This is a story probably little-noticed outside Michigan, the Midwest, and/or political-junkie circles, but the newly created Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission finished their work (for the most part) last night, approving new district maps for the U.S. House and state legislative districts.
The state is losing a district, which will make for some musical chairs. As for the Nall/Derringer co-prosperity sphere, we’ll move from the 14th to the 13th, expected to be a safe hold for Rashida Tlaib, the pottymouthed Palestinian-American squad member of impeach-the-motherfucker fame. The state districts are more of a we’ll-see situation, but most agree that the new maps, while still imperfect because of course they are, will make for a more representative state legislature and federal delegation than the disgraceful gerrymander they will replace.
There’ll be a lawsuit filed in the 13th, in fact, over the loss of majority-minority districts, and in fact, Michigan could end up with no black congressional representatives, which is startling for a state that contains America’s blackest city. On the other hand, “packing” is one of the ways to dilute black political power, and blacks have been moving to the suburbs for decades. Rashida is Arab-American, but she’s been a stand-up voice for people of color in her district so far. The courts will decide, I suppose. But for now, I’m pleased. (Tossup districts are way more competitive now — in that they exist. And if Trump tries to steal another election in 2024, we might have more of a fighting chance, at least in Michigan.)
This is the current 14th District:
And barring court modification, the purple-shaded area will be the 13th:
At least I’m no longer in a district with Pontiac, which would take me nearly an hour to reach by car. On freeways. In a densely populated urban area.
From the whining I’m picking up in rural areas of the state, I’m calling this a success.
That’s the good news. The bad? Kate went back to her house two days ago, after testing negative for five days previous AND the day after Christmas, started feeling bad, tested again and came up positive. So now we wait, and isolate. Oh well — we didn’t really have any firm plans for New Year’s Eve anyway. And she was feeling better within a day. Me, I’m fine-ish, in that I’m not sick but not not-sick, if that makes sense. Alan’s fine so far. Me, I’m running on about 87.5 percent, which is indistinguishable from the mildly bleh feeling I get after the rich foods, too much wine and scarcity of outdoor exercise during the holidays. But I’ll be safe. No socializing until I test negative and another week passes.
Some stuff to read in the slow week? Sure:
Here’s the always-interesting Olivia Nuzzi on Dr. Oz’s Pennsylvania Senate bid, which contains a hilarious long anecdote involving an improperly disconnected cell-phone call to Mrs. Oz:
To my surprise, she picked up — for about a second. Just as quickly as it started, the call was over. I had barely said hello. Unsure if we’d been disconnected or she’d hung up on me, I tried her back. The tone of her voice suggested it had definitely been the latter.
“How did you get my number?” she asked sharply. I told her that her number was listed in public records, and this annoyed her too. “Oh,” she said, “I should have gotten rid of that.” I was about to explain that public records don’t work that way, but she cut in. “Have a nice day,” she said, but it sounded like a cross between the way women of the South say “Bless your heart” and men of Brooklyn call some asshole “pal” after being cut off in traffic. Then she hung up.
Or she thought she did.
It may be paywalled, and if so, I’m sorry. Try an Incognito window.
Also, the battle over wind power in west Michigan. Not everyone thinks it’s wonderful.
Me, I”m off to work now.