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As GOP claims nation can’t afford healthcare, HHS Sec took 5 private jets to US destinations — in just one week

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Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last week took five separate flights on private jets, costing “tens of thousands of dollars” more in travel expenditures than his predecessors would have by using commercial options, Politico reports.

In a move that broke with precedent, Price jet set on corporate-style planes to Maine, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, despite the Trump administration’s pledge to cut government waste.

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“Tough choices had to be made to identify and reduce spending within the department,” Price told Congress when he pushed to cut his own department’s budget by 18 percent. “Our goal is …. to decrease the areas where there are either duplications, redundancies or waste.”

One of the areas where there is apparently not redundancy or waste is in Price’s own travel arrangements, even as commercial plane, train and bus routes would have taken the HHS secretary to each of the aforementioned areas for a fraction of the cost.

Kathleen Sebelius, who served as HHS secretary under former President Barack Obama, told Politico she only took private planes to remote areas that required chartered aviation.

“The basic rules that our scheduling team worked under were, you flew commercial and you flew economy,” Sebelius said. “That’s just what they did.”

In a statement, a HHS spokesperson insisted “official travel by the secretary is done in complete accordance with Federal Travel Regulations.”

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Former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub, who resigned in protest in July, called Price’s conduct “wasteful,” saying it violates the “spirit” of Federal Travel Regulations.

“I can understand why the secretary might have to use a charter flight to get to a hurricane-devastated region, but Philadelphia is not one of those regions this year,” Shaub told Politico. “I find it hard to believe he couldn’t find a suitable commercial flight to Philadelphia.”

“Public office isn’t supposed to come with frivolous perks at taxpayer expense,” Shaub said.

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“As part of the HHS mission to enhance and protect the health and well-being of the American people, Secretary Price travels on occasion outside Washington to meet face to face with the American people to hear their thoughts and concerns firsthand,” an HHS spokesperson told Politico. “When commercial aircraft cannot reasonably accommodate travel requirements, charter aircraft can be used for official travel.”

In 2009, Price posted a clip to YouTube of himself blasting Democrats for using private jets.

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Watch that clip below:


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The ‘War on Christmas’ was started more than 500 years ago — by Christians

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If it feels like the “War on Christmas” is getting really old, it is. Almost 15 years have passed since Bill O’Reilly first opened December with a segment called, “Christmas Under Siege”—ten long years in which his cadences and refrains and echoing chorus have become as familiar to most Americans as Handel’s Messiah. More familiar, in fact.

Not that O’Reilly invented the idea. During the 1920’s, Henry Ford’s newspaper published a series of anti-Semitic articles titled, “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem.” Among the complaints:

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Surprise! IG report finds anti-Clinton bias at the FBI

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The Justice Department inspector general's report debunked President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the FBI’s Russia probe was launched out of anti-Trump bias by FBI leaders. Conversely, it did find anti-Hillary Clinton bias among FBI agents.

Trump claimed for years that the FBI investigation was opened because of anti-Trump bias by FBI leaders, citing text messages sent between former top FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page that criticized him during the 2016 campaign. Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that neither Strzok nor Page were in a position to start an investigation into Trump’s campaign and concluded that the FBI probe was justified, refuting claims that the probe was opened because of bias by the FBI’s top officials.

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Here are 5 huge lies Republicans are telling about the new report on the Russia probe

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Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's new report on the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, commonly called the Russia investigation, blew up many of the right wing's favorite talking points and conspiracy theories about the FBI. At the same time, it exposed real failures of procedures meant to protect American citizens against undue surveillance and exposed the need for serious law enforcement reforms.

But most Republicans seem unfazed that the report undercuts President Donald Trump's repeated accusations of "treason" and a "witch hunt," and they show no genuine interest in pushing policy to generally make law enforcement more responsible. Instead, they're trying to pin the blame on the Obama administration and bias against Trump, even though these claims actually distract from the genuine problems uncovered.

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