The WonkLine: August 26, 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.

National Security

“Insurgents unleashed a wave of coordinated attacks across Iraq on Wednesday…offering their counterpoint to American aspirations of bringing the war in Iraq ‘to a responsible end.’” “North Korean leader Kim Jong Il made a sudden trip to China Thursday- only hours after former United States president Jimmy Carter arrived in Pyongyang anticipating a meeting with the ailing chairman.” “The aide to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan at the center of a politically sensitive corruption investigation is being paid by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to Afghan and American officials.”


Mexican authorities found the corpses of 72 migrants from Central and South America who were killed by smugglers on their way to the U.S. The Associated Press calls the 400-square-mile ocean expanse that stretches from a bullring on the shores of Tijuana, Mexico, to suburban Los Angeles “a new frontier for illegal immigrants entering the United States.” Three Long Island teenagers who admitted targeting Latinos for violence have been sentenced to seven-year prison terms for their roles in the killing of Ecuadorean immigrant, Marcelo Lucero.

Climate Change

Peggy Venable, the Texas director of Koch’s Americans for Prosperity, calls the EPA’s Supreme Court-mandated regulation of greenhouse gases “illegal” and a “massive power grab and centralization of authority.”


“As inland areas of Southern California sweltered for a third straight day Wednesday” under record-breaking heat, “powerful lightning storms sparked brush fires, caused flash flooding and knocked down power lines that trapped bus passengers.”

“Tropical Storm Earl, the fifth named storm of the Atlantic season, developed ‘ahead of schedule’ off the coast of Africa to join Hurricane Danielle on a trek to the west, the National Hurricane Center said.”


An error by the administration of Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) cost New Jersey $400 million in Race to the Top education funding; the Education Department has rebuffed Christie’s call to appeal the decision.

According to a report by NDN the economic agenda outlines this week by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) “could exacerbate the deficit by roughly $3.7 trillion over the next ten years.”


The SEC granted “proxy access” to shareholders yesterday, “marking the latest victory for the ‘shareholder rights’ movement that has gradually chipped away power from top executives running U.S. corporations.”

Health Care

“California is moving forward toward establishing a health insurance exchange to be in compliance with the federal health reform law. The state Senate has passed two bills that provide the mechanisms and functions of the exchange.”

“California insurance regulators cleared the way Wednesday for Anthem Blue Cross to implement scaled-back rate hikes after a previous increase was canceled amid an uproar over its size.”

“After months of being pummeled by Republican attacks on the new healthcare law, the Obama administration and its allies are striking back in an attempt to stem public disaffection with the health overhaul ahead of the November election.”