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

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president reportedly greeted a group of Egyptian and American officials with “Where’s my favorite dictator?”, an apparent reference to Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. (I can’t stop thinking about how hurt Kim Jong Un must be.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president fired his national security adviser on Twitter.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the acting Director of National Intelligence is reportedly hiding a whistleblower complaint in order to protect the president and/or senior members of his staff.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Justice Department is still attempting to prosecute the former deputy director of the FBI despite the fact that a grand jury has seemingly refused to indict him.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Justice Department is bestowing a prestigious award on the lawyers who successfully spearheaded a Supreme Court nomination battle despite the nominee being credibly accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, lying to Congress, and (given his meltdowns during the Senate hearings) lacking the temperament required for a Supreme Court justice.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a former FEMA official was arrested on charges of taking bribes from a company that was later awarded $1.8 billion in federal contracts to repair the electrical grid in Puerto Rico that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a prominent Senator who has been critical of the president refused to comment, much less disavow the endorsement, after the president praised him on Twitter.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, during a typically unhinged rally in North Carolina, the president said that after his second term in office, “we may have to go for an extra term.”
  • 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 former South Carolina governor’s companion as a “Flaming Dancer friend” (he seems to have meant “flamenco dancer,” which she wasn’t);
    • claim that foreign leaders “are always asking me, ‘Why does the Media hate the U.S. sooo much?'” (this is nonsense);
    • argue that the “Trump Administration has achieved more in the first 2 1/2 years of its existence than perhaps any administration in the history of our Country” (no);
    • complain about media reports that the vice president and other officials pushed back against the president’s plans to meet with the Taliban at Camp David;
    • make multiple references to “Fake News” and the “LameStream media”;
    • falsely claim that “ABC/Washington Post Poll was the worst and most inaccurate poll of any taken prior to the 2016 election. When my lawyers protested, they took a 12 point down and brought it to almost even by Election Day. It was a Fake Poll by two very bad and dangerous media outlets” (as best I can tell, this is sheer fantasy);
    • claim that “Internal polling looks great, the best ever!” (if this were true, his advisers would have leaked the polls);
    • falsely claim that “Dan Bishop [a newly elected Congressman] was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race” (again, this appears to just be make-believe on the part of the president);
    • argue that polls showing him losing to most Democratic candidates in 2020 “phony suppression poll[s]” (look, I share his skepticism about these polls for a variety of reasons, but they aren’t made up out of whole cloth, and they are run every four years, no matter who the presidential candidates are);
    • continue to conduct foreign policy on Twitter (this time it was China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Iran);
    • misquote a Democratic representative, claiming that he said, “We can’t beat him, so let’s impeach him!” (in May, the representative in question did say, ““I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach the president, he will get re-elected”);
    • complain about the impeachment inquiry, repeating the same tropes that we are all accustomed to (illegal “Witch Hunt,” “No Obstruction, No Collusion,” etc., etc.);
    • quote himself calling himself “A Very Stable Genius!”, and then thank . . . himself? (this one really confuses me);
    • tweet, sans context, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” followed immediately by “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”;
    • complain about a journalist who wrote a book about him;
    • claim that the sexual assault and harassment accusations against the most recent Supreme Court justice are meant to “scare him into turning Liberal!”; and
    • argue that the most recent Supreme Court justice should sue his accusers for libel, “or the Justice Department should come to his rescue.”

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

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that a military crew flying from the U.S. to Kuwait stopped at the president’s Scotland golf resort even though the plane could have been refueled less expensively at a military base. (The resort lost $4.5 million in 2017 but its revenue went up by $3 million in 2018. Coincidentally, since October 2017, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at Prestwick Airport, which just happens to be the airport closest to the president’s resort.)
  • Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that on a recent trip to Dublin, the vice-president stayed at a hotel owned by the president in Doonbeg, 180 miles away from Dublin.
  • It is also NOT NORMAL that the attorney general plans to spend thousands of dollars on a Christmas party at a Washington, D.C. hotel owned by the president. Again I remind you that we made Jimmy Carter give up his peanut farm.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that Republican officials in four states are considering canceling primaries in the run-up to the 2020 election, opting to simply nominate the president rather than allowing voters to choose their own candidate. (There are three other Republicans running for the nomination.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Pentagon is canceling or delaying billions of dollars in military spending in 23 states in order to divert the money to the president’s precious border wall.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president apparently invited the Taliban to Camp David. (I’m all for diplomacy, but there is also something to be said for not normalizing terrorists.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that after making a relatively minor and understandable mistake about the path of Hurricane Dorian, the president then spent the rest of the week — literally, the rest of the week, an entire six days after the original mistake was made — trying to prove that he had been right all along, to the point of altering a weather map with a Sharpie and having the head of the NOAA publicly scold Alabama weathermen for contradicting him.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • complain that the president of the AFL-CIO “likes what we are doing until the cameras go on”;
    • repeatedly refer to the Washington Post as the “Amazon Washington Post”, the New York Times as “the Failing New York Times,” and to the media as the “LameStream Media”;
    • complain that journalists “write whatever they want, seldom have sources (even though they say they do), never do ‘fact checking’ anymore, and are only looking for the ‘kill'” (this is not true);
    • tweet multiple times that he was right about the path of Hurricane Dorian and everyone else was wrong;
    • claim yet again that the Mueller report “showed No Collusion, No Obstruction!” (the Mueller report literally said that the president was not exonerated);
    • complain about the mayor of London; and
    • attack a sitcom actress who wanted to see the publicly available list of people who donated to the president, calling her a “McCarthy style Racist” (I have no idea how this could be racist, and I am beginning to think that the president doesn’t actually know the definition of racism and just deploys it as an all-purpose insult).

