Currently viewing the tag: “2011”


The Ten Most Promising Pilots For Fall 2011 (Plus One Guaranteed Bomb)
What’s Going On At Uproxx

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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.

 

Health Care

“Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says patient outcomes in the United States are like those in ‘a developing country‘ – and that they’ll stay that way if the health care reform law is repealed.”

“The Obama administration proposed long-awaited regulations on Thursday encouraging doctors and hospitals to band together, coordinate care and cut costs. ”

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “said late Thursday that the Senate will directly take up H.R. 4, the House’s 1099 repeal bill, on Tuesday, with debate beginning at 11 a.m.”

Justice

The Chamber of Commerce is very, very angry that President Obama nominated John McConnell to the federal bench.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s ally on the Supreme Court, Justice David Prosser, just lost the co-chair of his reelection campaign. Former Gov. Patrick Lucey cited Prosser’s “disturbing distemper” and his lack of impartiality as his reason for abandoning the Prosser campaign

President Obama also nominated openly gay attorney Alison Nathan to a federal trial court in New York yesterday, making her Obama’s third openly gay nominee.


Immigration

Immigration rights advocates on called on President Obama to use executive authority to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants being deported, and vowed a city-by-city campaign to press the issue.

The Arizona Republic reports that “Other states may have learned from Arizona’s mistake: The expected copy-cat immigration laws have not – so far – materialized.”

According to new Department of Labor statistics Latinos earn less than whites or African Americans.

Education

“An education reform bill that makes it easier for school boards to fire poor performing teachers was approved on Thursday by the Oklahoma state Senate,” sending it to Gov. Mary Fallin (R).

The accreditor for the University of Phoenix — a for-profit college — is “intensifying a review of [the school’s] recruiting and admissions practices.”

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights “will open an investigation to review Yale’s policies for dealing with sexual harassment and sexual assault. The investigation comes in response to a Title IX complaint filed against the University.”


National Security

Another senior Libyan government official, Ali Abdussalam el-Treki, a former foreign minister and a former UN ambassador, defected to Egypt yesterday, “stirring talk of others to follow and a crackdown to stop them.”

NATO has “>warned Libyan rebels not to attack civilians as they fight government forces. “We will be compelled to defend civilians, whether pro-Qaddafi or pro-opposition,” a senior Obama official said.

It appears the Bahraini government has successfully cracked down — sometimes violently — on protesters there demanding reform. A state-run newspaper has declared the Persian Gulf island “ “>back on track.”

Economy

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, payrolls grew by 216,000 last month and the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.8 percent.

Last night, Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) “signed a bill that limits collective bargaining rights for hundreds of thousands of Ohioans,” but “opponents of the bill said they will seek the 230,000 signatures needed to put a referendum [to overturn the law] on the November ballot.”

“Boeing received at least $ 5.3bn in US subsidies that helped it launch its groundbreaking 787 Dreamliner passenger jet much faster than it could otherwise,” the World Trade Organization ruled yesterday.


Climate Change

Southern California is baking in a record heat wave, tornadoes are battering Florida, and major flooding is hitting Washington state.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced legislation that “would require lease sales for offshore oil exploration, open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling, mandate action on onshore drilling permits and block EPA climate regulations.”

Dr. Kerry Emanuel offered a valorous defense of science at yesterday’s joke of a climate change hearing by the House Science Committee.

LGBT Equality

After more than five hours of testimony, a bill to support civil unions failed in the Colorado House Judiciary Committee.

At his Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell discharge hearing yesterday, Petty Officer 2nd Class Derek Morado was retained and allowed to continue serving.

A new Institute of Medicine report shows LGBT health has been grossly understudied and calls for data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity.


Wonk Room

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The Democrats have abandoned their responsibility to the country.
American Thinker Blog

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The Labor Department reports that the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate dipped to a two-year low of 8.8 percent. The second straight month of solid job growth marked “a decisive shift in the labor market that should help to underpin the economic recovery.”

