Year 5, Week 50 (December 26–January 1)


As foretold by prophecy, I’m even more sick of the word ‘omicron’ two weeks later–unfortunate, when it’s now even more ubiquitous. But I’ll have the long and the short of the relevant news for you below, and I probably won’t even complain that much! (Where you can read it, at any rate.)

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a subpoena!–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:

For yet another week, there are a lot of Election Rejection updates to report.  Here’s what I have for you:


In comparison, things looked distressingly quiet on the Biden Rebuilding front.  Here’s what has happened:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I think we can agree that it’s more than enough. For making it through, you deserve this panda cub’s first snowfall as well as a more consistently improved 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 KN-95 masks!

Year 5, Week 48 (December 12-18)


I must have read the word ‘omicron’ a hundred times while I was compiling links this week, and I don’t mind telling you, I’m already sick of the word. But it’s going to see a lot of heavy rotation over the next few weeks, so I guess I need to get used to it.

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a Joe Manchin!–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:

For yet another week, there are a lot of Election Rejection updates to report.  Here’s what I have for you:


In comparison, things looked distressingly quiet on the Biden Rebuilding front.  Here’s what has happened:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this dog and his emotional support ball as well as a more consistently improved 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 shows to stream you think I’d like!

Year 5, Week 47 (December 5-11)


Collating the news is starting to feel like staring at that whiteboard from Cabin in the Woods, y’all. I can’t say I enjoy the feeling, but at least somebody’s keeping track? (Although, just for the record, I don’t want to see the merman.)

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a House panel!–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:

Boy howdy are there a lot of Election Rejection updates to report this week.  Here’s what I have for you:


In comparison, things looked distressingly quiet on the Biden Rebuilding front.  Here’s what has happened:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this cat workplace saga as well as a more consistently improved 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 sachets of Cold 9-1-1 tea!

Year 5, Week 46 (November 28–December 4)


All three of this week’s major stories are exceptionally bleak, and the news has been a slog for months. That creates predictable struggles–we’re all running out of steam, but we’ve got swaths more to iron out. It’s okay if you need some time to regroup; the burnout struggle is very real. The NNR and I will be here when you get back.

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a House panel!–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’s more Election Rejection to report this week, and it’s still all over the map.  Here’s what happened this week:


All things told, this was a pretty quiet week on the Biden Rebuilding front.  Here’s all I have for you:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this wildlife social hour as well as a more consistently improved 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 warm socks because this apartment is cold!

Year 5, Week 45 (November 21-27)


It was a bit of a quieter week, all things considered, but the news is still here and so are we. And we’ll likely see increased chaos as things start to churn again, so this is a great time to keep your eyes open.

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a guilty plea!–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’s more Election Rejection to report this week, and it’s still all over the map.  Here’s what happened this week:


All things told, this was a pretty quiet week on the Biden Rebuilding front.  Here’s all I have for you:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry that slow news is not good news. For making it through, you deserve this happily digging doggo as well as a more consistently improved 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 hot cocoa recipe!

Year 5, Week 44 (November 14-20)


This past week looks an awful lot like the previous week–a lot of back-and-forth; a lot of doubling down; a lot of mess. We did see progress in a few areas, but there was an awful lot of rough news to swallow as well. I recommend washing it down with ice cream.

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a guilty plea!–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’s more Election Rejection to report this week, and it’s still all over the map.  Here’s what happened this week:


This was also a strange week for Biden Rebuilding news, as the reconciliation and infrastructure situation has had several twists and turns.  Here’s what I have for you:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this baby bear’s trip to Prague as well as a more consistently improved 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!

Year 5, Week 43 (November 7-13)


The news this week contains a lot of doubling down on all sides, and I honestly can’t decide whether that’s good or bad. But whatever it is, I’m here to summarize it for you, and I’m also here if anybody needs anything.

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a Hatch Act!–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’s a huge amount of Election Rejection to report this week, and it’s all over the map.  Here’s what happened this week:


This was also a strange week for Biden Rebuilding news, as the reconciliation and infrastructure situation has had several twists and turns.  Here’s what I have for you:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve these catfrens being fed as well as a more consistently improved 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 pictures of your pet!

Year 5, Week 42 (October 31–November 6)


Well, Election Day came and went, and… uh… it had a lot of concerning attributes. It’s likely that we’re starting to see voter suppression tactics play out on the ground, and wouldn’t you know it, suddenly the GOP trusts the election process more. We have a lot of work to do, folks.

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a reconciliation package!–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:

Though it’s a bit better than the previous week, the Election Rejection front is still quite a battleground.  Here’s what happened this week:


This was also a strange week for Biden Rebuilding news, as the reconciliation and infrastructure situation has had several twists and turns.  Here’s what I have for you:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:

  • Same Sex Survivor Social Security. The Biden Administration announced this week that it will be abandoning defense of a Trump-era policy barring survivors from receiving social security benefits if our history of marriage inequality barred them from meeting the formal requirements. This is a much bigger deal than might be obvious, because social security policy looks at federal definitions of marriage, which have only included same-sex couples for about six years. In fact, the plaintiff in Obergefell, the court case that resulted in full marriage equality in the U.S., was denied survivor benefits because his spouse died only three months later. This policy was likely leaving a lot of people behind.

So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this ecstatic digging puppo as well as a more consistently improved 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 sunlight because I already miss it!

Year 5, Week 41 (October 24-30)


Though things have been rough for a while now, this week was definitely a new low in American news. I certainly felt discouraged watching a lot of this unfold, so I’m not going to tell you not to; instead, I’ll just note that I’m here if anybody needs anything. And also, Halloween candy is very cheap right now, if you need some comfort food. Just sayin’.

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a reconciliation package!–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:

In case you were wondering, the Election Rejection front is still hitting rock bottom and starting to dig.  Here’s what happened this week:


This was also a real low point for Biden Rebuilding news, as the reconciliation and infrastructure situation has not, in fact, gotten any better.  Here’s what I have for you:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this classic Halloween favorite as well as a more consistently improved 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 discount candy you don’t want!

Year 5, Week 40 (October 17-23)


This week, though outlets and public officials are reluctant to acknowledge it, the news really highlights just how many different systems are broken at once. It’s rough to watch, and it’s even rougher when everyone acts like it’s no big deal. But it’s not just you; it is a big deal. And as always, I’m here if I can help.

Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a filibuster!–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’re seeing an exponential increase of nonsense on the Election Rejection front, and it does feel like this will get worse before it gets better.  Here’s what happened this week:


We also saw some Biden Rebuilding news, particularly regarding immigration.  Here’s what I have for you:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve the October doge Olympics as well as a more consistently improved 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 sunshine up on the shelf!