The WonkLine: June 3, 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.


Climate Change

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) asked President Obama to “move quickly” to restart deepwater drilling, Gov. Bob Riley (R-AL) “blamed The Coast Guard for not giving the authorization needed to better protect Alabama’s barrier islands from oil,” Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) compared the oil on his beaches to “toothpaste,” and Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) asked “that Florida’s commercial fishing industry be declared a disaster.”

AP reports that the third and fourth Presidential oil spill commission members are oceanographer Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science, and former Alaska Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, both experts on the effects of climate change.

Scientists have found that “the current extent of Arctic ice is at its lowest point for at least the last few thousand years.”


The Associated Press reports that “The San Diego County coroner ruled Wednesday that the death of a Mexican migrant at the U.S. border was a homicide, five days after an American immigration officer shot him with a stun gun.”

Yesterday, “more than 40 people, including several New York politicians and clergy members, gathered in Battery Park on Wednesday to start a three-day fast to press for a comprehensive immigration overhaul.”

A new study found that “while some Latino immigrants to the United States may be accepted as white, relatively darker-skinned Latinos earned, on average, $2,500 less per year than their lighter-skinned counterparts.”


According to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics, 25 percent of students — and almost 40 percent of black and Hispanic students — fail to graduate high school on time.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said yesterday that the G-20 is not likely to endorse a bank tax when it meets in South Korea this week. “There’s not universal support for that across the G-20, at least at this stage,” he said.

President Obama said yesterday that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill “should send an urgent signal to Congress to complete work on energy legislation, including rolling back ‘billions of dollars in tax breaks‘ for oil companies.”

Health Care

“At least 11 states have passed laws this year regulating or restricting abortion, giving opponents of abortion what partisans on both sides of the issue say is an unusually high number of victories. In four additional states, bills have passed at least one house of the legislature.”

Two of Massachusetts’ “largest health insurers again are seeking double-digit increases in the rates charged to small businesses and individuals, setting up another test of wills with regulators in the Patrick administration.”

“Georgians won’t have to buy health insurance if they don’t want to, according to legislation Gov. Sonny Perdue signed into law Wednesday.”