National News Roundup: Year 2, Week 36 (September 23–29)


This news week was basically three weeks of the Kavanaugh saga in a one-week suit, and half of it was incredibly discouraging, makes no freaking sense, or both. I’ll try to break it down for you into manageable pieces, but I’ll be honest: It’s not looking pretty, folks. If you live in a place with a senator on the fence, I definitely recommend calling, and will include links to scripts below.

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 calendar! — 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:

The main thing to know about Casual Disregard of Governing Norms this week is the Kavanaugh saga, but there was also some bonus world leaders laughing at Trump. Here’s the $0.10 digest of the past week’s chaos:

The Russia Investigation was a bit quieter than the other splashy headlines this week, but there was still some movement. Here are the main things to know:

Your “Normal” Weird:

  • New NAFTA.* After dunking on Trudeau for half the week last week, Trump did reach an agreement with Canada on trade late last night after frantic negotiation. The new agreement has the catchy name of ‘United States-Mexico-Canada’ agreement, which I assume happened because Trump loves him some McDonald’s and “U.S. McA” sounds like something you can order there. And speaking of things children love, Trump took away from this experience that bullying people works, and is now threatening to use the same technique in negotiations with European Union, China, Japan, and potentially Brazil and India. So this will be a fun year of trade negotiations.
  • Tax Cuts That Don’t Apply to You (Redux).* As forecast a few weeks ago, the House did indeed pass a bill that makes the tax cuts of last year permanent, because it managed to squeak by along party lines despite the overwhelming evidence that this is a terrible plan. Pretty much the only reason I’m sticking this in the ‘weird’ section and not the bad, other than the fact that I still can’t believe they did this while the Senate was grilling Ford and Kavanaugh, is the low likelihood that the Senate will touch this with a ten-foot pole during an election year.

The Bad:

The Good:

So that’s what I have for this week, and it’s more than enough! For making it through all of that, you deserve this parade of animals dressed up as other animals and an eventual better government. I’ll be back next week with more news, and I hope you will be back as well — but 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 a week’s worth of naps!

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