National News Roundup: Year 2, Week 32 (August 26-September 1)


Y’all, the theme of the past week is “we’re all being governed by malicious toddlers,” as both Trump and half the Senate completely ignore restraint or rule of law. It’s even more reason to take actions like participating in primaries, calling your reps, and voting in November! We can — and will — push through this. And in the meantime, there’s always ice cream.

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 42,000 documents! — 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:

As has become traditional, we saw a fair amount of Casual Disregard of Governing Norms this week, and most of it is in one way or another pretty horrifying. Here are the main things to know:

The Russia Investigation was calmer this week, but given the week before it that’s not saying much! Here are the things to know:

  • How Trump Handles a Bad Week. In the aftermath of major Russia Investigation developments, Trump made… some life choices on the subject. In particular, news broke that Giuliani is preparing a report on Mueller’s report designed to rebut whatever Mueller finds in his investigation — before the Mueller investigation has released a report, so that’s kind of a neat trick. But they have a plan for that too, because they’re telling Mueller to wrap up his investigation (again), this time claiming that it’s not fair to have an investigation within 60 days of an election day (and never mind that a) it’s not a Presidential election cycle, and b) an investigation during the 60 days before a Presidential election was literally how Trump became President). Meanwhile, multiple Trump aides are being accused of tax fraud while he still refuses to release his tax returns, so that will be interesting to watch as well.
  • White House Firing Redux (Russia Edition). Trump seems to be revisiting the idea of firing Sessions, Mueller, or both this week, according to the Washington Post and Trump’s own tweets. And as Papadopoulous faces sentencing, the walls do appear to be closing in, which might put a Trump-era Saturday Night Massacre back on the table. We’ll need to watch this carefully in the coming weeks, especially because Mueller already indicated that he won’t put his investigation on pause just because it’s 60 days before the election.

Your “Normal” Weird:

The Bad:

The Good:

So that’s what I have for this week, which seems like more than enough from where I’m sitting. The news was Chaotic Petty this week, and you deserve nice things for reading it, so please enjoy this story about veterinarians helping a lost sea lion get back to the sea. 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, which is there for your constructive comments. Send me questions! Send me feedback! Send me government officials who act like grownups!


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