This Is Not Normal, August 26, 2019 – September 1, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president reportedly told aides that he would pardon him if they broke the law while implementing plans to build his precious border wall.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the current administration abruptly ended deferred action for immigrants with serious medical issues. Seriously, I try to focus on governance and not policy when I write these posts, but I’m making an exception here because this is horrifyingly inhumane and — I know I’ve said this before — I don’t understand how people who support the president and believe in a cosmic final judgment don’t think they’re going to be judged for this.
  • Similarly, it is NOT NORMAL that the administration has ended the policy of treating the children of naturalized military personnel who are born overseas as natural-born citizens. This only affects a handful of people each year, which makes it even more baffling that this was a White House priority.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president apparently took a cellphone picture of an image from a classified briefing and then tweeted it. (Insert obligatory “but her emails” reference.) I realize that the president has the legal right to declassify any image he wants to, but that doesn’t make it prudent. (Insert obligatory Dana Carvey impression of George H. W. Bush.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a notorious congressman from Iowa joked about the mistreatment of Uighurs by the Chinese government, nor is it normal that earlier this month he argued that there would not “be any population of the world left” if not for rape and incest.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Federal Election Commission is down to three members — one short of a quorum — because the president and the majority party in the Senate do not want to honor the traditional compromise of confirming one new member from each party simultaneously to ensure an evenly divided membership.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president said to the White House press that he didn’t know there was such a thing as a category 5 hurricane. There have been four category 5 hurricanes during his presidency alone.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president pretended to have had calls from the Chinese government asking to restart trade talks because he did not like the bad press his tariffs had gotten.
  • The president’s Twitter feed was even busier than usual this week. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • complain repeatedly over several days that his “very successful” G-7 conference was not covered well and undermined by a “phony story” from the media (his conference was not “very successful,” and by this time, let’s face it, everyone has already forgotten that the president wanted to nuke hurricanes and buy Greenland);
    • claim that reports of bedbugs at one of his properties were a “false and nasty rumor” (I am skeptical, and also, remember how we made Jimmy Carter give up his peanut farm?);
    • respond to a tropical storm threatening Puerto Rico with the shockingly callous “Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end? Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for ‘anywhere'” (so far Puerto Rico has only received 14 billion dollars, and although it will likely still receive more, it is unlikely to top the record 120 billion dollars dispersed to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina);
    • later take a swipe at the mayor of San Juan when claiming that he was “tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico” (that “as usual” is quite the little aside) and later still, argue that “I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!”;
    • claim that the “Federal Reserve loves watching our manufacturers struggle with their exports to the benefit of other parts of the world” (there were multiple attacks on the Fed across the week, to the point that it is becoming difficult to ascertain whether he hates the Fed or the media more);
    • argue that the media is padding the crowd sizes of one Democratic contender while underreporting his own crowd sizes;
    • refer to the three members of his party running for the presidential nomination as the “Three Stooges”;
    • weigh in on a Twitter spat between a Never-Trumper columnist for the New York Times and a political science professor unknown to virtually everyone until said Twitter spat (how does the president have time for this? I don’t have time for this);
    • complain that Fox News “isn’t working for us anymore” because some members of the Fox News team have had the temerity to suggest that he isn’t perfect;
    • refer to the Washington Post as the “Amazon Washington Post (lobbyist)”;
    • issue this virtually incoherent tweet: “The Amazon Washington Post and
      @CNN just did a Fake Interview on Pardons for Aids on the Wall, and that I didn’t think the Wall on the Southern Border was that important to stop Illegals wanting to come into our Country. WRONG, vitally important. Will make a BIG impact. So bad!” (I remind you that the White House has said presidential tweets are official White House statements, and also that foreign leaders read these tweets and that is just so embarrassing);
    • call the former director of the FBI a “CROOKED COP!”;
    • tweet “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, which is happening, and then, KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” sans context; and
    • find time, in the aftermath of two mass shootings and while a hurricane is bearing down on the United States, to attack both the former director of the FBI and a sitcom actress.

