This Is Not Normal, October 7, 2019 – October 13, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to make a significant foreign policy and military decision on the spur of the moment, with no apparent long-term strategy or plan, shocking and betraying allies and surprising his own closest advisers.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president, when reminded that his surprise decision would lead to the release of ISIS fighters, replied that the release would not be a problem since the fighters would be escaping to Europe.
  • It is NOT NORMAL, or at least not wise, for the president to criticize the former vice president’s son for his business ties to foreign countries when his own children have done business in Indonesia, India, China, Scotland, and other foreign countries during his presidency.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a career diplomat, dismissed from her position in Ukraine, testified that under the current administration, businesspeople seeking profits or prominence were sabotaging the work of foreign policy professional and that the president and other officials were being manipulated through “fiction and innuendo.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House is explicitly refusing to cooperate with any subpoenas or document requests from the House of Representatives on the grounds that an impeachment inquiry “seek[s] to overturn the results of the 2016 election.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that two Ukrainian associates of the president’s current lawyer, who were also involved in the president’s push to get Ukraine to investigate conspiracy theories about the 2016 election as well as the son of the former vice president, were arrested for campaign finance violations. Also NOT NORMAL: the president’s lawyer is under investigation for similar crimes (not to be confused with the president’s former lawyer, who is in prison for campaign finance violations of a different sort).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the ambassador to the European Union reportedly plans to testify that although the president told him there was no quid pro quo (i.e., military and financial assistance to Ukraine in exchange for politically motivated investigations), he did not know that there was actually no quid pro quo.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president continues to fight turning over his tax returns to prosecutors despite promising in 2016 that he would (like the vast majority of presidential contenders) voluntarily release them to the public.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the attorney general spends his taxpayer-funded time pursuing politically motivated investigations into the president’s opponents.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president refuses to be properly briefed for phone calls with foreign leaders, sometimes hands the phone to his daughter during such calls, and later tries to throw away the briefings for the calls, even though doing so is illegal.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that in a campaign rally speech in Minnesota, the president said that officials had sent “large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers,” which certainly sounds super-racist.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be our long national nightmare. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • repeatedly attempt to justify his capitulation to Turkey and Russia, arguing that he was motivated by his desire to end “endless wars” and achieve world peace;
    • refer to his “great and unmatched wisdom,” apparently in all seriousness;
    • claim multiple times that the United States had captured “100% of the ISIS Caliphate” (no);
    • claim that he could not send the ambassador to the European Union to testify before Congress because “he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court” (the ambassador has been subpoenaed and will testify this week);
    • refer to “Crooked Hillary Clinton” yet again (twice in one tweet, no less);
    • complain repeatedly about the mayor of Minneapolis, who made the president’s campaign pay in advance for security because the president had stiffed other cities in the past (if you’ve read anything about Trump University, you know that this was quite prudent of the mayor);
    • tweet that “Gasoline Prices in the State of California are MUCH HIGHER than anywhere else in the Nation ($2.50 vs. $4.50). I guess those very expensive and unsafe cars that they are mandating just aren’t doing the trick! Don’t worry California, relief is on the way. The State doesn’t get it!” (that is . . . not how that works? California has high gas prices and recently, refinery outages have lowered the supply of gas, driving prices up, which I’m sure you all learned about in ninth-grade economics);
    • again call the impeachment inquiry “The Greatest Witch Hunt in the history of the USA!” (it isn’t);
    • insult the whistleblower repeatedly, even though the transcript voluntarily released by his own administration backs up the whistleblower’s account;
    • call the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee “a disgrace to our Country!”;
    • claim that polls show “Only 25 percent want the President impeached” (recent polls show the actual percentage at or near 50 percent);
    • complain about the Fox News polling operation (which is actually highly regarded), saying bluntly that “Whoever their Pollster is, they suck” and concluding “Oh well, I’m President!”;
    • tweet cryptically upon the announcement that a Fox News anchor was resigning, “Is he leaving due to bad ratings, or some other less important reason?”;
    • tweet “WHERE’S HUNTER?” sans context;
    • complain about the criminal investigation into his attorney; and
    • tweet that “CHINA HAS ALREADY BEGUN AGRICULTURAL PURCHASES FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS & RANCHERS!”, which sounds like something that Kim Jong Un would say.
  • There was also a lot of retweeting terrible people.

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