The Rushmore Report: Predicting the Presidential Election – 2028

With just 5,389 days to go until the 2028 presidential election, it’s time to finalize our projections for the White House – 12 years out. With Democratic President Castro having served two terms, the race will be up for grabs. The primary issues for debate will include Medicare, race relations, education, immigration, inner city renovation, and taxes. I will tell the story as it will appear the day after the election. And the 2028 president will be . . .

Democratic Nomination

With an open seat for the first time in eight years a number of prominent Democrats jumped into the race. Early leaders were Vice President Kirsten Gillibrand, age 62, who sought to become America’s first woman president. She faced the stiff opposition of liberal darling Cory Booker, age 59. Booker is a four-term senator from New Jersey. Lesser known candidates included Kasim Reed, former mayor of Atlanta, and Gavin Newsom of California. Rumored to make one final run for the White House, Hillary Clinton, age 82, bowed out, but did not rule out a run in 2032. Bernie Sanders, age 137, failing to secure the VP nomination, unexpectedly announced his retirement from politics.

Democratic Winner – Vice President Kirsten Gillibrand

Republican Nomination

Running for the Republican nomination, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was the early favorite. At age 65, he emerged as the conscience of the libertarian/conservative wing of the party. Other candidates included Adam Kinzinger, age 50. As the sitting Republican Governor of Illinois, the military veteran put Illinois in play, while promising to return America to the military greatness that eroded under the Castro Administration. Kinzinger enjoyed the endorsement of Senator John McCain, age 104, of Arizona. Other candidates included 2024 nominee Marco Rubio of Florida, Governor Brandon Creighton of Texas, Florida Rep. Tim Tebow, and Rep. Byron Trump, son of the former president, of New York. At age 22, Trump would have been the youngest president in U.S. history.

Republican Winner – Governor Adam Kinzinger

Presidential Winner

On November 7, 2028, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois narrowly defeated Democratic nominee Kirsten Gillibrand, in an election reminiscent of the Trump win over Clinton in 2016, as Gillibrand won the popular vote, 51-48 percent. Carrying Illinois, Kinzinger narrowly won the Electoral College, 271-269. President-elect Kinzinger will be inaugurated the 47th President of the United States on January 20, 2029.

The Rushmore Report: Three Reasons Christian Marriages Fail

I love God’s institution of marriage. Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many marriages – even Christian marriages – fail. I have met with hundreds of couples in my tenure in counseling and have, after much contemplation, exhaustive study, review and prayer, narrowed the list to three major reasons Christian marriages fail. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Selfishness

2. Selfishness

3. Selfishness

It’s a well-known axiom in real estate circles that the three most important considerations when purchasing a home are location, location, and location. In similar fashion, I propose the three most important reasons Christian marriages fail – selfishness, selfishness, and selfishness.

If you have one selfish partner in the marriage, it can limp along. Two selfish people almost invariably results in carnage. A couple who professes Christ should be following biblical principles, and if they do, then the marriage can survive, thrive, and prosper.

We have seen many people benefit greatly from deliverance ministry, temperament analysis, and marriage counseling. We have seen others who reap very little. I believe the key begins with the attitude of the heart in this area of setting aside self.

If you are selfish, can you purpose and commit unilaterally to becoming more of a giver and less of a taker in your marriage? If you are primarily a giver now, you need to ask for the grace, wisdom, peace, and power of God in your situation. He is faithful and all things are possible for those who believe.

About the Author

Don Ibbitson has been a Christian counselor since 2001. Through Above & Beyond Christian Counseling he has impacted hundreds of marriages.

The Rushmore Report: What You Didn’t Know About Donald Trump

We all know he is the President of the United States. We know he is a brash billionaire. We know him as the star of The Apprentice and as the Tweeter-in-Chief. We know about his multiple marriages, bombastic ways, and unprecedented rise to the Oval Office. But there is more to The Donald than you know. Here are a few things about the 45th president you probably didn’t know.

