(a) [Hat tip: Mrs. Arbel]
The Republican Party has eked out a slender House majority, likely 222-213, four members more than are needed for control. The GOP should direct its gratitude to Misha Tseytlin, a soft-spoken Chicago lawyer who helped engineer the margin of victory in an unlikely place—New York state.
On Feb. 3, Gov. Kathy Hochul approved a gerrymandered electoral map drawn by Albany Democrats that could have handed them victory in as many as 22 of the Empire State’s 26 districts. Mr. Tseytlin, 41, filed suit the same day, arguing that the map violated a 2014 constitutional amendment against gerrymandering that had been championed by, among others, the late former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat. It was a bipartisan reform. The state Senate at the time was under Republican control, the Assembly was Democratic, and Democrat Andrew Cuomo was governor.
[…] Before this month’s elections, eight of New York’s 27 representatives were Republicans. The state lost one district to reapportionment. The independent commission was unable to agree on a map for 2022, sending a Democratic and a Republican version to the Legislature for evaluation. Lawmakers rejected both. The commission deadlocked and was unable to submit a second map as required by law, leading the Legislature to assign itself the task of drawing district lines.
The result? A map designed explicitly to ensure that Republicans could win no more than four seats. Michael Li, senior counsel of the progressive Brennan Center for Justice, described the Legislature’s map as “a master class in how to draw an effective gerrymander.” In Mr. Tseytlin’s words, “22-4 is as gerrymandered pro-Democrat as you could make New York.”
A legal challenge had to be filed quickly, as the primaries were set for June and couldn’t be delayed beyond late August. Federal law requires 45 days for military and other absentee voters to receive federal ballots, and the 45-day window applies to primaries as well as the general election. John Faso, a former Republican congressman, spearheaded efforts with Ed Cox, a former state Republican chairman, to raise a war chest to fight the map in court. Mr. Faso says in an interview that costs were “well into seven figures. *Suffice it to say that litigation figures were much less than would be needed to finance a single congressional campaign.*” […]
In truth, the Democrats paid a price for being too greedy. Mike Gianaris, the state senator who oversaw the map that was struck down, did the Republicans a political favor. Some of the gerrymandered districts in his map were laughable. One, Mr. Faso says, “encompassed five counties. It went Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Bronx, into Westchester.” There was no way a court wouldn’t scrutinize a map like that.
Had the Democrats’ New York gerrymander been allowed to stand, Republicans probably wouldn’t have retaken the House. They won 11 districts in New York, tipping them past 218. The partisan map would have kept them to four, and Nancy Pelosi would still have her job.
regressive“progressive” application of lawfare [sic] to tilt the electoral table in their favor — all in the name of iniquity“equity”, of course — has one downside for the oligarchic“Democratic” party, of course: two can play this game.
Kudos to Mrs. Tseytlin. (And yes, same surname as jazz pianist Denny Zeitlin, different romanization.)
(b) Our prize committee hasn’t given out the Turtleboy Of The Week award for some time owing to the fierce competition for this title, which “honors” the most nauseating CCP and Xi Jinping apologist. But WEF head honcho Klaus Schwab absolutely takes the cake (and drops the mask in the process).
ADDENDUM: After it became to light that some Tw*tter staff (now fired by Musk) would extort money from users to get “Blue Check” verification marks, now the WSJ reports on a similar, smaller-scale, scandal at Meta (Facebook’s parent)
ADDENDUM 2:the WSJ explains how crude Russian oil delivered to a refinery in Sicily leaves the said facility outside Syracuse as… non-Russian oil. This reminds me of a 1990s-era Euro scam in which Belgian hams were shipped to Parma, Italy, were labeled Giambone di Parma (Parma ham, a protected mark of origin) and returned to sender, having thus magically becoming Parmesan 😉