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.

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.

This Is Not Normal, July 22, 2019 – July 28, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president vetoed several bipartisan bills designed to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a Republican state senator referred to the “browning” of America and complained that “we’re going to look like South American countries very quickly.” This is textbook racism.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities held an American citizen in custody for twenty-six days because they thought the proof of citizenship he gave them was fake. (It wasn’t.) It is also NOT NORMAL that a nine-year-old girl was grabbed by border patrol officials and held by herself for more than a day because she gave “inconsistent” responses to their questions, as one might expect from a frightened nine-year-old.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Puerto Rico governor, in the midst of a scandal over crass text messages, refused to resign until the island erupted into one of the largest protests in its history.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Senate’s majority party blocked bills aimed at improving election security, even as the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that all fifty states had been targeted by Russia in 2016.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, as attested to by the former Special Counsel in a Congressional hearing this week, the president was generally untruthful in sworn written testimony. (A former president was impeached specifically for lying under oath.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is suing the state of New York to prevent Congress from seeing his state tax returns. (All other presidents in recent history have voluntarily released their tax returns.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president, in a speech to a conservative youth organization, described a Congresswoman as a “crazed lunatic” and falsely claimed that undocumented immigrants had swung the 2016 vote in states like California.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president continues to publicly attempt to intervene in the case of an American rapper jailed in Sweden despite being told multiple times by Swedish officials that the government in Sweden has no jurisdiction over the legal system.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • twice complain about the decisions of a “very misguided” Federal Reserve because he is unhappy with current interest rates;
    • claim that the “Amazon Washington Post’s” story about his talking points at a presser was “Fake News,” arguing that he had no talking points when in fact there are pictures of him clearly holding talking points;
    • refer to “4 Radical Left Congresswomen who have said very bad things about Israel & our Country!” (keeping reading, the president has some “very bad things” to say about our country himself before the week is over), calling them “a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart”;
    • tweet “Fake News Equals the Enemy of the People!” sans context;
    • claim that there is “large scale false reporting,” although he does not offer any examples;
    • complain bitterly several times about the special counsel’s congressional hearing;
    • twice tweet “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” sans context;
    • tweet “TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE!” after the special counsel’s congressional hearing, which is odd given that the special counsel testified that he was not “generally truthful”;
    • complain about the Swedish justice system;
    • lament that Fox News were no longer his “Proud Warriors” because they released a poll showing him losing a hypothetical election against the former vice president;
    • launch into a racist tirade about the district of an African-American congressional representative who (coincidentally, I’m sure) has subpoenaed his daughter and son-in-law’s financial information, saying that “it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States” (this is patent nonsense);
    • then tweet that “There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district” (more patent nonsense);
    • finally call Elijah Cumming himself “racist,” for no apparent reason other than he seems to think it is an all-purpose insult; and
    • claim that “Democrats don’t care about Border Security” and “want Open Borders,” neither of which is true of most Democrats.

