For yet another week, most of the news cycle features The Ongoing Espionage of Cool Ranch Mussolini. Though there were more court developments today on the special master matter–despite it being Labor Day–I’ve opted to keep the NNR on its ordinary schedule, simply because I doubt there’s an end in sight this week. We all have to come up for air sometime, y’all, and it might as well be now.
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 floor!–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:
For yet another week, Election Rejection was an entire flying circus. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Update: Fights in Florida. There was a lot of movement on the FBI Tour of Mar-a-Lago front this week, shocking no one except maybe Trump. First, only an hour after last week’s NNR went out (not that I’m bitter), the FBI filed a response to Trump’s very special Special Master request. Included in the materials as an appendix was a now-famous photograph of the floor at Mar-A-Lago, which featured many classified documents just kind of hanging out in disarray; the memo notes that these are among over 100 files that were sensitive in nature were found that day. Eventually this was followed up with a full inventory list of said documents on Friday morning, which is when we learned that they also found forty-eight empty folders which used to contain top-secret information. All of this backdrop, of course, just makes it even more frustrating that Judge Cannon went ahead and paused everything except the national security review until a special master can review it all, which will take who even knows how long. But on the plus side, Biden has issued opinions on the topic also, which I’ll talk more about below.
This was a quieter week on the Biden Rebuilding front, and most of it comes back to MAGA in some way. Here’s what has happened:
- Recent Biden Resilience. At the top of the week, Ted Cruz announced his intentions to sue over Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which will be an interesting standing conversation if nothing else I guess. But the big Biden news of the week was his speech in front of Independence Hall on Thursday night, where he point-blank announced that he believes MAGA Republicans are a threat to our Republic. (Which, to be fair, is extremely true, but welcome to the party, pal.) Meanwhile, as if to prove his point, on the same day Trump was in the news for promising pardons to insurrectionists if re-elected. Both sides, amirite?
Your New Normal:
- Contagion Corner. The biggest news in contagion land is, of course, the fact that omicron boosters were greenlit by the FDA and the CDC, and will become available most places in the near future. But this development comes alongside news about multiple long-term COVID problems–namely, that student test scores have plummeted during the pandemic and so did the national life expectancy. We also saw what appears to be the first U.S. death from monkey pox complications, and there are new concerns about the monkey pox vaccine’s efficacy. So this was a pretty rough contagion week in many ways, despite the welcome booster news.
- Climate Change Struggles. There was a lot of news this week regarding consequences of climate change. Many outlets touched on the heat wave on the West Coast, which included a wildfire in California as anticipated and near-125 degree temperature in Death Valley. On a related note, a report from NOAA indicates that 2021 was one of the hottest years in recorded history. Meanwhile, more information was published on the ways climate change contributed to the current Jackson water crisis, and virologists speculate that climate change is making contagions worse too.
- Ranked Choice Victory. In Alaska, a ranked choice special election last week had some interesting results. The process elected Mary Peltola, who is the first Alaska Native ever elected to the House and the first Democrat elected in half a century. This is a big deal both because of the representation it entails and because of the ranked choice voting that it has pioneered–only Maine and Alaska currently have it in place for Congressional elections. It is worth noting, incidentally, that Peltola also won the first count as well–which means that ranked choice voting did not particularly steal victory away from the other candidates, no matter what Sarah Palin tells you.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I think we can agree that it was more than enough. Nonetheless, for making it through, you deserve this hamster platformer 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 links to your favorite tunes!