This Is Not Normal, January 13, 2019 – January 19, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s legal defense team does not deny the basic facts of the case against the president but calls the impeachment articles “brazen and unlawful” (presidential impeachment is not unlawful but is in fact described in the Constitution).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a Republican congressional candidate, the president’s personal attorney, and at least one business associate of the president’s attorney who has now been charged with multiple federal crimes were all texting each other about surveilling the American ambassador to Ukraine, with what certainly sounds like intent to do her harm. I realize this sounds far-fetched, but based on texts released by the House of Representatives this week, it appears to be accurate.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president had a meltdown during an event promoting school prayer, triggered by the impending impeachment trial, which he referred to as a “witch hunt hoax.” I regret to inform you that the president again described his phone call with the president of Ukraine as “perfect.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration imposed multiple requirements on congressionally approved aid to Puerto Rico, after sitting on the aid for several months.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that Republican senators are arguing that the president was not allowed to participate in the House impeachment hearings. The House invited the president’s lawyers to participate; the White House declined.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s press secretary accused Democrats of “parroting Iranian talking points, almost taking the side of terrorists” (what Democrats did was point out that the killing of an Iranian military leader was strategically questionable, not supported by our allies, and potentially a violation of international law).
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • refer to himself as “the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare” (his administration is trying to repeal the ACA, which would also repeal the pre-existing conditions clause);
    • retweet a photoshopped image of the Speaker of the House and the Senate minority leader wearing Arabic clothing;
    • gleefully comment on a “feud” between two Democratic candidates for president, adding as a bit of a drive-by that a third candidate is “getting tiny crowds which are all leaving fast”;
    • complain that “Anything I do, whether it’s the economy, military, or anything else, will be scorned by the Rafical [sic] Left, Do Nothing Democrats!” (reminder that the Senate majority leader once said that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president”);
    • tweet “Why should I have the stigma of Impeachment attached to my name when I did NOTHING wrong? Read the Transcripts! A totally partisan Hoax, never happened before”;
    • announce that it didn’t matter whether an Iranian attack was “imminent” because of the Iranian leader’s “horrible past” (I feel like the president would lose badly if he played Risk with my sons);
    • make a snarky, childish comment when a Democratic candidate dropped out of the presidential race;
    • approvingly retweet someone who called him a “monstrous, domineering behemoth” (the fact that both the president and the original tweeter apparently think of this as a compliment says a lot about the direction of our country);
    • tweet “I JUST GOT IMPEACHED FOR MAKING A PERFECT PHONE CALL!”;
    • repeatedly refer to a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president as “Mini Mike Bloomberg”;
    • claim that the impeachment trial is an attempt to rig the Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders (I will give him this, that is at least an original and unexpected argument–also, it could not be more obvious that the president is dying to run against Bernie Sanders);
    • argue that “Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020” (no one is taking guns away in Virginia, and also the Virginia state government elections are in odd years, so the Republicans cannot win Virginia in 2020); and
    • call a book that describes a temper tantrum he had in front of high-ranking generals “Another Fake Book by two third rate Washington Post reporters”.

This Is Not Normal, January 6, 2019 – January 12, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that American citizens of Iranian descent were detained at the border for no apparent reason.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Senate Majority Leader will not commit to calling witnesses or hearing evidence at the president’s impeachment trial.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a senator from the president’s party said that the administration’s briefing on the assassination of an Iranian military leader was the worst briefing he’d ever seen.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, according to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, the president’s decision to assassinate the Iranian military leader was partially motivated by his desire for support from conservative Senators in his impeachment trial.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president lied about the military assistance to Ukraine that is at the heart of his impeachment trial: contrary to what the president said, the aid was not delivered earlier than expected.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president told a Fox News reporter that Iran had planned to attack “four embassies” in the Middle East, a statement contradicted by his own defense secretary and not backed up by the intelligence shared with Congress.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is being sued by a writer because he allegedly raped her (not to be confused with the other sexual assault case brought by a former contestant on the president’s reality show).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the former ambassador to the United Nations claimed that Democrats were “mourning the loss of Soleimani,” nor that a Republican congressman accused Democrats of being “in love with terrorists.” In fairness, the congressman later retracted his statement and apologized.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration apparently accidentally sent a letter to Iraq saying that the United States would withdraw its troops. How does that happen?
