a pretty penny
April 16, 2021

Lawmakers who have criticized former President Donald Trump have reportedly had to spend a significant amount of cash on security following the deadly Capitol riot.

A report from Punchbowl News on Friday described how members of Congress "are spending tens of thousands of their campaign dollars on security to protect themselves and their families" in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, during which supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol to disrupt the certification of President Biden's election win.

This phenomenon has reportedly been "most acute" among Republicans who voted to impeach and convict Trump earlier this year. For example, first-quarter Federal Election Commission reports showed that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) spent $43,633 on security, while Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) spent almost $70,000 and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) spent $50,400, according to Punchbowl. These lawmakers all drew Trump's ire after they voted to impeach him on charges of inciting the Capitol riot, and Romney was also the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial.

Some prominent Democrats are also spending similar sums on their private security, according to the report, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) security costs reportedly totaling $45,000 in the first quarter. In the wake of the Jan. 6. attack, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in February unveiled new security measures for lawmakers traveling to and from the nation's capitol, Axios notes, and according to Punchbowl, she's also preparing a spending bill that would add more officers to the Capitol Police and provide certain lawmakers with security in their districts.

"Several lawmakers privately told us that they got a flood of death threats after opposing Trump," Punchbowl also writes, adding that "threat levels against lawmakers have soared." Brendan Morrow

December 8, 2020

Apple has unveiled new headphones that, let's just say, don't exactly come cheap.

On Tuesday, Apple announced its new over-ear headphones, the AirPods Max, which will be available next week and cost a whopping $549.

Apple said the noise-canceling AirPods Max will have up to 20 hours of battery life and "deliver the ultimate personal listening experience." But by retailing for $549, CNN noted the AirPods Max will actually end up being more expensive than the iPhone SE, which starts at $399. Beyond other Apple products, PCMag pointed out the $549 price tag is more than that of the PlayStation 5, as the more expensive version of that console is $499. The headphones are also pricier than the new Xbox Series X console, which is $499.

Apple already sells the AirPods, which start at $159, and the AirPods Pro, which cost $249. But the AirPods Max are Apple's first over-ear headphones, TechRadar notes. Apple in the last fiscal year "generated $31 billion sales from accessories" like the Airpods, Bloomberg reports.

The new AirPods Max will be start shipping on Dec. 15, at which point perhaps consumers will actually be able to easily get them, very much unlike the PlayStation 5. Brendan Morrow

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