George Washington Turns 186 Today

If he had not died on December 14, 1799, he would be celebrating his 184th birthday today. On February 22, 1732, George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the second son from the second marriage of a colonial plantation owner. An initially loyal British subject, Washington eventually led the Continental Army in the American Revolution and became known as the father of the United States. George Washington’s legacy has endured a long process of untangling myth from fact. The famous cherry tree incident never occurred, nor did Washington have wooden teeth. Known for being emotionally reserved and aloof, he was concerned with personal conduct, character, and self-discipline but was known to bend the rules if necessary, especially in war. Although Washington was undoubtedly ambitious, he pursued his goals humbly and with quiet confidence in his abilities as a leader.

During this election cycle, Republicans are asking, “Who’s the next Ronald Reagan?” Democrats are asking, “Who’s the next John Kennedy?” A better question might be, “Who’s the next George Washington?” Let’s consider three traits demonstrated by our first president that we sorely need in national leadership today.

  1. George Washington was an humble man. In his first inaugural address, he said, “I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.” He declined “any share in the personal emoluments” or monetary gains for himself. Never intoxicated with power, in his second inaugural address, he subjected himself to “the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.” He could have been a king; he chose to be a president. The Bible says, “Be completely humble and gentle” (Ephesians 4:2). Humility was perhaps the most significant character trait of our first president.
  2. George Washington was a man of self-discipline. In her book, Meet George Washington, Joan Heilbroner describes a man of incredible self-discipline. She quotes him as regularly challenging himself, “Undertake not what you cannot perform.” He said, “It’s better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” No one farmed harder or fought harder than George Washington. He outworked his staff and outlived his contemporaries. Every day was filled with purpose. George Washington was the embodiment of self-discipline. Paul said, “God gave us a spirit of self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7), a spirit demonstrated daily by President Washington.
  3. George Washington was a man of high character. In 1788 he wrote to his trusted confidant Alexander Hamilton, “I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain the character of an honest man.” In leading the War for Independence, he extolled his soldiers to “display the character appropriate to Christian soldiers.” Though gifted as a leader, statesman, and military genius, what mattered most to George Washington was not to win the battles of war, but the battles of the heart. Paul told young Timothy to “pursue righteousness” (1 Timothy 6:11). That was a pursuit that filled George Washington’s life.

President’s Day was created to honor the first president of the United States. Was he our greatest president? The answer seems obvious; without him there would have been no others. So as we celebrate the man who would be 184 years old today, let’s do so, not with another statue or monument, but by committing to being the kind of people worthy of the sacrifice of the man who gave all he had to create a better country than the world had ever known.

The Rushmore Report – Lebron James vs Laura Ingraham

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham sparked nationwide controversy this week after telling Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors stars Lebron James and Kevin Durant to avoid discussing politics and to “shut up and dribble.” Liberals predictably decried Ingraham as racist, based on her comments, but she has refused to apologize.

Ingraham said, “The left and the media attack dogs can dish it out, but they can’t take it.”

On Thursday night, Ingraham aired a video featuring the NBA stars discussing politics and the state of America under President Donald Trump. “King James” harshly criticized the commander-in-chief, saying he does not “give a —- about the people.”

In response to that clip, Ingraham said, “I’m numb to this commentary. Must they run their mouths like that? A lot of kids and some adults take these ignorant comments seriously. There might be a cautionary lesson in Lebron for kids. This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. Someone gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball. They’re great players, but no one voted for you. Millions voted for Trump to be their coach. Keep the political commentary to yourself or as someone once said, ‘Shut up and dribble.'”

Not surprisingly, liberals accused Ingraham of racism. Others bemoaned Ingraham telling an athlete to remain silent on non-sporting news when she has had numerous non-political guests, such as Tim Tebow, on her show through the years. Lebron James responded with the following tweet.

“wewillnotshutupanddribble.”

