first_imgSpecificallyIowa HouseMichigan HouseMinnesota Senate (not set in stone yet but looks likely Dems netted only one seat here)North Carolina HouseNorth Carolina SenatePennsylvania House (also not set in stone but not looking great)Texas House So what happened?Did disaffected Republicans take their ire at Trump out at the top of their ballots and then ticket-split to support GOPers further down?Should Democrats have worked harder to tie down-ballot Republicans to Trump?Were resources allocated poorly?I could drop a hot take here, but I respect you too much for that.- Advertisement – Okay, fast forward to, like, now.Let’s talk about how the situation has changed… and no, it’s not good.We’re not even talking pre-election status quo here.Things definitely got worse for Democrats in the next round of redistricting.Which means winning a majority in the U.S. House is going to be even harder for Democrats over the course of the next decade.Tuesday saw the GOP’s redistricting edge expand from three- or four-to-one to potentially four- or five-to-one.Yes, Republicans may end up drawing five times as many districts as Democrats.Tuesday’s election results create a grave risk of another decade of minority rule by the GOP both in Congress and in statehouses nationwide.But there’s something else at play in the upcoming round of redistricting that wasn’t a factor in 2011.Back then, many new maps in southern states were subject to the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act.… a requirement the U.S. Supreme Court killed in Shelby County v. Holder back in 2013.This ruling also paved the way for a new wave of voter suppression laws, the repercussions of which we’re still dealing with as I type, as votes are still being counted in places like Georgia and Arizona. North Carolina:Governor: Democratic hold (but super irrelevant in this context)House: Republican holdSenate: Republican holdBonus! Supreme Court: Democratic holdBattles over redistricting are set to continue after Republicans not only maintained their majorities, but also unexpectedly gained seats. And although Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper won reelection, it totally doesn’t matter: he’s unable to veto most key redistricting bills.Republicans ousted at least one Democratic incumbent on the state Supreme Court and lead in two uncalled races where absentee and provisional ballots will decide whether Democrats majority stays at 6-1 or narrows to 5-2 (or even 4-3).This matters because state courts curtailed the GOP’s gerrymanders last year.But while those rulings curbed the GOP’s worst map-drawing excesses, they didn’t entirely eliminate the problem. While results in some statehouses are still shaking out (yeah, I’m looking at you, Arizona), we already know that Republicans successfully defended their majorities in several key chambers.Campaign Action- Advertisement – But many of those majorities were extremely small.Dems held several chambers by just a couple of seats. If Democrats are able to flip a legislative chamber, the state’s divided government would sort out the aftermath of a ruling or GOP action against the IRC.Perhaps they’d reach a bipartisan compromise!… more likely, though, is that new maps would be drawn by the courts, which tend to favor nonpartisan districts. Minnesota:Governor: Democratic (up in 2022)House: Democratic holdSenate: Republican hold(?—uncalled as of this writing)Democrats appear to have fallen just short in their bid to win trifecta control in Minnesota, though final tallies have yet to be announced.The state currently has nonpartisan maps drawn by a court and is poised to again after 2020. Sigh.tl;dr— This round of redistricting might not be as bad for Democrats as the last round, but it’s not shaping up to be much better.And depending on SCOTUS interference, it could arguably be worse. The trust is that we just don’t know yet.All of these things could be true. None of them could be true.But here are two things that are 100% true:Democrats were vying to flip districts specifically gerrymandered to elect Republicans.While the disparity wasn’t as severe as in cycles past, Republicans out-raised Democrats and outspent them in several key chambers.