The WonkLine: August 12, 2010

Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 9:30 a.m. roundup of the latest news about health care, the economy, national security, immigration and climate policy. This is what we’re reading. Tell us what you found in the comments section below. You can also follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.



“In an acknowledgment that the foreclosure crisis is far from over, the Obama administration on Wednesday pumped $3 billion into programs intended to stop the unemployed from losing their homes,” the New York Times reports.

“The U.S. ran a surprisingly large trade deficit in June” — the largest since the financial crisis hit in 2008 — “raising concerns that the economic recovery is losing steam faster than previously thought.”

According to the latest available Census data, Social Security is keeping nearly 20 million Americans out of poverty.


The Immigration Policy Center points out that a study showing that one in 12 babies born in the U.S. in 2008 were offspring of undocumented immigrants is misleading.

Due to the state’s crackdown on illegal immigration, there has been a sharp and notable decrease in day laborers seeking work in Arizona.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is getting blasted by the GOP for saying, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.”


“Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic face millions of dollars of damage” after flood waters carved “a swath of destruction” and “have killed at least 11 people in central Europe and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses,” while “overnight thunderstorms brought new misery to a remote area of northwestern China as the death toll from weekend flooding and massive landslides rose to 1,117.”

“Pakistani flood survivors already short on food and water began the fasting month of Ramadan on Thursday” as “one fifth of the nation is underwater,” and for “many in the Middle East, the dawn-to-dusk fast poses a particular challenge amid a sweltering heatwave.”

The Madagascar lemur is threatened by global warming.

Health Care

“The Goldwater Institute said it will file a lawsuit challenging federal health care reform passed by Congress earlier this year. Goldwater attorney Clint Bolick will announce details of the suit Thursday in Phoenix.”

“Maine residents will now be able to go online to learn about the benefits of federal health care reform. The state launched a new website yesterday which offers a full outline of the Affordable Care Act as well as Maine’s plan for implementation. ”

“Health plans will lobby lawmakers and regulators over the August recess for greater flexibility to avoid some provisions of the healthcare reform law.”