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Trump’s lavish travel costs leave Secret Service too ‘tapped out’ to pay agents

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President Donald Trump’s frequent trips to his own properties have severely strained the Secret Service’s budget, to the point where the agency no longer has enough money to pay its agents.

USA Today reports that “the Secret Service can no longer afford to pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast.”

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Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles tells USA Today that more than 1,000 of his agents have already hit federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances, as they have had to expend significantly more time and resources protecting assorted Trump properties.

In addition to protecting Trump during his weekend jaunts to Mar-a-Lago and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the Secret Service also must protect the Trump children during their overseas business trips.

“The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles explains to USA Today. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.”

Ailes says that he is in negotiations with Congress to raise the total cap for compensation to ensure that more agents get paid for their work — but he says that raising the total compensation cap from $160,000 to $187,000 would still leave more than 100 agents without the proper pay for the work they’ve put in to protecting the president.

“Normally, we are not this tapped out,” says Alles.

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Read the whole report at this link.


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2020 Election

REVEALED: Far-right extremists are circulating plans to lock down Arizona streets if Trump is re-elected

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On Saturday, The Arizona Republic reported that far-right paramilitary groups are circulating plans to lock down neighborhoods in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area in the event that President Donald Trump is re-elected, supposedly to police left-wing protesters.

"In Arizona, the head of the Prescott-area chapter of the Oath Keepers group, which recruits military and law enforcement officers, has warned residents to be prepared to protect their neighborhoods from feared extreme left-wing protesters who would be upset should President Donald Trump be re-elected," reported Richard Ruelas. "Part of that the pro-Trump group'splan involved closing streets and assigning monitors to control access, according to a planning document shared with The Republic."

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2020 Election

America’s crimes against humanity aren’t on the ballot this year — but they should be

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The 2020 presidential election is a life-and-death decision for thousands of people vulnerable to COVID-19, for a globe under the assault from the climate crisis, and for the future of American democracy. And yet for all the urgency, the political campaign still suffers under the weight and stench of bullshit.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt warns in his bestselling pamphlet "On Bullshit" that "bullshit" is more injurious than the blatant lie. One reason among many is that bullshit blurs the line between reality and fiction, offering a manipulative incorporation of truth to strengthen its own capacity to persuade. Absolute falsity, in contrast, is obvious to anyone with minimal awareness of the facts. When the Trump administration recently declared that one of its grand achievements was "ending the pandemic," most people laughed in disbelief. This is a lie fit for consumption only from inhabitants of a collective similar to the Rev. Jim Jones' notorious People's Temple settlement in Guyana.

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2020 Election

Conservatives are hopping mad that their clumsy Hunter Biden smear is a flop

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

In 2016, Steve Bannon did an amazing job rolling out the Clinton Foundation nontroversy. He gave The New York Times and CNN early access to Peter Schweizer's book, Clinton Cash, and the outlets gave it mainstream credibility. Later, when the Uranium One story was thoroughly debunked, it didn't matter. The foundation remained under a pall of fuzzy suspicions.

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