National News Roundup: Year 6, Week 7 (February 27 — March 5)
The news really feels like a jumble of odds and ends this week, and we haven’t had a miscellany week like this in a little while. That said, it’s better than the abject misery of the past few weeks, so I guess we’ll take it.
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 court filing!–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 big week for Election Rejection, because the House Panel took some really significant steps. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Updates. The House panel took a noteworthy step when they noted in a court filing that they believe they’ve found grounds for a criminal conspiracy charge against Trump. It’s likely this is a nudge for A.G. Garland, who has considerably more ability to charge Trump than the panel does, though the filing itself regarded a request to release records germane to their investigation. (The judge on the case has already rejected their opponent’s attempt to get the request tossed as I type this.) Speaking of criminal charges, this week also marked the beginning of the first January 6 criminal trial, since most cases to date have been resolved with plea bargains. Meanwhile, the U.S. Archives is turning over White House visitor logs, and this week’s panel subpoenas include Donald Trump Jr’s partner. Biden has also denied executive privilege for several more relevant records.
Your New Normal:
- Land War Landmines. Russian invasion of Ukraine continued for another week, and shows no signs of ending as I type this. Though the countries were in talks over the week several times, and at one point agreed to both “humanitarian corridors” for civilians to escape and a temporary cease-fire, Ukraine reports that Russia failed to honor both of these agreements. Ukraine is calling for a no-fly zone over Russia, which would require the cooperation of several other Western countries. The U.S. is currently weighing its best options of support on that front, as Putin has indicated that he would treat a no-fly zone as declaring war. At the moment, Congress is negotiating on multiple pieces of relevant legislation, though Republicans are already threatening to bail if it’s linked to government funding provisions. At the time that I type this, invasion has created over a million refugees, and multiple Russian independent press outlets that were covering events were forced to shut down due to risk of imprisonment and other logistical challenges.
- State of the COVID-19. The pandemic hit a grim milestone this week when we reached six million COVID-related deaths worldwide, in part due to another surge in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, the U.S. appears to move more and more towards an endemic COVID model, with the Biden administration announcing a “test to treat” approach that raises a number of questions about implementation. Finally, Florida’s surgeon general disturbed us all by recommending against pediatric vaccination, not bothering to cite any concrete research or even actual safety concerns, because Florida Official is Florida Man.
- Biden Rebuilding. This week, Biden Rebuilding goes under the Good, because the administration took a number of decisive steps in positive directions. The administration has paused deportation of Ukrainians in the United States, and also created temporary protected status, which will allow people to live and work in the U.S. for at least eighteen months. The administration also put out multiple strong statements of support and meaningful executive guidance regarding gender-affirming care for LGBTQI youth, creating protections against the recent guidance in Texas. Finally, following up on good news from last week, Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearing will begin in two weeks on March 21.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, So that’s what I have for this week, because sometimes the news comes in small packages. For making it through, you nonetheless deserve this sleepy Shiba Inu 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 better sinuses!