This Is Not Normal, May 8, 2018 – May 14, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that a South Dakota state senator and candidate for a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives said, “And then all that has to happen is that there will be one more terrorist attack between now and then, and I will be the–just by the Trump effect–I will be the candidate.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Department of Education halted investigations into abuses by for-profit colleges such as the DeVry Institute after several former employees for such institutions had been given high-level positions in the department.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is considering personally intervening to overturn sanctions imposed by the Commerce Department against a Chinese tech company, ZTE.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the U.S. ambassador to Moscow is joining a panel discussion at an economic forum with the oligarch who is under American sanctions and who has been linked to several payments to the president’s lawyer.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee continues to demand sensitive case files from the Department of Justice, despite concerns about breaching the separation of powers and potentially endangering witnesses and operatives should the contents of the files be leaked.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president shouted at the secretary of Homeland Security for several minutes in front of the entire cabinet because the number of immigrants entering the country illegally is increasing, despite the fact that vetting of immigrants has intensified and several visa programs ended.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to pull out of a multilateral nuclear agreement with another country over the objections to the other signers of the agreement and despite the fact that the agreement was, to all appearances, working well.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • argue that opposition to his nominee for CIA director was predicated on the idea that she was too “TOUCH ON TERROR!” when in fact the issue is primarily her previous support for torture;
    • post that a former secretary of State, who was reportedly engaged in “shadow diplomacy,” “can’t get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it!” (I am not a fan of shadow diplomacy, but public insult via tweet is not the best way to handle the situation);
    • repeatedly call the media covering his administration “Fake News” because they are not uniformly complimentary;
    • refer to a sitting senator as “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer”;
    • describe an upcoming meeting with the leader of North Korea as “highly anticipated,” as though he were resolving a television cliffhanger;
    • argue after a knife attack in Paris that “At some point countries will have to open their eyes & see what is really going on!” without offering condolences to the leadership of France or to the family of the person who was killed.
  • We have gone an entire week with no reference to “Crooked Hillary” or a witch hunt. In fact, there has been no “Crooked Hillary” mention since mid-April. Progress!