Year 4, Week 15 (April 26–May 2)


This week definitely didn’t hit the low water mark set by suggestions to inject bleach at a press conference, but that’s not saying much. If anything, I’m feeling meh at the moment–likely a side-effect of growing inured after so many weeks of pandemic. It’s hard to really see where we go from here, and yet we keep on going. 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 a vaccine trial!–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!  


Constitutional Crisis Corner:

As has become the norm, all of the Disregard of Governing Norms stories have a particular flavor, as leaders on state and national levels continue to refuse to listen to experts.  We’re spared the worst of it here in Massachusetts, as we’re officially still in a stay-at-home advisory at least until May 18, but some states are reopening and it’s honestly scary. Here’s what is happening:    

  • Other COVID Misconduct.  Of course, several other people in this administration took the time to be horrifying this week as well. William Barr gets an honorable mention for his nonsense insinuation that stay-at-home orders might be unconstitutional, but the real Vice Cad this week is, appropriately, Vice Cad Mike Pence. Pence earned this honor by touring a hospital full of immunocompromised people without wearing a mask, counter to the hospital’s policy and his own federal guidance, because–and I quote–“As vice president of the United States, I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis.” Folks, this man literally leads the White House coronavirus task force and this is what he does while he tours a testing facility. Then he followed up by threatening to sue the reporter that confirmed Pence was intentionally ignoring the rules–apparently, journalists were all instructed by Pence’s team in writing to wear masks in deference to the Mayo Clinic policy. This administration is such a fascinating combination of obtuse and malignant; watching them operate is like watching Snidely Whiplash tie himself to the train tracks. Except the entire country is Nell and Dudley Do-Right is on holiday.

Your “Normal” Weird:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this new Waititi-directed Star Wars movie and this 30th-anniversaary Good Omens short and 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 sinuses with fewer allergies!

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