National News Roundup — Year 2, Week 19 (May 27 — June 2)


This week wasn’t as catastrophic as last week. I mean, it wasn’t so good, either; in particular, there was a striking amount of Constitutional Crisis Corner, the news from Puerto Rico is dire, and our political norms are continuing to erode. It says something about how bad it was last week that I’m still feeling a small sense of relief about one section’s worth of Bad, and I won’t judge you if you do, too.

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 summit! — 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:

Now that things have quieted a bit, let’s catch up on Violations of the Emolument Clause regarding the Trump Organization and China. Here are the main things to know:

We had quite a week for Casual Disregard of Governing Norms, including an unpleasant resurgence of press harassment. Here are the main things to know:

There was also more aggression regarding Infringement of First Amendment Rights:

  • Actual Censorship Is Apparently a Thing Now. The day after Samantha Bee apologized for calling Ivanka Trump a vulgar epithet (thanks for the euphemism, New York Times!), Trump publicly demanded to know why she wasn’t fired for the thing she had just apologized about. (Trump also called the lack of firing a ‘double standard’ because Roseanne Barr got canceled for being terminally racist, but more on that below.) But even more concerning than Trump’s temper tantrum was Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s statement about it as official White House press secretary: “The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling. Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast, and executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network.” (emphasis mine) In other words: The government is pressuring a private entity to fire its staff on account of she said bad things about said government, and that is literally what First Amendment freedom of speech is supposed to prevent.

There were a few developments on the Russia Investigation front too, including one major bombshell. Here’s a summary of the main things to know:

Your “Normal” Weird:

The Bad:

The Good:

And that’s the news this week, which honestly is more than enough for one week, good grief. I’ll be back next week, and I hope you will be too. In the meantime, feel free to ping the National News Roundup ask box. Send me questions! Send me feedback! Send me the a week with fewer last-minute news items!

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