The WonkLine: October 5, 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.

Climate Change

The White House will install solar panels on the roof “by spring 2011, and will heat water for the first family and supply some electricity.”

Witch hunt: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli “has sent a new civil subpoena to the University of Virginia, renewing a demand for documents related to a work of a former university climate scientist that was stymied when a judge blocked his previous request in August.”


“Freshwater is flowing into Earth’s oceans in greater amounts every year, a team of researchers has found, thanks to more frequent and extreme storms linked to global warming,” such as the recent devastating storms in North Carolina, Minnesota, and Colorado.

National Security

“A suspected U.S. drone strike killed eight militants of German nationality in northwest Pakistan on Monday.” “North Korea continues to keep the experts guessing. Last week, it promoted the third son of its current leader, Kim Jong Il, prompting speculation that he is on track to succeed his father. And now, apparently, it has commissioned construction activity at the site where it used to produce plutonium for its nuclear arsenal.” “With insurgents increasingly attacking the American fuel supply convoys that lumber across the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, the military is pushing aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy to decrease its need to transport fossil fuels.”


Rasmussen Reports released a poll on Monday show California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown (D) is now leading Meg Whitman (R) 49 percent to 44 percent following her undocumented housekeeper controversy. Miami’s three Republican Cuban-American members of Congress backed gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott (R-FL) on Monday, despite not seeing eye-to-eye with him “on one of the signature issues of their congressional careers: immigration.” Mexico and 10 other Latin American countries want a federal appeals court to consider their viewpoints in Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s appeal of a ruling that put parts of her state’s new immigration law on hold.

Health Care

“Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged Congress on Monday to turn its attention away from politics and partisan sniping and to focus on how it can successfully reform the nation’s health delivery system.”


“Conservative arguments that health-care reform is unconstitutional proceed from framing the question of what the government does in misleadingly narrow terms.”

“Many employers are reevaluating their health insurance benefits now that federal health care reform has become law. Minnesota-based 3M announced it would change its coverage for retirees-both early retirees and those over age 65.”


Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday that “he believes further asset purchases by the central bank could help the economy, a signal that the Fed is likely to make the move if the economic outlook remains weak.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that he plans to write a new version of his Roadmap for America’s Future — which privatizes Social Security and Medicare — “to help guide incoming GOP congressmen.”

Will Wall Street banks pay out their bonuses early to avoid the potential expiration of the Bush tax cuts?