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Posts published in “Day: August 13, 2021”

Happy Reinstatement Day!


WASHINGTON — Citizens took to the streets today, jubilantly celebrating events unfolding in the nation’s capital. As former President Joe Biden and his allegedly communist vice president were led away in handcuffs, President Donald Trump was reinstated by Supreme Court Justice Kimberly Davis, herself newly installed by the president’s private armed security detail.

“I am proud to administer the oath of office to the rightful president,” said Davis. “I mean, this is way more exciting than not issuing marriage licenses back in Rowan County.”

The true president wasted no time outlawing anything he found threatening. “We are restoring the Bureau of Land Management’s name,” said President Trump. “From now on, BLM means trees and rangers and cute little forest animals.” The president said Black people need to quit complaining and leave the white people out of it. “I did more for the Blacks than any other president, ever, even Idi Amin,” said Trump. “They should be grateful and quit bugging everyone.”

Trump’s new vice president, Mike Lindell, had nothing but praise for his boss. “He won the election by a landslide,” said Lindell. “He carried the state of Ontario, something no Republican president has ever done before.” When informed that Ontario was actually a Canadian province, Lindell shrugged it off and said it underscored his point. “See? If even those people voted for him, that just shows he’s the rightful president.”

Lindell explained how the election results became much more clear once the G.O.P. abandoned hindrances like evidence and fact-checking. “When we realized that all the people who know stuff are liberals, we had to quit fact-checking,” Lindell said. “Bill Gates owns Snopes and Google and Amazon and he wants to control our minds with microchips and vaccines and fluoride and we’re not going to let him destroy America with that liberal crap.”

Lindell said removing fact-checking simplified his task as he put together his “Absolute Proof” documentary. “I’ll tell you what, it’s a whole lot easier to make a documentary when you don’t need to waste time confirming everything,” said Lindell. “Man, that was a pain in the neck! Fortunately, MyPillow® eliminates that kind of discomfort.”

Lindell said the G.O.P.’s new policy on fact-checking was especially handy when he accused Dominion Voting Systems of massive voter fraud. “Well, I’m pretty dang sure the Chinese and the Venezuelans changed all the Trump votes to Biden votes,” said Lindell. Experts say that such an accusation requires Dominion’s voting machines be connected to the internet. But Dominion has demonstrated its machines are part of a closed system, not connected to any outside network. “We dodged a bullet on that one,” said Lindell. “Fact-checking would’ve really screwed that up for us.”

When Lindell’s hired cybersecurity expert said he was unable to find proof of election fraud, the vice president brushed off this detail. “We get our intel from an organization called Qanon,” Lindell said. “It’s much more reliable than the liberal propaganda from outfits like the NSA, the CIA or PBS.”

The first moves of the neo-Trump administration included planning activities for reinstatement week. Events include a large military parade, fireworks, two reinstatement balls, several MAGA rallies and a mask burning. “Only the weak wear masks,” said the president. He went on to say asking people to wear masks eradicates their freedom, even if wearing them helps protect them and benefits the whole community. “Many Americans don’t really care about bleeding-heart liberal crap like that,” he said. “Masks destroy lives.”

At the same time Justice Davis was completing the reinstatement ceremony for President Trump, a minor scare occurred when the ground trembled at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. But after a brief investigation by the U.S. Geological Survey, it was determined the disturbance was the result of one of the interred rolling over in his grave, posing no lasting threat to the public.

[DISCLAIMER: This is satire. It is irreverent humor. It will not hurt you.]


Drawing the lines


The numbers are in, the commissioners have been picked, and all is ready for Idaho to begin redrawing, as it does every decade, the lines for legislative and congressional districts.

This week the federal census bureau released the numbers states need to get reapportionment underway, and Idaho’s members of its districting commission (and they look like a good batch of appointees) are now in place. The state is good to go to proceed.

So what’s at stake?

One big impact is likely to be the inevitable part of the process. The metro areas in Idaho - the Ada-Canyon area and the Kootenai area especially - have been growing faster than most of the state, and they’ll be pulling in more legislative districts. In much of the rural territory of the state, districts will cover ever more geography (and will be increasingly difficult for legislators to represent). Ada, Canyon, Kootenai and Bonneville counties now account for close to half of Idaho’s population, and they’ll soon account for about half of its legislators, too.

But in Idaho the discretionary part of the work is, as has been the case for a while, less significant than in some other states. Oregon and Montana, for example, have new congressional districts to fit in, and how they’re positioned within those states, which have significant numbers of people from both parties in regions of those states, may affect how many seats each party may get in the Congress for a decade to come. In a closely-divided U.S. House, that matters nationally.

In Idaho, what probably (albeit not necessarily) will happen is that Boise will be redivided a little between the two congressional districts, moving a few of its precincts from the first congressional district (which runs to the north and west) to the second. The result might make the second district incrementally more Democratic, but it is nearly sure to remain landslide Republican; the difference is not likely to matter much.

The legislative district redraw will matter more on a partisan level, but only to a point. The basic reality is that nearly all regions of Idaho have significantly more pro-Republican voters than they do pro-Democratic. There are no big pools of Democratic voters that could, if unlocked by a remap, turn the legislature blue, or even purple; Democrats would need a lot more than that to make significant gains. That’s not to say it’s impossible, just that any advances they make will have to come through more basic organizing, messaging and other strategies.

The small number of substantial Democratic voting bases - the biggest in Boise, with smaller effective blocks in Pocatello, the Wood River Valley, Moscow and a few much smaller groups - are however small and scattered enough that a determined redistricting could split them and reduce by half or more the few relatively safe Democratic seats in the state. The Wood River Valley and Pocatello could be further divided by district lines, for example, and Boise could be sliced like a pie to reduce the number of Democratic legislators there. That hasn’t actually happened in recent redistrictings, however, and isn’t especially likely this time either; you’d have to throw out county lines and communities of interest as meaningful factors, which would leave a plan open to a court challenge. Two legislative Democrats, Senator David Nelson of Moscow and Representative Steve Berch of Boise, may be most likely to be directly impacted one way or another by the change in lines because of where their districts are located.

More important line drawing may be much more subtle. Within the Republican Party there are different strains of adherents, some more establishment-oriented, some more rebellious. (You may want to choose your own adjectives.) Redistricting can also affect legislators because of where they live; a new district may clump together more incumbent legislators than there are seats for all of them, a regular occurrence every 10 years. In a deeply-riven state Republican legislative caucus, it’ll matter who is thrown in together with who in the new districts.

The redistricting commission is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, but most of the really careful drawing is likely to be done with internal Republican considerations in mind. On many states redistricting is foremost a partisan battle. In Idaho, the upcoming primary elections are more likely to be a top consideration.

And in Idaho, that’s no small consideration.