One of the results that comes when an administration outrages a good portion of the nation by separating children from their parents, creates baby detention centers and has no plan to reunite these families is that other news tends to fall through the cracks. Among the various actions the Trump administration took last week alone -- and which got little to no attention on television news and through the public -- were:
The Unites States withdrew from UN Human Rights Council, making the country only one of four nations to do so, the other three being Iran, North Korea and Eritrea. While that sounds pretty horrible (because it is), it's oddly tempered by the inclusion of Eritrea since few people know about it, and so it sounds almost adorable -- somewhat like the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, that fictional tiny nation in The Mouse That Roared. And I don't know much about it either, other than it's a fairly new African country from which 3% of its population has fled, and the Council on Foreign Relations says, "According to the UN inquiry and rights groups, the country has widespread networks of informants, coerced by the state, and those suspected of treasonous behavior are subject to arbitrary arrest, forced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, and torture. Individuals who run afoul of the authorities are often held in harsh conditions in makeshift prisons. Citizens face restrictions on internal movement and speech, and domestic media is controlled by the state." So, I guess it makes sense that they would have withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council -- like Iran, North Korea...and us.
A Trump executive order that repealed laws which protect the oceans from oil spills. That was because -- well, okay, you got me there. The best I can figure out is that it's because President Obama signed it into law. And perhaps because "many people say" that you can never have too much oil spilled into the ocean. At least as long as you include vinegar and spices, to make a really big salad dressing.
A Trump proposal to to consolidate the Department of Education and Department of Labor into one department. It would be called the Department of Education and the Workforce. The best I can figure is that someone in the administration had finished reading a heavily-redacted version of the Collected Novels of Charles Dickens and so completely missed the point, thinking that books like Oliver Twist, Hard Times, Nicholas Nickleby and the death of Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop were meant to support the concept of child abuse. But then, maybe that explains this immigration policy, as well.
And this was all last week alone. Some administrations have to run the full eight years to do that much damage to the nation. And it doesn't even take into consideration the story that the National Enquirer gave Trump lawyer Michael Cohen first-look at certain articles before publishing them, or the separation of immigrating children from their parents, or the news of an upcoming summit between Trump and Vladimir Putin (what could possibly go wrong there?!), or continuing Old News like the ongoing investigation by the Special Counsel, or the lawsuit into hush money paid to a porn actress.
Just another week in Trump World.
Best wishes surviving the upcoming one. Happily there's plenty of support if you need to take a breather.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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