GERRYMANDERING FOR DUMMIES. A video game called the Redistricting Game premiered this week. Gamers can dramatically alter the outcomes in a series of fake elections simply by redrawing the lines -- if Tom DeLay could do it, why can't you? You can even test it out yourself.
WHICH IS WORSE? Yesterday, members of the House Committee on Education and Labor gathered for a postmortem on last month's Ledbetter v. Goodyear ruling, where Lilly Ledbetter testified. Rep. Ric Keller asked Ledbetter about the sexual harassment she was subjected to and sympathized, and he suggested that sexual harassment was "worse" than pay discrimination.
SUICIDE SOLDIERS. The BBC reports that a study published recently by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Healthindicates that soldiers are more than twice as likely to commit suicide than the general civilian population.
VA RATING SYSTEM. Via WaPo: the Institute of Medicine released a report yesterday asking the department of Veterans Affairs to update its rating system to evaluate disabled veterans. This system, which has been around in some form since World War II, doesn't account for many kinds of brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. Adjustments to iitwould allow veterans with such disabilities to get a higher rating, and therefore greater disability compensation.
MINNESOTA POLITICIANS. Brother Ezra asked today at lunch, "What's the deal with Al Franken?" It was a good question. I hadn't heard much in a little while about his Senate bid in Minnesota. Polling showsthat Franken is likely to win the nomination, as he leads trial lawyer and fellow DFL contender Mike Ciresi 52-29, but [corrected from the original] that even if Franken does get the nomination, incumbent Norm Coleman currently has him beat by about 22 points in a general match-up.