This Is Not Normal, November 12, 2018 – November 18, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL for the First Lady to issue a press release stating her desire for a national security council staffer to be fired, apparently because of a squabble over airplane seating. While we are on the subject of the First Lady, it is also NOT NORMAL that she and the president’s daughter/senior adviser are apparently in a spat over dueling trips to Africa.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for a white Kansas county commissioner to refer to himself as a member of the “master race” when speaking to a black constituent.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for a White House official specializing in foreign relations with Saudi Arabia to resign abruptly, after a dispute with her bosses over holding the country responsible for the killing of a dissident journalist.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to skip a Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery, only to compound the error by falsely asserting that he had gone to Arlington the previous year (he did not).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the House Ethics Committee formally reproved a North Carolina representative for ignoring complaints that one of his top advisers had touched female office workers without their consent.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a federal judge had to order the White House to reinstate the press pass of a reporter, nor that the White House dropped claims that the reporter had “placed hands” on an intern, tacitly admitting these claims to be false.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a Mississippi Senator running against an African-American opponent made a joke about attending a public hanging and, in a separate event, said she would love to make it more difficult for members of the opposing party to vote.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • attack the president of France for making plans for Europe to defend itself militarily and also complain that European countries are not contributing enough to NATO in service of their own defense, which seems contradictory to me, finishing up a series of indignant tweets with (of course) “MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!”;
    • call for Florida to “go with Election Night” vote totals in the gubernatorial and senate races, even though many votes (including military votes) had not been counted on election night and Florida legally mandates recounts in close races;
    • claim that the “prospect of Presidential Harassment by the Dems is causing the Stock Market big headaches!” (that is not the reason the stock market was down);
    • falsely claim that the Secret Service would not allow him to attend the Armistice Day service that he skipped because of rain;
    • state, with no apparent basis, that “The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want”;
    • complain that the special counsel was never approved by the Senate (the Senate has also not approved me to work as a Python developer and yet here I am);
    • whine about coverage of the midterm election;
    • accuse the New York Times of making up their story that the president is souring on the vice president; and
    • refer to a sitting congressman as “little Adam Schitt” (the average fourth grader could not get away with that nonsense without losing recess for a week).
  • Lots of “Fake News” references this week, and complaints about a “Witch Hunt” and a “highly conflicted” special counsel, and even the return of “Crooked Hillary.”