The eagle-eyed GOP maintains an ongoing White House watch, and they don’t miss much.
“Joe Biden is headed back on vacation. When Kabul fell, he was on vacation. As the chaotic evacuation began, he slowly came back to the White House and then quickly went back on vacation. And now, after he broke his promise and stranded hundreds of Americans in Afghanistan, he is going back home for yet another vacation. This is Biden’s version of fiddling as Rome burns,” said Tommy Pigott, rapid response director of the Republican National Committee, in a statement.
He cites an Associated Press report, incidentally, that reveals Mr. Biden is headed home to Wilmington, Delaware, according to information the AP obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration.
And there is some context to add here. After all, it is a holiday weekend coming up, and lots of folks will be on vacation — including the president. And here’s the reality check. By mid-August, Mr. Biden had spent 14 weekends at his Delaware home, nine weekends at Camp David and a mere six weekends at the White House. These unusual details come from the meticulous Mark Knoller, a former CBS White House correspondent who compiles statistics about presidential comings and goings.
In the meantime, a new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 62% of likely U.S. voters now believe Congress should investigate how the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was handled; 28% are against a congressional investigation and 10% are not sure. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Aug. 30-31.
THE KIDS GO MISSING
There are some new numbers revealing the ongoing challenges on the southern U.S. border.
“The U.S. government has lost contact with thousands of migrant children released from its custody,” wrote Stef Kight, a political reporter for Axios who obtained the data through a FOIA request to the Department of Health and Human Services.
“During the first five months of the year, care providers made 14,600 required calls to check in with migrant minors released from HHS-run shelters. In 4,890 of those instances, workers were unable to reach either the migrant or the sponsor, who often is a relative,” the report said.
The percentage of unsuccessful calls grew from 26% in January to 37% in May, the data showed.
“While we make every effort to voluntarily check on children after we unite them with parents or sponsors and offer certain post-unification services, we no longer have legal oversight once they leave our custody,” a Health and Human Services spokesman told Ms. Kight.
“More than 65,000 unaccompanied kids crossed the border illegally during those months, and July set yet another all-time record,” she noted in her report.
Some programming of note: Fox News will address the rapidly approaching 20th anniversary of 9/11 in new programming to air Sunday night. Anchor Bill Hemmer hosts a one-hour special titled “Lost Calls of 9/11.” It is based on the extraordinary story of a Houston man who purchased a piece of used computer equipment without knowing that it contained 103 never-heard-before calls from a trading room floor across the street from the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. The program airs at 10 p.m. Eastern and also will be available on Fox Nation. An encore presentation will air on Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern.
ORRIN HATCH REMEMBERS
Former Republican Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah was a force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill for 42 years. He is also a man with significant memories — personal, political and cultural — and here is one of them. Mr. Hatch recalls that Friday marks the ninth anniversary of the passing of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon — who founded The Washington Times in 1982.
“I welcome this opportunity to share a few thoughts on the life and legacy of a good friend. Reverend Moon was a powerful voice for freedom in the world. As a young man, he endured unspeakable horrors in a North Korean prison camp. Thankfully, he escaped and found refuge in South Korea, where he committed himself to fighting the evils of communism,” Mr. Hatch said in a statement.
“The reverend understood — perhaps better than anyone — the destructive potential of the communist ideology. And so, he devoted his life to building up the strongest bulwark against tyranny: the family,” Mr. Hatch continued, also citing the Rev. Moon’s wife Hak Ja Han Moon, who continues to carry out the family-centric mission in multiple nations.
Founding values are a factor, Mr. Hatch said.
“The Constitution empowers you to worship God according to the dictates of your own conscience. Reverend Moon believed this as well. He used his global platform to defend the ideals of freedom, faith, and family through The Washington Times. To this day, the publication has a dedicated readership and a talented stable of writers who ably defend American values through the written word,” he observed.
“Reverend Moon’s legacy lives on not only through this paper but through the millions of individuals he touched over a lifetime of service. I am grateful to have known Reverend Moon and I wish peace and blessings upon his family, friends, and loved ones as we look back on his remarkable life.”
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: Stormfield, a Tuscan-style villa built in 1907 on 28 acres near Redding, Connecticut, for author Mark Twain, who lived there until his death in 1910. Four bedrooms, six marble baths, three fireplaces, large chef’s kitchen, library with coffered and hand-painted ceiling, multiple formal gathering rooms, hardwood and marble floors. 6,300 square feet. Terraces, gardens, in-ground pool. Carriage house, two-bedroom guest cottage, three-car garage, circular drive. Priced at $4.2 million through Sotheby’s.
POLL DU JOUR
⦁ 61% of registered U.S. voters agree that “things in this country have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.”
⦁ 88% of Republicans, 70% of independents and 30% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 66% of women and 55% of men also agree.
⦁ 39% overall agree that “things in this country are going in the right direction.”
⦁ 12% of Republicans, 30% of independents and 70% of Democrats agree.
⦁ 34% of women and 45% of men also agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,997 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 28-30.
Have a pleasant and productive holiday weekend, and thanks for reading Inside the Beltway.