – in the country. Its conservatism is rooted in its religious heritage.

The Rushmore Report: Liberals Unhinged over Pence Loyalty to His Wife

Vice President Mike Pence probably wasn’t expecting to receive backlash when the Washington Post published a profile last Tuesday on his wife, Karen. The piece detailed the couple’s relationship and included a statement Pence made in 2002 saying he didn’t go out to dinner with another woman without his wife being present and that he didn’t attend events serving alcohol unless his wife joined him.

Though this honorable and respectful practice can logically be seen as refreshing in today’s society, which has divorce rates as high as 50 percent nationwide, liberals around the country and even Canada are attacking Pence for the dynamic of his relationship.

Friday morning, the liberal website, Vox.com, published a story called “Vice President Pence’s ‘never dine alone with a woman’ rule isn’t honorable. It’s probably illegal.” The author, Joanna Grossman, argued that Pence’s practice is illegal “sex discrimination” under Title VII with regard to employment law and a boss-employee relationship.

“The practice described by Pence in that 2002 interview is clearly illegal when practiced by a boss in an employment setting, and deeply damaging to women’s employment opportunities,” Grossman wrote.

“By law, working dinners with the boss could be considered an opportunity to which both sexes must have equal access,” she continued. “Employers are not permitted to classify employees on the basis of gender without proof that sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for a particular job. A Pence-type rule could never satisfy this test.”

Notably, the Vox.com article did not offer in support of their position a single instance of a court ruling that a rule like Pence’s constituted sex discrimination, in any jurisdiction. In fact, the only court ruling mentioned by Vox.com was an Iowa Supreme Court ruling, which held that an employer’s decision to actually terminate a female employee because of the employer’s wife’s jealousy was not sex discrimination under the law.

Vox harshly criticized this ruling as “absurd” but offered no legal precedent that would suggest that their bizarre reading of Title VII has been upheld by any court, or by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Not to be outdone, Ashley Csanady of the Vancouver National Post actually wrote, apparently with a straight face, that Pence’s care to avoid the appearance of impropriety with respect to his wife constituted an element of “rape culture.”

Csanady contended that while she believes the term “rape culture” is widely overused in today’s society, it is entirely applicable in this case.

“‘Rape culture’ is a phrase so overused, it’s become almost meaningless, like calling someone a Nazi on the internet. But it has a very clear meaning: the notion, whether conscious or unconscious, that men can’t control themselves around women because boys will be boys,” Csanady wrote.

“The explicit reasons for Pence’s restriction are religion and family, but the implicit reason is that he must avoid alone-time with women lest his stringent religious moral code fall apart in the presence of a little lipstick and decolletage. That is rape culture,” she wrote.

She ended the opinion piece in high dramatic fashion, attempting to connect dots with no real evidence other than her own assumptions.

“So, while Pence’s marriage is none of our business, his attitudes towards women are,” she concluded. “And if, in 2017, he believes they remain such fallen, lascivious things that he can’t possibly be in a room alone with them, it says less about his faith and more the fact he sees women as lesser beings.”

After the outrage extended to President Donald Trump for his derogatory comments about grabbing women, it is difficult to understand how liberals can muster the same outrage toward Pence for saying virtually the exact opposite.

About the Author

Sara Gonzales is a writer for The Blaze.

Inauguration Day – A Christian Response

Today is the day. Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Whether you supported Trump’s run for the White House or spiraled into major depression with his win on November 8, he is about to be your president. The question is how we, as believers, should respond on this historic day.

One of America’s most prominent ministers has weighed in with great wisdom. Dr. David Jeremiah, the senior pastor at Shadow Mountain Community Church, says he believes the 2016 election has been a “moment in history when God has reminded us that our ultimate citizenship is indeed in heaven, and not on earth.”

Rather than placing focus and inherent trust in fellow men, Jeremiah said he’d like to encourage Christians to look to God, asking for prayer for Trump and his administration, and expressing hope that God will have mercy on the United States.

“We pray that God might have mercy on our nation and that our leaders might know and fear Him, for as the Scriptures say, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” he said. “This is a time when we must hold fast to our calling to be good citizens.”

So how can we be “good citizens” on this historic day? I suggest we can do three things.

1. Pray – I learned a long time ago, I should never criticize a man for whom I have not first prayed. Pray for President Trump’s wisdom, inner circle, and total reliance on God.

2. Serve – Do your part. Do random acts of kindness. Make a difference in your own way. You don’t have to hold elective office in order to change your world.