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • tweet “All is well!” immediately after Iran launched missiles at American military bases (I am sure this was meant to be reassuring; I was not reassured);
    • continue to try to make “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT” happen;
    • refer to the Speaker of the House as “Crazy Nancy Pelosi” and call the Articles of Impeachment “another Democrat fraud”;
    • claim that the Speaker of the House “will go down as perhaps the least successful Speaker in U. S. History!”;
    • claim that Democrats had “spent the last 3 days defending the life of Qassem Soleimani” (it is not defending the life of someone to point out that it was strategically unwise to assassinate him);
    • claim that he had a 53% approval rating, to which he wanted to add “7 to 10 percent because of the Trump ‘thing'”. (I cannot find any poll showing an approval rating greater than 48%; the current average is 41.8%);
    • tweet a request to a journalist to ask the Speaker of the House “why she allowed Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff to totally make up my conversation with the Ukrainian  president & read his false words to Congress and the world, as though I said it? He got caught! Ask why hearing was most unfair & biased in history?” (it was a parody, everyone knows it was a parody, the only person who thinks it was not a parody is apparently the president);
    • tweet “Why did Nervous Nancy allow corrupt politician Shifty Schiff to lie before Congress? He must be a Witness, and so should she!” (that’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works);
    • whine about having “the stigma of impeachment attached to my name” (he’s been committing impeachable acts since before his inauguration);
    • refer to one of the contenders for the Democratic nomination as “Crazy Bernie Sanders”; and
    • claim that “Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, ‘no pressure’ Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!” (So what I am hearing here is that the president is worried about what would come out in a trial.)
  • The president also retweeted many terrible people.

This Is Not Normal, December 23, 2019 – December 29, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that newly released emails from the White House show that the administration asked its officials not to talk about the suspension of military aid to Ukraine.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that in a speech to young conservatives, the president said that he had “studied [wind turbines] better than anybody I know” and that “I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. They’re noisy. They kill the birds. . . . They’re made in China and Germany, mostly. But they’re manufactured tremendous if you’re into this, tremendous fumes. Gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything.” (Reminder that all the other countries can hear him when he talks.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president retweeted a social media post that named the whistleblower at the center of the Ukraine scandal.
  • It was a slow news week, but a busy presidential Twitter week. This week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • describe the impeachment hearings as “the most unfair trial in the history of the U. S. Congress” (it wasn’t a trial) and accusing the Speaker of the House of “breaking all rules” (she didn’t);
    • claim that the Speaker “is trying to take over the Senate, & Cryin’ Chuck is trying to take over the trial” (just no to all of that);
    • ask the rhetorical question “Why should Crazy Nancy, just because she has a slight majority in the House, be allowed to impeach the President of the United States?” (because that’s how math works?);
    • make the point several times that impeachment got “ZERO Republican votes” (this is because when a Republican indicated that he would vote for impeachment he was summarily booted out of the party);
    • complain that the Speaker’s district “has rapidly become one of the worst anywhere in the U. S. when it come [sic] to the homeless & crime. It has gotten so bad, so fast — she has lost total control” (does he . . . does he think that members of Congress are the mayors of their districts?);
    • blame the leader of Canada for having the president’s cameo cut out of Home Alone 2 on Canadian television (in reality, the cameo was cut in 2014 so that the CBC could run commercials during the movie);
    • retweet several terrible people whose accounts were later suspended for violating Twitter’s Code of Conduct;
    • attack California and New York for their “TREMENDOUS Homeless problems”; and
    • endorse multiple conspiracy theories.

This Is Not Normal, December 9, 2019 – December 15, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the outgoing governor of Kentucky pardoned a man who was convicted of murdering a father in front of  his family during a home invasion. (The man who was pardoned was the brother of a man who had raised thousands of dollars for the governor’s campaign; the two co-defendants in the case did not receive pardons, presumably because they were less well connected politically.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Senate majority leader — who would be a juror in any presidential impeachment trial — is coordinating impeachment strategy with the White House.
  • Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said that “I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.” (Good to know.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is floating the idea of skipping the general election debates in 2020 because he expects to dislike the chosen moderator (or, you know, because he expects to embarrass himself).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the inspector general of the Justice Department and the attorney general are publicly squabbling over the inspector general’s findings that the investigation into the president’s campaign was not politically motivated. (Of all the strange notions and wild conspiracy theories that have been floated in the past three years, the idea of the FBI as a hotbed of liberalism continues to disconcert me.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president of the United States is tweeting upwards of 100 times a day some days. But beyond that, the content of the president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • comment “Let our great soldiers fight!” on a news story about a pardoned war criminal being released from prison;
    • tweet “Witch hunt!” multiple times (occasionally in all caps);
    • refer to the opposition party as “The Do Nothing Democrats” several times over the course of the week;
    • tweet “Read the Transcripts!” because he is still apparently convinced that the transcript of the call with the Ukraine president somehow exonerates him;
    • refer to his impending impeachment as “sheer Political Madness!”;
    • complain yet again, and then retweet the complaint three separate times, about the parody of the phone call that the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee read (the parody may have been ill-considered, but it was neither treason nor fraud);
    • mock the teenage climate change activist who was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year (later the president’s communications team posted a version of the Time cover with the president’s head photoshopped onto the teenage activist’s body and how on earth they thought that made the president look good I will never understand);
    • claim that “Poll numbers have gone through the roof in favor of No Impeachment, especially with Swing States and Independents in Swing States” (they have not; poll numbers have consistently shown about fifty percent of the country in favor of impeachment and removal and about 41 percent of the country opposed to both);
    • make an obvious bid for a “wonderful” Supreme Court Justice’s sympathy, apparently in an attempt to curry favor before the hearings on Congress’s subpoena of the president’s financial records;
    • complain about Fox News interviewing “sleazebag & totally discredited former FBI Director James Comey, & also corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff”;
    • refer to MSNBC as “Commiecast,” which I think is a new one, refer to a CNN anchor of Italian-American heritage as “Fredo,” and claim that “Only pro Trump Fox shows do well”;
    • refer to his 2016 presidential campaign opponent as “Crooked Hillary”;
    • refer to his phone call with the Ukraine president as “PERFECT”; and
    • claim that the Democrats did not include bribery among the articles of impeachment because the Speaker’s “teeth were falling out of her mouth, and she didn’t have time to think!” (I confess this one confuses me).
  • I really only skimmed the president’s tweets this week because I apparently do not have as much time on my hands as the president of the United States does.

This Is Not Normal, December 2, 2019 – December 8, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that, after a shooting at a naval base in Florida by a Saudi military officer, the president apparently took the Saudi government’s expression of innocence at face value and defended Saudi Arabia before issuing condolences of his own.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is trying to prevent the release of his financial records to Manhattan prosecutors, despite the fact that a valid subpoena has been issued.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the attorney general suggested that communities that criticize police misconduct “may find themselves without the police protection they need.” (Police are not above criticism; treating them as if they are is incredibly dangerous to civil liberties; and this is the kind of threat that you would expect to hear from Tony Soprano, not the top law enforcement officer of the United States.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that in an attempt to defend the president, Republican Senators are repeating debunked conspiracy theories about Ukraine that most if not all of them know perfectly well are not credible.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the attorney general (who is really having a banner week) is hinting to Justice officials that he does not like the results of an inspector general’s investigation into the investigation of the president’s campaign.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president abruptly cancelled his final press conference at the NATO meeting in Britain, presumably in a fit of pique after a video of other leaders mocking him was widely circulated on social media.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • call the Democrats in Congress “Do Nothing Democrats” repeatedly, despite the fact that the Democratic House of Representatives has passed literally hundreds of bills that the Senate Majority Leader won’t bring to the floor;
    • continue to mock a former FBI agent who had an affair with another FBI agent investigating the president’s 2016 campaign;
    • complain about the Federal Reserve Board’s decision not to lower interest rates;
    • complain that the “Fake News Media is doing everything possible to belittle my VERY successful trip to London for NATO” and insist that “I got along great with the NATO leaders”;
    • again refer to his phone call with the president of Ukraine as “perfect”;
    • argue that the Speaker of the House “had a nervous fit” when she announced that the House would be pursuing impeachment;
    • tweet “Where’s the Fake Whistleblower? Where’s Whistleblower number 2? Where’s the phony informer who got it all wrong?” (again I remind you that the transcript that the White House voluntarily released lines up very well with all of the allegations that the Whistleblower made); and
    • demand a retraction of a CNN report that he uses his personal cell phone for secure calls despite warnings.
