National News Roundup: Year 3, Week 17 (May 12–18)


The news seems stuck on a spin cycle for another week, which means a lot of us are waiting for something — anything — to improve, and in the meantime there’s a lot of disappointment. I’m here if anyone needs to talk, and so is my ice cream. (Although the ice cream won’t talk back. It’s rude that way.)

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 tariff! — 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:

This week was a bit quieter on the Russia Investigation front, but there was still a fair amount of movement. Here’s what I have for you:

It’s becoming harder and harder to distinguish Disregard of Governing Norms from the Russia Investigation circus above, but we still do see a couple of power moves each week that stand on their own. Here’s what happened:

Your “Normal” Weird:

  • Star Ted vs. The Space Pirates. Folks, there are no witticisms I could come up with that are more surprisingly hilarious than this news summary itself, which is that Ted Cruz wants to protect us from Space Pirates. Though quick to reassure us that his xenophobia won’t be extraterrestrial anytime soon, the Internet Did What the Internet Does and held an impromptu roast of the $2 billion proposal. Cruz tried to play off the criticism, but seemed a bit put out that no one was taking him seriously. Sorry Ted, but just think about how smug you can act when the Zebesian Armada arrives on our doorstep and the ISS is crawling with metroids.
  • Dems by the Dozens. As Montana Governor Steve Bullock and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio enter the race, there are now twenty-three confirmed Democratic hopefuls and two more potentially waiting in the wings. About half of the candidates are polling below 2 percent and every one has a different idea of how to gain an edge, worrying some members of a party that struggles to present a unified front against the GOP. Few of these strategies go outside efforts to be publicly available, visible, and brand aware (and Bullock in particular suggested that reporters plug his website). But Elizabeth Warren has embraced the apparently unlikely tactic of speaking and listening directly to one of the most disenfranchised voting blocs in America: Black women. Expect more news soon, because there sure are enough sources of it.

The Bad:

The Good:

So that’s what I have for this week, and boy howdy was that a lot of garbage news. For making it through, you deserve this this If Harry Potter Had Google slideshow and this concern doggo and her butterfly and also an eventual better government. I’ll be back next week with more (and hopefully less confusing) 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 more opportunities to nap!

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