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 theÂ 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.
â€” CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 21, 2017
Citing “theÂ 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 mandatedÂ caps for salary and overtime allowancesÂ that were meant to last the entire year,” according toÂ Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles.
“Alles said the service is grappling withÂ an unprecedented number of White House protectees. Under Trump, 42Â people have protection,Â a number that includes 18 members of his family. That’s up from 31 during the Obama administration,” the paper reports.
“Overwork and constant travelÂ have also been driving a recent exodus from the Secret Service ranks, yet without congressional intervention to provideÂ additional funding, Alles will not even be able to pay agents for the work they have already done.”Â
Even 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 SenateÂ Homeland Security Committee.
Without some legislative relief, though, at least 1,100 agents â€“ for now â€“ would not be eligible for overtime even as one of the agency’s largest protective assignments looms next month.Â NearlyÂ 150 foreign heads of state are expected to converge on New York City for the United Nations General Assembly.Â
USA Today detailed just some of the strains on the Secret Service budget.
Always costly in manpower and equipment,Â 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 someÂ $60,000 on golf cart rentals alone this yearÂ to protect Trump at both Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster.Â
The president, First Lady Melania TrumpÂ and the couple’s youngest son Barron â€“ who maintained a separate detail in Trump Tower until JuneÂ â€“ 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 areÂ covered by security details, including when they travel frequentlyÂ to promote Trump-branded properties in other countries.
A few examples:Â Earlier this year, Eric Trump’s business travel to Uruguay cost the Secret Service nearly $100,000 just for hotel rooms.Â Other trips included the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic.Â In February, both sons and their security details traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia, for the opening of new Trump hotel there, and to Dubai toÂ officially openÂ a TrumpÂ International Golf Club.
InÂ 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 boyfriendÂ to international locales such as Germany and Hungary,Â which also require Secret Service protection.Â
The Trump family, including the President, have shown no interest in curtailing their activities.Â
Some responses via Twitter:
Source: “Clinton treated USSS agents like friends. Bush treated them w great respect. Obama, like family. Trump treats them like servants.” https://t.co/9QeQZ1QrdB
â€” Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) August 21, 2017
Fun fact: The Secret Service will be Donald Trump’s first bankruptcy since Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009.
â€” Gabe OrtÃz (@TUSK81) August 21, 2017
The Secret Service has spent $60k on golf cart rentals alone â€” which goes into Trump’s pocket. https://t.co/HqXkLt9Arw
â€” shauna (@goldengateblond) August 21, 2017
Good to know he’s running the Secret Service exactly the way he runs a business.
â€” John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) August 21, 2017
If this happened under Obama, congress would figure out a way to officially ground him. https://t.co/LuTOHkOFOs
â€” Schooley (@Rschooley) August 21, 2017
Since February, the Secret Service has spent more on golf cart rentals at Trump-owned properties than most American families make in a year.
â€” Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) August 21, 2017
Trump ripped through annual Secret Service budget in 7 months.
Where are all the “fiscal conservatives” who freaked over Obama vacays now? https://t.co/nh9YNX638q
â€” Adam Best (@adamcbest) August 21, 2017
The American people, and GOP leaders, must demand Trump stop weekend travel to golf clubs & end familyâ€™s lavish travel now. https://t.co/DbfQ0UZqTW
â€” Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) August 21, 2017
There is something fundamentally corrupt going on when the president is MAKING money off of vacations to his own properties.
â€” Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) August 21, 2017
â€” Steve Marmel (@Marmel) August 21, 2017
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82-Year-Old Black Woman Arrested and Handcuffed by Alabama Police Over $77 Unpaid Trash Bill
Martha Menefield, an 82-year-old Black woman in Valley, Alabama, had police officers show up to her home on Sunday and arrest her for failing to pay a $77 trash bill, CBS42 reports.
Menefield told CBS42 that she thought the bill had already been paid, “but they said it hadn’t.”
“And the cuffs,” she said, her eyes swelling with tears. “They’re so heavy.”
When the officer told her not to cry, Menefield asked him, “How would you feel if they came and arrested your grandmama?”
“I’m just happy my grandkids weren’t here to see that,” Menefield said, her voice shaking. “That would have upset them. I was so ashamed. And it’s been bothering me.”
In a post on the city’s social media account, Valley’s police chief defended the arrest.
