The WonkLine: September 1, 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

“President Obama declared an end on Tuesday to the seven-year American combat mission in Iraq, saying that the United States has met its responsibility to that country and that it is now time to turn to pressing problems at home.” “Palestinian security forces arrested more than 250 Hamas members in an overnight sweep throughout the West Bank after the Islamic militant group claimed responsibility for shooting dead four Israelis ahead of new Mideast peace talks.” “President Obama is attempting a triple play this week that eluded his predecessors over the past two decades: simultaneous progress on the most vexing and violent problems in the Middle East — Israeli-Palestinian peace, Iraq and Iran.”

Health Care

“The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a ballot initiative that sought to amend the state’s constitution to establish that Florida residents have a right to refuse to purchase mandatory health insurance — including under President Obama’s reform effort.”


“A ballot measure that would ban abortions in every circumstance goes before Colorado voters this fall. And on Tuesday, opponents and supporters of the so-called ‘Personhood Amendment’ squared off at the State Capitol.”

“Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) this week lashed out at Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman after the Republican lawmaker urged state educators to back a repeal of healthcare reform — or risk losing their jobs.”


Despite “the prospect of a torturous death” and “the bitter wrath they face in Arizona,” immigrants continue to say “the state’s vast, sparsely populated terrain is still the best place” to cross into the U.S. Florida’s Latino Republicans are urging gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott (R-AZ) to back away from his tough immigration stance before the midterm election and encouraging him to consider a Latino running mate, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) is “turning a deaf ear to requests that his administration not pursue civil immigration law-enforcement powers.”


According to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies, last year “the CEOs who laid off the most people brought home pay that was significantly higher than that of their peers.”


A growing number of schools have adopted value-added modeling to evaluate teachers, “provoking battles from Washington to Los Angeles.”

Bank profits surged to $21.6 billion in the second quarter, while “the 10 banks that received the most bailout aid during the financial crisis spent over $16 million on lobbying efforts in the first half of 2010”