The news feels ephemeral and odd this week, even by our modern standards–and I’m not just saying that because we’re still waiting for Trump indictment riot news as I type this. There’s something that feels hard to hold onto about this week’s news cycle. But I’m here to try to pin it down anyway.
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 economist!–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 was a truly wild week on the Election Rejection front, even though we’re still waiting for the full story. Here’s what has happened:
- Indictment Insurrection. Over the weekend, Trump loudly proclaimed on social media that he would be arrested on Tuesday and people should riot about it. This narrative seemed to gain credence on Monday, when barricades went up around the New York criminal court where a grand jury was hearing the Stormy Daniels case. Major news outlets began spinning their wheels in anticipation of either an indictment, another January 6, or both–but then we got news today that the grand jury there wound up not even convening today, which is a change from their usual schedule. It’s not clear whether this is a security precaution, a normal break, or something else, but this story is definitely far from over. Meanwhile in Georgia, a completely different grand jury is still hearing evidence about Trump’s attempts to influence the election there, and he’s trying to block that evidence by having it found unconstitutional. I will keep folks posted on this, and like every other reporter out there I am really mad that I can’t give you more news.
Meanwhile, the big Biden Rebuilding news is TikTok, which I didn’t have on my bingo card either but here we are. Here’s what I have for you:
- Tiktok is Ticking. The Biden administration has been calling for a ban on Tiktok this week unless the Chinese-owned company is sold in the near future. Suspicion of the app is not new, but Biden’s stance is–last year he was campaigning on feeds and briefing Tiktok stars about foreign policy. The changes are likely spurred by a combination of similar action in Europe and elsewhere, growing awareness of valid security concerns, and general wariness created by recent spy balloons found over the U.S. that came courtesy of Chinese government. At a time when Twitter is paywalling two-factor authentication and the French are coming for Instagram, it’s not really clear how much traction will be possible for ousting such an entrenched platform. But I suppose we’ll have to see what happens.
Your New Normal:
- Bailout Blowout.* Financial news is all over the place this week. Right after last week’s bailout for SVB and New York Signature, First Republic Bank and Credit Suisse were also looking mighty dicey. Both banks wound up getting cash infusions from other private lenders, and Credit Suisse was flat-out bought by Swiss rival bank USB. Only a day or two after that was finalized, the Federal Reserve went ahead and raised interest rates again for the ninth time this year–a move that seems to conflict with the bailouts, though I am admittedly not an economist.
- Political Determinants of Health (cont). We continue to have bad news on the reproductive justice front, this week out of Wyoming, South Carolina, and Florida. In Wyoming, legislators went ahead and passed a ban on abortion pills, despite the fact that the Texas case on their legality hasn’t been decided yet. Meanwhile, South Carolina Republicans have proposed a bill that would potentially subject people who obtain abortions to the death penalty. Finally, in Florida, legislators are considering a bill that would ban elementary-aged children from discussing menstruation in schools, despite the fact that the average age of menarche in Americans is 11.9 years old.
- Recent M-State Resilience. We had some pretty good news out of states that begin with M this week! In Michigan, a new law means that union security clauses are permitted in the state again for the first time in ten years. And in Minnesota, legislators passed a new law that will shield medical providers and patients from out-of-state liability if they provide access to reproductive health services. Minnesota’s law is the fourth of its type passed in the country since the Dobbs decision was issued last June.
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 elevator cat 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 cookies because we ran out!