The Rushmore Report: Congressional Black Caucus Rejects Meeting with Trump; Blames Him for Not Meeting with Them

Since his election nearly one year ago, the Congressional Black Caucus has blamed President Trump for refusing to consider their concerns. In response, Trump invited all 49 members to dinner with him at the White House – just him and them. So they are demonstrating their frustration with Trump’s disinterest in meeting with them by rejecting his offer to meet with them. Does this not sound just a little bit disingenuous?

In a letter posted on Twitter, the caucus said it wouldn’t “be a part of Trump’s social gathering.”

Here’s the simple explanation. If the 49 liberal Congressmen agreed to meet with the president, it would hurt them in two ways.

1. They could no longer whine that Trump won’t listen to their concerns.

2. That would require all 49 members spending time working on actual issues – when they could better use their time bashing conservative policies and cry for a return to the glory days of President Obama – days of record black unemployment, record numbers of blacks on food stamps and record low home ownership among blacks.

Ah . . . the good ‘ol days. At no point in the Obama years was unemployment as low as it is right now. Still, the black caucus says it is Trump who wants to kill jobs for black Americans.

But I am digressing into the meaningless babble of actual policies and legislation.

The chair of the caucus, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), responded to Trump’s invitation: “It has become abundantly clear that a conversation with the entire CBC would not be productive. The CBC, and the millions of people we represent, have a lot to lose under your Administration. I fail to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for.”

Amazingly, the same Congressional Black Caucus applauded Obama’s decision to meet with Iranian leaders and has called on American presidents to meet with the president of North Korea.

So let’s review, without commentary on my part. This is what we know.

1. The Congressional Black Caucus complains that President Trump doesn’t want to hear their concerns.

2. President Trump invited all 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus to the White House so he could hear their concerns.

3. The Congressional Black Caucus refused the President’s invitation to meet with him in the White House.

4. The Congressional Black Caucus says it is Trump’s fault they don’t all get together.

5. The Congressional Black Caucus – seeing no need for them to meet with Trumpt – calls on Trump to meet with avowed terrorists (Iran, North Korea) who seek the destruction of America.

So – the CBC won’t sit down with President Trump, but they are critical of him for not sitting down with the leaders of Iran and North Korea.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

The Rushmore Report: Chick-fil-A Hosts Displaced Church in Virginia

Chick-fil-A is opening up a Virginia branch of their restaurant to host a church congregation that has been displaced. The White Oak Community Church recently arrived at their usual place of worship to be informed that the hotel could not host their weekly gatherings due to “building issues.” So, Chick-fil-A stepped in. The family friendly company has once again solidified its standing within the faith community.

A church member phoned her friend who managed the restaurant premises, when the need arose. “They are NOT open for business,” the church clarified in a subsequent Facebook post. “They have simply agreed to let us use their space for worship this week.”

Lead Pastor Dave Wilde, a veteran of the Marine Corp., also shared his appreciation for Chick-fil-A and its manager, sending a “huge thank you to Greg Williams and Chick-fil-A for graciously agreeing to host us next Sunday,” according to Fox News.

“If you’re a current or future attender, and you always wanted to worship in a restaurant setting, this is your lucky day.”

About the Author

Will Maule is a writer and editor of HelloChristian.com.

The Rushmore Report: Actors You Didn’t Know Were Religious

In the glitzy world of Hollywood, it’s easy to get caught up in all things worldly. From competing for the best dressed title on the red carpet to going for plastic surgery every other month, actors tend to be self-serving and self-aware. Many live compromised lives, filled with controversy. Few have time for faith. But there are some exceptions. Here are ten Hollywood actors whose faith is central to their lives.

1. Katherine Heigl

Fans of Grey’s Anatomy know Heigl as Dr. Izzie Stevens. She is an active Mormon who lives according to her faith. As such, Heigl did not live with her future husband, as most stars would. She considers marriage a sacred bond before God.

2. Steven Colbert

A Roman Catholic, despite his active schedule, the late-night comedian remains determined to continue practicing his faith and instilling it in his children. He is a regular church attender and sometimes even teaches Sunday School classes.