“City of Valley Code Enforcement Officers issued Ms. Menefield a citation in August of 2022 for non-payment for trash services for the months of June, July, and August,” Chief Mike Reynolds’ statement said. “Prior to issuing the citation, Code Enforcement tried to call Ms. Menefield several times and attempted to contact her in person at her residence. When contact could not be made, a door hanger was left at her residence. The hanger contained information on the reason for the visit and a name and contact phone number for her to call. The citation advised Ms. Menefield that she was to appear in court on September 7, 2022, in reference to this case. A warrant for Failure to Pay-Trash was issued when she did not appear in court.”
Since the arrest, Menefield has been thinking about the role of God in her life.
“I’ve been questioning God a little bit,” she said. “I guess cause I’ve been so upset. I had a daycare here for eight years, and I’ve been asking the Lord. I say ‘Why did this happen to me as much as I’ve done for people, Lord? I’ve paid my tithes every Sunday. I ushered at church. I was just questioning. Something’s just not right.”
Read the full report over at CBS42.
‘Another Happy Jobs Day’: Economists Thrilled With ‘Amazing’ Report as Jobs Growth Beats Expectations, Wages Increase
The Biden economy added a whopping 263,000 jobs last month, crushing expectations of 200,000, and wages are growing as well, leading one economist to declare “another happy jobs day.”
The U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) adds that unemployment remains at a near-historic low of 3.7% in November, “and has been in a narrow range of 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent since March.”
University of Michigan School of Economics Professor Justin Wolfers exclaimed, “It’s yet ANOTHER happy jobs day. Payrolls rose +263k, well above expectations.”
“This expansion just keeps on rolling on,” added Wolfers, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.
Wolfers also takes on those who have been falsely pushing “recession” talking points.
“BTW, remember all that recession talk? It was nonsense. Bollocks. Cow dung,” he tweets. “There never was a recession. And the economy sure doesn’t look like it’s in one now. Job growth at this rate is the economy singing: ‘This is a robust expansion.'”
And he also slams the doom and gloom forecasters.
The flip from “Recession!” to “Overheating!” is just about the perfect example of the bad news bias in most economic commentary.
Look folks, if the economists you talk to are always gloomy, they’re only giving you half the story.https://t.co/mcD76jthvN
— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) December 2, 2022
Economist David Rothschild sums up where the Biden economy is compared to the rest of the world.
“Economy is far from perfect,” he writes, “but conditional on the worldwide pandemic and supply chain issues generated from pandemic: US economy has done *amazing* over last 2 years.”
In news alerts The New York Times reported hiring “continued to exceed expectations,” The Wall Street Journal called it “a sign of continued strength in the labor market,” and even Fox News reported it as “stronger-than-expected.” CNN referred to the jobs report as “robust” and “defying expectations.”
“America’s jobs engine kept churning in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, a show of continued demand for workers despite the Federal Reserve’s push to curb inflation by tamping down hiring, The Times reported. “The labor market has been surprisingly resilient in the face of successive interest rate increases by the Fed over the past year. Even sectors normally sensitive to borrowing costs, like construction and manufacturing, have been slow to back off the brisk pace of growth they posted coming out of the pandemic.”
The BLS also broke down unemployment numbers by demographics.
“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (11.3 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.7 percent), Asians (2.7 percent), and Hispanics (3.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month.”
Image: Matt Smith Photographer / Shutterstock
‘The Law Is Clear’: Appeals Court Rules Trump Handpicked Judge Should Never Have Appointed Special Master
A three-judge panel on the conservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Donald Trump, and effectively against his hand-picked federal district court judge Aileen Cannon in the ex-president’s “special master” case.
The judges, all three conservatives, two of whom appointed to the bench by Trump himself, ruled that Judge Cannon should never have agreed to Trump’s request to appoint a “special master” to review all the items the Dept. of Justice removed from his Mar-a-Lago residence by executing a legal search warrant.
Cannon had ordered the special master to specifically review approximately 100 classified documents, and blocked the DOJ from accessing them while they were under review. That block halted its investigation into Trump’s likely illegal retention of the documents and other items – over 10,000 – he removed from the White House and was string at Mar-a-Lago.
CNN calls Thursday’s ruling “a major defeat for former President Donald Trump.” The appeals court’s ruling halts “a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate,” and “removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.”
“The law is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling Thursday, posted by NBC News’ Daniel Barnes. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations.”
“And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations,” they continued. “Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.”
They also wrote: “In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice: apply our usual test; drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant; or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents. We choose the first option. So the case must be dismissed.”
“The district court,” meaning Judge Cannon, “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action.”
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