The WonkLine: October 29, 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.


Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman told Fox News that the undocumented housekeeper she employed for nine years should be deported and then backtracked on the campaign trail.

NPR has released the second part of its series of reporting on the connection between Arizona’s immigration law and the private prison industry. A federal judge has denied a request by the chief sponsor of Arizona’s new immigration law, state Sen. Russell Pearce (R) to be a party in defending against the federal government’s legal challenge to the law.


A new Bloomberg poll shows that the public doesn’t think Obama cut taxes, doesn’t believe the economy has grown for four straight quarters, and doesn’t know the bank bailout is generating a profit, all of which are true.


President Obama “will portray his state visit next week to India as a big net producer of jobs for the American economy, with several US companies expected to seal deals worth billions of dollars,” the Financial Times reports.

Elizabeth Warren explains why technology is the key to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


A court ordered DOJ to release the names of people denied clemency by President George W. Bush.  One of Obama’s legal mentors believes Justice Elena Kagan will save us from all her right-wing colleagues. Justice Sotomayor, not so much. Did more Supreme Court justices attend an anti-gay, anti-choice homily than will attend next year’s State of the Union?

LGBT Equality

“A majority of active-duty and reserve service members surveyed by the Defense Department would not object to serving and living alongside openly gay troops.”


Clint McCance, “who recently encouraged gays to kill themselves on his Facebook page, said Thursday night on CNN that he plans to resign his seat.”

Proposition 8 “is not officially on the ballot again this Election Day. Gay rights advocates say it might as well be.”

Health Care

The Department of Health and Human Services is planning to ask five states to develop health IT systems “that can hopefully serve as prototypes for other states to replicate”.

“Rep. Joe Sestak, the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate, said this week that Democrats bent too far in order to pass the healthcare reform bill.”

“If he loses re-election over his ‘yes’ vote to President Barack Obama’s health care reform, U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello said it will have been worth it, simply because something had to be done, he said.”


“Higher education officials in some states are on tenterhooks about next week’s midterm elections, when voters will decide whether to infuse some much-needed cash into colleges and universities — or, in some cases, to make it harder for states to do so,” Inside Higher Ed reports.


The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy has released a new report claiming that education foundations are not doing enough to help vulnerable students.

Michelle Rhee: Outspoken until the end.

Climate Change

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, whose coal mine explosion killed 29 workers, blamed government regulation on Fox Business News for his company’s troubles. “Heavy downpours that caused rivers to burst around Thailand have killed 57 people” and affected more than 3 million “in nearly two weeks of flooding that officials are calling the worst in decades.”

Halliburton “downplayed the significance of cement testing results released publicly yesterday by the national oil spill commission and attempted to shift responsibility for the massive Gulf oil spill to BP.”

National Security

“Iran said Friday that it was ready to resume talks with the European Union about its nuclear program next month.” “North Korean troops fired shots Friday in the direction of a South Korean military unit across the border, prompting return fire, a South Korean military official said.” “Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger returned from a trip to Moscow with Silicon Valley executives with a strong message for those who are fighting against ratification of the New START nuclear treaty with Russia.”