National News Roundup: Year 5, Week 41 (October 24–30)
Though things have been rough for a while now, this week was definitely a new low in American news. I certainly felt discouraged watching a lot of this unfold, so I’m not going to tell you not to; instead, I’ll just note that I’m here if anybody needs anything. And also, Halloween candy is very cheap right now, if you need some comfort food. Just sayin’.
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 reconciliation 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:
In case you were wondering, the Election Rejection front is still hitting rock bottom and starting to dig. Here’s what happened this week:
- Election Rejection Eruption. Trump is still trying to block subpoenas regarding the January 6 insurrection, and Biden is still refusing to invoke executive privilege for him. As the panel gathers information, we also learn more about just how much the authorities ignored warnings regarding the planned insurrection in the days leading up to January 6.News also broke this week that at least twelve people involved in the insurrection are running for office this week. This is shaping up to be a major ongoing fight between our two political parties with a lot of very important implications; it’s going to be very important that we keep our eyes on this.
This was also a real low point for Biden Rebuilding news, as the reconciliation and infrastructure situation has not, in fact, gotten any better. Here’s what I have for you:
- Building Back Better Bust. A whole laundry list of things were cut from the Building Back Better Act this week as Biden attempted to negotiate a deal with Senate moderates Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. In particular, the complete removal of paid family leave got a lot of attention, as that’s an area where the U.S. lags badly behind the rest of the world. Then, in response to a rapidly-shrinking Building Back Better bill, progressives in the House forced another delay on the infrastructure bill. Then after Biden released his new comprehensive plan, which was designed to placate moderates in the first place, Joe Manchin still refused to vote for it. Because, I don’t know, inscrutable Manchin reasons. Just another successful week for the Democrats, amirite?
Your New Normal:
- Facebook Fakeout. In the immediate aftermath of the release of the Facebook Papers, a major leak which outlined lots and lots of sketchy decisions made inside the company, Congress wants to grill Zuckerberg and journalists are starting to share more details about their process. But it’s okay, because Mark Zuckerberg has a brilliant plan! (The brilliant plan consists of changing the company’s name and recreating Google Glass, but, y’know, you can’t fault his commitment to moving fast and breaking things.)
- State of the COVID-19. By far, the biggest news this week is the pediatric vaccine–significantly more details have been shared about how its rollout will work, and the Pfizer vaccine was officially approved by the FDA on Friday. We’re now expecting implementation of the pediatric vaccine will begin early next week. But the CDC also added several psychiatric diagnoses to the list of qualifying booster conditions, and Biden is trying to expand access to rapid testing as well.
- Roe v. Why Are You Like This (cont again). As I mentioned last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the Texas abortion law today. All told, several justices signaled that they might be willing to strike down some of the more disturbing provisions, but we’re far from out of the woods on this topic; this isn’t even the last abortion challenge that SCOTUS will hear this year. We definitely need to keep our eyes on this, and now’s a great time to donate to funds supporting access to reproductive healthcare.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this classic Halloween favorite 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 discount candy you don’t want!