This Is Not Normal, April 3, 2018 – April 9, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL for a high-ranking political appointee at the Department of the Interior to compare the Parkland school shooting survivors to Nazis and post on social media a false flag conspiracy theory about the shooting.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the Director of the EPA to deny knowing about large pay raises for two subordinates that the White House opposed, which in fact an email from one of the subordinates seems to confirm that he was well aware of the raises. Additionally, it is NOT NORMAL for the Director of the EPA to require around-the-clock security and first-class travel arrangements (according to the EPA, the need for security is due to death threats; however, when a reporter filed a FOIA request the EPA was unable to produce any such threats).
  • It is NOT NORMAL for a member of Congress in South Carolina to pull out a gun during a town hall meeting with constituents.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for a person to die in a fire at an apartment building owned by the president, in part because no sprinklers were installed on the upper floors of the building. In fact, no general announcement about the fire was made to tenants (although a personal text was sent to a friend of the president’s lawyer) and they were never told to evacuate.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to literally throw away a prepared speech in order to extemporaneously accuse the opposition party of deliberately endangering the country so they can earn immigrant votes and claim that millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally in the 2016 election. (If someone can explain why it makes sense that the president’s opposition would run up votes in California but neglect to shore up a few thousand votes in Michigan and Wisconsin I would be eternally grateful.)
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • deny that we are in a trade war with China, only a few weeks after insisting that trade wars are good and easy to win;
    • defend the director of the EPA as “doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege, saying that “Rent was about market rate” ($50 per night is not market rate in DC) and “travel expenses OK”;
    • attack his own Justice department for “slow walking” documents to the House Judiciary Comittee;
    • complain that the FBI’s investigation of his former presidential opponent was “rigged”;
    • say that the Washington Post is “far more fiction than fact”; and
    • tweet that the building that was on fire was “well built” and thank the “firemen (and women)” for putting it out, without mentioning that someone had died.