Release the Memo, January 29, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for a member of Congress to write a memo based on classified information from the Justice Department, tease it repeatedly in public, and then refuse to show the memo to either the Justice Department or Senators from his own party. It is NOT NORMAL for the president to call for the public release of the memo despite objections from the Justice Department. And it is NOT NORMAL for an administration to target a Deputy Attorney General from its own party because he is suspected of not being personally loyal to the president.

Source: Vox

Government Shutdown, January 19, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the government to shut down, particularly when one party holds both houses of Congress and the presidency. It is NOT NORMAL for a senator to negotiate an agreement with the president to avert the shutdown only to have the compromise scuttled by the president’s chief of staff (ordinarily, the chief of staff does not outrank the president). It is NOT NORMAL for the director of the Office of Management and Budget to tell reporters that “I found out for the first time last night that the person who technically shuts the government down is me, which is kind of cool.” It is NOT NORMAL for the White House to change their comment line’s outgoing message to say “we cannot answer your call today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding . . . hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down.” Leaving the somewhat inaccurate framing of this message aside, does no one in this administration have any dignity at all?

Sources: Buzzfeed, the New Yorker, Vox.

No Funding Request for CFPB, January 18, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to request no funding. Some, I suppose, might applaud the reduction of bureaucracy but this bureau was created because of the 2008 financial crisis and was designed as a check on predatory lenders, debt collectors, and fraud and deception in the financial industry. A request for zero dollars for the quarter certainly seems to indicate a lack of interest in serving as that check on the part of the current director.

Source: Politico.

Vice President at Military Base, January 21, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the vice president to use the occasion of a visit to a military base in the Middle East to attack the minority party for “playing politics with military pay.” What makes this particularly unreasonable is that a senator from the minority party introduced a measure to guarantee military pay despite a government shutdown, but was blocked by the majority leader.

Source: the Los Angeles Times.


Customs and Border Protection Violated Law, January 19, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for Customs and Border Protection officers to violate court orders when implementing the administration’s travel ban last year, as confirmed by a report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released last week. CBP officers deported foreign nationals even after court orders blocked such deportations and called airlines to tell them not to allow some travelers to board planes to the United States even when being explicitly instructed by a judge to do exactly the opposite.

Source: Slate.