National News Roundup: Year 2, Week 48.5 (December 16–26)

Still life — Boot on newspaper, by Ernest Blaikley [Public domain]

The Good:

Constitutional Crisis Corners:

We’re inching ever-closer to a reckoning with the Russia Investigation, but several things are going on pause for the holiday before resolution. Here are the things to know and track while we’re paused:

Your “Normal” Weird:

  • Unsinkable AZ Candidate.* Temporary Arizona Senate appointee John Kyl announced he was stepping down this week, clearing the path for former GOP candidate Martha McSally to be appointed — which means she’s going to have to work with the Democrat who beat her in the election for the Senate seat she was seeking. In another week, this kind of “too bad you lost your bid for the Senate, here, have the Senate seat that belonged to a dead guy you alienated” would probably fall under the purview of Casual Disregard of Governing Norms. But let’s be honest, it’s crowded enough up there already, and either way, it’s plenty weird, so into the Weird column it goes.
  • Bipartisan Criminal Reform? Okay, so a bill passed with bipartisan support through the Senate by 87–12 vote and the House by 358–36 this week, and Trump signed it into law on Friday. All by itself, that’s a little weird these days, but that’s not the part that is really confusing me — it’s that it’s a reasonable bill on criminal justice reform that was architected by Jared Kushner and even Fox News likes it. I haven’t had a chance to review the bill in depth yet, and that means I’m not yet sure what the deal is, though enough people adjacent to the Trumps lose money on this that I’m not sure why they’ve set this up. I’m hoping to review it in more depth soon, and I will definitely report back once I have a better idea.

The Bad:

What We Can Do:

  • Shutdown Shouting. Celeste Pewter continues to be an excellent resource on who to call about what; in particular, she recommends calling both sets of reps to say no money should be given to the wall, and she recommends you also call House reps about back pay for furloughed government workers. For both sets of calls, you can check the #ShutdownStories hashtag for inspiration as well. This is an issue where calling reps really, really matters, because our reps have a huge amount of ability to decide what happens next. So it’s worth a call or three!



Boots on the ground for social change, one step at a time.

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