3. Steven Seagal

The action star and martial arts expert has always stood out in Hollywood because of his distinctive looks. While his parents are Jewish, he has Mongolian ancestry. Seagal is a practicing Buddhist.

4. Stephen Baldwin

The Baldwin brothers are an integral part of Hollywood, as the band of brothers are composed of four well-known actors. But unlike his brothers, Stephen is an active evangelical Christian.

5. Angela Bassett

Best known for her role as Tina Turner in the film What’s Love Got to Do with It, Bassett received critical acclaim for her performance. Avoiding the limelight, Bassett is a committed Christian.

6. Mario Lopez

A Roman Catholic, Lopez is fairly private about his faith. He attends church every week, often going by himself. He says church provides close communion with God.

7. Natalie Portman

A converted Jew, the famous actress is raising her son according to her faith. As she considers having more children, she is on record as saying they will all be raised Jewish.

8. Angus T. Jones

Playing many diverse roles, the young actor is one of the few actors who is a practicing Seventh Day Adventist. Not much more is known about Jones’ faith.

9. Alice Cooper

Yes, I said Alice Cooper. He is the ultimate example of why we must not judge a person by his looks. Cooper credits his born-again faith with helping him to overcome alcohol addiction.

10. Mark Wahlberg

As a rapper in his younger years, Wahlberg had multiple run-ins with the law. He has battled drug addiction, and once ended up in jail. It was then that he returned to the faith of his childhood. Now a devout Catholic, Wahlberg takes his wife and four kids to church with him every Sunday.

The Rushmore Report: Jimmy Fallon Defends Choice to not Join Anti-Trump Bandwagon

NBC’s Jimmy Fallon is defending his decision to keep his show from becoming an anti-Trump crusade like other late night hosts have, saying many of the president’s words and actions are just “too serious” for joke fodder. “With Trump, it’s just like every day’s a new thing. He gives a lot of material. A lot of stuff is hard to even make a joke about,” Fallon said on the Today Show. But he didn’t stop there.

To be sure, several late-night TV hosts have, since essentially the start of Trump’s winning his 2016 White House bid, made attacking and satirizing the president a big part of their monologues. Among them are Steven Colbert, host of CBS’s Late Show, and Jimmy Kimmel, of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!

But while Colbert has long been associated with political satire, including his days with Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, Kimmel appears to have only recently seized on the anti-Trump movement, which has coincided with a ratings spike.

However, the decision by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to not get on the anti-Trump bandwagon appears to have hurt the show’s ratings.

Fallon was number two to start the fall season, behind Colbert and ahead of Kimmel. Aside from losing the top spot, his viewership is down by 31 percent from a year ago, according to the most recent numbers published by Hollywood Reporter.

None of this is surprising. Late-night “comedians” have become an extension of the network they represent, and therefore the bias of that network. Fallon is to be commended for not piling on, for remaining a real comedian, and for a sense of fair play. But while this makes him more of a true journalist than many who sit in the nightly anchor chairs of evening news broadcasts, this balanced approach will not endear Fallon to his bosses – the same network who refused to even cover the Harvey Weinstein story for over a year.

As for me, I like Jimmy Fallon – not just because he is less biased then Colbert or Kimmel – but because he is actually funny. There was a time in late-night comedy when that counted for something.

The Rushmore Report: Al Michaels Made This Joke During NFL Game – No One Is Laughing

A number of NFL fans were outraged Sunday night, but not because the players were kneeling during the national anthem. This week, their displeasure was directed at NBC sportscaster Al Michaels, who made an off-color joke during a game between the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos. It happened in the third quarter. And what the iconic sportscaster said has brought widespread condemnation.

Michaels threw out this bit of commentary: “Let’s face it, the Giants are coming off a worse week than Harvey Weinstein, and they’re up by 14 points.”

Later in the game, Michaels  apologized for the joke. “Sorry I made a reference earlier before. I tried to be a little flip about somebody obviously very much in the news all over the country,” he said. “It was not meant in that manner. So, my apologies. And we’ll just leave it at that.”