3. Lead – Lead by example. Someone is watching you. While others are either blindly cheering our new president or outwardly hoping for his demise, stay on track. Let others see the grace and love of God in you. Jesus said, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

America’s Top Ten Universities

If you want to stir up a heated debate, talk religion, politics, or – alma maters. There are unlimited lists of America’s best colleges and universities. For our purposes, we consulted the current list from Forbes, one of the most respected analyses of American institutions of higher education.

Up front, I will offer one obvious oversight – Houston Baptist University. There is no better university in the land. HBU proudly affirms, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and has great programs in nursing, theology, education, business, and the arts. HBU offers graduate programs including a Ph.D. in Education. The Huskies compete in NCAA Division 1 athletics as a member of the Southland Conference. And HBU has the nation’s best president, Dr. Robert Sloan.

I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure out where I went to college. Having gotten that out of my system, I give you America’s best universities – other than HBU.

1. Princeton – The ivy-covered campus is a private institution, located in the quiet town of Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton was the first university to offer a “no loan” policy to financially needy students, giving grants instead of loans to accepted students who need help paying tuition.

2. Harvard – A private institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard is located just outside of Boston. This Ivy League school is the oldest higher education institution in the country and has the largest endowment of any school in the world.

3. Yale – Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University offers a small college life with the resources of a major research institution. Yale students are divided into 12 residential colleges that foster a supportive environment for living, learning, and socializing.

4. Columbia – Made up of three undergraduate schools, Columbia is a private school that guarantees students housing for all four years on campus in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood in New York City.

5. Stanford – The highest rated non-Ivy League institution, Stanford sits in California’s Bay Area, about 30 miles from San Francisco. They stress a multidisciplinary combination of teaching, learning, and research, and students have many opportunities to get involved in research projects.

6 University of Chicago – Situated in Chicago’s Hyde Park community, this institution offers a rich campus life in a big city setting. Since 1987, the private university has hosted a four-day scavenger hunt, regarded as the largest in the world.

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Though MIT may be best known for its math, science, and engineering education, this private research university also offers architecture, humanities, management, and social science programs. The school is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just across the Charles River from downtown Boston.

8. Duke – Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University is a private institution that has liberal arts and engineering programs for undergraduates. The Duke Blue Devils sports teams have a fierce rivalry with the University of North Carolina, and they are best known for their men’s basketball program, which has won numerous national championships.

9. Penn – The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin. It is a private institution in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Students can study in one of four schools that grant undergraduate degrees: Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Wharton.

10. California Institute of Technology – With a focus on science and engineering, the school features a low student-to-faculty ration of 3:1. The private institution is found in Pasadena, California, and is actively involved in research projects with grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Rushmore Report – The Ten Most Liberal and Conservative Cities in America

New York City may be less liberal than you thought. At least according to The Economist, which pulled data from an MIT study on how city governments reflect their constituents’ politics to produce a ranking of cities with populations of over 250,000. As The Economist asked, “Would people expect Washington, DC, Seattle, or Boston to finish first?” The answer is none of the above. Here’s the complete list . . .

As several articles have pointed out, the real takeaway was first called out by the PEW Research Center and then elaborated on by Vox: the most conservative cities are skewed toward being more liberal than one might expect. The how-much-wood-could-a-woodchuck-chuck way to say this is: the most conservative cities are not as conservative as the most liberal cites are liberal.

So here’s the list of the ten most liberal and the ten most conservative cities in America.

The Ten Most Conservative Cities

1. Mesa, Arizona

2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

3. Virginia Beach, Virginia

4. Colorado Springs, Colorado

5. Jacksonville, Florida

6. Arlington, Texas

7. Anaheim, California

8. Omaha, Nebraska

9. Tulsa, Oklahoma

10. Aurora, Colorado

The Ten Most Liberal Cities

1. San Francisco, California

2. Washington, D.C.

3. Seattle, Washington

4. Oakland, California

5. Boston, Massachusetts

6. Minneapolis, Minnesota

7. Detroit, Michigan

8. New York, New York

9. Buffalo, New York

10. Baltimore, Maryland

About the Author

Naomi Shavin is a reporter and researcher for The New Republic. Before this assignment, Naomi was a Forbes editorial intern and writer for various periodicals for Penn University.

10 Things Great Dads Do

Mark Merrill, of Family First, has given us some great advice for being a great Christian dad. With Father’s Day just two days away, I thought I’d share with you some of his thoughts.

