This lady losing her primary is what counts for good news out of Idaho these days
This person losing her primary is what counts for good news out of Idaho these days Getty | Nathan Howard

My favorite Calvinball player lost last night: Idaho's truly wild and Trumpian lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, infamous for treating the rule of law like a suggestion from a fortune cookie, lost her challenge to Idaho's incumbent Republican governor in their state's primary election yesterday. When McGeachin wasn't overturning COVID-19 mitigation measures via executive order while her boss was temporarily out of state, she was making a campaign out of rallies with white supremacist shock jockeys, so I guess the lesser of two evils prevailed.

The GOP aren't the only ones cleaning House: Down in Oregon, progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner is leading incumbent centrist Democratic Congressman Kurt Schrader. As we're all familiar with by now, the mail-in ballot counting process will take a couple of days, but if current trends hold it looks like the Biden-endorsed incumbent will go down to the Elizabeth Warren-backed progressive. Score one for the institutionalist snakes!

Noted sower does not enjoy reaping: Well, it turns out that if you wildly accuse members of your own party of secretly attending coke-fueled orgies, they tend to hold a grudge. Madison Cawthorn, the freshman Congressman whose loose lips about alleged Capitol Hill parties earned him the ire of the most boring old white men in D.C., fell to an equally boring Republican state senator despite having Trump's backing.

But of course, this is America, so no election night is purely good news: Of all the Trump-endorsed Republicans vying for dominance of their party, Pennsylvania gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano was the one I was most worried about. In PA, governors appoint the secretary of state, who is in charge of certifying the state's election results. In a swing state with double-digit electoral college votes, the potential to overturn the results of the 2024 presidential election runs high. And now, the GOP nominee for the office is a guy who literally organized bus trips to the January 6th insurrection. Great country we live in.

Speaking of people committed to trampling our constitutional rights: Our local police department could not be more excited to earn a participation trophy from the federal monitoring team that is supposed to be evaluating the agency's compliance with the Department of Justice's Consent Decree. The monitor's latest report finds the department has "sustained its compliance with the Consent Decree generally," with that last adverb doing so much work I'm pretty sure it qualified for overtime.

My kingdom for a bureaucrat willing to use a little power: The Consent Decree process could theoretically be a powerful tool for the federal government to crack down on racist policing, but that would require the people running the process to flex their legal muscles on the cops. That's not the vibe I'm getting from the latest court-appointed monitor, Dr. Antonio Oftelie:

For those who didn't waste three years of their lives in law school, the Consent Decree is in fact, a tool. But helping to oversee it does not mean you have to be one. It's quite literally the only mechanism for the federal government to use the force of law to compel police departments to treat people with the respect and humanity our constitution allegedly requires. In a political climate where we ignore massive problems in favor of throwing ever-increasing amounts of money at cops — lookin' at you, Joe — acknowledging that nearly a decade of close supervision by the DOJ failed to stop wanton abuses of civil rights during the 2020 protests doesn't really fit the narrative. So instead, the monitor's report frames the tear-gassing of peaceful protesters as an outlier for an otherwise well-meaning and totally not corrupt bunch of armed agents of the state.

I can't even with this guy: In his thread of Tweets laying out his opinion, Dr. Oftelie says he wants people to "fight" for more transparency going forward? My friend, have you seen what the department you're supposed to be babysitting does to people when they protest? You're the one with actual legal authority to keep the cops in judicial time out if they don't behave. Maybe try using it.

Oftelie says "culture" is what infuriates him: What infuriates me: Government actors who pass the buck instead of scrapping with every fiber of their being to bring some modicum of justice to people without a fraction of the access to power that they have.

Alright, one last note before my blood pressure reaches dangerous levels: I'm particularly pissed off about the misuse of the Consent Decree process because I've been duped by the flowery, hopeful rhetoric that's surrounded this entire charade before. Law students have to write an obnoxiously boring scholarly article in order to graduate, and I wrote mine about Seattle's Consent Decree in 2015 when it was just a few years old. That paper will never see the light of day, as it's full of praise for the amount of community engagement that then-US Attorney Jenny Durkan made sure to include in the process through the Community Police Commission, as well as hope that the DOJ's supervision would yield meaningful reform in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests. This is all to say that when you bungle the only tool that could theoretically compel at least some real police reform, you don't leave accountability advocates many options other than Becoming Abolitionists.

Finally, America isn't embarrassingly late to a party: After years of aggressive organizing by the U.S. women's soccer team, we're becoming the first country to promise to pay our men's and women's teams in the sport equally. I'm not a fashionable American, so I have no other context to offer on the globe's most popular version of sportball, but progress in pay equity is always worth celebrating.

Another bit of good news: If the federal government approves Washington's Affordable Care Act waiver, as many as 105,000 uninsured people living in our state without documentation could become eligible to purchase health insurance. Excluding this marginalized population from the exchange to begin with was a nonsensical political compromise, as the whole point of the ACA was to encourage people to seek preventative care more frequently so they don't use the ER as their primary care physician. That's because when people can't pay for exorbitant fees for emergency room care, those unpaid costs get absorbed by hospitals and passed on to everyone else paying for health care.

To wrap up, a rave I can get behind: I love scallops. After giving up meat due to sustainability concerns a few years ago, I eat more seafood than is probably healthy. But scallops are not cheap, so I don't wolf them down after covering them in sizzling curry butter nearly as often as I'd like. Hopefully, that's about to change, because scientists attempting to improve the efficiency of crab traps off the coast of England discovered that using the flashing lights instead of bait fish ends up attracting mobs of the tasty little shellfish. Apparently, scallops can have more than 200 eyes, and they can't resist a disco. If you've got a favorite recipe for consuming these delectable sea critters, what are you waiting for? Shoot me an email, with a bonus for pics of your final product.

You should know by now not to look to me for music: Instead, our twice-weekly dose of history you probably didn't know but definitely is worth your time comes from independent reporter Leah Sottile. This long thread is a run-down of how all the things we're freaking out about have been happening in plain sight for years now, and you should definitely read it all: