TAKING THE PENTAGON TO TASK. The Pentagon today admittedtoday it's understaffed on doctors to treat mental illness. The House Veterans Affairs Committee has already begun the process of gathering expert evidence to support more funds designated for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses. The Pentagon's task force estimated as many as 40 percent of returning soldiers may suffer from some form of mental illness, and National Guard members are reporting higher levels of stress than other branches.
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.