In a floor speech and a letter to Senate leaders yesterday, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) attacked the GOP proposed cuts as “irresponsible” and urged both sides of the aisle to reach a bipartisan deal. Brown slammed leaders for offering a false choice between small cuts or proposals “that establish the wrong priorities that would disproportionately affect low-income families and seniors.”

Tea Party activists rallying at the Capitol yesterday slammed Republican leadership for compromising on the budget rather than “risking blame for a shutdown.” One Tea Party Patriot leader told Republican leadership to “take off your lace panties,” “stop being noodle-backs,” and take an “unwavering stand” for spending cuts.

Traditionally a Republican constituency, police and firefighters are rapidly turning to Democrats after assaults on their union rights in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere. “Who are these evil teachers who teach your children, these evil policemen who protect them, these evil firemen who pull them from burning buildings? When did we all become evil?” asked the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police.

In an interview with Politico, senior FCC commissioner Michael Copps blasted the planned AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile. He warned that the merger would give a “lot of power and a lot of influence…to one company in a world where two companies are going to control, like, 80 percent of the spectrum.”

President Obama’s top two national security officials said yesterday that the U.S. is unlikely to arm the Libyan rebels. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “because of the unknowns” about who the rebels were connected to, she opposed the move; Defense Secretary Robert Gates also came out against arming the rebels but said maybe other countries would.

“The Afghan Taliban are showing signs of increasing strain after a number of killings, arrests and internal disputes that have reached them even in their haven in Pakistan.” Taliban commanders “have now gone underground” in their Pakistani havens where they used to operate brazenly, and fighters are “struggling in some areas to continue the fight.

The Arizona Republic notes in an editorial that other states are “not following Arizona’s lead” in drafting anti-immigrant legislation. The editorial says that states are “wising up about the folly of what Arizona did.”

And finally: New Jersey is facing steep cuts to education funding, but apparently not steep enough to keep Jersey Shore’s Snooki from receiving a $ 32,000 speaking fee from Rutgers University, a public school. The school paid her to “dish on her hairstyle, fist pumps” and her lifestyle — $ 2,000 more than it paid Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison to deliver the schools commencement address.

For breaking news and updates throughout the day, follow ThinkProgress on Facebook and Twitter.

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Last year before the 2010 season started I looked at how a couple different projection systems saw the season playing out. With this season just one day old, I wanted to do the same for the 2011 projections. Here I take a graphical look at the number of wins six systems project for every team and plot those out for each division separately. This gives a good picture of the range of predictions and how much consensus there is across systems.

I used five projection systems for which I could get win totals and the Vegas regular season over/under win totals. I grabbed the Marcel, “>Bill James and Cairo projections complied by the folks at RLYW who ran the player-level projections for those systems through the Diamond Mind Simulator to get win totals. I also used THT’s Oliver and BPro’s Pecota projections (as of March 30th). The Vegas lines are from Pinnacle Sports, so they are not really Vegas’s numbers but the offshore ones (also as of March 30th).

AL_East_2011.png

All of the projections systems see a pretty clear ordering of the five AL east teams, with a slight disagreement in the cellar dweller Toronto (Marcel, Cairo, Bill James, Pecota) or Baltimore (THT, Vegas). I was surprised to see Baltimore come out on top of Toronto in so many projections. Although not a difference in ordering, THT is not nearly as fond of Tampa Bay as the other systems are. And interestingly Vegas has a lower win total for the Yankees than any other system, I always assumed that there would be a pro-Yankees bias among bettors.

AL_Central_2011.png

All six projections see the AL Central as pretty clearly two-tiered — with Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit competing for the division title and then Cleveland and KC a solid ten wins behind. Though everyone likes Cleveland more than Kansas City. As in the AL East THT has some outlier values, projecting more extreme values for Detroit, Cleveland and Kansas City

AL_West_2011.png

The AL West is similarly two-tiered — with Texas and Oakland at the top, and Los Angeles and Seattle bringing up the rear. There is only one disagreement in the ordering with THT thinking Seattle is above Los Angeles. THT also likes the top two teams much more than the other systems do. Vegas is pretty high on LA, seeing them just a slight step behind the Texas and Oakland. If you have faith in the projection systems over the bettors and bookmakers an under on the Angels is a clear play.