1. Love your kids’ mother. This is the best thing you can do. A husband and wife who love each other provide a secure environment for their kids.

2. Spend time with your kids. How you spend your time with your children reflects what is important to you. No matter what you might say to make up for lost time, if your children feel you are not as concerned about them as you are with work, they get the message that they are not valuable.

3. Earn the right to be heard. That means showing a genuine interest in their views and interests. Children want to be led, but the successful father earns the right to lead.

4. Discipline with a gentle spirit. True discipline is a function of a father’s love for his children, which is why it should never be harsh.

5. Be a role model. Fathers are a role model, whether they want to be or not. Being a living example of Christ is worth more than anything you ever say to your kids.

6. Teach the lessons of life. For far too many fathers, teaching is something someone else does. But God has given you the first-line joy of instructing your kids in the ways of the Lord.

7. Eat together as a family. Most children today don’t know the meaning of a family dinner time. But this is your best time to be with your kids and listen to their hearts.

8. Read to your kids. In a world wired for sound, it is important that fathers make the effort to read to their children. Kids first learn by seeing, then by hearing and reading.

9. Show affection. Children long for a secure place in this fast-paced world. They find it most often in the warm embrace of a parent.

10. Realize it’s never too late. Some of your best parenting will come when your kids are grown. They still long for the approval of their dad. It is never too late to be a great dad.

America’s Top Ten Beaches

I love beaches. We used to live near Galveston, Texas, which boasts amazing restaurants, waves, Victorian mansions, historical sites, and the incredible seawall, built after the Great Storm of 1900. On Galveston Island you will find the most spectacular ice cream parlor ever – LaKing’s. There is no place like Galveston. But I’m biased. For a more objective view of the best beaches in America, we turn to the Travel Channel. And they have answers. Other than their oversight of Galveston, their list is hard to beat. So here you go, beach lovers. Enjoy the top ten beaches in America.

1. Manele Bay, Hawaii

Located on the island of Lana’i, this is considered one of the world’s most perfect stretches of sand. This is a mecca for snorkeling and colorful fish. You can see the rare spinner dolphin as you swim in water that hovers near 70 degrees year-round.

2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

This is the East Coast’s ultimate vacation hub. The town of Myrtle Beach is filled with summertime action. You will enjoy an extensive stretch of silky white sand, with abundant opportunities for fishing, swimming, sailing, and surfing. Some of America’s best golf courses are just minutes away.

3. Nantucket, Massachusetts

You will find a fairytale land in Nantucket. The blue backdrop of ocean and bay in a community full of white cottages and wild roses combine for a heavenly scene. The water is calm and you will not find a place better suited for making sandcastles.

4. Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii

Located on the Kohala Coast of the Aloha State’s Big Island, Kauna’oa Bay provides the most common pictures for postcard Hawaii. The abundant white sand, palm trees, and clear, calm blue water provide a natural draw for sun worshipers and water sports enthusiasts.

5. Clearwater Beach, Florida

Providing broad, sandy shores and beachfront hotels, Clearwater Beach showcases a narrow three-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast. The blue waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico are breathtaking. You will find dolphin-watch cruises, parasailing, and nearby aquariums and museums.

6. Coronado, California

On Central Beach, this 1.5-mile stretch is hidden behind amazing houses along Ocean Boulevard in front of the glamorous Hotel Del Coronado. This is the place for bodysurfing, boogie boards, sand sculpting, and whale watching. Dogs are welcome!

7. Cape May, New Jersey

As the farthest point south on the Shore, Cape May is the crown jewel of the region, with gorgeous beaches and a quaint town center filled with gingerbread Victorian houses and colorful bed and breakfast inns. Bring your binoculars for a view of the playful dolphins jumping in the water.

8. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

As summer approaches, crowds fill this area, but the eastern areas provide some relief. This is one of America’s true paradise locales, with soft, white sand framed by red, brown, and tan cliffs rising high above the shore.

9. East Hampton, New York

Listen to the roaring waves and pass the glorious mansions of Lily Pond as you take in one of New York’s prime destination spots. The picturesque town is a favorite with the rich and famous. Nearby is Main Beach, with more incredible mansions and great restaurants. Enjoy the locals’ favorite food – lobster rolls.

10. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

Stretching for 27 miles along the Outer Banks, you will find this skinny strip of barrier islands from Nags Head to Ocracoke Island. The beach’s hallmark is the sandy dunes and nation’s tallest lighthouse, towering 196 feet and accessible by a 248-step climb. But make it to the top and a breathtaking view awaits.