No Treasury Analysis of Tax Bill, November 30, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the Secretary of the Treasury to promise that the Treasury department will release an analysis of the tax bill that will show how it will pay for itself, when the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy, who are supposedly running the models, say that no such analysis exists or is in the process of being created.

Update: The Treasury Department’s inspector general has now opened an inquiry into the missing analysis.

Update, December 11, 2017: The Treasury Department has now released a one-page statement about its analysis of the tax bill. Unfortunately, although the statement refers to models, it provides no details about how the numbers in the analysis were generated.

Sources: The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times.


Andrew Lack Insinuation, November 29, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to insinuate on Twitter, after expressing surprise about the termination of a morning show host, that the president of NBC News might have something untoward in his “past.” Granted, given the current torrent of sexual harassment allegations, he might, but as of right now it appears the president is just trying to start a baseless rumor because he doesn’t like NBC’s coverage of him. It is also NOT NORMAL for the president to hint that an MSNBC host should be investigated for the death of an intern in 2001. (The death was due to an abnormal heart rhythm.)

Updated to add Joe Scarborough allegation, November 29, 2017.

Sources: the Presidential Twitter feed, the St. Augustine Record.

Jayda Fransen Retweets, November 29, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to retweet anti-Muslim propaganda videos originally posted by a leader of a far-right Islamophobic political party in Britain. Nota bene: when one of the guys at Infowars publicly suggests you’ve gone too far, you are through the looking glass. It is further NOT NORMAL for the president to insult the prime minister of Britain via Twitter after her spokesperson criticized his de facto endorsement of the far-right Islamophobic political party.

Update: according to this website, the person in one of the videos who is described as a “Muslim migrant beat[ing] up Dutch boy on crutches” is neither Muslim nor a migrant. Fair warning: I can’t vouch for the reliability of the site, and it is also in Dutch so you will have to rely on Google Translate if you can’t read that language.

Update 2: The spokesman for the British prime minister says that “It is wrong for the president to have done this,” and it’s not embarrassing at all that one of our strongest allies just had to slap our president’s hands.

Update 3: The president’s endorsement of this propaganda has now been denounced by other leading figures in Britain, including the Archbishop of Canterbury. (I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted by all this winning.) Also, have added reference to the president’s tweet targeting the British prime minister.

Sources: the Presidential Twitter feed; the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Twitter feed; the Independent; the TelegraphPaul Joseph Watson’s Twitter feed.

Media “Manhandled” in Alabama, November 28, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the staff of Alabama’s Republican candidate for the United States Senate to “”decided to push the cameras back and physically manhandle two Fox News photographers, pushing them away and grabbing their cameras” at a campaign rally that was open to the media. If you are not comfortable with being on camera, you should probably not run for the Senate.

Sources: CNN, Fox News

“Chuck and Nancy,” November 28, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to tweet this in advance of a meeting with the Senate and House minority leaders: “Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!” Not only is this an absurd caricature of their actual positions, it effectively shuts down the meeting before it begins. In fact, the leaders cancelled the meeting in response to the tweet.

Sources: the Presidential Twitter feed; Politico

Access Hollywood Tape, November 28, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL that the president has been claiming that the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he admits to sexual assault was fabricated. Access Hollywood has now made a public statement that the tape of the president was real and unedited, and there we have another sentence I never expected to type. Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that the president is now once again questioning whether former president Obama was born in the United States.

Update, December 4, 2017: Billy Bush has now weighed in with a New York Times editorial entitled, “Yes, Donald Trump, You Said That.”

Updated to add information about re-emergence of president’s birtherism on November 29, 2017.

Sources: Time magazine; the New York Times