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.

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