1. Trump has never smoked, drank alcohol, or done drugs.

His older brother, Fred, was an active alcoholic for many years, and he warned Trump to avoid drinking. Fred ultimately died from his addiction. This left an impression on Donald that would never go away.

2. His hairstyle does not come easily.

When Trump awakes in the morning, he looks different. His remarkable hairline is achieved after blow-drying his hair forward and them combing it backward.

3. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2007, Trump became the 2,327th star to receive the honor, because of his role as producer of NBC’s The Apprentice.

4. Trump is the only president with his own board game.

The monopoly-like game launched in 1989 and was ultimately discontinued after poor sales and bad reviews. The game was appropriately named Trump: The Game.

5. He once had his own brand of Vodka.

Though he doesn’t drink, he launched his Vodka in 2006, describing it as “a superb product and beautifully packaged.” The public didn’t agree. It was discontinued in 2011.

6. He doesn’t like to shake hands.

A germaphobe, when forced to shake hands, he has an interesting technique of vigorously pulling the other person close into his body.

7. Trump once owned a pro football team.

A player in high school, his love for football never left him. In 1983, he purchased the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, which he tried to merge with the NFL. The USFL folded after two seasons.

8. He has a high opinion of himself.

Okay, you already knew this one. But here’s the evidence. In 2004, he was quoted in The Daily News, saying, “All of the women on The Apprentice flirt with me – consciously or subconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

The Rushmore Report: The Power of a Godly Touch

Oh the power of a godly touch. Have you known it? Remember the doctor who treated you or the teacher who dried your tears? Haven’t you known the power of a godly touch? Can’t we offer the same? Perhaps you already do. You can use your hands to pray over the sick and minister to the weak. There are other ways to extend the power of a godly touch. Let me explain.

If you aren’t touching those who suffer personally, your hands can write them notes, dial the phone to make some calls, or you can use your hands to bake them a cake. Each time you do any of these things, you are extending the power of a godly touch.

But many of us forget how significant one touch can be. Or we fear saying the wrong thing, so we say nothing at all. Aren’t we glad Jesus didn’t make the same mistake? Keep in mind the perspective of the lepers in the ancient world. They aren’t picky or finicky. They’re just lonely – yearning for a godly touch. Jesus touched the untouchables of the world. Will you do the same?

Never underestimate the power of a godly touch.

About the Author

Max Lucado is a best-selling author and the senior pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio.

The Rushmore Report: Do You Believe the JFK Killing Was a Conspiracy? Then Answer Nine Questions

I admit it. I’m a JFK assassination junkee. I watch all the shows and read all the books. In the 53 years since Kennedy was gunned down that fateful day, over 1,000 books have been written and hundreds of documentaries have been produced. According to a recent Gallup Poll, only 30 percent believe Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter. Count me among the minority. If you believe it was a conspiracy, answer these questions . . .

1. How have so many remained so quiet for so long?

If you believe the JFK assassination was a conspiracy, who was behind it? The FBI? The CIA? The mafia? Russia? Cuba? Lyndon Johnson? Donald Trump? A multiple of the above? How ever you answer that question – many contend it was a combination of the above – you must admit a conspiracy of this magnitude had to involve a LOT of people. Most conspiracists point to unusual behavior by the Secret Service, Dallas police, coroner, and medical examiner. Kennedy’s body was manipulated, the doctors lied, the caskets were switched. Here’s the point. Any conspiracy requires that dozens of individuals be in on it. And if you are among the 70 percent, you must believe that every one of them has kept quiet for 53 years. Not one of them has told the true story to the media, their neighbor, their family, or their priest. No death bed confessions. No slip of the tongue. Not a single verifiable example of even one of the people who was “in on it” telling their story.

