National News Roundup: Week 42 (November 5–11)

FORTEPAN / Saly Noémi, via Wikimedia Commons

This week has been weird, y’all. Like, “conservatives are smashing their Keurig machines to stick it to liberals” weird. (Joke’s on them; environmentalists hate those things!) I got nothin’.

Standard standing reminders apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m only summarizing the news within my area of expertise. This week’s news contains some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise — I’m a lawyer, not a diplomat! — but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!

Constitutional Crisis Corners:

For a second week in a row, the Russia Collusion Investigation remains the biggest news of the week. We saw a lot of different interrelated developments:

Your “Normal” Weird:

The Bad:

The Good:

  • ACA Numbers Don’t Lie. Despite some intentional sabotage by the Trump administration, ACA enrollment reached historic highs this season on its first day of enrollment, more than doubling the previous year’s numbers. In addition to suggesting that healthcare is on people’s minds, these numbers are another piece of evidence that the ACA has become much more popular with the average American in the past year. On a related note, in this past Tuesday’s election Maine voted to expand Medicaid under the ACA by referendum, finally getting around their governor’s perpetual veto. (Their governor, Paul LePage, is already dragging his feet on implementation.)
  • Bob Is My Constituent. We saw some truly amazing victories on Election Day this past week, and I can’t oversell how excited I am about them all! Most obvious were the heaps of Democratic victories, including in both Virginia and New Jersey’s gubernatorial elections. But even more historic was the veritable tide we saw of successful female candidates, successful candidates of color, and successful openly trans candidates in particular. Also, I have particular delight in the story of Danica Roem, who is the first openly transgender state lawmaker, and who defeated Bob Marshall, an extremely outspoken and well-entrenched opponent of trans rights. When she was asked on election night whether she was glad to have defeated his agenda, Ms. Roem apparently replied: “I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”

And that’s what I have this week — it managed to be weird, terrible, and kind of awesome in turns throughout the week. I could get used to having positive news, though I’m not holding my breath for too long of a streak. Either way, I’ll catch y’all next week!

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