This was another week of monumental change on scant few topics, which seems like it’s becoming our new normal. It can feel a bit overwhelming to keep up with everything, but that’s why we’re still doing the NNR! I’m here if folks have any questions.
Standard standing reminders still 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 committee hearing!–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!
Cleanup in Aisle 45:
This week’s Election Rejection news is also Congressional news, which is why it’s mostly pettiness masking massive dysfunction. Here’s what I have for you this week:
- Insurrection Updates. The January 6 probe kicked off this past week with Nancy Pelosi blocking two obviously bad-faith nominations from House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, noting that both of them had already made public statements promising to undermine the investigation. In response, McCarthy refused to let his other GOP picks participate at all, and the House Freedom Caucus urged McCarthy to remove Pelosi as speaker. Nonetheless, the probe moved forward, and today was the first day of testimony; the committee heard emotional testimony from four police officers present during the insurrection.
There are also some developments for Biden Rebuilding. Here’s what has happened:
- Biden Administration Updates. As was the case last week, many Democrats and activists remain frustrated with the lack of federal action to protect voting rights, but senators are more interested in upbraiding the FBI for its mishandling of the Kavanaugh investigation back in 2018. Meanwhile, budget and infrastructure package negotiations remain a hot mess, largely because Republicans keep refusing things every thirty seconds.
Your New Normal:
- Climate Change Crisis.* Climate change plagues continue for another week, with more West Coast fires and heat waves everywhere, which as I mentioned yesterday is messing up air quality in large swaths of the country.There was another devastating flood, this time in China, which has caused at least 61 casualties at the time that I type this. In Utah, the drought conditions exacerbating sandstorms led to a twenty-two car pileup which killed several people. Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos launched himself into space this week, and is already talking about how to increase space tourism, which will in turn increase climate change. There’s a lot to do on this front, and that isn’t changing anytime soon.
- State of the COVID-19. COVID updates remain important to track as the Delta variant shifts our landscape even further. The variant now accounts for 83% of all sequenced cases in the U.S., and COVID cases are rising dramatically, especially in undervaccinated areas. Even some GOP leaders are starting to push for vaccination, and the CDC issued guidance today urging people to resume wearing masks indoors–something leaders are increasingly doing across the country. Incredibly, we’re still arguing about whether unvaccinated children need to wear masks in schools, even though pediatric groups are saying all kids should wear masks in schools–even vaccinated ones–and younger children might not have a vaccine until November. Meanwhile, taking a page out of Europe’s book, at an increasing rate American universities, health groups, and even government entities are mandating vaccination. Several outlets are covering a variety of food shortages around the country as the economy still struggles to recover from the bizarre year we’ve had. And finally, the Biden Administration also indicated that long COVID will be legally considered a disability under the ADA.
- Recent Health Law Resilience. We did see some promising health law developments this week. The Biden Administration indicated that long COVID will be legally considered a disability under the ADA, and also announced that HIV prevention medication must be fully covered by all insurance. A federal judge in Arkansas also granted an injunction on the state’s extreme abortion ban, which is particularly welcome on the same week that Mississippi’s attorney general went ahead and urged SCOTUS to overturn Roe v Wade.
So that’s what I have for this week, and despite being pretty focused, it was a lot! For making it through, you deserve this take on a classic riddle and a more consistently improved government. I’ll be back next week with more restructured and improved 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 improved air quality everywhere!