The WonkLine: March 14, 2011

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 hacker organization Anonymous “released a series of e-mails on Monday provided by a former Bank of America employee who claims they show how a division of the bank sought to hide information on foreclosures.”

“Republican lawmakers are preparing this week to introduce a series of legislative proposals to gradually reduce the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

House Republicans are looking at adding Social Security cuts to their 2012 budget proposal.

LGBT Equality

“The Maryland House of Delegates effectively killed a measure Friday that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state — halting momentum in a year in which proponents thought they would prevail.”

“Newly proposed legislation by two Democratic legislators would ensure that LGBT Americans are covered by COBRA insurance benefits if their partner becomes unemployed.”

West Virginia “lawmakers did not act in time” and “bills meant to protect the people of West Virginia from discrimination based upon sexual orientation” will not be added into the anti-discrimination law this year.


Lou Dobbs — who is known for his anti-immigrant tirades on CNN — is back on television and debuts his new hour-long show today on Fox Business Network.

Yuma’s two state representatives, Lynne Pancrazi (D-AZ) and Russ Jones (R-AZ), say they will vote against three anti-immigrant bills should the measures make it to the House of Representatives.

A federal judge set an April 1 hearing for arguments over the Arizona Legislature’s request to become a party in the U.S. Justice Department’s challenge to the state’s immigration enforcement law.


“Despite the Obama administration’s promise to increase openness and transparency, the Justice Department is stepping up prosecution of those who leak classified information.”

The Eleventh Circuit Court “has agreed to act swiftly in considering a Florida judge’s ruling that President Obama’s health care overhaul is unconstitutional.”

In recent weeks, the Supreme Court has been nearly unanimous “in dealing defeats to employers and to corporations…they have also taken the side of hard-luck plaintiffs who were mistreated by the government.”

Climate Change

“A fresh explosion rocked a crippled nuclear complex as rescuers from around the world converged on Japan’s devastated earthquake zone, searching for survivors and ministering to the sick and hungry.”

On the Sunday shows, Republicans embraced Bill Clinton’s complaint that delays in drilling permits are “ridiculous.”

“Corn, the world’s second-most- widely grown grain, may be more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought,” based on a study led by Stanford University that examined data from field trials.

National Security

“The risk of partial meltdown at a stricken nuclear power plant in Japan increased on Monday as cooling systems failed at a third reactor, possibly exposing its fuel rods, only hours after a second explosion at a separate reactor blew the roof off a containment building.”

“Military forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi cranked up military and psychological pressure against rebels on two fronts on Monday, offering an amnesty to those who surrendered their weapons while bombing a strategic linchpin in the east and surrounding a rebel-held town in the west.”

“Friday’s earthquake and tsunami have left parts of Japan’s economy ‘frozen’, but analysts forecast that it will bounce back later this year.”


During a speech today, President Obama “will call for a less Washington-centric approach to education reform which would give more power to state and local governments.”

The Florida statehouse this week will take up a teacher pay proposal that the state senate “made quick work of” last week.

Jule Margetts-Morgan looks at how the government can be more effective in providing students information about college.

Health Care

Mexico has “put its schoolchildren on a diet,” and implemented “new guidelines that are intended to combat childhood obesity.”

A new study “released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, indicated that the number of cancer survivors increased by about 20 percent in just six years.”

“A Senate health care panel takes a look [today] at a bill that would bar Minnesota from participating in the federal health care overhaul.”