National News Roundup: Year 5, Week 38 (October 3–9)
It hasn’t been a full week since you last heard from me, but nonetheless a lot has happened. As has become the protocol, most of it is pretty rough. Here’s hoping I have better things to report soon.
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 debt ceiling!–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 quiet week on Election Rejection news, we’ve seen a lot of action in the past few days. Here’s what happened:
- Election Rejection Collection. A newly-released Senate report details exactly how Trump was pressuring his Department of Justice to overturn the November election, and it appears to pretty much say what you expect. Speaking of 45, he’s also still telling his former aides to refuse to answer House subpoenas about his January 6 misconduct, shocking absolutely no one. And Biden refused to assert executive privilege to block his own party from investigating Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection, despite Trump saying pretty please, also shocking absolutely no one. Meanwhile, redistricting attempts are foreseeably messy, and we should be keeping an eye on them.
This was also a relatively quiet week for Biden Rebuilding news, though there were a few odds and ends (and another belated immigration course-correction). Here’s what I have for you:
- Student Loan News. The big news this week is that the public service loan forgiveness program is getting a major reworking, and that reworking will be retrospective in nature. It’s very exciting if you’re me, or any other of the thousands who have struggled to access the program since its creation in 2007. The magic date to know, if you’re applying for the waiver to count prior payments, is October 31, 2022. That said, since loan payments are paused in general until February 1, if you think you might qualify it probably makes sense to get your paperwork sorted before then.
Your New Normal:
- Current Senate Dysfunction. The conclusion of the debt ceiling saga from the previous week is as predictable as it is dispiriting. Mitch McConnell, apparently realizing that rich people didn’t want a default on the debt ceiling any more than the Democrats do, caved and offered a short continuance on the whole thing, which Congress promptly passed along party lines. But the bill only fixes the problem until December, which not-coincidentally is after the election season. And now Mitch McConnell is already announcing that we’ll do all this again in December. It really shouldn’t be this hard to make people do the literal bare minimum of their job.
- State of the COVID-19. COVID news is getting slightly better overall, but is still a mess. While Border Patrol protests the federal vaccine mandate, and Los Angeles mandates vaccination for most indoor services, down in Texas the governor is banning vaccine mandates as a condition for employment or services. Meanwhile, Pfizer put in an official request to authorize their pediatric vaccine, and Merck is seeking authorization for an antiviral pill that they say can reduce hospitalization by lessening symptoms.
- Black Lives Still Matter. This was a fairly eventful week for police misconduct. Newly-released body cam footage from Minneapolis shows police officers firing rubber bullets on peaceful assemblies, while another officer can be heard commending them for “hunting people.” Meanwhile, Pro Publica ran a story about elementary-age black children in Tennessee being jailed because they didn’t successfully intervene during a school playground fight. And, of course, there’s the FBI raid of NYC police union headquarters and the union leader’s subsequent resignation.
- Roe v What Is Wrong With You (Again). We had a glorious two-day period where the anti-abortion law in Texas was paused, because a federal district judge recognized that it’s obviously illegal. Unfortunately, this was immediately overturned by the 5th Circuit, which was kind of a horrorshow even in the Before Times. But the appeals court decision is temporary in nature, so we may see more changes soon.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve these proletariat otters as well as 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 timeturner that I’ll use responsibly I swear!