After an unexpected dark-out last week on account of overworked author, the NNR is back! Sadly, the news isn’t any better than it was when we left. But at least you can read about it here again. (Caveat lector, y’all.)
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 an indictment!–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:
There are a lot of story wisps on the Election Rejection front, and I’m waiting for those to become full news–but we do have some full updates as well. Here’s what has happened:
- January 6 Jumble. Between the release of Dominion court records, the never-ending Trump crime circus, and CPAC being CPAC, there’s a lot of GOP mess to sort. The upside of the Dominion story is that Fox News and Trump are fighting and everybody’s mad at Tucker Carlson. Meanwhile, in Fascist Cheeto news, apparently he can be sued for January 6 per the Justice Department and is probably about to be indicted–but he still plans to run in 2024, because of course he does.
All of this week’s Biden Rebuilding news is finance-related. Here’s what I have for you:
- Budget and Bailouts. At the top of the week, the big Biden news was his proposed budget, which cuts the deficit and attempts to save Medicare by taxing super rich people like they actually owe taxes. But then on Friday, tech sector financial giant Silicon Valley Bank, largely known as SVB, bit the big one and apparently was too tech to fail. By the time fellow bitcoin nonsense giant New York Signature followed suit on Sunday, we were setting up a full-fledged bailout. That said, the current one focuses on reimbursing consumers to avoid startup failure cascades, and the banks themselves will stay closed. Needless to say, this whole thing is a very big deal and we’ll likely be talking about it for a while.
Your New Normal:
- COVID Lab Leak Theories. The three-year anniversary of the official COVID pandemic has people thinking about how we began this week. Against this backdrop, I suppose it’s not surprising that the House has kick-started another round of Wuhan Lab Leak conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, long COVID insurance coverage is giving us a sneak peek into what might be awaiting us when the public health emergency ends, though I’m truly hoping we can get protections in place.
- Political Determinants of Health. We had a miserable couple of weeks for reproductive health and gender-affirming care. Walgreens is now refusing to sell Mifepristone, an FDA-approved abortifacient, in 20 states where legal action has been threatened, even though it’s not clearly illegal. This, in turn, has California governor Gavin Newsom condemning the franchise. Meanwhile, Florida introduced a six-week ban on abortion much like Georgia’s. And in Texas, five plaintiffs are suing because they were denied life-saving care on the grounds that it would cause abortion. And in gender identity news, both Tennessee and Mississippi have banned gender-affirming care for minors this week, bringing us up to 8 states that totally ban access. Tennessee also banned public drag performances while they were at it, and is one of five states considering bills that would block adult access to gender-affirming care too. Needless to say, this kind of stark restriction of literally live-saving medical care is both sickening and exhausting.
- Recent Healthcare Resilience. With all of the terrible health news over the last few weeks, I would be remiss if I didn’t draw attention to a few bright spots as well. Eli Lily appears to have made some forms of insulin at least slightly more affordable for private copay, which is a small step in the correct direction but a step nonetheless. Meanwhile, the FDA has set new mammogram standards, which will make it easier for people with dense breast tissue to detect breast cancer early.
So that’s all the news I have for this week, and I think we can agree it is more than enough. For making it through, you deserve this frog fence saga 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 cloning technology so I can get all my work done!