NL_East_2011.png

There is a farily well agreed upon ordering in the NL East,.THT is again something of an outlier projecting New York and Florida as fairly even while everyone else clearly prefers Florida, and is the only system that likes Atlanta over Philadelphia to win the division. If you trust the projections systems over Vegas this division offers two opportunities: the under on Philly and the over on New York.

NL_Central_2011.png

Sorry about the color choice here. Both St. Louis and Cincinnati deserve red, but their lines are very close so to keep things distinct. So I went with black for Cincinnati and red for St. Louis. This is another two-tiered division with four teams fairly close at the top (though Chicago is at the bottom of the top tier in most systems) and then two bottom dwellers. Like the AL Central this is projected to be a pretty competitive conference. Again THT is something of an outlier liking Cincinnati and St. Louis much more than the other systems.

NL_West_2011.png

Five of the six systems like San Francisco to repeat at NL West champions, with Marcel the lone dissenter picking Los Angeles. THT is again the most bullish about the favorite’s win total, as it is the only system projecting more than 90 wins for San Francisco. Vegas likes Colorado by a fairly big margin compared to the projection systems, so there is another play if you are so inclined.

Baseball Analysts

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The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com

CNN: Obama administration pushes dual-track policy in Libya
Despite having CIA agents on the ground and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s exit as stated policy, U.S. officials continue to say the NATO-led military mission in Libya is only for its authorized humanitarian purposes. The seeming discrepancy is part of a delicate diplomatic posture by the Obama administration on the complex overseas operation that involves a U.N. Security Council resolution, a multinational military force and the symbolism of presidential statements and actions. With the military mission shifting Thursday to a new phase of full NATO control after initial U.S. leadership, divisions among alliance partners and within Congress became more evident, exacerbated by the administration’s differing military and political goals.

CNN: Feinstein: U.S. shouldn’t arm rebels
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said Thursday that we should not arm rebels in Libya as “we got burned” in previous wars by doing so. In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the California Democrat said, “We did in Afghanistan; we got burned by it. We did in Iraq; we got burned by it. In other words, those weapons cropped up later being used against us, and I don’t think that’s something we ought to do.”

CNN: Israeli president to visit White House next week
As several of Israel’s neighbors deal with tumult in the streets, the Jewish state’s President Shimon Peres will visit President Barack Obama for the first time in nearly two years, a White House press release said. During a working lunch on April 5, the two leaders plan to discuss U.S.-Israeli security cooperation, recent developments across the Middle East, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and its neighbors, the White House said. The longstanding friendship between Israel and the United States has become strained since Obama took office in 2009, often regarding the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Palestinian-controlled territory annexed by Israel from Jordan in the Six Day War in 1967.

CNN: Tea Party puts pressure on Boehner
As Tea Party activists rallied outside the Capitol to urge House Speaker John Boehner not to compromise on government spending cuts, Boehner insisted he’s continuing to fight for the House-passed spending cut bill, but he also warned those conservatives that there’s a limit to what the Republican-led House can do. “We control one third of one half of the government here in Washington. We can’t impose our will on another body. We can’t impose our will on the Senate,” Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference. “All we can do is to fight for all the spending cuts that we can get an agreement to and the spending limitations as well,” Boehner added.

