Much like my dog every time he goes outside, the news seems unsure where it is going this week. We have a lot of meandering threads that continue from last week, with little resolution in sight. Nonetheless, the NNR will keep you posted on the updates.
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 gas stove!–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:
Since it’s otherwise a quiet week for Election Rejection news, now seems like a fine time to catch everyone up on the Santos saga. Here’s what has happened:
- Santos Malos. If you somehow have not yet caught up on the impressive fraudulence of George Santos, let me give you the Cliff notes: He has lied about basically everything it is possible to lie about. Over the past few weeks, we’ve caught lies on topics ranging from his family of origin to his qualifications to how he spent his donations to whether he’s wanted by the Brazilian government. As you might imagine, this kind of thing leads to federal and House investigations, as well as ethics complaints from the Dem side of the aisle. As of this week, we can also add hostilities from his own aisle to that list, as half the GOP attempts to kick Santos off the island. Nonetheless, as we’ve seen so ably demonstrated over the past few weeks, McCarthy isn’t doing anything that might challenge his fragile hold on the House, and that includes making Santos answer for any of this. I’ll keep folks posted on whether anything comes of any of this, but it’s my guess that we’ll be stuck with him until 2024.
Meanwhile in Biden Rebuilding, the scandal story from last week has grown more heads. Here’s what I have for you:
- What’s Up with These Docs (cont). Remember last week, when the GOP had already started comparing Biden’s classified cache to Trump’s? They got slightly more supporting facts this week, because we learned about more classified oopsies in Biden’s home in Delaware. I do want to stress that there’s still a dramatic difference between the two in terms of context and magnitude, but it’s not a great look for Biden, especially when the new House is desperate to investigate him already. Attorney General Merrick has appointed special counsel, in the form of Robert Hur, to investigate the matter further. I’ll keep folks posted on this one as well.
Your New Normal:
- Out Of Gas. The GOP went all the way off the rails about gas range stoves this week, apparently in response to a Biden official from the Consumer Product Safety Commission saying he considered a ban on them during a routine interview. The chair of the commission had to publicly clarify that nobody was banning gas stoves in the near future, but people are still defending their Constitutional right to them anyway. (That said, there really are health concerns associated with gas stovetops, as has been highlighted in major studies in recent years. There just aren’t any federal plans to do anything about it.)
- Climate Change Catastrophes (cont). The severe storms in California that I documented last week are still ongoing as I type this, though experts believe that the state may see a break soon. Flooding is still a major concern; according to NWS, some areas have weathered over half their annual rainfall in the past three weeks. Needless to say, this isn’t normal, and we may be rebuilding local infrastructure for quite a while after this.
- Recent Economic Resilience.* Several outlets reported this week that consumer prices fell in December by a 0.1% monthly rate overall. It’s a small decrease, but it’s also the first decrease since May 2020, so it’s still worth getting excited about. The annual inflation rate dropped as well, largely due to falling gas prices. Incremental progress!
So that’s all I have for this week, and here’s hoping it doesn’t get worse. For making it through, you deserve these penguin bros 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 head scritches for my dog!