The WonkLine: April 26, 2010

Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 10 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.

Climate Change

“Don’t let this happen again,” President Barack Obama told mourners of 29 fallen miners in West Virginia as the United Mine Workers announced it “will be part of the investigation” and Wall Street remains bullish on Massey Energy.

“We have to get people to understand what scientists understand: Global warming is unequivocal,” climatologist Stephen Schneider told over ten thousand activists gathered for Earth Day on the National Mall Sunday, and Rev. Jesse Jackson made what he called “a moral appeal” for climate action. “The scientists have given us warning; it’s time to fight back.”


U.S. agencies on Sunday approved a plan to “seal a leaking oil well beneath a drilling rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico last week,” killing eleven workers.

National Security

“At least two people have been killed in a double bomb blast that reportedly targeted a police chief in the Afghan city of Kandahar, officials say.”

“Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has moved to delay any leadership challenge from the far right in his Likud party as the United States tries to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.” The Likud’s 2,500-strong Central Committee votes on Thursday on a proposal backed by Netanyahu to amend the right-wing party’s constitution so that elections to its institutions, due this year, can be delayed for up to another two years.

“Anti-government protesters are blocking roads in Thailand’s provinces, raising fears the political crisis may spread beyond the capital, Bangkok.”


“Two key Republican lawmakers joined a growing GOP effort Sunday to halt the push for immigration reform, arguing the time is not right to take on the massive and complex issue,” CNN reports on recent comments by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).


Larry Summers, chief economic adviser to President Obama, said that administration wants to pursue both climate change and immigration legislation, indicating that there is “no either/or” between the two issues.

Sen. John McCain may think that Arizona’s immigration law is a “good tool,” but his daughter, Meghan McCain, opposes it, writing that it is a “bad law “ that gives police “license to discriminate.”

Health Care

“Doctors who accept speaking fees, five-star meals and other compensation from pharmaceutical or medical device companies will soon see their names — and the value of the gifts they accept — revealed on the Web, under a new federal law that follows several states in drawing attention to such financial benefits.”

“With differences remaining between the House and Senate — — and a possible veto by Gov. Charlie Crist looming — — an overhaul of Florida’s Medicaid system will not pass this year, legislative leaders said Sunday.”

“Mississippi lawmakers are arguing over whether to pass a bill banning public funding of abortion once all parts of a federal health care law are in place in 2014.