CNN: Republican senators push for balanced budget amendment
More than a dozen Republican senators announced Thursday they would push for a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to pass an annual balanced budget. “It’s an historic day for the Republican Party. We all agree on something,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, joked, as he spoke about the proposed amendment that has the support of all 47 Republican senators. “A balanced budget amendment will make us do here what everybody has to do at home,” Graham said during a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Politico: GOP plans $ 1 trillion cut to Medicaid
House Republicans are planning to cut roughly $ 1 trillion over 10 years from Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled, as part of their fiscal 2012 budget, which they will unveil early next month, according to several GOP sources. Though Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has yet to lock in his final numbers, he made clear to POLITICO in February that he intends to target Medicaid and Medicare for savings. While Medicaid is easiest to win consensus on, Medicare is the biggest debt driver. It’s not yet clear how much Ryan hopes to cut from Medicare, and he and GOP leaders have been reluctant to discuss their plans for the other entitlement behemoth: Social Security. But they’ve made clear that they don’t consider Social Security to be as pressing an issue as Medicare and Medicaid.

CNNMoney: GE chief defends company’s zero tax bill
The chief of General Electric (GE, Fortune 500) on Thursday defended the conglomerate’s zero tax rate in 2010, and called for reform of the U.S. tax code. In his first public speaking engagement since a barrage of criticism about not having to pay taxes in 2010, GE chief executive Jeff Immelt told the Economic Club in Washington that his company did nothing wrong. “At GE, we do like to keep our tax rate low, but we do it in a compliant way, and there are no exceptions,” Immelt said. “Our tax rate will be much higher in 2011 as GE Capital recovers.” But Immelt added that he, along with many other corporate leaders, wants the federal government to reform the U.S. tax code, which he called “old, complex and uncompetitive.”

CNN: Gingrich’s next deadline: May
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is setting one more deadline for making a decision about entering the 2012 presidential race. Gingrich said Thursday he plans to make a final decision about entering the presidential race in May. “We are trying to finish out the exploratory process, and I think by the first week of May we will have done that,” Gingrich told reporters on Capitol Hill.

CNN: Barbour to seek funding for civil rights museum
Likely presidential candidate Haley Barbour, the Mississippi governor who has faced charges of racial insensitivity in recent months, said Thursday he will seek funding from the Mississippi legislature for a civil rights museum in the state. In a statement issued Thursday, Barbour said he will formally ask for funding for two museums – one focusing on Mississippi’s history and the other on civil rights – when the legislature returns to complete the budget. “These museums will enhance Mississippi’s image and play a critical role in education and tourism,” the Republican governor said in a statement.

CNN: Cain: Media afraid of a ‘real black man’
Potential 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain said the media is afraid “a real black man might run against Barack Obama.” At a Wednesday appearance in Florida, Cain said if he were elected president “you get a chance to be batting .500" with black presidents. “If you think about the first 43 presidents, they were all white. Were they all great? I think you have a few duds in that group,” Cain said according to a video posted on Shark Tank, a local political site in the sunshine state. “So now you get a chance to be batting .500.”

USA Today: Nixon library now tells full Watergate story
Two decades after his presidential library opened to the public, and almost 37 years after he left office, Richard Nixon’s museum is taking a clear-eyed view of the scandal that forced him from the White House. The Nixon Presidential Library and Museum opened its long-awaited Watergate Gallery on Thursday, replacing a version of history written and financed by Nixon’s friends that dismissed the scandal as a political coup by Democrats. The $ 500,000 remaking of the Watergate section of the museum by the National Archives, which took control of the Nixon library and museum in 2007, has interactive exhibits and displays describing the scandal and cover-up that led to the president’s resignation and criminal convictions of aides.

NATIONAL
For the latest national news: www.CNN.com

CNN: CDC records rise in birth rate for women over 40
The birth rate for women over 40 in the United States rose between 2007 and 2009. Among every other age group, however, the birth rate fell during the same period, according to a report released by the Centers Disease for Control and Prevention. According to the study, women between 40 and 44 experienced a 6% increase in birth rate during the time period. There were 9.5 births for every thousand women in that age group in 2007, 10.1 births per thousand in 2009. Younger mothers had more babies per thousand women during the time period, however, birth rates declined for every age group under 40, according to the study released Thursday.