- Advertisement – But then the party collectively seemed to forget that redistricting was going to be happening in 2011.Republicans, as we know, very much did not forget, and they outspent Democrats three-to-one to target a handful of flippable seats in key chambers in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, and more.Republicans flipped 21 chambers in 2010.In 2020, they flipped … three.Don’t get me wrong: A GOP trifecta in New Hampshire is a Bad Thing.And this means Republicans get to re-gerrymander that state Senate (and the House, but with 400 seats, that chamber is always a bit of a crapshoot, honestly).But federally, this gives the GOP complete control over drawing a whole two congressional districts.The bad news from Election 2020 isn’t what Republicans won.It’s what Republicans successfully defended.I wrote previously in this space about how the next round of redistricting could shake out for Democrats, depending on the level of success they had in flipping GOP-held chambers this week.Before Nov. 3, Republicans had complete control over the drawing of anywhere from 37% to 45% of all congressional districts nationwide.Democrats would control the drawing of just 10% to 11%.The remaining districts would be drawn via redistricting commissions (with varying degrees of independence), compromises reached in states with divided governments, and/or the courts (when some of those divided governments inevitably deadlock). Sure, this three- or four-to-one advantage would have been lousy—but not as bad as it was in 2011, when Republicans had a better than five-to-one advantage in drawing congressional districts. My talented Daily Kos Elections colleagues have assembled a super detailed breakdown of how Tuesday’s results impact the next round of redistricting, but here are the crucial toplines:Why we still care what happens in Arizona even though they have an Independent Redistricting Commission: Governor: Republican (up in 2022)House: Republican? (uncalled)Senate: Republican? (uncalled)Arizona has had an independent redistricting commission in place since 2000, but with the U.S. Supreme Court’s newly conservative configuration, the IRC is at a big of risk of being struck down.Republicans in the legislature have repeatedly sought to undermine the commission, so ending the GOP’s control of state government would help insulate and preserve it. – Advertisement – Pennsylvania:Governor: Democratic (up in 2022)House: Republican (uncalled but likely) holdSenate: Republican (uncalled but likely) hold But let’s face it: Even if Democrats flip one or both chambers in Arizona, Election Day 2020 was a disappointment.Ya know what? I’ll take disappointment over a bloodbath.Here’s a little perspective.Election Day 2010 replaced Election Day 2000 as the most excruciating of my life, and even 2016 wasn’t savage enough to supplant it.And 2020 certainly wasn’t.It’s an oft-forgotten fact that Democrats appeared to be sitting pretty before the 2010 elections.They held majorities in 60 chambers.Republicans held just 36, and two were tied. Texas:Governor: Republican (up in 2022)House: Republican holdSenate: Republican holdI mentioned in this space last week that Republicans were pumping tons of late cash into these state House races, and WOW did that effort pay off.Texas is arguably the most important state for Republican congressional gerrymandering, and Democrats failed to make the big gains needed to flip the state House to break the GOP’s trifecta control of the state.But wait, it gets worse!Democrats also failed to lay the groundwork for striking down gerrymanders later this decade after Republicans swept all four seats up this year to maintain their 9-0 state Supreme Court majority. Why we care what happens in Michigan even though they have an independent redistricting commission:Governor: Democratic (up in 2022)House: Republican holdSenate: Republican (up in 2022)In 2018, Michigan voters approved a ballot measure establishing a redistricting commission, stripping the legislature of its power to draw district maps for itself and for the U.S. House. Okay, one more piece of lousy news before I remind you (… and myself) that last night wasn’t a total disaster.But on to less terrible news!And while Republican legislators in many states will now have to deal with newly elected QAnon believers in their caucuses, Democrats celebrated a lot of positive firsts.This list is in no way exhaustive—feel free to hit me up with other cool Democratic state legislative first you know of! New Hampshire:Governor: Republican holdHouse: Republican flipSenate: Republican flipYeah, didn’t think I’d be talking about this one.last_img read more

