This Is Not Normal, February 27, 2018 – March 5, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is not normal.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that more than thirty Trump Administration members have been unable for various reasons to attain permanent security clearances.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico (and possibly other foreign countries as well) have been discussing ways to exploit the naivete, complicated business ties, and financial straits of the president’s son-in-law/senior adviser (who, incidentally, lost his temporary security clearance last week).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Securities and Exchange Commission closed its investigation of a financial company one month after the company in question loaned the real estate firm of the president’s son-in-law/senior adviser $180 million.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s now-former communications director admitted in House Intelligence Committee testimony that she told “white lies” for the president.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president continues to torment his Attorney General, including referring to him as “Mr. Magoo,” in an apparent attempt to goad him into resigning.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president suggested executing drug dealers during his summit on the opioid crisis.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that that the secretary of the Treasury blocked the release of footage of himself being heckled by students at UCLA.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of the Interior continues to make political trips, including meeting with members of the National Rifle Association, using government transportation, which can be a violation of the Hatch Act.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the secretary of Housing and Urban Development to spend $31,000 of taxpayer money on a dining room table and chairs for his office.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of Veterans Affairs (seriously, what is going on with this cabinet?) is now suspected of both doctoring emails to hide the use of taxpayer funds for a European vacation and using his security detail for personal errands.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president started a trade war because he was in a bad mood. It is NOT NORMAL for the president to make any major policy decision unilaterally, without communicating it to his Cabinet, Congress, his own staff, or foreign trade partners or even having plans in place for such communications.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for members of the House Intelligence Committee to leak the texts of a Senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee to the press.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to suggest suspending due process for people with mental illnesses who own guns.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to say of Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power in China, “He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great. . . . I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL for a former adviser to the president to announce in a television interview that he plans to defy a subpoena from the special counsel.
  • The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    1. tweet “WITCH HUNT!”;
    2. post an map that purports to show the 2016 vote by county which (a) is incorrect and (b) refers to an election that was held one year and four months ago so it is maybe time to move on;
    3. take the attorney general to task on Twitter for investigating the FISA warrants through the Inspector General’s office rather than using prosecuting attorneys;
    4. tweet that “trade wars are good, and easy to win”;
    5. attack Alec Baldwin for his impression of him on Saturday Night Live;
    6. argue that “Mainstream Media is being mocked all over the world”;
    7. simultaneously argue that Obama should not have investigated his campaign’s collusion with Russia and that Obama did nothing about Russia’s meddling in the election; and
    8. charge that the Democrats do not want to make a deal on DACA when, in fact, DACA is being held up by Republicans and is only an issue because the president signed an executive order making it one.

      Also, we are back to zero weeks without a reference to “Crooked Hillary.”

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