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Don Walton: Redistricting maneuvering is all out of sight
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Don Walton: Redistricting maneuvering is all out of sight

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What's happening behind the scenes as the Legislature approaches a special session in September to tackle redistricting?

Here are some early signals:

* Unlike 10 years ago, the emphasis this time is focusing on legislative redistricting, not congressional redistricting.

* The unstated goal for what could become a majority of senators will be to preserve as many rural legislative seats as possible; while that is not a directly partisan goal, it does translate into Republican seats in the nonpartisan Legislature.

* Some senators are talking about devising a plan that would create or lead to a higher-population average in urban districts than in rural districts while staying within the U.S. Supreme Court's established 10% deviation range. 

* Both sides in this developing drama may be prepared to employ the power of a legislative filibuster to block an unacceptable plan.

The special session is tentatively scheduled to begin on Sept. 13.

Bring your body armor.

Nebraska state Sen. Brewer, a war veteran, sees tragedy ahead in Afghanistan

* * *

Finishing up:

* Profiles in courage who told their stories last week: Those officers who defended the U.S. Capitol and U.S. democracy against the mob that abruptly brought an end to our country's long and treasured history of a peaceful transfer of power.

* And that was a sad and alarming reminder that we remain sharply divided and armed to the teeth with a startling number of Americans believing that the 2020 presidential election results were rigged.

* An organization called the Nebraska State Guardians has scheduled meetings in Blair, Lincoln, Grand Island and Kearney for a chemist and mathematician named Dr. Douglas Frank to deliver his message that the 2020 general election results were "manipulated by an algorithm."

* Tim Rinne is retiring as state coordinator for Nebraskans for Peace after 28 years.

* Sen. Deb Fischer says she has told Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg that she believes infrastructure funding should center on roads, bridges, railroads, ports, airports, waterways and broadband.

* Nebraska's conservative, cost-conscious governors and state senators ought to be proud of the continuing investment they make in the State Capitol, whether economic times are good or bad. The Capitol is a majestic treasure that could not be replicated today, both in terms of cost and artistry. Or political will.

Don Walton: Senators will test their climbing skills before hitting Kilimanjaro

* When you live in a mixed neighborhood, you may find a flyer in your mailbox in Spanish and English advertising jobs at Smithfield Foods in Crete with production line jobs available at a starting pay of $18 an hour. Unase a nuestra familia.

* "I Alone Can Fix It," hardcover, 592 pages, uh, probably not. Still waiting for somebody to form a 250-page book club.

* Masked messages now on when to wear one or not are feeding animosity and division along with a whole lot of resentment on both sides of this cultural/political divide, especially over vaccinations that really ought to be a no-brainer. The Russians don't need to do anything to stoke this bonfire.

* The rapid spread of the dangerous Delta variant of COVID-19 is a reminder that we're all in this together, but some of us aren't doing our part.

* A week of stunning trades has changed this year's baseball season — and all for the better! But not at Wrigley.

* Coming next month: Ken Burns documentary series on the life and times of Muhammad Ali on PBS. That is a championship matchup.

* Wondering if unvaccinated players may alter, or even destroy, this year's college football season.

* The dash to the money by universities, athletic conferences and players threatens to take the joy out of college football. What used to be a sport is clearly a business now.

* August? Really?

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

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