I thought we were going to get a bit of a respite after last week, but the sweet summer me of yesterweek was sadly mistaken. The NNR recommends medicinal comfort foods for a second week, and would like to remind you that ice cream is kosher l’pesach.
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 text!–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 was a week of testimony on the Election Rejection front, with several people sharing things that are maybe against their interests. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Updates. Several Trumps had things to say this week. Ivanka Trump testified before the House January 6 panel for almost eight hours on Tuesday, though it’s unclear whether they got anything good from her. Her brother Junior’s texts to former chief of staff Mark Meadows outlining plans to overturn the election gained a lot of attention as well, for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, Trump the elder gave an interview to the Washington Post saying he wanted to march on the Capitol on January 6 but his Secret Service stopped him and he regrets listening to them. In court news, we saw the first January 6 acquittal this week, and we also saw a Proud Boy leader flip and agree to testify against his cohort in exchange for a plea deal. So that’s a bit of a mixed bag.
It was a quieter week on the Biden Rebuilding front, but the few stories we have are pretty exciting. Here’s what has happened:
- Recent Biden Resilience. The biggest Biden news this week is that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was indeed confirmed to the Supreme Court this week by 53-47 vote, with the same three Republicans voting for her in the final floor vote. (That would be Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney, for those of you playing the home game.) The other major news stories are that the Affordable Care Act is expanding by executive order and student loans are again paused through August. Progress!
Your New Normal:
- Miscellaneous State Law Misery. The main pain points in domestic news this week concern reproductive state law, although the return of “groomer” homophobic rhetoric gets runner-up rude gestures from yours truly. In Oklahoma, a bill passed in both houses that makes nearly all abortion illegal–the sole exception involves medical emergencies that require abortion to save the childbearing parent’s life. This is particularly concerning because Oklahoma is where many Texans go to seek medical care now that abortions cannot be accessed in the state. The other bad news also involves Texas, where a woman named Lizette Herrera was arrested for murder this week and held at a $500,000 bond for several days because a hospital reported that she had induced her miscarriage. These charges are absolutely not legal in Texas, which explicitly excludes pregnant people from murder charges for their own conduct. (The recent expansion of Texan law does not involve criminal charges of pregnant persons at all, to be clear; it applies civil liability to third parties.) This is a major escalation of hostility, and I seriously cannot overstate how concerning it is. This woman was jailed with made-up charges because she sought medical care, and that is a really big deal.
- State of the COVID-19. COVID news this week mostly feels paused, although we do have some concerning developments. There was an outbreak on Capitol Hill, with several officials testing positive–including current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. We almost had a COVID funding deal in Congress, but then the GOP blocked it because they’re big mad about Biden ending Title 42 and letting asylees in. There was also some attention on long COVID, though it’s unclear whether that will result in meaningful funding to study or treat it.
- Land War Atrocities. The United Nations voted to remove Russia from its human rights council this week as more disturbing Bucha details came out. Ukrainian officials continued to investigate war crimes, so we may learn more on that front in the near future. On Friday, news also broke about a rocket attack on a train station in Kramatorsk which killed over fifty civilians trying to flee the region. (Even the Washington Post put out a content warning on that Bucha link, by the way, so I would be remiss if I did not do the same–the Kramatorsk story has several graphic photos as well.)
- Recent Union Resilience (cont). This week, I’m focusing on organizing efforts within Starbucks coffee shops, which have seen a lot of positive action this week. Here in MA, two stores voted to unionize only today, and workers in Birmingham announced intent to organize yesterday as well. These efforts come against a significant backdrop of retaliatory firings from the company, with the most recent instance occurring in Raleigh on Saturday. It’s clear that this movement is not going anywhere, and has the potential to improve working conditions for a lot of people across the country.
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 cat dino cosplay as well as 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 more ice cream because I already ate last week’s!