Morning Source

Map-making and misery.

Democrats’ redistricting scheme prompts a big backlash.
November 18, 2021

Map-making and misery... 

This week, the Nevada Legislature passed — and Governor Steve Sisolak signed — Senate Bill 1, codifying a new redistricting plan that establishes the Silver State’s congressional and state legislative district boundaries for the next decade.
The takeaway? Well, other than the Democrat politicians who rammed the plan through, the new maps seem to be a big hit with … pretty much nobody.
A look at the new maps makes it painfully clear that Democrats’ chief aim was to gerrymander themselves into a permanent position of power by diluting the voices of the state’s Republican and independent voters. But it’s not just the Democrats’ political foes who are objecting to the new plan.
While Democrat Party leaders are trying to spin their scheme as representative of the state’s growing diversity, no one seems to be buying it. The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Bill Dentzer reports that the Dems’ maps have been “widely derided by Republicans and Hispanic and Latino groups.”
He elaborates:
“Hispanic and Latino groups panned the Democrats’ plan for distributing their voting strength over many districts instead of concentrating it in specific areas. None of the state’s four congressional districts under the Democrats’ plan is more than 40 percent Hispanic, but four Senate districts and seven Assembly districts are.
“A competing redistricting proposal from the Republican minority, while also improving their party’s numbers in legislative districts, included Hispanic representation of more than 40 percent in one congressional district, five state Senate districts and 10 Assembly districts.”

The Democrats’ plan was so poorly constructed that it even drew a “No” vote from one of their own, Assemblyman Edgar Flores, whose decision to break ranks officially makes the opposition bi-partisan — and was especially noteworthy coming on the heels of a regular legislative session during which Democrats voted mostly in lockstep.  
The adopted plan is plagued by numerous other problems, even beyond their egregiously partisan nature and the issues raised by Hispanic and Latino groups. The new maps split numerous counties, towns, and other communities of interest throughout the state, and also fail to minimize population deviation by district — one of the essential principles of the redistricting process.
All of which means this fight is likely far from over.
As Dentzer notes, even Democrat Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson admitted he “expected legal challenges to the approved district maps.”
Stay tuned.

Throwing gas on a fire...

The Biden administration’s agenda has caused many crises on many fronts, but one of the areas where it has hit every-day Americans hardest is in skyrocketing gas prices.
While there’s no denying the role that misguided national policy has played in this fiasco, it’s worth remembering that local policies matter, too. Getting things wrong at the state level can take the ill effects of a bad national policy and make them much worse. Just look at California, where radically left-wing energy policies have been entrenched for decades — and are now producing unprecedented pain at the pump.
The Los Angeles Times’ Hayley Smith reports:
"Gas prices in California are soaring to record levels as the holiday season approaches, combining with supply chain problems that have left some goods in short supply and mounting inflation to create a distinctly unfestive strain on many people's wallets.
"Statewide, the average price of a regular gallon reached an all-time high of $4.682 on Monday, according to the American Automobile Assn. Experts are not sure how high pump prices will go, but it's going to further squeeze consumers who hope for a more normal holiday season of road trips to family gatherings and drives to shops to purchase presents."

It’s a valuable lesson, and a warning sign for Nevada — where, as we’ve noted many times before, Democrat policymakers keep insisting on importing the worst ideas from our neighbor to the West.

Numbers game... 

We know you’ll be absolutely stunned to learn this, but the Biden administration has been caught in yet another lie.
After the President and his allies spent months insisting that his “Build Back Better” agenda wouldn’t cost Americans anything, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has finally weighed in. The verdict? Here’s the New York Times’ Alan Rappeport:
“President Biden’s pledge to fully pay for his $1.85 trillion social policy and climate spending package depends in large part on having a beefed-up Internal Revenue Service crack down on tax evaders, which the White House says will raise hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue.
“But the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that the I.R.S. proposal would yield far less than what the White House was counting on to help pay for its bill — about $120 billion over a decade versus the $400 billion that the administration is counting on.
“A formal tally is expected to be released on Friday, but the projection by Phillip Swagel, who heads the budget office, could pose another setback for Mr. Biden’s domestic policy legislation, which is already facing steep hurdles in the House and Senate.
“The White House has begun bracing lawmakers for a disappointing estimate from the budget office, which is likely to find that the cost of the overall package will not be fully paid for with new tax revenue over the coming decade.”

We’ll give National Review’s Jim Geraghty the last word on this one:
“For much of the fall, Joe Biden, members of his administration, and congressional Democrats lied to you. They lied to you because they think you’re stupid. They lied to you because they think you can’t do math and you don’t understand taxes, government spending, or debt. They lied to you because they believe that you don’t want to think too hard about all of those numbers, that you just want to get more free stuff from the government, and that you’ll believe somebody else will pay for it.”

While they’re at it... 

And since the federal government is already throwing unfathomable amounts of money around …
“The budget reconciliation package pushed by Democrats creates a new expanded child tax credit (CTC) that would pay illegal immigrants some $10.5 billion next year.”
More from that piece by Steven Camarota here.

Dems in denial...

Finally this week, the Washington Examiner’s Byron York has an amusing piece on national Democrats who are actually feeling optimistic about their current situation — based on the assumption that as bad as things may seem for them now, at least they can’t possibly get any worse.
York is doubtful they’re actually right about that (and so are we), but what made us chuckle was Democrats’ insistence that the explanation for their current funk has nothing to do with the substance of their agenda, but instead has resulted from their failure to effectively communicate how their policies have actually benefited Americans.
No, really. Here’s York:
“Biden and his party's real problem, some Democrats told the Washington Post, is messaging, especially about those big spending bills. ‘There hasn't been great communication about what these bills mean for people,’ Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer told the paper. Indeed, the Washington Post reports that after yesterday's signing of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, the White House will conduct ‘an aggressive effort to sell his economic agenda, including robust travel from Biden and Cabinet officials and a media blitz.’"
Yeah, you go right ahead with that.
York aptly sums up why the White House’s idea is destined to fail:
“Inflation is a substance problem. It is a real thing, making people's lives more difficult. COVID is a real thing. Afghanistan is a real thing. They are not communications problems. ‘Robust travel’ and a ‘media blitz’ will not solve them.”
But we must admit … for the entertainment value alone, we can’t wait to see them try.


“If socialists understood economics, they wouldn't be socialists.”  Friedrich Hayek