The NNR starts counting from Inauguration Weekend every year, which means that this trip round the sun, we happen to coincide with the East Asian cultural sphere’s Lunar New Year! Though it’s off to a tough start, I’m still hopeful that the Year of the Rabbit (or Year of the Cat, depending upon who you ask) will ultimately live up to its reputation. Rest assured that if it doesn’t, I will tell you about it.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I may be starting a seventh year of journalism, 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 committee!–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:
It was a bit of a disturbing week on the Election Rejection news front. Here’s what has happened:
- Sedition Stories. Most of the Election Rejection news this week involves political violence. On Capitol Hill, four more Oathkeepers were convicted of seditious conspiracy and separate conspiracy charges. Meanwhile, in New Mexico, a bitter and failed GOP candidate was taken into custody this week because he decided to pay people to shoot up the homes of several Democratic lawmakers he blamed for his election loss. (Thankfully, no New Mexican lawmakers were injured in the making of this news story.)
Meanwhile in Biden Rebuilding, the scandal story continues to grow more heads. Here’s what I have for you:
- What’s Up with These Docs (cont). I can’t believe I’m typing this again, but another search at Biden’s place turned up six more classified documents this week, bringing the total number of caches up to four. Since these searches were prompted by the White House, the total document number is pretty small, and Biden’s administration appointed the special counsel in the first place, we appear to still be in “oops my bad” territory. That said, it does make Biden look bad, so here’s hoping I’m not continuing this story again next week.
Your New Normal:
- Broken House Blues. More news about House committees came down this week, and it features just as much vindictive and scary hell-brokering from McCarthy as forecast. Q Anon caucus reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar are both back on the Oversight committee despite being stripped of committees last year due to dangerous and threatening conduct. Meanwhile, McCarthy is trying to block former Intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff from serving on the committee at all because he’s mad about the Greene and Gosar thing, which as far as I’m aware is completely unprecedented. Finally, the House let the US go ahead and hit its debt ceiling this week, which could have catastrophic consequences as soon as July if it isn’t addressed before then. In the short term, the U.S. treasury is taking ‘extraordinary measures’ to avoid an immediate default, which basically means that some government employees aren’t getting their pensions properly because the GOP won’t shut up and do their literal job.
- Contagion Corner News. There was some significant news on long COVID this week–bluntly, that it’s not good. Which, to be fair, we already knew, but recent research publications reinforce that it can create serious symptoms that last more than a year and impacts ten percent of total COVID cases. This means that tens of millions of people worldwide likely need ongoing treatment, and that number will likely keep going up. We also currently don’t have any known interventions to prevent it, though researchers are working on that. All told, long COVID remains a serious concern that isn’t going away anytime soon and should be approached accordingly.
- Yet Another Mass Shooting. A mass shooting at Star Ballroom in Monterey Park, California on Saturday evening has killed eleven people as I type this and injured ten more. The shooter also attempted a second mass shooting at Lai Lai Ballroom two miles away, but was subdued by a staff member who managed to disarm him. The assailant died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds after a standoff with police the next day, and it’s unclear what motivated him to attack people celebrating the new year. I feel the need to note that this incident is already the thirty-third mass shooting this year, which means we’ve had more mass shootings than days so far in 2023.
- Recent Reproductive Health Resilience. New York City has introduced free access to abortifacients at public health clinics in the Bronx and three other locations. This supplements access available at eleven local hospitals, and is intended to support other comprehensive access initiatives across the city. This is particularly welcome news as plans to offer abortifacients in pharmacies hit legal snags in much of the country; the clinic access will likely increase access for a lot of people.
So that’s all I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this dramatic reenactment 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 tea blends!