But Friday, Ingraham pointed out several problems with these accusations of racism. She released a statement saying, “In 2003, I wrote a New York Times bestseller called Shut Up & Sing, in which I criticized celebrities like the Dixie Chicks & Barbra Streisand who were trashing then-President George W. Bush. I have used a variation of that title for more than 15 years to respond to performers who sound off on politics. I’ve told Robert DeNiro to ‘Shut Up & Act,’ Jimmy Kimmel to ‘Shut Up & Make Us Laugh,’ and just this week told the San Antonio Spurs’ Coach Gregg Popovich to ‘Shut Up & Coach.’ If pro athletes and entertainers want to freelance as political pundits, then they should not be surprised when they’re called out for insulting politicians. There was no racial intent in my remarks – false, defamatory charges of racism are a transparent attempt to immunize entertainment and sports elites from scrutiny and criticism. Additionally, we stated on my show that these comments came from an ESPN podcast, which was not the case – the content was unaffiliated with ESPN.”

On Friday night’s show, Ingraham echoed those remarks and added, “If you want to be a political pundit, you’re coming on my court, okay? Let’s do it. Let’s have a real conversation about black unemployment. Let’s talk about violence in the inner city. Let’s talk about all the issues like school choice. Let’s do it. Don’t think you’re not going to get criticized if all you do is a drive-by hit on Trump and say he’s no leader.”

Ingraham told her audience that she “called those remarks barely intelligible, not to mention ungrammatical, and the left erupted.” She added that she was “an equal opportunity critic” and that “race has nothing to do with it.”

On Twitter she invited Lebron on the show anytime to discuss politics.

About the Author

Timothy Meads writes for Townhall.

The Rushmore Report – Answer to School Shootings, It’s Not that Complicated

It has happened again. Fifteen students and two adults were senselessly murdered by a madman. It was the 15th school mass shooting since Columbine – on April 20, 1999 – and the most deadly ever. When the shooter (we don’t give shooters’ names here) took the lives of 17 innocent victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, he re-ignited the national debate on gun control and how Congress should respond to this growing madness. Are there arguments to be made on both sides of the gun debate? Absolutely. Will Congress finally do something? Probably not. But it’s really not that complicated.

First, there are several legitimate criticisms and things that need to be done – though none of them will really go very far to solve the problem. For example, in Florida it is legal to buy a gun at age 18, but not legal to buy alcohol until age 21. Should that change? Sure, it should. Congress should pass a national law restricting gun ownership to those age 21 and above.

Mental illness is a real problem. Should those who are mentally ill be restricted from buying guns? Or course, they should be. But keep in mind that about 70 percent of the American population is on mood-altering prescription medications. So determining who should be disqualified from gun ownership based on mental illness will be an unsolvable quagmire.

Should certain types of guns be banned? Or course. There is no need for Citizen Joe to have a high-powered weapon. But again, this will not solve the problem.

Here’s the reality – bad guys, by definition of being “bad guys” don’t obey the laws. Gun restrictions will be ignored or bypassed by those intent on committing such unthinkable crimes. More gun laws will do for gun deaths what prohibition did for alcoholism – nothing.

So what is the solution? Let me state one simple, indisputable truth, and then the solution will become self-evident.

Here it is – public schools are the most gun-free zones in America. Period.

In Florida – and across America – it is illegal to bring a gun on campus. When the crazed madman stepped onto the Marjory Stonemen Douglas High School campus Wednesday, he knew one thing was 99 percent likely – he would be the only person there with a gun.

What followed was three minutes of shooting. Three minutes. That’s all it took. Meanwhile, someone called 911, and the police were on their way. But here’s the thing – it takes three minutes to kill 17 unarmed citizens, while the average emergency response time for the police is five minutes. So the madman, on average, has all the time he needs to take out 17 innocent lives with two minutes left over for his escape.

So here is the painfully obvious solution. Allow school personnel to have guns – under very strict guidelines. For example, ex-military men and women should be allowed to bear arms. Teachers and administrators who complete a very rigorous testing process should be allowed to carry concealed handguns.

