The WonkLine: June 8, 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

The Mobile Register confirms that another drilling rig in the Gulf, the Ocean Saratoga, has been leaking since at least April 30, as first reported on May 15 by SkyTruth.

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said he “could very well” vote for Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) attempt to overturn the scientific finding that greenhouse gases are pollutants because “it is a message about EPA.”

“I believe that we’re going to need to increase domestic oil production,” President Obama told NBC, but “the consequences of catastrophe now are much larger than they’ve ever been, and we’ve got to have a government that can oversee these folks in a serious way.”

National Security

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “warned that new United Nations sanctions could mean the end of talks over the country’s controversial nuclear energy program.”

“The passage of a new constitution in Kenya as well as the strengthening of democratic institutions will result in increased U.S. investment in the East African country, Vice President Joe Biden said.”

“The Israeli military said Tuesday it has set up an internal team of experts to examine last week’s deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, while the government sought a broader formula to meet mounting international calls for an impartial probe into the incident.”


The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission yesterday “subpoenaed Goldman Sachs, claiming the firm has been uncooperative in providing information needed to investigate causes of the 2008 market meltdown.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday that the U.S. recovery “probably won’t quickly bring down the unemployment rate, which is likely to stay ‘high for a while.’

If the Senate does not extend Medicaid assistance, “at least 30 states will have to close larger-than-anticipated shortfalls in the coming fiscal year.”


A new report by the Migration Policy Institute shows that immigrants “improve the economy after several years, thus making it easier for everybody to be hired.”

Sholom Rubashkin, the former manager of a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa that was the site of a 2008 immigration raid was acquitted of child labor charges.

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced that Daryl Hall and John Oates have canceled their post-game concert and are “standing in solidarity with the music community in our boycott.”

Health Care

“The recently enacted federal health care reform law provides health insurance coverage to the largest number of Americans while keeping federal costs as low as reasonably possible, according to a new analysis from the RAND Corporation.”

“A $5 billion early retiree reinsurance program established by the health care reform law will run out of money long before the program expires at the end of 2013, according to an analysis released Monday.”

“Three months after abortion nearly derailed President Obama’s health care bill, the hot-button issue is back before Congress with an amendment to the Senate’s defense policy bill that would end the military’s long-established ban on allowing abortions in its overseas hospitals.”