National News Roundup: Week 14 (April 23–29)

My friends, we have seen a very elusive creature this past week — the fabled good news cycle. In particular, we saw some significant strides on both the investigation into collusion and protecting vulnerable immigrant populations. Although we also saw a lot of deeply weird stuff. I guess that’s what happens when you drink unicorn frappuccinos for good luck.

Standard standing reminders apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I generally only summarize news in my area of expertise. This week does contain a few headlines outside my expertise, but all my off-road adventures will be marked with asterisks. Onto the news!

The Weird:

The Bad:

The Good:

  • Sanctuary Preserved (For Now). In what I would characterize as the biggest news of the week, a federal district court judge issued an injunction against the government regarding its threat to cut funding for sanctuary jurisdictions. Just like with the other two court cases, it’s a temporary injunction rather than a permanent ban, and just like in the other two, the court cited public statements made by officials in its rationale. That said, the judge did make perfectly clear that there are serious potential constitutional problems with the order. The decision is extra exciting because it marks the fourth piece of the immigration executive orders to go into limbo indefinitely, following the travel ban, funding for the wall, and the reports that would identify sanctuary jurisdictions in the first place.
  • I’d Like To Report a UFO. Fed up with VOICE’s role within the propaganda machine, activists have started calling the hotline number to report criminal aliens like Darth Maul and Invader Zim. The effort was apparently sufficiently successful to jam up the phone lines, which are no longer working properly. Though this is a particularly clever form of activism, it goes in the ‘good’ column because the VOICE program is exploitative and dangerous, and gumming up its wheels for any length of time should be celebrated.
  • No One Likes AHCA, Apparently Including Congress. Attempts to revive the AHCA this week failed miserably, in part because it’s still a fetid cesspool of a policy and in part because it became known that Congress was exempting itself from having to follow it. It remains to be seen whether they’ll try to revive this bill a third time. I doubt it will give the policy any charm.
  • Bizarrely Productive Voting Happened: Despite threats to the contrary, Congress managed to vote to avoid shutdown on Friday. Then they voted on a more long-term budgetary plan on Sunday, and it was deeply impressive just how much the King of Negotiation failed to successfully negotiate. There’s no funding for the wall, domestic spending increased, Planned Parenthood funding remains, the EPA’s funding goes down only 1%, and military spending fell far short of Trump’s proposal. The whole thing was so unapologetically against Trump’s agenda that I’m honestly kind of wondering where they put the hidden catch. But for now, I’m going to turn off that part of my brain and celebrate how uncannily non-damaging this week has turned out to be! I encourage you to do the same, but save some of the ice cream in the freezer — I suspect we’re going to need it later.

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