Commuters should expect heavier-than-usual traffic Friday evening, as the presidential motorcade will travel from Palm Beach International Airport, where Air Force One will land, and Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club directly to the east. Past motorcades have passed through quickly, causing few traffic tie-ups. However, more security is anticipated because this is Trump’s first visit to Palm Beach County as president.
The restriction expires at 11:30 a.m. Monday, so Trump most likely will leave before then.
Trump noted he had to give up the show when he ran for president and, “They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place and we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It has been a total disaster.”
Then, ever mindful of his audience, Trump added: “I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings.”
“Hey, Donald, I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs?” Schwarzenegger says in a brief video he tweeted. “You take over TV because you’re such an expert in ratings and I take over your job, and then people can finally sleep comfortably again.”
The event could help the Red Cross provide assistance to those affected by Trump’s controversial executive order halting refugee admissions and travel from seven nations. Red Cross spokeswoman Jeanne Hamrick said that the organization has received at least one request to help people affected by the travel ban.
“The American Red Cross, when requested by local authorities, will provide basic support to stranded travelers affected by the recent executive order on immigration, including providing food and water at ports of entry; blankets, toiletries and other aid; and health, mental health and spiritual care services,” Hamrick said.
“Our ‘Restoring Family Links’ services are also available to help detainees and stranded travelers who have been separated internationally to reconnect with their loved ones. Our regional leaders are following these issues closely and in close contact with the relevant local authorities. At least one American Red Cross region has received and responded to a formal request for such assistance,” Hamrick said.
The ball, started in 1957 by original Mar-a-Lago owner Marjorie Merriweather Post, has traditionally been held at Mar-a-Lago or The Breakers over the last six decades. Trump has attended for most of the last 12 years, but missed last year’s ball while he was on the campaign trail.
“Mr. Trump over the years has been extremely generous to the Red Cross in the use of his facility and his appearances at the event,” said Larry Casey, a former CEO of the Palm Beach regional chapter of the Red Cross.
Now that Trump is president and protesters plan to march nearby, Casey said the political factor puts the organization in a difficult spot.
“The Red Cross is very much a hyper-sensitive, non-political organization that shies away from anything that’s political. So I’m sure they’re doing headstands in Washington over the fact that the Red Cross is being caught in the middle of a political brouhaha,” Casey said.
Hamrick said that the Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that does not engage in “controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature so that we may continue to fulfill our mission and enjoy the confidence of all.”
In response to this year’s planned protests, Hamrick said, “We respect the right of all people to express their views and are thankful to live in a country where such discourse is embraced. We hope these expressions will not hinder the efforts of an impartial humanitarian organization that serves the urgent needs of people at home and around the world.”
The Senate’s confirmation Wednesday of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State was the latest example of Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio differing on one of President Donald Trump‘s Cabinet picks.
The House of Representatives doesn’t have a say in confirming Supreme Court nominees, but two Palm Beach County Democrats — Reps. Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach and Ted Deutch of Boca Raton — want it known that they oppose President Donald Trump‘s pick of Neil Gorsuch for the high court.
Frankel put out a statement within 20 minutes of Trump’s announcement.
“The Republicans hijacked President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court and now, sadly, President Trump is bowing to his more extreme supporters,” said Frankel on Tuesday night. “Based on his judicial record, Neil Gorsuch will tip a narrowly divided court in a dangerous direction. This nomination puts serious issues at stake, like a woman’s constitutional right to make her own personal health care choices, getting money out of our politics, and ending political gerrymandering. We need a Supreme Court Justice whose record reflects mainstream values and respect for the fundamental rights of all Americans.”
Deutch weighed in this morning, calling Gorsuch “an extreme right-wing ideologue.”
Deutch continued in a statement released by his office: “Judge Neil Gorsuch’s radical views on federal regulations fly in the face of long-standing Supreme Court precedent and will undermine crucial consumer protections, environmental protections, and labor safety protections. He sided with corporations in the Hobby Lobby decision defining them as people, giving corporations the right to deny women birth control in the name of religious belief. He has publicly attacked everyday Americans for seeking access to our nation’s courts to protect and support their individual rights. His rulings supporting the use of excessive force by law enforcement will be a step-back in our nation’s effort to reform the criminal justice system. And he has consistently sided with corporations and their interests while quashing the ability of employees to protect their rights in the workplace.
“If Mitch McConnell wanted to replace the late Justice Scalia with someone with equally or even more extreme views, he’s getting the pick he wanted. Judge Gorsuch’s far-right views fall so far outside the mainstream that he should not be confirmed for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court.”
• $4.1 billion for construction of highway projects
• $178.2 million in seaport infrastructure improvements
• $257.8 million for aviation improvements
• $300.8 million for scheduled repair of 61 bridges and replacement of 16 bridges
• $978.2 million for maintenance and operation
• $618 million for public transit development grants
• $175.6 million for safety initiatives
• $82.7 million for bike and pedestrian trails
“Gov. Scott’s transportation budget provides the record funding necessary to maintain and repair existing infrastructure and prepare for future growth,” said outgoing state Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold. “Florida’s roads, seaports, airports, railways and trails will continue to meet the growing needs of Florida’s families.”