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Trump destroys the sanctity of the Presidents Club



One of the most disturbing elements of the Trump presidency, nearly one year after his stunning win, has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, war, white supremacists or Russia. These things are tangentially involved, but not central to what I believe is the worst legacy Trump could leave. If history judges him harshly (and it will) on political issues, he will be judged more harshly because he has destroyed the sanctity of the Presidents Club.

This club has unwritten rules that actually have a purpose behind them. Since George Washington (who hated the concept of political parties and “factions”), former presidents have generally withheld the harshest criticism of the current occupants of the office. Violations of this rule have generally brought swift condemnation from the press and the former president’s own party.

One example from 2007: Jimmy Carter was raked over the coals for calling George W. Bush’s administration “the worst in history.” Though he publicly retracted the statement, the sting was palpable.

“His language was much sharper than what you’d normally hear” from an ex-president, said the presidential historian Michael Beschloss. But he and other presidential scholars roll their eyes at the notion that former presidents do not speak ill of current ones.

Criticism is a privilege of former presidents to be exercised judicially. We know that as the office changes hands (and parties), there will be disagreements. Eisenhower thought Kennedy was foolish (and Kennedy eventually came around to some of Ike’s policies). Teddy Roosevelt was withering in his criticism of Taft and Wilson, but as historians note, he remained a candidate for president.

The rules for candidates are much, much more lax than for former presidents who will not seek office again. Given that the five living presidents today are all in the category of not seeking office (two are too old, and three have served two terms), the unwritten rules for the club of living presidents should apply. This especially holds true for former and current presidents of the same party.

But Trump doesn’t allow it. He accepts no criticism and responds forcefully to the slightest implication of error.

White House attacks legacies of both Bush presidents after reports that they refused to vote for Trump – The Washington Post White House on Saturday disparaged the legacies of the only two living Republican presidents to precede Donald Trump, after reports that both men castigated Trump in interviews last year and refused to vote for him.

Bush-Trump war

The Washington Post reported that the White House responded to the two former Bush presidents’ remarks about Trump with venom against Bush’s Iraq foreign policy.

“If one Presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had,” the White House wrote to CNN. It called the younger Bush’s decision to wage war on Iraq “one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history.”

Right or wrong, this is a serious breach of the Presidents Club rules by both the Bushes and Trump.

Why this is important

Three things have always marked a peaceful transition of power in the United States. One: the outgoing president does not contest the results of the election or declare it invalid. Two: the small club of ex-presidents recognizes the weight of the office on the current president and offer discreet assistance or advice. Three: the current president returns the favor by not generally going after the previous presidents either legally or in the media.

The Trump presidency has violated two of these, and nearly violated the third. There was a real push to somehow find a smoking gun to declare Trump’s election invalid in the days between November 8 and January 20th. This included using every branch of federal law enforcement along with secret FISA warrants. This doesn’t mean Trump had no part in provoking it, but still, this is a very dangerous precedent.

If the sanctity of the President’s Club cannot be restored, we may find future presidents not simply criticizing, but prosecuting Trump or their own antecedents.

Final thoughts

We should not be smug or casual about this. The Presidents Club is important because there are so few living presidents at any given time, and the office carries so much power with it.

Destroying the sanctity of the relationship between the men who have occupied the office of president, and opening up future presidents to every kind of legal action is the worst thing President Trump could do to this country. If this is his legacy, then regardless of what other results he might obtain, his fitness for the office will be a subject historians will treat most unkindly.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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The Money Pit: California’s not-so-high-speed rail



Have you heard this story, a couple finds a million dollar distress sale mansion on the market for a mere $200,000? Some upgrades are needed, but overall it’s a bargain. What ensues is comedic brilliance as the owners find out the house is barely standing. They pour more and more money into the house in the classic Tom Hank’s comedy “The Money Pit.”

Just like this movie, the California High-Speed Rail has become our Money Pit, but unlike the movie, this is no laughing matter.

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 1A, a $9.95 billion bond to partially fund an 800-mile high-speed electric train traveling up to 220 mph. The goal would be that the state would fund a third, one-third by the federal government, and the last third via private investment. Total cost was estimated at $35 billion.

