On Monday, a court-appointed expert released new maps for New York's congressional districts, and they are about as "sensational" as a batch of draft political maps can be.
The road to how we got here is fraught with the kind of slapstick dysfunction that is a baked-in feature of New York state government. (The "independent" panel made up of Democrats and Republicans who were supposed to draw these lines failed; subsequent Democrat-drawn maps, which were shockingly kind to Democrats, were tossed; the Court of Appeals ordered them redrawn; the primary is in August.)
But the upshot is that eight of these 26 new districts drawn by "special master" Jonathan Cervas would be competitive in a general election. And some new districts would result in some spicy primaries!
For instance, Representative Jerrold Nadler and Representative Carolyn Maloney, two long-tenured, high-ranking House Democrats, would have to compete with one another to represent the same constituents, as Cervas committed an act of geographic and cultural profanity by glomming together the West and East Sides of Manhattan, like some kind of mad (political) scientist.
But other questions nagged us here at Hell Gate. Among them: Doesn't NY-10 look like a dong?
Others thought it looked more like a Tyrannosaurus Rex...or...this thing that Esther drew that...kind of resembles Barney the Dinosaur?
I enjoy the "Cleanup Song" just as much as anyone who has a sibling born in the early 1990s, but I'm having a tough time seeing a T-Rex here.
Okay, yeah, here we go, here's that crazy-ass T-Rex we know and love. ROARRRRR, I EAT GERRYMANDERING!
Still others like our resident mycologist Nick Pinto thought it was more like a mushroom, which initially I couldn't see but now I cannot unsee.
If you feel strongly about how these maps will impact New York's congressional delegation, the public can still submit testimony by Wednesday, before the final versions are due on Friday, May 20.
Also, the 5th District looks like New Jersey, right? [Ed: Personally the 5th District looks like a child in a Victorian-era nightgown running away from the ghost of his great-grandmother who was killed by her husband but who am I to say...]