2. Who would have used a nut job like Oswald as a part of a bigger plan?

No one was more unstable than Lee Harvey Oswald. But almost no one disputes he was a shooter, if not the shooter. It was his gun at the scene. It was his prints on the window. It was his place of work. He was seen in the Texas Book Depository Building that day – by multiple employees. So we know he was there. We know he fired shots. And then he was dumb enough to leave the evidence behind. And this is the kind of hired assassin the CIA, FBI, and mafia would hire? Was Maxwell Smart not available?

3. Why did they let Oswald wander the streets of Dallas after the shooting when they could have easily taken him away?

Pretty much all conspiracy theories go like this – Oswald said it himself. “I’m a patsy.” (By the way, some murderers have been known to lie – i.e. O.J.) So Oswald was set up, the theory goes. And as evidence, they point out that Jack Ruby killed Oswald before he could talk. This is the most silly of all explanations that have somehow endured through the years. I will try to explain without laughing. The story goes like this. Oswald was the fall guy. He was set up. So in their effort to keep him quiet, rather than pick him up outside the Depository Building right after the shooting and usher him to South America – or an untimely death – they let him wander the streets of Dallas until he was picked up by police, interrogated for two days – and then they had him killed. Now, I’m no FBI agent, but if it was me, I’m pretty sure I would not have given Oswald two days to blab before taking him out. Remember, he said he was a “patsy.” So, if he had been set up, would the people doing the setting up really have gambled that he wouldn’t say anything until Mr. Ruby could show up literally 60 seconds before Oswald walked out of the police holding area two days later, and then shoot him? Who were the geniuses behind the Crime of the Century who decided, “Let’s let Oswald wander the streets of Dallas, get picked up by police, and take two days to identify us, before we take him out”?

4. If there was a second bullet, rather than the “magic bullet,” where is it?

All conspiracy theorists say the same thing. One bullet hit Kennedy and another hit Connally at essentially the same time. This debunks the “magic bullet” theory, whereby they claim one Oswald bullet could not have hit both men, based on the flight of the bullet from Kennedy to Connally. Here’s the problem. One bullet was found – the one that eventually struck Gov. Connally. If there was a second bullet that hit Kennedy alone, where did it end up? No other bullet hit the car, inside or out. For the bullet that struck Kennedy’s back/throat to exit and miss the car would have required a “magic bullet” of historic proportions.

5. Why did 14 experts agree there was no one at the grassy knoll?

Nearly all who claim there was a second shooter contend he was behind the grassy knoll, to the right of the presidential motorcade. Here’s the problem. Photographs taken at the exact time of the shooting, from across the street, clearly show the entire grassy knoll area. And of the 14 experts who analyzed these pictures, not one of them saw any visual evidence of a shooter.

6. Why did Kennedy’s head snap forward before it snapped backward?

Critics of the Warren Report are quick to point out that the Zapruder film shows Kennedy’s head snapping backward, not forward, in response to the fatal head shot. Therefore, they say, the shot must have come from the right front. But slide #313 clearly shows Kennedy’s head snapping forward by over two inches before it snapped back.

7. If Kennedy was shot from the grassy knoll, why was the left side of his head intact?

Any bullet from the grassy knoll would have left a gaping hole on the back left side of the president’s head. Yet, not a single piece of evidence confirms such an injury. To the contrary, all photos debunk this idea.

8. Since the parade route was not determined until November 18, when did they recruit Oswald?

Surely, the assassination plan was hatched more than four days in advance. So did they wait until the route was announced to find assassins who had access to buildings along the route? Of did “they” plan the route themselves? Either seems rather unlikely.

9. Who manipulated the weather?

If the front that passed through North Texas that day had come through three hours later, it would have still been raining that fateful afternoon. And the bullet-proof top would have been up on the presidential limousine. And Kennedy would not have been shot. If you believe in a conspiracy, you have to believe they were willing to risk it all, to include dozens who could turn them in, all on the hope of a sunny Dallas day.