  • The president also retweeted an extraordinary number of terrible people.

This Is Not Normal, November 26, 2019 – December 1, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Republican challenger of a Minnesota congressional representative had to be booted off Twitter for hateful conduct because she said that her rival should be tried for treason and hanged.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House spent twenty-four hours changing its mind multiple times about whether an Army dog that that participated in the raid on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was male or female. (I still have no idea what the sex of this dog is, but this has to be the dumbest story of the week.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s personal lawyer has been actively pursuing business opportunities worth hundreds of thousands of dollars with government officials in Ukraine, while denouncing the son of a former vice president for . . . making hundreds of thousands of dollars in Ukraine.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s own justice department can reportedly find no evidence that the allegations the president has made about the FBI “spying” on his campaign are true.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that ambassador to the European Union, fresh off the president’s impeachment hearings, has now been accused of sexually harassing three women. (The ambassador to the European Union is having a bad month.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the House Oversight Committee has been forced to sue the attorney general and the secretary of commerce for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents about the 2020 census.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be a sight to behold. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • describe pardoning war criminals as “protect[ing] our great warfighters [sic]”;
    • say that he actually wants his aides to testify, but “I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President” (whatever, dude);
    • refer to the “phony Impeachment Hoax” as a “Democrat Scam that is going nowhere but, future Presidents should in no way be compromised”; and
    • tweet a picture of his head on Rocky Balboa’s body, and then have his press office push back on the idea that it was photoshopped (good lord, of course it was photoshopped, and also, I changed my mind, this is the dumbest story of the week).
  • The president also retweeted many terrible people.

It Is Not Normal, November 18, 2019 – November 24, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the administration is seeking the resignation of the navy secretary because he wanted to kick a war criminal out of the SEALs. (He’ll listen to the generals, I was told.) (I mean, I understand that the navy actually has admirals, but you get the point.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, according to internal State Department documetns, the secretary of state discussed Ukraine with the president’s personal attorney in at least one call arranged by the president’s personal assistant.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that many Republican officeholders are supporting a conspiracy theory about Ukraine and the 2016 election that originated in a Russian disinformation campaign.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, in an interview with Fox & Friends, the president accused a witness in the impeachment inquiry of making up a phone call between the president and the European Union ambassador.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a group of self-described “attorneys who would traditionally be considered conservative or libertarian” criticized the attorney general for a speech in which he argued that the executive branch should have overwhelming power without significant checks from the other two branches of government.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the ambassador to the European Union told the House Intelligence Committee that the president ordered him to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into a Ukrainian company that employed the former vice president’s son and into a conspiracy theory about the 2016 presidential election.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be both exhausting and  NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • call the Speaker of the House “Nervous Nancy Pelosi” (which is incidentally a terrible nickname since nothing about this woman indicates any nervousness) and claim that the “Radical Left” and the “Fake News Media” are her “BOSS”;
    • tease the idea of testifying before the House Intelligence Committee;
    • complain yet again about the chairman of the Federal Reserve;
    • falsify a quote he attributed to the Speaker of the House (she did not say “it is dangerous to let the voters decide Trump’s fate”–she said that “the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections”);
    • declare that the “Impeachment Witch Hunt is now OVER!” during the testimony of the ambassador to the European Union;
    • tweet, of the impeachment hearings, “If this were a prizefight, they’d stop it!”;
    • complain about the way the “FAKE & CORRUPT NEWS” media covered the impeachment hearings;
    • complain about the “local New York Democrat prosecutors” conducting a “Witch Hunt” over his financial dealings;
    • yet again describe the call with the president of Ukraine as “perfect”;
    • call the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee “human scum”;
    • attack the Navy for trying to remove a war criminal from the SEALs;
    • exhort everyone to “Read the two transcripts of Ukrainian calls!” (I have);
    • announce that the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee “will be compelled to testify” if impeachment succeeds;
    • complain that a book about the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings was “a badly written & researched disaster” (there is zero chance this man read one word of that book); and
    • tweet “The Impeachment Scam is driving Republican Poll Numbers UP, UP, UP! Thank you Shifty.”