INTERNATIONAL
For the latest international news: http://edition.cnn.com

CNN: Gadhafi exile option poses many legal, political problems
There is a growing focus among the international coalition on the “end game” in Libya, and whether one option would be to persuade Moammar Gadhafi to step down and go into exile. But there are mixed signals from the allies about whether that’s feasible or desirable. And there’s another obstacle: the ongoing investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the request of the UN Security Council into alleged “crimes against humanity” by the Libyan leader. Last week, the chief prosecutor at the court said he was 100% certain that his investigation would lead to charges against Gadhafi and members of his inner circle. Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he was investigating six incidents of violence against civilians in February and was trying to establish who was responsible.

CNN: Official: Tens of thousands of evacuees can’t head home for months
Tens of thousands evacuated from around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant may not be allowed home for months, a Japanese minister said Friday, with no end in sight for the nuclear crisis as fresh concerns mount about alarming radiation levels in beef, seawater and groundwater. While he didn’t set a firm timetable, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said people who’d lived within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the nuclear facility would not return home permanently in “a matter of days or weeks. It will be longer than that.” “The evacuation period is going to be longer than we wanted it to be,” Edano said. “We first need to regain control of the nuclear power plant.”

CNN: Ouattara spokesman: Supporters attack Gbagbo home, seize state-run TV
Forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized president of Ivory Coast, attacked the residence of disputed incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and took control of state-run TV early Friday morning, a spokesman for Ouattara told CNN. Gbagbo’s residence is near the state-run television station taken over by Ouattara forces in the early morning hours Friday, said Patrick Achi, the Ouattara spokesman. Gbagbo apparently was not there. The takeover occured less than three hours after a Gbagbo spokesman appeared on the same network declaring that Gbagbo had no intention of leaving the presidential palace, according to a witness who saw the broadcast. The presidential palace is not Gbagbo’s personal residence and is located elsewhere.

BUSINESS
For the latest business news: www.CNNMoney.com

USA Today: CEO pay soars while workers’ pay stalls
CEOs didn’t have to cry poor for long. The heads of the nation’s top companies got the biggest raises in recent memory last year after taking a hiatus during the recession. At a time most employees can barely remember their last substantial raise, median CEO pay jumped 27% in 2010 as the executives’ compensation started working its way back to prerecession levels, a USA TODAY analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics International found.

New York Times: Report Criticizes High Pay at Fannie and Freddie
Regulators have approved generous executive compensation at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-backed mortgage finance giants, with little scrutiny or analysis, according to a report published Thursday by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The companies, whose fates are to be decided by Congress this year, paid a combined $ 17 million to their chief executives in 2009 and 2010, the two full years when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were wards of the state, the report found. The top six executives at the companies received $ 35.4 million over the two years. Since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over in September 2008, the companies’ mounting mortgage losses have required a $ 153 billion infusion from taxpayers. Total losses may reach $ 363 billion through 2013, according to government estimates.

Wall Street Journal: Subprime Bonds Are Back
Subprime and other residential mortgage bonds that helped trigger the financial crisis are back in vogue with long-term investors, in the latest sign that American credit markets are healing after the worst downturn in a generation. The prices on a representative slice of the subprime bond market have doubled from 30 cents on the dollar at the low point of the crisis to roughly 60 cents today. Their comeback underscores how investors have regained the courage to take on more risk as the economy recovers, pushing up the prices of a broad swath of riskier assets, from commodities to junk bonds to stocks.

CNN: Hershey’s raises prices nearly 10%
The Hershey Company says it is raising wholesale prices by 9.7% on most of its candy products. The maker of Reese’s, Kit Kat, Hershey’s Kisses and Twizzlers cited increased costs for raw materials, fuel, utilities and transportation. It was not clear whether customers would see the price changes before Easter, a big season for chocolate sales. CNN left a message with Hershey’s Wednesday but received no immediate response.

