This week felt slow at its start, but it started churning out stories hard and fast by the time the weekend wrapped. I’m going to cover most of this week’s stories today, but there are a couple we’ll have to punt to next week–it’s that kind of cycle, apparently.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I may be well into my 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 strike!–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:
After a blessed week off, we’re back to Election Rejection news about January 6 and Cool Ranch Mussolini crimes. Here’s what has happened:
- Sedition Stories (again). By far, the biggest January 6 story is that a jury found four Proud Boys guilty of 31 counts of seditious conspiracy. This marks the second alt-right group convicted, as several Oathkeepers were convicted of similar charges in two separate proceedings in March. These four defendants are potentially facing up to twenty years in prison, though the sentencing will be handled separately later this month. Meanwhile, in Cool Ranch Mussolini news, eight Georgia Republicans have flipped on him in the election interference case against him down there. And just today, the jury on the E. Jean Carroll civil trial found him liable for $5M to her for sexual assault and defamation.
The main news stories on the Biden Rebuilding front this week are FDA and CDC updates. Here’s what I have for you:
- FDA and PHE. This week marks the official end of the public health emergency, both nationally per the Biden administration and globally per the WHO. This has a number of implications, most of which involve protections, flexibilities, or coverage ending. That said, we’re getting a temporary extension for virtual prescriptions for controlled substances, because 38,000 people asked to continue it–and I’m pretty happy about this, because I was one of them. Meanwhile, the FDA is considering making hormonal medications commonly used as contraceptives over-the-counter, which will likely be a significant support for the reproductive health landscape if it happens. And in other FDA news, they approved the first vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which has been in development for decades.
Your New Normal:
- Extremely Normal SCOTUS and Senate News (again again). I swear some week we’ll stop having new stories about how corrupt Clarence Thomas is, but this week is apparently not that week. The first story this time was that Mein Kampf devotee Harlan Crow is apparently paying for Thomas’s kid’s private school–which, as I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, is not normal. Then the Washington Post broke another story which is frankly much worse, and I can’t believe we’re not talking more about it. Apparently, conservative lobbyist Leonard Leo, in 2012, laundered $25K to Ginni Thomas through a nonprofit he consults for called the Judicial Education Project. He did this by having Kellyanne Conway bill the Judicial Education Project $25K for “Supplement for Constitution Polling and Opinion Consulting,” sending the resulting $25K directly to Ginni Thomas, and instructing Kellyanne Conway to make sure the documentation had “No mention of Ginni, of course.” The Judicial Education Project then promptly appeared in front of SCOTUS for Shelby County v. Holder, an important voting rights case which appears to be the basis of the payment. Clarence Thomas voted in favor of the Judicial Education Project’s position and wrote a concurrence, resulting in the loss of voting rights for millions of people. In case you are wondering whether a nonprofit literally called the Judicial Education Project is supposed to give thousands of dollars directly to the household of a Supreme Court justice they are intending to influence on an upcoming landmark court case… uh, no, no they are not.
- WGA Strike Begins. The Writers Guild of America began striking last week, concerned about increasing job cuts, consistent low pay, and encroaching AI use in writing rooms. It’s not clear how this will impact Hollywood, but the last time the WGA went on strike in 2007, it lasted 100 solid days before reaching resolution. It’s helpful to know that the WGA is not asking for a boycott of streaming services, but rather is seeking support of strike funds such as the Entertainment Community Fund.
- This Week’s Avoidable Deaths. We lost a lot of people to preventable violence this week. In New York, a white passenger fatally choked fellow rider Jordan Neely on the subway when Neely began yelling and pacing. As I type this, no one has been charged in Neely’s death even though it has been ruled a homicide by medical examination. We also had several gun homicides in Texas. At the top of the week, the man in Cleveland Texas who fatally shot five neighbors was picked up by police along with accomplices. Meanwhile, a few days later, a white supremacist opened fire in a Dallas area mall, resulting in eight deaths and seven injuries. And in Atlanta, there was a mass shooting at Northside Medical Midtown, resulting in one death and four injuries as well as an eight-hour manhunt to find the shooter. I feel it is necessary to note that all of these stories are senseless and traumatizing tragedies that could have been prevented by more responsible gun laws and better behavioral health crisis response.
- Recent Health Resilience. In addition to the FDA news above, this week they approved the first vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This vaccine has been in development for decades, and it’s a really big deal that it’s approved!
So that’s what I have for you this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this cauliflower snack time 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!