  • To end this list on a positive note, I want to give the president credit for restraining himself from blatant witness tampering via social media this week. Because apparently that’s where the bar is now.

This Is Not Normal, November 11, 2019 – November 17, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s close adviser was convicted of seven counts of making false statements, witness tampering, and obstruction.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president was tweeting an insult at the former ambassador to Ukraine while she was testifying before Congress.
  • It is NOT NORMAL (although not remotely surprising) that the White House adviser behind the president’s draconian immigration policies promoted white nationalist theories, articles, and writers to various journalists before joining the administration.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the acting White House chief of staff defied a subpoena to testify before Congress.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president–over the objections of the Pentagon–pardoned several servicemen convicted of war crimes.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s ambassador to the European Union told an embassy official that the president didn’t care about Ukraine policy but only about things that would benefit him, such as an investigation into the 2016 election or an investigation into the company that hired the son of a Democratic candidate for the president. (Incidentally, the same embassy official overheard the president asking about whether Ukraine was willing to launch such investigations.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House released a transcript of the first call with the Ukrainian president that seemed innocuous, but did not match the readout of the call that was released in April. (While we’re on the subject of the first transcript, it is not usual for presidents to compliment fellow world leaders by commenting on the great beauty of their countries’ Miss Universe contestants.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president personally added his own resort to the list of potential sites for the 2020 G-7 summit, substituting it for two of the four finalists for the contract.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be both busy and NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • claim that he singlehandedly lifted the poll numbers of the Kentucky gubernatorial candidate by nineteen points with only one rally;
    • argue that any transcripts released by the House Intelligence Committee would be “doctored”;
    • demand that the whistleblower, and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, should testify (I . . . don’t think he would like Schiff’s testimony much, to be honest);
    • tweet “Read the Transcript. It is PERFECT!” (it isn’t);
    • suggest that the American public would find the transcript of the first (“and therefore more important”) phone call with the Ukrainian president “tantalizing” (maybe I’m nitpicking here, but that is a weird word to use);
    • refer to the young people covered by DACA as “no angels” and “very tough, hardened criminals” (DACA explicitly excludes anyone with a criminal record);
    • refer to impeachment hearings as a “phony showtrial” with “zero due process” (a lawyer for the president’s party had 45-minute blocks to question witnesses during the public hearings);
    • tweet “NEVER TRUMPERS!” sans context;
    • tweet “Where’s the fake Whistleblower?” multiple times;
    • insult the district of the Speaker of the House;
    • blame the former ambassador to Ukraine for the situation in Somalia when she was stationed there (the president is honestly just a terrible person);
    • complain that the conviction of his former adviser showed a “double standard”;
    • complain that “Paul Krugman has called me wrong from day one. People at the Failing New York Times are very angry at him for having “missed” by soooo much. Paul, match over!”; and
    • call an anchor for a conservative news network “nasty & obnoxious”.
  • The president also retweeted several terrible people, including himself.

This Is Not Normal, October 28, 2019 – November 3, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the state health director of Missouri kept a spreadsheet that tracked the menstrual cycles of women who visited Planned Parenthood. WHY IS THIS A THING I HAVE TO SAY?
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president referred to Democrats in Congress as “mentally violent people” at a rally in Mississippi.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a National Security Council official who was on the controversial presidential call with Ukraine said that he reported concerns about the legality and propriety of the call to his superiors and that he was told not to discuss it.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House continues to tell witnesses not to cooperate with the House inquiry, even as they argue in court that there is no need to order the release of documents to the House since they are already cooperating.
