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CNN report damns Trump for taking taxpayer-funded Mar-a-Lago trips as he slashes government programs

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CNN’s Jon Avlon did a special report categorizing how much President Donald Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago cost taxpayers and how that cost could be better spent on Americans.

In a Sunday report, Avlon created a new currency he calls “one Mar-a-Lago,” meaning one trip to Trump’s golf course in Florida for the president and his team.

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Last week, Trump and his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos got caught trying to slash funding to special education and the Special Olympics. The move came just days after Trump welcomed youth with Down Syndrome to the White House for National Down Syndrome Day. DeVos was asked if she personally approved the cuts, and she revealed she did not. The cuts likely were handed down by those crafting Trump’s budget.

Each time Trump takes a weekend vacation to his “gilded pleasure palace” in Palm Beach, Florida, it costs taxpayers $3.4 million. He’s so far spent 51 nights at the resort, which translates to $69 million. The budget for the Special Olympics is about $17.6 million, or five Mar-a-Lagos.

“That’s not all,” said Avlon. “The Health and Human Services budget cuts program for those with Autism. This one is about three times as deep. A whopping $51 million. For those playing at home, that’s about 15 Mar-a-Lago. What about the corporation for public broadcasting? Conservatives have been trying to kill the company that built Big Birds nests since the 1960s. Mr. Rogers even once had to step in to save it. The Trump budget proposed cutting all but 30 of the $465 million budget. To save the company that brought you Sesame Street along with arts and culture free to all Americans at home would cost about 136 Mar-a-Lago.”

The most tragic, however, comes from the struggling Americans in Puerto Rico. After being hit with two hurricanes, the island was devastated, killing up to 3,000 people and costing about $41 billion in damage.

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“Making good on the current allocation would cost an estimated 9,000 Mar-a-Lago,” Avlon said.

He noted that the president has spent more than a quarter of his presidency on vacation at the resort. The Washington Post calculated that the president played golf about once every five days through November of 2018.

Ironically, Trump criticized Obama for how often he plays golf. The totality of Obama’s golf trips over eight years is approximately 31 Mar-a-Lago trips, which Trump is coming close to surpassing in just three years.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Has anything changed since Burning Man’s sex assault and labor issues were exposed?

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The last weekend in August marks the start of Burning Man, a week-long, festival in the Nevada desert consisting of freewheeling performance art, fanciful costumes, and a lot of drugs. The anarchic party with more than 50,000 attendees constitutes a pilgrimage for many attendees, lured by the promise of leaving the “default world” behind in exchange for a transformative or even spiritual experience.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Truckers are facing a ‘bloodbath’ in their industry — and it’s turning many in the pro-Trump group against him: report

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Truckers are numerous, conservative, and hurting. And despite their widespread support for Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016, a new report from Business Insider suggests the pain in the industry might be turning these workers away from the president.

The political trends in trucking are not insignificant. According to the American Trucking Associations, there were an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in 2018. RTS Financial has found that there are 7.4 million jobs total “tied to the trucking industry.” And Business Insider reported that nearly 90 percent of truckers are registered voters, higher than the general population.

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WATCH: Trump’s collusion with Russia is now a topic for impeachment — along with obstruction and racism

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President Donald Trump's interactions with Russia are now a topic of the impeachment investigation.

"There was an important development in support for impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives today," MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported Tuesday. "Important both in who the new support comes from and what that support is based on."

"Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois is one of the freshmen Democrats who flipped a Republican district last year in winning her election. She brings the total number of House Democrats supporting impeachment now to 126 -- a majority of the Democrats' 235 members of the House," he explained.

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