The Pacific Northwest is currently fielding a dangerous heat dome that brings unprecedented high temperatures to the entire region, and the heat wave of humid New England is no picnic either. So it’s lukewarm comfort that the news, at least, could honestly be a lot worse.
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 infrastructure 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:
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:
- Resurrection Redux. After weeks of quiet, we did get some news on the January 6 front this week. In the ongoing court case, an FBI report documents repeated reference to “revolution” on the forums used to plan the January 6 attack on the capitol. And in apparent response to Senate Republicans, Nancy Pelosi announced this week that the House will form a select committee to investigate the January 6 attacks, which the House is uniquely situated to do.
- Elections on a Theme (Again). We also saw some interesting news on election rejection legal matters. In this week’s schadenfreude news, Rudy Giuliani’s law license has been suspended by a New York court while they decide what to do with his, uh, everything regarding the November election. Meanwhile the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia over its brazen voter suppression law, alleging that the new law violates the Voting Rights Act.
This was also a groundhog week for Biden Rebuilding. Here’s what has happened:
- Infrastructure Updates. Joe Biden announced on Thursday that his administration has reached a deal with Republicans regarding an infrastructure package. He was quick to state, however, that he considers it to be in tandem with more comprehensive legislation enacting Democrat priorities. He was even quicker to walk that back over the weekend after it pissed Republicans off, so it’s not clear what he’ll do if there’s no approval of the other legislation. Meanwhile, it seems clear that everybody is also considering backup plans, and Nancy Pelosi appears to be flat-out refusing to consider the package in question. So it’s not so much “a deal has been reached” as “wait five minutes and the weather may change.”
Your New Normal:
- No Voting Rights Progress (Again). Though Joe Manchin did eventually change his tune this week and vote to discuss a modified version of the For the People Act, the bill was promptly filibustered by the GOP. and therefore made no headway. This, of course, prompted another round of discussion about removing the filibuster. Though the idea has increasing support, Krysten Sinema chose this week to write an op-ed about how she won’t change it, and of course Joe Manchin has been very vocal about his opposition as well. It seems unlikely that we’ll see movement on this point anytime soon.
- State of the COVID-19. COVID news continues to mainly focus on the delta variant for another week, which is further mutating and remains a major concern. Experts say the new variant may create another surge of infection as we move from summer to fall, particularly in areas of low vaccination. Sadly, thanks to partisan messaging, there are a lot of those areas; the United States is unlikely to meet Biden’s stated goal of 70% vaccination nationally by July 4, and we’re now instead aiming for 70% of people over 27. Recent polling suggests that vaccine resistance is a particular problem among younger adults, who presumably believe infection is less likely to be fatal for them.
- Condo Collapse in Miami Area. There was also a major infrastructure tragedy in the news this week, as a full one-half of a twelve-story condo building in Surfside, FL collapsed due to apparent structural instability. Search and rescue is still ongoing, but at least nine people are confirmed dead and 99 people are still missing at the time that I type this. Needless to say, this is a horrifying reminder of why American infrastructure matters. It also illustrates how infrastructure issues can exacerbate housing problems.
- Recent Court Resilience. We got some promising court news this week. In California, an appeals court undid the bonkers assault weapon decision from a few weeks ago, though I’m sure that will be appealed. And speaking of appeal, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case about trans use of bathrooms in schools, which in this instance is a win for trans rights–it leaves in place a 4th Circuit conclusion that the policy in question discriminated against trans students.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I think it was more than enough. For making it through, you deserve If Dogs Were People 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 an entire crate of popsicles!