No one should know who has the guns, except the principal. But every would-be killer needs to know that schools are no longer gun-free zones. Right now, when the madman shows up at Campus X, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. But by arming those who pass background checks and rigorous training, a deterrent will exist that is not there now.

For any readers who oppose this idea, let me pose this question. If it was your child in a classroom, with only unarmed teachers and students, and you knew a madman was headed for that room with the intent of shooting everyone in sight, would you rather the teacher be able to defend your child or not?

Again, it’s not that complicated. We have tried gun control. Our strictest gun control zones – public schools – have become killing fields. Not allowing school leaders to be armed has proven reckless. Why not actually do something to protect our innocent children’s lives?

This very suggestion is being made this week in Tallahassee, before the Florida State Legislature. What state and federal politicians will do will rest largely on this question: Do we want to look serious about stopping the carnage, or do we actually want to save lives?

I repeat – it’s really not that complicated.

The Rushmore Report – President Trump’s Message to Democrats

President Trump went on a Twitter rage on Saturday night. His subject was mostly the shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida, that took 17 lives. While addressing the shooting and expressing his opinions on what could be done in the future, the president had a very direct message to Democrats – one they don’t want to hear.

This was the president’s message:

“Just like they don’t want to solve the DACA problem, why didn’t the Democrats pass gun control legislation when they had both the House & Senate during the Obama Administration? Because they didn’t want to, and now they just talk!”

As is usually the case, Mr. Trump’s tweet could have been toned down. But does he have a point? Sure he does. Under former president Barack Obama, Democrats passed the most sweeping reform to health care in American history – without a single Republican vote. They could do this because they had a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60-40, plus the majority of the House.

For two years, the Democrats passed every single law they introduced. But what was missing? Gun control.

On the heels of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, which left 26 dead, the Democratic Congress did nothing. They could have passed a ban on assault weapons, but they didn’t. They could have passed universal background checks, but they didn’t.

Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich (who is running for president in 2020 – ignore his statements to the contrary) said on Sunday that he has no confidence in Congress to do anything on guns.

“Do I think they can do something on guns? I hope they prove me wrong, but I have no confidence in them,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

This Congress can act, but it won’t be easy, as neither party can get what they want without buy-in from across the aisle. But there was a day – not that long ago – when Democrats had the votes to do whatever they wanted (as they did with Obamacare). They had a chance to pass gun legislation, and they whiffed.

On this point, President Trump is right.

The Rushmore Report – Is Ted Cruz Afraid of CNN?

If we had a comedy section for The Rushmore Report, that is where we would post this one. Last Thursday, the day after the Florida school shooting, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo called out Sen. Ted Cruz for “being afraid” to appear on CNN. There is just one small hole in Cuomo’s criticism, however. You can’t make this stuff up!

The same day CNN was criticizing Ted Cruz for not appearing on CNN, Ted Cruz was appearing on CNN. The fact is, CNN refused to air their interview with him, then blamed him for not coming on CNN.

I believe President Trump would call this “fake news.” I call it funny. It’s only offensive to those who still see CNN as a legitimate news source.

Here’s what happened.

Later that day, Cuomo added, “If Cruz thinks gun control improvement is not the answer, what is? Ask the question, Senator: what are we doing to stop school shootings? Don’t just say what won’t work, work to find an answer!”

The next day, seeing that Cruz and other leading Florida Republicans had appeared on Fox News, Cuomo tweeted, “What are they afraid of?” He called out Cruz, Gov. Scott, and Sen. Rubio by name.

This is where it gets funny.

Cruz responded to Cuomo’s criticism that he was “afraid of CNN.” Cruz tweeted, “That’s funny. I spoke to CNN for 15 minutes yesterday about proactive solutions to prevent gun violence (like passing the Grassley-Cruz bill – which Dems filibustered – that would add $300 million for school safety), yet CNN has aired NONE of  it. Why not air the (entire) interview?”

