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ThinkFast: March 6, 2008

Yesterday, the House passed the The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 which “would help end the stigma of mental illness and create greater access for people needing mental health and addiction treatment.”

A new Army mental health report finds that the percentage of troops “reporting depression in Afghanistan was higher than that in Iraq.” Mental health problems in general were higher than that in Iraq, and “mental health problems in general were higher than they had previously been in Afghanistan.”

At the weekly meeting of conservative leaders at the American for Tax Reform, former White House aide Tim Goeglein, who resigned after acknowledging repeated instances of plagiarism, “received three rounds of applause from the packed room, including one standing ovation, as he asked for their forgiveness.”

“The Veterans Affairs Department estimates that on any given night last year, 154,000 veterans were homeless, about a 20 percent decrease from 195,827 in the agency’s 2006 estimate.”

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Big industries are waging “an intense lobbying effort to block new, tougher limits on air pollution that is blamed for hundreds of heart attacks, deaths and cases of asthma, bronchitis and other breathing problems.” The groups met with the White House in “a last-ditch effort to keep the health standard unchanged.”

Despite cooperating with the author of new biographical article in Esquire magazine, Centcom commander Adm. William Fallon is now disavowing the piece as “poison pen stuff.” The article — which said that the White House may relieve Fallon of his position as early as this summer — is being discussed at the Pentagon, reports the Washington Post.

“Black Americans still trail whites on such basics as income, education and health,” according to a new study by the National Urban League. The study found that three times as many African-Americans as whites live below the poverty line while African-Americans are twice as likely to be jobless.

Lawyers for Jamie Leigh Jones argued in federal court yesterday that her case should be “tried in court, not settled in private arbitration.” Jones is suing defense contractor KBR over an alleged gang rape she suffered in 2005, but the company insists her contract binds her to settle all claims through arbitration.

And finally: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is not known to be fashionable. Last Friday, however, when on a train to Philadelphia with one of his aides, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Schumer joked that he has a French tailor. “His name is Jay-Cay Pennay!” shouted Schumer, giving a faux francophilic pronunciation of JC Penney. Schumer also confirmed that he does all his shopping at “Tarjay,” also known as Target.

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.