Could it have been a conspiracy involving multiple shooters, as most believe? Sure. But to believe this, you have to accept the “fact” that the great minds behind the assassination chose to include a most unreliable character (Oswald), were able to keep everyone quiet (for 53 years), and chose to let Oswald wander the streets of Dallas after the shooting (when they could have easily taken him out). You have to believe the first bullet that struck Kennedy disappeared into thin air, the grassy knoll shooter was invisible, the kill shot didn’t exit his head, and that Oswald was recruited in four days. Further, you have to believe the mafia (or CIA, FBI, Russia, Cuba, or Donald Trump) had control over the weather.

There is another option. One crazed gunman by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald, who retrieved his gun from the home of Ruth Payne the day before, who told his wife he would do “something big that day,” who we know was there that day, and whose gun was the only weapon at the scene and the only weapon seen in any photograph or by any witness – acted alone.

The Rushmore Report: Will President Trump Be Impeached?

In the wake of new revelations of memos written by former FBI Director James Comey, Democrats such as Sen. Angus King (ME), Rep. Al Green (TX), and Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) have called for the impeachment of President Trump. David Gergen (CNN) said, “We’re already in impeachment territory.” British oddsmakers give Trump only a 46 percent chance of finishing his first term. But can impeachment really happen? Let’s talk about it.

Only two presidents have ever been impeached. And no, Richard Nixon was not one of them. I’m talking about Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. And neither was removed from office. That’s because impeachment and removal from office are a high bar to get over.

The Constitution is very specific about the basis for impeachment. Article II Section 4 states, “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment from, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” And the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is not made clear.

But can President Trump actually be impeached and removed from office?

Yes.

Is it likely?

No.

There are five reasons a Trump impeachment is very unlikely.

1. President Trump has not even been accused of a crime.

Despite their best efforts, neither Democrats nor the media have produced a single scintilla of evidence of a crime – either in the Russian collusion or the Comey memo “scandal.” And where there is no evidence, there is no crime. And where there is no crime, there is no impeachment.

2. Impeaching Trump would be dumb politically.

If the Democrats were successful in actually removing Trump from office, they’d have a President Pence. And that would be their worst nightmare. Mike Pence is more conservative than Trump, and far less prone to the kind of unforced errors that make a second Trump term so precarious. Democrats will be in a much better position to win elections in 2018, 2020, and after by running against the volatile Trump than the steady Pence.

3. As with Bill Clinton, impeaching Trump would make him more powerful, not less.

When Clinton was impeached, he was at his lowest point in popularity. But being impeached was viewed as an overreach, resulting in a wide swing in public opinion. Clinton was empowered and suddenly had the country behind him as never before.

4. The math makes impeachment nearly impossible for Democrats.

Democrats would need the support of 25 House Republicans to approve articles of impeachment and then 15 Senate Republicans to remove Trump from office. There’s a reason no president has ever been removed from office. It is a really high bar to get over, and with Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress – nearly impossible.

5. The two big issues appear bogus.

Issue #1 – Trump’s meeting with Russian President Putin. The accusation is that Trump shared classified information with Putin. Here’s the problem – As President, Mr. Trump is completely within his rights to declassify anything at anytime. So even if he did what he is accused of doing, it is perfectly legal.

Issue #2 – the Comey memos. The implication is that Mr. Comey jotted down some comments Trump made to him at a White House dinner on February 14. Trump supposedly suggested Comey go easy on Michael Flynn. Rep. Elijah Cummings, as well as other Democrats, called this a “textbook case of obstruction of justice.” Here’s the problem – Anything short of a direct order would not rise to the level of obstruction, and therefore a crime. And if Trump actually had given Mr. Comey such a clear directive, by not telling the Justice Department – immediately – Comey effectively downplayed the severity of the comments. No one would have recognized obstruction as well as the Director of the FBI, and he did nothing to report the Trump comments as inappropriate.

So yes, it is possible that Mr. Trump could be impeached. It’s also possible my Houston Texans will win the next Super Bowl and the Houston Astros will win the World Series and the Houston Rockets will win next year’s NBA championship. It’s possible – but highly unlikely.

