The WonkLine: October 8, 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

“Liu Xiaobo, an impassioned literary critic, political essayist and democracy advocate repeatedly jailed by the Chinese government for his writings, won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.’” “North Korea appears to be moving forward with a program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, a development that would enhance its ability to produce bombs and sell its nuclear weapons technology abroad” “Afghan private security forces with ties to the Taliban, criminal networks and Iranian intelligence have been hired to guard American military bases in Afghanistan…according to a Senate investigation.”


The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent in September, as the private sector added 64,000 jobs and the government shed 159,000.


The FDIC is expected to release its new rules for dismantling a failed bank soon, as “part of a broader effort to end the era when certain institutions were judged ‘too big to fail’.”

“European regulators plan tougher-than-expected restrictions on bankers’ pay, in spite of concerns raised by French, UK and Spanish officials,” the Financial Times reports.

Climate Change

“If Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, they likely would try to stop EPA regulation of carbon by explicitly banning the use of EPA funds to administer such regulations,” Reuters’ Richard Cowen writes.

“Large-scale crop failures like the one that caused the recent Russian wheat crisis are likely to become more common under climate change due to an increased frequency of extreme weather events,” a new study shows.


The “Global Work Party” is “designed to couple grassroots environmental activism with political engagement in communities across the world” to fight global warming on Oct. 10, 2010–10/10/10.

Health Care

“The Department of Health and Human Services quietly changed the web version of a speech in which HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described how the health care overhaul is going to affect Medicare Advantage plans, a controversial section of the law, after aides to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) challenged its accuracy.”

“Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is urging legislation requiring the Obama administration to field public comments on all regulations related to the new healthcare reform law.”

“About 13% of parents with health insurance say they haven’t gotten pediatrician-recommended care for their children due to costs, a new survey in Ohio finds.”