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The WonkLine: May 20, 2011

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"The WonkLine: May 20, 2011"

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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.

 

Immigration

Undocumented immigrants and their families who harvest southeast Georgia’s trademarked sweet vidalia onions are considering leaving rather than risk deportation under the state’s new immigration law.

Newt Gingrich once again stated that a system similar to the World War Two-era U.S. draft boards that chose who would serve in the military might help deal with the millions of immigrants living in the United States illegally.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) says an Arizona-style immigration law would be both unnecessary and divisive for his state.

Climate Change

Massey Energy “operated its mines in a profoundly reckless manner, and 29 coal miners paid with their lives for the corporate risk-taking.”

“The cost of the Horseshoe 2 Fire, now the largest wildfire ever recorded in Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains, is immense in terms of natural resources, time, money and lost opportunity.”

“A dire drought that has plagued Texas and parts of Oklahoma expanded across the key farming state of Kansas over the last week, adding to struggles of wheat farmers already dealing with weather-ravaged fields.”


LGBT Equality

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who has hosted Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, and Tim Pawlenty on his show (among others), yesterday said that gay people are (literally) Nazis and the LGBT movement is “the Spanish Inquisition all over again.”

Nearly all military cadets have now seen the required hour-long training briefing on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

An Arizona teenager, Caleb Laieski, is in DC lobbying Congress to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which could get its key vote in June.

Justice

“Even the Republican who said he ‘will vote to support a vote, up or down, on every nominee—understanding that, were I in the minority party and the issues reversed, I would take exactly the same position because this document, our Constitution, does not equivocate’—even that guy (Sen. Johnny Isakson, 2005) voted against Liu.”

Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have agreed to a four year extension of the Patriot Act.

Indeed, it does seem foolish to elect judges.


National Security

Massey Energy “operated its mines in a profoundly reckless manner, and 29 coal miners paid with their lives for the corporate risk-taking.”

“The cost of the Horseshoe 2 Fire, now the largest wildfire ever recorded in Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains, is immense in terms of natural resources, time, money and lost opportunity.”

“A dire drought that has plagued Texas and parts of Oklahoma expanded across the key farming state of Kansas over the last week, adding to struggles of wheat farmers already dealing with weather-ravaged fields.”

Education

With the cost of education soaring, many universities across the country are pushing streamlined degree programs to allow students to graduate in three years.

An overhaul of the controversial No Child Left Behind law has started in the House, but partisan differences may halt the much-needed improvements.

Fourteen DC classrooms are under investigation for cheating following a unusually high scores in standardized test results.


Economy

In a speech to the National Press Club today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will declare Labor will no longer blindly back the Democratic Party, but the candidate that best supports the working class.

A recent study of the post-recession economy shows that the healthcare industry added the most jobs, while construction took the biggest hits.

Despite reports of a recovering economy, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago warns it would be dangerous for the Fed to pull back on stimulus funding.

Health Care

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took a direct stab at Paul Ryan (R-WI) as she toured Wisconsin nursing homes yesterday touting the benefits of Medicare.

Georgia could see a $47.6 billion cut in federal funding if Republicans are successful in repealing Obama’s health care law, raising fears health care could become inaccessible for thousands of residents on Medicaid.

A survey released this week showed that the cost of this year’s health care claims are running slightly ahead of a year ago, as employers reduce their overall coverage to deal with rapidly rising costs.


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