But that didn’t stop viewers from tearing into the sportscaster on Twitter.

Commentator Mike Freeman wrote, “Did Al Michaels just really say that?” Doug Farrar added, “Al Michaels is probably the best play-by-play guy in history. But that was a big, big lapse in judgment.”

Was this really a “big lapse in judgment”? Or are people overreacting – as is so often the case these days? Time will tell. What is certain, however, is that we live in a time when people are judged more by the words they say than by the actions they take.

In the future, expect Al Michaels to stick with his script.

About the Author

Erika Haas is a new contributor for Townhall and a recent graduate of Syracuse University.

The Rushmore Report: Three Democrats Who May Run for President in 2020 – Who You’ve Never Heard Of

With the 2016 election just 11 months old, the 2020 election is already making news. President Trump filed re-election paperwork on Inauguration Day. And now several Democrats are making noise about running, as well. With Trump’s approval ratings mired in the 30s, there will be almost no limit to the number of Democrats who will jump into the race. There will be the usual suspects: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, and yes, Hillary Clinton. But let’s consider some others who may surprise. Here are three Democrats who may run for president – who you’ve probably never heard of.

1. John Delaney

At this point, Rep. John Delaney of Maryland is the only serious declared Democratic candidate for office. Elected to Congress in 2012, Delaney announced his intent to run for president in July. For most outside his district or immediate family, they had not heard of Mr. Delaney. His district stretches from the D.C. suburbs to western Maryland, which is a more conservative area of the state. In announcing his candidacy, Delaney said, “To do this work with the commitment it deserves, I will not be running for re-election to the House of Representatives. No games, no cat-and-mouse, no backup plan at the 11th hour if a focus group goes badly.”

2. Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is another contender whose name has been floated for both California governor and U.S. president. His term doesn’t end until 2022, but in an interview with the Los Angeles Times last week, he didn’t rule out the possibility of running for either. He said only that he is “committed to the people of Los Angeles.”

3. Seth Moulton

Just 38 years of age, Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts would be the youngest Democratic candidate. He would be 41 on Inauguration Day of 2021. A former Marine Corps officer and graduate of Harvard Business School, Moulton serves on the House Budget Committee and is a ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Moulton has said he wants to see new Democratic leadership before the 2018 elections. While some insiders have already approached him about running, he says he probably won’t run. Which means he probably will run.

The Rushmore Report: How Many Americans Can Name the Three Branches of Government?

I’ve long been convinced that an under-explored element of our deteriorating national discourse and paralyzing partisan tribalism is a creeping public ignorance about fundamental civics. How can we keep this republic if a rising percentage of its citizenry is unfamiliar with the core functions and structures of said republic? Yet, recent surveys confirm an amazing ignorance on the part of the American people.

A recent public opinion survey shows that 37 percent could not name a single component of the First Amendment. “Free speech” seems like it would be a layup, but only half knew it was a part of the First Amendment. Fewer than half knew the Amendment covered the freedom of religion and press.

Only 26 percent can name the three branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative). For the record, conservatives are much more likely to know the branches of government than liberals.

Amazingly, there are more Americans who can name none of the three branches than those who can name all three.

America, we have a problem.

About the Author

Guy Benson writes for TownHall.

The Rushmore Report: Why This Isn’t the Time to Talk Gun Control

In the aftermath of last week’s massacre outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, the political actors didn’t waste a second before launching into fresh calls for gun control. “If we don’t talk about it now, then when?” asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Of course, the immediate days following such an event are the days when public opinion sways toward more gun control laws. But this is actually not a good time to talk gun control. I offer five reasons why this is true.

1. Legislation should be proactive, not reactive.

Congress is good at chasing shiny objects. But with healthcare, tax reform, Iran, North Korea, immigration, and border security still unresolved – and with over 200 laws still waiting on the Senate to wake up to their Constitutional duties – this is not the time for a whole new debate that will have no end. Gun control legislation should result from regular order, not disorder. To let a madman dictate when Congress acts makes no sense.

