Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 9:30 a.m. roundup of the latest public policy news. 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.
The California Supreme Court will take up a key issue today that will likely decide whether a recent court decision striking down Prop 8 can be challenged on appeal.
A GOP-controlled panel of in the Virginia House killed a bill preventing anti-gay discrimination in that state.
“A group of Wyoming lawmakers wants to get involved in a same-sex divorce case pending before the state supreme court even as the Legislature considers measures that would bar the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.”
“The Indiana House of Representatives voted Tuesday evening to amend a ban of gay marriages and civil unions into the state’s constitution.”
“The California Supreme Court will decide Wednesday whether to plunge back into the legal battle over same-sex marriage.”
From NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center: “The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January 2011 was the 17th warmest on record” — out of 130 years — and “the January 2011 global ocean temperature was the warmest on record among all Januaries when La Niña was present.”
In a oversight committee hearing today on the Recovery Act, five out of six witnesses are part of the Koch Industries propaganda network and the sixth is an investment banker and CNBC pundit who advised John McCain’s presidential campaign.
“The oil industry immediately pounced . . on a proposal included in President Obama’s budget to slash tax credits for the oil and gas industry.”
“In what appeared to be a definitive declaration of his status as the designated heir apparent in North Korea, Kim Jong-un has been appointed to a senior position on the National Defense Commission, the country’s most powerful body, according to a report Wednesday by a leading newspaper in Seoul.”
Curveball the Iraqi “defector who triggered war on Iraq admits: ‘I lied about WMD.’
“Hours after thousands of protesters poured into this nation’s symbolic center, Pearl Square, hundreds of people carried pro-democracy protests into a third straight day on Wednesday, joining a procession to mourn a demonstrator killed in a clash with security forces.”
In his first interview since being arrested and sent to prison for running a massive ponzi scheme, Bernie Madoff said that banks “had to know” what he was doing: “But the attitude was sort of, ‘If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know.’”
According to a new report from the World Bank, “rising food prices pushed tens of millions of people into extreme poverty last year and are reaching ‘dangerous levels’ in some countries.”
Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) is following through on a campaign pledge by proposing to increase taxes on the wealthy.
Twenty-three academic groups issued a joint statement yesterday “condemning Glenn Beck, the television commentator, for language that has inspired others to make threats against Frances Fox Piven, a noted professor of sociology and political science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.”
Columbia University students are calling on their president, Lee Bollinger, to either demand changes at the for-profit colleges owned by Kaplan or resign his seat on the board of Kaplan’s parent company, the Washington Post Company.
Education innovation grants provided by the 2009 Recovery Act are working.
“Abortion-rights advocates and abortion-rights opponents don’t see eye to eye on much, but they do agree on this: Nobody hates Planned Parenthood quite as much as Mike Pence.”
“The Obama administration health department office tasked with selling the healthcare reform law is looking to quadruple its budget while almost doubling the size of its staff.”
“For the first time in 10 years, the U.S. health insurance industry is expected to report a decline in medical expenses, according to a new report by Weiss Ratings.”
Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is “brushing back criticism of his record on immigration” as he vies for the seat of retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), saying Tuesday that hits on his record from the right “won’t stick.”
A panel of South Dakota lawmakers has passed a bill to let legal immigrants in the state apply for concealed weapons permits.
The Arizona Legislature is asking a federal judge to let it become a party in the federal government’s challenge to SB-1070, citing a law they specifically passed that it would allow them to do so