The WonkLine: September 30, 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.


California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman said she had “no idea” that her housekeeper and nanny of nine years, Nicky Diaz Santillan, was undocumented until shortly before her campaign started when she fired her. A controversial federal fingerprinting program, Secure Communities, that automatically checks the immigration status of suspects booked into local jails officially went statewide in Texas yesterday. With only seven days remaining for citizens to register to vote in Arizona before the upcoming elections, volunteers from Promise Arizona have registered 7,105 new Latino voters in the state since June.

Climate Change

“We tend not to be very good at chunks” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), responding to President Obama’s call for climate legislation to be handled in “chunks.” “But then, you could argue that we tend not to be very good at big things, either.”


“With temperatures above-average all year, NOAA’s models show a strong potential for coral bleaching in the southern and southeastern Caribbean through October.”

“The world’s rivers are in crisis including in North America and Europe where governments have invested trillions of dollars to clean up freshwater supplies,” a study showed Wednesday.


The Senate confirmed two of Obama’s Federal Reserve Board nominees last night; approval of Obama’s third nominee, Peter Diamond, has been held up by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL).

Reuters reports that AIG and the Treasury have “laid out a plan for the insurer to eventually repay taxpayers in full, just over two years after it was rescued from the brink of collapse.”


The House of Representatives yesterday “passed legislation that would punish China for undervaluing its currency”; China quickly criticized the bill as “contrary to WTO rules.”

Health Care

“A push by Republicans to scuttle the U.S. health overhaul by denying funding through the House’s constitutional control over appropriations is gaining momentum.”

“As Democrats and Republicans gird themselves for a fight over President Obama’s health care law, the leading health care reform coalition in the country is locked in a brawl with the 60-Plus Association — a corporate-backed organization posing as a senior citizen’s advocacy group.”

A new study out of Sweden “showed a small reduction in long-term breast cancer mortality rates among women who begin getting mammograms in their 40s”

National Security

“Pakistan closed the most important border crossing for trucks supplying NATO-led coalition troops in Afghanistan on Thursday in apparent retaliation for an attack by coalition helicopters on a Pakistani security post hours earlier.” “The U.S. government is working furiously to counter a plot to attack several European public targets, CIA chief Leon Panetta told the head of Pakistan’s intelligence community Wednesday.” “In a sweeping action meant to regain the confidence of jittery investors, the Irish government said Thursday that it expected to inject as much as 40 billion into two of its largest banks, underscoring the extent to which they continued to jeopardize the country’s fiscal condition.”