This Is Not Normal, August 19, 2019 – August 25, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president reportedly recommended using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes. (Please tell me I do not need to explain why this is a terrible idea.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president canceled a state visit to Denmark (that he himself requested, no less) in a fit of pique over the country’s refusal to sell him Greenland.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president referred to himself as “the Chosen One.” (Seriously, imagine if a Democratic president had said this, even in jest.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president tweeted an “order” to American companies to leave China.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president said he was “looking very, very seriously” at ending birthright citizenship. (The president does not have the authority to unilaterally amend the Constitution.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president accused Jews who voted for Democrats of “great disloyalty,” presumably to Israel. (The president is an anti-Semite.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president argued that Russia should be readmitted to the G7 and claimed that his predecessor wanted Russia out of the G7 because “Putin outsmarted him.” (In truth, Russia was kicked out of the G7 because of it shandling of the Ukraine crisis, which remains unresolved.)
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be an international embarrassment. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • claim that his latest internal polls were “the strongest we’ve had so far!” despite the “Fake News” (no one believes this, because they would be leaked if that were the case);
    • call his former communications director “a highly unstable ‘nut job'” whom he barely knew (one wonders why he was then hired for an important job in the White house);
    • complain bitterly and repeatedly about the Federal Reserve Board raising interest rates, culminating in a charge that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board might be a “bigger enemy” than the Chinese leader Xi Jinping (that is a legitimately disturbing thing for the president to tweet);
    • claim that Google “manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes” (the author of the paper the president was attempting to reference–which was based on 95 voters, only 21 of whom were undecided in 2016–has disavowed the president’s conclusions);
    • tweet a photoshopped image of a glitzy Trump Tower in the middle of a rural area of Greenland, accompanied by the text “I promise not to do this to Greenland!” (you guys, he was so proud of this that he retweeted it twice, which should be an article of impeachment all by itself);
    • mock a congressional representative who cried during a press conference in which she was explaining why she had chosen not to visit her grandmother in Israel (it doesn’t even matter what you think about the representative in question, this is just boorish behavior beneath the dignity of the office);
    • accuse the “Fake News LameStream Media” of trying to “‘create’ a U. S. recession”;
    • call the automotive companies “politically correct” (and tell the descendants of Henry Ford that he would be “very disappointed”) for rejecting a policy that would “lower the average price of a car to consumers by more than $3000, while at the same time making the car substantially safer” (this proposal appears to be the president’s desire to roll back emissions standards, which one study found would actually cost consumers $3,300 per vehicle);
    • call NATO “very unfair to the United States”;
    • tweet that “The Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race!” (I guess this was a joke? I guess?);
    • claim that he was joking when he called himself the “Chosen One” (I am unconvinced, and also not sure that makes it much better);
    • complain about his former favorite news outlet, Fox News;
    • claim that “The question I was asked most today by fellow World Leaders, who think the USA is doing so well and is stronger than ever before, happens to be, ‘Mr. President, why does the American media hate your Country so much? Why are they rooting for it to fail?'” (every word of this is patent nonsense);
    • claim that everyone in France is “laughing at how knowingly inaccurate the U. S. reporting of events and conversations at the G-7 is” (whatever, dude).
  • The president also retweeted a bunch of silliness.