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sometimes life has a way of superseding your expectations. So is the case of 11-year-old Mason Lough and his parents, Larance and Carrie Lough of Wellington.Saturday night, the Zac Brown Band came to Wichita to perform in front of a near capacity crowd at Intrust Bank Stadium.What the Loughs didn’t expect was that Mason would perform his piano solo “Colder Weather” to the Zac Brown Band and its thousands of zealous number of fans in south-central Kansas (see video below). “I don’t know if he really knows what hit him,” said his mother Carrie Sunday morning. “He’s out this morning in the front yard playing basketball, like last night was just a normal evening for him.”Rest assured, it wasn’t.Mason Lough performing as Clay Cook looks on…It’s been an interesting ride for the Loughs, since placing a You Tube video a year ago where Mason, 10-years-old at the time, played a commanding  rendition of “Colder Weather” on a grand piano with no sheet music (see other video below).The thing about the Internet is you never know what could happen. But the video was picked up by “The Wolf” 100.5 — a local radio station in Wichita, who was sponsoring the concert held Saturday. And members of the band saw the video.As a result, the Kennedy Elementary fifth grade student and his mother were invited to eat at a VIP pre-concert dinner for 150 of Zac Brown Band’s most ardent fan club fans in the Wichita area. It was a dinner of down-home cooking that was actually prepared for the band or at least its entourage.“That in itself was an incredible experience,” Carrie said “We got to meet all the band members and have a great conversation with them.”But then the evening turned into something so much more. Clay Cook, the keyboardist for the band, introduced himself to Mason and said.“Look here, you are the kid who can play ‘Colder Weather’ better than I can.”He then looked Mason into his eyes and asked him if he would like to perform the song during the concert.“Mason’s eyes got real big and said, ‘sure,’” Carrie said. “I don’t think he was ever nervous about playing. He was so excited… Me, on the other hand, was petrified. I couldn’t calm my nerves.”Well, as you can tell on the video, Mason performed like a seasoned veteran. People in the crowd, except for a few sliver of Wellington fans scattered throughout, had no idea where this little man came from. But some were said to be moved to tears before Mason was done performing. At the end, Clay Cook lifted Mason in his arms and held him high. Mason threw his hands in his air making the touchdown sign.This most certainly wasn’t planned.Mason started playing way back when he was 3 playing on a cheap keyboard. By the time he was 5 he was taking piano lessons.After the family moved away from Wellington, they eventually moved back and eventually got in contact with Scott Williams in Winfield, who has been teaching Mason how to perform using both sheet music and playing the songs by ear.“It is quite an acquired art,” Carrie said about listening to music by ear. “It is something Mason is still learning.”Mason wanted to play songs he heard on the radio and “Colder Weather” was one of his favorites – a country song Zac Brown Band took to the top of the charts in 2010.And what was the reason for the original You Tube video? The Mason family simply made it so friends and relatives in the Kansas City area and elsewhere could see him play.How that piece of video led to Mason Lough on stage with the Zac Brown Band Saturday night at Intrust is one of those stories where truth is indeed stranger than fiction.Mason Lough on the big screen at Zac Brown Band Concert in Wichita, April 20, 2013. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (11) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +8 Vote up Vote down WHSFAN · 381 weeks ago Simply Awesome! Great Job.. Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down Imagine · 381 weeks ago Very cool! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Brian Kimzey · 381 weeks ago That’s my nephew, I couldn’t be more proud! Fantastic job Mason! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Tanya Kimzey · 381 weeks ago Mason’s Grandpa ,Robert Kimzey passed, away last October. He would be so proud ! He would tell all his friends that’s my Grandson, he take after me. Good job Mason Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Gator · 381 weeks ago I’ve known this little man for a few years and he holds a special place in my heart. He is a very special kid. GREAT JOB MASON!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Austin · 381 weeks ago I coached his younger brother! Just awesome! Good Job Mason! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down tammy · 381 weeks ago Mason you was so good last night at the Zac Brown show. I was there right up front and everyone around me coundnt believe you was playing. AWESOME JOB MASON!!!!! 🙂 Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down ilyssa · 381 weeks ago mason good job Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Sarah · 381 weeks ago So awesome Mason! I was there watching you, first I had goosebumps and by the end I had tears! Don’t ever give up on your dreams Mason!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Roxie · 381 weeks ago Mason I am very proud of you. You have come a long way from the 4year old boy who dreamed of playing like Nickelback. Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more