Cruz followed up the next day. “Here’s the pic of the CNN interview – a 15-minute exclusive given yesterday – that y’all still haven’t aired . . . while falsely claiming that I’m ‘afraid’ to talk to CNN.”

That night, Cuomo had to backtrack, admitting Cruz had indeed appeared on CNN, while he was ridiculing Cruz for not appearing on CNN. Then he mocked Cruz for appearing on CNN, but not on his particular show on CNN.

Let’s review. Sen. Cruz appeared on CNN. But CNN refused to air their own interview with Sen. Cruz. Instead, they let one of their leading anchors ridicule Sen. Cruz for not appearing on CNN the same day he appeared on CNN.

And they wonder why more conservatives are hesitant to do interviews on their network.

First Teddy Bear Goes on Sale

This month in 1903, toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom placed two stuffed bears in his shop window, advertising them as Teddy bears. Michtom had earlier petitioned President Theodore Roosevelt for permission to use his nickname, Teddy. The president agreed, and before long, other toy manufacturers began turning out copies of Michtom’s stuffed bears, which soon became a national childhood institution. Reports differ as to the exact details of the inspiration behind the Teddy bear, but it is thought that while hunting in Mississippi in 1902, Roosevelt came upon an old injured black bear that his guides had tied to a tree. While some reports claim Roosevelt shot the bear out of pity for his suffering, others insist he set the bear free. Political cartoonists later portrayed the bear as a cub, implying that under the tough, outdoorsy, and macho image of Roosevelt lay a much softer, more sensitive interior.

We all had stuffed teddy bears as kids, or in my case, a stuffed lion. I still have it. Why? Because it reminds me of the loneliness from which we all run. The teddy bear brings comfort and a sense of companionship, for which we were all created. Genesis says it is not good for man to be alone. Ecclesiastes said two are better than one and three are better than two. God allows you to travel difficult roads at times, but never are you to travel them alone. That is the lesson of the most rugged president our land has ever had. And that is the lesson of the teddy bear, who turns 113 years old this month.

The Rushmore Report – Can You Be Both Democrat and Pro-Life?

In Illinois a Democratic Representative is running for reelection. Normally, that would mean he would receive the full support of the Democratic Party. But there’s just one problem. Rep. Dan Lipinski is generally opposed to abortion. That raises the question – Can you be both a Democrat and pro-life?

Apparently, the answer is “no.”

A pro-abortion Democrat – Marie Newman – is running against Lipinski in a primary. The Democratic Party isn’t picking sides – officially. Chairman Tom Perez said, “One thing I’ve learned from primaries in the past, is that when the DNC gets involved in those races, then we sometimes get accused of trying to put the thumb on the scale.”

The problem with that argument is that Perez and party leadership have made it a tradition to always “put the thumb on the scale” in Democratic primaries – in support of the incumbent. The difference here, of course, is that the incumbent supports the right of the unborn – to be born.

Perez is attempting to sound inclusive, to keep the few pro-life Democrats that exist, in the fold. His past remarks make that difficult, of course. Last year, he stated that “every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable.”

So the answer is no, you can no longer be a Democrat and pro-life at the same time.

The Rushmore Report – Trump Tweets the Real Reason He Refused to Release Democratic Memo

The mainstream media got all fired up to see the 10-page Democratic rebuttal to the Republican memo that was released two weeks ago. The GOP memo showed that President Obama’s Justice Department abused its surveillance program to spy on Republicans. The Democrats tried to get their memo out. Trump blocked it. Why?

The president tweeted: “The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods, would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!”

Right on cue, the Democrats played their already-exposed card.

“Mr. President, what you call ‘political’ are actually called facts, and your concern for sources and methods would be more convincing if you hadn’t decided to release the GOP memo before even reading it and over the objections of the FBI,” Rep. Adam Schiff said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted Trump for his “hypocrisy.”

There’s just one problem with Schiff’s and Schumer’s argument. Of the 11 Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, all 11 voted to release the Democratic memo – after the FBI redacts sensitive material that would endanger national security.