  • IT is NOT NORMAL that a deputy secretary of state told Congress that the president’s personal lawyer personally advanced the effort to have the ambassador to Ukraine recalled.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House has found a loophole that allows the president to appoint yet another acting secretary of Homeland Security who does not have to be confirmed by the (Republican-held, mind you) Senate.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president has told repeated stories about a terrorist dying cowering in fear, even as intelligence officials continue to cast doubt on the story.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s daughter and senior adviser posted a self-pitying quote by Thomas Jefferson complaining about people lying about him with the tagline “Some things never change, dad!” Fun fact: the “lies” Jefferson was unhappy about were that he was having a (nonconsensual, by definition) affair with one of his slaves and had impregnated. Which . . . was not a lie.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • refer to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee as “Shifty Adam Schiff”;
    • claim that the impeachment inquiry “is now called the Impeachment Hoax!” (he is the only one calling it that);
    • argue that the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee should be impeached for reading a parody of the president’s phone call with Ukraine (you can’t impeach congressional representatives, and obvious satire is not an impeachable offense anyway);
    • repeatedly demand that people read the transcript of the call with Ukraine (the “transcript” was just a summary written up by the president’s own staff, and it was still so damning that it was impeachable all by itself);
    • repeatedly tweet “Where’s the Whistleblower?”;
    • tweet “I knew people were listening in on the call (why would I say something inappropriate?), which was fine with me, but why so many?”;
    • claim that “Republicans are very unified and energized in our fight on the Impeachment Hoax,” after several days of complaining about Never Trumpers, who are by definition Republican;
    • photoshop a picture of a dog over the picture of a military official receiving a medal from the president with the caption “AMERICAN HERO!” (I’m sorry, maybe this one is petty, but it is just weird, and we all know that if Obama had done such a thing it would have been a three-day story on Fox News);
    • complain about the Federal Reserve Chairman yet again;
    • tweet “The Greatest Witch Hunt in American History!” (twice);
    • mock a Democratic candidate who dropped out of the race for the 2020 presidential nomination;
    • argue, after complaining that the hearings in the House were not open to the public, that it was not good enough for transcripts to be released because “Schiff will change the transcripts just like he fraudulently made up the phone call” (again I refer you to the transcript released by the president’s own staff);
    • announce that he transferring his residence from New York to Florida because the governor “has weaponized the prosecutors to do his dirty work” (this honestly sounds like a bit of a tell to me);
    • complain about the governor of California’s forest management and threaten to withhold federal emergency funds for wildfires;
    • claim that walking into Madison Square Garden for a UFC championship “was a little bit like walking into a Trump Rally” (in fact, he was roundly booed);
    • tweet “The Angry Majority!” (I don’t think that means what the president thinks it means); and
    • complain that “The Fake News Media is working hard so that information about the Whistleblower’s Identity, which may be very bad for them and their Democrat partners, never reaches the public” (the identities of whistleblowers are supposed to be protected).
  • The president also retweeted many terrible people, including himself.

This Is Not Normal, October 21, 2019 – October 27, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s current personal attorney butt-dialed an NBC reporter. (Maybe we shouldn’t be entrusting state secrets to this guy? Just a thought.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a former ambassador reportedly told the House Intelligence Committee that the president was using congressionally approved foreign aid to Ukraine to induce them to open a politically motivated investigation into the son of a potential presidential rival.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president described the impeachment inquiry as a “lynching”, nor that a prominent senator supported this description (and, yes, I know that the Democrats did the same thing during the Clinton impeachment, and no, it wasn’t okay then either).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is attempting to invoke “constitutional immunity,” which is not a thing, in order to prevent his former deputy national security adviser from testifying before Congress.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the investigation of the president’s 2016 campaign, in an apparent attempt to help the president politically.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a couple dozen Republican congresspeople stormed a secure area, cellphones in hand, to protest the fact that the impeachment hearings were not public. (In an odd twist, the White House has been simultaneously arguing that the hearings should be public while also trying to prevent the former White House counsel from testifying publicly.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the acting assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs told impeachment investigators that he had attempted to gather support for the former ambassador to Ukraine, whom the president fired, but was stymied by the secretary of state after she was falsely attacked by the president’s personal attorney.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of the treasury helped a notorious billionaire financier make use of a tax break to which he was not entitled, over the objections of the Internal Revenue Service.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of education was held in contempt for violating a court order to stop collecting on loans to former students of Corinthian Colleges, a now-dead chain of for-profit colleges.