A bizarre situation involving rental cars used during one of President Joe Biden’s trips has social media and conspiracy theorists busy with speculation.
The cars were owned by Hertz, and had just been returned by members of the Secret Service who had been using them during President Biden’s visit, sources said.
The Ford Expedition was under a battery recall by the manufacturer and had recently had the battery switched out. pic.twitter.com/CQzI5w0k2U
— Nantucket Current (@ACKCurrent) November 28, 2022
The day after President Joe Biden left Nantucket for his Thanksgiving holiday, five Hertz rental cars hired by his Secret Service detail burst into flames in the airport parking lot.
The Nantucket Current tweeted out photos and wrote, “The cars were owned by Hertz, and had just been returned by members of the Secret Service who had been using them during President Biden’s visit, sources said.”
A fire “involving multiple rental vehicles recently used by Secret Service agents erupted early Monday morning at Nantucket Memorial Airport,” reported the Current.
According to a statement from Nantucket Memorial Airport, at 5:22 a.m. on Monday, airport staff observed an active fire through the closed circuit TV system in the rental car overflow area. Local fire and police departments responded and contained the fire.
“Something very fishy going on,” one YouTube user commented on the Nantucket Current’s video. “No freakin’ way was this a coincidence. Absolutely no way,” wrote another.
An investigation is underway. The working theory is that the fire started in a Ford Expedition, which was under a safety recall since May due to a faulty battery junction box that has been known to cause underhood fires. The recall affects 66,000 Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators manufactured between December 2020 and April 2021.
“We believe these vehicle fires can be traced to a circuit board supplier that changed manufacturing locations during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to Ford’s website. “The printed circuit boards produced there are sometimes susceptible to a high-current short.”
“Of the eight fire allegations, six occurred while the vehicle was parked and off, and two occurred while driving,” says the initial March 2022 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the part of the Department of Transportation that investigates car safety issues. Interestingly, the eight vehicles were owned by multiple rental car companies at various locations.
By mid-May, the government had 16 reports of underhood fires in 2021 Expedition and Navigator vehicles. Of those, 14 were rental vehicles and 12 of the fires had occurred while the vehicle was parked with the engine off. Consequently, Ford has advised owners that these vehicles should be parked outdoors and away from buildings.
In an email to Forbes, Hertz confirmed that it was working with the local authorities on their investigation but did not confirm that the Explorer in question had been scheduled for service under the recall.
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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency
In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.
Key points of the situation include:
Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.
Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.
Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.
Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.
Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”
Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.
Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.
In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.
Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.
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