Meanwhile, of the nine Democrats on the committee, not a single one voted to release the Republican memo.

Let’s review. How many Republicans voted to release the Democratic memo? All of them.

How many Democrats voted to release the Republican memo? None of them.

For Rep. Schiff and Sen. Schumer, the issue is obviously not one of transparency. It’s all a game – called politics. And it’s getting old.

The Rushmore Report – Mass Exodus from Blue States to Red States

While Democrats continue to claim that their policies are superior to those of Republicans, they have one overwhelming piece of evidence working against them. By unprecedented numbers, Americans are moving from Democrat-controlled states to those run by Republicans and conservative ideals.

The delineation is clear. Democrats offer higher taxes, more regulations, and resulting higher costs of living. What do Americans think about this? It’s obvious. Don’t measure their opinions by unreliable surveys – but by moving vans.

According to United Van Lines, the top ten states people are leaving include the following states, whose state legislatures are dominated by Democrats: Wisconsin, Ohio, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. The only red states to make the list are Kentucky, Utah, and Kansas.

And the top ten states people are moving to include the red states of Idaho, South Dakota, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Nevada, and Colorado. The only solidly blue states that are receiving significant migration are Vermont, Oregon, and Washington.

Last week, CBS in San Francisco reported that the number of people leaving the ultra-liberal Bay Area has reached its highest level in more than a decade. Topping the list of reasons: high taxes, stifling regulations, and high cost of living.

Further, the cities people are leaving more than any other are all in blue states: San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Detroit, Dayton, and Milwaukee. And the cities people are moving to are mostly in red states: Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Tampa, and Miami.

The American Legislative Exchange Council ranks states according to their economic performance. Eight of the top ten states are conservative, while only two are liberal.

Perhaps the most telling data that compares red states to blue states pits the nation’s two largest states against each other: reliably blue California and reliably red Texas. The Chief Executive Magazine’s annual Best and Worst States for Business surveys hundreds of CEOs each year. And for 12 years in a row, they found California to rank dead last in terms of states that are friendly to business. Texas, on the other hand, ranked first each of the past 12 years.

So which is the better place to live – red states or blue states? Based on any fair criteria, the answer is ruby-red clear.

The Rushmore Report – Kellyanne Conway Defies White House, Says ‘No Reason to Not Believe’ Rob Porter’s Accusers

One of the president’s closest advisers, Kellyanne Conway, broke with President Trump on Sunday morning, telling CNN “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper that there is no reason to not believe Rob Porter’s ex-wives, who claim the former White House aide violently abused them.

“In this case, you have contemporaneous police reports, you have women speaking to the FBI under threat of perjury. You have photographs, and when you look at all of that pulled together, Rob Porter did the right thing by resigning,” Conway told Tapper. “I have no reason to not believe the women,” she added.

This marks a clear departure for Conway from the president’s thoughts on the issue. On Friday, Trump suggested that Porter had not been given a fair shake, and that he was an asset to the White House, rather than addressing the allegations directly. On Saturday, Trump tweeted that men accused of sexual harassment and abuse should be given “due process.”

Conway did assure Tapper that the president is “very disturbed” by the allegations against Porter.

The interview marks yet another strange turn in the story of a high-placed White House aide – Porter – apparently forced to resign after his ex-wives brought evidence of abuse, including photographs and police reports, to the Daily Mail last week. As the story drew national attention, reporters questioned how much Trump administration officials, including Chief of Staff John Kelly, knew about Porter’s past. By Friday, it became clear that Kelly, at least, knew that Porter was having difficulty obtaining a security clearance necessary to work in or near the Oval Office because of the accusations of abuse. Rumors also began to swirl that Hope Hicks, Trump’s communications director, had run interference with Trump for Porter, with whom she has a romantic relationship.

Kelly has since said that he would gladly resign if asked to by Trump. Conway told Tapper on Sunday that the president still has “faith” in Kelly and has not asked his Chief of Staff to resign.

About the Author

Emily Zanotti writes for The Daily Wire.