I was hoping the bad news would pass us over this week, but no dice–in fact, the news this week is uncommonly bad even by our modern standards. On the plus side, however, ice cream is still 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 voter roll!–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 relatively quiet week on the Election Rejection front, though we did see a few odds and ends. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Updates. The House panel questioned Stephen Miller this week, and news also broke about sitting Senator Mike Lee trying to help Trump overturn the 2020 elections. Meanwhile, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was removed from the North Carolina voter rolls due to evidence of voter fraud, and the RNC has announced that they are withdrawing from Presidential debates moving forward. So that should make for an interesting election season, I guess.
It was a quiet week on the Biden Rebuilding front as well, though we did see a few things move forward. Here’s what has happened:
- Recent Biden Resilience. Biden announced this week that his administration plans to resume leasing for oil and gas drilling on federal lands in a bid to lower gas prices, and he’s also permitting sale of E15 gas this summer. (They did announce an increased oil royalty rate, though, so I guess that’s something.) Speaking of increased rates, there were also a number of articles about the highest inflation rate in my lifetime, which is about as awesome as it sounds. On the plus side, though, that probably contributed to Biden’s announcement of another student loan forgiveness waiver, this time regarding income-driven repayment.
Your New Normal:
- Miscellaneous State Law Misery. Both Kentucky and Florida were in the news again for abysmal new abortion laws, and Kentucky’s is particularly bad, as it effectively completely bans abortion in the state for every situation except medical necessity. Florida was also in the news for banning math textbooks because they allegedly included–and I cannot believe I am not making this up–critical race theory. I know I for one fondly remember my calculus textbook’s many insights into structural racism; don’t you?
- State of the COVID-19. There was a huge amount of COVID news this week, as things are picking up in a number of directions. The BA.2 subvariant of omicron appears to now have its own subvariants, which are already dominant in parts of New York state. Meanwhile, cases are rising in general especially in the Northeast. Between all of these facts, the federal public health emergency was officially extended until July as a result. Originally the mask mandates for transportation were extended as well, but a Florida federal judge on Monday ruled that unlawful for MAGA reasons. So now, none of us get to have a transportation mask mandate, we already know transportation workers will get sick, and I personally plan to die mad about it. But in more positive COVID news, Pfizer is seeking to authorize a booster for children 5-11 and a breathalyzer test for COVID has been approved by the FDA.
- Mess of Mass Shootings. There were a truly stunning number of mass shootings over the past week, and over the weekend in particular. In Brooklyn during the work week, ten people were shot on a moving subway train, resulting in over 25 people total injured. Then over the weekend, there were mass shootings in a mall in South Carolina, an AirBnB in Pittsburgh, a club in South Carolina, and a city block in Portland, OR. These increases in gun violence are frightening, and they likely aren’t going away anytime soon.
- Recent Texas Resilience. After more than a week of disruption, Texas governor Greg Abbott agreed to stop enforcing an obnoxious vehicle inspection policy at the border that was resulting in considerable chaos and spoiled food. I am choosing to believe this is, at least in part, due to an annoyance campaign from Harris county Democrats, who referred to his policy as the Abbott Supply-chain Surcharge, or ASS Tax.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve learning about the cat gap 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!