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.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) — an opponent of strong climate legislation — is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency taxpayer funds for American farmers hit by extreme rain and flooding.
Climategate: Led by Rush Limbaugh and former Jim Inhofe (R-OK) staffer Marc Morano, right-wing global warming deniers are Swiftboating climate scientists with a coordinated disinformation campaign about the contents of illegally hacked emails.
House Democrats are changing immigration reform legislation to reflect the tough economic climate, the Hill reports. Supporters of immigration reform “acknowledge the tough economic times create a difficult climate for legislation.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, “security training companies in Texas and elsewhere, bolstered by an alarming increase in kidnappings and violence in Mexico” have seen their business boom as more Americans and Mexicans must turn to private firms for security.
Over a hundred men, mostly refugees fleeing violence in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, took part in a massive, hours-long brawl at a remote immigration processing station on Australia’s Christmas Island yesterday.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives in Washington for the first official state visit of the Obama presidency today. Talks are “expected to be dominated by Afghanistan, climate change and nuclear energy cooperation.”
“Four United States troops have died fighting in Afghanistan in the last 24 hours,” NATO said in a statement today.
Brazil’s president, is set to receive Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Monday “in his first state visit to Brazil.” “The visit is drawing criticism from lawmakers and former diplomats here and in the United States, who say it could undercut Western efforts to press Iran on its nuclear program.”
According to a new study, executives at failed Wall Street investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers “cashed out nearly $2.5 billion from their firms between 2000 and 2008 even though the financial crisis hammered the shares they held.”
“A new wave of foreclosures stands to hurt people who may have never taken out a mortgage: renters,” reports the Washington Post, as “many investors are carrying upside-down mortgages on large rental buildings.”
“Companies and groups hiring lobbying firms on health issues nearly doubled this year as special interests rushed to shape the massive revamp of the nation’s health care system now in its final stretch before Congress.”
“Anxious that Saturday’s party-line Senate vote to open debate on a health care overhaul gives them little maneuvering room, Obama administration officials and their Congressional allies are stepping up overtures to select Senate Republicans in hopes of winning their ultimate support,” including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia (R-ME).
“Small businesses, which the White House is courting, are lobbying for more generous tax credits.”