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This Is Not Normal, August 12, 2019 – August 18, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the union workers at the president’s speech at a petrochemical plant were given the option of attending the speech or losing a day’s pay.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president successfully convinced the Israeli prime minister to block two American congresswomen from entering Israel. (This is NOT NORMAL no matter what you may think about the politics of the two congresswomen.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president publicly fat-shamed someone whom he believed to be a protester at one of his rallies but who turned out to be a supporter. (To be clear, the president should not be publicly fat-shaming anyone, whether friend or foe, and I can’t believe I just had to type that sentence.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House is considering attempting to invoke executive privilege to prevent the House testimony of a former campaign aide who never worked in the administration. (That is not how executive privilege works.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president wants to buy Greenland. (Colonialism is generally frowned upon these days.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that an administration immigration official rewrote the poem on the Statue of Liberty to read, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet,” and expressed his belief that subjects of the poem were “people coming from Europe.” (So, more blatant racism from the White House.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the department of homeland security has struggled to address the problems of white supremacists and domestic terrorism because the president is only interested in threats from foreign terrorists and immigrants.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • announce that “CNN is BAD for America!”;
    • complain that “Without Voter ID” election security is meaningless;
    • repeatedly berate the Federal Reserve Board for raising interest rates and accuse it of holding the economy back;
    • defend the Chinese president’s handling of protests in Hong Kong, calling him “a good man in a ‘tough business'”;
    • imply that a deputy editor for the New York Times was demoted for “biased and inaccurate reporting,” when he was actually demoted for a series of controversial, racially insensitive tweets;
    • call the two American congresswomen who were barred from Israel “the face of the Democrat party” (this is not true, and also, nota bene to Republicans heading into the 2020 campaign, saying “Democrat party” isn’t clever or sassy, it’s just ungrammatical);
    • later claim that “AOC Plus 4 is the new face of the Democrat [sic] party”;
    • call the grandmother of one of the American congresswomen barred from Israel the “real winner” because “She doesn’t have to see her now!” (the president is not a nice person);
    • claim that his poll numbers would be higher if “we had an honest Media”;
    • tweet “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” sans context;
    • complain that a Fox News journalist asked for a photo with the president and his family, but “is always nasty and wrong!”; and
    • claim that “The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office,” saying, “I’m fairly certain they’ll endorse me just to keep it all going” (the president’s mind certainly works in interesting ways).

This Is Not Normal, August 5, 2019 – August 11, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that a political appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development reacted to the death of a man awaiting trial for sexual trafficking of minors with an insinuation that a former president and presidential candidate were somehow responsible for it. It is even less normal, and more appalling, that the president gave the theory his tweet of approval.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the justice department is seeking to decertify a union of immigration judges, presumably because it is unhappy about the judges’ criticism of the administration.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a presidential candidate said that “poor kids” are just as smart as “white kids.” That is just embarrassing.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration forced out the woman in line to become the director of national intelligence over the protests of senators from both parties.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration is attempting to unilaterally freeze already approved foreign aid, cutting Congress out of the decision-making entirely. The legislative branch is the equal of the executive branch, not its subordinate.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s incendiary language about immigrants and the subsequent shooting in El Paso that specifically targeted immigrants have led Mexico to demand better protections for Mexicans visiting the United States.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • use the shootings in El Paso as a rationale for his draconian immigration policies in an effort to “have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”;
    • complain yet more about the “Fake News” media;
    • conduct foreign policy via social media (this time it was China, North Korea, and South Korea);
    • accuse a Google executive of faking search results in an attempt to hurt his 2016 candidacy, ending with “We are watching Google very closely!” (I thought Republicans were pro-business and anti-regulation? I am so confused);
    • complain yet again, over several days, about the Federal Reserve, many of whose members he appointed, and which is supposed to operate independently;
    • refer to a candidate for the Democratic nomination as “Sleepy Joe Biden” and say that the “LameStream Media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy” (sometimes I imagine the leaders of other countries reading these tweets and I am just mortified for our country);
    • accuse a senator and the mayor of Dayton of “misrepresenting what took place inside” the hospital where he met some of the shooting victims (the senator and mayor criticized the president’s public rhetoric but also acknowledged that his hospital visit seemed successful, so this is simply false);
    • complain about an anchor on his former favorite network, adding “Actually, whenever possible, I turn to OANN!” (OANN has publicized several demonstrably false conspiracy theories and employs a reporter who is also an employee of Russia’s state-owned media);
    • slam a sitting congressman as “the lesser brother of a failed presidential candidate”;
    • complain about a cable news pundit who “wrote a failed hit piece book about me 15 years ago. Fired like a dog from other jobs? Saw him on lyin’ Brian Williams Trump Slam Show”;
    • tease the possibility of pardoning the former governor of Illinois for trying to sell a Senate seat;
    • call the military exercises the United States conducts with South Korea “ridiculous and expensive” (they are, in fact, much less expensive than a war will be); and
    • complain about one of his former communications directors who criticized him on television.