In Case You Missed It

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says U.S. action in Libya transferred to NATO in 12 days.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2011/03/31/bts.wh.carney.libya.cnn

Subscribe to the CNN=Politics DAILY podcast at http://www.cnn.com/politicalpodcast

And now stay posted on the latest from the campaign trail by downloading the CNN=Politics SCREENSAVER at http://www.CNN.com/situationroom


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By Tad DeHaven

Today the Cato Institute placed an ad in major newspapers highlighting specific spending cuts that policymakers should make to restore our country’s fiscal sanity and economic stability. Our public call for policymakers to demonstrate leadership on spending cuts comes in the midst of the on-going battle on Capitol Hill over funding the government for the remainder of fiscal 2011.

A graphic at the top of the ad measures the $ 61 billion in cuts that Republicans have proposed against fiscal 2011 estimates for total spending, the deficit, and interest on the debt. As the graphic shows and the ad notes, it is clear that “leaders and members of both parties are in deep denial about the fiscal emergency we face.”

There are news reports that Republican and Democrat negotiators are heading toward a compromise figure of $ 33 billion in spending cuts. Let’s put that figure in perspective alongside the GOP’s original proposal to cut a whopping $ 61 billion:

Record spending levels…trillion dollar plus deficits…mountainous debt…a weak economy…

What, Congress worry?

2011 Budget Battle in Perspective is a post from Cato @ Liberty – Cato Institute Blog


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New York Times (blog)
MLB preview 2011: New York Yankees are underdogs? Hardly.
ESPN
But the man charged to take the Opening Day ball against Detroit, Sabathia, said more than once that his team, the team with the game's highest payroll year after year after year, is one that will have to "sneak up on some people.
Baseball's opening day attracts some fans to Hoboken barsThe Jersey Journal – NJ.com
Opening Day 2011: Fans flock to Yankee Stadium despite rain for Yanks' home New York Daily News
Tigers fan? A fan's guide to all action on opening day 2011 in DetroitYahoo! Sports
SB Nation Detroit –Detroit Free Press –FOXSports.com
all 523 news articles »

Sports – Google News

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New York Times (blog)
Opening Day 2011: Fans flock to Yankee Stadium despite rain for Yanks' home
New York Daily News
Play Ball! Fans brave the rain to enjoy Opening Day festivities at Yankee Stadium Thursday. Will Derek Jeter have a bounce-back year in 2011? Absolutely. With the new swing, he'll be back at, or over, .300 this season No
Tigers fan? A fan's guide to all action on opening day 2011 in DetroitYahoo! Sports
Yankees Opening Day begins as scheduled despite rain in forecastThe Star-Ledger – NJ.com
Mark Teixeira's homer puts Yankees ahead of TigersUSA Today (blog)
Detroit Free Press –SB Nation New York –Neon Tommy
all 504 news articles »

Sports – Google News

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New York Times (blog)
Opening Day 2011: Fans flock to Yankee Stadium despite rain for Yanks' home
New York Daily News
Play Ball! Fans brave the rain to enjoy Opening Day festivities at Yankee Stadium Thursday. Will Derek Jeter have a bounce-back year in 2011? Absolutely. With the new swing, he'll be back at, or over, .300 this season No
Tigers fan? A fan's guide to all action on opening day 2011 in DetroitYahoo! Sports
Yankees Opening Day begins as scheduled despite rain in forecastThe Star-Ledger – NJ.com
Mark Teixeira's homer puts Yankees ahead of TigersUSA Today (blog)
Detroit Free Press –SB Nation New York –Neon Tommy
all 504 news articles »

Sports – Google News

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CBC.ca
Tigers fan? A fan's guide to all action on opening day 2011 in Detroit
Yahoo! Sports
This article was produced by a member of the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! Detroit's WDFM 1130 AM recently posted a poll asking sports fans what their favorite sport holiday of the year is.
Yankees Opening Day begins as scheduled despite rain in forecastThe Star-Ledger – NJ.com
Cabrera Will Make Or Break The TigersNeon Tommy
Tigers make final cuts, opening-day roster nearly setMarion Star
MiamiHerald.com –New York Daily News –USA Today (blog)
all 482 news articles »

Sports – Google News

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  • Scientists have developed a tiny chip which can generate energy using the body’s own movements.
Daily Commentary – Thursday, March 31st, 2011 – Power Your iPod… With Your Heartbeat [1:27m]: Download

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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.