This Is Not Normal, July 15, 2019 – July 21, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president has spent the week doubling and tripling down on the notion that four Congresswomen should either leave the country or be “sent back” (in reality, only one of the four was not born in the United States, and she migrated here as a child and has been a citizen longer than the First Lady).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that only four Republican representatives joined Democrats in a resolution condemning the president’s openly racist tweets and remarks about the four Congresswomen.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president spent several seconds at a rally basking in a crowd chanting “Send her back!” rather than calming the crowd.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Marine Corps had to request that a Republican congressman stop using their emblem on his campaign materials (this is the same Republican Congressman, incidentally, who — along with his wife — embezzled campaign funds and then allegedly violated bail conditions while filming an anti-immigration video, so if you live in the 50th district of California, you need better representation).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that recently released court documents show that the president was in close contact with his former lawyer while the lawyer was making arrangements to pay hush money (a campaign finance violation) to a woman with whom the president had a one-night stand. These documents contract statements made by the president, as well as testimony given to Congress by the president’s former communications director.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that senior officials in the department of commerce neglected to turn over documents and provided an inaccurate document trail to plaintiffs suing over the addition of a citizenship question to the census.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a former adviser to the president so struggles with keeping his mouth shut about the legal case against him that the judge was forced to ban him from all social media, saying “I am wrestling with behavior that has more to do with middle school than a court of law.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the White House has again told a senior aide to defy a Congressional subpoena.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • complain about Democrats who criticized his racist tweets, arguing that they were “condon[ing]” the controversial stances of the four Congresswomen he attacked (fun fact: you can disagree with the Congresswomen on various issues *and* still think it is bad for the president to be openly racist);
    • demand that the Congresswomen “apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said” (the president regularly lies about people on Twitter, has insulting nicknames for his leading Congressional opponents, referred to African nations and Haiti as “sh*thole countries,” and dropped the F-bomb at campaign rallies);
    • claim that the four Congresswomen “have made Israel feel abandoned by the U. S.” (since the leader of Israel just named a settlement after the president, I doubt it);
    • complain about the Fed’s “faulty thought process” yet again;
    • conduct foreign policy on Twitter (this week it was China);
    • argue that polls showing him losing to various Democratic contenders were “Fake” and “Suppression Polls” (he also referred to his former opponent as “Crooked Hillary,” on the same day he complained about the four Congresswomen saying mean things);
    • repeatedly argue that “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!” (the president referred to “American carnage” in his inaugural address);
    • claim that the four Congresswomen were “pro Al-Qaeda” (they are not);
    • argue that defending the four Congresswomen against racist attacks is “endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel, and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!”;
    • tweet “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” twice, sans context;
    • try to make “Presidential Harassment” a thing;
    • claim that “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” (beg to differ);
    • crow about the “unified” Republican representatives who declined to condemn his racism;
    • complain that his approval rating would be higher “without the 3 year Witch Hunt and Fake News Media, in partnership with the Democrats!” and later suggest that we should just “add 10% or 15% to this number”;
    • say that he would “help” a woman whose Twitter account was temporarily suspended for posting hate speech (I am genuinely curious about how much pull the president has with Twitter);
    • call a Washington Post story about his Twitter feed and his most recent campaign rally “Fake News” (much of the story consists of the president’s own publicly available words, as well as quotes from other named people);
    • complain that the four Congresswomen were not “capable of loving our Country”; and
    • praise Israel’s corrupt leader, who recently allied himself with a hard-right extremist party in order to hold onto his position, for “becoming the longest serving PM in the history of Israel.”
  • It may seem as though I was just piling on when it came to the tweets about the four Congresswomen, but in fact I actually skipped a lot of them. He also retweeted his favorites from earlier in the week on Friday, so you know, he isn’t obsessed with this issue at all.

This Is Not Normal, July 8, 2019 – July 14, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president said he would no longer talk with the British ambassador, after leaked documents revealed that the ambassador had made critical remarks about the president (albeit less critical than the tweets the president lobs at other world leaders on a regular basis).
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president spent half an hour with the press insulting the former Speaker of the House, the aforementioned British ambassador, two Congresswomen, the New York Times, and several contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president tweeted that four progressive Congresswomen “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world” and should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Three of these Congresswomen were born in the United States; one immigrated from Somalia as a child. However (what a shocking coincidence) all four happen to be women of color. In short, it is NOT NORMAL that the president is a white supremacist, nor is it normal that the Republican party continues to enable and defend him.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the vice president tweeted that “CNN is so dishonest. Today we took reporters to a detention facility on the border for families and children and all told us they were being treated well” after a visit to the border at which the accompany journalists described “384 men sleeping inside fences, on concrete w[ith] no pillows or mats. They said they hadn’t showered in weeks, wanted toothbrushes, food. Stench was overwhelming.” (If someone tells you that they haven’t showered in weeks and don’t have a toothbrush, they are not telling you that they are being treated well.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the former national security adviser, who had pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government, is now saying he cannot testify against his co-conspirator.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be a national embarrassment. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • retweet a fake meme claiming that thirty years ago, former president Reagan said of the president, “For the life of me, and I’ll never know how to explain it, when I met that young man, I felt like I was the one shaking hands with the president” (there is no record of the former president saying any such thing);
    • complain about the British ambassador and the current prime minister, but allow that he was “most impressed with” the Queen (how relieved she must be);
    • call the British ambassador “wacky,” “very stupid,” and “a pompous fool” because the ambassador had criticized him in what were meant to be private memos (I feels like there’s an inherent contradiction here, but I can’t quite put my finger on it);
    • continue to conduct foreign policy on Twitter (this time it was India);
    • complain about Supreme Court decisions that did not go his way;
    • complain that the judge in the census case would not allow Justice Department lawyers to withdraw, asking “Could this be a first?” (it is not a first);
    • accuse Iran of being in violation of the “terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal” (again, there is no evidence of Iran being in violation of the deal before the president terminated it, and the United States did not gave Iran a lump sum payment as part of the deal);
    • tweet that “The White House will be hosting a very big and very important Social Media Summit today. Would I have become President without Social Media? Yes (probably)!” (I do not think the mess we are in is remotely funny, and yet that tweet cracked me up);
    • claim that “The Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media” and say that journalism, as a practice, will “go out of business for lack of credibility, or approval, from the public” as soon as he leaves office;
    • tweet that “Could you imagine having Sleepy Joe Biden, or @AlfredNeuman99, or a very nervous and skinny version of Pocahontas (1000/24th) as your President, rather than what you have now, so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius!” (by the way, @AlfredNeuman99 is a retired teacher and a Cubs fan who does not appear to be vying for the presidency);
    • refer to the former acting director of the FBI as a “major sleazebag” who “took massive amounts of money from Crooked Hillary reps, for wife’s campaign” (the Democratic governor of Virginia donated money to the state senate campaign, as he did to several Democratic campaigns);
    • call the former Speaker of the House “Weak, ineffective, & stupid”; and
    • complain about the coverage of the vice president’s visit to the border, simultaneously saying it got “Great reviews!” and that the “Failing @nytimes story was FAKE!”
  • The president also retweeted a bunch of terrible things, but this is already a long list, I have to go to work tomorrow, and I have to draw the line somewhere.

