I have quite a lot of stories from a relatively short vacation, and I'll try to remember at least some of them for you this week, including my family biking around rice paddies in rural Chiang Mai (Thailand) en route to an enormous Buddhist temple complex.
While I was away, and for the first time in a long time, one single issue dominated the news coverage: the Trump administration's recent policy initiative to separate children from parents when apprehended crossing the border illegally. CNN had a fairly scathing assessment of the self-inflicted political wound caused by wildly gyrating statements by the administration, including by President Trump himself, which ended up in his being forced to sign an Executive Order (which he clearly didn't like...check out his body language starting around 4 minutes into the video below!) ending the process. That was not, however, the end of the politicization of this mess.
Shortly after this even during which VP Mike Pence and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the president himself called on Congress to act, not just regarding family separation but also regarding more comprehensive immigration reform, President Trump sent out this tweet, killing any possibility for the latter:
Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Trump has made it clear in other tweets that he believes there will not be enough Democratic support for anything in the Senate to make it worth taking time to try to pass a bill. He's probably right, and as a political matter the overall issue (though not the family separation fiasco) is probably a winner for his interests in the November midterms. Still, the situation remains unnecessarily messy, causing Congressman Mike Coffman to note, "I don’t understand where the administration is right now on this issue."
In the meantime, many Democrats have sunk to new lows in attacking not just Donald Trump, but his staff and his family, with the two best-known examples being a restaurant owner in Virginia asking Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to leave and fading Hollywood star Peter Fonda sending out a series of tweets so vulgar I can't post them here, but here's an excerpt from one:
"We should rip Barron Trump from his mother's arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles..."
You can see more here, if you really want to: https://twitter.com/RealJamesWoods/status/1009648188704186369
Now you can see why part of me wishes I were still in Thailand...