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Secret Service Has Run Out of Money to Pay Agents to Protect Trump and His 18 Family Members

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Numerous International Trips and Golf Cart Rentals

The U.S. Secret Service is mandated by law to protect the president and his or her family members no matter where in the world they choose to travel, but already the federal law enforcement agency has run out of funds to pay 1000 agents who work the First Family’s detail. International trips by Trump’s sons and daughters as well as the president’s weekly trips to his golf courses have tapped out the agency’s budget, according to an exclusive report in USA Today.

Screen_Shot_2017-08-21_at_10.13.49_AM.jpgCiting “the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast,” USA Today reports “1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year,” according to Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles.

“Alles said the service is grappling with an unprecedented number of White House protectees. Under Trump, 42 people have protection, a number that includes 18 members of his family. That’s up from 31 during the Obama administration,” the paper reports.

“Overwork and constant travel have also been driving a recent exodus from the Secret Service ranks, yet without congressional intervention to provide additional funding, Alles will not even be able to pay agents for the work they have already done.” 

Screen_Shot_2017-08-21_at_10.12.41_AM.jpgEven if Congress provides additional funds, “about 130 veteran agents would not be fully compensated for hundreds of hours already amassed, according to the agency.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) says she is “committed to working with my colleagues on both sides” to ensure “the men and women who put their lives on the line protecting the president, his family and others every day are getting paid fairly for their work.” McCaskill is the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Without some legislative relief, though, at least 1,100 agents – for now – would not be eligible for overtime even as one of the agency’s largest protective assignments looms next month. Nearly 150 foreign heads of state are expected to converge on New York City for the United Nations General Assembly. 

USA Today detailed just some of the strains on the Secret Service budget.

Always costly in manpower and equipment, the president’s jaunts to Mar-a-Lago are estimated to cost at least $3 million each, based on a General Accounting Office estimate for similar travel by former President Obama. The Secret Service has spent some $60,000 on golf cart rentals alone this year to protect Trump at both Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster. 

The president, First Lady Melania Trump and the couple’s youngest son Barron – who maintained a separate detail in Trump Tower until June – aren’t the only ones on the move with full-time security details in tow.

Trump’s other sons, Trump Organization executives Donald Jr. and Eric, based in New York, also are covered by security details, including when they travel frequently to promote Trump-branded properties in other countries.

A few examples: Earlier this year, Eric Trump’s business travel to Uruguay cost the Secret Service nearly $100,000 just for hotel rooms. Other trips included the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic. In February, both sons and their security details traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia, for the opening of new Trump hotel there, and to Dubai to officially open a Trump International Golf Club.

In March, security details accompanied part of the family, including Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner on a skiing vacation in Aspen, Colo. Even Tiffany Trump, the president’s younger daughter, took vacations with her boyfriend to international locales such as Germany and Hungary, which also require Secret Service protection. 

The Trump family, including the President, have shown no interest in curtailing their activities. 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Influential Far Right Conservatives Ballistic Over Breyer Retirement: ‘They Must Be Stopped’

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As soon as the news broke that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of the current session, right-wing activists began declaring that Breyer had been “bullied” into stepping down and therefore Republicans must do everything they can to block whomever President Joe Biden nominates to fill that seat.

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network and Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch both asserted that Breyer had been forced out of his seat on the court.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America declared that Biden must use the vacancy to unify the nation by appointing to the court a “constitutionalist” (which is conservative code for “right-wing ideologue”).

Proclaiming that the Senate is the “our last line of defense against radical leftist SCOTUS justices,” Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel used the opportunity to promote his own campaign.

Rep. Lauren Boebert proclaimed that Biden should take a hint from Breyer and “follow him out the door.”

Right-wing activist Brigitte Gabriel openly asserted that it doesn’t even matter whom Biden nominates, “they must be stopped.”

Right-wing commentator Matt Walsh demanded that the position remain vacant until following the midterm elections in November, insisting that “it would be an assault on our democracy” to confirm any nominee before then.

Taking things a step further, radical Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers called on the U.S. Senate to “filibuster, stall, delay and hold Biden’s Supreme Court pick until 2024.”

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Florida Dems Walk Out After DeSantis’ Surgeon General Refuses to Say if Vaccines Work

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Democrats on a Florida state Senate committee walked out of the confirmation hearing of Governor Ron DeSantis’ Surgeon General nominee, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a far right-wing anti-science extremist after he refused to answer if vaccines are safe and effective, and why the Dept. of Health has stopped publicly posting COVID data.

Ladapo, who has been in the position for months, has ties to an infamous conspiracy theorist doctor who talks about alien DNA, demon sperm, and pushes hydroxychloroquine as a COVID cure.

Asked if the COVID vaccines are effective, Ladapo refused to say “yes” or “no.” The Tallahassee Democrat reported Ladapo’s answers were “long-winded, indirect,” and that he “gave murky answers about his criticism of the Biden administration and his ability to work with the federal government, and whether he had a plan for ending the pandemic in Florida.”

“I would say that, that the, the question is a scientific one and it’s one that is answered with data. So, so, the, the question, the question is informed by data on specific outcomes and specific, specific therapies. So that’s a that’s the, that’s the scientific question.”

The Senator, polite but frustrated, pushed back: “Just a yes or no. Do vaccines work? In fighting against COVID-19? Yes or no?”

Related: DeSantis Vows to Fight FDA After COVID Treatment His Top Donor Invested in Is Found to Not Fight Omicron

“Senator,” replied Ladapo, an anti-vaxxer who opposes testing for the deadly coronavirus. “I just, I as a scientist, you know, I I, I am compelled to answer the scientific question, and I’d be happy to answer any specific scientific question that you have related to vaccines and COVID-19.”

So she tried again.

“Scientifically, does the, do the vaccines work against preventing COVID-19? Yes or no?”

“So, yes or no questions are not that easy to find in science,” Ladapo obfuscated. “So, I will I understand I think I have better clarity about your your question at this point. So what I would say is that the most commonly used vaccines in the United States, which would be the the Pfizer product and the product that was was developed by Moderna have been shown to have relatively high effectiveness for the prevention of hospitalization.”

Later, he was asked why the state has stopped publicly releasing COVID data. He again obfuscated.

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BREAKING NEWS

SCOTUS Justice Breyer Retiring

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, is retiring at the end of the Court’s term. Breyer, nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994, is one of just three liberals left on the nation’s highest court.

Progressives have been working to convince Breyer to retire while President Joe Biden still has a Democratic majority in the Senate.

NBC News’ Pete Williams broke the news. He notes President Biden committed to nominating the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.

 

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