The news feels like a bleak Groundhog Day yet again, which is kind of impressive when it also contains some major changes. Still, if there’s one thing I’ve learned after six years of this nonsense, it’s that the news doesn’t have to make sense. In fact, most of the time, it doesn’t bother.
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 classified document!–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:
We had a suspiciously quiet week in election rejection news, but Biden Rebuilding still features reruns in syndicate. Here’s what I have for you:
- What’s Up with These Docs (cont). The new contestant on Who Wants To Be An Investigation? is apparently Mike Pence, who discovered classified documents in his own home this week. (Fun fact: His public statement on the matter admitted that ‘mistakes were made,’ which is a seasoned political move but also a queer romance novel, and I love that he would hate knowing that.) Outlets are beginning to opine that maybe our classified document system needs work, or at least more oversight–can’t imagine why.
Your New Normal:
- Broken House Blues (Tax Edition). We’re starting to see more chatter about a House bill that apparently was part of The Great Q Anon Compromise of Kevin McCarthy, the Fair Tax Act. The bill would basically nuke how we handle taxes in the US–decentralizing the IRS, removing our entire income tax structure, and replacing it with a very heavy sales tax on literally everything. Shocking no one, this was was a political gift to career Democrats, and even McCarthy is signaling he’s not going to back it. Gosh, couldn’t be happening to a nicer sellout.
- Contagion Corner News. The Biden administration announced today that they are officially ending the public health emergency on May 11. As far as I can tell, this is an attempt to find a compromise between giving in to Republican demands and listening to the grownups in the room–Republicans want it ended now, but the World Health Organization quite conspicuously announced this week that the international PHE is still ongoing. Nonetheless, the FDA also voted this week to evolve COVID vaccines moving forward, planning to retire the original vaccines but disagreeing with itself about whether to move to an annual vaccine model. So there was a lot of news, but most of it was a big mess.
- Black Lives Still Matter. This week, footage was released of five Memphis police aggressively brutalizing Tyre Nichols, who they stopped in traffic for an alleged driving violation, before Nichols died of the injuries sustained. Though the murdering officers were charged and fired, the contradictory commands and disparate police reporting of their stop highlight that these disturbingly plethoric police brutalities are systemic in nature. People gathered this weekend to protest and demand action in both Memphis and across the country, and I will definitely keep folks posted on any meaningful policy reform that results. In the meantime, I have made the decision not to link directly to the footage, which can be needlessly traumatizing of Black communities. Instead, I want to relay and continue the trend of sharing images of sunsets in his memory, as Nichols was an avid photographer who photographed them often.
- Recent Reproductive Health Resilience. Advocates in two states are beginning to bring legal challenges to restrictions on abortion pills, which may be a way to improve access to reproductive health supports in those states. This is likely the beginning of a much longer battle, but it’s promising to see challenges emerge.
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 bear’s selfie game 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 more hours in the day!