National News Roundup Week 2 (January 29-February 4)

Hello again, friends! Buckle in, because this has been a weird, long, confusing, roller coaster of a week even by last week’s standards. We are living in Interesting Times, distinguished guests, and trying to guess where we go from here is like trying to read Keurig machine herbal tea leaves, so your guess is as good as mine.

Some preliminary reminders before we take off, because a vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m only summarizing the news within my area of expertise. I may touch on news I think folks should know that is outside my area as a legal generalist, but if we undertake any offroad adventures I’ll do my best to signal that for you upfront by giving that headline an asterisk. Okay, warning label over. Onward to the news!

The Weird

The Bad

The Good

  • (All) Boys Will Be Boys: In a rare bright spot of news this week, the Boy Scouts of America have announced they’ll be accepting transgender boys into their ranks for the first time in a century. As the article notes, this comes four years after accepting openly gay scouts and two years after accepting openly gay adult leaders. Progress!
  • Woah: The Merriam Webster Dictionary gave the ACLU a somewhat adorable spelling lesson this week, with some help from songwriter and genial pedant Jonathan Coulton.
  • Dressing Like a (Name-Taking) Woman: In response to leaked commentary about President Trump noting that he “likes the women who work for him to ‘dress like a woman,’” professional women all over the country responded by being awesome and photographing it. They captured sartorial choices from hospital scrubs to judicial robes to military fatigues to space suits to… basically everything that a woman might wear while kicking butt and taking names.
  • This Land is (Still) Your Land, This Land is (Still) My Land* A bill introduced by a Utah Congressman which would have authorized the sale of federal lands to private businesses got yanked this week, by the same congressman who originally introduced it. He explained this by noting, “I’m a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands . . . Groups I support and care about fear it sends the wrong message. I hear you and HR621 dies tomorrow.” …you know what, I’ll take it; at this point good news is good news.

And that’s it for this week — hopefully next week will be a little less interesting, though I’ll also accept “full of good news” as an option. Catch you all next Sunday, if not sooner!