This Is Not Normal, July 1, 2019 – July 7, 2019

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the RNC was allocated VIP tickets for the Fourth of July celebration, which has traditionally been a non-partisan event that presidents did not attend. (The president’s speech was refreshingly non-partisan, although it did include a puzzling reference to airports during the Revolutionary War.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president falsely claimed that his predecessor in the White House sought audiences with the North Korea’s brutal authoritarian dictator but was rebuffed. The former president did not seek such a meeting because he, like other presidents of both parties, did not want to appear to endorse the regime.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that, after signaling that it would accept the Supreme Court’s decision opposing a citizenship question on the census, the Justice Department did an abrupt about-face and said it was seeking new legal paths to institute such a question, apparently because of an angry tweet from the president.

    It is also NOT NORMAL that the president is reportedly considering issuing an executive order to add such a question, which could lead to a true constitutional conflict between the executive and judicial branches.

    And it is further NOT NORMAL that the president said that the citizenship question was particularly important because  of “Congress for districting,” which Justice Department lawyers had specifically denied as a rationale.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president claimed that homelessness is “a phenomenon that started two years ago” and that he ended it in Washington, D.C., by saying “you can’t do that.” (I . . . honestly don’t even know what to say about this one.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the secretary of housing and urban development hired a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official who had resigned earlier because of racist comments he made over a ten-year period.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • complain in a four-part Tweetstorm that the governor of New York “uses his Attorney General as a bludgeoning tool for his own purposes” and “never even looked at the disgusting Clinton Foundation” because the president’s charitable foundation is being investigated for various improprieties (There is no evidence that the Clinton Foundation handled its finances improperly);
    • praise the brutal authoritarian dictator of North Korea for looking “really well and very healthy”;
    • claim that “people are fleeing New York like never before” (although New York’s population was down 0.8% over the previous year, this is not a record) and that New York is treating “our great NRA” poorly;
    • argue that “according to the Polls, I won EVERY debate, including the three with Crooked Hillary Clinton” (according to the polls, the president’s opponent won every debate with the president, and also, two-and-a-half years on, it is really time for the president to let go of grievances from an election that he won);
    • complain about the “Witch Hunt” because the special counsel has been subpoenaed to testify before Congress;
    • end an angry tweet about the citizenship question on the census with “USA! USA! USA!”;
    • falsely claim yet again that the previous administration paid Iran as part of the Iran deal (the previous administration turned over to Iran money that it was ordered by the World Court to repay after it seized Iranian assets during the 1979 hostage crisis);
    • tweet “Glad I could help!” after the acquittal of a Navy SEAL, which makes one wonder what the president did to help and why that would be an appropriate use of executive power (to be fair, my guess is he did nothing to help and he is once again just talking);
    • claim that the concentration camps on the border that are being used to imprison children are “far better than where they came from”;
    • call a former Republican congressman who left the party over its support for the president “one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress”;
    • refer to the former vice president as “a reclamation project” and say “Some things are just not salvageable” and refer to him as “Sleepy Joe Biden”;
    • complain that the “Fake News Media” is lying about the concentration camps at the border; and
    • turn on his favorite network, claiming that “watching Fox News weekend anchors is worse than watching low ratings Fake News CNN or Lyin’ Brian Williams.”