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.
The bailed-out insurance behemoth American International Group “scuttled the deal to sell its huge Asian life insurance arm to Prudential of Britain for about $35 billion, in a major setback to repaying the government for its 2008 rescue.”
“Thanks to the economic downturn, at least a half-dozen cash-poor states are now delaying their tax refund checks,” including Hawaii, Iowa, and Rhode Island.
Reuters’ James Saft takes on the arguments of those who oppose closing the carried interest tax loophole: “The words ‘self-serving’ and ‘twaddle’ come to mind.”
Tomorrow, President Obama will reportedly meet with Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) in their first one-on-one meeting since Brewer signed off on the state’s controversial immigration law.
The Hill reports that “members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) have called on the Department of Homeland Security to sever its ties with Arizona police.”
Yesterday, in a surprisingly amicable meeting with a group of undocumented students, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio indicated that he was compassionate toward their plight but will continue to enforce the laws on the book.
“The debate over national health care reform has moved to the California Legislature, which this week will begin taking the initial steps to implement the complex series of overhauls prescribed by the federal government.”
“A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report finds that some Medicare Advantage plans may have bilked seniors by attracting healthy enrollees into low-premium plans and then hitting them with high and unexpected out-of-pocket costs.”
“A national assembly of state insurance regulators, which is helping the federal government translate the law into more specific rules, said it was unable to meet a Tuesday deadline for standards meant to ensure that consumers get value for their premium dollars.”
“Gunfire and rocket attacks launched by the Afghanistan Taliban targeted the opening session of an assembly Wednesday in Kabul to discuss how to end the nine-year war in Afghanistan.”
“Israel says it is speeding up deportation of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who were aboard ships stormed by Israeli commandos this week.”
“South Korea has shown signs of softening its position on North Korea who it blamed for sinking the Navy ship Cheonan in March. Seoul appeared to have made a strategic choice regarding inter-Korean relations as it considered the international headlines on the catastrophic security state on the Korean Peninsula no help for the economy.”
Oil from the BP disaster “hit Mississippi and Alabama shores for the first time Tuesday,” with “swaths of mousse-like crude oil” covering about two miles of Petit Bois Island, MS and “patches of oil” on Dauphin Island, AL, as an “oil sheen confirmed about 9 miles off Florida’s coast could hit Pensacola’s beaches by the week’s end.”
Mohenjo-daro, “a ruined city in what is now Pakistan that contains the last traces of a 4,000-year-old civilization that flourished on the banks of the river Indus,” hit the fourth-hottest recorded temperature of all time at 128.6 F, behind Al ‘Aziziyah, Libya (136 F in 1922), Death Valley (134 in 1913) and Tirat Zvi, Israel (129 F in 1942).
The United States projected Tuesday that “its climate-warming greenhouse gases will grow by four percent through 2020.”