We had another week of January 6 hearings, and somehow, things feel a bit more optimistic now than they did last week. I’m not sure if that’s the changing poll numbers regarding people who want Trump charged or the DOJ confirming that it’s paying attention, but honestly, either way? I’ll take it.
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 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:
Basically half the news this week is January 6 hearings on the Election Rejection front. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Update: This Week’s Hearings. After Monday’s hearing, we had a brief postponement of Wednesday’s planned session due to “technical issues”. Given the pause, the panel took the opportunity to release footage of a very damning tour led by Georgia Rep Barry Loudermilk on January 5, which featured people later arrested for insurrection scoping out stairways and security checkpoints. Then on Thursday we were back on, with much of the testimony focusing on Mike Pence’s actions to resist growing attempts to invalidate the election. That said, we also learned that Trump’s attorney John Eastman asked to be put on the “pardon list” after pushing for rejection of voting results. The testimony also drew more attention to sketchy SCOTUS wife Ginni Thomas, who corresponded with Eastman and is now being asked to testify herself at a future date. Speaking of future dates, the next hearing dates are this upcoming Tuesday and Thursday.
- Insurrection Update: Original Flavor Election Rejection. Just like last week, we still have plenty of insurrectionists at the polls for this year’s primaries. The Washington Post reported that over 100 GOP primary winners back Trump’s narrative of a “stolen” election, a sentiment which the Texas Republican Convention officially adopted this week. Unsurprisingly, several eyes were watching Trump’s endorsed candidates in primaries in Nevada and South Carolina on Tuesday as a result. In South Carolina, his candidates had mixed results, but in Nevada, a vocal election denier won the GOP state secretary ticket. Meanwhile, one of the GOP members of the House panel pointed to these primary results when he reported last night that he’s receiving death threats and worries about a repeat of January 6.
Though some of his updates go under the Bad and the Good respectively, I did want to spend a few minutes on the ongoing negotiations for responsible gun legislation, which as I mentioned last week are part of Biden Rebuilding. Here’s what has happened:
- Responsible Gun Laws. After Sunday’s announcement that a bipartisan deal had been reached, surprisingly, the deal hasn’t melted down yet and Mitch McConnell expressed support for it. This may be in part, however, because Republicans feel the proposal doesn’t do much. Needless to say, though we don’t have a scrapped bill, state laws will likely remain very salient for the near future–and they largely are polarized much like the Senate is.
Your New Normal:
- State of the COVID-19. We’re beginning to see indications of new subvariations of omicron again, though we don’t yet have a lot of data about what that realistically means. But what we do definitely have are two approved pediatric vaccines for children under age 5, because both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s offerings successfully made it through the FDA and the CDC over the past week. This has been a long time coming, and is excellent news for parents of young children.
- Recession Guessing.* Remember a few weeks ago, when financial articles were all “oh, inflation’s bad, but don’t worry, we’re not seeing other signs of an incoming recession?” Yeah, about that. After the Fed raised interest rates again earlier in the week, with the biggest increase in nearly thirty years, the stock market started to freak out. Now a recession is indeed looking more likely–though Biden keeps saying it isn’t inevitable, and he’s technically not wrong. Either way, borrowers of all types can expect a rougher ride for loan approvals and for repayments, which isn’t exactly a picnic for those folks whether we get the recession label or not.
- Recent Biden Resilience. I was really hoping we’d have more good news this week than just Lizzo (no offense, Lizzo), and I’m really glad to be reporting on something positive Biden did for once. More specifically, he signed a relatively robust LGBTQI+ executive order package on Thursday–just in time for Pride, as the administration is quick to stress. I’m decidedly underwhelmed by the conversion therapy provisions, which seem less designed to prevent a blatantly torturous practice and more designed to just shake administrative heads at it vaguely reproachfully. That said, I do think there are a number of more valuable provisions in there, including guidance for educational, foster and adoption systems as well as expansion to gender affirming medical care.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I think it was more than enough. For making it through, you deserve this extremely fierce living roomba 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 favorite flavor of ice cream!