2. The shooter’s motives remain unknown.

Any response to the recent shooting must therefore be rooted in what we know from said shooting. And so far, we don’t know much. Why did he do it? What were his motives? With whom – if anybody – was he working? Was this an act of terror? As Ben Shapiro writes, “The jump to making policy based off such lack of information is stunning.”

3. How the shooter acquired his weapons is still unknown.

We know some things, but not much. Before we run off down the pathway of gun restrictions – in response to this event – we must ask ourselves, “Would this new legislation even have mattered in this case?” If new laws are not being put in place in response to this shooting, what is the rush? And before we go crazy over the man’s guns, keep in mind, he passed all FBI background checks. As Charles Cooke of National Review points out, legal automatic weapons have been used in a grand total of three crimes since 1934.

4. Making policy in response to horror is not well considered.

Good policy is good policy regardless of timing and bad policy is bad policy regardless of timing. It’s human nature – when something tragic occurs, we want to do something – anything. We heard from gun control advocates after Sandy Hook, Pulse, Virginia Tech, and Columbine. But passion does not make for good policy. We must lead with “How will this legislation actually change anything?” rather than “We just need to do something – anything!”

5. New gun control laws will have limited success – at best.

I’m still waiting to hear about the guy who says, “You know what, I was going to kill somebody and go away to prison for the rest of my life, but then I realized it was illegal to use the gun I was going to use.” Madmen don’t obey laws. That’s why they’re called “madmen.” As the NRA is quick to point out, the number of guns in America has doubled since 1993, while in that same period gun deaths have been cut in half. And where we have the most gun control – Chicago – we have the most deaths. It is interesting that the same celebrities and left-wing political leaders who scream for more gun control and less walls are the same people who have armed guards and huge walls surrounding their own mansions.

The Rushmore Report: ‘I Pray for President Trump Every Night’

Former Florida governor and Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has stated that while he is deeply troubled by President Donald Trump’s actions, he still prays for him daily. In a recent question-and-answer segment held at OZY Fest, Bush explained that the presidency can be an unpredictable environment. But one thing is constant. Trump’s former rival prays for him every day. Here’s the story.

Bush said of Trump, “There’s no way to know what’s going to happen. Just look at the last few months. No one envisioned any of this stuff happening the way it played out. I would have thought that other countries would have provoked us to challenge the president. In reality, most of the problems and the crises have been his own doing.”

Bush went on to note that it was still important for Americans to support and pray for President Trump, even if they do not agree with his policies or rhetoric.

“I find him deeply troubling in a lot of ways, but I pray for him every night and I pray for our country every night,” he said. “I want him to succeed because if he doesn’t . . . I mean who cares what happens to him? I care about you all, I care about my grandkids. This is a really important job and we want him to succeed.”

Bush was one of several candidates in the crowded Republican nomination contests. During the debates, he and Trump were known to have heated exchanges.

About the Author

Michael Gryboski is a writer for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report: Jerry Jones’ Ultimatum to His Players on the National Anthem

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has given his players an ultimatum regarding the national anthem. If a player chooses to disrespect the flag, he will not play in the game – and it’s as simple as that. “If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play,” he said, following his team’s loss to the Green Bay Packers Sunday. “Understand? If a player disrespects the flag, then he will not play. Period.”

Jones’ comments came after being asked about Vice President Mike Pence, who left the Indianapolis Colts game with the San Francisco 49ers when more than 20 players from the 49ers knelt during the national anthem.

“I know this, we cannot – in the NFL in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag,” he said. “We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. So we’re clear.”

Two weeks ago, Jones knelt arm in arm with his players before the national anthem at a game against the Arizona Cardinals. But he said respect for the flag is more important than any issues regarding team unity.

“We as a team are very much on the page together,” Jones said. “We made our expression. I’m very supportive of the team, but under no circumstances will the Dallas Cowboys – I don’t care what happens – under no circumstances will we as an organization, coaches, players, not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag. Period.”

He continued, “There is no question here if it comes between looking non-supportive of our players and of each other or creating the impression that you’re disrespecting the flag, we will be non-supportive of each other.”

“We will not disrespect the flag. Period.”

About the Author

Leah Barkoukis writes for TownHall.