There are quite a few odds and ends from the last week or so that didn’t quite make it into the draft on Wednesday, though thankfully we’ve seen a fairly quiet Memorial day weekend. You can think of today’s draft as the tail-end mop-up–the stories are still worth tracking, but they’re bits and bobs of larger pieces.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I guess after six years I’m conceding that I’m a journalist, but I summarize news within my areas of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a panel!–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:
Beyond primary elections, we did see a few more developments on the Election Rejection front. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Updates. Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni Thomas was in the news again for pressuring elected officials to ignore elections, this time in Arizona. Meanwhile, news also broke that a senior State Department official met with election deniers about overturning election results on January 6, and House Panel testimony suggests that Trump expressed support for hanging Pence, so that’s fun. Finally, the D.C. Circuit blocked the House panel from obtaining RNC records as part of its January 6 investigation.
We also saw a few odds and ends of Biden Rebuilding, though not as many as I might have hoped. Here’s what has happened:
- Administrative (In)action. Biden was in the news regarding a plan to order minor police reform and some collaborative initiatives on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death. (Though it was overshadowed by Uvalde news for obvious reasons, this did indeed happen on Wednesday.) However, despite a Presidential trip to Uvalde on Sunday, we haven’t seen much follow-up on police misconduct during the shooting. That said, he did open a DOJ investigation, which we’ll talk more about below.
Your New Normal:
- State of the COVID-19. We have already talked some about the fifth Covid wave, which doesn’t seem to be deterring Americans from traveling over Memorial Day weekend because Murrica. This past week also saw some more studies about the nature of long Covid, which hopefully heralds more research to come. More specifically, studies this week confirmed that Covid vaccines do not prevent long Covid, though they do provide a bit of protection. There is also research that suggests that long Covid might be more common from minor infection, because most diagnosed cases occur in people who weren’t hospitalized during their initial infection. Finally, and speaking of hospitalization, the White House is trying to figure out ways to get Paxlovid to more people to prevent death during the current wave.
- Uvalde Updates^. The Uvalde story unquestionably saw the most movement, and the developments remain extremely upsetting. By Thursday, several outlets had picked up the thread about police inaction at the shooting site, noting the deleterious role that police play in shootings in general as well as the myriad ways the police messed up in Uvalde in particular. Eventually, after several narrative inconsistencies issued by police were clarified, we had a clearer timeline of events: The shooter was inside the school and unengaged by police for almost 90 minutes while students called 9-1-1 repeatedly and parents begged officers to go inside. As I mentioned above, the U.S. Department of Justice is opening an investigation into the police response. Depressingly, this is the only federal initiative moving forward right now, as the Senate adjourned on Friday without voting on either of the two background check bills that have already passed in the House. (Before leaving, the GOP also blocked voting on a domestic terrorism bill that was a response to the Buffalo shooting.) Nonetheless, Senate Democrats say that they’re working on bipartisan legislation. There were also a few stories about how many mass shootings have occurred in 2022, which in total average more than one per day–and the Washington Post reported that another fourteen have occurred in the past week. Finally, the NRA held its annual convention this weekend in Houston, which involved a lot of repeating disproven talking points while teachers protested outside.
- Recent Labor Resilience. We did see some positive labor news over the past week or so. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team finalized a deal that closes their pay gap and creates equal pay with men’s soccer, which is really exciting. There were also several unionizing victories for Starbucks franchises. Finally, Vice reports that Raven software QA voted to form the first AAA video game union in 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 inquisitive octopus and a more functional 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 your opinions on word puzzle games!