 

Economy

Congressional Republicans and Democrats may have reached an agreement “that would slash federal spending by as much as $ 33 billion and avert a government shutdown.”

The Ohio legislature voted yesterday “to severely limit the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers, sending a bill that sparked weeks of pro-labor protests to Republican Gov. John Kasich (R).”

President Obama yesterday threatened to veto the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill currently before the House unless an anti-union provision is removed.

Health Care

“A conservative activist group seeking to discredit the Planned Parenthood Federation of America released audio tapes Wednesday that it said contradicts claims the organization made that it provides mammograms.”

“Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the Senate’s top health appropriator, warned Wednesday that Republicans can forget about defunding the healthcare reform law on his watch.”

“Prepare to hear a lot (more) about Medicaid, the government health-insurance program for the poor.”


Immigration

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Republicans are drafting legislation that would require the federal government to develop a plan to add more fencing, sensors, agents and even drones to stop every illegal entry into the United States.”

A Mexican immigrant filed a federal lawsuit against the Denver police for arresting him and accusing him of being undocumented despite the fact that he showed them valid identification.

The Tennessee General Assembly subcommittee passed a controversial immigration reform package yesterday that has business advocates worried.

Education

House Republicans voted yesterday “to revive a school-voucher program for the District of Columbia despite opposition from the mayor, the District’s congressional delegate, teachers and the White House.”

“The KIPP network, one of the fastest-growing and most academically successful charter groups, has received more taxpayer dollars per student than regular public schools,” according to a new study.

The collapse of California budget talks imperils the Golden State’s public colleges.


National Security

Libya’s foreign minister Moussa Koussa resigned yesterday and may announce his defection to support rebels there as early as today. Moussa is the highest ranking Libyan official to resign since the uprising began.

President Obama signed a secret order earlier this month giving the CIA broad authority to help Libyan rebels in their fight against Muammar Qaddafi and feed intelligence to coalition forces for airstrike targets.

Egypt’s military rulers announced an interim constitution yesterday and said presidential elections will be held by November. The military said it will hand over legislative and executive powers after elections have taken place.

Justice

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli really doesn’t want you to ask him about the Declaration of Independence, because that’s a “socialist question.”

Early voters are turning out in droves for the state supreme court election between Gov. Scott Walker ally David Prosser and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Justice Clarence Thomas’ first opinion of the Supreme Court term was a 5-4 decision saying that a man who wrongly served 14 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit will get nothing and like it.


Climate Change

Skeptical Science unveils its database of Climate Myths from Politicians, and the facts that debunk them.

The Bay Area is experiencing a record-breaking heat wave; Washington rivers are flooding, and tornadoes and storms are hitting Florida.

Michele Bachmann’s latest drilling claims are “ridiculously false.”

LGBT Equality

Civil unions moved forward yesterday in Delaware and are on the table today in Colorado.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is still the law of the land; today is Derek Morado’s discharge hearing.

The ACLU is calling upon schools to stop filtering out LGBT content on the web.


Wonk Room

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In the “one of the strongest official pronouncements” for labor, the White House said Obama will veto the House’s Federal Aviation Administration bill “if it includes provisions hampering aviation and railroad workers’ ability to unionize.” Obama’s advisers will urge a veto on any bill that “would not safeguard” the ability of “working Americans [to] exercise their right to organize under a fair and free process.”

Anti-union legislation has passed in both houses of the Ohio legislature, effectively crippling collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign the bill in the next couple of days, but Democrats and union leaders are vowing to sponsor a statewide referendum that would overturn the law.