What has transpired since 2008? No more federal funding and no private funding. From 800-miles we went to 520 miles, as a cost savings measure. From 220 mph we are at 110 mph in large sections of the rail, to save money of course, and a possible completion date of 2020, is now estimated to be completed by 2033.

With all these cost-saving measures you would assume the cost would come down. Unfortunately, for California taxpayers, this money pit keeps getting worse.

The price tag for all these cost-saving measures brought to you by the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the California Legislature is currently estimated at $77.3 billion. But wait you want more savings and fiscal responsibility, too bad, because this $77.3 billion estimate may ultimately cost California taxpayers $98.1 billion. My prediction is it will be even higher.

At this point, it might be cheaper and faster to build a Death Star instead. Not to mention more useful.

This is not what the voters were promised. We did not approve a not-so-high-speed train with a price tag most likely ten times the initial projected cost to California taxpayers.

This boondoggle of a money pit must be stopped. Those billions can be used to help repair our roads, highways, bridges, dams, water reservoirs, and critical infrastructure.

If elected to be California’s next State Controller and Chief Financial Officer, I will look at all legal means to cut funding to this project. In my opinion, if we bought one thing and are getting something else, then the authorization to fund this project has not been authorized by the people, and thus the Controller may have the legal authority to stop payment until the project complies with Proposition 1A.

I hope, I won’t have to do this, and the Legislature does its job and kills this project. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We made a promise to taxpayers to be good stewards of their trust and money. Let’s restore that trust and do the right thing, and let’s put an end to this money pit.

Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

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Guns and Crime

When gun control failed, SRO saves Maryland school



2 students and a suspect were injured in a shooting that took place in southern Maryland. The shooter has since been announced dead. He used a handgun which are highly regulated due to Maryland’s strict gun control. Following the Parkland shooting, Governor Hogan proposed putting a lockbox on casino revenues to be used to fund security in school. This would be the first serious attempt to use the casino money, which was supposed to be for schools, for their intended purpose. In response to today’s incident, other counties, such as Carroll County, are placing deputies in schools as a direct response to the shooting in St. Mary’s County.

The Story

ABC: Student suspect dead, girl critical, boy stable after shooting at Great Mills HS in Md.

The suspect, a student, is dead after a shooting Tuesday morning at a high school in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, that has left a girl in critical condition and a boy in stable condition, according to authorities.

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office says it happened at Great Mills High School and that police are on the scene. ABC7’s Brad Bell said sources first told him that the shooter was a student, as were the two victims. Police later confirmed that the shooter was a student. Police also confirmed that a school resource officer took action to end the threat and authorities confirmed the incident has been contained.

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital identified the victims as a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. They say the two were taken to them at around 8:15 a.m. and that the girl was later taken to the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center.

The Takeaway

Being uninformed, deliberately or ignorantly, many on the left will use this as a rallying point for gun control. But as a Marylander, I can attest to Maryland having some of the strictest laws in the country. These laws failed to prevent this incident, as they have failed to curb Baltimore’s crime. Too many on the right, as well are just as uninformed about current laws. We can’t begin to talk about gun control when the population is so desperately malnourished of facts. We can, however, contemplate the issuance of SROs in schools or other means of security such as allowing teachers to voluntarily undergo concealed carry training.

Alas, leftists are saying the SRO went in knowing that an AR-15 wasn’t being used. No, the SRO did his job unlike those cowards in the corrupt Broward Sheriff’s Office. They are trained to engage whatever the gun, because confrontation saves lives. This SRO is a hero. I look forward to knowing his name. Thankfully, only the perpetrator is dead, and together let us pray that the two students recover.


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Hypocrisy? Abortionist acknowledges an unborn as a moral person



One of the beauties about twitter is that when an abortionist as proud as Leah Torres, they are subject to a ongoing ratio-ing. It’s rare for the pro-abortion side to presents such an evil or semi-honest advocate. You may have already seen a number of vile tweets in which this serial killer (3 or more premeditated murders with resting period in-between) proudly acknowledges her work. This is a person who kills babies out of intrinsic motivation, which is perhaps worse than financial.

Okay, that’s enough. Now, I wanted to point out this tweet where she shows a very different attitude towards the unborn.

It’s sad that people would allow a baby killer to deliver a fetus into the world. It’s also sad and ironic that she ascribes moral worth to a baby about to be born that isn’t undergoing an abortion.

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