Year 3, Week 50 (December 29–January 4)

On a scale of one to ten, I give the first week of 2020 a negative three–the news is so awful, in fact, that we’re enacting the NNR Really Bad Week protocol. You get your dessert good news first this week, and we’re closing with things you can do to feel less like you’re screaming into the wind. We will get through this, and I’m here if anyone needs anything.

Standard standing reminders apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not an FBI raid!–but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. And, of course, for the things that are within my lane, I’m offering context that shouldn’t be considered legal advice. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers.  Onward to the news!   


The Good:

  • Christian Rebukes Continue. There was another open letter to Trump from the evangelical community this week, this time from a number of congregations in Florida. It doesn’t seem likely that much will come from it, but it’s still kind of edifying to watch pastors say things like, “As members of the Christian faith, we cannot stand idly by while you attempt to co-opt our religion for your political gain” and “you, sir, do not have the moral fortitude to deserve our support.”

Constitutional Crisis Corners:

At the time that I type this, Whistleblowing Ukraine Biden Bingo is slowly resuming, though of course we have no more settled than the last week’s update.  Here’s a quick summary of the uncertainty:


There’s not much in the way of Disregard of Governing Norms stories this week, but we did see one story I think is worth noting:


Your “Normal” Weird:


The Bad:

  • Congress and SCOTUS. Two different Congressional groups approached the Supreme Court this week, and frankly I’m not excited about either of them. A group of Democrats have decided to cut to the chase and ask for a quicker ruling on the Affordable Care Act, creating a more certain scenario by the close of the term.  This actually makes total sense in context–it would be worse to leave the insurance market uncertain indefinitely, and SCOTUS would weigh in eventually either way–but I’m pretty anxious about it anyway. Meanwhile, a GOP group filed an amicus brief on the case to overturn Roe v Wade, which will be heard in March; it’s a move both unnecessary and frankly terrifying, because they know as much about reproductive health as potatoes know about yoyos. 

The Very Bad:


What We Can Do:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no refunds. For making it through, you deserve this parrot love storyandthis hair salon version of a Knives Out clip, as well as an eventual better government.  I’ll be back next week with more (and hopefully better) 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 better immune system!

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