Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 10 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, and subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, you can now follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.
The Financial Times reports that “Citigroup has sharply increased interest rates on up to 15 million US credit card accounts just months before curbs on such rises come into effect.”
The creation of a commission to investigate the causes of the financial crisis was signed into law by President Obama more than a month ago, but “Democratic and Republican leaders have yet to nominate a single person” to serve on it.
According to court records, “the first five months of this year have shown a 52% increase in the total number of commercial bankruptcy filings compared with the same period last year.” In 2009, an average of 350 commercial enterprises file for bankruptcy daily, “an increase of 240% from 2006.”
This morning, the Arizona state House killed a bill that would have made it the first state to criminalize undocumented immigrants.
Herald Net reports that the arrest of Minuteman leader and suspected killer, Shawna Forde, has led to finger-pointing, name-calling, and in-fighting among the members of various anti-immigrant groups, with Glenn Spencer of the American Border Patrol calling William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration an “idiot.”
At a luncheon in Houston yesterday, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera warned of the “slanderous condition and environment” created by the contentious immigration debate that has left Latinos feeling “beleaguered” and “besieged,” as anti-immigrant advocates protested outside.
Kaiser Health News asks, “Is Medicaid or Private Insurance Better for the Poor Uninsured?”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lays out its opposition to the employer mandate. Congress is realizing “it’s gonna be trouble if they try to roll us,” the Chamber’s James Gelfand says. “We have a massive grassroots network. We put out one e-mail asking people to write letters to Congress about the employer mandate and about the public plan, and we generate somewhere around 50,000 letters to Congress.”
“HHS has pulled three controversial Medicaid regulations put in place by the Bush administration that current officials say would harm the most vulnerable populations.”
Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency granted California’s request to set its own limits on greenhouse gases from autos.
India will reject targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions but will instead focus on fighting poverty and boosting economic growth, the environment minister said Tuesday.India’s per capita emissions lag far behind rich countries and it feels the developed world should take the lead on tackling climate change.
Changes in ocean chemistry caused by deforestation and intensive burning of fossil fuel could cause U.S. shellfish revenues to drop significantly in the next 50 years, which would result in massive job losses, according to a new study by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
The New York Times reports that President Obama’s condemnation of the recent military coup in Honduras has deflected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s normally fierce anti-American rhetoric, impeding Chavez’s ability to use the U.S. as a political prop and signaling that Obama is “moving away from policies that had isolated the United States in parts of the hemisphere.”
National Security Adviser James Jones told military commanders in Afghanistan that President Obama “wants to hold troop levels here flat for now, and focus instead on carrying out the previously approved strategy of increased economic development, improved governance and participation by the Afghan military and civilians in the conflict.”
Yesterday, a National Guard panel recommended that First Lieutenant Dan Choi, who is openly gay, be discharged under the military’s “Don’sk, Don’t Tell” policy. The panel’s decision come the same day as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announcement that the Pentagon is investigating “more humane” ways of complying with the 1993 law