Abe Lincoln created the Secret Service (SS) in 1865 to suppress counterfeit currency, and their duties were soon expanded to include, frauds against the government, investigations into the Ku Klux Klan, non-conforming distillers, smugglers, mail robbers, and land frauds.
Informal part-time presidential protection began with President Cleveland in 1894, but it wasn't until 1902 that two agents were formally assigned to the task. In 1908 the SS began protecting the president-elect, too.
Also in 1908, President Roosevelt transferred the SS to the Department of Justice, forming the nucleus of what is now the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In 1963 legislation to protect Mrs. John F. Kennedy and her minor children for two years passed, and in 1965 former presidents and their spouses during their lifetime, and minor children until age 16 was included.
In 1968, as a result of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, Congress authorized protection of major presidential and vice presidential candidates and nominees. Congress also authorized protection for widows of presidents until death, or remarriage, and their children until age 16.
Legislation in 1994 stated that Presidents elected to office after January 1, 1997, will receive Secret Service protection for only 10 years after leaving office; hence Clinton gets it for life, G. W. Bush gets ten years.
The SS has been a division of the Homeland Security since 2003 and has approximately 6500 employees.
Where is a good Tsunami when you need it? That's what President Obama might be thinking; anything to get the administration's problems off the front pages! Between Secret Service (SS) trysts with prostitutes (or 'overnight guests' as Senator Grassley has called them), the General Services Administration's soiree in Las Vegas, Solyndra, and military problems in Afghanistan, the guy is having a bad year. Not to mention the anemic economic recovery.
Not that there is much that, in the short term, he could have done anything about those issues. Long term? Oh yeah!
Public opinion polls have found that Iowans respect our Highway Patrol second only to God, and I'd speculate that had we been polled a month ago we would have placed the United States Secret Service right up there, too. No longer, though. 'Overnighting' with prostitutes by a handful of agents, (or is it just a handful?) in Cartagena, Columbia, may have allowed access to Obama's schedule, perhaps compromising the President's safety. Loose lips can sink ships.
How long can it be before the investigative media digs up a few unhappy wives and girl friends? Or both. This story will not die. Suppose any of those agents SS were assigned to Bill Clinton? Former presidents Johnson, Kennedy and FDR were also accused of having dalliances when being 'guarded.' Protection can mean so many things!
Senate President Harry Reid says the way to correct the situation is to, "Hire more females." That might help, but wait a minute; women have 'feelings.' Now men have feelings, too, but theirs are usually located in their socks, although occasionally migrating up toward the waist. SS agents shouldn't have feelings. The president; "Shoot him, dammit, kill him, he's trying to kill us!" The female agent would holler, "Did you really mean to shoot at us? Were you abused as a child?"
The balance of agents is probably about right, but maybe the supervision should be adult. 'Feelings,' a song by the ever popular (Not) Morris Albert, has been voted one of the worst songs ever.
From Bob Vander Plaats (President & CEO, The FAMILY LEADER) comes this announcement; "Campaign Academy - It's a two-day seminar on April 27-28 where candidates, their staff, and other authentic conservative activists are equipped to run a winning campaign without compromising their values."
Literally?! I hope the 'Academy' will emphasize that although there are some issues so dear to a person's foundation that they should not be compromised, governing IS the art of compromise. Without compromise the result is gridlock and stalemate -- a standoff. Like Washington D.C. today.
Could the 'academy' 'graduate' legislative candidates the likes of legislative extremists Dwayne Alons, Kim Pearson or Kent Sorenson?
Conference committees in the legislature are very interesting for both the ten participants and the many observers. Not for the impatient or faint hearted, the CC's are made up of two minority and three majority party members from each body. They cannot function without compromise and the end product is usually superior to either of the Senate or House version. I enjoyed those I served on!
Don Paulin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236