Did you notice?

The two things in the news today that got me excited were:
First, the Supreme Court will review the Texas redistricting plan implemented in the wake of the Texas Chain-saw Massacre. While I'm pleased as a plum that there will be investigation into this particular event, what I'm really looking forward to is gerrymandering getting some ink in the press. I'm creating a filtered section right now in my Google News (right next to my filter for the word "impeach", which incidentally has been pretty quite for the last few weeks), so here's hoping for a fun spring.

While I was thinking about districting, I decided I'd take a stab at Iraq. I think I did alright:
By my math, that's four Shiite seats, three Kurdish seats, one Sunni seat, and one seat which will be cause for everlasting armed conflict.

Which leads to this week's contest:
Whoever can take the map here:blankiraq

and "arrange" it to give the Sunnis no seats at all wins a prize! The two rules are: You must make contiguous districts, and you must have at least 5 seats (nice try to everyone whose answer was "Just hold federal elections!".) Hey everyone, institutionalized oppression is fun!

Which segues nicely into the next the next bit of news from the day. Bush was asked today how many Iraqis the US believes have been killed since the 2003 invasion. The usual answer ("dar, we don't do body-counts, yeee haw!) was surprisingly not used, and instead Bush answered "30,000 more or less". To my knowledge, that's the first time we've heard anything like a number of Iraqi casualties from the White House (correct me if I'm wrong on that). Well, those guys can write off the media and "the internets" as much as they like, but we know where they get their figures now. But that's not really the point. The point is that, for some reason, this is okay with most Americans, and Bush throwing this number out is barely getting any print. Good thing we're not racists in this country.