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Year 5, Week 35 (September 12-18)


After a brief break, the news is back to being a bad parody of itself–seriously, folks, I couldn’t make half of this stuff up. But here we are, and I haven’t found an escape hatch from this timeline yet, so here we will remain. Which means you know where to find me, 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 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:

We do have some Election Rejection news this week, but it’s a bit of a grab bag.  Here’s what happened:


I’m pretty disgusted by this week’s Biden Rebuilding news, and we should be demanding that this administration do 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 sukkot made for people’s pets and 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 plants I can use for Megabit’s sukkah!

Year 5, Week 34 (September 5-11)


This was a very eventful week, and a lot of it was even promising! (I suggest you don’t think too hard about the fact that people bringing lawsuits about illegal things and requiring humans to get basic vaccines is promising. Just take the endorphins and call it a day.)

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 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:

We do have some Election Rejection news this week, but it’s a bit of a grab bag.  Here’s what 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 opinionated duck and 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 thoughts on current events!

Year 5, Week 33 (August 29–September 4)


By this point, it’s late enough into Biden’s tenure to see what normal looks like under a competent administration, and frankly, normal under a competent politician still kind of sucks. There is a lot of work to do, and the news this week really highlights that. I’ll have some suggestions for response below, and I’m here if people need 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 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:

After a bit of a break, we’re back with more Election Rejection news, and it didn’t get any better during its brief time off.  Here’s what happened:


There are a few bits and bobs of Biden Rebuilding news, but they’re mostly about the pandemic.  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 story about an enterprising doggo and 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 apples and also honey!

Year 5, Week 32 (August 22-28)


Well readers, I’m back, and just in time for yet another clearance sale here at Bargain Basement Dystopiaville. The writers have really jumped the shark this week, so I recommend reading this with your comfort food of choice.

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 procedural hurdle!–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:

Weirdly, and a bit concerningly, there isn’t really any Election Rejection news from the last couple of weeks.  That said, there has still been plenty of Biden Rebuilding news amid the rest of this week’s cacophony.  Here’s what has happened:


Your New Normal:

  • Supreme Court Screwup. Unfortunately, the other new mainstay to pop up in the news this week sucks too.  The Supreme Court, illustrating why appointments matter, temporarily blocked reinstatement of a terrible and probably illegal Trump era asylum policy known as Remain-in-Mexico, only to pull a 180 and order the policy reinstated in its final opinion.  I would need to do a deeper immigration law dive than I’m prepared to do to really unpack just how kangaroo this court ruling is, but it has serious consequences for families exercising their lawful right to seek asylum.  It’s sort of like if you had a stint with an awful boss who prohibited using the elevator and forced your whole team to climb seven flights of stairs every day.  Then when you got a new boss, they immediately said “that’s ridiculous, this building has elevators” and rescinded the policy.  But then your boss’s boss, who got hired by the first guy, declares it against company policy to go back to using the elevators, even though your office always used the elevators before your jerk boss banned them for no reason.  That’s kind of like what happened, except the elevators in this scenario are living in relative safety in the U.S., and the seven sets of stairs are living in a whole other country that doesn’t want you there and can’t necessarily guarantee your safety while you’re, y’know, definitionally fleeing for your life

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 lesser kudu scritches and 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 a time turner and some Icy Hot!

Year 5, Week 29 (August 1-7)


The news continues to be A Lot for another week, and COVID stories in particular continue to show a country that is bizarrely divided over simple questions of health. It’s very exhausting, but I’m 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 procedural hurdle!–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:

This week’s Election Rejection news is a bit of a hodgepodge, though I guess that’s better than just straight bad news. Here’s what I have for you this week:


There are also some minor developments for Biden Rebuilding. 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 raccoon enjoying grapes and 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 better climate change news!

Year 5, Week 28 (July 25-31)


This was a major news week for COVID, which is pretty noteworthy when there’s COVID news basically every week. If you can’t catch up on everything, I strongly recommend you catch up on that section, and after that I strongly suggest you eat some comfort food. And, because the news kind of sucks, my chocolate stash and I are here if anyone 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 phone call!–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:

This week’s Election Rejection news is a blast from the past that nobody asked for, but here we all are. Here’s what I have for you this week:


There are also some developments for Biden Rebuilding. 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 library and 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 photos of your mask use!

Year 5, Week 27 (July 18-24)


This was another week of monumental change on scant few topics, which seems like it’s becoming our new normal. It can feel a bit overwhelming to keep up with everything, but that’s why we’re still doing the NNR! I’m here if folks have any questions.

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 committee hearing!–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:

This week’s Election Rejection news is also Congressional news, which is why it’s mostly pettiness masking massive dysfunction. Here’s what I have for you this week:


There are also some developments for Biden Rebuilding. Here’s what has happened:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:


So that’s what I have for this week, and despite being pretty focused, it was a lot! For making it through, you deserve this take on a classic riddle and 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 improved air quality everywhere!

Year 5, Week 26 (July 11-17)


I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I needed a nap even before I caught up on this week’s news. Then I read about the past week, and I needed a nap that lasted all season. Tragically, bears only hibernate in winter–but hey, at least we have the NNR!

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 voting law!–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:

This week’s Election Rejection news feels… listless, if I had to characterize it. Here’s what I have for you this week:


As always, there were also a few updates for Biden Rebuilding. 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 it was more than enough. For making it through, you deserve sealions sealioning into an interview and 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 sealions to crash my meetings!

Year 5, Week 25 (July 4-10)


Somehow, this week’s news feels like a firehose and a slow news week at the same time, which is kind of a neat trick. Though there are only a few main major stories, those stories all have significant and interrelated developments, and the week’s COVID news is particularly extra. All told, the net result is a weird week that makes it hard to see which end is up, but at least I get to write about civil disobedience.

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 plane flight!–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:

This week’s Election Rejection news has exciting variations after several weeks of Groundhog Day! It’s still bonkers, to be clear, but at least the bonkers comes in a new flavor. Here’s what I have for you this week:


This was also a bit of a weird week for Biden Rebuilding. Here’s what has happened:


Your New Normal:


The Bad:


The Good:

  • Flipping the Scripps. Fourteen-year-old Zaila Avant-garde became the first African American champion of the Scripp Spelling Bee this week, correctly spelling ‘murraya’ correctly to win the competition. Incredibly, she already held three Guinness World Records for her achievements in basketball at the time of her win. She sounds pretty Avant-garde!

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 bonkers rendition of jock jams and 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 fewer meetings at 9am!

Year 5, Week 24 (June 27–July 3)


In light of attacks on our democracy, as well as federal recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday, I think a lot of us are trying to decide what July 4th means to us this year. I’m no exception, though I can’t say I’ve reached any firm conclusions–all I know is that we have a lot of work left to do.

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 tax crime!–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 have another Groundhog Day week of Election Rejection news, though there were a few new stories. Here’s what I have for you this week:


This was also a bit of a groundhog week for Biden Rebuilding. 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 relaxing doggo and 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 a note telling me who sent me popsicles!