This Is Not Normal, February 20, 2018 – February 26, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is not normal.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president’s unqualified daughter, who has still not received a security clearance, briefed the president of South Korea about the U.S.’s sanctions against North Korea.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Republican National Committee has been paying expenses formerly paid by the president’s own campaign committee for several months, an arrangement that began when the RNC stopped paying the president’s personal legal bills due to public pressure.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is considering appointing his personal pilot to head the FAA.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president is publicly threatening North Korea with a strike that would be a “very rough thing” and “very, very unfortunate for the world.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president of Mexico cancelled his visit to the United States because the president would not commit to refraining from talking about the border wall during the visit.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has removed language calling the United States a “nation of immigrants” from its mission statement.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the Veterans Affairs secretary’s response to being caught taking a taxpayer-funded European trip with his wife is to call himself a victim of “subversion” by Veterans Affairs employees and claim that he has permission from the White House to remove those employees.
  • It is NOT NORMAL for the president to claim that he would have “run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon” if he were at a school during a shooting.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that an aide who helped run the president’s election campaign and worked on the presidential transition just pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the lieutenant governor of Georgia is threatening to retaliate against a private company because it has stopped offering a discount program to the members of the National Rifle Association. I was under the impression that conservatives think companies should be free to run their businesses as they see fit.
  • 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 his opponent in the presidential election as “Crooked Hillary,” which means it has once again been zero weeks since he brought up the election and his opponents;
    2. complain multiple times that Democrats want to do nothing about DACA (the DACA deal is languishing for multiple reasons, among them a Republican filibuster);
    3.  call for Pennsylvania Republicans to challenge the redrawn congressional district map in the Supreme Court;
    4. say, without providing any substantiation, that he had been “much tougher on Russia than Obama”;
    5. complain that the “Fake News Washington Post” was running a story about a sexual assault allegation against him;
    6. subtweet his Attorney General for not investigating Democrats;
    7. argue in the first half of a tweet that he never said “give teachers guns,” only to spend the second half of the tweet, and a few following tweets,  explaining why he thinks that arming teachers would be a good idea;
    8. tout a CPAC straw poll giving him a 93% approval rating;
    9. misquote a Fox News report in such a way that it sounded as though the report was criticizing a congressman, when in fact it was simply quoting him; and
    10. once again refer to the Russia investigation, which has yielded three guilty pleas and dozens of indictments, as a “Witch Hunt.”

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.”

Trump on Cognitive Test and North Korea, January 17, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to claim (even jokingly) that he was more suited to handle the North Korea crisis than his predecessors because he had attained a perfect score on a test whose intent was to evaluate whether or not he had dementia. It is distressing to me that the president may not understand the difference between a medical diagnostic and an I.Q. test.

Source: Reuters