The WonkLine: November 9, 2010

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.

National Security

“President Obama said Monday that the United States would support adding India as a permanent member of an expanded U.N. Security Council.” “The Turkish president has said his country expects to host talks between Iran and six major powers on Tehran’s controversial nuclear program ‘some time soon.’” Reviewing George W. Bush’s new memoir, Stephen Walt warns us away from nostalgia: “Bush’s presidency really was that bad — and the fact that Obama has largely followed the same course is less a measure of Bush’s wisdom than a reminder of the depth of the hole he dug his country into.”


FDIC Chair Sheila Bair said yesterday that she will leave the agency when her term is up in at the end of next year. “I do not want to be reappointed,” she said.


Wall Street is worried that a judge who considered a mortgage company’s paperwork in a foreclosure case so flawed “that he erased the family’s $292,500 debt and gave the house back for free” will set a precedent.

“Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and George Voinovich (R-OH) have written to the chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform advocating for a 25-cent per gallon tax increase,” The Hill reports.


Right-wing Members of Congress have formed a Tenth Amendment Task Force to impose their tenther vision on the rest of the country. The judge in the multi-state lawsuit challenge the Affordable Care Act could hand down a decision by January. Is today’s anti-consumer lawsuit being argued in the Supreme Court “consumer protection’s Citizens United?”

LGBT Equality

“The Obama administration reiterated its support Monday for repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) worked to strip language repealing the ban from the annual defense authorization bill.”


“An assistant attorney general in Michigan is out of a job, fired after targeting an openly gay University of Michigan student leader.”

“A Brazilian gay man who only recently reunited with his Massachusetts-born husband might now face deportation.”


New Mexico Gov.-elect Susana Martinez (R) told Univision over the weekend that she would not embrace the aspect of Arizona’s law requiring police officers to check people’s immigration status upon establishing reasonable suspicion. Texas State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R) camped out at the empty Capitol to be first in line Monday morning to file legislation targeting undocumented immigrants and ballot security. Melissa del Bosque posted a riveting exposé on what happens to undocumented children once they are deported to Mexico without their families.


A new report by the Council of the Great City Schools finds that the achievement gap between black and white students is larger than previously thought.


“As the state and federal governments investigate for-profit colleges, the industry is being hit with a series of lawsuits by former students and employees,” Education Week reports.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) said that education reform — including revising No Child Left Behind — “is one action both parties can agree to take” following last week’s election.

Climate Change

International negotiators are looking to the Montreal Protocol which tackled ozone-depleting chemicals to limit the super-greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons.

The Nashville floods in May cost the city a year’s worth of economic activity, or $2.65 billion.

Britain, Haiti, Pakistan, Bangalore, and South Africa are being battered by extreme rains and flooding.

Health Care

The AMA is calling on current members of Congress to pass another temporary block on scheduled pay cuts to be followed by a permanent fix.”

“Republicans’ consolidation of power in state capitols is likely to expand the number of states that employ a far more limited, free-market-oriented approach to implementing the nation’s new health-care law.”

“Americans increasingly are turning to health insurance plans with low premiums and high deductibles.”