The Rushmore Report: The Great Hypocrisy – Dems Who Wanted Comey Fired

Months before President Donald Trump fired James Comey, Democrats had called for the dismissal of the FBI Director themselves. Now they are calling the firing they supported “Nixonian,” in the face of the Russia investigation. It’s as though they think the current FBI investigation will suddenly stop with Comey’s firing. But Trump didn’t fire the FBI – just the Director. Still, Democrats are raising the mantle of hypocrisy to an unprecedented level.

Trump and the White House insisted on Wednesday that Comey’s firing was not politically motivated and, instead, was an effort to restore public trust and confidence in the FBI. Yet the timing and the motive of Comey’s dismissal puzzled many Democrats and Republicans alike.

Democrats are expressing concern that the effect of the Comey firing will be to shut down the investigation in which he had no personal involvement. To a man, FBI leaders have asserted this will have zero effect on their work. Still, Democrats decry the timing of the firing, as if they would have supported Mr. Trump had he taken this action the day after his inauguration, one month into his Administration, or at any other time.

Newt Gingrich was right when he observed, “If President Trump said the American flag was red, white, and blue, the Democrats would say it is fuchsia.”

What makes the Democratic hysteria hysterical is that so many of them had personally called for the firing of Mr. Comey. Never did any of them say the timing mattered. In fact, they have been beating the “Fire Comey” drumbeat for months. Only when Trump did what they supported did they no longer support their own idea.

Here’s a brief timeline.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (October 30, 2016) – He accused the FBI Director of breaking the Hatch Act, a federal law, by publicly disclosing new information about the Hillary Clinton investigation 11 days ahead of a presidential election. He called on the Director’s removal with a personal letter in which he wrote, “Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”

Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee (October 31, 2016) – “I have no confidence in him.” He then called on Comey to resign his FBI post.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (November 2, 2016) – “I do not have confidence in him any longer,” he told Bloomberg News.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader (November 2, 2016) – “He’s not right for the job,” she told CNN.

Rep. Maxine Waters (January 13, 2017) – “The FBI Director has no credibility.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (January 24, 2017) – “James Comey needs to fade away into oblivion.”

Add the opinion of the New York Daily News Editorial Board – “Comey must resign.” And Newsweek columnist Kurt Eichenwald went even further. “James Comey should not simply be fired as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He must be barred forever from any form of public service.”

In the week since the Comey firing, not one of the above eight critics have supported the very move they personally called for. What it is – hypocrisy of the highest order. What it is not – surprising.

About the Author

Luis Gomez is a writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Rushmore Report: Ten Great Quotes on Success

There are many roads to success. There are countless strategies and theories on success. What there isn’t is anything new under the sun. What has worked in the past still works today. If you want to be a success, find someone who is already a success and learn from them. I know this – God wants the rest of your life to be the best of your life. Consider these ten great quotes on success from some of the most successful people in the world.

Vince Lombardi – “The price of success is hard work.”

George Patton – “Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom.”

Bobby Uncer – “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”

Winston Churchill – “Success is not final, failure is final. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Albert Einstein – “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of virtue.”

Henry Ford – “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Winston Churchill – “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

John Maxwell – “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”

Arthur Ashe – “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

Alexander Graham Bell – “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

 

The Rushmore Report: Ten Secrets to Great Wealth

If you Google “millionaire” and “secrets,” you get more than 10 million results. I’m a veteran of the technology industry, and have spent decades studying successful leaders. I’m talking about hundreds of men and women who have become wildly successful. These are their secrets. If you want to enjoy great success financially, or otherwise, practice these steps carefully.

1. Quit reading dumb articles like this one.

Think I’m kidding? This is so not funny. None of those hundreds or thousands of successful people I’ve known wasted their time on nonsense like “the secrets of millionaires.” Quit searching for miracle solutions and silver bullets; there aren’t any.

