This Is Not Normal, January 30, 2018 – February 5, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is not normal.

  • It is NOT NORMAL for the administration to refuse to impose sanctions on Russia that were implemented in Congressional legislation that passed 517 – 5 in July.
  • Is it NOT NORMAL the the House Intelligence Committee released a one-sided, cherry-picked memo about the FISA surveillance of a 2016 presidential campaign adviser for.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that members of the majority party continue to smear non-political leaders of the CIA and the FBI who have worked under presidents of both major parties for what appear to be purely partisan reasons. It is NOT NORMAL for one representative to argue that four non-political appointees in the Justice Department should be prosecuted for treason. (Among other things, this effectively demonstrates that this particular representative does not understand the legal definition of treason.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL for someone who has described himself as an informal adviser to the Kremlin to play an important role in a presidential campaign.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the Pentagon to worry that giving the president too many options on military intervention in North Korea would cause him to start a war.  It is NOT NORMAL for a member of the National Security Council to note, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, that a “limited strike on the North might help in the midterm elections.”
  • The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    1. state that his first State of the Union address was the most watched in history (it wasn’t);
    2. attempt to negotiate a DACA deal by yelling at the minority party’s Congressional leaders over social media;
    3. approvingly quote flattering stories about him in conservative press;
    4. claim that the infamous memo “totally vindicates” him (it doesn’t);
    5. randomly insult the National Health Service in the UK, prompting a response from the British prime minister (I assume this was due to a story on Fox and Friends);
    6. refer to a congressman who was critical of the memo and the trashing of the FBI as “Little” and say he was “desperate to run for higher office,” while simultaneously insulting four former leaders of the CIA and the FBI; and
    7. call the author of the memo “a man of tremendous courage and grit” and “a Great American Hero.”
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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

This Is Not Normal, January 23, 2018 – January 29, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is not normal.

  • It is NOT NORMAL for a presidential appointee in  the Department of Housing and Urban Development to refer to a White House reporter as “Miss Piggy.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to ask the acting FBI Director how he voted in the 2016 presidential election. It is also NOT NORMAL for the president to be angered by the fact that the acting FBI Director’s wife received money from a political action committee affiliated with the minority party during a run for the Virginia state Senate two years earlier.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for members of the House of Representatives to plan a meeting with the leader of an extreme-right Polish political party.  The politician in question has called for the banning of Islam, and the parliamentary secretary of his party has called for the gassing of Jews, gays, and Roma. (The meeting was cancelled due to the government shutdown.)
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to order the firing of the special counsel who is investigating the links between his campaign and Russia.
  • 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.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the sham voter fraud commission instituted by the president to specifically request records of Texan voters with Hispanic surnames.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for a Senator to accuse the FBI of having a “secret society” targeting the president based on a single text from an FBI agent that, when released publicly, proved to be an obvious attempt at humor.
  • The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    1. refer to a journalist as “Crazy Jim Acosta”;
    2. call a technical glitch that resulted in the temporary loss of texts by FBI agents “one of the biggest stories in a long time”;
    3. twice refer to a sitting U.S. Senator as “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer” (in other words, the president of the United States is mocking someone for tearing up when speaking about his relatives who died in the Holocaust);
    4. claim that he offered a deal on DACA in order to “show that Democrats do not want to solve DACA, only use it!”; and
    5. call out a rapper who criticized him by name.

Refocusing of House Intelligence Committee Probe, December 31, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to focus the committee’s attention away from the possibility that a foreign power is attempting to influence federal elections and onto phantom allegations of FBI “corruption” and yet another examination of the former Secretary of State’s email server. Surely a desire to protect the country’s electoral process should be bipartisan.

Source: the Washington Post.