A budget deal may be near, according to Vice President Biden, with the two sides agreeing to $ 23 billion in additional spending cuts for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year. Details of the cuts could still scuttle the deal, however. A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said “there is no deal until everything is settled.”

Tea Party protesters will rally outside the Capitol today, where they will urge GOP members to “hold their ground on major spending cuts.” GOP Reps. Mike Pence, Steve King and Michele Bachmann will speak to the crowd, but Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) doesn’t think the rally “will have any effect one way or the other.”

On his show last night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly criticized guest Donald Trump for embracing the birther myth. “I don’t think you believe that either. You get a lot of attention raising the question,” O’Reilly said. Later, Trump also exposed his Islamophobia, saying, “There is a Muslim problem in the world.”

President Obama signed “a secret presidential findingauthorizing covert operations to aid Libyan rebels. While the White House said “no decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition,” the finding “does prepare for such a contingency and other contingencies should the president decide to go down that road.”

Libyan Foreign Minister “Moussa Koussa resigned from his position and flew to the U.K,” a blow to the Qaddafi government. Despite Koussa’s defection, he will not be exempt from “British and international justice,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The portion of TARP funds “that went to banks has now turned a profit for the federal government,” the Treasury Department said yesterday. The department said “the only lost money from TARP will stem from its foreclosure prevention programs.”

And finally: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia caused a four-car crash outside of Washington, D.C. Tuesday when he rear-ended the vehicle ahead of him on the George Washington Parkway, causing a “chain reaction.” There were no injuries, but Scalia was ticketed for his involvement in the crash. No word on whether he’ll challenge it in court.

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In the “one of the strongest official pronouncements” for labor, the White House said Obama will veto the House’s Federal Aviation Administration bill “if it includes provisions hampering aviation and railroad workers’ ability to unionize.” Obama’s advisers will urge a veto on any bill that “would not safeguard” the ability of “working Americans [to] exercise their right to organize under a fair and free process.”

Anti-union legislation has passed in both houses of the Ohio legislature, effectively crippling collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign the bill in the next couple of days, but Democrats and union leaders are vowing to sponsor a statewide referendum that would overturn the law.

A budget deal may be near, according to Vice President Biden, with the two sides agreeing to $ 23 billion in additional spending cuts for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year. Details of the cuts could still scuttle the deal, however. A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said “there is no deal until everything is settled.”

Tea Party protesters will rally outside the Capitol today, where they will urge GOP members to “hold their ground on major spending cuts.” GOP Reps. Mike Pence, Steve King and Michele Bachmann will speak to the crowd, but Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) doesn’t think the rally “will have any effect one way or the other.”

On his show last night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly criticized guest Donald Trump for embracing the birther myth. “I don’t think you believe that either. You get a lot of attention raising the question,” O’Reilly said. Later, Trump also exposed his Islamophobia, saying, “There is a Muslim problem in the world.”

President Obama signed “a secret presidential findingauthorizing covert operations to aid Libyan rebels. While the White House said “no decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition,” the finding “does prepare for such a contingency and other contingencies should the president decide to go down that road.”

Libyan Foreign Minister “Moussa Koussa resigned from his position and flew to the U.K,” a blow to the Qaddafi government. Despite Koussa’s defection, he will not be exempt from “British and international justice,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The portion of TARP funds “that went to banks has now turned a profit for the federal government,” the Treasury Department said yesterday. The department said “the only lost money from TARP will stem from its foreclosure prevention programs.”

And finally: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia caused a four-car crash outside of Washington, D.C. Tuesday when he rear-ended the vehicle ahead of him on the George Washington Parkway, causing a “chain reaction.” There were no injuries, but Scalia was ticketed for his involvement in the crash. No word on whether he’ll challenge it in court.

For breaking news and updates throughout the day, follow ThinkProgress on Facebook and Twitter.

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