2. Reach beyond your grasp.

Perhaps the most brilliant advice in history is Robert Browning’s famous quote, “A man’s reach should not exceed his grasp.” If you want to be successful, you have to consistently strive to tackle tough problems. There are no wealthy slackers. None.

3. Make good choices.

Becoming successful is all about making good choices. Listen to smart, accomplished people, but in the end, trust your gut.

4. Always pay down your debt.

Better still, stay out of debt. There are exceptions. It’s okay to have a mortgage, but pay it down as soon as you can. And everyone needs a car, but they don’t need a new car.

5. Work in a high-demand, low-supply field.

It’s sort of funny how the most basic economic principle, the law of supply and demand, eludes most people. It’s so simple. Demand is proportional to price. More competition means less income and wealth. It’s that simple.

6. Learn to do one thing better than anyone else.

It doesn’t matter whether you learn it in school or on the job; strive to be better than anyone else at just one thing. You do that by accomplishing one thing at a time. It helps a lot if that one thing is something you love to do.

7. Be a raging workaholic.

Look I’m not saying you can’t have a family and fun. I do. But every wealthy person is also a hard worker with a strong work ethic. In other words, they get the job done, meet their commitments, and set a fine example for others.

8. Prioritize, focus, be disciplined.

Forget all the books and blogs about personal productivity and self-improvement. All you have to do is know your priorities, focus on what matters, and be disciplined about it.

9. Get equity.

Salary pays the bills, but saving money is challenging and it’s always tempting to dip into the cookie jar. Equity from stock, options, or business ownership solves that problem because it’s not liquid. In other words, you can’t spend it. Just don’t squander it when you can. Instead of cashing out, diversify your investments.

10. Don’t do what everyone else is doing.

The key message from my new book, Real Leaders Don’t Follow, is that nobody ever got ahead by doing what everyone else is doing. Nobody. Unfortunately, social media promotes cultural conformity, herd mentality, and dopey fads like nobody’s business. Leaders lead. Followers follow. You can’t do both.

About the Author

Steve Tobak is a management consultant, executive coach, columnist, and author of Real Leaders Don’t Follow.

The Rushmore Report: Five Things Mom Wants for Mother’s Day

Before you send the flowers or make the phone call, and before you send her a gift card to her favorite department store, let me offer some insight as to what most moms really want for Mother’s Day. Expressions from your heart are what touch her. So here are five things your mom probably wants for Mother’s Day, but likely won’t tell you herself.

1. A piece of your past

The older a mom gets, the more she realizes that time is fleeting and days gone by are precious. Give her a cherished memory in the form of an old photo of you that she might have forgotten, a framed menu from the restaurant where the two of you shared a special memory, or a childhood drawing you came across that you never gave her.

2. A project from your heart

Anyone can walk into a store and purchase a gift card. You can even buy them online without leaving your house. But a project from the heart goes a lot further with mom. Consider putting together a scrapbook of memories of mom, drawing or painting her a picture, or writing a poem. Tell her how she has blessed your life.

3. The gift of your presence

Has it been awhile since you’ve seen your mom? Taking the time to visit will go further than anything else you can give her. But rather than surprise her, let her know you plan to visit soon so she can experience the anticipation of your arrival as a gift, as well. If the distance is too great to drive to see her that day, make plans for when you will see her and gift her with the news and the date to put on her calendar.

4. Your spiritual well-being

Moms worry about their children’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Assure your mom that you are doing well by telling her what you’ve been learning spiritually. If you find that you don’t have much to tell her about spiritual growth in your life, make a point of reading or studying something she’d be thrilled to hear about.

5. Your prayers

Assuming your mom was a spiritual mentor in your life, it would thrill her soul to know you are praying for her health, her comfort, and her joy. Even better, pray with her. And if your mom is not a believer, or not one who is vocal about her faith, your private prayers for her may be the best gift you can give her on Mother’s Day.

About the Author

Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker. She is author of When Women Walk Alone and Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs. She is also a pastor’s wife and director of women’s ministries at her church.